WUHF

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WUHF
Wuhf new 2012.png
Rochester, New York
United States
City of license Rochester, New York
Branding Fox Rochester (general)
13 WHAM News on Fox Rochester (newscasts)
Slogan Your Breaking News &
Weather Authority
Channels Digital: 28 (UHF)
Virtual: 31 (PSIP)
Subchannels 31.1 Fox
Affiliations Fox (1986-present)
Owner Sinclair Broadcast Group
(WUHF Licensee, LLC)
First air date January 1980; 34 years ago (1980-01)
Call letters' meaning Ultra High Frequency
Sister station(s) WHAM-TV, WUTV, WNYO-TV,
WSTM-TV, WSTQ-LP,
WRGB, WCWN
Former channel number(s) Analog:
31 (UHF, 1980–2009)
Former affiliations Independent (1980–1986)
Transmitter power 320 kW
Height 161 m
Facility ID 413
Transmitter coordinates 43°8′5″N 77°35′7″W / 43.13472°N 77.58528°W / 43.13472; -77.58528
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website foxrochester.com

WUHF is the Fox-affiliated television station for Rochester, New York. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 28 (hence the call letters) from a transmitter on Pinnacle Hill on the border between Rochester and Brighton. The station can also be seen on Time Warner channels 7 and 1206 in standard definition and high definition. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the station is a sister to ABC affiliate WHAM-TV, owned by Deerfield Media and operated by Sinclair under a shared services agreement. They both share studios on West Henrietta Road (NY 15) in Henrietta (though the mailing address says Rochester). From 2005 to 2013, the station was operated by Nexstar Broadcasting Group and co-located with CBS affiliate WROC-TV.

History[edit]

WUHF began operations in January 1980 as a general entertainment independent station running cartoons, sitcoms (classic and recent), movies, drama shows, and religious shows. The station was owned by Malrite and the General Manager was Jerry Carr who was the former "The Weather Outside" personality. Apparently by sheer coincidence, the station re-used a call sign which was previously used by a different and unrelated station which operated on the same channel 31, albeit in New York City. The latter station had only used the WUHF calls for its first year of experimental operation (1961-62); it currently uses the call sign WPXN-TV.

In 1983, former underground cartoonist Brian Bram produced and hosted All Night Live, a program aired live from midnight to 7 in the morning Fridays and Saturdays. Bram's show was a showcase for regional bands including Personal Effects, Cousin Al and the Relatives, and The Degrads. On October 6, 1986, WUHF became a charter affiliate of Fox for Rochester and was known on-air as "Fox 31". Most of the religious shows were gone by then. In 1989, Act III Broadcasting bought the station from Malrite Communications Group. In a group deal, Abry would become the owner in 1994.

By 1996, it was controlled by Sinclair and was eventually sold to that company. In the 1990s, classic sitcoms, movies, and drama shows made way for talk, reality, and court shows. Cartoons ended the station's weekday airings at the end of 2001 when Fox closed its weekday kids block nationwide. In 2000, the station became known on-air as "Fox Rochester" although it adopted a "Fox 31" logo in 2003. Its digital signal signed on-the-air in 2004 under a special temporary authority from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In 2006, WUHF added The Tube digital music video channel on a new second digital subchannel. This continued until the service went out of business in 2007.

In August 2005, the Sinclair Broadcast Group entered into a shared services agreement with Nexstar Broadcasting Group, owners of CBS affiliate WROC-TV. Sinclair agreed to be the subordinate entity allowing Nexstar to control programming for WUHF. The station then moved from its studios on East Avenue in Rochester to WROC's facilities. [1]

On May 15, 2012, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Fox agreed to a five-year extension to the network's affiliation agreement with Sinclair's 19 Fox stations, including WUHF, allowing them to continue carrying the network's programming through 2017.[2]

On December 3, 2012, Sinclair announced it would acquire the non-FCC assets of ABC affiliate WHAM-TV from Newport Television (with the license and other FCC assets being transferred to Deerfield Media). On December 31, 2013, WUHF terminated its eight-year SSA with WROC, and the station was re-located into the Henrietta studios of WHAM. On January 1, 2014, WUHF introduced two WHAM-produced newscasts, Good Day Rochester, and a new 10 p.m. newscast. Both were previously seen on WHAM's The CW sub-channel.[3]

Cable carriage[edit]

In 1994, several cable systems in Canada started carrying WUHF via the Cancom communications satellite in out-of-market areas where Fox was not otherwise available. However, it had been carried on cable in Belleville, Ontario and other communities on the north shore of Lake Ontario since the 1980s. It was formerly carried by EastLink (in SD only) and on Bell Aliant FibreOP TV (in both SD and HD) for viewers in Atlantic Canada until late 2012 (January 30, 2013 in EastLink's case), when it was replaced with WFXT, the Fox O&O Boston station. The station is also carried in the Thousand Islands region of the North Country in the town of Hammond (via Citizens Cable TV) as well as in the provinces of Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador. WUHF has been carried on satellite systems since 2001 and it is currently the only Rochester-based television station seen in Canada on the Shaw Direct satellite provider.[4]

CF Cable in Western Montreal suburbs used to carry the station in 1995 but replaced it with sister station WUTV from Buffalo the following year. That station was carried on Vidéotron for cable systems outside the West Island. It was also the first Fox station carried on Montreal cable. However, the northern suburbs of that city (particularly St. Jerome) still carry the station even though in Mont Tremblant, WFFF-TV along with other Burlington, Vermont/Plattsburgh, New York stations are seen there instead. Sinclair was re-negotiating for carriage of WUHF on the local Time Warner system in Rochester. The previous agreement expired on December 31, 2010. [5] An updated retransmission agreement was reached in February 2011. Had this not happened, WUHF could have pulled its signal from Time Warner.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channel[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[6]
31.1 720p 16:9 WUHF-DT Main WUHF programming / Fox

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WUHF discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 31, on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (like most Sinclair stations and was replaced by a "nightlight" loop that ran until March 3). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 28.[7] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 31.

Newscasts[edit]

Weekday morning news open.

In 1997, WUHF established its own news department and aired a nightly prime time newscast (known as The Ten O'Clock News) along with a Sunday night sports highlight show. In 2003, the operation was converted to Sinclair's controversial News Central format which consisted of national and international news as well as weather and sports segments produced at Sinclair's headquarters on Beaver Dam Road in Hunt Valley, Maryland. The local news operation at WUHF was significantly sized down as a result. It also aired "The Point", a one-minute conservative political commentary, that was also controversial and a requirement of all Sinclair-owned stations with newscasts until the series was discontinued in December 2006.

After becoming operated by Nexstar, the News Central format was abandoned and broadcasts on WUHF ceased. Two anchors, a producer, and a photographer were added to WROC's news staff. The remainder of its personnel was laid off in this move. On September 1, 2005, a nightly half hour prime time show (known as Fox First at 10) produced by WROC began airing on this station. It aired from a secondary set from that station's facilities. Eventually, this expanded to 45 minutes followed by a fifteen-minute sports highlight program known as Sports Extra.

On September 4, 2012, WROC became the second Rochester area station to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. The 10 p.m. newscast on WUHF was included in the upgrade. On December 30, 2013, WROC produced its final newscast on WUHF. WHAM-TV took over WUHF's newscasts on January 1, 2014; as a result, the 10 p.m. newscast became 13 WHAM News at 10 on Fox Rochester, and the station began airing a morning newscast from 7–9 a.m., Good Day Rochester; both newscasts were effectively relocated from WHAM-DT2.[8]

News team[edit]

Anchors

  • Norma Holland - weekday mornings (also Many Voices, Many Visions host)
  • Doug Emblidge - weekday mornings (reporter and heard on WQBW-FM 95.1)
  • Jennifer Johnson - weekday mornings
  • Adam Chodak - weekday mornings also weekends at 10:00 and reporter
  • Ginny Ryan - weeknights at 10:00

Weather team

  • Glenn Johnson (NWA and AMS Seals of Approval) - Chief seen weeknights at 10:00
  • Mark McLean (AMS Seal of Approval) - Director of Weather Services seen weekends at 10:00
  • Marty Snyder (AMS Seal of Approval) - weekday mornings (also heard on WHAM-AM 1180)

Sports team

  • Mike Catalana - Director seen weeknights at 10:00 (also "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" segment producer)
  • Toby Motyka - sports anchor; weekends at 10:00 (WUHF); also weekday reporter
  • Jon Doss - reporter and fill-in anchor

Reporters

  • Jerry Manley - "Soul Plates" segment producer
  • Patrice Walsh
  • Sean Carroll
  • Jane Flasch
  • Evan White
  • Angela Hong
  • Alexis Arnold
  • Kelsie Smith

Notable former WUHF-TV on-air staff[edit]

  • Donna Dedee (Doyle) - news director/anchor (1995-2001; now CEO of School of the Holy Childhood in Henrietta)
  • John DiTullio - sports anchor (1997-2003; now host of "The John DiTullio Show" on Sportsradio 1280 WHTK in Rochester)
  • Cory Hepola - sports anchor/reporter (2008-2011; now with CSN Houston)
  • Jenna Wolfe - sports anchor (1998-1999; now with NBC's Today)[9]

References[edit]

External links[edit]