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New Orleans, Louisiana
Branding FOX8
Slogan Your Weather Authority
Analog channel 8 (VHF)
Digital channel 29 (UHF)
Affiliations Fox
Owner Emmis Communications
Founded 1953
Call letters meaning
Former affiliations CBS (1953-57), ABC (1953-95; secondary until 1957)
Website www.fox8live.com

WVUE, "FOX8", is a television station in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is the area's Fox affiliate. It broadcasts its analog signal on VHF channel 8, and its digital signal on UHF channel 29. It is owned by Emmis Communications.


WVUE began in 1953 as WJMR-TV, the second television station in New Orleans (behind WDSU) and the third in Louisiana (behind WDSU and WAFB in Baton Rouge). Originally broadcasting on channel 61 it then moved to channel 20. It was originally a CBS affiliate with a secondary ABC affiliation. When WWL-TV signed on in 1957, it took over the CBS affliation because of WWL radio's longtime affiliation with CBS radio. WJMR was left with ABC.

In 1957, it moved from channel 20 to channel 13 due to interference with WAFB, which was also on channel 20. Screen Gems bought the station in 1965 and renamed it WVUE. In 1970, it swapped dial positions with the city's PBS station, WYES, and moved to its current location on channel 8.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the station would consistently rank as a distant third place in the ratings behind WWL and WDSU, even as ABC topped the national ratings for awhile in the mid-70s. Gaylord Broadcasting bought WVUE in 1977, but was unable to improve the station's place in the ratings. The station was sold to Burnham Broadcasting in 1987. It continued to underperform into the 1990s.

Along with WVUE, Burnham also owned VHF stations in Mobile, Alabama (WALA); Green Bay, Wisconsin (WLUK); and Honolulu, Hawaii (KHON). These VHF stations (as well as others around the country) became sought after by the Fox network after it landed the rights to the NFL's Sunday night football games in 1993. As a result, in late 1994, Fox arranged to have another company (Savvoy) purchase these four Burnham stations. Fox would own a minority voting stock in these stations and the company would be called "Savvoy Fox", or SF. (However, in 1995, Fox opted not to have voting stock in the company, although it would still hold an interest.)

The transaction went ahead in the summer of 1995. The affiliation switch in New Orleans took place on January 1, 1996, with WVUE becoming the Fox affiliate. (WNOL/38, which had hitherto been the market's Fox affiliate, took the WB affiliation; the ABC affiliation went to WGNO/26.)

In the wake of the affiliation switch, WVUE initially ran children's programming and sitcoms from 6-9am, instead of adding a morning newscast. It also ran Fox Kids in the afternoon, which by 1997 would move to the 6-9am slot. (The station would not add a morning newscast until after Fox cancelled the weekday children's block in 2002.)

Savvoy Fox sold the station (along with the other three former Burnham stations) in 1997 to Silver King/USA Broadcasting. Emmis Communications became the owner of these stations by 1999. Through all the ownership changes in the late 1990s, WVUE continued to underperform.

However, as of late, WVUE has been getting stronger shows on its lineup. It recently acquired the local rights to Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!.

In 2005, Emmis Communications declared its intention to sell its television stations - as of September 2005, no buyer had been named for WVUE.

Hurricane Katrina

WVUE's operations have been moved to WALA in Mobile, Alabama for the forseeable future. The damage to the station is so great that Emmis has told some of the on-air staff that they are free to seek new work elsewhere without penalty; according to the Indianapolis Star, WVUE's morning meteorologist Crystal Wicker has moved to Indianapolis' WRTV (Channel 6), and will start work there as of October 3.

Currently the station is only broadcasting in New Orleans through cable and satellite, and has no local presence because the station's studio and transmitter have suffered extensive damage. The station also has a rotating 15-minute newscast streaming through their website coming from WALA's facilities.

External links

Broadcast television in the New Orleans market

WWL 4 (CBS) - WDSU 6 (NBC) - WVUE 8 (Fox) - WYES 12 (PBS) - WHNO 20 (LeSea) - WGNO 26 (ABC) - WLAE 32 (PBS) - WNOL 38 (WB) - WPXL 49 (i) - WUPL 54 (UPN)

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