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Wsaw 2014.png

WZAW logo.png

BrandingNewsChannel 7
My TV Wausau (DT2)
Fox WZAW (DT3)
Central Wisconsin CW (DT4)
Affiliations7.1: CBS
7.3: Fox
7.4: CW+
for others, see § Subchannels
First air date
October 23, 1954 (68 years ago) (1954-10-23)
Former call signs
WSAU-TV (1954–1981)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 7 (VHF, 1954–2009)
  • Digital:
  • 40 (UHF, until 2009)
  • Translators:
    57 & 42 W57AR/W42DH Sayner/Vilas County, WI
All secondary:
DuMont (1954–1956)
ABC (1954–1965)
NBC (1954–1966)
Heroes & Icons
Call sign meaning
phonetically short for "Wausau, Wisconsin"; also similar to original calls
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID6867
ERP72 kW
HAAT373 m (1,224 ft)
Transmitter coordinates44°55′14.2″N 89°41′28.7″W / 44.920611°N 89.691306°W / 44.920611; -89.691306
Translator(s)W21DS-D 21 (UHF) Sayner/Vilas County, WI
Public license information
Satellite station
CityEagle River, Wisconsin
Brandingsee WSAW-TV infobox
Affiliations7.10: CBS
33.10: Fox
34.1: CW+
  • Gray Television
  • (Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
see WSAW-TV infobox
FoundedJanuary 4, 1997
Former channel number(s)
34 (UHF, 1997–2009)
  • Analog/DT1:
  • ABC (via WAOW; 1997–2021)
  • Secondary:
  • Fox (NFL games; 1997–1999)
  • DT2:
  • CW+ (2006−2021)
  • DT3:
  • RTV (2008–February 2009)
  • Fox (via WFXS-DT; February−March 2009)
  • This TV (March 2009−?)
  • Decades (until 2021)
  • DT4:
  • Court TV (until 2021)
  • DT5:
  • Justice Network (until 2021)
Call sign meaning
disambiguation of former parent station WAOW
Technical information
Facility ID77789
ERP70 kW
80 kW (application)
HAAT163 m (535 ft)
Transmitter coordinates45°46′29.9″N 89°14′56.1″W / 45.774972°N 89.248917°W / 45.774972; -89.248917
Public license information

WSAW-TV (channel 7) is a television station in Wausau, Wisconsin, United States, affiliated with CBS, MyNetworkTV, and The CW Plus. It is owned by Gray Television alongside low-power Fox affiliate WZAW-LD (channel 33). Both stations share studios on Grand Avenue/US 51 in Wausau, while WSAW-TV's transmitter is located on Rib Mountain.[1]

To serve the Northwoods area of Northern Wisconsin, it operates a digital fill-in translator in Sayner (W21DS-D) that also covers Eagle River. This station broadcasts on UHF channel 21 (also mapping to virtual channel 7) from a transmitter on Razorback Road in unincorporated Vilas County (north of Sayner). The low-power repeater also serves the western portion of Michigan's Upper Peninsula although the broadcasting radius is limited to Marenisco and Watersmeet.


The station launched on October 23, 1954, as WSAU-TV, a sister station to WSAU radio (550 AM) and the original WSAU-FM (95.5, now WIFC; the current WSAU-FM is on 99.9 FM). It was originally owned by two groups who merged their applications in hearing: the radio station and the Wisconsin Valley Television Corporation, a consortium of North-Central Wisconsin newspapers that also included the Wausau Daily Record-Herald.[2] Channel 7 originally operated from the Plumer Mansion, a Richardsonian Romanesque-style building, that was located on North 5th Street in Wausau and torn down in 1972 one year after the station moved to its current home.[3]

The Plumer Mansion's castle-like exterior and a suit of armor displayed in the mansion inspired the station's graphic designer, Sid Kyler, to design a medieval-style blackletter "7" logo along with an accompanying cartoon mascot, the fully armored knight "Sir Seven".[4] The logo and mascot served as representations of the station for several decades. Wisconsin Valley expanded with WMTV in Madison and radio station WKAU in Kaukauna. In 1965, Wisconsin Valley purchased its first media holding outside of the state, KVTV in Sioux City, Iowa; as a consequence of doing business in other states, the firm renamed itself Forward Communications in January 1967.[5]

Forward sold off WSAU and WIFC radio in 1980; the radio station retained the WSAU call sign, and Forward immediately applied for the call sign WSAW.[6] The WSAW-TV call sign became effective on March 8, 1981.[7]

It has been affiliated with CBS since its beginning although the station did have secondary affiliations with DuMont (until that network expired in 1956), ABC (until WAOW signed-on in 1965), and NBC (until WAEO [now WJFW-TV] launched in 1966). On September 5, 2006, WSAW added MyNetworkTV to a second digital subchannel. Its broadcasts have been digital-only since before midnight on February 16, 2009, when the analog sign-off featured a "good night" from Sir Seven.[citation needed] On April 2, 2011, WSAW became the first station in the market to broadcast local newscast in high definition.[8] With the switch to HD came a revamp of their news set and new graphics, along with a return of Sir Seven as the station's mascot in a newly CGI-rendered form.[9]

On July 1, 2015, Gray bought the non-license assets of the market's Fox affiliate WFXS-DT (channel 55, owned by Davis Television, LLC). Due to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ownership restrictions, a new low-power station (WZAW-LD channel 33) was established to become the area's Fox affiliate. All of WFXS' program streams including WFXS's existing PSIP channel numbering were then moved to the low-power outlet. Subsequently, WFXS ceased broadcasting after nearly sixteen years on-the-air and its studios on North 3rd Street in Wausau were shut down.[10]

In consenting to the interference that would be caused by WZAW operating under special temporary authority on channel 31 (the same RF channel as WFXS) rather than its licensed channel 33, Davis Television stated that it would return the WFXS license to the FCC for cancellation following the sale.[11] In August 2015, WSAW launched a prime time newscast on the Fox outlet known as WZAW News at 9. This half-hour broadcast offers direct competition to WAOW's thirty-minute, weeknight-only news airing at the same time on its CW digital subchannel (which aired on WFXS before July 1, 2015).

On October 1, 2015, the station began using its new studio. It was the first upgrade in a decade and took months to finish. The new studio includes two new state-of-the art sets: one each for WSAW and WZAW.[12] Eventually, the WZAW-LD simulcast on WSAW's third subchannel was upgraded to high definition to provide full-market access to Fox programming in HD.

News operation

WSAW presently broadcasts 22½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 4½ hours each weekday, and 2 hours each on Saturdays and Sundays).

Technical information

The stations' digital signals are multiplexed:

Subchannels of WSAW-TV[13][14][15]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
7.1 1080i 16:9 CBS Main WSAW-TV programming / CBS
7.2 480i MeTV+ MyNetworkTV/MeTV
7.3 720p FOX Fox (WZAW-LD)
7.4 CW CW+ (WYOW)
7.5 480i Quest Quest
7.6 Circle Circle
  Simulcast of subchannels of another station

Further information: WAOW § WYOW

Subchannels of WYOW[16][17][18]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
7.10 1080i 16:9 WSAW-DT CBS (WSAW-TV)
33.10 720p Fox Fox (WZAW-LD)
34.1 720p 16:9 WYOW-DT Main WYOW programming / The CW
  Simulcast of subchannels of another station


City of license Callsign Channel ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter coordinates
Sayner W21DS-D 21 15 kW 138 m (453 ft) 167156 46°01′55.0″N 89°31′49.0″W / 46.031944°N 89.530278°W / 46.031944; -89.530278 (W21DS-D)


  1. ^ "TV Query Results -- Video Division (FCC) USA". Archived from the original on March 5, 2023. Retrieved March 5, 2023.
  2. ^ "Agree on Merger of TV Interests, WSAU Sale to Valley Television Corp". Wausau Daily Record-Herald. Wausau, Wisconsin. March 29, 1954. p. 1. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via
  3. ^ From Wikimapia: Site of the Plumer Mansion in Wausau, WI
  4. ^ Behrens, Matt. "The History of NewsChannel 7". WSAW. Archived from the original on February 1, 2016.
  5. ^ "TV Corporation Has New Name". Wausau Daily Herald. Wausau, Wisconsin. January 9, 1967. p. 7. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via
  6. ^ "FCC approval pending: Forward sells two local radio stations". Wausau Daily Herald. Wausau, Wisconsin. November 22, 1980. p. 3. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via
  7. ^ FCC History Cards for WSAW-TV
  8. ^ Levin, Phil. "NewsChannel7 Newscasts Now in HD". WSAW. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011.
  9. ^ DesRivieres, John. ""Sir 7" is Coming Back to Newschannel 7". WSAW. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011.
  10. ^ "Gray in 4 New Deals, Closes 3 Earlier Ones". TVNewsCheck. July 1, 2015. Archived from the original on March 5, 2023. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  11. ^ Raff, Robert (June 9, 2015). "Interference Consent" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  12. ^ Caldwell, Sean (October 1, 2015). "WSAW, WZAW debut new, state-of-the-art Wausau studios". WSAW-TV. Archived from the original on March 5, 2023. Retrieved March 5, 2023.
  13. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WSAW
  14. ^[user-generated source]
  15. ^
  16. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WSAW
  17. ^[user-generated source]
  18. ^