|Fort Myers, Florida|
|Channels||Analog: 51 (VHF)|
|Translators||WBSP-CA Naples (7, VHF)|
|Owner||Silver Point Capital
(SP Ft. Myers LLC)
|Call letters' meaning||Former calls of WZVN-TV|
|Former callsigns||W07BR (1986-95)
|Former channel number(s)||7|
|Former affiliations||Channel America (1980s-1990s)
Network One (1990s)
|Transmitter power||3 kW|
WEVU-LP was a low-power television station in Fort Myers, Florida, broadcasting locally on channel 4. The station was last owned by Silver Point Capital; it was most recently a rebroadcaster of Univision affiliate WUVF-LP.
WEVU began in the late 1980s as W07BR channel 7; the station also maintained a repeater in Naples, W09BS channel 9. The stations were originally a part of the Channel America network. In the early 1990s, they switched to American Independent Network; a few years later, they dropped AIN for Network One. On September 1, 1995, W07BR became WBRP-LP, while W09BS became WBSP-LP. One month later, WEVU channel 26 dropped those call letters in favor of WZVN-TV. In response, Caloosa Television, the then-owners of the low-power stations, picked up the WEVU-LP calls for channel 7 on November 6, 1995. At that time, the station referred to itself as "The Real Channel 7" (this was a result of WZVN billing itself as "ABC 7" after their cable channel placement; WEVU-LP was on cable channel 8 on the Fort Myers cable system). WEVU-LP picked up National Empowerment Television some time before N1 shut down.
In March 1998, WTVK (now WXCW), at that time the UPN affiliate, dropped UPN for The WB. The original WB affiliate, cable-only "WB 10" (owned by MediaOne, now Comcast, and branded with the faux calls of "WSWF") picked up UPN. However, not everyone in the market could get "TV 10" (as it was later called), so UPN made an affiliation deal with WEVU, which would allow for wider coverage.
It wasn't until later in 1998 when Caloosa Television made a deal with MediaOne to have the cable system take over the station's programming. MediaOne dropped the faux calls of "WSWF" in favor of WEVU, and replaced WEVU-LP's non-network programming with their own, thus unifying the UPN affiliates in the market.
This working relationship lasted until midnight on September 1, 2004. This occurred shortly after Holston Valley Broadcasting (then-owners of WEVU) struck a deal for carriage of the station (then known on-the-air as "UPN 8") on DirecTV. This forced WEVU to seek UPN programming via microwave from UPN owned-and-operated station WTOG out of St. Petersburg, Florida; they also aired WTOG's three-hour E/I block. All other programming on the station consisted of infomercials. Comcast continued to operate its own UPN affiliate, which began going by the faux call letters of "WNFM." WEVU was later picked up by Dish Network.
When UPN ended broadcasting in September 2006, WEVU filled the time slot with more infomercials. By this time, the stations had been sold to Equity Broadcasting, and were simulcasting the six o'clock news from Univision affiliate and sister station WUVF-CA. Equity subsequently decided to rebroadcast WUVF's entire schedule on WEVU (since WEVU, unlike WUVF, is available via DBS).
In 2007, Equity struck a deal with LatinAmerican Broadcasting to carry LAT TV on its group of stations beginning May 30, 2007; WEVU was to be one of the stations. However, WEVU continued to rebroadcast WUVF, and is included in WUVF's station identification.
WBSP signed off March 11, 2008 after suffering technical problems.
On April 4, 2008 Equity announced the sale of all five of its Southwest Florida stations (including WEVU and WBSP) to Luken Communications, LLC for $8 million. Equity has cited corporate financial losses as a reason for the sale.
WEVU was sold at auction to Silver Point Capital on April 16, 2009. The sale closed on August 17, 2009. WBSP was not named in the sale. WEVU has since surrendered its previous class A classification, which it had held since 2002.
Three days before the completion of the sale to Silver Point, WEVU was taken silent. As a result, Dish Network began to obtain WUVF's programming via another satellite station, WLZE-LP (channel 51), on October 7, 2009. On March 10, 2011, WEVU-LP's license was cancelled by the FCC. WBSP's license had been cancelled on June 15, 2010.
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- Larson, Erik (December 8, 2008). "Equity Media, U.S. TV Station Owner, Seeks Bankruptcy". Bloomberg News. Retrieved December 9, 2008.
- Equity's Management Cause of Downfall, Former CEO Asserts, Mark Hengel, Arkansas Business, February 2, 2009
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- Hashemzadeh, Hossein (June 15, 2010). "Re: WBSP-CA, Naples, Florida". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved January 22, 2012.