WTVX

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WTVX
Wtvx 2008.png

WTCN15.PNG
Fort Pierce/West Palm Beach, Florida
Branding CW 34 (general)
CBS 12 News (newscasts)
My 15 WTCN-TV (on DT3)
Slogan TV Now
Channels Digital: 34 (UHF)
Virtual: 34 (PSIP)
Subchannels 34.1 The CW
34.2 Azteca América
34.3 MyNetworkTV
34.4 LATV
Owner Sinclair Broadcast Group
(WTVX Licensee, LLC)
First air date April 5, 1962; 52 years ago (1962-04-05)
Call letters' meaning disambiguation of WTVJ (which WTVX replaced
at sign-on)
Sister station(s) WPEC, WTCN-CA, WWHB-CA
Former channel number(s) 34 (UHF analog, 1962-2009)
50 (UHF digital)
Former affiliations Independent (1962, 1989-1993)
CBS (1962-1989)
PTEN (1993-1995)
UPN (1995-2006)
The WB (secondary, 2001-2005)
RTV (on DT4)
Transmitter power 1,000 kW
Height 455.7 m
Facility ID 35575
Transmitter coordinates 27°7′19″N 80°23′20″W / 27.12194°N 80.38889°W / 27.12194; -80.38889
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website cw34.com

WTVX is the CW-affiliated television station for the Gold and Treasure Coasts of South Florida licensed to Fort Pierce. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 34 from a transmitter in unincorporated Martin County southwest of I-95. The station can also be seen on Comcast channel 4 and in high definition on digital channel 435. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, it is sister to CBS affiliate WPEC, Class A MyNetworkTV affiliate WTCN-CA, 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).

History[edit]

Logo in the 1980s

WTVX began operations as an independent station on April 5, 1962, and soon after became a CBS affiliate. Airing an analog signal on UHF channel 34, it was the market's third television outlet to sign on after WPTV-TV and WPEC. Despite its call sign, the station was never owned by the TVX Broadcast Group, which coincidentally was a predecessor to former owner Paramount Stations Group which is now called CBS Television Stations.

WTVX was originally owned by Indian River Television and based in a small building along U.S. 1 just south of the St. Lucie and Indian River County line. Prior to the station becoming a CBS affiliate, the network was seen through Miami's WTVJ. Even after WTVX signed on, its UHF signal was not nearly as powerful as WTVJ's VHF transmission and the latter continued to be recognized as the CBS affiliate for the Palm Beaches.

It was not until the 1980s when cable penetration allowed WTVX to gain a Palm Beach audience. In 1987, NBC bought WTVJ, after which CBS needed a new Miami affiliate and purchased WCIX which had a Grade B signal in Fort Lauderdale. Meanwhile, West Palm Beach stations WPTV and WPEC had Grade A signals there, forcing CBS to switch its West Palm Beach affiliate on January 1, 1989, to WPEC. As ABC decided to go from WPEC to new sign-on WPBF, WTVX became an independent once again.

During the day part, the station showed movies, drama shows, and talk shows. By the summer of 1989, it became more of a traditional independent station with sitcoms and cartoons being added to its schedule. Most of WTVX's shows were to have originally aired on WPBF before that station made the decision to affiliate with ABC. In 1990, WTVX was sold to Krypton Broadcasting. Krypton Broadcasting filed for bankruptcy in 1993, and the station was acquired by Whitehead Media at auction in 1994. Whitehead Media then entered into a local marketing agreement (LMA) with Paxson Communications, then owner of WPBF.

In 1995, Paramount/Viacom joined with Chris Craft/United Television to form the United Paramount Network (UPN). WTVX immediately became an affiliate of this new network. When WPBF was sold to the Hearst Corporation in early 1997, Viacom's Paramount Stations Group acquired WTVX; however, since at the time the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) did not permit one entity to directly own two television stations in adjacent markets whose city-grade signals overlapped, the license and other FCC assets of WTVX were sold to Straightline Communications, with Miami's then-UPN station WBFS-TV taking over the LMA from Paxson. (A similar arrangement existed in New England, where Straightline Communications acquired the FCC assets of WLWC in New Bedford, Massachusetts, with Viacom's Boston station WSBK-TV operating that station through a similar LMA.)

By the late 1990s, it had started to move away from cartoons, such as Pokémon, RoboCop: Alpha Commando, The Wacky World of Tex Avery, Sailor Moon, Pocket Dragon Adventures, The Mask, Mummies Alive!, Skysurfer Strike Force, Extreme Ghostbusters, Jumanji, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, Extreme Dinosaurs, Mighty Max, Monster Rancher and sitcoms, such as Full House, I Love Lucy, The Nanny, Mad About You, Roseanne, Family Matters, NewsRadio, and All in the Family adding more talk-reality and court shows, such as Judge Joe Brown, Judge Judy, Divorce Court. In the early 2000s, WTVX started to carry The WB on a secondary basis. Programming from that network, such as 7th Heaven, aired after UPN prime time. The station soon rebranded from "UPN 34" to "TVX 34" which was based on its call letters. Viacom bought WTVX and WLWC outright in late 2001. In the fall of 2005, WTCN-CA (then a little-known community access channel) became the area's new WB affiliate after Viacom's acquisition of that station. As a result, WTVX reverted to solely being a UPN station and returned to the "UPN 34" branding.

On January 24, 2006, Time Warner and CBS announced the WB and UPN networks would end broadcasting and merge to form The CW, effective in September 2006. On February 22, News Corporation announced it would start up another new network called MyNetworkTV. This new service, which would be a sister network to Fox, would be operated by Fox Television Stations and its syndication division Twentieth Television. MyNetworkTV was created in order to give UPN and WB stations, not mentioned as becoming CW affiliates, another option besides becoming Independent.

WTVX was announced as becoming the area's affiliate of the new network because it was at the time owned by CBS. Even without the corporate deal, its full-powered status made it a foregone conclusion that the station would join The CW as network officials were on record as saying they preferred the stronger WB or UPN outlet to be affiliated with the new programming service. This left WTCN to either revert to an independent station or join MyNetworkTV. It chose the latter option and became part of the other new programming service on September 5 while WTVX officially launched The CW on September 18. On February 7, 2007, CBS agreed to sell seven of its smaller-market stations to Cerberus Capital Management (including WTVX, WTCN, WWHB and WLWC) for $185 million. Cerberus formed a new holding company for the stations, Four Points Media Group, which took over the operation of the stations through local marketing agreements in late June 2007 until the group deal closed on January 10, 2008.

Until the sale to Four Points, WTVX was one of three former CBS affiliates that later became CW stations that were owned by CBS. The other two are KSTW in Seattle-Tacoma, Washington and WPCW in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, both of which are still owned by the network. During CBS ownership, master control and some other internal operations of WTVX, WTCN, and WWHB were based at WFOR-TV's studios in Doral. As of February 2008, these three stations were operated from Four Points' hub facilities at KUTV in Salt Lake City, Utah. On September 8, 2011, the Sinclair Broadcast Group announced its intent to purchase Four Points from Cerberus Capital Management for $200 million. The former company began managing the stations (including WTVX, WTCN, WWHB and WLWC) under local marketing agreements following antitrust approval by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).[1]

Sinclair subsequently announced the acquisition of the television station division of Freedom Communications (owner of WPEC), which resulted in WTVX becoming a sister station to the CBS affiliate.[2] The deal with Sinclair acquiring Four Points was completed on January 3, 2012.[3] WTVX, WTCN, and WWHB have yet to have their physical operations consolidated with WPEC.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[4]
34.1 1080i 16:9 WTVX-HD Main WTVX programming / The CW
34.2 480i 4:3 WWHB Simulcast of WWHB-CA
34.3 WTCN Simulcast of WTCN-CA
34.4 LATV LATV

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WTVX discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 34, before the June 12 cut-off date, 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 relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 50 to former UHF analog channel 34.[5] WTVX added the Retro Television Network (RTV) on its fourth digital subchannel and Comcast digital channel 225. This would subsequently be dropped in favor of LATV on June 29, 2010.[6] WHDT became the area's RTV affiliate several months later, though this affiliation was short-lived.

News operation[edit]

As a CBS affiliate, WTVX operated a local news department from its main studios in Fort Pierce and maintained newsrooms in Stuart and West Palm Beach. Soon after the loss of the affiliation, it began to phase out its newscasts eventually ceasing them completely by the summer of 1989. At one point as a CW affiliate, the station aired short news updates under the title CW News Now on its website. In the summer of 2008, WTVX established its second local news department and debuted CW West Palm News at 10 on August 4. This production initially aired seven nights a week for 35 minutes and in high definition starting on September 15. As its first news broadcast to air in nearly twenty years, it competed with the well-established nightly prime time newscast on Fox affiliate WFLX (then produced by WPEC; WPTV would take over production in 2011). As was the case with that station, WTVX's newscast also rated in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale market where it competed with similar newscasts on WSVN and WBFS-TV.

At some point in time, the Saturday night broadcast was dropped for an unknown reason. On March 2, 2009, WTVX moved its weeknight newscast to 6:30 in order to offer a local alternative to the national news programs airing on the area's big three stations. On June 8, 2009, the station discontinued the newscast altogether due to low ratings and inconsistent viewership. Throughout its life, WTVX's newscast was produced by owner Four Points Media Group in conjunction with sister station KUTV. The broadcast originated from a secondary set at that station's studios on Main Street in Downtown Salt Lake City. The station's studios in West Palm Beach functioned as a news bureau with two local reporters providing content.

Currently on weekdays, the station airs the second hour (from 7 until 8) of the nationally syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz.

On September 7, 2013, WPEC canceled its 7:00 p.m. weeknight newscast, which will become a weeknight-only primetime newscast at 10:00 p.m. on WTVX. The newscast was expected to begin in January 2014, but debuted instead on March 3, 2014. This will be WTVX's third showing of local news of any kind.[7]

Newscast titles[edit]

  • X-34 News (1962-1980)
  • News Source 34 (1980-1984)
  • WTVX News (1984-1989)
  • CW West Palm News at 10 (2008-2009)
  • CW West Palm News at 6:30 (2009)
  • CBS 12 News at 10:00 on CW34 (2014-present)

Station slogans[edit]

  • "I Got To Know 'Em!" (1974-1986)
  • "The Spirit of the Treasure Coast" (1986-1992)
  • "Good Time TV!" (2002-2006)
  • "Free to be CW" (2006-2007, used to promote switch to The CW)
  • "All Your News in Half the Time" (2008-2009)

News team[edit]

CBS 12 News at 10:00 on The CW West Palm
  • Ben Becker - news anchor
  • Stephanie Watson - news anchor
  • John Matthews (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seal of Approval) - CBS 12 StormTrac Weather's Chief Meteorologist
  • Matt Lincoln - sports director

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sinclair Buys Four Points Media For $200M, TVNewsCheck, September 8, 2011.
  2. ^ Colman, Price (November 2, 2011). "Sinclair Buying Freedom For $385 Million". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved November 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Sinclair Closes Four Points Media Acquisition". TVNewsCheck. January 3, 2012. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WTVX
  5. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  6. ^ "Nexstar/Four Points fired up to add 4th network in West Palm". Television Business Report. June 24, 2010. Retrieved June 25, 2010. 
  7. ^ WPEC To Move 7:00 p.m. Newscast, Replace It with 'Entertainment Tonight' TVSpy, August 13, 2013.

External links[edit]