|Branding||ABC 36 (general)
ABC 36 News (news)
MyTVQ2 (on DT2)
|Channels||Digital: 40 (UHF)
Virtual: 36 (PSIP)
36.3 Antenna TV
|First air date||September 7, 1968|
|Call letters' meaning||We Tell Viewers Quicker or TeleVision|
|Former callsigns||WBLG-TV (1968–1974)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
62 (UHF, 1968-1980)
36 (UHF, 1980-2009)
|Transmitter power||635 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WTVQ Antenna TV
WTVQ-DT is the ABC-affiliated television station for Lexington, Kentucky. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 40 from a transmitter located at the station's studios on the outer loop of Man o' War Boulevard (a.k.a. KY 1425) in the Brighton section of Fayette County. By coincidence, competitor WKYT-TV's studios are just across Winchester Road from the Channel 36 facilities. Although WTVQ no longer broadcasts an over-the-air analog signal, it can be seen on Insight cable channel 10 with a high definition signal on digital channel 908. It is owned by Morris Multimedia. Syndicated programming on the station includes: Judge Judy, Entertainment Tonight, and Extra. WTVQ operates the area's MyNetworkTV affiliate on its second digital subchannel. Known on-air as MyTVQ2, it is also carried on Insight digital cable channel 138 and in HD on digital channel 917. Syndicated programming on this station includes The Insider, Cash Cab, The Doctors, and Seinfeld.
The station launched as WBLG-TV on September 7, 1968 and was located on channel 62. At the time, this was one of the highest full-power television channels assigned in the country. It was founded by Lexington area businessman Roy White and Reeves Broadcasting along with WBLG radio (AM 1300, now WLXG), and was the third commercial television station to begin broadcasting in the Lexington market.
From the first day of operation, and because of its radio sister's affiliation with ABC, WBLG was the ABC affiliate for central Kentucky. WKYT, the former primary affiliate with ABC, became the CBS affiliate. Reeves Broadcasting went into bankruptcy and eventually White ended up as the sole owner of WTVQ-TV. In 1974, the station changed its call letters to the current WTVQ-TV after White sold the TV station to Starr Broadcasting company, while White retained ownership of WBLG radio. Eventually, Starr Broadcasting also went into bankruptcy. In 1979, Shamrock Broadcasting purchased the station from Starr Broadcasting. Shamrock was wholly owned by Roy Disney, nephew of Walt and son of Walt's brother Roy. In 1980, Shamrock installed a new 1.5 million watt transmitter and moved WTVQ from channel 62 to channel 36 (channel 62 is now the home of WBLU-LP). The station underwent a major renovation in 1985 that doubled the existing office space and created all new technical facilities. On January 30, 1992, Park Broadcasting purchased WTVQ from Shamrock Broadcasting.
In July 1995, Park Communications was sold to Gary B. Knapp and Donald R. Tomlin, Jr. under the name Park Acquisitions. Media General purchased Park Acquisitions and its properties (including WTVQ) in January 1997. On February 26, 2002, it became central Kentucky's first commercial television station to broadcast a digital television signal on UHF channel 40. Soon afterward, it became the area's first commercial digital television channel to broadcast programming in high definition. On October 29, 2007, Media General announced that it was exploring the sale of WTVQ. On January 22, 2008, the Lexington Herald-Leader mentioned the sale of the station. That headline was confirmed on March 7 when Media General announced it reached an agreement to sell WTVQ to Morris Multimedia for an undisclosed sales price. That price will likely be disclosed with either the FCC or SEC though a media consulting analyst  in the $30–35 million range. The sale became final on May 13. In June 2008, Morris Network named Chris Aldridge as General Manager of WTVQ. Aldridge previously served as the station's General Manager from 1992 until 1999. It was announced on October 31 that WTVQ would air the entire MyNetworkTV lineup on its second digital subchannel, replacing WBLU-LP. On January 1, 2009, WTVQ-DT2 officially became a full-time MyNetworkTV affiliate under the branding "MyTVQ2". It also simulcasted the 24-hour weather channel during overnights until April 2009. The station shutdown its analog signal at 11:59 P.M. on February 17. WTVQ-TV's official calls became WTVQ-DT on June 17, 2009.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|36.1||720p||16:9||WTVQ-1||Main WTVQ-DT programming / ABC|
|36.2||WTVQ-2||WTVQ-DT2 / MyNetworkTV|
WTVQ-TV was the first station in Lexington to broadcast a digital signal in 2002. The station shut down its analog signal over UHF channel 36, 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). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 40. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 36.
On December 1, 2005, WTVQ launched a 24-hour local weather channel on its second digital subchannel and Insight digital cable channel 436. It moved to a new third digital subchannel on January 1, 2009 when "MyTVQ2" launched. This coincided with a new nightly 10 o'clock newscast called ABC 36 News at 10 that competes with Fox affiliate WDKY-TV whose 10 P.M. news is the highest-rated late local news in the Lexington market. In addition to the new 10 o'clock newscast on WTVQ-DT2, there are repeats of weekday newscasts that aired on the main channel. This includes the Noon news (at 1:00), the 6:00 broadcast (at 6:30) and the 11 o'clock news (at Midnight). WTVQ was the last major network station in Lexington to broadcast their local news in high definition. The 10 p.m. news has since been canceled.
- TV Guide, September 7–13, 1968, Kentucky edition.
- "Media General Exploring Sale of Five Television Stations" (Press release). Media General. 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
- "Media General Announces Sale of WTVQ-TV in Lexington, Ky., to Morris Network, Inc." (Press release). Media General. 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
- http://www.kentucky.com/454/story/340715.html interviewed by the Herald-Leader
- Now a second chance to watch 'Smackdown'. Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved on October 31, 2008.
- "Antenna TV Affiliation: WTVQ". Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WTVQ
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.