WYTV

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WYTV
WYTV-TV logo.png Wytv dt2 2012.png WUPW-DT3 Bounce Youngstown.png
Youngstown, Ohio
Branding 33 News
Slogan We Believe in This Valley
Channels Digital: 36 (UHF)
Virtual: 33 (PSIP)
Subchannels 33.1 ABC
33.2 MyNetworkTV
33.3 Bounce TV
Owner Vaughan Media, LLC
(operated through SSA by LIN Media, LLC; to be operated by Media General)
(WYTV Television, LLC)
First air date April 4, 1953; 61 years ago (1953-04-04)
Call letters' meaning We're Youngstown TeleVision
Sister station(s) WKBN-TV, WYFX-LD
Former callsigns WKST-TV (1953-1964)
WYTV-TV (1964-1998)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
45 (UHF, 1953-1959)
33 (UHF, 1959-2009)
Former affiliations Fox (secondary, 1994-1998)
Transmitter power 1,000 kW
Height 177 m
Facility ID 4693
Transmitter coordinates 41°3′43″N 80°38′7″W / 41.06194°N 80.63528°W / 41.06194; -80.63528
Website wytv.com

WYTV is the ABC-affiliated television station for the Mahoning Valley of Northeastern Ohio and Northwestern Pennsylvania. Licensed to Youngstown, Ohio, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 36 (or virtual channel 33.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter on Shady Run Road in the city along East Midlothian Boulevard/OH 170.

Owned by Vaughan Media, LLC, WYTV is operated through a shared services agreement (SSA) by the LIN Media. This makes it sister to CBS affiliate WKBN-TV and low-powered Fox affiliate WYFX-LD. All three outlets share studios on Sunset Boulevard near Youngstown's Pleasant Grove section.

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
33.1 720p 16:9 WYTV-HD Main WYTV programming / ABC[1]
33.2 480i 4:3 My YTV WYTV-DT2 / MyNetwork TV
33.3 Bounce TV Bounce TV

High-definition programming[edit]

Syndicated Yes
Newscasts Yes

History[edit]

The station originated as WKST-TV with an analog signal on UHF channel 45. As the television partner to WKST radio, which still exists on AM 1200, it was licensed to New Castle, Pennsylvania and signed-on April 4, 1953. At that time, it was the only full-time ABC affiliate in Western Pennsylvania, as WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh did not sign-on until September 1958, nor did WJET-TV in Erie until 1966.

WKST-TV moved to UHF channel 33, in 1959, was re-licensed to Youngstown, and became WYTV in 1964. After moving channels, WYTV was replaced on channel 45 by independent station WXTV which moved from channel 73 and remained on-the-air until late 1962. That station had scheduled programming from 6 to 11 pm and repeated the same programs multiple times within a given week. In 1973, channel 45 was re-allocated to nearby Alliance, Ohio as an educational channel and became WNEO.

WYTV also became known for its programming targeted to kids. This is an important footnote to the station's history, because daily children's programming was often aired by independent or public television stations. However, Youngstown never had a full-power independent station; other children's programming came from Cleveland independents WUAB and WKBF, which were piped in via cable. To fill this void, WYTV aired cartoons and other kid-themed programming between the "after school" hours of 4 and 6pm, a somewhat unusual move since the usual fare among its competitors was first-run sitcoms, syndicated talk shows, courtroom dramas, and the like.

It once aired a kids' show during the 1980s entitled 33 Powwww which consisted of a "voice-activated" video game powered by the Mattel Intellivision. Viewers would call in to play this game and win prizes. Cartoons were also aired during the show. The TV POWWW concept was a syndicated franchise seen on television stations throughout the United States such as WCLQ in Cleveland (now WQHS-TV). WYTV also has produced the local quiz show YSU Academic Challenge in which high school and middle school students from all over the area answer questions for prizes.

The station was Youngstown's first Fox network affiliate from 1994 to 1998. WYTV pre-empted ABC programming whenever Fox programming aired. Youngstown did not have a full time Fox affiliate for the network's first decade, so WYTV joined the network as a secondary affiliate in part due to the network's acquisition of the rights to NFL football. In 1998, Youngstown got its own full-time affiliate when WKBN launched low-powered sister station WYFX-LP. WYTV was owned by Benedek Broadcasting since 1994 until the company's bankruptcy filing in 2002. Instead of being purchased by Gray Television, WYTV was bought by Chelsey Television, LLC and was managed by Barrington Broadcasting.[2] The station has applied to increase its digital signal to one megawatt at the end of the transition.[3]

WYTV was not among the ABC affiliates to pre-empt the Veterans Day airing of the film Saving Private Ryan in 2004 out of fears of being fined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for indecency in the wake of the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy, feeling that the film aired unedited on terrestrial television in the past without FCC repercussions.[4] Because WYTV did opt to air Saving Private Ryan, this gave viewers in the Columbus, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh television markets that were able to view WYTV either over-the-air or on cable television the option of watching the film, since Sinclair Broadcast Group, E. W. Scripps Company, and Hearst-Argyle Television (owners of WSYX, WEWS-TV, and WTAE-TV, respectively) didn't allow any of their ABC affiliates to air the film. It was later determined that the movie showing was not a violation of FCC regulations.

On February 6, 2007, Chelsey Television filed an application with the FCC to sell WYTV to Parkin Broadcasting of California, which then leased out the station to WKBN/WYFX owner New Vision Television under a shared services agreement—essentially a local marketing agreement under different legal terms. At the time, some critics wondered if the shared services agreement was legal, since the Youngstown market only has four full-powered television stations (WFMJ-TV, WKBN, WYTV, and PBS station WNEO)--not enough to legally permit a duopoly under FCC rules. New Vision and Parkin share an office building in Los Angeles and have a "cozy relationship," leading to speculation that Parkin is simply a shell corporation that enables New Vision to circumvent FCC ownership rules. This is not unlike what Sinclair Broadcast Group does with Cunningham Broadcasting, which is a shell corporation of Sinclair. Nonetheless, the FCC approved the shared services agreement on July 30, 2007.[5] WYTV then moved from its 3800 Shady Run Road studios over to the WKBN/WYFX facilities in Boardman Township.

The 24-hour local weather channel had also been offered on the digital tier of Time Warner Cable at one point in time. Originally called "Weather on the 3s", the channel shows continuous weather updates through WYTV's relationship with WeatherBug. It was redesigned on February 24, 2009 when WKBN and WYFX had their on-air look redesigned and "Weather on the 3s" was made to match those two station's on-air look. It was renamed "My Valley Weather" to coincide with the launch of the combined weather website for WYTV and WKBN. This station is currently the only commercial outlet in the area with three digital subchannels. Along with sister station WKBN, WYTV plans on having two subchannels broadcasting in high-definition with MyYTV broadcasting in HD. The future of the "My Valley Weather" subchannel is uncertain due to MyYTV proposed upgrade to HD. As of February 2012, My YTV is still in standard definition, however,[6] and its HD feed is currently available only on cable.

On May 7, 2012, LIN TV Corporation announced that it will acquire the New Vision Television station group for $330.4 million and the assumption of $12 million in debt. Along with the outright ownership of WKBN-TV, the agreement includes the acquisition of New Vision's shared services agreement with PBC Broadcasting (who is also transferring the licenses of the PBC-owned stations to Vaughan Media), giving LIN operational control of WYTV. On October 2, the FCC approved the proposed sale to LIN TV.[7] The transaction is expected to close in late 2012.[8]

On July 1st 2013, WYTV added Bounce TV to 33.3, displacing the MyValley Weather channel.

On March 21, 2014, Media General announced that it would purchase LIN Media and its stations, including WKBN-TV, WYFX-LD, and the SSA with WYTV, in a $1.6 billion merger.[9][10]

News operation[edit]

News open.

WYTV garners significant ratings numbers with its weekday morning newscasts, titled "33 News Daybreak." This newscast is unique when compared to others across the United States. Anchor Len Rome and Meteorologist Jim Loboy have successfully implemented a morning radio format of information and fun.

For a period as a separate station, WYTV produced a prime time newscast at 10 on its MyNetworkTV second digital subchannel. This competed with another broadcast airing at the same time on Fox affiliate WYFX that was produced by WKBN.

In December 2007, the news departments of WYTV and WKBN physically merged. As a result, over forty personnel at WYTV and six at WKBN were laid-off.[11] Under the shared services agreement, the senior station partner began producing newscasts on this ABC affiliate from a secondary set at the Sunset Boulevard studios. A previous plan calling for WYTV to build satellite streetside studios in Downtown Youngstown were abandoned due to the consolidation. The current operational status of its Doppler weather radar based at the old facility on Shady Run Road is unknown. The two stations gradually had their on-air looks mirror each other while their respective web sites became identical. New logos for the stations and updated websites debuted in January 2009 including combined operations for sports and weather.

Due to the duopoly, WYTV and WKBN maintain separate primary anchors for news, weather, and sports during the week but share most general assignment reporters and video footage. The two initially maintained separate web sites as well, however after LIN Media took over ownership of WKBN & WYFX and operations of WYTV, WYTV's website became a redirect to WKBN's website with only WYTV's station identification information available on WKBN's web site.

On May 6, 2010, the two outlets upgraded their combined news operation to high definition complete with new graphics on WYTV. There are news and weather sharing partnerships with WNCD-FM 93.3, WAKZ-FM 95.9, WMXY-FM 98.9, WBBG-FM 106.1, WKBN-AM 570, and WNIO-AM 1390.

In November of 2013, WYTV along with WKBN debuted a branded tool for showing live broadcasts from a moving vehicle. "33 Live Drive Action Cam" is a Jeep Patriot that can chase storms, show road conditions and respond to breaking news.

Also in November 2013, WYTV started separating its content from that of WKBN & WYFX.

Newscast titles[edit]

  • 33 Eyewitness News (1970s-1998)
  • NewsChannel 33 (1998-2004)
  • 33 News (2004-present)

Station Slogans[edit]

  • We Know What Matters (1989-1991)
  • Your 24-Hour News Source (1991–1998)
  • On Your Side (1998–2001)
  • What Everybody Wants to Know! (2001–2002)
  • Straight to the Point News (2002–2003)
  • Straight to the Point (2003–2007)
  • We Believe in this Valley (2007–present)

Newscast themes[edit]

  • Count on Us by Telesound (1981-198?)
  • Keeping You in Touch by TM Productions (198?-1986)
  • The Image Leader by Soundtrack (1986–1989)
  • We Know What Matters by The Coast Productions (1989–1994)
  • WYTV 1994 News Theme by Unknown Composer (1994-1997)
  • Primetime News by Non-Stop Music (1997–1999)
  • Signature by Stephen Arnold Music (1999–2002)
  • WYTV 2002 News Theme by Axcess Broadcasting Group (2002–2004)
  • Convergence by Stephen Arnold Music (2004–present)

News team[edit]

Anchors

  • Len Rome - weekday mornings and health reporter (also "Good Question" segment producer and feature reporter)
  • Stan Boney - weeknights and Academic Challenge host
  • Lauren Wood - weekends and video journalist

Weather Team

  • Meteorologist Paul Wetzl - weeknights
  • Meteorologist Jim Loboy - weekday mornings

Sports Team

  • Chad Krispinsky - weeknights at 6 and 11 (also First and Goal and Game of the Week host)
  • Chase Evans - weekend sports anchor and sports reporter

Video journalists

  • Greta Mittereder - weekday mornings
  • Cory Froomkin - weekday mornings & fill-in meteorologist
  • Jeff Levkulich - Trumbull County Bureau Chief
  • Gerry Ricciutti - reporter
  • Miriam Hobbs - reporter
  • Ryan Halicki - VJ & meteorologist
  • Dan Martin
  • Julie Bercik

References[edit]

External links[edit]