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Did you know that WANE-TV Channel 15 used to have studios in Waterloo? Today let’s take a look at the DeKalb County connection to this local television station.
When they first signed on the air in September of 1954, the Channel 15 station went by the name of WIN-T, and broadcast from a transmitter on County Road 29, south of Auburn. Although it was the second TV station Fort Wayne had launched (Channel 33 was the first), the station was technically licensed to Waterloo, where it also had several studios.
Like other TV stations of the time, WIN-T was only on the air for part of the day, usually shutting off around midnight. Along with news and sports, they aired shows like I Love Lucy, The Ed Sullivan Show, and Science Fiction Theatre, as well as music programs for groups like The Down Homers. In 1956, WIN-T was also one of over a hundred U.S. TV stations associated with the NTA Film Network, a part-time television network which broadcast films and first-run television shows.
The station’s time in Waterloo ended up being short-lived. In 1956, The Indiana Broadcasting Company bought the station, and decided to move the entire operation to Fort Wayne, on the grounds that almost 90% of the local revenue for the station was from Fort Wayne, compared to 7% from Waterloo. The call letters were then officially changed to WANE-TV, made effective April 1, 1957.
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