|Waterbury - Hartford -
New Haven, Connecticut
|City of license||Waterbury, Connecticut|
Fox CT News (newscasts - spoken as "Fox Connecticut")
|Channels||Digital: 20 (UHF)
Virtual: 20 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||20.1 The CW
20.2 This TV
(Tribune Broadcasting Hartford, LLC)
|First air date||September 10, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||C
CT = postal abbreviation of Connecticut,
tie-in to Tribune's Hartford operations being branded as "CTNow"
|Former callsigns||WATR-TV (1953-1982)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
53 (UHF, 1953-1962)
20 (UHF, 1962-2009)
12 (UHF, until 2009)
|Former affiliations||DuMont (1953-1956)
Independent (1956-1966; 1982-1995)
The WB (2001-2006)
|Transmitter power||52 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WCCT-TV, channel 20, is a television station licensed to Waterbury, Connecticut, USA, serving as the CW Television Network affiliate for the Hartford-New Haven television market. WCCT-TV is owned by Tribune Broadcasting, and is a sister station to Fox affiliate WTIC-TV (channel 61). The two stations share facilities with the co-owned Hartford Courant newspaper in downtown Hartford, and WCCT's transmitter is located on Rattlesnake Mountain in Farmington, Connecticut.
Digital television 
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|20.1||1080i||16:9||WCCT-DT||Main WCCT-TV programming / The CW|
Early years 
The station commenced operations on September 10, 1953 as WATR-TV on channel 53, the second UHF station in Connecticut. It was owned by the Thomas and Gilmore families along with WATR radio (1320 AM). The station's studios and transmitter were located on West Peak in Meriden. At the time, the station's signal only covered Waterbury, New Haven and the southern portion of the state.
WATR-TV was originally a dual secondary affiliate of both DuMont and ABC, sharing them with New Haven-based WNHC-TV (now WTNH). DuMont ceased broadcasts in 1956, and shortly afterward, WNHC-TV became an exclusive ABC affiliate. WATR-TV then became an independent station on paper, but picked up ABC shows turned down by WNHC-TV.
In 1962, the station relocated to UHF channel 20 and moved to a new studio and transmitter site in Prospect, south of Waterbury. Channel 53 was later occupied by WEDN, Connecticut Public Television's outlet in Norwich.
In August 1966, WATR-TV switched networks and joined NBC. That network's primary affiliate in Connecticut, WHNB-TV in New Britain, served Hartford and Eastern Connecticut but its signal was not strong enough to cover New Haven and the southwestern portions of the state. In the 1970s, the station offered limited local news and instead aired older syndicated programs and religious shows such as Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's The PTL Club when NBC programs were not offered. A notable local production was Journeys to the Mind, a half hour talk show with host Joel Dobbin, which approached topics of the occult with a serious and sober tone. Journeys ran from 1976 to 1981.
Viacom bought WHNB in 1978 and changed its call letters to WVIT. Two years later, that station more than doubled its transmission power to cover New Haven. Around this time the Thomas/Gilmore family opted to sell channel 20 to a joint venture of Odyssey Television Partners (later to become Renaissance Broadcasting) and Oppenheimer and Company. The sale was announced in May 1981 and approved that December.
With WVIT now covering more of Connecticut with its stronger signal, it became clear that WATR's NBC affiliation was now in jeopardy. The new owners of channel 20 ultimately opted to end the relationship with NBC and convert the station into an independent outlet. On March 22, 1982--the same day the NBC affiliation ended--channel 20 changed its call letters to WTXX, and subsequently became Connecticut's first full-service independent station since Hartford's WHCT-TV (now WUVN) served as an independent from 1957 to 1972. Soon after taking over, Odyssey replaced channel 20's tiny 250-foot tower with a more powerful transmitter that more than doubled its signal and gave it a coverage area comparable with the major network stations in the state. Programming consisted of the typical independent fare of cartoons, off-network series, and movies. WTXX also carried some sports, most notably New York Mets telecasts from WOR-TV (now WWOR-TV) in New York City and Boston Celtics telecasts from WLVI-TV in Boston. WTXX prospered in its new status, and continued to do so even after WTIC-TV signed on in 1984 and took on the Fox affiliation two years later.
In October 1992, Renaissance Broadcasting sold WTXX to Counterpoint Communications, a nonprofit media firm with close ties to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford. Renaissance had recently acquired several stations, including WTIC-TV, from Chase Broadcasting, and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations of the time did not allow common ownership of two stations in the same market. However, Renaissance retained the rights to all the programming it bought for WTXX. WTIC-TV wanted to establish a full-time local marketing agreement (LMA) with WTXX, which basically amounted to channel 20 being programmed by its main competitor. Counterpoint balked, wanting only a part-time agreement. Renaissance then moved some of WTXX's stronger shows to WTIC-TV, leaving the station with a considerably weakened schedule.
Duopolies and new networks 
Renaissance's sale of WTXX to Counterpoint, and Renaissance's subsequent acquisition of WTIC-TV, became official in March 1993. Under the terms of the sale to Counterpoint, WTXX retained few syndicated programs and some movies and began airing programming from the Home Shopping Network for fifteen hours a day (including daytime and prime time). In addition, channel 20 would air a daily Catholic Mass along with other Catholic religious programs for one hour per day. That July, after negotiations with WTIC collapsed, WTXX entered into a part-time LMA with WVIT. Its schedule now included children's programs in mornings and afternoons and syndicated shows owned by WVIT during the early evenings. Home Shopping Network programming remained during middays, prime time, and overnights. WTXX became Connecticut's UPN affiliate on April 3, 1995; prior to that, Hartford viewers who wanted to watch UPN had to view it on cable, by way of WSBK-TV from Boston. Initially, it continued to run Home Shopping Network programs in prime time on nights not programmed by UPN. By Spring 1996, the station expanded its LMA with WVIT to cover the entire day except for overnights and the hours when the Catholic Mass aired. By this point, WTXX upgraded its syndicated programming and HSN was relegated to overnights before being dropped completely.
In 1998, WVIT was sold to NBC and WTIC (now owned by Tribune Broadcasting) replaced WVIT as WTXX's LMA partner. As part of the deal, some of the shows previously owned by WVIT were kept by WTXX and WTIC. The LMA change caused no impact on WTXX's daily broadcasts of the Catholic Mass, which continues to the present day. Around this time, the station changed its on-air name from "UPN 20" to "Connecticut's 20". It also picked up Boston Red Sox baseball games; the station's feed (with the "Connecticut's 20" bug) was carried during Red Sox highlights airing on ESPN for much of the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 1999, WTXX and WTIC consolidated their operations in a new facility at One Corporate Center on Church Street in Downtown Hartford.
On January 1, 2001, WTXX and WBNE (now WCTX) swapped affiliations, making the station "Connecticut's WB". Later that year, Tribune purchased WTXX outright, creating a duopoly with WTIC. Tribune, having already received a temporary waiver from FCC rules barring common ownership of a newspaper and a television station in the same area when it purchased the Hartford Courant a year earlier, received an additional waiver for its purchase of WTXX. Tribune had been seeking a waiver in anticipation of the FCC relaxing its rules to allow such media combinations to exist with the agency's blessing which would include television duopolies. In March 2005, the FCC requested that Tribune sell WTXX to a new owner. In late-2007, the FCC loosened its restrictions on newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership perhaps creating an opening for Tribune (purchased by investor Sam Zell in December 2007) to retain WTXX without a waiver.
WCCT today 
On January 24, 2006, Time Warner announced that the company would merge the operations of The WB with CBS Corporation's UPN (which CBS acquired one month earlier in December 2005 following its split from Viacom), to form a 50/50 joint venture called The CW Television Network. The network signed a ten-year affiliation agreement with Tribune Broadcasting for 13 of the 16 WB affiliates that the company owned at the time, including WTXX.
In August 2008, the station changed its branding from "CW 20" to "txx" in a corporate effort by Tribune to strengthen its CW affiliates' local identities and reduce the dependence on the use of network branding.
In June 2009, after 56 years of transmitting from various locations in New Haven County, WTXX shut down its transmitter in Prospect and moved to space on WTIC-TV's tower in Farmington. At the same time, it returned its digital broadcasts to its former analog channel 20. Initially it had operated digitally on channel 12, but a move was necessary to avoid interference with WHYY-TV in Wilmington, Delaware.
On March 2, 2010, the station changed its branding again to "The CT"; to go along with this branding, the station changed its call letters to WCCT-TV on June 18. In March 2012, the station changed its logo and began to use its calls, WCCT-TV, as its branding, though the station remains a CW affiliate.
In July 1993, WTXX debuted a nightly 10 o'clock newscast produced by NBC station WVIT, called Connecticut News Live at 10. The news team consisted of WVIT's evening news team –anchors Gerry Brooks and Joanne Nesti, weather from Brad Field, Beasley Reece with sports, along with reporters from WVIT. In 1998, when WTIC replaced WVIT as WTXX's LMA partner, the WVIT-produced broadcasts were replaced with a simulcast of the first half-hour of WTIC's nightly 10 p.m. newscast; on April 24, 2006, the station began simulcasting the entire newscast. The station did not use a separate news open for the broadcasts; however when Fox entertainment or sports programming delays the newscast on WTIC, it was aired on WTXX under the title News at Ten and used a News at Ten logo bug in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen in place of WTIC's news branding.
On December 12, 2009; WTIC, WCCT (then WTXX), and the Hartford Courant moved into new combined newsroom facilities in downtown Hartford, and WTIC rebranded from Fox 61 to Fox CT (a transition completed in July 2010); in addition, WTIC began broadcasting its newscasts in high definition, becoming the second station in the market to do so. WCCT's newscasts were included in the transition.
In June 2010, the station ended the simulcast of WTIC's 10 p.m. newscast. It now airs a rebroadcast of WTIC's 11 p.m. newscast at 1 a.m. weeknights, while the 10 p.m. newscast is re-aired on weekends; these rebroadcasts include a sports highlight program called Comcast Sports Desk at 1:45 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday nights. Originally, this was not simulcast on WTXX but has since been added (the 10 p.m. newscast continues to be shown live on WCCT, if it is preempted on WTIC). The station also carries the 8 a.m. hour of WTIC's morning newscast (a previous simulcast of Fox 61 Morning News had aired at one point[when?], but was later dropped). WTIC also produces a weekly public affairs show called The Real Story, which airs Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. with a repeat on WCCT at 11 a.m.
Other than simulcasts and default carriage of WTIC's newscasts in the event of Fox Sports programming delays, WCCT does not carry traditional local newscasts produced specifically for the station; as such, the station is one of only five Tribune-owned stations not carrying their own daily newscasts (alongside WNOL/New Orleans, WDCW/Washington, D.C., WTTV/Indianapolis and WSFL/Miami).
- "4 UHFs, 3 VHFs start commercial." Broadcasting - Telecasting, September 21, 1953, pg. 66. 
- "OLD TV NEWSCAST TITLES". Retrieved 2008-05-04.
- "For the record." Broadcasting, May 8, 1961, pg. 162: "By supplemental report and order, the commission amended tv table of assignments to substitute ch. 20 for ch. 53 in Waterbury, Conn., and, at same time, modified authorization of WATR Inc.'s station WATR-TV in that city to specify operation on ch. 20 instead of ch. 53." 
- "WATR-TV joining NBC-TV." Broadcasting, July 25, 1966, pg. 66. 
- "Changing Hands." Broadcasting, May 11, 1981, pg. 66. 
- "Changing Hands." Broadcasting, December 7, 1981, pg. 69. 
- "WATR-TV decides to go it alone." Broadcasting, February 22, 1982, pg. 72. 
- Lender, Jon, and Stephen M. Williams. "Nonprofit group to purchase Waterbury television station." The Hartford Courant. October 23, 1992. 
- Lender, Jon. "Sale of TV stations completed." The Hartford Courant. March 19, 1993. 
- Lender, Jon. "Channel 20 programming to mix religion, shopping." The Hartford Courant. March 23, 1993. 
- 'Gilmore Girls' meet 'Smackdown'; CW Network to combine WB, UPN in CBS-Warner venture beginning in September, CNNMoney.com, January 24, 2006.
- UPN and WB to Combine, Forming New TV Network, The New York Times, January 24, 2006.
- Tribune TV Stations to Lead Affiliate Group of New Network, Tribune Company corporate website, January 24, 2006.
- "Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved June 22, 2010.