|Palm Beach/West Palm Beach, Florida
|Branding||My 15 WTCN-TV|
|Channels||Analog: 50 (UHF)
Digital: WTVX-DT 34.3 (UHF)
Virtual: 34.3 (PSIP)
|Owner||Sinclair Broadcast Group
(WTVX Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||January 11, 1991|
|Call letters' meaning||Treasure Coast Network|
|Sister station(s)||WTVX, WWHB-CA, WPEC|
|Former callsigns||W16AR (1991-2001)|
|Former channel number(s)||16 (1991-2001)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1991-2005)
The WB (2005-2006)
|Transmitter power||150 kW
1,000 kW (WTVX-DT3)
|Public license information:||Profile
WTCN-CA is the Class A, MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station for the Gold and Treasure Coasts of South Florida. Licensed to Palm Beach, it broadcasts an analog signal on UHF channel 50 from a transmitter in unincorporated Martin County southwest of I-95. The station can also be seen on Comcast channel 15 (hence the on-air branding My 15 WTCN-TV). Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, WTCN is sister to CBS affiliate WPEC, CW affiliate WTVX, and Class A Azteca América affiliate WWHB-CA.
Both of the Class A outlets and WTVX share studios on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard in West Palm Beach while WPEC maintains a separate facility on Fairfield Drive in Mangonia Park (with a West Palm Beach postal address). Digital television viewers can receive WTCN-CA on WTVX's third digital subchannel.
The station began broadcasting on January 11, 1991 as an independent and had the call letters W16AR. It was located on UHF channel 16 and was licensed to Stuart. Retired businessman August Gabriel began the station with $200,000 and three employees. From October 1996 until February 1997, it briefly produced a local morning show known as Good Morning Treasure Coast that was hosted by Tom Teter. Ed Birchfield also briefly hosted a 7 p.m. Treasure Coast News program from February to July 1997.
The station moved to UHF channel 15 in 2001 and again to UHF channel 14 in 2002. It added a translator on UHF channel 53 in order to reach West Palm Beach. At some point[when?], the station received the present calls of WTCN-CA and changed to UHF channel 43. This aired from a transmitter at the western boundary of Johnathan Dickinson State Park in Martin County southwest of Juniper Island. The call letters were originally used by two stations in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota that are now WCCO-TV and KARE.
Bill Brothers, who had been operating WTCN through a local marketing agreement (LMA) since 1997, purchased the station for an undisclosed price in 2001. In 2005, Viacom bought WTCN and sister station WWHB-CA from Bill Brothers for $7.7 million. Viacom moved the station's studios to West Palm Beach and improved its signal. At some point during the first six months of that year, it began airing Kids' WB when the area's primary UPN and secondary WB affiliate WTVX stopped airing it. WTCN became affiliated with The WB, its first full network affiliation, in Fall 2005. Until that point, WTVX had aired programming from that network after UPN prime time.
On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN announced that they would end broadcasting and merge. The new combined network would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initial of its corporate parents, CBS (the parent company of UPN) and the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner. WTVX would become the affiliate of the new network.
On February 22, News Corporation announced that it would start up another new broadcast television network called MyNetworkTV. This new network, which would be sister to Fox, would be operated by Fox Television Stations and its syndication division Twentieth Television. WTCN would subsequently become one of only two MyNetworkTV affiliates owned by CBS. Its website was re-located to "wtcn.com" and was formatted with promotions for MyNetworkTV. The "wtcn.com" URL now redirects to its own separate section of the WTVX website. In 2006, WTCN placed sixth in the Nielsen ratings in the Palm Beach market with 0.4% of the audience.
On February 7, 2007, CBS agreed to sell seven of its smaller-market stations to Cerberus Capital Management for $185 million. Cerberus then formed a new holding company for the stations, Four Points Media Group, who took over the operation of the stations through local marketing agreements in late-June 2007. On January 10, 2008, Four Points officially became the owner of the stations.
During CBS ownership, all three stations (WTVX, WTCN, and WWHB) had some internal operations and master control based at WFOR-TV's studios in Miami which had served as the South Florida flagship of the CBS-owned cluster. On February 25, 2008, the master control for Four Points' entire West Palm Beach cluster were relocated to the hub facility at KUTV in Salt Lake City. After the digital transition date on June 12, 2009, WTCN began airing on WTVX's previous analog channel.
On September 8, 2011, the Sinclair Broadcast Group announced its intent to purchase Four Points from Cerberus Capital Management for $200 million; Sinclair began managing the stations, including WTCN-CA, under local marketing agreements following antitrust approval. Sinclair subsequently announced its purchase of the entire broadcasting division of Freedom Communications, including CBS affiliate WPEC. As a result, Sinclair would control three of the six largest English-language network affiliations in West Palm Beach. The deal with Sinclair acquiring Four Points was completed on January 3, 2012. On May 24, 2012, the FCC granted it a construction permit to flash-cut its signal to digital on channel 43 and become WTCN-CD (with "CD" referring to digital Class A status).
- Owner Signing Off at Local TV station, by Bob Betcher, 'Stuart News', June 5, 1996
- Stuart TV Pushing For Cable Access by Paul D. Martin, The Palm Beach Post, May 12, 1991
- August Gabriel, by Nisha Pulliam, The Palm Beach Post, August 30, 1993
- 'Stuart's WTCN Moves Its Daily Show to Evenings', by Bob Betcher, 'Stuart News', February 2, 1997
- Lack of Local Sponsors Drives Local Newscast Off Air, by Bob Betcher, Stuart (FL) News, July 8, 1997
- Stuart's WTCN on the move again - to Channel 14 by Bob Betcher, Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News, May 26, 2002
- Stuart's WTCN Has Expanded Into PB County, Fort Pierce (FL) Tribune, August 15, 2001
- Channel 15 Expanding Signal Reach Into Broward County, by Bob Betcher, Stuart News, July 3, 2001
- WTCN's Brothers Cashes Out As Viacom Beefs Up Station, by Bob Betcher, Stuart News, April 17, 2005
- WTCN Moving To West Palm, Likely Will Become WB Station, by Bob Betcher, Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News, June 26, 2005
- WTCN To Become Latest WB Affiliate, Fort Pierce (FL) Tribune, August 9, 1999
- WPTV Wins Ratings Gold by Tom Jicha, South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL), March 3, 2006
- Sinclair Buys Four Points Media For $200M, TVNewsCheck, September 8, 2011.
- "Sinclair Closes Four Points Media Acquisition". TVNewsCheck. January 3, 2012. Retrieved January 3, 2012.