On Nov. 1st in 1953 channel 10 in Rochester signed on becoming the second TV station in Rochester.
There had been 4 radio stations that had petitioned the FCC in Washington for the channel. WARC, WSAY, WHEC, which was owned by Gannett and also ran the Democrat & Chronicle newspaper and WVET (Veterans Broadcasting Company) all wanted to get the channel. Then WHEC and WVET held secret talks and decided to jointly run channel 10. The station signed on at 3 p.m. with a dedication ceremony. They were primarily a CBS station but also aired some ABC network programs.
The station would run two separate studios. WVET had their studio in the Central Trust building. WHEC studio was in the Rochester Savings Bank building. At first the station would sign on at 3:25 with a 5 minute program highlighting that day’s programs. Also the first few weeks they didn’t have any news. After a couple of weeks the channel had added programs starting at 10 a.m.
In 1961, Gannett bought out Veterans Broadcasting half of the channel become sole owners. Gannett sold the station in 1979. After a few subsequent changes of ownership, channel 10 is now owned by Hubbard Broadcasting of St. Paul, MN.
A amazing event happened in 1979 when WHEC became a NBC affiliate switching with WROC, channel 8, who became the CBS affiliate.
Since moving to digital, WHEC has added sub-channels that are a dedicated weather channel and classic TV from the MeTV Network.