WISE-TV, NBC Affiliate, Fort Wayne, Indiana

June 18, 2010 Updated Jun 18, 2010 at 8:38 AM EST


The station was founded on November 21st, 1953 as the first network affiliate in Fort Wayne, carrying programming from the NBC network. It signed on under the call letters WKJG-TV, standing for "William Kunkle, Journal Gazette". Kunkle operated The Journal Gazette and founded WKJG AM/FM, and other television stations.

On Septermber 30th, 1971, the radio stations were sold, and became known as WMEE-AM and WMEF-FM. The FM station is now WMEE.
Michael Martone, an Alabama writer, who was raised in the North Highlands development, writes of being taken as a child out on State Boulevard to the field where WKJG was erecting its tower. The building of the first and tallest of the towers attracted huge crowds of people who watched for hours as the tubular lattice pieces were raised up and bolted into place.

For years, WKJG was operated by Thirty Three Inc., a Tony Hulman company (Wabash Valley Broadcast Group). Hulman also ran the 33-car Indianapolis 500 at his Indianapolis Motor Speedway and owned the Indianapolis Coca-Cola bottling franchise.

After Hulman's death in 1977, WKJG was operated by Joseph R. Cloutier. Cloutier. After Hulman's death, Cloutier was made president of the Indianapolis Speedway, a title which he held until his death in 1989 at the age of 81. After Cloutier's death, the Corporation for General Trade, was formed and run by his son Joseph A. Cloutier. The Corporation of General Trade continued to operate WKJG until it was sold in 2003.

Notable figures in the station’s history included Hilliard Gates, a renowned sportscaster who served as both General Manager and sportscaster until his retirement in 1993.

A few other memorable on-air staffers included Dick DeFay and Dick Florea, who retired after 35 years with the station. John Siemers, a broadcasting engineer at the station, serviced as "Engineer John" to introduce cartoons in the early days. Engineer John is still remembered fondly by his audience decades later.

Current anchor, Linda Jackson, began her broadcast career at the station in the mid 80s and Early in 2003 the Corporation for General Trade was sold to New Vision Television who changed the call letters to WISE-TV.

New Vision sold the station to Granite Broadcasting in 2005. Since then, the station has launched two digital affiliates: MyTV Fort Wayne and INC WeatherPlus which provides 24/7 weather.




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