Channel 13 WTHR, First in News Among Indianapolis TV Stations

On October 30, 1957 Channel 13 WTHR television station started to broadcast in Indianapolis. From that very first day of programming, this blockbuster among Indianapolis TV stations was not only covering the news they were making the news. For its first five years of existence Channel 13 was embedded in one of the most heated licensing disputes in all of television’s history. This dispute went all the way to Washington DC where the Court of Appeals had to judge on a resolution.

In 1962, the newly appointed owner of what was then WLWI was Crosley Broadcasting Company. They quickly found their Indy TV station on the verge of ruin. After spending quite a substantial amount of money the improvements in ratings for Channel 13 were marginal at best. In 1974 Dispatch Broadcast Group bought the station, and among their first orders of business was the change of the Indianapolis television station’s call sign to the present day WTHR.

Here’s a fun video from WTHR-TV about Dave Smiley doing whatever it takes for his morning show on WZPL 99.5 FM, Indianapolis.


Now under the same ownership for over 30 years, Channel 13 WTHR has flourished from this stability, becoming the Indianapolis media leader in television. They have used the popularity of the programming NBC offers as a way to draw the attention of viewers. They knew once people tuned in to watch their favorite shows and TV series they would stay for what has become the favorite newscast in our city. In 2002 WTHR started receiving the highest ratings in all of the news timeslots and changed the station’s slogan to “Indiana’s News Leader.”

How did they become the news leader? They have done it by bringing the residents of our city anything and everything that deals with Indianapolis. Want to learn about what makes the culture in Indianapolis so great or what new art in Indianapolis is on display? Tune in. Do you want to find things to do in Indianapolis, or how to live healthy in Indianapolis? Channel 13 has the answers. In-depth coverage of local events in Indianapolis is what has made Channel 13 WTHR the leader in local news for all of the Indianapolis TV stations, Indianapolis radio stations Indianapolis magazines and Indianapolis print news, including the ever-popular Indianapolis star (Indy Star). With their headquarters is downtown Indianapolis WTHR will always be ready to let you know what’s new in news.

Channel 13 WTHR
1000 N Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46204