WGTW-TV

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WGTW-TV
Burlington, New Jersey -
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Channels Digital: 27 (UHF)
Virtual: 48 (PSIP)
Translators W60CX Atlantic City, NJ
Affiliations TBN
Owner Trinity Broadcasting Network
(TCCSA, Inc., d/b/a Trinity Broadcasting Network)
Founded August 13, 1992; 22 years ago (1992-08-13)
Call letters' meaning We're
Great
Television to
Watch
Former channel number(s) Analog:
48 (UHF, 1992-2009)
Former affiliations Independent (1992-2004)
Transmitter power 160 kW
Height 354 m
Facility ID 7623
Transmitter coordinates 40°2′30″N 75°14′11″W / 40.04167°N 75.23639°W / 40.04167; -75.23639
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.tbn.org

WGTW-TV, channel 48, is a Trinity Broadcasting Network-owned and operated television station for Philadelphia, it licensed to Burlington, New Jersey, and serving the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. With studios in suburban Folcroft, and transmitter in the nearby Roxborough section, WGTW's signal covers Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

History[edit]

Channel 48 was once the home of WKBS-TV, which operated from 1965 until 1983, when owner Field Communications voluntarily took the station off the air and returned its license to the Federal Communications Commission. Six months later, the FCC put channel 48's license back up for auction. Among those bidding on the license were Dorothy Brunson, an African-American radio executive from Baltimore; and Cornerstone Television, a Christian television network based in Pittsburgh. After a two-year process, the auction ended with Brunson winning the license. Cornerstone had, during the interim, purchased channel 48's transmitter, moved it to Altoona, and used it to sign on a new station in 1985 on channel 47, ironically enough under the WKBS-TV call letters.

A WGTW-TV logo, circa 2003 (taken from the station's now-defunct website).

Channel 48 signed back on the air on August 15, 1992, under the call letters WGTW-TV (Good TV to Watch), an independent station. Initially the station ran public domain movies, infomercials (including religious programs), and home-shopping programs. By 1994, WGTW had a larger variety of programming, including off-network series, first-run syndicated shows, and children's programs. The station also aired NBC daytime programs that were pre-empted by then-affiliate KYW-TV. However, by 2001, many of WGTW's classic shows were no longer available, and the financial restraints of ownership made the station unable to acquire better syndicated programming. As a result WGTW moved to more paid programming but still retained some general entertainment programs.

In 2004, Brunson sold the station to the Trinity Broadcasting Network and on October 1 of that year, the station switched to TBN programming. TBN is known for purchasing television stations so that the network could get must-carry status on area cable systems, despite offering almost no local programming. However, WGTW (like all TBN stations) does broadcast two hours of original local programming weekly: a public-affairs show called Joy in Our Town and a local version of Praise the Lord, TBN's flagship program.

WKBS/WGTW license facts conflict[edit]

WGTW operates under the same allocation, or place on the TV broadcast spectrum, as WKBS-TV, but not under the same license. Although Brunson did purchase the same license that WKBS-TV vacated from the FCC, WKBS' license expired on June 1, 1984, and was never renewed. The current channel 48 license is a new construction permit for WGTW, dating from July 14, 1988.[1][2]

News operation[edit]

In 2002, WGTW launched an hour-long news and public affairs show, known as 48 Update, which aired weeknights at 7:00 p.m.. The final edition of 48 Update aired on October 1, 2004, one hour before the station switched to TBN programming.

This station's digital signal, like most other full-service TBN owned-and-operated stations, carries five different TBN-run networks.

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
48.1 480i 4:3 TBN Main TBN programming
48.2 TCC The Church Channel
48.3 JCTV JUCE TV
48.4 Enlace Enlace USA
48.5 SOAC Smile of a Child TV

TBN-owned full-power stations permanently ceased analog transmissions on April 16, 2009.

External links[edit]