WFNA (TV)

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WFNA
WFNA55.pngWFNA-DT2 Bounce Gulf-Shores & Mobile & Pensacola.png
Gulf Shores/Mobile, Alabama/
Pensacola, Florida
United States
City of license Gulf Shores, Alabama
Branding CW 55
Slogan The Gulf Coast's Home For The CW
Channels Digital: 25 (UHF)
Virtual: 55 (PSIP)
Subchannels 55.1 The CW
55.2 Bounce TV
Affiliations The CW (2006-present)
Bounce TV (DT2; 2011-present)
Owner Media General
(LIN of Alabama, LLC)
First air date September 2, 2001 (2001-09-02)
Call letters' meaning Florida N Alabama[1]
Sister station(s) WKRG-TV
Former callsigns WBPG (2001–2009)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
55 (UHF, 2001–2009)
Former affiliations The WB (2001–2006)
Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 308 m
Facility ID 83943
Transmitter coordinates 30°36′41″N 87°36′26.4″W / 30.61139°N 87.607333°W / 30.61139; -87.607333
Website www.wfnatv.com

WFNA, virtual channel 55 (UHF digital channel 25), is a CW-affiliated television station serving Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida, United States that is licensed to Gulf Shores, Alabama. The station is owned by Media General, as part of a duopoly with CBS affiliate WKRG-TV (channel 5). WFNA's transmitter is located near Robertsdale.

History[edit]

WBPG's first logo as a CW affiliate, introduced in 2006.

Prior to the station's sign-on, WFNA's call letters were originally planned to be WGMP (standing for "Gulf Shores, Mobile, Pensacola"). The station first signed on the air as WBPG on September 2, 2001; it replaced WFGX (channel 35) as the area's WB affiliate after the station reverted to independent status four days earlier on August 31. The station was originally owned by Pegasus Broadcasting. At the time, WFGX's signal primarily reached the Pensacola side of the market, but WBPG's signal could reach both the Florida and Alabama sides of the market.

In 2003, Emmis Communications purchased the station, which created a duopoly with Fox affiliate WALA-TV (channel 10); WBPG's operations were subsequently merged with WALA at the latter station's facility on Satchel Paige Drive. LIN TV Corporation (now LIN Media) acquired WALA-TV on November 30, 2005; instead of acquiring WBPG directly along with it, the company instead began to operate the station under a local marketing agreement. Just over seven months later, on July 7, 2006, LIN purchased WBPG outright.

On January 24, 2006, CBS Corporation and Time Warner announced the shutdown of both UPN and The WB effective that fall. In place of these two networks, a new "fifth" network – "The CW Television Network" (its name representing the first initials of parent companies CBS and Warner), jointly owned by both companies, would launch, with a lineup primarily featuring the most popular programs from both networks.[2][3] WBPG joined The CW on September 18, 2006.

With WALA having been relaunched using the myFox format, WBPG is now relaunched on a separate website on late August 2007.

The station changed its call letters to WFNA in October 2009, as part of a larger rebranding campaign that took effect on December 18.[1] The rebranding de-emphasized the CW network branding in favor of the station's call letters – a practice similar to that of what Tribune Broadcasting's CW affiliates adopted starting in 2008. However, in September 2012, WFNA reverted to using CW branding and became known as "CW 55."

On March 21, 2014, LIN Media entered into an agreement to merge with Media General in a $1.6 billion deal. Because Media General already owned CBS affiliate WKRG-TV (channel 5), the companies planned to either sell WALA or WKRG to comply with FCC ownership rules as well as planned changes to those rules regarding same-market television stations which would prohibit sharing agreements. In addition, WFNA would also either be retained by Media General to form a new duopoly with WKRG or remain part of the existing duopoly with WALA should the two stations be kept or sold off.[4][5][6] On August 20, 2014, it was announced that WALA will be sold to the Meredith Corporation, however WFNA was not included in the sale; as a result, WFNA will form a new duopoly with WKRG under Media General ownership, marking the first time since the FCC allowed legal television duopolies in August 1999 that a station has been involved in a sale transaction in which it was fully separated from its original duopoly partner to form another duopoly (a similar situation occurred in Phoenix, Arizona with KTVK and KASW upon their sales to Meredith in December 2013, which already owned KPHO-TV in that market, although KASW was retained by Meredith through a shared services agreement). The merger was completed on December 19.[7]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[8]
55.1 1080i 16:9 WFNA TV Main WFNA programming / The CW
55.2 480i 4:3 Bounce Bounce TV

WFNA has carried Bounce TV on WFNA-DT2 since the network's launch in September 2011.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

Because it was granted an original construction permit after the FCC finalized the DTV allotment plan on April 21, 1997 [1], WBPG did not receive a companion channel for a digital television station. However, because channel 55 was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition (and was auctioned to Qualcomm for use by its MediaFLO mobile video system), WBPG was assigned channel 25 by the FCC for its post-transition digital signal. Several months prior to the shutdown of its analog signal, WBPG signed on digital channel 25, but at a reduced power so as to interfere with the analog signal of WXXV-TV in Gulfport, Mississippi, which also broadcast on channel 25. Like WBPG, it shut down its analog signal on February 17, 2009. It would be over a year before WXXV's digital signal was broadcasting at full power. The station broadcast its digital signal on the second digital subchannel of sister station WALA-TV until March 2007.

WBPG discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 55, on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later changed to June 12). The station flash-cut its digital signal on UHF channel 25.[9] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 55.

References[edit]

External links[edit]