|WLAX: La Crosse, Wisconsin
WEUX: Chippewa Falls/Eau Claire, Wisconsin
|Slogan||So Huge, So Bold, So Fox 25/48|
WLAX: 17 (UHF)
WEUX: 49 (UHF)
|Owner||Grant Broadcasting System II
(sale to Nexstar Broadcasting Group pending)
(WLAX: GM La Crosse Licensing, LLC)
(WEUX: GM Chippewa Falls Licensing, LLC)
|First air date||WLAX: November 10, 1986
WEUX: February 8, 1993
|Call letters' meaning||WLAX: LA Crosse
(X refers to "Crosse"), FOX as a bacronym
|Former channel number(s)||WLAX: Analog:
25 (UHF, 1986-2009)
48 (UHF, 1993-2009)
|Transmitter power||WLAX: 852.0 kW
WEUX: 1,000 kW
|Height||WLAX: 297.3 m
WEUX: 223.1 m
|Facility ID||WLAX: 2710
WLAX is the Fox Broadcasting Company-affiliated television station for Western Wisconsin that is licensed to La Crosse. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 17 (or virtual channel 25.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter in La Crescent, Minnesota near the studios of ABC affiliate WXOW. The station can also be seen on Charter and CenturyLink channel 3.
There is a high definition feed provided on CenturyLink digital channel 306 and Charter digital channel 605. Owned by Grant Broadcasting System II, it has studios at Interchange Place in La Crosse at the intersection of I-90/US 53/WIS 35 and Rose Street (hence the street address name). Syndicated programming on the station includes The Office, Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, and Judge Judy among others.
The station operates a full-time satellite for the Chippewa Valley, WEUX. Licensed to Chippewa Falls, this outlet broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 49 (or virtual channel 48.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter southeast of Colfax, and north of WIS 29, along the Dunn and Chippewa County line. The station maintains an advertising sales office on WIS 93 in Eau Claire along the U.S. 53 and Business U.S. 53/Hastings Way interchange.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||PSIP Short Name||Video||Aspect||Programming|
|720p||16:9||Main WLAX/WEUX programming / FOX|
WLAX signed-on November 10, 1986 with an analog signal on UHF channel 25. It started as an independent station, but joined Fox soon afterward. However, since the station's transmitter was located in Minnesota, it provided an inadequate over-the-air signal to the northern part of the market (the same problem that long plagued WXOW). Viewers in Eau Claire could only watch the station on cable.
In order to close this coverage gap, full-time satellite WEUX was launched on February 8, 1993 with an analog signal on UHF channel 48. The two stations then adopted the "Fox 25/48" branding. WLAX/WEUX were acquired by current owner Grant Broadcasting on May 15, 1996. On April 29, 2004, WLAX became available on DISH Network's Locals-Into-Locals package. DirecTV would follow suit and do the same on May 24, 2005.
On December 9, 2004, WLAX-DT signed-on with a standard definition digital signal on UHF channel 17. WEUX-DT followed on February 1, 2006 with a digital signal on UHF channel 49 in standard definition. WLAX-DT added high definition capabilities on January 28, 2008 while also launching the second digital subchannel by offering the same programming in standard definition. As part of the DTV transition on February 17, 2009, both outlets discontinued analog transmissions. WEUX would not upgrade its digital signal to high definition until September 10, 2009 and just as WLAX did, added the second subchannel to allow continued standard definition service reception.
On March 25, 2011, WLAX-DT2 started a standard definition simulcast of NBC affiliate WEAU-TV. The big three outlet was added to WLAX's second digital subchannel after WEAU-TV's broadcast tower in Fairchild collapsed during a winter storm on March 22, 2011. Although WEAU-TV was able to resume its own over-the-air transmissions on July 22, 2011, the simulcasting on WLAX-DT2 and WQOW-DT3 would continue until WEAU-TV finished its new tower and signed on its new UHF transmitter, which occurred on January 5, 2012. On January 12, at approximately 1:30 PM, WEAU-TV pulled its programming from 18.3 and 25.2. At that time, WLAX and WEUX launched Me-TV on its second digital subchannel; the service replaced WEAU on WLAX and a standard definition simulcast of the stations' main feed on WEUX (WLAX had provided a similar simulcast before March 2011).
On August 28, 2006, WLAX/WEUX entered into a news share agreement with WEAU (owned by Gray Television). This arrangement resulted in a weeknight prime time newscast produced by the big three outlet to debut on this station. Known as Fox News at 9, the thirty minute broadcast would eventually expand to weekends starting on January 20, 2007. For a time, MyNetworkTV affiliate WKBT-DT2 also aired a prime time newscast at 9 but it was only a weeknight scheduling that competed with WLAX/WEUX. That show was dropped in 2009, and now, there is currently a repeat of its parent station's weeknight 6 o'clock broadcast in the 9 p.m. slot.
This station uses the majority of WEAU's on-air team except for maintaining a separate meteorologist and sports anchor on weeknights (although the two can contribute to and/or fill-in on the NBC outlet when needed). Fox News at 9 originates from a secondary set at WEAU's facility on South Hastings Way/US 53 Business in Altoona (with an Eau Claire postal address) and is fed to the WLAX/WEUX studios through a fiber-optic link. It features the news music and graphics package licensed from News Corporation Digital Media that is modified from original use on Fox owned-and-operated stations.
The broadcast is simulcasted on WEAU-DT2 (a 24-local weather channel) which can also be seen on Charter digital channel 247. This additional carriage allows the newscast to still air even if Fox programming delays or prevents the show from airing on WLAX/WEUX at its regularly scheduled time. During weather forecast segments, WLAX/WEUX features WEAU's Doppler weather radar (known on-air as "SkyWarn 13") that is based at the big three outlet's facility in Altoona. On August 5, 2011, WEAU upgraded its newscasts to high definition level. However, Fox News at 9 was not included in the change because the show is produced from a secondary set that currently lacks HD cameras.
+ denotes personnel normally not seen on WEAU
- Sarah Stokes - weeknight news
- Megan Lowry - weekend news and reporter
- + Andrew McCawley - weeknight meteorologist
- Matt Hoffman - weekend meteorologist and news reporter
- + Jenn Chapman - weeknight sports and sports reporter
- Justus Cleveland - weekend sports
- Andrew Fefer - Assistant News Director seen weeknights
- Sarah Moon - La Crosse Bureau
- Joe Nelson - multimedia journalist
- Kevin Hurd - multimedia journalist
- Jenny You - multimedia journalist
- Courtney Everett
- Aaron Dimick
- "WEAU 13 was on the air on 18.3 & 25.2, Charter Cable 6 and in HD on 606". WEAU.com. March 25, 2011. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- Malone, Michael (November 6, 2013). "Nexstar to Acquire Seven Grant Stations For $87.5 Million". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
- Official website (can be entered into web-enabled wireless device for mobile access)
- WLAX-DT2/WEUX-DT2 Me-TV
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WLAX
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WEUX