WICZ-TV

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WICZ-TV
WICZ.png

My8 Binghampton Logo 20070522.png
Binghamton, New York/Mansfield, Pennsylvania
United States
Branding Fox 40 HD (general)
Fox 40 HD News
My 8 (on DT2)
Channels Digital: 8 (VHF)
Virtual: 40 (PSIP)
Subchannels 40.1 Fox
40.2 MyNetworkTV
Affiliations Fox (1996-present)
Owner Stainless Broadcasting Company
(sale to Mission Broadcasting pending; to be operated by Nexstar Broadcasting Group pending)
(Stainless Broadcasting, L.P.)
First air date November 1, 1957 (1957-11-01)
Call letters' meaning Henry GuzeWICZ (Stainless' owner when
it bought station)
Sister station(s) WBPN-LP
Former callsigns WINR-TV (1957-1971)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
40 (UHF, 1957-2009)
Former affiliations NBC (1957-1996)
Transmitter power 7.9 kW
Height 371 m
Class DT
Facility ID 62210
Transmitter coordinates 42°3′23″N 75°56′38.7″W / 42.05639°N 75.944083°W / 42.05639; -75.944083
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website wicz.com

WICZ-TV is the Fox-affiliated television station for the Eastern Twin Tiers of Southern Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania. Licensed to Binghamton, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 8 (or virtual channel 40.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter on Ingraham Hill southwest of downtown. The station can also be seen on Time Warner Cable channel 3 and in HD on digital channel 1206. Owned by the Stainless Broadcasting Company, WICZ is sister to low-powered MyNetworkTV affiliate WBPN-LP and the two outlets share studios on Vestal Parkway East/NY 434 in Vestal. Syndicated programming on this station includes Cash Cab, The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, and The People's Court among others.

History[edit]

The station signed-on November 1, 1957 as WINR-TV, the area's second television station, and aired an analog signal on UHF channel 40. It was an NBC affiliate owned by the Gannett Company (which purchased the station just before its launch) along with WINR-AM 680 and the Binghamton Press. Current owner Stainless Broadcasting acquired the television station in 1971 and changed its call letters to WICZ-TV (named for company owner Henry Guzewicz). In Fall 1995, WICZ announced it would be dropping its NBC affiliation and switch to Fox. The official affiliation switchover took place April 4, 1996 after its contract with the big three network ran out.

At that time, WICZ began preempting much of NBC's programming (especially its daytime soap operas) in favor of Fox Kids shows. The NBC affiliation moved Class A station WBGH-CA. On September 16, 2013, it was announced that Mission Broadcasting would acquire WICZ-TV and WBPN-LP from Stainless Broadcasting. Upon the deal's completion, the stations' operations will be taken over by Nexstar Broadcasting Group, making them sister stations to WIVT and WBGH-CA.[1]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming [2]
40.1 720p 16:9 WICZ-HD Main WICZ-TV programming / Fox
40.2 480i 4:3 WBPN-DT Simulcast of WBPN

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WICZ-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 40, on April 16, 2009. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 8.[3] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 40.

News operation[edit]

News logo.

Since switching networks, WICZ has consistently maintained lower viewership than rival CBS outlet WBNG-TV and remains ranked at a distant but steady second place. The big three affiliate has always been a ratings powerhouse in Binghamton. For the most part, WIVT has always been a non-factor in the local newscast race. The ABC outlet has spent most of its history as the third station in what was originally a two-station market (since WIVT did not sign-on until November 1962) and virtually gained no benefit when WICZ joined Fox.

On Memorial Day in 2009, in an attempt to increase its presence against WBNG, WICZ added a thirty minute newscast weeknights at 6 joining their flagship nightly prime time broadcast at 10. WBNG already established a weeknight newscast in the prime time slot airing on its CW second digital subchannel. The prime time newscast on WBNG-DT2 would eventually be expanded to weekends at some point in time.

On June 5, 2009, there was an increase in viewership on WICZ (and to a larger extent on WBNG) when WIVT announced its plans to consolidate news operations with WETM-TV in Elmira. WIVT eventually began simulcasting some of WETM's newscasts featuring regional weather coverage but not a full news focus of the Eastern Twin Tiers region. A separate, taped newscast specifically covering the Binghamton area was subsequently brought back to WIVT on June 28. On August 19, 2012, WICZ became the market's first television station to upgrade local news production to high definition level. The transition included a new on-air look with state-of-the-art graphics and updated set design.

References[edit]

External links[edit]