|Slidell/New Orleans, Louisiana|
|City of license||Slidell, Louisiana|
|Branding||"WUPL 54", or "My 54"|
|Channels||Digital: 24 (UHF)
Virtual: 54 (PSIP)
|Translators||WBXN-CD 18 New Orleans|
(Belo TV, Inc.)
|First air date||June 1, 1995|
|Call letters' meaning||UPN (referring to former affiliation)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
54 (UHF, 1995–2009)
|Former affiliations||UPN (1995–2006)|
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
WUPL-TV, virtual channel 54 (UHF digital channel 24), is a MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States that is licensed to the Northshore community of Slidell. The station is owned by Gannett Company, as part of a duopoly with CBS affiliate WWL-TV (channel 4). The two stations share studios and offices located on Rampart Street in the historic French Quarter, and its transmitter is located in Gretna, Louisiana.
The station's digital signal on UHF 24, is multiplexed:
|54.1||1080i||16:9||WUPL-HD||Main WUPL programming / MyNetworkTV|
WUPL shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 54, 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 24. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display WUPL's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 54.
The station carries high definition programming in the 1080i resolution format rather than in 720p, MyNetworkTV's default HD resolution format, as WWL (and the majority of all former Belo stations, regardless of network affiliation) carries its HD programming in the 1080i format.
The station first signed on the air on June 1, 1995 as the market's UPN affiliate. Along with programming from UPN, the station ran a general entertainment format, offering vintage off-network sitcoms, talk shows, court shows, and other syndicated shows. WUPL was sold to Cox Enterprises in 1997, which in turn sold the station to Paramount Stations Group, which made WUPL a UPN owned-and-operated station.
Viacom, the corporate parent of Paramount Stations Group, merged with CBS in 2000. Despite Viacom's ownership of WUPL, the market's CBS affiliation remained on WWL-TV, the highest-rated television station in New Orleans and CBS' strongest affiliate for over 20 years. Viacom briefly considered buying WWL-TV, creating a duopoly with WUPL. However, after Belo Corporation turned down Viacom's offer, Viacom decided instead to sell WUPL to Belo. WUPL and WWL-TV became sister stations under Belo ownership. Before then, WUPL was one of two network-owned stations in New Orleans at the time (then-WB affiliate WNOL-TV, owned by The WB's part-owner, the Tribune Company, was the other).
On January 24, 2006, Time Warner and CBS Corporation (the latter of which took over WUPL and UPN after Viacom split into two companies one month earlier) announced that both companies would partner to launch The CW Television Network, as a replacement for The WB and UPN that would debut on September 18, 2006, featuring a mix of programs carried over from those two networks and newer series. Through a ten-year affiliation agreement between the network and 16 of Tribune Broadcasting's 19 WB affiliates, WNOL-TV was announced as The CW's New Orleans affiliate. Several weeks later, on February 9, CBS filed a lawsuit against Belo Corporation over the failure to close on the sale of WUPL. The deal was slated to close by the end of 2005, but skidded to a halt when Hurricane Katrina devastated the market in late August. Though the lawsuit provided some doubt, it was announced that WUPL would become an affiliate of MyNetworkTV on July 12, 2006. Since News Corporation owns Fox and MyNetworkTV, CBS originally relented on allowing any of its UPN affiliates to affiliate with the new network because The CW did not affiliate with any of News Corporation's UPN stations.
On February 26, 2007, Belo announced that it would go forward with the purchase of WUPL from CBS. A Belo press release also said the sale – which has already received FCC approval – "settles litigation between Belo and CBS over the purchase that arose after Hurricane Katrina." At that time, Belo closed on WUPL, and later acquired its low-power repeater, WBXN-CA (channel 18; previously a separate station, K10NG, affiliated with The Box and later MTV2) on April 20, 2007. In mid-April 2007, Belo moved WUPL's operations into the WWL-TV facility. The URL for the former WUPL website, WUPLTV.com, later served as a redirect to the main page of the WWL-TV website; it now redirects to a separate section of the WWL-TV website. WUPL may take on the responsibility of airing CBS primetime shows when WWL-TV is not able to such as in the event of extended breaking news or severe weather coverage. On June 13, 2013, the Gannett Company announced that it would acquire Belo for $1.5 billion. The sale was completed on December 23.
Since early 2005, WUPL has broadcast CBS's morning programs, The Early Show (until 2012), and currently CBS This Morning (which WWL-TV pre-empts in favor of its 4½-hour long local morning newscast). WUPL also carried The Daily Buzz, both it and CBS' morning news programs aired on the station under the umbrella title My Morning News. Currently, the station only carries CBS This Morning, with Better leading into the program.
On June 4, 2007, WWL-TV began producing airing a half-hour 9 p.m. newscast for WUPL called My54 Eyewitness News at 9 to compete against WVUE's longer established hour-long in-house newscast and a WGNO-produced half-hour 9 p.m. newscast on CW affiliate WNOL-TV. The newscast featured the same anchor team as WWL-TV's 10 p.m. newscast Eyewitness News Nightwatch. Unlike the 9 p.m. newscast on WVUE, the WUPL newscast aired on weeknights only. The WNOL newscast was cancelled after the June 4, 2010 edition due to dismal ratings; by that time, the WWL-produced newscast on WUPL had passed the WNOL newscast at a distant second behind WVUE.
The WWL-produced 9 p.m. newscast ended its run on WUPL after the April 26, 2013 edition due to consistently low ratings; three days later on April 29, it was replaced by The 504, a pre-recorded interview show hosted by WWL-TV morning co-anchor Melanie Herbert.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WUPL
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- 'Gilmore Girls' meet 'Smackdown'; CW Network to combine WB, UPN in CBS-Warner venture beginning in September, CNNMoney.com, January 24, 2006.
- UPN and WB to Combine, Forming New TV Network, The New York Times, January 24, 2006.
- Nice Price, Broadcasting & Cable, February 19, 2006.
-  "Belo Nabs WUPL-TV, CBS' New Orleans Affil." By Katy Bachman, MEDIAWEEK.
- Belo Purchases WUPL-TV, Expanding Its Presence in New Orleans. 02/26/07 Belo press release. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
- "Gannett to buy TV station owner Belo, which owns WWL-TV, for $1.5 billion". The Times-Picayune. Associated Press. June 13, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
- Gannett Completes Its Acquisition of Belo, TVNewsCheck, Retrieved 23 December, 2013
- WUPL-TV Announces Launch of Eyewitness News at 9 Belo press release, May 30, 2007.
- Walker, Dave (April 25, 2013). "WWL-TV-produced 9 p.m. WUPL newscast to be replaced by Melanie Hebert-hosted 'The 504'". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
- WUPLTV.com - Official WUPL-TV website
- WWLTV.com - Official WWL-TV website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WUPL
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WUPL-TV