|Poughkeepsie/New York City, New York|
|Channels||Digital: 27 (UHF)
Virtual: 54 (PSIP)
|Owner||Trinity Broadcasting Network
(Trinity Broadcasting of New York, Inc.)
|First air date||April 6, 1981|
|Call letters' meaning||Trinity Broadcasting
(the station's owner)
|Former callsigns||WFTI-TV (1981–1983)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
54 (UHF, 1981–2008)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1981–1983)|
|Transmitter power||800 kW|
|Height||357.7 m (1,174 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
WTBY-TV, virtual channel 54 (UHF digital channel 27), is a TBN owned-and-operated television station serving New York City, New York, United States that is licensed to Poughkeepsie, New York, United States. The station is owned by the Trinity Broadcasting Network. WTBY maintains studios and offices located on East 15th Street (near Union Square), and its transmitter is located on Beacon Mountain, near Beacon, New York.
The station first signed on the air on April 6, 1981 as WFTI-TV; it was the most powerful 5 million watt dual polarized station in the New York City market. The station was initially owned by Family Television, Inc., founded by Keith Houser in 1979, and headquartered in the Poughkeepsie Plaza Mall on U.S. Route 9 in the city of Poughkeepsie. WFTI's early programming including reruns of The Lone Ranger and The Cisco Kid, it also served as the originating station for coverage of West Point Academy sports (except the Army-Navy college football game). Family Television also produced Valley Magazine, a nightly 30-minute program featuring interviews with local celebrities, such as James Cagney.
After Irving Trust, the station's sole banking source, experienced financial problems and prematurely called the station's loan in 1982 (Irving Trust was ultimately shut down by the Federal Reserve), Family Television sold the station to the Trinity Broadcasting Network in June 1982, though the sale would not be completed until over a year later, in July 1983. TBN then changed the station's call letters to the present WTBY and moved the station's operations to studios in the village of Fishkill. In 2007, when TBN opened a new studioin the former Century Center for the Performing Arts in Midtown Manhattan near Union Square, WTBY's studio/office operations were moved to that location.
While Poughkeepsie is part of the New York City television market, WTBY's over-the-air signal is only viewable in the northern fringes of the area. For most of its first quarter-century as a TBN-owned station, the bulk of its viewership was in the Albany/Schenectady/Troy market; until 2010, WTBY operated two translators in that market (W52DF channel 52 to reach Albany and the Capital District, and W47CM on channel 47 to reach Glens Falls and the Adirondacks); both stations ceased broadcasting due to declining support, which has been attributed to the digital transition, with W52DF shutting down on March 13 and W47CM shutting down one month later. W52DF's license, along with 43 other silent TBN repeaters, was canceled on December 1, 2011 for remaining silent over a year. Until 2007, it was not carried on the two main cable systems in New York City (Cablevision and Time Warner Cable), and its cable penetration is still modest at best on the New Jersey and Connecticut sides of the market. It is not available on DirecTV or Dish Network's New York City local feeds; only the national version is available.
Locally-produced programs include versions of TBN's flagship program Praise the Lord and Joy in Our Town, a public affairs program. WTBY also carries programs produced by local pastors, notably A.R. Bernard of Christian Cultural Center, and Floyd H. Flake of the Greater Allen A. M. E. Cathedral of New York.
This station's digital signal, like most other full-service TBN owned-and-operated stations, carries five different TBN-run networks.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|54.1||480i||4:3||TBN||Main TBN programming|
|54.2||TCC||The Church Channel|
|54.5||SOAC||Smile of a Child TV|
TBN-owned full-power stations permanently ceased analog transmissions on April 16, 2009.
WTBY elected to keep RF channel 27 permanently for digital operation during the first round of digital channel elections in February 2005. WTBY-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 54, on October 1, 2008. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 27. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 54, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.
The shutdown initially caused the station to be dropped from Service Electric's systems in New Jersey due to difficulty in receiving the signal at the cable headend. Service Electric replaced it with the national TBN service.
- "Changing Hands." Broadcasting. June 21, 1982, pg. 73
- "Notification of Suspension of Operations / Request for Silent STA". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. April 16, 2010. Retrieved April 19, 2010.
- "Notification of Suspension of Operations / Request for Silent STA". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. May 14, 2010. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
- "Re: Applications for Assignment of License…" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. November 30, 2011. Retrieved December 3, 2011.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WTBY
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- TBN website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WTBY
- Query the FCC's TV station database for W52DF
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