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WTEN: Albany/Schenectady/Troy, New York
WCDC: Adams/Pittsfield, Massachusetts
United States
City of license WTEN: Albany
WCDC: Adams
Branding 10 ABC (general)
News 10 ABC (newscasts)
Slogan Dedicated. Determined. Dependable.
Channels Digital:
WTEN: 26 (UHF)
WCDC: 36 (UHF)
Subchannels 10.1/19.1 ABC
10.2 AccuWeather
Translators 4 (VHF) W04AE Herkimer
Owner Media General
(Young Broadcasting of Albany, Inc.)
First air date WTEN: October 14, 1953 (1953-10-14)
WCDC: February 5, 1954 (1954-02-05)
Call letters' meaning WTEN: channel 10
(former analog channel and current PSIP allocation)
WCDC: derived from WTEN's former call sign WCDA
Sister station(s) WXXA-TV
Former callsigns WTEN:
WROW-TV (1953–1956)
WCDA (1956–1957)
WMGT (1954–1957)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
41 (UHF, 1953-1957)
10 (VHF, 1957–2009)
74 (UHF, 1954–1957)
19 (UHF, 1957–2009)
Former affiliations WTEN:
CBS (1953-1977)
DuMont (secondary, 1954–1956)
CBS (1954–1977)
Transmitter power WTEN: 700 kW
WCDC: 27.5 kW
Height WTEN: 426 m (1,398 ft)
WCDC: 631 m (2,070 ft)
Class DT
Facility ID WTEN: 74422
WCDC: 74419
Transmitter coordinates WTEN: 42°38′14.2″N 73°59′53.4″W / 42.637278°N 73.998167°W / 42.637278; -73.998167
WCDC 42°38′13.7″N 73°10′6.2″W / 42.637139°N 73.168389°W / 42.637139; -73.168389 (WCDC-TV)
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website news10.com

WTEN is the ABC-affiliated television station for the Capital District of Upstate New York and Western New England. licensed to Albany, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 26 (or virtual channel 10.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter in the Helderberg Escarpment southwest of New Scotland's Voorheesville section. The station can also be seen on Verizon FiOS, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable channel 10 with HD on Verizon FiOS digital channel 510, Comcast digital channel 710, and Time Warner Cable digital channel 1810.

Owned by Media General, WTEN operates Fox affiliate WXXA-TV (owned by Shield Media, LLC) through joint sales and shared services agreements. The two outlets share studios on Northern Boulevard (along I-90) in Albany's Bishop's Gate section. Syndicated programming on this station includes Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, Steve Harvey, Little Einsteins, Inside Edition, and The Doctors among others. It can also be seen on a low-powered VHF repeater, W04AE channel 4, in Herkimer (part of the Utica/Rome market) from a transmitter in Little Falls.

WCDC-TV in Adams, Massachusetts operates as a full-time satellite of WTEN. This station broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 36 (or virtual channel 19.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter on the highest peak in Massachusetts, Mount Greylock. There is no on-air mention that WCDC exists besides in legal identifications.

The satellite reliably covers the western half of Massachusetts, Southern Vermont, Northern Connecticut, and Southwestern New Hampshire. This can also be considered a rim-shot signal into the nearby Springfield/Holyoke market. Despite WCDC being located in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, Time Warner Cable carries WTEN's feed instead of WCDC.


WTEN began broadcasting on October 14, 1953 as CBS affiliate WROW-TV. It aired an analog UHF channel 41 from a temporary 100 foot (30 m) transmitter in Herkimer, New York. This limited its signal to the immediate area. It went to full power and installed a permanent antenna tower next to the studio, a few months later. WROW-TV was owned by Hudson Valley Broadcasting Company along with WROW-AM 590. The two stations shared space inside a former retirement home for nuns on a farm dirt road in the town of North Greenbush near Troy.[1]

Within their first year, the station was losing money, and on the verge of bankruptcy, prompted the company's management to sell the WROW stations. By November of 1954, Hudson Valley's shareholders sold its majority stake to a New York City-based syndicate group led by legendary radio broadcaster/author Lowell Thomas and his manager/business partner Frank Smith, who also became president of the company upon completion of the sale. [1] The station switched to CBS January 1955. In the spring of 1956, the channel's call letters were changed to WCDA and a satellite station, WCDB channel 29, in nearby Hagaman was launched to reach areas where the main signal could not.[2]

The call letters were changed again to the current WTEN in 1957 when the station moved to VHF channel 10. It initially operated from a transmitter in the Vail Mills section of Mayfield approximately 35 miles west of the Capital District. This was due to its relatively close proximity to WJAR in Providence, Rhode Island. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had concerns that WTEN's signal might interfere with WJAR and held this station to a 170-mile separation requirement to protect WJAR. While the Vail Mills location met the separation requirement, it proved inadequate for serving the Capital District. The FCC eventually allowed a waiver in 1963 which let WTEN move its transmitter closer to Albany in Voorheesville where its signal could be more easily received.[3]

In December 1957, Hudson Valley merged with Durham Broadcasting Enterprises, the owners of WTVD in Durham, North Carolina to form Capital Cities Television Corporation (predecessor of Capital Cities Communications) with WTEN as its flagship station. In 1966, WTEN and WROW-AM-FM (Now WYJB-FM) moved to the state of the art location on Northern Boulevard in Albany, where WTEN remains there to this day, while WROW stations moved out in 1993. In 1967, the old studio in North Greenbush was burned down by a fire caused by arson, but the station's owner donated its old transmitter to WRPI.

In 1971, Capital Cities sold WTEN to Poole Broadcasting after it purchased WFIL-TV (now WPVI-TV) in Philadelphia and WNHC-TV (now WTNH) in New Haven, Connecticut. This was because the purchases gave Capital Cities more VHF television stations than the FCC permitted at the time. In 1977, Poole sold WTEN, WJRT-TV in Flint, Michigan, and WPRI-TV in Providence, Rhode Island to Knight-Ridder. The new owner signed an affiliation deal with ABC which resulted in WTEN swapping affiliations with WAST (now WNYT). Upon Knight-Ridder's exit from broadcasting in 1989, WTEN and sister station WKRN-TV in Nashville, Tennessee were sold to Young Broadcasting.

Since the Young purchases of the two stations plus WTEN satellite WCDC were made through two separate deals, they were consummated more than three months apart. WTEN signed-on its digital signal on UHF channel 26 in 2004 and began offering high definition service right from the start. This can also be seen on Time Warner digital channel 1810. On October 1, 2007, Young Broadcasting launched the Retro Television Network on a new third digital subchannel of WTEN. This was part of a test of the network with sister stations WBAY-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KRON-TV in San Francisco.

In an effort to cut costs, the company eliminated ten positions from WTEN on January 31, 2008 fueling speculations that the company might sell the station in order to pay down its financial debt. In January 2009, after failing to meet the minimum standards for being listed on NASDAQ, Young Broadcasting was dropped from the exchange.[4] One month later, on February 13, they declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[5] The company planned to auction off its stations in a New York City bankruptcy court on July 14, 2009 but canceled the auction last minute.[6] RTV has been replaced by a 480i widescreen feed of ABC's Live Well Network as part of a group deal with Young's other stations.[7]

On July 27, 2012, it was announced that Fox affiliate WXXA-TV would be sold from Newport Television to Shield Media, LLC (owned by White Knight Broadcasting Vice president Sheldon Galloway) for $19.2 million. That company will then enter into joint sales and shared services agreements with Young Broadcasting resulting in WTEN operating WXXA. On October 23, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted the transaction. After consummation of the sale, master control of the Fox outlet will likely move from WXXA's Corporate Circle studios to WTEN's offices.[8][9][10] The move was completed on March 23, 2013.[11]

On June 6, 2013, Young Broadcasting announced that it would merge with Media General.[12] The merger was approved by the FCC on November 8, after Media General shareholders approved the merger a day earlier;[13] it was completed on November 12.[14]


In the spring of 1956, satellite station WCDB on UHF channel 29 in Hagaman was launched to reach areas where the main signal could not.[2] This signed-off in 1957 after WCDA moved its transmitter closer to Albany, making WCDB superfluous even though it did provide some primary CBS coverage to Utica. The WCDB call sign would return to the air in 1978 for the student-run radio station at University at Albany.


WCDC began broadcasting on February 5, 1954 as WMGT (Mount Greylock Television) on UHF channel 74. This was a separate station affiliated with the DuMont network. The tower location on Mount Greylock helped WMGT serve first as the market's secondary affiliate of DuMont and later as a major boost to WCDA. In December 1954, WMGT moved to UHF channel 19 extending the station's range to the Capital Region of New York State. In February 1956, it was forced off the air when a storm damaged its transmitter tower.[15] Capital Cities bought the license and returned it to the air in 1957 under its current calls, WCDC. Since then, it has been a straight simulcast of WCDA/WTEN. The WMGT call sign has been used on the NBC affiliate in Macon, Georgia since 1983. WCDC's digital signal on UHF channel 36 signed on nearly eighteen months before WTEN's did. However, it did not upgrade to high definition until WTEN-DT signed-on.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[16]
10.1 720p 16:9 WTEN-HD Main WTEN programming / ABC
10.2 480i 4:3 WTEN-SD The Local AccuWeather Channel

WCDC does not carry WTEN's two subchannels but they are carried locally in Massachusetts on the digital tier of Time Warner Cable.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WTEN shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 10, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 26.[17] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 10.

Cable and satellite carriage[edit]

WTEN is carried on the following cable and satellite systems within the Albany/Schenectady/Troy market:

Station Comcast DirecTV Dish Network Mid-Hudson Cablevision Time Warner Cable Verizon FiOS
WTEN-SD / WTEN-HD 10 / *710 Bennington, VT 10 10 10 / 610 10 / 1200 10 / 510
WTEN-DT2 (The Local AccuWeather Channel) 306 N/A N/A 110 1240 N/A

News operation[edit]

News open under the NewsCenter on 10 ABC branding.

For many years, WRGB was the dominant news station in the Capital District. In 1993, that station was quickly eclipsed by WNYT and for several years in the mid-1990s fell to third place. WTEN has stabilized at a steady second place for the most part, although for a period in the early-2000s, it fell back to third. WNYT overtook WTEN for the runner-up spot by the late-1980s, and in 1992, scored its first late news victory. At times during the 1990s and 2000s, this station has occasionally finished ahead of WRGB or, more recently, WNYT. The market remains very competitive today in terms of Nielsen ratings.

In November 2009, WNYT's newscasts slipped back to third place largely resulting from its owner Hubbard Broadcasting deciding to terminate many of its popular news team members. One notable personality let go from the NBC affiliate was Lydia Kulbida who was hired by WTEN in time to help launch the market's only over-the-air weekday local news show at 4 (which occurred on September 21, 2009).[18] On October 26, 2011, WTEN became the second station in Albany to upgrade its newscasts to high definition level.[19]

As a full-time satellite of WTEN, WCDC currently simulcasts all newscasts from its parent outlet. Although there are no separate title openings or local cut-ins provided during the broadcasts, there is coverage of Western Massachusetts and Southwestern Vermont. Since 2001, rival WNYT has been the only Capital District-based television station to operate a bureau in Western Massachusetts (this effort is located in Pittsfield). With the consolidation of WXXA with WTEN, this ABC affiliate took over production of the Fox station's newscasts. The two stations' reporting staffs were merged immediately following the completion of Shield Media's purchase of WXXA. On January 24, 2013, the Fox outlet dropped its separate weeknight 5 and 11 o'clock newscasts.[20] WXXA's weekday morning newscast (seen 7 to 9 a.m.) and nightly prime time broadcast at 10 were retained as this programming does not directly compete with local news airing on WTEN.


  1. ^ a b Capital Cities/ABC The Early Years: How The Minnow Swallow The Whale, Chilton Books, 1993, page 11
  2. ^ a b Albany Times-Union, April 22, 1956, page H-4
  3. ^ http://lists.bostonradio.org/pipermail/boston-radio-interest/2008-January.txt
  4. ^ "Young Broadcasting Inc. Receives NASDAQ Delisting Notice". Businesswire.com. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "Young Broadcasting Calls Off Auction", from broadcastingcable.com July 14, 2009
  7. ^ "Young Broadcasting Stations Look to Live Well - 2012-01-24 21:58:50 | Broadcasting & Cable". Broadcastingcable.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  8. ^ Shield Buying Newport's WXXA For $19.4M, TVNewsCheck, July 27, 2012.
  9. ^ [2][dead link]
  10. ^ Nearing, Brian (2012-07-27). "Fox affiliate sold, new role with WTEN". Times Union. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  11. ^ Anderson, Eric (2013-03-22). "Stormy weather: WXXA cuts jobs". Times Union. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  12. ^ Media General, Young Broadcasting To Merge, TVNewsCheck, June 6, 2013.
  13. ^ FCC Approves Media General-Young Merger Broadcasting & Cable, Retrieved 8 November 2013
  14. ^ "Media General, Young Now Officially One". TVNewsCheck. November 12, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2013. 
  15. ^ Albany Times Union, April 22, 1956, Page H-4
  16. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WTEN
  17. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  18. ^ Rulison, Larry (2009-09-01). "Kulbida joins WTEN for 4 p.m. newscast". Times Union. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  19. ^ "Albany’s WTEN Debuts New Set, HD Newscasts - TVSpy". Mediabistro.com. 2011-10-26. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  20. ^ Lombardo, David (December 19, 2012). "WTEN, WXXA share staff under new plan". Schenectady Gazette. Retrieved December 26, 2012. 

see also[edit]

External links[edit]