WRSP-TV

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WRSP-TV/WCCU
WRSP-WCCU Fox 55-27 Illinois Logo.png

Wrsp wccu dt2.png
WRSP: Springfield/Decatur, Illinois
WCCU: Champaign/Urbana, Illinois
United States
Branding Fox 55/27 Illinois
NewsChannel
Me-TV Illinois (on DT2)
Slogan More Local Coverage
Channels Digital:
WRSP: 44 (UHF)
WCCU: 26 (UHF)
Virtual:
WRSP: 55 (PSIP)
WCCU: 27 (PSIP)
Subchannels 55.1/27.1 Fox
55.2/27.2 Me-TV
Affiliations Fox (since 1986)
Owner GOCOM Media, LLC
(operated through JSA/SSA by Sinclair Broadcast Group)
(GOCOM Media of
Illinois, LLC)
First air date WRSP: June 1, 1979 (1979-06-01)
WCCU: February 19, 1986 (1986-02-19)
Call letters' meaning WRSP: We ARe SPringfield
WCCU: We're Central Illinois/Champaign/Urbana
Sister station(s) WBUI, WICS / WICD,
WYZZ-TV, WHOI
Former callsigns WRSP: WBHW (1979-1982)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
WRSP:
55 (UHF, 1979-2009)
WCCU:
27 (UHF, 1986-2009)
Former affiliations WRSP: Independent (1979-1986)
Transmitter power WRSP: 750 kW
WCCU: 1,000 kW
Height WRSP: 415 m
WCCU: 114 m
Class DT
Facility ID WRSP: 62009
WCCU: 69544
Transmitter coordinates WRSP: 39°47′57″N 89°26′46″W / 39.79917°N 89.44611°W / 39.79917; -89.44611
WCCU: 40°18′46″N 87°55′0″W / 40.31278°N 87.91667°W / 40.31278; -87.91667 (WCCU)
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.foxillinois.com

WRSP-TV is the Fox-affiliated television station for Springfield and Decatur, Illinois. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 44 (or virtual channel 55.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter, west of Mechanicsburg, in unincorporated Sangamon County. Owned by GOCOM Media, the station is sister to CW affiliate WBUI and the two outlets share studios on Old Rochester Road in Springfield. WBUI also operates an advertising sales office on South Main Street/U.S. 51 in downtown Decatur.

Both television stations are operated through joint sales and shared services agreements by the Sinclair Broadcast Group making them sisters to ABC affiliate WICS (and its semi-satellite, WICD). Syndicated programming seen on this station includes The Big Bang Theory, Family Feud, TMZ on TV, and The Steve Wilkos Show among others.

WCCU in Urbana operates as a full-time satellite of WRSP for the eastern portion of the market. This station broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 26 (or virtual channel 27.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter, along U.S. 136, in Vermilion County between Penfield and Armstrong. Its advertising sales operation is based out of WICD's studios on South Country Fair Drive in Champaign.

History[edit]

What is now WRSP signed-on June 1, 1979 as an religious Independent. It aired an analog signal on UHF channel 55 and used the call sign WBHW (standing for We Believe His Word). It was the first new commercial station in the market (not counting satellite stations) since WCIA launched back in 1953. On November 24, 1982, it changed call letters to WRSP-TV and became the area's first general entertainment Independent. On February 19, 1986, full-time satellite WCCU in Urbana was added with an analog signal on UHF channel 27. Both stations began transmitting digital signals in mid-2000 with programming from Fox in high definition. It eventually introduced a new website based on the "My Fox" owned-and-operated station platform licensed from News Corporation Interactive.

On June 20, 2007, GOCOM Media announced its intent to purchase WBUI from ACME Communications. The sale was approved on September 14 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which allowed GOCOM to buy WBUI under a "failed station" waiver to its duopoly rules. The Central Illinois market already had one duopoly, Nexstar Broadcasting Group's WCIA and WCFN, and under normal conditions there wouldn't have been enough unique station owners to allow a second duopoly. However, ACME claimed it was losing money on WBUI and could not find a buyer that did not require a duopoly waiver. The sale to GOCOM Media officially closed on October 25, 2007. In mid-2010, WRSP's web site was taken over by Broadcast Interactive Media.

On December 31, 2012, Sinclair closed on the purchase of the non-license assets of GOCOM's three television stations, WRSP/WCCU and sister station WBUI for approximately $25.6 million. Sinclair is providing sales and other non-programming services to the stations pursuant to shared services and joint sales agreements. Both WRSP/WCCU and WBUI will nominally continue to operate from separate facilities from WICS/WICD for the foreseeable future. However, WCCU eventually moved its advertising sales operation from offices on South Neil Street/U.S. 45 to WICD's studios.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1][2]
x.1 720p 16:9 WRSP-HD
WCCU-HD
Main programming / Fox
x.2 480i 4:3 ME-TV Me-TV

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WRSP-TV & WCCU shut down their analog signal, respectively over UHF channels 55 & 27, on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). Both stations' digital signals remained on their pre-transition UHF channels 44 & 26.[3] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display both stations' virtual channels as their former UHF analog channels 55 & 27, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.

Newscasts[edit]

Weekday morning news open.

On September 11, 2006, WRSP/WCCU (then separately controlled) established a news share agreement with WICS/WICD. As a result, a nightly prime time newscast began airing on the Fox affiliates that is jointly produced by the two ABC outlets. Known as NewsChannel at 9 on Fox Illinois, it airs from a modified set at WICS's Springfield studios featuring unique duratrans indicating the Fox-branded show. From the start, NewsChannel at 9 competed with a newscast already established in the time slot on then-UPN affiliate WCFN (produced by WCIA).

Unlike the WRSP/WCCU show, WCFN's broadcast originated from WCIA's Champaign facilities but was targeted specifically at a Springfield audience. The WRSP/WCCU newscast features market wide coverage, including contributions from WICD reporters, but there is a separate weather forecast segment for WRSP and WCCU that is seen weeknights.[4] WCFN's prime time broadcast would be eventually canceled by WCIA on September 28, 2009. On October 7, 2013, the weekday edition NewsChannel at 9 was expanded to an hour.

The effort on WRSP/WCCU was further expanded on January 20, 2014 when WICS began producing a two-hour weekday morning show for the Fox affiliates. Known as Good Day Illinois, the program can be seen from 7 until 9 and offers a local alternative to the national morning programs seen on the big three networks. It also competes with another two-hour local newscast seen at same time on MyNetworkTV affiliate WCIX (produced by WCIA).

References[edit]

External links[edit]