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WDAY-TV, virtual channel 6 (UHF digital channel 21), is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Fargo, North Dakota, United States, serving southeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. It serves as the flagship television station of Fargo-based Forum Communications, which also owns WDAY (970 AM) and The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. The television and radio stations share studios on South 8th Street in downtown Fargo; WDAY-TV's transmitter is located near Amenia. On cable, the station is available on channel 6 in most areas, and on Midcontinent Communications digital channel 606 and Sparklight digital channel 1006 in high definition.
|Fargo, North Dakota–Moorhead, Minnesota|
|City||Fargo, North Dakota|
|Branding||WDAY 6 Television (general)|
WDAY News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Your News Leader|
|Channels||Digital: 21 (UHF)|
Virtual: 6 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||6.1: ABC (secondary 1953–1959; primary since 1983)|
6.2: Justice Network
6.3: WDAY'Z Xtra
6.4: Ion Television
|Owner||Forum Communications Company|
|First air date||June 1, 1953|
|Call sign meaning||taken from sister radio station, which was randomly assigned by the FCC|
|Sister station(s)||WDAY-AM, WDAZ-TV|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
6 (VHF, 1953–2009)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Height||322 m (1,056 ft)|
|Public license information||Profile|
WDAZ-TV (channel 8), licensed to Devils Lake, operates as a semi-satellite of WDAY-TV. As such, it simulcasts all network and syndicated programming as provided through WDAY-TV, and the two stations share a website. However, WDAZ-TV airs separate legal identifications and commercial inserts targeting the Grand Forks metro and northern portion of the Fargo–Grand Forks market. Local newscasts, produced by WDAY-TV, are simulcast on both stations. The two stations are counted as a single unit for ratings purposes. WDAZ-TV also has significant viewership in southern Manitoba, Canada, including Winnipeg, which has double the population of the Fargo–Grand Forks market as a whole. Although WDAZ-TV maintains a news bureau and advertising sales office on South Washington Street in Grand Forks, master control and most internal operations are based at WDAY-TV's studios.
WDAY-TV went on the air for the first time in 1953 as the second television station in North Dakota (after KCJB-TV, now KXMC-TV, in Minot), and the first in Fargo and the eastern part of the state. It was owned by a group of Fargo investors, the largest of which was Norman Black, owner and publisher of The Forum. Black bought the remaining shares in 1958.
It was originally an NBC affiliate when it signed on in 1953. WDAY-TV swapped affiliations and became an ABC affiliate in 1983.
WDAZ-TV was established in 1967 and serves the northern part of the Fargo–Grand Forks market, while WDAY-TV serves the southern portion.
WDAY-TV and WDAZ-TV began operating cable-only WB affiliate "WBFG" in 1998. Both stations replaced "WBFG" with the Justice Network (which moved from 6.4) on new digital broadcast subchannels WDAY 6.2 and WDAZ 8.2 on September 12, 2016 and WDAY'Z Xtra (which launched in 2013) on digital subchannel 6.3 in the Fargo area and 8.3 in the Grand Forks area. WDAY-DT4 returned to the air in 2017 as an affiliate of Ion Television.
WDAY-TV is one of the westernmost stations in the country whose call sign begins with W. Most stations west of the Mississippi River begin with K; however, WDAY radio received its call letters before the U.S. government moved the K-W boundary in 1923 from the state borders between 102 and 104 degrees West longitude (including the North Dakota–Montana border) to the Mississippi River.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|6.1||720p||16:9||WDAYABC||Main WDAY-TV programming / ABC|
(Syndicated/Local Sports/Weather Radar)
|6.4||480i||WDAY DT||Ion Television|
Justice Network is carried on a digital subchannel of WDAY 6.2 in Fargo, WDAZ 8.2 in Devils Lake/Grand Forks, KBMY 17.2 in Bismarck and KMCY 14.2 in Minot. This channel is available on Sparklight channel 28 in the Fargo–Moorhead area. It can also be seen on Midco cable channel 14 in Fargo, Moorhead, Devils Lake and most other areas, and on Midco cable channel 7 in the Grand Forks area.
WDAY'Z Xtra is a digital subchannel carried on WDAY 6.3, WDAZ 8.3, KBMY 17.3, and KMCY 14.3, airing as a secondary affiliation to MyNetworkTV on KBMY and KMCY but without interruption on WDAY-TV and WDAZ-TV. This subchannel airs syndicated programming, North Dakota and Minnesota high school sports, North Dakota high school state tournaments, Minnesota State University Moorhead Athletics, and select University of North Dakota athletic events. It airs Doppler weather radar and "Storm Tracker" weather loop with easy listening music during overnights. It is offered on Midco cable channel 596 and Sparklight channel 29.
WDAY'Z Xtra became available in HD in 2014, and in 2016, MyNetworkTV programming began airing in prime time, although on KBMY and KMCY only (in Bismarck and Minot respectively) but not on WDAY or WDAZ (the most likely reason being that both of those stations broadcast to a viewing area that is currently being serviced by MyNetworkTV affiliate, KCPM).
Starting on August 29, 2016, WDAY'Z Xtra and the Justice Network aired WDAY'Z Xtra News weekdays at 9:00 p.m.
On September 11, 2017, WDAY-TV launched a 4:00 p.m. weekday newscast that is simulcast on sister station WDAZ. It was the first afternoon newscast ever to air in the market.
WDAY-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 6, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 21. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 6.
News operation and programmingEdit
WDAY-TV presently broadcasts 29½ hours of locally produced newscasts and other programming each week (with 4½ hours each weekday, three hours on Saturdays, and 1½ hours on Sundays). For the better part of the last two decades, WDAY's newscasts have traditionally led the ratings in the Fargo–Grand Forks market. WDAZ has traditionally dominated the ratings for the northern part of the market.
WDAZ once had a larger news presence, as it aired separate 5 p.m. and weekend newscasts, with the only WDAY newscast airing being the morning First News. WDAZ's weekend news was taken over by WDAY in 2011 and its 5 p.m. weekday newscast was taken over in July 2014. The decision to replace the 5 p.m. broadcast was met with an immediate backlash from viewers, including those who circulated a petition on Change.org demanding that Forum restore the local 5 p.m. news to WDAZ.
WDAY-TV signs off briefly in the overnight hours; as a result, ABC's overnight news program, World News Now, is not broadcast. It goes off the air at 3:37 a.m. and signs on again at 4 a.m. to broadcast America This Morning. The station also preempts the network's NBA pre-game show NBA Countdown to carry paid programming.
In August 2016, WDAY-TV launched a half-hour prime time newscast on its second and third subchannels called WDAY'Z Xtra News at 9. WDAY'Z Xtra News at 9 is also simulcast on WDAZ's subchannels in Grand Forks, as well as KBMY/KMCY's subchannels in the Bismarck–Minot market.
On September 11, 2017, WDAY-TV launched a 4 p.m. weekday newscast that is simulcast on sister station WDAZ. It was the first afternoon newscast ever to air in the market.
On November 30, 2018, it was announced that WDAZ would merge its news department with that of WDAY-TV, resulting in the cancellation of WDAZ's separate 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts, effective December 21. General manager Joshua Roher cited "changes to distribution of television, emerging technologies and economic factors in our area" as reasons for the consolidation, in a statement to the Grand Forks Herald. WDAY-TV continues to maintain a news bureau and sales office in Grand Forks.
Past on-air staffEdit
- RabbitEars TV Query for WDAY
- RabbitEars TV Query for KBMY
- RabbitEars TV Query for KMCY
- TitanTV TV Query for KBMY & KMCY & WDAY & WDAZ
- RabbitEars TV Query for WDAY
- RabbitEars TV Query for WDAZ
- RabbitEars TV Query for KCPM
- Congress delays digital TV conversion, The Forum, Fargo ND, February 5, 2009
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved March 24, 2012.
- "More news: WDAY, Valley News Live expand broadcasts in response..." Retrieved September 19, 2017.
- "WDAY takes over 5 p.m. news in Grand Forks". Grand Forks Herald. July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
- "WDAY Launching Statewide Morning Newscast". TVSpy.com. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
- "Backlash Grows Against Forum Communications' Decision to Dump WDAZ Newscast". Valley News Live. Grey Television. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- Ortega, Roly (August 30, 2017). "WDAY/WDAZ will soon introduce North Dakota's first-ever afternoon newscast". The Changing Newscasts Blog. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
- "WDAZ to merge broadcasts with WDAY". Grand Forks Herald. November 30, 2018. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
- Ortega, Roly (December 3, 2018). "WDAZ is merging with WDAY, thus bringing dual news operations in one market to an end". The Changing Newscasts Blog. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
- Official website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WDAY-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WDAY-TV