WBTS is NBC’s new Boston affiliate. Here’s what you need to know.

WBTS-LD 8 / Boston (
WBTS-LD 8 / Boston (“NBC Boston”)

We now know what WBTS is… its the future home of the newest NBC affiliate in Boston and their initial newscast schedule has been revealed.

Starting Thursday November 10th, WBTS-LD 8 will launch with a Countdown to NBC Boston channel which will show nothing but a countdown clock and the station’s newscasts. It will officially take over the NBC affiliation from WHDH 7 on Sunday January 1st, 2017. In terms of its programming schedule and its newscasts, there’s plenty to go over.

First, newscasts. According to my math, WBTS 8 will deliver up to 6 and a 1/2 hours of local news, every weekday and the total in the end will include weekend mornings and weekend evenings. The news department will be housed at sister network NECN – New England Cable News’ headquarters in Newton, Ma., where NECN and sister station WNEU 60 (TMD)’s newscasts are housed. So basically in the end, the building will house newscasts for WBTS 8, WNEU 60 and NECN. Also note to mention, WBTS 8 will be available on Cable/Satellite Channel 10 with FiOS and RCN still yet TBD.

Here’s the lineup of the new newscast schedule and the new news teams:

  • 4:30-7:00 AM: NBC Boston Today (will compete against WBZ 4 – CBS, WCVB 5 – ABC, WHDH 7 – soon-to-be Ind. except 4:30am, WMUR 9 – ABC except 4:30am and WFXT 25 – FOX in the same timeslots)
    • News: Nick Emmons and Melody Mendez
    • Early Warning Weather: Chief Meteorologist Matt Noyes
    • Traffic: Natasha Verma
    • Breaking News: Latoyia Edwards
  •  12:00-12:30 PM: NBC Boston Now (will comepte against WBZ 4, WCVB 5 and WMUR 9 in the same timeslot as well as the first half-hour of WHDH 7’s hour-long noon news)
    • News: Brian Shactman and Latoyia Edwards
    • Early Warning Weather: Meteorologist Michael Page
  • 4:00-5:00 PM: NBC Boston at 4:00 (will compete against WCVB 5 at 4:00 and WHDH 7/WFXT 25 at both 4:00 and 4:30pm)
    • News: Joy Lim Nakrin and Shannon Mulaire
    • Early Warning Weather: Meteorologist Pete Bouchard
  • 5:00-6:00 PM: NBC Boston at 5:00 (will compete against WBZ 4, WCVB 5, WHDH 7, WMUR 9, WFXT 25 and WBIN 50 – Ind. in both timeslots)
    • News: Chris Emma and Audrey Asistio
    • Early Warning Weather: Meteorologist Pete Bouchard
  • 6:00-6:30 PM: NBC Boston at 6:00 (will compete against WBZ 4, WCVB 5, WHDH 7, WMUR 9, WFXT 25 and WBIN 50)
    • News: Phil Lipof and Shannon Mulaire
    • Early Warning Weather: Meteorologist Pete Bouchard
    • Sports: Raul Martinez
  • 7:00-7:30 PM: NBC Boston at 7:00 (will compete against WCVB 5 and WHDH 7)
    • News: Phil Lipof and Joy Lim Nakrin
    • Early Warning Weather: Meteorologist Pete Bouchard
    • Sports: Raul Martinez
  • 11:00-11:35 PM: NBC Boston TONIGHT (will compete against WBZ 4, WCVB 5, WHDH 7, WMUR 9 and WFXT 25)
    • News: Phil Lipof and Shannon Mulaire
    • Early Warning Weather: Pete Bouchard
    • Sports: Raul Martinez
  • TBDNBC Boston Weekend Today (timeslots aren’t determined yet for this newscast)
    • News: Jeff Saperstone and Desiree Wiley
    • Early Warning Weather: Meteorologist Jackie Layer
  • 6:00-6:30 PM: NBC Boston at 6:00 (will compete against WBZ 4 on Sat., WCVB 5, WHDH 7, WMUR 9 and WFXT 25)
  • 11:00-11:35 PM: NBC Boston TONIGHT (will compete against WBZ 4, WCVB 5, WHDH 7, WMUR 9 and WFXT 25 on Sun.)
    • News: Kristy Lee and Frank Holland
    • Early Warning Weather: Meteorologist Chris Gloninger

So that’s the new newscast schedule for the new WBTS 8 – NBC Boston. Plus, it will have many things that come with a news department, including a SkyRanger helicopter and recent weather vehicles that are currently employed at other NBC O&O’s except for a few. Plus, it will have its own 24/7 consumer unit with NBC Boston Responds, similar to Telemundo Boston Responde at their sister station WNEU 60 and its own investigative unit called The Investigators. Its website at NBCBoston.com will launch on Thursday November 10th, followed by its own app. It will also be on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. In fact, the station is already on Twitter and Facebook, just by searching @NBCBoston on Twitter or “NBC Boston” on Facebook.

Some programming notes about WBTS 8. First, the station will also premiere its own daily lifestyle program weekdays at 12:30pm after NBC Boston NOW at Noon called The Hub Today, which will focus on the top fashion, food and travel stories of the day. And on Sunday mornings, it will have its own public affairs program called This is New England, which will feature a panel of newsmakers from around the region discussing local issues. The timeslot for that program is still TBD.

Finally, the entire weekday schedule as a whole including where the syndicated programming will land:

Bold = WBTS 8’s local news and programming
Italics = syndicated programming
Underline = NBC programming

  • 4:00-4:30 AM: NBC News – Early Today
  • 4:30-7:00 AM: NBC Boston Today
  • 7:00-9:00 AM: The Today Show
  • 9:00-10:00 AM: Today’s Take
  • 10:00-11:00 AM: Today with Hoda and Kathie Lee
  • 11:00 AM-12:00 PM: Rachael Ray
  • 12:00-12:30 PM: NBC Boston NOW at Noon
  • 12:30-1:00 PM: The Hub Today
  • 1:00-2:00 PM: Days of Our Lives
  • 2:00-3:00 PM: Access Hollywood LIVE
  • 3:00-4:00 PM: Harry
  • 4:00-5:00 PM: NBC Boston at 4:00
  • 5:00-6:00 PM: NBC Boston at 5:00
  • 6:00-6:30 PM: NBC Boston at 6:00
  • 6:30-7:00 PM: NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
  • 7:00-7:30 PM: NBC Boston at 7:00
  • 7:30-8:00 PM: Access Hollywood
  • 8:00-11:00 PM: NBC Primetime
  • 11:00-11:35 PM: NBC Boston TONIGHT at 11:00
  • 11:35 PM-12:35 AM: The TONIGHT Show starring Jimmy Fallon
  • 12:35-1:35 AM: Late Night with Seth Meyers
  • 1:35-2:05 AM: Last Call with Carson Daly
  • 2:05-3:05 AM: Today with Hoda and Kathie Lee (repeat)
  • 3:05-4:00 AM: Mad Money with Jim Cramer (repeat from CNBC)

Additionally, the station will also carry all NBC Sports coverage including the second half of the Thursday Night Football season, the flagship broadcast: Sunday Night FootballGolf Channel on NBCThe Premier League on NBCNHL on NBCNASCAR on NBCNotre Dame Football on NBC and other motorsport events, including Red Bull Global Rallycross and others, plus the Tour de FranceFormula One and yes, the Triple Crown of horse racing: Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, but the biggest of them all will be NBC Olympics action every two years with Winter and Summer Olympic games. The first Olympic games to be carried on the new WBTS 8 will be the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea followed by the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

So, if you need to find WBTS 8, it will be on the following:

  • Antenna: Over-the-Air Channel 8.1 (a stronger signal than the proposed WNEU 60 signal and will cover much of Greater Boston, Southern New Hampshire and Cape Cod) and Channel 60.2 (the second digital subchannel of WNEU 60 – Telemundo Boston)
  • Cable: Comcast Channel 10. RCN is still yet TBD.
  • Satellite: DirecTV and DISH Channel 10.
  • Fiber: FiOS is still yet TBD.

So the new WBTS 8 is setting up in its place, getting ready for a “soft launch” on Thursday November 10th, followed by the official launch on Sunday January 1st, 2017. The new station is here and is ready to serve all of Boston. Congrats to all involved and good luck with the new station.

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43 thoughts on “WBTS is NBC’s new Boston affiliate. Here’s what you need to know.

  1. The new NBC station in Boston will have a noon and 4:00pm newscast after all. I didn’t expect they would have a 7:00pm newscast. Their Saturday and Sunday Morning newscasts will probably more then likely be at 6:00a-7:00a, and 9:00a-10:00am.

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  2. I would agree with Ellen and Steve Harvey moving over to new NBC Boston in the 2017-18 season (next year)… Ellen has yet to get another 3-year extension (to the year 2020). I could see Rachael Ray moved to WCVB next year, unless another Boston station (like WBZ/WSBK, WHDH/WLVI, or WFXT) picks up her show. I could see Access Hollywood Live moved to late night hours, if not dropped completely, unless NBC could be considering ending the show. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not the new Harry Connick, Jr. talker will stick around, seeing how a lot of other recent talk shows (Meredith Vieira, Katie Couric, The FAB Life, Queen Latifah, Jeff Probst, Bethenny Frankel, Bonnie Hunt, etc.) were canceled after 1 or 2 seasons.

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  3. WBTS is a low-power signal that does not reach to the Cape, or even to the entire South Shore. According to the FCC, it reaches to around Marshfield. NBC may get a stronger signal after the spectrum auction is done.

    What’s funny is all the extra local newscasts – like there’s a demand for that.

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  4. I tried tuning in after the soft launch and no dice. I am out in the Sturbridge, Ma area where WHDH works fine OTA. I however cannot pull in WBTS as of now. I am very concerned that as of 2017 I will no longer have an OTA NBC affiliate that I can watch. If this is the case I plan to file a complaint with the FCC and encourage others to do the same not that I am expecting it to make much of a difference. I come from a young generation where many of my other friends have also cut cable going with internet only packages. I don’t watch much TV and when I do it’s mostly streaming services like Netflix. Still for sports, news, or shows like SNL it’s nice to have the OTA option. This seems like a tactic to force my crowd into once again buying cable.

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      • Hi Roly,

        If I aim my antenna and the wind is blowing right I can sometimes pick up WJAR. As-is I have not had to rotate my antenna in years for WHDH along with the other Boston stations. I also tried aiming my antenna toward Springfield but was not able to pick up their NBC affiliate. I will most likely have to purchase a second antenna and aim it toward RI in the hopes I can consistently pick up NBC that way.

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  5. I’m in Boston. Not receiving any signal on Channel 8.1 via digital converter. Are they actually on the air? Once NBC goes off Channel 7 they will effectively be off-the-air in my household

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  6. I’m in Concord MA – have an amplified antenna, and can’t get channel 8 – I can get channel 10 out of Providence – so local NBC is out the window as far as I’m concerned – NBC has abandoned Boston as a broadcast channel – they’re cable only.

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  7. I live in Arlington in a brick building basement apt where external antennae are not allowed. At this time I do not receive an over the air signal on channel 8 nor on channel 60. Will signals be further boosted by Jan 1?.

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  8. I’m 4 miles from WBTS and with an indoor antenna they come in at 41% strength compared to WJAR at 65% from 35 miles. Stations below 30% have pixelation/signal breakup.

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  9. Nothing comes in for Channel 60 since their analog days. WJAR seems to be unusually strong in the Northeast. I used to get WMUR from 60 miles away, when they were on digital channel 59, but not since they went back to channel 9.

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  10. It will be on channel 16 on AT&T Fios. And no sign for RCN. But I since I am an RCN customer, I am concerned that if they don’t pick up WBTS, They might drop all the NBC show on Demand. And they might also drop USA Network, NBC Kids Network (formerly known as PBS Kids Sprout), A&E, MSNBC, and many other NBC/Universal owned network. We do not want to lose NBC. I am worried that RCN might delete “NBC on Demand” as well.

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  11. Is this station broadcasting yet? I don’t have cable. Watch TV over the air via amplified antenna. Live in Attleboro area. Currently Ch 2, 4, 5, 7 & 25 come in crystal clear. Although lost Ch4 & 38 for a bit after tower fire. I cannot pick up a signal for WBTS. If broadcasting now, will signal increase once switch over to NBC or will I be losing access to NBC Boston ?

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      • Looking at that, it’s a bit of a stretch, assuming 60 is really transmitting from Merrimack. Hard to believe. And supposedly running low power??? Something is not true. Also can’t believe that 8’s tower is even on, assuming it’s in Needham.

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  12. It appears that 8.1 is on the same tower as chs 2,4,5,38,44,etc This antenna was badly damaged in the Oct 22 storm and they just got everything back up and running at full power a couple days ago. There was no mention of WBTS in their info as WBTS didn’t exist then. I am wondering if they are still mounting the 8.1 antenna. rabbitears says it’s not up yet. http://rabbitears.info/locationmap.php?request=location&location=CBS+Tower+%28MA%29
    http://rabbitears.info/market.php?request=station_search&callsign=wbts#

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  13. I can receive 60.5 at night only ihave an amplified antenne pointed north from south Kingstown r.i. if channel 62.2 was on wbz ,s tower at full power no problem for anyone

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  14. I live in New Bedford, so I already get an NBC station on Comcast channel 10 – WJAR. Assuming WJAR remains on channel 10, it appears I won’t be getting the new Boston station at all. Too bad. I prefer watching news on a Boston NBC affiliate, but now I’ll have give up either the Boston part or the NBC part.

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  15. So, I guess Family Feud is no longer being broadcast at 3pm on weekdays. Replaced by “Harry”. Now, that’s a big loss of ratings.

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  16. Julie, you may be able to receive NBC Boston on WMFP channel 60.5, which is a full power signal broadcasting from Needham. I can get WLNE 6 in Boston, though there signal is only 35 miles away and broadcasts from Rehobeth.

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