|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2014)|
|Branding||Pioneer Valley CW|
|Channels||Digital: WWLP-DT 11.2 (VHF)
Virtual: 22.2 (PSIP)
|Translators||28.2 (UHF) WFXQ-CD2 Holyoke|
(via The CW Plus)
(WWLP Broadcasting, LLC)
|First air date||September 1998|
|Call letters' meaning||see WWLP|
|Sister station(s)||WCTX, WTNH, WPRI-TV,
WNAC-TV, WTEN, WXXA-TV
|Former callsigns||"WBQT" (1998-2014)|
|Former affiliations||The WB (via The WB 100+, 1998-2006)|
|Transmitter power||10 kW (digital)|
|Height||247 m (digital)|
|Facility ID||6868 (digital)|
|Public license information:||Profile
WWLP-DT2 is the CW-affiliated television station for the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. It is a second digital subchannel of NBC affiliate WWLP (owned by Media General) and is part of the national CW Plus service. It broadcasts a digital signal on VHF channel 11.2 (or virtual channel 22.2 via PSIP) from a transmitter on Provin Mountain in Agawam's Feeding Hills section.
WWLP-DT2's parent station has studios at Broadcast Center in Chicopee's Sandy Hill section (next to the I-391 and MA 116 interchange). WWLP-DT2 is also seen over-the-air on a second subchannel of a Class A repeater, WFXQ-CD. This airs a low-powered digital signal on UHF channel 28.2 (also redirects to virtual channel 22.2 via PSIP) from a transmitter at the old Mount Tom Ski Area summit in Holyoke.
What is now WWLP-DT2 began its life in September 1998 as "WBQT" , a cable-only affiliate of The WB through the national WB 100+ service. Since it was only available on cable, the call sign was fictional in nature and thus not officially recognized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). As a WB 100+ station, it was one of the few in the group that was not aligned with an established over-the-air station in the market. WBQT did not initially replace out-of-market WB affiliates (such as WPIX from New York City, WBNE from Hartford, and WLVI-TV from Boston) on local cable systems.
In 1999, WBQT was taken off of AT&T Broadband systems serving the majority of the Springfield/Holyoke market. When Comcast took over AT&T's cable system in 2001, the company began a push to expand WBQT's reach. In late-2001, it replaced out-of-market WB affiliates on most systems with near total replacement taking place by 2003. Throughout the station's affiliation with The WB, it was known on-air as "Pioneer Valley's WB 16" (named after its channel location) and had its own logo.
On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN announced the two networks would shut down and merge. The new combined service would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initial of corporate parents: CBS (the parent company of UPN) and the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner. During months of confusion, it was unknown what would happen to WBQT. Some WB 100+ stations in the United States were being shut down as a result of over-the-air stations adding The CW as a secondary affiliation or on a new digital subchannel. There was no over-the-air UPN affiliate in the Springfield/Holyoke market that would have most likely taken the CW affiliation as a result of WBQT being cable exclusive. By then, WBNE (now WCTX) had been serving the Pioneer Valley as the default UPN affiliate on cable.
There was an early-2006 sign-on of low-powered W28CT broadcasting from the summit of the old Mount Tom Ski Area in Holyoke. After a short period of time, the station's call letters were changed to WXCW-CA in anticipation of it becoming an affiliate of that network. In August 2006, the call letters changed again to WFXQ-CA after it was announced WBQT would become Springfield's CW affiliate. The station (now WFXQ-CD) eventually became a full-time repeater of WWLP. As it joined The CW, WBQT also became part of The CW Plus, a similar operation to The WB 100+. The station began airing promotions of the new network with WBQT's branding becoming "Pioneer Valley CW".
The official merge of The WB and UPN occurred on September 18. By this point, the new CW logo was airing on all on-air promos and WBQT started using its new branding. As a result of joining The CW, a new web address was created for the station. As a WB affiliate, it did not have a website. The new web address is formatted in a generic website for CW Plus stations featuring a programming grid with WBQT's updated logo being present. Although its two cable channel locations (Charter channel 13 and Comcast channel 16) are seen in one version of its logo, the station does not identify them as part of its branding.
During its cable-exclusive period with The WB and The CW, the station did not have an actual owner and had a signal provided to cable companies through a closed circuit satellite feed. On January 1, 2015, WWLP took over promotional and advertising responsibilities of WBQT from the area's cable companies. As a result, the service was added to the second subchannel of WWLP in order to offer over-the-air viewers access to The CW for the first time.