West Michigan’s FOX 17 Celebrates 40 Years of Television Broadcasting
A local television station is celebrating a special anniversary. FOX 17 is celebrating 40 years of broadcasting in the West Michigan television market. The station, now with the call letters WXMI, signed on in March of 1982 as WWMA-TV.
The station only used the WWMA call letters for brief time. It was just one year later in 1983 that the station adopted it's current WXMI call letters. But it wasn't until 1987 that their affiliation with what was then the brand new FOX Broadcasting Company began and they decided to go with the FOX-17 branding, including a new logo. At that time they began airing a combination of syndicated programming as well as network programming during the evening from FOX.
The station did not produce any local newscasts in its early years, but now airs more local news and programs than any of the other television stations in the West Michigan market, which includes the Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Muskegon metro areas and communities in-between. Currently, FOX-17 broadcasts over 65 hours of locally produced newscasts each week.
On January 11, 1999, the station developed its news department and launched the their very first newscast in the 10:00 p.m. time slot. At the time, they were the only station to broadcast locally at 10:00 p.m.. Unlike CBS, ABC, and NBC, FOX only offers two hours of weeknight primetime programming from 8:00p.m. to 10:00 p.m., with the exception of certain sports events and other specials.
On August 28, 2006, the station began doing news weekday mornings as FOX 17 Morning News. It started as a two-hour broadcast and then eventually expanded to four hours, airing from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m..
The station gradually added newscasts in other dayparts like 6:00 p.m.,11:00 p.m. and weekend mornings among others to compete head to head with WWMT NewsChannel 3, WOOD-TV 8 and WZZM-13, while retaining the other newscasts.
"It's incredible to think about how far this station has come. What began as a relatively small, independent station on March 18, 1982, has blossomed into the station that provides more local news than any other station in the market. FOX 17's growth and impact on the community are a testament to every employee who's ever worked here. I'm very proud of the current FOX 17 team, and I know all of us feel a sense of pride and duty when we stop and consider that we're part of a larger group of people who have made FOX 17 the station it is today." - Statement on the anniversary from FOX-17 General Manager Kim Krause speaking about the 40-year anniversary
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