WYOW is the ABC-affiliated television station for North-Central Wisconsin's Northern Highland that is licensed to Eagle River. It broadcasts a 720p high definition digital signal on UHF channel 28 (or virtual channel 34.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter, between Sugar Camp and Three Lakes, in unincorporated Oneida County. Owned by Quincy Media, WYOW maintains an advertising sales office on West Pine Street/WIS 17/WIS 70 in downtown Eagle River.

Digital channels

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP short nameProgramming [5]
34.1720p16:9WYOW-DTMain WYOW programming / ABC
34.2CWCentral Wisconsin CW
34.3480i4:3DecadesDecades

Overview

Although considered a separate station in its own right, the outlet is actually operated as a full-time satellite of WAOW in Wausau. WYOW airs the same broadcast schedule as its parent station but features separate legal identifications and local commercial inserts.

However, this slightly different feed is seen exclusively over-the-air as only WAOW is offered on Charter systems in the market (seen on channel 6 with HD on digital channel 609). It is identified on-air as "Northwoods 34" based on North-Central Wisconsin's namesake as a popular vacation and retirement destination in the Upper Midwestern United States.

WYOW also serves the western portion of Michigan's Upper Peninsula although the off-air signal reach is limited to Iron River and Watersmeet. Master control and most internal operations are based within WAOW's studios on Grand Avenue/U.S. 51 in Wausau. Syndicated programming includes Live with Kelly and Ryan, Rachael Ray, The Dr. Oz Show, and Entertainment Tonight among others.

WYOW does not maintain any news-related personnel at its Eagle River office. However, there is a specific section on WAOW's website featuring "Northwoods 34" branded headlines as provided by WAOW's regional coverage. On June 19, 2011, WAOW (and in turn WYOW) became the market's second television outlet to upgrade local news to high definition. Included in the change was a redesigned set and updated graphics package.[5]

History

WYOW's first broadcast to viewers in North-Central Wisconsin and the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan was on January 4, 1997 under the ownership of Northwoods Educational Television. Shockley Communications (then owner of parent outlet WAOW) operated the station through a local marketing agreement (LMA) until the company successfully purchased it outright in December 1998. WYOW previously aired Fox's NFL package until 1999 after the National Football Conference contract and rights for most Green Bay Packers games moved from CBS (locally WSAW-TV) due to the lack of a local Fox affiliate.

When Wittenberg-licensed WFXS signed-on in December 1999, it became the area's Fox affiliate. On October 24, 2002, this station began broadcasting its digital signal in high definition. WYOW converted fully to digital-exclusive operations on February 17, 2009 after a short nightlight period.[3] The station carried the Retro Television Network (RTV) on a third digital subchannel until March 2009. In the beginning of that month, it was replaced with This TV which can also be seen on Charter digital channel 966.[4]