|Branding||WTOL 11 (general)
WTOL 11 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Toledo's News Leader (official slogan)
Certified Most Accurate (weather slogan)
|Channels||Digital: 11 (VHF)|
|Owner||Raycom Media, Inc.
(WTOL License Subsidiary, LLC)
|Founded||December 5, 1958|
|Call letters' meaning||TOLedo
(TOL is also the IATA airport code for Toledo)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog: 11 (1958-2009)
Digital: 17 (until 2009)
|Former affiliations||NBC (secondary, 1958-1969)
IND/Local news (DT2; 2005-2012)
|Transmitter power||16.9 kW|
WTOL is the CBS-affiliated television station licensed in Toledo, Ohio. The station broadcasts on channel 11 (RF and PSIP) and can be seen throughout Northwest Ohio, Southeast Michigan (including Detroit), and southwest Ontario (including Windsor and Essex County, where it was formally carried by Cogeco Cable systems along with WTVG and WNWO until 2009). Owned by Raycom Media, the station operates Fox affiliate WUPW (owned by American Spirit Media) through a shared services agreement (SSA) and the two share studios on North Summit Street in downtown Toledo.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming|
|11.1||1080i||16:9||WTOL||Main WTOL programming / CBS|
WTOL-TV began broadcasting on December 5, 1958 as a CBS affiliate with a secondary NBC affiliation. It shared NBC with then ABC affiliate WSPD-TV (now WTVG) until 1969, when WDHO-TV (now WNWO-TV) replaced WSPD-TV as the ABC affiliate. WTOL then became exclusively affiliated with CBS. WTOL is also the only station in Toledo to never change its primary affiliation.
The station was originally owned by the Reams family along with WTOL radio (AM 1230, now WCWA; and FM 104.7, now WIOT). It was sold to Filmways (now part of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) in 1962. The Broadcasting Company of the South, a subsidiary of South Carolina insurer Liberty Life Insurance Company, bought WTOL in 1965 and later changed its name to Cosmos Broadcasting Corporation; WTOL was that company's only station located outside the Southern U.S. Liberty reorganized itself as a holding company, The Liberty Corporation, in 1974, and WTOL came directly under the Liberty banner after Liberty sold off its insurance business in 2003. Liberty merged with Raycom Media in 2005. Raycom already owned WNWO, but couldn't keep both because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not allow one entity to own two of the four biggest stations in a single market. It opted to keep the higher-rated WTOL and sold WNWO to Barrington Broadcasting.
From the mid-1970s to 2003, WTOL was known on-air as "Toledo 11" (sometimes spelled out as "Toledo Eleven").
In December 1994, WTOL replaced Detroit's WJBK on the lineup of Cancom (later Shaw Broadcast Services), which provided American networks to cable and satellite viewers in many areas across Canada (particularly Atlantic Canada and the Prairies). The changeover occurred shortly before WJBK was due to switch its affiliation from CBS to Fox. CBS was unable to sign a new Detroit affiliate (WGPR, now WWJ-TV) until mere days before the change, and as Cancom had to seek regulatory approval several months in advance, it elected to go with WTOL, the largest CBS station closest to Detroit. WTOL was carried by Cancom until 1999, when it was replaced with WWJ-TV.
During this time, WTOL was the de facto CBS affiliate for the southern part of the Detroit market, as WWJ-TV was all but unviewable in that area at the time. The station provides city-grade coverage to much of southern Wayne and Washtenaw counties, and grade B coverage to most of Detroit itself.
WTOL had preempted some network programming for many years, but in recent years has carried the entire CBS network schedule. The only significant exceptions are for the airing of Billy Graham and St. Jude's Hospital specials. It has been the dominant station in Toledo for the better part of the last 30 years. Since their debuts in syndication, both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune have aired on WTOL.
Ever since its national debut, The Oprah Winfrey Show was shown on WTOL. Oprah Winfrey ended her show on May 25, 2011. WTOL's 4:00 p.m. time slot was then taken over by the daily lifestyle magazine show America Now co-hosted by Leeza Gibbons and Bill Rancic beginning September 12, 2011. However, due to poor ratings, WTOL switched timeslots for America Now and Dr. Phil beginning on January 23, 2012. Therefore, Dr. Phil is shown at 4 p.m., leading into WTOL's 5 p.m. newscast.
On June 12, 2009, the station turned off its analog signal forever. Its digital signal shifted from channel 17 to channel 11 following the digital transition. Channel 11 DTV transmits at a lower power than it did on Channel 17 DTV, so in some locations, there has been a reduction in coverage. Many VHF stations are applying to the FCC for power increases to restore their coverage area after moving from UHF back to VHF.
On January 30, 2012, WTOL replaced its "StormTrack 11" radar loop on 11.2 with Me-TV. On April 21, 2011, WTOL began broadcast its newscasts in 1080i high definition, becoming the second station in Toledo (after competitor WTVG) to broadcast its news in HD. Although WTOL took over the operations of WUPW on April 20, 2012, the newscasts on that channel remained in pillarboxed 4:3 standard definition until May 31 when WTOL installed a new master control for Channel 36 to finally allow the newscasts on WUPW to be transmitted in HD. On November 18, 2014, Grit was added to 11.3 on WTOL.
On June 1, 2012, WTOL began broadcasting all of its syndicated programming in high definition.
WTOL is also one of ten television stations that air consumer reports from John Matarese of ABC affiliate WCPO in Cincinnati.
The Ohio Lottery drawings have been originally shown on WTOL since the televised drawings began. However, on July 1, 2011, WTOL no longer broadcast the nightly drawings or the game show Cash Explosion. The drawings and Cash Explosion were moved over to rival station WTVG.
In October 2011, WTOL was certified by WeatheRate as having the most accurate forecasts for Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.
In January 2012, the LIN TV Corporation announced it would sell its local Fox affiliate WUPW to American Spirit Media for $22 million. As most of American Spirit Media's stations are operated as duopolies with a Raycom-owned station in the same market, it was expected that WTOL would establish a shared services agreement with WUPW. On April 20, 2012, WUPW finalized its acquisition and its shared services agreement with WTOL. WUPW's remaining staff now operate from WTOL's facilities (though its management and sales departments will remain separate). A shared news site was also unveiled for the two stations, Toledo News Now.
On January 2, 2014, it was officially announced that longtime evening news anchor Chrys Peterson would be leaving WTOL after nearly twenty years at the station. Peterson decided to leave the station in order to spend more time with her family. Chrys Peterson's final news broadcast was on February 28, 2014 and an hour-long special aired at 8:00 p.m. in celebration of Peterson's twenty years at WTOL. On April 24, 2014, it was officially announced that Emilie Voss would succeed Chrys Peterson and join Jerry Anderson as the evening anchor on WTOL.
In 2018, WTOL will celebrate the stations 60th anniversary and for commemorating it, the "Toledo 11" moniker will be revived after a 15-year absence.
Notable past on-air staff
- Evan Rosen author of The Culture of Collaboration and The Bounty Effect: 7 Steps to the Culture of Collaboration
- Steve Hartman (now at CBS News)
WTOL airs regional and national sports programming from CBS Sports. Local teams that appear on WTOL include Cleveland Browns regular season games (from NFL on CBS). Since WTOL's normal coverage area reaches within 75 miles of the Browns' home Cleveland Browns Stadium (including Sandusky, Norwalk, Bellevue, and Clyde) it is part of the Browns' blackout area.
- "WTOL11 to launch ME-TV on channel 11.2 Jan. 30 - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH". Wtol.com. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
- "Drawings". The Ohio Lottery. 2015-10-16. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
- "StormTrack 11 certified as most accurate - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH". Wtol.com. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
- Malone, Michael. "LIN Deals Toledo Fox Affiliate to American Spirit". Broadcasting and Cable. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
- Baird, Kirk. "TV news merger moving forward". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
- Anderson, Jerry. "Chrys Peterson leaving WTOL 11 to spend more time with family - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH". Toledonewsnow.com. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
- "Emilie Voss to anchor WTOL 11 News at 5, 6 and 11 - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH". Toledonewsnow.com. Retrieved 2015-10-20.