WHAM-TV/DT (formerly WOKR) commenced broadcasting on September 15, 1962, with interim ownership consisting of nine companies under the name of Channel 13 of Rochester, Inc.
In March 1970, the station license was awarded to Flower City Television Corp. Flower City in 1977 was sold to Post Corporation, a media conglomerate based in Wisconsin. George Gillette purchased the station from Post Corporation in August 1984 transferring it into Gillette Holdings, Inc. Hughes Broadcasting Partners (Paul Hughes and Veronis Suhler & Associates) purchased the station in June 1991. Guy Gannett Communications acquired WOKR in April of 1995. The Ackerley Group took control of the station in April of 1999, and Clear Channel Broadcasting Inc. acquired the station in June of 2002. The station changed its call letters from WOKR to WHAM on January 10, 2005. In 2008, WHAM-TV was sold to Newport Television LLC.
- The first station in New York State and the fifth in the nation to close caption its local newscasts for the hearing impaired, an effort that provides a valuable community service and the opportunity to reach approximately 50,000+ hearing-impaired viewers.
- The first station in Rochester to acquire locally-based weather radar.
- Consistently over indexes ABC NTI performance.
- WHAM has been a consistent overall #1 in the market (news) since fall 1987.
- The first station in the market to introduce Early Morning Local News and the first to expand it to 90 minutes.
- The first station in the market to produce a 5:00 p.m. newscast.
- The first TV station in Rochester to launch a website.
- Purchased the Rochester CW affiliate in November 2006 and operates it as CW-WHAM broadcast over-the-air on WHAM-DT, digital channel 13.2 (also 59.2), and on Time Warner Cable channels 16 (SD) and 1016 (HD).