|Miami–Fort Lauderdale, Florida
|City of license||Miami, Florida|
|Branding||Univision 23 (general)
Noticias 23 (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 23 (UHF)
Virtual: 23 (PSIP)
(WLTV License Partnership, GP)
|First air date||November 14, 1967|
|Call letters' meaning||Latin American TeleVision|
|Former callsigns||WAJA-TV (1967–1971)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
23 (UHF, 1967–2009)
24 (UHF, 2002–2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1967–1971)
|Transmitter power||535 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WLTV-DT, virtual and UHF digital channel 23, is the flagship station of the Spanish-language Univision television network located in Miami, Florida, United States. The station is owned and operated by Univision Communications, and is part of a duopoly with UniMás owned-and-operated station WAMI-DT (channel 69). The two stations share studio facilities known as "NewsPort", a converted studio facility that also houses Noticias Univision and English language cable channel Fusion located at 8551 NW 30th Terrace in Doral. WLTV maintains transmitter facilities located at 1255 NW 210th Street in Miami Gardens.
Prior history of UHF channel 23 in Miami
The analog UHF channel 23 allotment in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market was first occupied by Fort Lauderdale-based WFTL-TV, which signed on the air on December 24, 1954; that station was originally affiliated with NBC and the DuMont Television Network. It was owned by Storer Broadcasting, which bought the WFTL studio facility and the construction permit for WMIE-TV, also on channel 23, in Miami (which never signed on under that call sign) shortly before WFTL began operations. A few days after WFTL's launch, Storer changed the call letters to WGBS-TV (which stood for the initials of company founder and president George B. Storer). However, the station never thrived. For one thing, television set manufacturers were not required to include UHF tuning capability. Most viewers needed to buy an expensive UHF converter to watch WGBS, and even then the picture quality was marginal at best. It didn't help matters that much of the area--particularly Fort Lauderdale--got a strong signal from WJNO-TV (channel 5, now WPTV) in West Palm Beach.
Channel 23's death knell sounded in 1956. In rapid succession, DuMont ceased operations, and NBC took its affiliation to the newly launched WCKT-TV (channel 7, now WSVN). This left WGBS as an independent. However, the burden of finding an additional 16 hours per day of programming was too much even for Storer's resources, and the station shut down on April 13, 1957 (the WGBS-TV calls were later used on an independent station broadcasting on UHF channel 57 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that station is now owned by CBS Television Stations and operates as CW owned-and-operated station WPSG; the two stations are unrelated).
WLTV station history
The channel 23 license remained active for many years after the station originally known as WFTL-TV ceased operations, largely because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was reluctant at the time to delete the licenses of silent stations. During this period, the channel 23 frequency was used intermittently for FCC-sponsored tests.
The current incarnation of channel 23 first signed on the air on November 14, 1967 as WAJA, operating as an independent station. By that time, Storer sold the station to Al Lapin, Jr., who made the first great contribution to Latin-American television in Miami. Under Lapin, programs produced by the station included Bozo the Clown, an afternoon show that was broadcast live on weekdays in English and pre-recorded in Spanish on Saturday mornings, featuring Bozo, and his Latin helper "Petunia" (played by Ileana Garcia). It also included very popular Spanish language programs during this time, such as Solo Para Bailadores, a Spanish equivalent to Soul Train that featured live performances by local bands and was hosted by Omar Marchant; many local residents came to the show to dance and appear on television. WAJA originally operated from studio facilities located on Northwest 2nd Avenue (US 441) and NW 199th Street in Miami Gardens.
In January 1971, Lapin sold the station to Spanish International Communications Corporation (forerunner of today's Univision Communications). The station's call letters were subsequently changed to WLTV as the station concentrated more on Spanish-language programming, particularly those sourced from the Spanish International Network (SIN, later to be renamed Univision in 1986). By the mid-1970s, the station had phased out its remaining English-language programming. The WLTV call letters were previously used by WXIA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia from 1951 to 1953, then by WBKO-TV in Bowling Green, Kentucky from 1962 to 1971.
In December 2009, WLTV, along with most other Univision-owned stations, upgraded their digital signals to 1080i high definition, in preparation for Univision and sister network TeleFutura's planned launch of HD programming in January 2010.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|23.1||1080i||16:9||WLTV-DT||Main WLTV-DT programming / Univision|
|23.2||480i||4:3||Escape (coming soon)|
|23.3||Grit (coming soon)|
WLTV terminated its analog signal, on UHF channel 23, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal was relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 24 to former UHF analog channel 23 for post-transition operations. All Univision-owned full-power television stations, including WLTV, officially added the "-DT" suffix to their call signs on June 23, 2009, eleven days after the completion of digital television transition.
WLTV presently broadcasts 17 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with three hours on weekdays, and one hour each on Saturdays and Sundays); in regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is by far the lowest local newscast output of any television station in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market. In addition, the station produces a 15-minute sports highlight program called Action Deportiva Extra, that airs on Sunday evenings at 11:15 p.m. (as a result, the Sunday edition of the 11 p.m. newscast also lasts 15 minutes, compared to the half-hour broadcast shown on Monday through Saturdays); and a public affairs program called Ahora en Nuestra Comunidad, which airs on Saturday mornings on both WLTV (at 11 a.m.) and sister station WAMI-DT (at 6 a.m.). The station also produces and hour-long extension of its weekend morning newscast Noticias 23 Al Amanecer for WAMI-DT, which airs from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m.
During the news department's early history, the station's late evening newscast was broadcast at 10:00 p.m., but was later moved to 11:00 p.m. after Univision began to carry programming at that hour. WLTV debuted weekday morning newscasts in 2001, after rival Telemundo station WSCV launched its own morning news program through a network mandate. On October 22, 2010, beginning with the 6:00 p.m. newscast, WLTV became the fifth television station (and the last major network station) in the Miami market to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition.
Notable former on-air staff
- Barbara Bermudo (now anchor for Univision's Primer Impacto)
- Pamela Silva Conde (now anchor for Univision's Primer Impacto)
- Myrka Dellanos - anchor/reporter
- WLTV-DT official website
- Univision official website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WLTV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WLTV-TV