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WJAR (more commonly known as NBC 10) is the NBC-affiliated television station for the state of Rhode Island and Bristol County, Massachusetts licensed to Providence. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 50 from a transmitter in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. Owned by the Dorado Media Group, the station shares studios on Kenney Drive in Cranston with ZGS Communications-owned Telemundo affiliate WRIW-CD.

History[]

WJAR-TV signed on for the first time on July 10, 1949, broadcasting on channel 11. It was Rhode Island's first television station and the fourth in New England. It was owned by The Outlet Company, a department store chain headquartered in Providence, along with WJAR radio (AM 920, now WHJJ; and FM 95.5, now occupied by WLVO). In 1952, after hearing about repeated instances of interference in Connecticut between WJAR-TV and New York City's WPIX (also on channel 11), the FCC changed the television allocations for Providence and forced the station to move to channel 10, which it did in the spring of 1953. At that time, WJAR's coverage area increased, since the interference with WPIX had been rectified.

WJAR-TV initially carried programming from all four networks of the time (NBC, ABC, DuMont, and CBS), but has always been a primary NBC affiliate due to WJAR radio's long affiliation with NBC Radio. Despite this, WJAR only carried a little more than half of NBC's program schedule during its early years on the air; WJAR also broadcast about half of the CBS network schedule and a couple of shows each from ABC and DuMont every week. It lost ABC in 1953 when WNET-TV signed on and lost CBS in 1955 when WPRO-TV (now WPRI-TV) launched. When WNET-TV went dark in 1956, WJAR shared ABC programming with WPRO-TV until WTEV (now WLNE-TV) signed on in 1963. During the late 1950s, WJAR-TV was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network. In 1954, WJAR-TV received national attention for its coverage of Hurricane Carol; newsreel films shot by WJAR cameramen of the storm and its aftermath not only appeared on the station but also fed to CBS and NBC for use on their evening news programs.

For many years in the 1970s, WJAR-TV broadcast men's basketball games of Providence College and the University of Rhode Island, with Chris Clark calling play-by-play. In the early 1970s, when PC was one of the top teams in the country (and the top college basketball team in New England), their home games at the newly opened Providence Civic Center were often sellouts, despite the fact that WJAR televised many of these home games live.

In November 1980, the Outlet Company left the department store business to concentrate on broadcasting. A year earlier, the station moved its studios from the Outlet Building to a three-story modern production facility next door. The department store remained standing until 1986 when it burned to the ground in a spectacular fire. WJAR cameras perched on the neighboring rooftop captured the most dramatic footage. In April 1993, the station's studios were moved to their current location in an industrial area of Cranston just south of Providence. Three years later, Outlet Communications merged with NBC, making WJAR the second network-owned station in the market (CBS owned WPRI-TV for parts of 1995 and 1996 before selling it to Clear Channel Communications).

In April 1997, WJAR began to operate primary WB and secondary UPN affiliate WLWC (which was owned by Fant Broadcasting) under a local marketing agreement (LMA). Even by the time that station signed on, the future of the LMA was in doubt given the fact that NBC, which inherited the arrangement from Outlet, did not want to run stations outside their core owned-and-operated outlets. The network, during this time, pushed Fant to sell WLWC. In September 1997, NBC came up with a three-way swap in which Fant exchanged WLWC and sister station WWHO in Columbus, Ohio to Paramount/Viacom for that group's NBC affiliate in Hartford, Connecticut, WVIT.

WJAR was one of four NBC O&Os in smaller markets that were put up for sale on January 9, 2006, along with stations in Columbus, Birmingham, Alabama, and Raleigh, North Carolina. Except for the Birmingham station, these were also once owned by Outlet. On April 6, 2006, NBC Universal and Media General announced that Media General would purchase WJAR as part of a $600 million four station deal between the two companies. The deal was approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on June 26. As a result, WJAR became Media General's first television station in New England. For all intents and purposes, this undid the NBC-Outlet merger a decade earlier.

In its earliest days, WJAR's logo included a Rhode Island Red rooster, the state bird of Rhode Island. Prior to WJAR's purchase by NBC, it had included various versions of a different stylized "10" above the WJAR call letters. This had been in effect for the previous twenty years. The stylized "10" was initially retained after the purchase, but with the NBC peacock attached to the right-hand side and the call letters removed. This was dropped in 2002 in favor of an "NBC 10" logo first used on former sister station WCAU in Philadelphia. A modified version, used on newscasts starting in 2007, was designed and arranged similarly to other Media General station logos. In February 2014, both versions of that logo were replaced with the station's current logo.

On March 21, 2014, LIN Media entered into an agreement to merge with Media General in a $1.6 billion deal. Because LIN already owns CBS affiliate WPRI and operates Fox affiliate WNAC-TV (channel 64), and the two stations rank among the four highest-rated stations in the Providence market in total day viewership, the companies were required to sell either WJAR or WPRI-TV to another station owner in order to comply with FCC ownership rules as well as planned changes to those rules regarding same-market television stations which would prohibit sharing agreements; the grandfathered LMA involving WNAC will be included in the sale but must remain with WPRI-TV due to the grandfathered status. On August 20, 2014, Media General announced that it would keep WPRI and the LMA with WNAC and sell WJAR to the Dorado Media Group.

Digital Television[]

Digital channel[]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
10.1 1080i 16:9 WJAR-DT Main WJAR programming / NBC
10.2 WJAR-ME METV
10.3 WJAR-COMET Comet
10.4 WJAR-TBD TBD
10.5 WJAR-ANT Antenna TV
10.6 WJAR-THIS This TV

Analog-to-digital conversion[]

WJAR discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 10, on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 51, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 10. This allowed ShopNBC station WWDP to begin operation of its permanent digital facility on channel 10.

Programming[]

In addition to its local newscasts, WJAR clears the entire NBC network schedule including The More You Know, NBC's E/I-compliant programming block which airs on Saturday mornings. (However, during the late 1970s up to 1995, WJAR pre-empted NBC'S noon programming for their noon newscast.) Syndicated programming on WJAR includes Rachael RayLive with Kelly and Ryan (which was used to delay the 4th hour of Today), Crime Watch DailyExtra, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show among others.

News operation[]

For most of its history, WJAR has been the dominant, number-one station in the Providence, Rhode Island/New Bedford, Massachusetts market. WPRI is consistently in second place, while WLNE has usually been a distant third. This can be attributed to being the state's oldest station, as well as its association with its well-established radio sisters. In all four Nielsen rating periods in 2016, the station was number one in all time slots.

On May 16, 2011, WJAR became the first station in the Providence market to air newscasts in high-definition.

Dorado Media Group
ABC affiliates: KTUL WCHS-TV WSYX

CBS affiliates: WRGB
The CW affiliates: KCWI-TV KDAF KFRE KIAH KNVA KPLR-TV KUCW KXTU-LD WCCT-TV WCWN WDCW WKCF WLVI WNAB WNLO WQCW WSFL-TV WSWB WTVX WUCW WVTV WWMB
Fox affiliates: KAYU-TV KCIT KDSM-TV KFXA KLRT-TV KSWB-TV KWKT-TV WACH WDAF-TV WDKY-TV WMSN-TV
MyNetworkTV affiliates: KAIL KAME-TV KASY-TV KFVE KMYU KRON-TV WCTX WMYA-TV WNDY-TV WNYO WQMY WRDC WSTR-TV WTCN-CA WUXP-TV WXSP-CD
NBC affiliates: WJAR KMTR


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