|Type||Broadcast television network (classic TV series)|
|Availability||Nationwide (available on OTA digital television and LPTV
(covering 96% of the U.S.);
also via AT&T U-verse in select markets)
|Founded||January 5, 2003|
|Slogan||Memorable Entertainment Television (primary)
That's Memorable, That's Me (secondary)
(Vice Chairman, Weigel Broadcasting)
|480i (SDTV, widescreen)
(downgraded to 4:3 on most over-the-air affiliates)
|Affiliates||List of affiliates|
Me TV (an abbreviation for Memorable Entertainment Television) is an American broadcast television network that is owned by Weigel Broadcasting and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Marketed as "The Definitive Destination for Classic TV", the network airs a variety of classic television programs from the 1950s through the 1990s, which are sourced primarily from the libraries of CBS Television Distribution, NBCUniversal Television Distribution and 20th Television. Through its ownership by Weigel, MeTV is sister to three other networks that source their programming content from the network's distributors: rerun-focused networks Heroes & Icons and Decades (the latter operated as a joint venture with CBS Television Stations), and the film-focused Movies! (a joint venture with Fox Television Stations).
MeTV is carried on digital subchannels of affiliated television stations in most markets; however, some MeTV-affiliated stations carry the network as a primary affiliation on their main channel, and a small number of stations air select programs from the network alongside their regular general entertainment schedules. The network is also available nationwide on free-to- air C band satellite via SES-1 in the DVB-S format, and in some markets on AT&T U-verse channels 136 (in standard definition) and 1136 (in high definition). MeTV's operations are based out of Weigel Broadcasting's corporate headquarters on North Halsted Street in Chicago, Illinois.
- 1 Background
- 2 Programming
- 3 Affiliates
- 4 Related services
- 5 References
- 6 External links
MeTV was originally developed as a programming block that debuted on January 6, 2003 on Class A television station WFBT-CA (channel 23) in Chicago, Illinois, an independent station owned by Weigel that otherwise maintained a format featuring programming aimed at the market's various ethnic demographics. The block – which initially aired for three hours daily from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m., before expanding to seven hours a day (from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) by 2004 – featured a broad mix of series from the 1950s to the 1980s, which included among others The Honeymooners, I Love Lucy, Perry Mason, The Carol Burnett Show, One Day at a Time and Hogan's Heroes; although the programs that aired as part of the lineup changed occasionally.
On January 1, 2005, Weigel rechristened the Chicago low-power station as WWME-CA and removed the ethnic programming that filled its late afternoon and nighttime schedule, adopting the MeTV format and on-air branding full-time. Channel 23's former ethnic programming and WFBT-CA call letters were transferred to its sister station on UHF channel 48, which used the W48DD call letters prior to the format change.
On August 4, 2007, WWME launched a weekend morning block that primarily featured Spanish dubs of select classic series, "Sí! MeTV" (the first two parts of the moniker were based on the phrase "see me", although "Sí" is the Spanish word for "yes"). Most of the programs carried as part of the "Sí! MeTV" lineup – which ran on the station until its discontinuance on January 25, 2009 – were sourced from the Universal Television library (including Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess, Miami Vice, Quantum Leap and The Incredible Hulk), with syndication restrictions imposed on the original English-language versions resulting in some of the programs being made available to the station only in Spanish.
Weigel expanded the format to its station on UHF channel 48 on March 1, 2008 – which adopted the WMEU-CA call letters at that time – under the "MeToo" extension brand, with the two low-power stations also being broadcast locally on separate digital subchannels of Weigel's flagship station WCIU-TV (channel 26). The two stations eventually carved out their own identities, culminating in a format shift on September 14, 2009, when WWME began to exclusively carry off-network sitcoms (such as I Love Lucy, Leave it to Beaver, The Andy Griffith Show, The Bernie Mac Show, All in the Family, The Three Stooges, The Honeymooners and Frasier), while MeToo on WMEU began running only off-network drama series.
On March 1, 2008, Weigel expanded the MeTV format to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where it began airing on the third digital subchannel of the group's CBS affiliate in that market, WDJT-TV (channel 58). The Milwaukee version of the service featured much of the same programming as that aired on the Chicago outlets (some of which aired in different time slots than on WWME and WMEU), as well as certain programs that were exclusive to the Milwaukee service.
The following month on April 21, Weigel moved the MeTV programming to its own dedicated full-powered channel – WJJA (channel 49) in Racine, a Jewelry Television-affiliated station that the group had recently purchased from Kinlow Broadcasting and had its call letters changed to WBME-TV on April 29. It later began transmitting the station's signal from a new digital transmitter on the Weigel tower in Milwaukee's Lincoln Park on October 20 of that year, after WBME officially transferred its operations into the West Allis studios of WDJT and sister stations WMLW-CA and WYTU-LP. MeTV continued to be carried on digital channel 58.3 until October 30, 2008, when it was replaced by newly launched sister network This TV on the same channel. The station also aired public affairs programming including Racine & Me, and because of its full-power status at the time of the move of MeTV programming to channel 49, programming compliant with FCC educational programming requirements such as Green Screen Adventures (a children's program produced for Weigel's Chicago flagship station WCIU-TV) and Saved by the Bell.
On November 22, 2010, Weigel announced that it would take the MeTV concept national and turn it into a full-fledged network with a standardized schedule, available to any station that wished to affiliate. As a result, MeTV would compete fully with the Retro Television Network and the then yet-to-launch Antenna TV, while complementing successful then-sister network This TV, which carried library product from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (with a limited number of classic television series featured alongside its movie-dominated schedule) and – until Tribune Broadcasting took over Weigel's operational interest in This TV on November 1, 2013 – children's programming from Cookie Jar Entertainment. The national MeTV network launched on December 15, 2010. As with This TV, MGM handles distribution of the network to prospective affiliate stations.
As part of the standardization with the new network, Chicago's local version of MeTV was integrated with MeToo, combining a selection of comedy and drama programming that had respectively been featured on WWME and WMEU onto the latter station's schedule under the MeToo brand as a locally programmed service. In the Chicago market, the national MeTV is carried on WCIU subchannel 26.3 and WWME-CA (the latter of which serves as its flagship station, and through its ownership by Weigel, an owned-and-operated station of the network); the new MeToo moved to WCIU subchannel 26.4 and remained on WMEU-CA.
Low-powered WBME-CD in Milwaukee carries the national feed of MeTV in its entirety on digital channel 41.1; as a full-power station, prior to an August 2012 license swap that saw sister independent station WMLW move to full-power channel 49, while WBME moved to low-power channel 41 (the latter of which resulted in MeTV returning to its former secondary 58.2 slot to allow the latter to reach the entire market and to provide cable providers with a quality source of its signal), Weigel-owned ABC affiliate WBND-LD (channel 57) in South Bend began carrying MeTV on its 57.2 subchannel on December 15, 2010.
On April 1, 2013, Nielsen began to tabulate national viewership for MeTV, including the network in its prime time and total day ratings reports. In February 2016, the network began to transmit its master feed in 16:9 widescreen standard definition (which is also the preferred aspect ratio for sister networks Heroes & Icons and Decades), after conducting beta-testing in the format on WWME-CD months earlier. Although most affiliates continue to carry the MeTV feed in the 4:3 format due to technical considerations regarding transmission of their primary channel in high-definition and/or carriage of other subchannels, the switch to a widescreen feed was done mainly to accommodate national and local advertisers that produce commercials exclusively in the 16:9 format and prefer not to have their advertising letterboxed into a 4:3 presentation, and stations which carry newscasts and other local programming on their MeTV subchannels that prefer to present them in widescreen. With the conversion, MeTV also began to carry remastered widescreen prints of some programs (such as CHiPs, The Incredible Hulk and Wonder Woman) and present its program promotions in the 16:9 format.
MeTV's program schedule relies primarily on the extensive library of television programs that are currently owned by CBS Television Distribution, NBCUniversal Television Distribution and 20th Television, along with select programs from other distributors; as such, no originally-produced programming appears on the network, though MeTV does air a program produced by parent company Weigel Broadcasting (Svengoolie). Similar to the former local MeTV and MeToo formats, the network maintains a broad variety of classic television programs, carrying approximately 60 program titles on its weekly schedule; the network's slate of programming is regularly altered at the start of its fall, winter and summer programming seasons, which respectively begin on Labor Day, New Year's Day and Memorial Day. Since MeTV broadcasts programs that it acquired through the syndication market, episodes of these shows are usually edited to fit into the allotted running time with commercials factored in.
The network does not air a split-screen credit sequence or feature voiceovers promoting upcoming network programming during the closing credits (borrowing a format common in local broadcast syndication). The network's primary continuity announcer is Chicago-based voice-over artist Carol Gallagher, who has served as MeTV's staff announcer since its existence as a local programming format on WWME-CA and WMEU-CA, prior to its establishment as a national network; longtime voice-over artist Richard Malmos, who has been the continuity announcer for Weigel's flagship station WCIU since December 1994 (and is also known as the continuity announcer for many stations owned by, among other groups, the Sinclair Broadcast Group), is the network's secondary announcer.
Unlike other digital multicast networks such as former sister network This TV and competitor Antenna TV, MeTV does not usually run day-long marathons of its programs on major national holidays. Instead, the network airs holiday-themed episodes of its shows on some holidays (such as Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas) as part of its regular schedule, which air in the program's normal time slot but are shown out-of-order from their regular episode rotation. Since its inception as a national network, MeTV has also aired marathons of The Doris Day Show on Christmas Eve as well as Christmas-themed specials during the month of December. In December 2014, the network aired Christmas episodes of its programs each weeknight from 10:00–11:00 p.m. Eastern Time, as part of the "MeTV Christmas Conundrum" stunt block, along with airing Christmas episodes of its programs from late Christmas Eve through Christmas night (this was repeated in 2015, albeit in an earlier prime time slot, featuring Christmas-themed episodes of series feature on the network's schedule and other shows from its program distributors that were not part of the regular lineup).
The network occasionally pays tribute to a recently deceased actor or actress with a marathon showcasing episodes of their past television roles (either those that the performer had starred in as a regular or appeared as a guest star) to which MeTV has access to broadcast through its distributors, pre-empting episodes originally scheduled to air that day; however, these have aired in a significantly decreased fashion since the discontinuance of the "MeTV Sunday Showcase" block in September 2012.
Classic television series
MeTV has program licensing agreements with 20th Television (which includes series produced by 20th Century Fox Television, Four Star Television and MTM Enterprises), CBS Television Distribution (which includes most of the Paramount Television library that was acquired by CBS following the 2006 split of its namesake corporate parent and Viacom into separate companies, along with series from Desilu Productions, Bing Crosby Productions, Don Fedderson Productions, QM Productions, Spelling Television and Republic Pictures Television) and carries select titles from Warner Bros. Television Distribution. MeTV also shares broadcast rights to programs from the NBCUniversal Television Distribution library (including shows from Universal Television, Revue Studios, NBC Studios and MCA Television) and Sony Pictures Television with Antenna TV, as well as select titles from the Peter Rodgers Organization with the Retro Television Network.
The network's programming lineup covers a mix of sitcoms, dramas and westerns from the 1950s to the 1990s, and (as of September 2016[update]) includes series such as Emergency; Our Miss Brooks; The Donna Reed Show; CHiPs; Gunsmoke; Bonanza; Perry Mason; The Brady Bunch; Batman; The Love Boat; I Love Lucy; The Beverly Hillbillies; M*A*S*H; Carol Burnett and Friends' and Gilligan's Island. Most of the series airing on the network have been widely syndicated on other television outlets in the United States and abroad, though a few series featured on the network (such as The Abbott and Costello Show, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Petticoat Junction and Naked City) have not been seen on television for several years or were syndicated on a fairly inconsistent basis.
MeTV regularly carries many of its programs in organized genre-based programming blocks, most of which use the "Me" moniker (in some cases, as an intentional pun) for brand unification purposes.
- MeTV's Sunday Funnies – Debuting on September 6, 2015, "MeTV's Sunday Funnies" is a weekly afternoon block of classic comedies (the title as well as promotions for the block refers to the extended comics section traditionally featured in the Sunday editions of local newspapers). Airing Sundays from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, the block is currently made up of Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, and back-to-episodes of I Love Lucy, The Love Boat and The Andy Griffith Show (the latter of which may be substituted on some affiliates by Mayberry R.F.D., due to existing local syndication clearances for Griffith).
- MeTV's Last Laugh – Debuting on September 6, 2015 as a companion block to "Sunday Funnies", "MeTV's Last Laugh" is a weekly nighttime block of classic sitcoms that usually airs from 10:00 p.m. Sunday nights to 5:00 a.m. Monday mornings Eastern Time. The block currently consists of The Odd Couple, The Honeymooners, Cheers, The Bob Newhart Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Taxi, Get Smart, Sledge Hammer!, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Car 54, Where Are You? and The Phil Silvers Show (the block is sometimes extended by a half-hour, starting at 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time, with an episode of M*A*S*H filling that half-hour on weeks when the network airs a 90-minute episodic film of Columbo).
- Wake Up With Me – "Wake Up With Me" debuted on September 1, 2014 as the branding for the latter portion of the network's morning block of sitcoms, airing each weekday from 5:00 to 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time (as of September 2016[update], the block is currently made up of Our Miss Brooks, The Donna Reed Show, Mr. Ed, I Love Lucy, The Brady Bunch, Petticoat Junction and The Beverly Hillbillies).
- CriME TV – Debuting on September 1, 2014, "CriME TV" is a midday block of crime dramas that currently airs Monday through Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Initially featuring Perry Mason (the only consistent member of the block), The Rockford Files and Dragnet, as of February 2016[update], the block is currently consists of Mason, Matlock (which debuted on August 31, 2015) and Diagnosis Murder (which replaced Quincy, M.E. after the latter program was removed from the MeTV lineup in February 2016, at which point fellow block charter member The Rockford Files was moved to overnights).
- Weekday "Rope" Opera – Debuting on December 15, 2010, the "Weekday 'Rope' Opera" (a pun on the soap opera genre standard in daytime television, in relation to the block's format) is a weekday afternoon lineup of classic western series (which, as of February 2016[update], currently consists of The Big Valley, Gunsmoke, Bonanza and The Rifleman) that airs Monday through Fridays from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
- MeTV's Most Wanted Westerns – A companion block to the "Weekday Rope Opera", "MeTV's Most Wanted" debuted on December 18, 2010. Airing each Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, it features various classic western series from the 1950s and 1960s (including Trackdown, Wagon Train, Have Gun -- Will Travel, Daniel Boone, The Big Valley, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Rawhide, Wanted: Dead or Alive, The Rifleman and The Wild Wild West), some of which are also carried as part of the "Weekday 'Rope' Opera" block.
- Super Sci-Fi Saturday Night/Red Eye Sci-Fi – "Super Sci-Fi Saturday Night" (originally known as "Saturday Night Fantasy Frontier" from its October 1, 2011 debut until September 2, 2012 and later as "Sci-Fi Saturday Night" from September 9, 2012 until August 29, 2014; "Red Eye Sci-Fi" became part of this lineup on September 10, 2016) is a weekly block of superhero and science fiction programs (currently featuring The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, Star Trek, Batman, Land of the Giants, The Time Tunnel, Lost in Space, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Planet of the Apes) from 7:00 p.m. Saturday nights to 6:00 a.m. Sunday mornings Eastern Time. The block is tentpoled by the Weigel-produced sci-fi/horror movie showcase Svengoolie at 10:00 p.m. Eastern; although in markets where a MeTV subchannel-only affiliate carries a prime time newscast during Svengoolie's normal time slot on that night, since September 2015, the network has provided an alternate feed of that program on a one-hour tape delay (along with an episode of Get Smart in the preceding half-hour).
- The Brady Brunch – Debuting on December 19, 2010, "The Brady Brunch" is a two-hour weekly block of episodes of The Brady Bunch, which air each Sunday midday from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
- The Summer of Me – Debuting on May 30, 2011, "The Summer of Me" is a special schedule of programming that runs annually from Memorial Day until the Sunday before Labor Day. It consists of a mix of series presently aired on MeTV's schedule already (some of which are broadcast in time slots differing from the prior "regular" fall/spring schedule), and series specifically added to the lineup for the summer schedule (some of which carried over to the network's fall lineup, although others are removed from the schedule at the conclusion of the summer season, at times rejoining the MeTV lineup at a later date).
- Sunday Night Noir – "Sunday Night Noir" was a weekly block featuring detective and suspense series that ran late Sunday nights/early Monday mornings from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time from October 2, 2011 to September 1, 2014. It featured programs from the aforementioned genres from the 1950s and 1960s (including Thriller, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Fugitive, Naked City, Peter Gunn, Mr. Lucky, Route 66 and The Saint), which – with the exception of the final season of The Fugitive and the last 2 seasons of "The Saint" – were all produced in black and white.
- MeTV Sunday Showcase – Running from September 9, 2012 to September 1, 2013, the "MeTV Sunday Showcase" was a four-hour anthology block that aired Sundays from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. It featured marathons of classic television series that were either linked by a theme (the themed marathons generally included the "Me" moniker in the title, such as "Come Fly with Me" for vacation-themed episodes) or by series.
- MeTV's Comedy Conundrum – "MeTV's Comedy Conundrum" was an hour-long block that featured double-runs of select sitcoms each weeknight during the 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time hour, which debuted on September 2, 2013 and ran until August 31, 2015 (during the final season of the block's run, it featured The Bob Newhart Show on Mondays, Taxi on Tuesdays. Cheers on Wednesdays, Welcome Back, Kotter on Thursdays and The Odd Couple on Fridays).
- Catch Me If You Can – "Catch Me If You Can" was a weekly block of 1970s and 1980s detective and police procedural series that debuted on September 8, 2013 and ran until August 30, 2015. Airing Sundays from 3:00 to 9:30 (or 10:00) p.m. Eastern Time, the block included among other series Remington Steele, The Streets of San Francisco, The Mod Squad, Hawaii Five-O and Black Sheep Squadron, and concluded with a feature-length Columbo telefilm. The afternoon programs featured on the block were replaced by the "MeTV's Sunday Funnies" block on September 6, 2015; however, Columbo remains part of the network's Sunday prime time schedule.
- Rescue Me – "Rescue Me" was a late afternoon block of drama series (airing weekdays from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time) centering around police and emergency responders, which ran from September 2014 to May 2015. The block initially consisted of Adam-12, Emergency! and CHiPs (back-to-back episodes of Adventures of Superman replaced Adam-12 during the 4:00 p.m. hour after that program moved to Cozi TV in January 2015, before turning over that slot to Star Trek and later an additional episode of Emergency!). The block was discontinued after CHiPs was temporarily removed from the network's lineup and replaced by Hogan's Heroes and Gilligan's Island during the 6:00 p.m. hour in May 2015 as part of that year's "Summer of Me" schedule; as of September 2016[update], Emergency! now airs during the first hour of the "Rescue Me" block's former time period, albeit not as part of a branded block.
- Me Wants YOU! – "Me Wants YOU!" was a block that primarily featured sitcoms themed around the Army and law enforcement (M*A*S*H, The Andy Griffith Show [or Mayberry R.F.D.] and Hogan's Heroes), which aired weeknights from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The block debuted on September 1, 2014 (when the network implemented its fall schedule that year) and ran until August 28, 2015.
- The Spies Who Love Me – Debuting on September 7, 2014 and running until August 31, 2015, "The Spies Who Love Me" was a four-hour weekly block of espionage-themed comedy and drama series (consisting of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mission: Impossible, Get Smart and The Saint) that aired late Sunday nights/early Monday mornings from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Eastern Time. The block was replaced by the comedy-focused "MeTV's Last Laugh" lineup on September 6, 2015.
- MeTV's Over Nightmares – Running from January 2015 to January 2016, "MeTV's Over Nightmares" was a block of horror and thriller-based series that aired early mornings from 2:30 to 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time Tuesday through Saturdays, originally following the MeTV Mystery Movie. It consisted of Night Gallery (which typically aired as a two-episode block, except on nights when the featured program on the Mystery Movie block ran only 90 minutes long, when an additional episode followed the film), The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and Thriller. The block was discontinued on January 29, 2016, with the time period being filled by a four-hour block of crime dramas in the overnight hours; as of September 2016[update], The Alfred Hitchcock Hour now airs at 1:00AM weeknights, while Night Gallery is now only carried as a filler program following abbreviated editions of the "Mystery Movie" block and Thriller no longer airs at all.
Despite access to program content from the Universal Television, CBS Television and 20th Century Fox libraries, movies have a relatively limited presence on MeTV's weekly schedule. The network airs the Rich Koz-hosted horror and science fiction film showcase Svengoolie on Saturday evenings, which is syndicated by sister independent station WCIU-TV and features film releases from Universal Studios.
From September 2013 to January 2014, MeTV aired a prime time film block on Friday evenings, "The MeTV Made for TV Movie", which showcased made-for-television films from the 1970s to the 1990s that were originally seen on NBC, ABC and CBS; the block later began to include movie- length blocks of certain series available on the MeTV schedule. Until September 2013, the network also aired Laurel and Hardy movies and shorts (which are distributed by Sonar Entertainment) on Sunday mornings.
On January 1, 2015, the movie-length block concept used by "The MeTV Made-for-TV Movie" was revived as part of the "MeTV Mystery Movie", a weekday late-night showcase of made-for-TV mystery movies based on the mystery anthology series concept popularized by NBC during the 1970s, consisting of a rotation of five series (McMillan & Wife, Banacek, McCloud and Columbo – all four of which originally aired as part of the NBC Mystery Movie wheel series during the 1970s – and the Perry Mason television films of the 1980s and early 1990s), which each series rotating each week and airing a single episode per night on its featured week. Initially airing following the 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time broadcast of Perry Mason, the block was moved to an early morning slot (at 3:00 a.m. Eastern Time) on February 9, 2016.
In order to comply with educational programming requirements mandated by the Federal Communications Commission's Children's Television Act on behalf of the network's affiliates, MeTV carried an hour-long block of Green Screen Adventures (Weigel's Chicago-based program originally meant for local viewing) on Saturday mornings and a two-hour block of the teen sitcom Saved by the Bell (which has long been used to meet E/I requirements, including by the original Chicago MeTV on WWME-CA prior to the national network's launch, and the TNBC block it formerly anchored) on Sunday mornings.
In September 2013, MeTV began customizing its weekend morning lineup in order to allow its affiliates to choose between running both the Saturday and Sunday E/I blocks, or running the children's lineup on one weekend day and a three-hour block of classic series in place of the children's programs on the other, allowing stations to fulfill educational programming quotas by running the minimum three-hour requirement or an overall total of six hours of E/I content (this was reconfigured in January 2015 to allow stations the option of pre-empting the final two hours of the Saturday E/I block to carry only Green Screen Adventures and Saved by the Bell to reach their weekly E/I requirements). The network moved its children's programming to Sunday mornings in October 2016 in favor of more classic television programming on Saturday morning including The Little Rascals and 3 additional hours of westerns. Starting October 2, MeTV’s educational/informational block on Sunday mornings was overhauled with the addition of Beakman’s World and Bill Nye the Science Guy.
MeTV also previously ran a children's program block on Saturday mornings called "AniMeTV" (which despite how the name – due to the network's use of the "Me" moniker as a branding avenue for its blocks – makes it appear, aired no anime programming), that was handled by New York City-based Classic Media (which, along with NBCUniversal, Nelvana and Scholastic Entertainment, previously co-owned the digital multicast network Qubo in conjunction with Ion Media Networks). The three-hour block debuted on April 7, 2012, and featured animated series such as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and She-Ra: Princess of Power, along with Gumby and Mr. Magoo animated shorts; the block officially ended on October 6, 2012. MeTV began airing the cult classic Sid & Marty Krofft productions H.R. Pufnstuf and Land of the Lost during the 2013 Christmas season; the shows became part of the regular Saturday morning lineup on December 28, 2013 as part of an hour-long block called "Sid & Marty Krofft and Me".
As of August 2015[update], MeTV has current or pending affiliation agreements with 185 television stations in over 167 television markets encompassing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, covering approximately 95% of the United States; this makes MeTV the largest subchannel network by population reach percentage (a distinction once held by sister network This TV), and the seventh largest commercial broadcast television network in the U.S. based on total number of affiliates. Of these affiliates, 18 stations carry the network as a formal primary channel affiliation and two are general entertainment stations that air select MeTV programs on a tape-delayed basis.
Like former sister network This TV, many of MeTV's affiliates (some of which replaced This TV with MeTV, after the former was partially acquired by Tribune Broadcasting) include regional descriptors reflecting the station's primary broadcast area underneath the logo bug displayed during the network's programming (these descriptors are also used in the customized station identifications shown at the top of each hour between programs or during commercial breaks, which differ from the silent lower third in-program IDs seen on This TV). Some stations either display customized logos using adapted versions of their current logo with the subchannel number below the main MeTV logo bug (such as WSB-TV in Atlanta and WFLA-TV in Tampa) or in order to fit in with the network's "retro" format, a logo formerly used by the station. Others display their callsign and city of license (and in some cases, the affiliate's virtual channel number) below the MeTV bug full-time in case the full-screen ID sequence malfunctions in some manner. From August 2014 to August 2015, station identifications for MeTV were based around the motif "Thank You for Making Us America's #1 All Classic TV Network", allowing local affiliates to customize their IDs to refer to their individual viewing area (for example, "Thank You, Chicago" on WWME-CD).
Although MeTV prefers that its local affiliates carry the entire schedule, some affiliates regularly pre-empt certain network programs in order to air morning and/or prime time newscasts produced by the station specifically for the subchannel or public affairs programs (such as with WLKY-TV in Louisville and WBAL-TV in Baltimore); this has become particularly more common since September 2015, when other Hearst Television-owned stations in markets where the group does not maintain a duopoly (as is the case with WBAL and WLKY, which debuted theirs earlier) gradually began launching prime time newscasts on their MeTV-affiliated subchannels. Some of the major network affiliates that carry MeTV full-time (such as WBAL, WLKY and WCVB-TV in Boston) use the affiliated subchannel as a buffer during network sports coverage, breaking news or severe weather coverage situations to carry regularly scheduled network and/or syndicated programming seen on its main channel.
Some affiliates may also pre-empt select MeTV programs to air infomercials (such as with WZME in Bridgeport, Connecticut, which pre-empts much of the network's morning and late night schedule with paid programming), locally acquired syndicated programming (such as with WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C., which airs events from the American Sports Network, a syndicated college sports distributor owned by WJLA parent Sinclair Broadcast Group, over its MeTV subchannel on some weekends), or in some cases, because the local syndication rights to a particular program are held by a station other than the MeTV affiliate (such as with The Andy Griffith Show, which since the network began airing the program in September 2014, is substituted in many markets with an alternate feed of its spin-off Mayberry R.F.D.). To address these variances, MeTV includes the fine print notation "On most MeTV stations" at the end of its program promotions regardless of whether a program or block is specifically promoted, typically during the timeslot card. Additionally, stations may also air select MeTV programs that are recorded in advance on their main channels in order to fill unprogrammed time slots or for use as a backup source of programming in the event that a network-televised sports event is delayed or postponed due to inclement weather as well as during the Christmas season to provide supplementary holiday-themed programming.
Two of MeTV's subchannel-only affiliates – WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee (which primarily affiliates its 7.3 subchannel with CBS) and WIBW-TV in Topeka, Kansas (which primarily affiliates its 13.2 subchannel with MyNetworkTV) – carry its programming on a secondary basis while nominally serving as an affiliate of a major broadcast network due to the lack of enough available stations in their markets for a standalone main channel affiliation. One other affiliate, WBBZ-TV in Springville, New York (which serves the Buffalo market), carries the network's programming part-time within its main channel's regular schedule, while running the full MeTV network feed on a separate subchannel.
On January 7, 2011, KCTU-LD in Wichita, Kansas became the first television station not owned by Weigel to carry the MeTV network. However, KCTU's affiliation with the network lasted only about one week, as that station's owner, Great Plains Television Network LLC, and Weigel could not come to terms on a long-term affiliation contract. In early 2011, Bahakel Communications became the first non-Weigel station group to sign selected stations to carry MeTV on their digital subchannels, with its stations in Charlotte, North Carolina (WCCB) and Columbia, South Carolina (WOLO-TV) adding the network in early March of that year. On April 4, 2011, Weigel announced affiliation agreements for MeTV with 14 broadcasting companies, most notably Hearst Television, Raycom Media, Cox Media Group, Media General and Titan Broadcast Management. Also of note, in December 2013, the network moved its Dallas-Fort Worth affiliation to a newly created subchannel of independent station KTXA (replacing Greenville-based KTXD-TV, which abruptly disaffiliated from MeTV three months earlier), marking CBS Television Stations' first affiliation deal involving a major subchannel network (Weigel and CBS would later partner to create Decades, a similar classic television-focused network that launched on May 25, 2015).
MeToo is a defunct companion programming format, which launched on March 1, 2008 on WMEU-CA in Chicago as an extension of the local MeTV format on sister station WWME-CA. It initially maintained a wide selection of off-network sitcoms and drama series from a variety of distributors (similar to WWME's locally exclusive MeTV format, but differing from the limited distributor output of the present-day national MeTV network). Initially, WMEU maintained a similar programming schedule as WWME; however by the fall of 2008, their formats were modified to feature one station focusing mainly on sitcoms and the other largely focusing on dramas. When WWME adopted a sitcom-intensive format for its MeTV schedule on September 14, 2009, the MeToo schedule on WMEU-CA was similarly streamlined to feature only off-network dramatic programs (such as Perry Mason, Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Rockford Files and The Twilight Zone) and films.
As WWME became a charter station of the national network on December 15, 2010, WMEU concurrently reverted to a general entertainment format – combining some of its existing inventory of drama programming with a selection of comedy programs aired by WWME prior to MeTV's format-to-network conversion; however it continued to carry a mix of both classic and recent programs, resulting in the local MeToo channel airing a broader variety of programming than that provided by the national version of MeTV, which largely restricts its acquired programming to series that debuted prior to 1985. The MeToo format was relegated to WWME's analog signal and WCIU digital subchannel 26.4 on November 1, 2013, when WMEU was converted into a standalone extension of WCIU's "The U Too" subchannel, itself an extension of the general entertainment independent station format carried by that station's primary channel, albeit with some classic series remaining on the schedule. The MeToo format was discontinued outright on December 29, 2014, when it was replaced on WCIU-DT2 by Weigel's new male-targeted classic television network Heroes & Icons.
Weigel Broadcasting had planned to expand the MeToo format to Milwaukee, intending to launch a similar locally programmed subchannel on WBME-TV in early 2011. However, these plans were delayed and ultimately scuttled due to the launch of sister network Movies! on May 27, 2013, which took the 49.3 channel slot that had been proposed to carry the Milwaukee MeToo service. After Movies! moved to a newly created second digital subchannel of ABC affiliate WISN-TV (channel 12) in August 2014, WMLW-DT3 became a charter affiliate of Heroes & Icons.
MeTV FM (WRME-LP)
Through a local marketing agreement with owner Venture Technologies Group, Weigel operates WRME-LP (channel 6) in Chicago as a co-branded radio station, known as "MeTV FM", which maintains an oldies format focusing on classic music from the 1950s to the 1980s. The format change, announced on February 9, 2015 and formally commencing on February 23, coincided with Weigel's assumption of an LMA first formed in April 2012 between Venture Technologies and Merlin Media (the LMA was transferred from Cumulus Media to Tribune Broadcasting – which had operated it as a sports talk station – in February 2014, before switching to an FM simulcast of sister station 720 WGN in December of that year).
WRME-LP is licensed as a low-power television station, but operates as a radio station due to a technical anamoly with the analog VHF channel 6 frequency for television transmissions that allows the audio feed of such stations to be heard on 87.75 MHz on the FM band (with a visual station identification slide used on the station's television broadcasts to fulfill FCC licensing requirements).
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See post dated 1/17/2011
- "Weigel Broadcasting Co.'s "Me-TV" Exceeds 45% Clearance Mark Finalizing Deals with 14 Domestic Station Groups" (PDF). MeTV (Press release). Weigel Broadcasting. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
- Cynthia Littleton (October 21, 2014). "CBS to Launch Retro Digital Channel Focused on Pop Culture, History". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
- "T Dog Media's Stocking Suffer: Heroes & Icons takes over MeToo". T Dog Media. December 30, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
- Robert Channick (February 9, 2015). "MeTV launching radio station at 87.7 FM". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
- Robert Channick (February 14, 2014). "WGN launching new FM station Monday". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
- Robert Channick (February 17, 2014). "WGN launching FM sports talk station 'The Game'". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
- Robert Feder (December 30, 2014). "Weigel Broadcasting to become radio active on 87.7 FM". RobertFeder.com. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
- Robert Channick (December 30, 2014). "WGN-AM to simulcast on 87.7 FM beginning Wednesday". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved December 30, 2014.