Torrential rains caused widespread flooding in southeastern Wisconsin Thursday evening and Friday morning, closing the Milwaukee airport, a portion of Interestate-43 and numerous schools and businesses. Flood waters knocked Milwaukee’s CBS affiliate off the air, although a competitor came to the rescue.
Weigel Broadcasting’s WDJT-TV (CBS) was one casualty of the flooding in the Milwaukee area. Broadcasting quickly resumed, however, with the station transmitting on a digital multicast channel of Journal Broadcast Group’s WTMJ-TV (NBC).
“CBS-58 Milwaukee programming is now available on WTMJ 4.3. Thank you WTMJ, Journal Broadcast Group for your help,” WDJT told viewers on its website Friday.
By Saturday afternoon Weigel had resumed its own transmission of WDJT, although it had moved temporarily to a digital multicast of its Independent sister station, WBME-TV, licensed to Racine, WI. In all, Weigel had four Milwaukee stations broadcasting from that transmitter, with “MeTV” on channel 49.1, WMLW (Ind.) on 49.2, “CBS-58” on 49.3 and Telemundo Wisconsin on 49.4.
On Sunday WDJT was back on the air on its own transmitter as Channel 58.1.
WDJT, WTMJ and other news outlets in Milwaukee were delivering emergency information to the public on Friday, with flood warnings for the area continuing into Saturday. Numerous news outlets showed pictures of a Cadillac Escalade which dropped 20 feet or so into a sinkhole that opened under it at a Milwaukee intersection. The driver escaped with the aid of a passerby.
RBR-TVBR observation: That’s what broadcasters do. Helping your community also means helping your competitor when disaster strikes.