WNEM-TV, virtual channel 5 (UHF digital channel 30), is a dual CBS/MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station licensed to Bay City, Michigan, United States and serving the Flint/Tri-Cities television market. The station is owned by the Meredith Corporation. WNEM-TV's studios are located on North Franklin Street in downtown Saginaw, with a second newsroom in downtown Flint. The station's transmitter is located on Becker Road in Robin Glen-Indiantown, in Buena Vista Township, east of Saginaw. On cable, WNEM-TV is available on channel 5 on most systems, except on Charter Spectrum, where it is carried on channel 7.
WNEM-TV was founded by the NorthEastern Michigan Corporation, hence the call letters, on February 16, 1954, as an NBC affiliate. Originally, its main studios were located on rented space at Bishop International Airport in Flint with auxiliary studios in its city of license, Bay City. In the 1960s, it moved its main studios to the transmitter site in Indiantown, after flirting with the idea of co-locating the television station on the WSAM tower in Saginaw. During its first four years, WNEM-TV had a secondary affiliation with ABC sharing programming from that network with WKNX-TV (channel 57, now WEYI-TV channel 25) until 1958 when WJRT-TV signed-on and took that affiliation. WNEM-TV also aired programming from DuMont until that network dissolved in August 1956.
Professional violinist James Gerity's Gerity Broadcasting bought the station in 1961 and sold it to the Meredith Corporation in 1969. In the mid-1980s, the station moved its primary studios to their current location in downtown Saginaw. The Becker Road studios would later be used for the Buena Vista campus of Delta College, though the complex still houses WNEM-TV's transmitter. By the late 1980s, mirroring a trend in many other television markets, WNEM-TV was the dominant station in Mid-Michigan, helped by NBC's then-dominant prime-time lineup.
On January 16, 1995, WNEM-TV and WEYI swapped networks, and WNEM-TV became a CBS affiliate (announced June 30, 1994). The move came as part of the larger U.S. television network affiliation switches of 1994 that saw CBS' longtime affiliate in Detroit, WJBK-TV, switch to the Fox network, and CBS was unable to get WXYZ-TV (whose ABC affiliation was renewed), WXON-TV, or WDIV to switch networks; CBS eventually purchased independent station WGPR-TV and transformed it into WWJ-TV in December 1994.
The day that WNEM-TV became a CBS affiliate, it also took on secondary affiliations with both UPN and The WB and aired programming from the two networks late at night. The station relinquished the secondary WB affiliation in October 1999 to WEYI. It dropped CBS' daytime soap opera Guiding Light in 1996 due to low ratings, which made it one of two CBS stations in the nation that did not carry the program for what would turn out to be its final 13 years (the other was KOVR in Sacramento, California). However, by 2007 the show was aired instead on My5 at 10 a.m., and stayed there for the rest of its run. WNEM now clears the entire CBS daytime lineup on their primary channel, having moved Guiding Light's replacement Let's Make a Deal over from My5 in 2012. It currently airs at 10 a.m.
In 2006, WNEM-TV entered into a news share agreement with WSMH. On September 10, 2007, the station dropped its 9 a.m. show, Tyra Banks, for Better Mid Michigan.
By May 2008, WNEM used its MyNetworkTV affiliation to launch "My 5" cable channel along with some Detroit Pistons games. My 5 was launched later on an over the air subchannel.
WNEM-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 5, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 22, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 5. However, channel 5 analog did remain on-the-air for a short period afterward with a nightlight slide with phone numbers and information about the switch.
As of April 1, 2011, Comcast cable subscribers in Holly, Michigan and surrounding areas recently had WNEM-TV replaced with Detroit's WWJ-TV as the main CBS network affiliate. My5 was also replaced with WMYD as the main MyNetworkTV affiliate. While Holly is much closer to Flint than Detroit (15 miles (24 km) compared to 45 miles (72 km)), it is in the far northern portion of Oakland County, which is technically part of the Detroit television market.
On November 21, 2011, WNEM-TV aired allegations of sexual abuse against U.S. Representative Dale Kildee that were criticized as politically motivated and a breach of journalistic ethics. An attorney for the station said that the broadcast was protected as it involved a public official and that no actual malice was intended.
WSMH dropped WNEM's 10 p.m. news from their primary subchannel on April 27, 2015, while WNEM moved that program to its My5 subchannel. Also in the spring of 2015, WNEM added another subchannel with an affiliation with Cozi TV. WNEM added a fourth subchannel and affiliated it with Ion in April 2017. While continuing its MyNetworkTV affiliation, My5 subchannel was renamed to WNEM-TV5 PLUS on July 30, 2018.
|TV stations in Michigan|
| WWJ, Detroit|
|TV stations in Michigan|
| WMYD, Detroit|
|TV stations in Michigan|
| WPXD, Ann Arbor|
|TV stations in the Mid Michigan region, including Flint, Saginaw, Bay City and Midland|
| WNEM 5 (CBS)|