Battle Creek, Michigan
|City of license||Grand Rapids, Michigan|
|Branding||WXSP The X (general)
24 Hour News 8 (newscasts)
|Slogan||Watching Out for You|
|Channels||Digital: 15 (UHF)
Virtual: 15 (PSIP)
15.2 Doppler weather radar
(WOOD Television, LLC)
|First air date||July 23, 1986|
|Call letters' meaning||WXSP: Xtreme and SPorts (for local sports coverage)
other stations: WO + city of license initialized
|Sister station(s)||WOOD-TV, WOTV|
|Former callsigns||W29AD (1986–1988)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
29 (UHF, 1986–1988)
15 (UHF, 1988–2010)
|Former affiliations||World Harvest Television (1986–1995)
local weather (1995–1999)
|Transmitter power||15 kW|
WXSP-CD, UHF digital channel 15, is a MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States. The Class A low-power station is owned by Media General, and is a sister station to NBC affiliate WOOD-TV (channel 8) and Battle Creek-based ABC affiliate WOTV (channel 41). All three stations share studios located on College Avenue Southeast in the Heritage Hill section of Grand Rapids, WXSP's transmitter is located in Walker (along I-96). Syndicated programming on this station includes TMZ on TV, Family Feud, The People's Court and Community.
Overnights, WXSP-CD airs a live feed of WOOD-TV's Doppler weather radar (known as "Storm Track Live"), along with NOAA Weather Radio broadcast audio from . This can be seen full-time on WXSP's second digital subchannel, along with WOOD-DT3 and WOTV-DT2. The station may sometimes air NBC or ABC programming whenever WOOD-TV and WOTV preempt such shows for breaking news, local specials, or the annual North American International Auto Show charity preview. However, some of the preempted ABC programs are available on WZZM-TV (channel 13).
Part of WXSP's call letters comes from the word "sports"; incidentally, the station is known for its coverage of local sports in both the Grand Rapids and Detroit areas. It also carries the University of Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans basketball and football teams. These broadcasts give the station more viewership than any other programming on WXSP.
|Call letters||Channel||City of license||Transmitter location||Note|
|WOBC-CD||14||Battle Creek||behind Family Altar Chapel on 6½ Mile Road|
|WOMS-CD||29||Muskegon||Egelston Township's Wolf Lake section||airs Doppler weather radar on second digital subchannel|
|WOHO-CD||33||Holland||in Zeeland along I-196|
|WOKZ-CD||50||Kalamazoo||at 1560/WNWN's studios on M-43/West Main Street in Westwood section of city|
The station signed on the air on July 23, 1986 as W29AD, broadcasting on UHF channel 29. It moved to UHF channel 15 and acquired the W15AM calls on January 12, 1988. In the station's early days, it was a translator for World Harvest Television from WHME-TV in South Bend, Indiana, which is owned by LeSEA Broadcasting. The station eventually switched to LIN TV's Local Weather Station (LWS) format with the call sign WOWD-LP (variation on WOOD-TV). WOWD and its low-power network of repeaters aired 24-hour weather information direct from WOOD-TV's weather center. This was in an early pre-digital format comparable to the now defunct NBC Weather Plus.
The weather programming aired from the mid-1990s until it switched to a general entertainment programming format a few years later. It featured graphic displays of various current conditions and forecasts as well as periodic forecast segments from WOOD-TV's meteorologists. Short commercial breaks would feature local television spots as well as LWS's station identification. A format change took place when it became a UPN affiliate on August 31, 1999, prompting the move of LWS to the early morning hours and the adoption of new calls, WXSP-LP. The call-sign WXSP-CA was acquired after it became a Class A station, which meets stricter requirements than most low-powered television stations.
On January 24, 2006, the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner and CBS Corporation announced that the two companies would shut down The WB and UPN and combine the networks' respective programming to create a new "fifth" network called The CW. On February 22, 2006, News Corporation announced the launch of a new "sixth" network called MyNetworkTV, which would be operated by Fox Television Stations and its syndication division Twentieth Television. MyNetworkTV was created to compete against another upstart network that would launch at the same time that September, The CW (an amalgamated network that was originally consisted primarily of UPN and The WB's higher-rated programs) as well as to give UPN and WB stations that were not mentioned as becoming CW affiliates another option besides converting to independent stations.
CBS affiliate WWMT (channel 3) announced on April 4 that it would affiliate with The CW on a new second digital subchannel. WXSP became available as a MyNetworkTV affiliate partly because the (then-)WB affiliate WZPX-TV (channel 43) was also an i: Independent Television (now Ion Television) owned-and-operated station and ran WB programming on a 22-hour delay (prime-time shows ran at 6 p.m. the night after the original broadcast and the Kids' WB Saturday block aired at 5 a.m. on Sunday mornings). As a result, Southwestern Michigan is one of the largest markets in which The CW was only available via digital subchannel/cable and on an entirely new station. It was reported that WXSP was in discussions to join The CW, but due to the station's heavy reliance upon professional sports during primetime and the network's concerns over pre-empted programming, the two sides could not come to an agreement.
For the final two weeks of UPN's existence, Fox affiliate WXMI (channel 17) aired WWE Smackdown until WWMT-DT2's launch. WXSP joined MyNetworkTV on September 5, while WWMT-DT2 signed on with The CW on September 18. On July 21, 2010, WXSP flash-cut from analog to a digital signal. The call letters were changed to WXSP-CD on August 30. In late-October 2010, LIN TV discontinued the simulcast of WXSP on WOTV-DT2, replacing it with a new digital subchannel network, TheCoolTV (which it discontinued on July 15, 2013). On July 1, 2013, LIN TV ended the simulcast of WXSP on WOOD-DT2, replacing that signal with Bounce TV.
On March 21, 2014, it was announced that Media General would acquire LIN. The deal closed on December 19, bringing WXSP, along with WOOD and WOTV, under common ownership with CBS affiliate WLNS-TV in Lansing.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|15.1||720p||16:9||WXSP CD||Main WXSP-CD programming / MyNetworkTV|
|15.2||480i||Radar||Storm Team 8 Live Doppler Network|
Over the years, the nightly primetime slot at 10 p.m. has been very competitive among the market's television stations. Fox affiliate WXMI was the first outlet to launch a local newscast in the time period on January 11, 1999. It would not be until October 21, 2007 when WOOD-TV sought to offer an alternative to WXMI's popular broadcast, which by this point, had expanded to one hour every night. WXSP debuted the area's second news broadcast at 10 p.m., which can be seen every night for 30 minutes as opposed to a full hour.
The broadcast carries the same 24 Hour News 8 branding and graphics package, resembling shows seen on WOOD-TV. Seeking to offer yet another choice for early late-evening newscasts, WWMT debuted its own nightly 10 p.m. newscast on its CW-affiliated second digital subchannel on September 18, 2008. On October 5, 2009, WOOD-TV upgraded its newscasts to 16:9 widescreen enhanced definition. Although not truly high definition, broadcasts match the ratio of widescreen television sets. WXSP's 24 Hour News 8 at 10 was not included in the switch because the station's digital signal was only available in standard definition. A further transition to full high definition newscasts on WOOD-TV occurred on October 22, 2011. However, like the last change, WXSP's broadcasts remained in pillarboxed 4:3 standard definition.
During weather forecast segments, the station uses WOOD-TV's Doppler weather radar (known on-air as "Storm Track Live") that is based on top of the Oakwood Manor Apartments next to the television studios.
- '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.
- "News Corp. to launch new mini-network for UPN stations". USA Today. February 22, 2006. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- News Corp. Unveils MyNetworkTV, Broadcasting & Cable, February 22, 2006.
- Sruthi Ramakrishnan (21 March 2014). "Media General to buy LIN Media for $1.6 billion". Reuters. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
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