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WGN-TV Launches HD Local News

WGN-TV, the national cable “superstation” that is first and foremost a local broadcast outlet in Chicago (Nielsen DMA no. 3), fired up its HD transmission engines last weekend for the launch of its first local news content in 1080i.

Despite its national standing with many viewers via cable, the Tribune station was the third broadcaster in the market to make the HD leap, following last year’s switchover by ABC affiliate WLS-TV, and NBC outlet WMAQ-TV’s move earlier this year.

WGN-TV is the CW network affiliate for the Windy City, programming a strong schedule of news, sports and entertainment. Its digital outlet, WGN-DT, in addition to CWW shows in primetime, also provides extensive HD coverage of the town’s several sports teams—including the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls and the NHL’s Blackhawks.

According to a tally compiled by sister publication Television Broadcast, there are now more than 100 stations in nearly 60 markets that air local news in an HD format (although some of those stations still upconvert from their SD transmissions, and a handful continue to provide SD video within an HD-like 16:9 aspect ratio).