What will WISH, WTTV change mean for viewers?

Change will shuffle programming lineup

INDIANAPOLIS - The television landscape in Indianapolis will change dramatically at the end of the year as WISH-TV loses its 58-year affiliation with CBS.

Tribune Media's Aug. 11 announcement that CBS programming will move to WTTV-TV is the first major affiliation change in Indianapolis since 1979, when RTV6 and WTHR swapped networks, sending ABC to RTV6 and NBC to WTHR.

WISH's owner, LIN Media, has not made a public comment on the change, leaving as many questions as answers about what will happen at the station beginning in January.

The loss of CBS programming is clearly a blow to WISH. Primetime network shows are among the highest-rated programming local stations broadcast.

CBS also owns the rights to the National Football League's AFC broadcasts, including many Indianapolis Colts games.

What can viewers expect?

  • Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, all CBS programming will move from WISH to WTTV, the current CW affiliate. CW programming will move to a subchannel of WTTV.
  • Tribune Media will own two stations affiliated with top four networks, WXIN with Fox and WTTV with CBS.
  • WISH has not said how it will fill its programming void beginning in January. It could operate as an independent or move programming from WNDY, its co-owned My Network TV affiliate. It could also run syndicated programming in primetime.
  • Tribune Media has said it will provide local news programming on both WXIN and WTTV.
  • LIN has not commented publicly on news programming. WISH could continue to produce local news programming or it could stop offering local news.
  • Cable and satellite subscribers will receive CBS programming on a different channel than they do currently.
  • Over-the-air viewers will have one of two options to receive CBS programming. One is via WTTV, which transmits from Trafalgar, south of Indianapolis. CBS programming will also be carried on WTTK, which transmits from a tower on Indianapolis' northwest side.
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