WILX-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 10, is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Onondaga, Michigan, United States, serving Lansing and the Central Lower Peninsula of Michigan. The station is owned by Gray Television. WILX-TV's studios are located on American Road (near I-96) in Lansing, and its transmitter is located in Onondaga. On cable, the station is available on Comcast Xfinity channel 4 in Lansing, on Xfinity channel 10 in East Lansing and Jackson and on Charter Spectrum channel 13 in Durand.
|Slogan||The Breaking News and Weather Authority|
|Channels||Digital: 10 (VHF)|
Virtual: 10 (PSIP)
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||March 15, 1959|
|Call letters' meaning||Dual meaning:|
X (Roman numeral 10)
*Derived from former sister station WILS
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
10 (VHF, 1959–2009)
57 (UHF, until 2009)
|Transmitter power||30 kW|
|Height||298.5 m (979 ft)|
The station signed-on March 15, 1959 and was owned by Jackson Telecasters along with WJCO radio (AM 1510, now WJKN). Jackson Telecasters was half-owned by Lansing Broadcasting along with WILS-AM 1320, from which channel 10 took its calls.
WILX shared the analog VHF channel 10 frequency with WMSB, an educational station owned by Michigan State University. That outlet was originally WKAR-TV, broadcasting on UHF channel 60. However, it had difficulty getting viewers because television sets were not required to have UHF tuning until 1964. Viewers had to buy an expensive converter to watch WKAR and the picture was not clear even with one. Looking for a way to increase its viewership, MSU agreed to share channel 10 with WILX. As such, WMSB was located on MSU's campus in East Lansing while WILX was licensed to Onondaga with studios in Jackson, the market's second largest city. However, both stations shared the same tower and transmitter in Onondaga.
WILX was on-the-air for 70 percent of the broadcast day, including all of prime time. In the event breaking news occurred, or a sporting event, or special on NBC was scheduled during WMSB's time, that station would often give its time to WILX. This arrangement continued until WKAR changed broadcasting frequencies to UHF channel 23 in 1972.
WILX was later sold to Figgie Communications. The station went through several more ownership changes (Forward Communications, Adams Television, Brissette Broadcasting, and Benedek Broadcasting) before it was acquired by current owner Gray Television. Benedek filed for bankruptcy in March 2002. In April 2002, Gray Communications indicated that they will acquire Benedek's assets. FCC granted approval of WILX transfer to Gray on August 29, 2002.
WILX-TV affiliated a subchannel with The Local AccuWeather Channel in late 2006. Construction permit for permanent digital equipment is granted in April 2008. The station's digital signal was broadcast on Channel 57. The station shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 10, on February 17, 2009, to conclude the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 57, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to its analog-era VHF channel 10.
The station changed its second subchannel, 'Weather Authority', in late 2014 to WeatherNation TV. By December 2017, WeatherNation was replaced with Heroes & Icons on .2 and Antenna TV was on .3.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|5.1||1080i||16:9||WILX-DT||Main WILX-TV programming / NBC|
|5.2||480i||WILX-HI||Heroes & Icons|
For many years, WILX's main studios were on Springport Road in Jackson while it operated a newsroom in Downtown Lansing. In the early 1960s, it maintained one-camera studios in Battle Creek and Lansing, which originated two-minute local news segments from those cities during the late evening news broadcasts. In the early-1990s under the ownership of Brissette Broadcasting, the station's operations were consolidated into its current studio complex in Lansing on American Road.
For most of its history, WILX was a distant runner-up to long-dominant WLNS-TV in the local Nielsen ratings. Sometime in the early-2000s, however, channel 10 overtook WLNS for the first time ever and has maintained a narrow if consistent lead since.
Its weekday morning show News 10 Today was launched in 1990 as a local news segment during Today eventually expanding to the current two-and-a-half-hour-long broadcast. Since its weekday noon show was canceled in the late-1990s, the station has not offered a newscast during the midday hours unlike most other NBC affiliates.
In 2004, WILX entered into a news share agreement with Fox affiliate WSYM-TV (owned by Journal Communications). This came about after that channel shut down its news department due to financial reasons. Under the arrangement, WILX produces newscasts for WSYM weeknights at 6:30 (for a half-hour) and every night at 10 (for an hour). In October 2015, WILX began producing a two-hour morning show on WSYM titled Fox 47 Morning News at 7. Prior to this newscast's launch, on weekday mornings at 9, the previous late-night's prime time show was replayed on WSYM under the title Fox 47 Morning News Rewind. The weekend version of the Morning News Rewind continues to air at 6 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday morning.
Although the two share most personnel, WILX and WSYM maintain separate weeknight anchors and meteorologists. On occasion such as severe weather, WSYM may carry the primary feed from WILX where its meteorologists appear on the other. This channel operates its own weather radar known as "Pinpoint Doppler Radar" at its studios.
On July 7, 2014, WILX launched the first 4 p.m. newscast in the Lansing–Jackson market, titled First@4. On October 1, 2018, WILX added a 5:30 p.m. newscast. At the same time, the station cancelled its 4:00 p.m. newscast. As a result, the station broadcasts news for 90 minutes straight, with newscasts at 5:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Also on that date, the 5:30 newscast that WILX had been producing on WSYM moved to 6:30 p.m. M-F.
Notable former on-air staffEdit
- Jim Brandstatter – sportscaster (1975–1978), former University of Michigan football star, now color commentator for Michigan football and the Detroit Lions radio broadcasts and radio show host
- Ahmed Fareed – sports anchor (2004–2005), now studio host/reporter at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
- Chris Hansen – reporter (1981); now Dateline NBC correspondent
- Ben Holden – sports anchor/reporter (1998–2004), now at CBS Sports Network
- Matt Morrison – sports; later sport anchor at CNN, Fox Sports Northwest, and Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, now producer at KGO ABC 7 in San Francisco
- Dan Ponce – anchor/reporter (2005–2006), later reporter at WLS in Chicago, founder of Straight No Chaser, now reporter at WGN and radio host on WLS-AM in Chicago
- "Digital TV Market Listing for WILX". Rabbit Ears.info. Archived from the original on June 28, 2018. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- "WeatherNation TV Partners With WILX NBC10 and Its 'Weather Authority' Team to Provide Innovative, Accurate, 24/7 Weather Reporting to Lansing/Jackson Viewers in Michigan" (Press release). LANSING, MI: WILX. Marketwired. October 1, 2014. Archived from the original on December 10, 2015. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
- Hughes, Mike (December 11, 2017). "Digi-nets expand Lansing TV viewing options". Lansing State Journal. USA Today Network. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
- "WILX-TV Channel 10 Onondaga/Lansing". Station Listings. michiguide.com. Archived from the original on December 11, 2015. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
- "TV Listings- Find Local TV Listings and Watch Full Episodes - Zap2it.com". Zap2It. September 1, 2017.
- "The Local AccuWeather Channel Continues to Add New Affiliates". accuweather.com. AccuWeather. January 8, 2007. Archived from the original on December 10, 2015. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
- "List of Digital Full-Power Stations" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- Roberts, Keith (February 24, 2009). "Some TV viewers in Jackson area wrestle with WILX changeover to digital TV". Jackson Citizen Patriot. MLive Media Group. Archived from the original on December 10, 2015. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WILX
- Hughes, Mike (October 4, 2015). "TV landscape contains endless variety". Lansing State Journal. Gannett. Retrieved December 4, 2015.