History of WISH-TV
Honored nationally, WISH-TV is best known locally for its commitment to 24-hour news and weather. With its many newscasts, 24-hour news breaks, WISHTV.com and digital platforms, WISH-TV delivers more local news to viewers than any other station in Central Indiana. The most experienced news team in town, News 8 is lead by dozens of staff members including multimedia journalists, anchors, photographers and producers.
WISH-TV’s I-Team 8 is dedicated to investigative research and reporting. This investigative unit has been honored with numerous major television and journalism awards, including the television’s highest honor, the Peabody; but, what the station is most proud of are the results of its investigations. Because of I-Team 8, numerous state and national policies have been changed or new laws enacted – not to mention potentially dangerous situations uncovered and scams or shady business practices exposed.
The grand opening of the WISH-TV Studios in 1965.
WISH-TV has received numerous awards and recognition over the years for its in-depth reports; eye opening investigations and groundbreaking coverage. Among the many honors is the Edward R. Murrow Award, which the station received in 1998 and again in 2006. This award is presented by the Radio Television Digital News Association and is the organization’s highest honor. Other such prestigious awards include the George Bliss Award, the Gracie Allen Award, numerous Emmys, and Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalist awards.
WISH-TV has been honored numerous times as the state’s “Outstanding News Operation” and “Outstanding Weather Operation” by the Indiana Associated Press Broadcast Association. Award-winning, around-the-clock news coverage that makes a difference has become WISH-TV’s trademark, but the station is also known for its commitment to community service. WISH-TV has received the Indiana Broadcasters Association’s Cardinal Award for Community Service multiple times, the Spectrum Award for Local Community Involvement, as well as the “Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity Award for Community Relations.” This award acknowledges Indianapolis businesses and organizations that embrace, celebrate and apply holistic inclusion and participation of a diverse people; and have excellent workforce diversity, opportunities for diversity education and communication with the organizations; and have community activities that encourage diversity in the community and leadership in developing supportive diversity strategies through the organization.
With Indiana’s largest and most-experienced team of meteorologists and a modern Storm Track 8 center, WISH-TV has the team and the tools to keep viewers ahead of threatening weather. The Storm Track 8 meteorologists work with some of the most highly advanced weather technology in the nation, including Live Doppler, Storm Tracker and FutureCast.
Weather Team 8 (Stan Wood, Patty Spitler, Randy Ollis and Tom Magnuson) in 1984.
WISH-TV participates and supports dozens of community activities or events each year including the Black and Minority Health Fair, which attracts about 250,000 Indiana residents over four days and offers free round-trip buses for the elderly and people with special needs. During the holidays, WISH-TV and its WISH Tree partners collect toys for families in need during the holiday season to local charities serving children in Central Indiana.
WISH-TV signed on the air at 6 p.m. July 1, 1954, and since then has been leading the way in broadcast technology. Before there was WISH-TV, there was WISH Radio, which went on the air in 1941. For the first year, WISH-TV broadcast from one of the WISH radio towers until a 1,000-foot tower was built at which time WISH-TV increased its coverage. The current tower was relocated to the north side of Indianapolis and built in 1995. Just two years after its initial broadcast, WISH became one of the nation’s first stations to install a videotape machine; in 1963, its coverage of the tragic State Fairgrounds Coliseum explosion was first news event of its kind to be broadcast live in the city. In 1983, WISH was the first to use the now industry-standard Sony Betacam, and, in 1998, it was one of the country’s first stations to broadcast digitally for high-definition television (HDTV) on WISH-DT. Two days later, on December 19, a football game became the first high definition television broadcast on WISH-DT.
Lee Giles and Mike Ahern host 30 Minutes.
WISH-TV was first affiliated with the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and the DuMont Television Network. In 1956 WISH-TV changed its primary affiliation from ABC to CBS. On Jan. 1, 2015, WISH-TV became Central Indiana’s affiliate for The CW network and CNN. WISH-TV and WISH Radio were first owned by lifetime Indiana resident C. Bruce McConnell until sold to J.H. Whitney and Co., which became Corinthian Broadcasting Co., which later merged into Dun & Bradstreet. In 2019, WISH-TV celebrated its 65th year of serving the viewers of Central Indiana.
WISH-TV is owned by Circle City Broadcasting. Along with WISH-TV, Circle City owns and operates MyINDY-TV 23, which provides around-the-clock entertainment, sports and local interest programming to Central Indiana viewers.
WISH-TV has a tradition of excellence. Building on its past, it’s a station with an eye on tomorrow. With a commitment to news, an award-winning team of journalists and an emphasis on community service and cutting-edge technology, viewers can be sure they’ll get the very best from WISH-TV whenever they tune in 24/7.