Albany, New York
|Branding||My 4 Albany|
|Channels||Digital: 13 (VHF)
Virtual: 51 (PSIP)
51.2 Antenna TV
(Venture Technologies Group, LLC)
|First air date||September 1, 2003|
|Call letters' meaning||New York Albany|
|Sister station(s)||WEPT-CA, WNYT, WHEC-TV|
|Former channel number(s)||51 (UHF analog, 2003–2009)|
|Former affiliations||UPN (2003–2006)|
|Transmitter power||12.69 kW|
WNYA is the MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station for the Capital District of New York State and Western New England. Licensed to Pittsfield, Massachusetts, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 13 (or virtual channel 51.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter on the Helderberg Escarpment west of New Salem, New York (a hamlet of New Scotland). Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting, the station is sister to NBC affiliate WNYT and the two outlets share studios on North Pearl Street in Menands along NY 32/Wolfert Avenue (with an Albany postal address). Syndicated programming on WNYA includes Frasier, Family Feud, The Wendy Williams Show, and Judge Alex among others.
WNYA's second digital subchannel carrying Antenna TV can also be seen on low-powered, Class A repeater WEPT-CA. This station, owned Venture Technologies Group, can be seen on UHF channel 15 from a transmitter co-located on WNYA's tower.
|Channel||PSIP Short Name||Video||Aspect||Programming|
|51.1||WNYA-DT||1080i||16:9||Main WNYA programming / MyNetworkTV|
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2013)|
What today is WNYA can indirectly trace its history to WVUW, an un-built station on channel 51 in Pittsfield. WVUW was granted a construction permit in 1984, but was deleted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1990. In October 1996, Pappas Telecasting applied for a new permit for this allocation; however, in 2001, the FCC placed the channel up for auction. In addition to Pappas, which by then planned to use the station as an Azteca América affiliate, bidders included Hubbard Broadcasting (owner of NBC affilate WNYT), Equity Broadcasting, the Trinity Broadcasting Network, and Venture Technologies Group. When the auction took place in February 2002, Venture Technologies ended up with the winning bid for $1.3 million. The FCC granted the construction permit and the WNYA call sign to Venture a year later. To accommodate the new WNYA, WNYT moved its Adams translator, which had broadcast on channel 51 since 1984, to channel 38.
What today is WEPT-CA originated on January 24, 1996 as a construction permit for W02AJ, which was to have operated on channel 2 in Manchester, Vermont. However, that facility was never built, and later that year owners Ronald and Jan Morlino, who also owned WJAN (95.1 FM), transferred W02AJ to Vision 3 Broadcasting, which on May 9, 1997 modified the permit to instead serve Easton, Glens Falls, Hudson Falls, and Saratoga Springs on channel 39, making the station W39CE. The station was designed to be a repeater of WVBG-LP (channel 25) from Albany; however, when channel 39 signed on in December 1997 as an independent station, it was the first of Vision 3's three stations to launch, ahead of W49BU (channel 49, later renamed WVBK-LP) in Manchester, which signed on in March 1998, and WVBG itself, which debuted in August 1998. Channel 39 became WVBX-LP on April 10, 1998.
On October 5, 1998, WVBX, along with parent station WVBG, became a UPN affiliate; it already carried the UPN Kids block, but the network's primetime programming had previously been seen in the Capital District through secondary affiliations with Fox affiliate WXXA-TV (channel 23) and Pax station WYPX (channel 55), as well as cable carriage of WSBK-TV from Boston. However, from its inception, the station could not get carriage on Time Warner Cable, which chose to continue its carriage of WSBK; this was despite acquiring several sports packages, including Big East football and basketball, the Boston Red Sox (the telecasts of which were dropped following a territorial complaint by the New York Yankees), and the Boston Celtics. Vision 3 did win must-carry rights in Washington County (in the WVBX coverage area) on December 3, 1999. However, the UPN affiliation ended at the start of 2000 when cable-only "WEDG-TV" (known later as "UPN 4") signed on as a joint operation between Time Warner Cable and WXXA. WVBX would then revert to being an independent station, heavily emphasizing its status as a primarily over-the-air station; that June, Vision 3 put WVBG and WVBX up for sale, and by 2001 much of the station's schedule was taken up by America One and Resort Sports Network programming.
In 2002, a year after parent station WVBG was sold to Wireless Access, Vision 3 was granted a construction permit to move WVBX to channel 15 from a transmitter in the Helderberg Mountains in New Scotland, near the location of the WVBG transmitter, in effect moving the station to Albany. The new facility was also granted class A status, with the call sign WVBX-CA. On May 22, 2003, Vision 3 sold WVBX to Venture Technologies Group, who took channel 39 off-the-air that June. During this time, Venture built the channel 15 facility, gave it the call letters WNYA-CA on June 30, 2003, and announced that the station would serve as a WNYA repeater, creating the unusual circumstance of a repeater station older than its parent station.
UPN Capital Region
In February 2003, Venture Technologies signed a joint sales agreement (JSA) with Freedom Communications, then-owner of CBS affiliate WRGB (channel 6); this allowed WNYA to operate from WRGB's studios in Niskayuna. Soon afterward, WNYA secured an affiliation with UPN, replacing "WEDG-TV." On September 1, 2003 the station launched using the branding "UPN Capital Region." The main signal, WNYA, had an analog transmitter northwest of Pittsfield on Berry Mountain. It became the first full-powered, over-the-air UPN affiliate in the Capital District. In addition to UPN programming, WNYA occasionally carried CBS programming preempted by WRGB, including US Open telecasts that conflicted with WRGB's broadcast of the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon.
From its sign-on, WNYA took the cable channel position of "WEDG-TV" on Time Warner, Charter, and independent Mid-Hudson Cablevision (in Greene County, New York). Adelphia would replace WSBK-TV with WNYA at the start of 2004, with DirecTV and Dish Network adding the station later that year.
On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN announced that they would end broadcasting and merge to form a new network, The CW; the new network immediately named WEWB-TV (channel 45, now WCWN) its Capital District affiliate after then-owner Tribune Broadcasting signed a ten-year affiliation deal with the new network on most of its WB stations. On February 22, News Corporation announced that it would start up another new broadcast television network called MyNetworkTV; on March 9, it was announced that WNYA would join this network. After having not branded with a channel number during its UPN affiliation, the station chose to call itself "My TV 4 Albany" after its channel position on Time Warner Cable systems. Ironically, nowhere in Berkshire County, Massachusetts is WNYA currently on channel 4; in North Adams, that channel is the spot where Boston's CBS affiliate WBZ-TV is located. After MyNetworkTV's launch on September 5, 2006, WNYA aired the last two weeks of UPN programming from 1 to 3 in the morning from Tuesday to Saturday.
A few months after the affiliation change, on December 5, 2006, Freedom Communications purchased WCWN from Tribune, in effect giving it control over three stations in the Capital District. A WRGB-produced morning newscast, which had premiered on WNYA on April 17, 2006, moved to WCWN shortly after the deal's completion. In February 2007, the joint sales agreement with WRGB was terminated, and WNYA moved to a facility in Rotterdam that formerly housed WMHT-FM-TV.
In December 2007, WNYA reached an agreement to carry the New York Yankees' over-the-air television package, which had previously been carried on WXXA-TV. The station hired Dan Murphy, a former WTEN (channel 10) sports anchor and WOFX (980 AM) host, to host a local pregame show for Yankee telecasts and other local sports broadcasts. Yankee broadcasts remained on WNYA through the 2012 season, after which they migrated to WCWN and WRGB.
On April 18, 2008, WNYA launched its high definition channel on Time Warner Cable in Albany, even though it was not able to transmit digitally until 2009. This coincided with the first Yankee baseball broadcast it had the rights to. WNYA switched to digital broadcasting as part of the transition on June 12, 2009. The Albany repeater, WNYA-CA, has a construction permit to perform a "flash-cut" to a low-power digital signal; due to its Class A status, it is not mandated to make the transition until 2015.
Around April 20, 2011, WNYA launched its first digital subchannel in the form of Tribune Broadcasting's Antenna TV over Channel 51.2. The new subchannel also began to be simulcast on WNYA-CA in place of WNYA's main programming.
Acquisition by Hubbard
On February 25, 2013, Hubbard Broadcasting announced that it would purchase WNYA to form a duopoly with its local NBC affiliate WNYT, for $2.3 million, pending FCC approval. Hubbard is seeking a failed station waiver to acquire the station; Venture had put WNYA up for sale in 2009, but no other potential buyers came forward. The sale does not include class-A station WNYA-CA, which will remain with Venture Technologies. Under a clause of the sale of WNYA that required WNYA-CA to use a new call sign that does not feature the letters "N" or "Y," that station became WEPT-CA on March 8, 2013. Hubbard has indicated that it will produce newscasts on WNYA with an increased emphasis on news from Berkshire County, in addition to the Capital District; WNYT once operated a Berkshire County bureau in Pittsfield, but closed it following the 2008 recession. On May 29, 2013, the FCC approved the sale of WNYA to Hubbard, with Venture retaining ownership of WEPT-CA.
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- Official website
- WNYT website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WNYA
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WEPT-CA