|Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
|Channels||Digital: 23 (UHF)
Virtual: 23 (PSIP)
|Owner||Univision Communications, Inc.
(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|
WLTV-DT, virtual channel 23, is a Univision owned-and-operated television station licensed to Miami, Florida, United States, and serves the cities of Miami and Fort Lauderdale. It is the flagship television station of Univision Communications, and is part of a duopoly with UniMás owned-and-operated station WAMI-DT (channel 69). Studios for both stations are located in Doral, Florida. Its transmitter is located at 1255 NW 210th Street in Miami Gardens.
The analog UHF channel 23 allotment was first used by Fort Lauderdale-licensed station WFTL-TV, which signed on the air on December 24, 1954, and was originally affiliated with NBC and DuMont. It was owned by Storer Broadcasting, who bought the WFTL studio facility and the construction permit for WMIE-TV (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). In 1956, WGBS became an independent station after DuMont ceased operations and channel 23 lost the NBC affiliation to the new WCKT-TV (channel 7, now WSVN). Its new programming initiative was unsuccessful; the station shut down on April 13, 1957 (the WGBS-TV calls were later used on Philadelphia's channel 57, now CBS-owned The CW Television Network affiliate WPSG; the two stations are unrelated).
The channel 23 license remained active for many years after the first incarnation of that station went off the air largely because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was reluctant at the time to delete the licenses of silent stations. During this period, channel 23 was used intermittently for FCC-sponsored tests.
The present-day incarnation of channel 23 signed on November 14, 1967 as WAJA, an independent station. By that time, Storer sold the station to Al Lapin, Jr. Making the first great contribution to Latin-American Television in Miami, including 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 shows back in the day, 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 locals came to the show to dance and be seen on television. The WAJA studios at that time were located on NW 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 changed to WLTV as the station concentrated more on Spanish-language programming, especially from the Spanish International Network (SIN, later to be renamed Univision in 1986). The WLTV calls were previously used by Atlanta's WXIA-TV from 1951 to 1953, then by Bowling Green, Kentucky's WBKO-TV from 1962 to 1971.
All Univision-owned full-service television stations, including WLTV, officially added the -DT suffix to their call signs on June 23, 2009, 11 days after the analog television shutdown and digital conversion was completed. In December 2009, WLTV along with most other Univision-owned stations upgraded their signals to 1080i high definition in preparation for the arrival of new HD programming from Univision and sister network TeleFutura, which occurred 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||GetTV (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 relocated on its pre-transition UHF channel 24 to its former analog-era UHF channel 23 for post-transition operations.
WLTV presently broadcasts 17 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with four hours on weekdays, 1½ hours on Saturdays and one hour on 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.).
During the news department's early history, the station's late evening newscast was broadcast at 10 p.m., but was later moved to 11 p.m. after Univision began programming at that hour. WLTV debuted weekday morning newscasts in 2001, after rival Telemundo station WSCV launched their own through a network mandate. On October 22, 2010, beginning with the 6 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.
Current on-air staff
WLTV-DT's primary news anchors are Guillermo Benites (weeknights at 6 p.m.), Eileen Cardet (weekday mornings on Noticias 23 Al Amanecer from 5-7 on WLTV and 7-8 a.m. on WAMI), Jorge Hernandez (weekday mornings on Noticias 23 Al Amanecer from 5-7 on WLTV and 7-8 a.m. on WAMI), Alina Mayo-Azze (weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.), Mario Andres Moreno (weeknights at 11 p.m.) and Gloria Ordaz (weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.).
The station's weather team includes chief meteorologist Eduardo Rodriguez (weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.; also seen on Primer Impacto, Noticiero Univision and via satellite for Philadelphia sister station WUVP-DT), meteorologist Paola Elorza (weekday mornings on Noticias 23 Al Amanecer from 5-7 on WLTV and 7-8 a.m. on WAMI; also environmental reporter; also seen on Primer Impacto, Noticiero Univision and via satellite for WUVP-DT) and weather anchor Stephanie Ceverino (weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.).
The station's sports team includes lead sports anchor Jose Luis Napoles (weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.) and sports anchor Addiel Gomez (weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.).
The station's reporting staff includes Jose Alfonso Almora (religious/political affairs reporter), Arlena Amaro (general assignment reporter), Roger Borges (entertainment reporter), Dr. Maritza Fuentes (health reporter), Maria Fernanda Lopez (general assignment reporter), Jenny Padura (general assignment reporter), Sonia Parissos (general assignment reporter), Sandra Peebles (political affairs reporter), Carolina Rosario (general assignment reporter) and Mario Vallejo (Cuban affairs reporter).
Notable former on-air staff
- Barbara Bermudo (now anchor for Univision's Primer Impacto)
- Myrka Dellanos - anchor/reporter
- Javier Romero - weather (now co-host of Sabado Gigante, and DJ on WAMR-FM)
- Pamela Silva Conde (now anchor for Univision's Primer Impacto)
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WLTV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WLTV-TV