WTRF launched on Oct 24, 1953 is a CBS ABC and MyNetwork affiliate broadcasting in Wheeling. It also serves Steubenville, Ohio. Nexstar Media Group is the owner of the service. The studios of the channel are located on 16th Street in downtown wheeling with transmitter installed in Bridgeport, Ohio.
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Sisters: WVTX, WOWK, WVNS WCMH and WBOY
WTRF went on air on Oct 24, 1953; WTRF 1290 Am was the radio sister at the time of launch. 100.5 FM and 1290 AM were sold in 1970’s to manage the finances for TV which was originally an NBC affiliate with a litter ABC programming. It then split the network’s content with WSTV (later WTOV). It became It became area’s maiden service to employ videotape by replacing film in 1979. It for the first quarter-century maintained its status as a news leader in Wheeling-Steubenville area despite having the competition from Pittsburg market. It switched network affiliation with WTOV to become a CBS affiliate on Jan 7, 1980. NBC struggling with the ratings allowed WTRF to look for a stronger affiliation. It also dropped ABC programming from its lineup. WTRF grabbed the second place in ratings in 1980s as NBC resurged. CBS which also went down at the same time as that of NBC, made a strong comeback in 1990s but WTRF didn’t really recover from the loss in the process.
Ownership instability was also a factor in the demise of the service as it moved in the hands of three different owners from early 80s to mid-90s. Wesray Corporation in 1987 sold the service to Adams Communications which in turn released WTRF to Brisette Broadcasting in 1991 due to financial issues. Brisette then merged his company with Benedek Broadcasting in 1996. In 2002 after Benedek filed for bankruptcy, West Virginia Media Holdings acquired the channel. Sister WBOY-TV was launched in Clarksburg after the launch of second digital sub-channel in 2007 which signed affiliation with Fox and MyNetworkTV. Third digital sub-channel was launched on Aug 1, 2008 as ABC affiliate. It became digital service on Feb 17, 2009 and lost Fox affiliation on its second digital sub-channel to WTOV. On Jan 31, 2017 Nexstar purchased WRTF after assuming the control via a time brokerage agreement in Dec 2015.
WTRF-DT2 broadcasts 7 News at 10, the flagship nightly newscast. Public affairs show Decision Makers is another show hosted by the CEO Bary Cary. WTRF is available online with news, weather and sports updates, community events, contests, videos, trending stories and more. Follow Wheeling News & Weather service on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. Here is the website: https://www.wtrf.com/