WAOW TV-9’s first broadcast was on May 7, 1965 under the ownership of Mid-Continent Broadcasting Co. of Madison, Wisconsin.
Citizens State Bank (currently Associated Bank of Wausau) holds the distinction of contracting the first airtime during the first program aired on TV 9, a baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins.
WAOW TV’s tower and transmitter site are located atop of Rib Hill (second highest point in Wisconsin) approximately 10 miles from the station’s down town location. WAOW TV broadcasts at a peak power of 316 kW.
In 1972, Liberty Broadcasting Inc. purchased the Wisconsin TV Network, which included WAOW TV. In 1974, a landmark event occurred when WAOW TV was granted FCC approval to increase its tower height by 220 feet, which immediately increased WAOW TV’s coverage area.
In 1985 TAK Communications, Inc. of Vienna, VA acquired WAOW TV as part of the Wisconsin TV Network group.
A second landmark event occurred in 1985 when WAOW TV was granted an Omni-Directional signal pattern by the FCC. This greatly expanded our coverage area with a full circle signal delivery at full optimum power. Ten years later, in 1995, Shockley Communications Corp. of Madison purchased the group.
In June of 2001, family-owned Quincy Newspapers, Inc. — now named Quincy Media, Inc. – purchased WAOW TV from Shockley Communications, Corp. Quincy also purchased WYOW TV from Shockley Communications, Corp. and currently operates the stations.
WYOW TV-34’s first broadcast was January 4, 1997 under the ownership of Northwoods Educational Television, Inc. WYOW TV’s transmitter and tower site are located in Sugar Camp, WI, approximately 20 miles from the WYOW TV sales and administration office located in downtown Eagle River, WI. WYOW TV broadcasts at a peak power of 2.4 mw. Shockley Communications Corp of Madison, WI operated the facilities under a LMA agreement until SCC successfully purchased the station in December of 1998.
On June 25, 2002 WAOW DT 29 became the first commercial television station to broadcast in high definition within the Wausau/Rhinelander DMA. On October 24, 2002, WYOW DT 28 began broadcasting in high definition to viewers in northern Wisconsin and the lower UP of Michigan.