Miami Valley Channel
|Miami Valley Channel (MVC)|
|Launched||September 19, 1994|
|Closed||December 31, 2006|
i (late 2006)
|Owned by||WHIO-TV (Cox Enterprises)|
|Broadcast area||Miami Valley area of Ohio|
|Formerly called||Miami Valley Channel
(1994-2001, late 2006)
UPN 44 (2001-2004)
UPN 17 (2004-late 2006)
|Time Warner||44 (launch - 2004)|
|17 or 6 (2004 - close)|
The Miami Valley Channel (or MVC), known at various times as UPN 44 and UPN 17, was a local cable TV channel based in Dayton, Ohio. MVC launched in September 1994 and closed down at the end of 2006. Owned and operated by Cox Enterprises, through its local CBS affiliate, WHIO-TV, the channel was available in the Miami Valley area of Ohio on Time Warner Cable and Time Warner's predecessor companies.
The station was the Dayton area's UPN affiliate from October 1998 until the network ceased operations in September 2006.
In 1993 and 1994, as part of retransmission negotiations with Viacom Cable and with Continental Cablevision (both of which were ultimately succeeded by Time Warner Cable), WHIO-TV sought its own, additional cable channel. Agreement was reached with Continental on July 8, 1994, and expectations had been that WHIO-TV would launch an all-news channel, as its Pittsburgh sister station, WPXI, had done in January of that year. Instead, WHIO-TV general manager David Lippoff said that MVC would be a full-service channel, programmed like an independent station, with syndicated game shows, children's programs, dramas, movies, sports and talk shows. In addition, WHIO-TV's noon, 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts would be repeated on MVC at 12:30, 6:30 and 11:35 p.m., seven days a week.
MVC was started on September 19, 1994 as a joint venture among Continental, Viacom and WHIO-TV, appearing on channel 44 on both companies' systems. (The channel did not actually appear on Viacom's system until January 1, 1995.)
On January 16, 1995, MVC launched a 30-minute 9 p.m. weeknight news show, titled "MVC First News at 9." This was Dayton's first prime time local television newscast. The program originated from WHIO-TV's news set, used anchors and other on-air staff from WHIO-TV, and included recorded stories and news clips from WHIO-TV. However, the newscast used distinct MVC/"Miami Valley Channel" branding and graphics, with little to no visual reference to WHIO-TV, Channel 7, or the "NewsCenter 7" brand. On September 23, 1996, in an effort to boost viewership, this newscast was moved to 10 p.m. and renamed "First News at 10".
Since its launch in January 1995, UPN had been carried locally as a secondary affiliate by primary Fox affiliate WRGT-TV. As a secondary affiliate, it would have been normal for WRGT-TV to air UPN's programs "out of pattern" (that is, on days and in time slots other than those provided by the network). However, WRGT-TV aired most of UPN's programs significantly out of pattern, over the years relegating them to relatively undesirable time slots: at first they aired on weekend afternoons, later they aired in the very early hours of the morning after their network air date.
MVC gained primary UPN affiliation in the fall of 1998, airing its first programs on October 5, the beginning of the network's 1998-1999 season. The station was initially advertised as "UPN on MVC".
By December 2002, at the latest, UPN 44 was no longer airing repeats of WHIO-TV's newscasts.
On June 1, 2004, Time Warner Cable moved UPN 44 to channel 17 for the majority of Time Warner's Montgomery and Greene County subscribers. The station was then renamed UPN 17. On July 1, Time Warner moved UPN 44 to channel 6 for its remaining subscribers in the Miami Valley receiving the channel. These channel moves were done at WHIO-TV's request, to position the station closer to the Dayton-area broadcast channels on Time Warner's cable lineups.
In mid-June 2004, it was announced that the 10 p.m. newscast would be renamed "NewsCenter 7 at 10", dropping the "First News" branding used since 1995. WHIO-TV touted this as an "improved newscast", naming one of its most experienced newscasters, Donna Jordan, as anchor, and featuring chief meteorologist Jamie Simpson and sports director Mike Hartsock on the program.
In early 2006, UPN was preparing to merge with The WB to form The CW. Both UPN 17 and the Miami Valley's WB affiliate, WBDT, sought affiliation with the new network, though WBDT's ownership, which featured executive connections with the WB via their ownership group at the time, made WBDT's pursuit of affiliation with the CW a mere formality.
At the time, UPN 17's programming included "NewsCenter 7 at 10", Big Ten football, Ohio State basketball, and such syndicated programs as Judge Hatchett, Cops, The Nanny, Mad About You and Magnum, P.I.
Around March 14, 2006, it was announced that The CW would air on WBDT. WHIO-TV's general manager, Harry Delaney, was quoted as saying, "Another new network, My Network TV, is being developed by Fox. As a Fox product, My Network TV will appeal to a broader audience and is a viable option for us."
On July 26, 2006, it was announced by WHIO-TV that Time Warner Cable would no longer carry UPN 17 after December 31. After not getting the CW affiliation, the station attempted to affiliate with My Network TV. While WHIO-TV was negotiating with the new networks, it was also trying to renew UPN 17's carriage agreement with Time Warner, to convince one of the networks to affiliate with the station. Time Warner declined WHIO-TV's offer.
In spite of the timing of UPN 17's shutdown, My Network TV did not reach a Dayton affiliation agreement until August 24, 2006. My Network TV would air on a digital subchannel of WRGT-TV, WRGT-DT2 (45.2).
On September 16, 2006 (the day after UPN went off the air), UPN 17 changed its name back to the Miami Valley Channel. It did not reuse the logo from its prior incarnation of the name, or develop any new logos or graphics for the brief time the channel would be in existence. MVC still aired its regular daytime programming, including The Greg Behrendt Show, Dr. Phil and selected shows from the i network.
After a 12-year run, the Miami Valley Channel was shut down at midnight on January 1, 2007, and was immediately dropped from Time Warner Cable's lineup. Viewers who tuned into MVC on January 1 saw a message from Time Warner Cable that stated, "The Miami Valley Channel (MVC) programming is no longer carried on Time Warner Cable. MVC was the former UPN network affiliate. UPN stopped broadcasting their signal in August of 2006 [sic] and MVC is no longer in operation as of December 31, 2006."
- "Cable must cut deal or stations, DaytonDailyNews.com/services/archive, September 18, 1993".
- "Channel 7 to add cable channel, DaytonDailyNews.com/services/archive, July 9, 1994".
- "Channel 7 jumps into syndication pool, DaytonDailyNews.com/services/archive, September 16, 1994".
- "Viacom Cable to expand systems Jan. 1, DaytonDailyNews.com/services/archive, November 12, 1994".
- "Channel 7 to broadcast 9 p.m. news show on cable, DaytonDailyNews.com/services/archive, January 14, 1995".
- "Channel Hopping: Letterman won't be back after this message, DaytonDailyNews.com/services/archive, September 9, 1996".
- "6 networks may be 2 too many, DaytonDailyNews.com/services/archive, May 27, 1995".
- ""Swift Justice" won't slow UPN'S descent into dumper, DaytonDailyNews.com/services/archive, March 14, 1996".
- "New hope for 'Voyager,' 'Moesha'; John Kiesewetter; The Cincinnati Enquirer; January 9, 1998".
- "Channel 44 will carry UPN, DaytonDailyNews.com/services/archive, September 11, 1998".
- "Channel 44 grows in TV world, DaytonDailyNews.com/services/archive, October 2, 1998".
- "`Buffy' and cast are moving to UPN in the fall, DaytonDailyNews.com/services/archive, April 24, 2001".
- "Cable upgrades cause subscribers to flip, DaytonDailyNews.com/services/archive, June 28, 2001".
- "WHIO'S Jordan to anchor news on cable at 10, DaytonDailyNews.com/services/archive, June 12, 2004".
- "CW outlet will be WBDT, DaytonDailyNews.com/services/archive, March 14, 2006".
- "Miami Valley Channel to sign off at end of year, DaytonDailyNews.com/services/archive, July 26, 2006".
- "Donna Jordan to retire from Channel 7, DaytonDailyNews.com/services/archive, December 9, 2006".