|New Haven/Hartford, Connecticut|
|City of license||New Haven, Connecticut|
News 8 (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 39 (UHF)|
(sale to Media General pending)
(WTNH Broadcasting, LLC)
|Call letters' meaning||CT (USPS state abbreviation) and
The X (past branding)
|Sister station(s)||WTNH, WWLP/WFXQ-CD, WPRI-TV, WNAC-TV|
|Former callsigns||WTVU (1994-1996)
|Former channel number(s)||59 (UHF analog, 1994-2009)|
|Former affiliations||Independent (1994-1995)
The WB (1995-2000)
weather radar (on DT2)
TheCoolTV (on DT2)
|Transmitter power||170 kW|
WCTX, virtual channel 59 (UHF digital channel 39), is a television station licensed to New Haven, Connecticut, United States, serving as the MyNetworkTV affiliate for the Hartford-New Haven television market. The station is owned by LIN Media, as part of a duopoly with ABC affiliate WTNH (channel 8). The two stations share studios on Elm Street in Downtown New Haven; however, master control and some internal operations originate from hub facilities at LIN-owned NBC affiliate WWLP in Chicopee, Massachusetts. WCTX's transmitter is located in Hamden. Syndicated programming on WCTX includes 30 Rock, Judge Judy, Dr. Phil, TMZ on TV and The Insider.
WCTX is available on channel 9 on almost all of Connecticut's cable systems, this is reflected in the station's on-air branding "MyTV9". Like sister station WTNH, WCTX has a large Fairfield County audience as well. This area is part of the New York City television market, which is where MyNetworkTV flagship WWOR-TV is based. WCTX is considered an alternate ABC affiliate, airing that network's programs when WTNH is unable to do so such as during extended breaking news coverage or a local special.
As early as 1953, a construction permit for the analog UHF channel 59 allotment was issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and was originally owned by the Connecticut Radio Foundation. However, the group was never able to get the station on-the-air and sold the permit to Impart Systems in 1967. In 1971, the then-owner of NBC affiliate WHNB (channel 30) built a low-power translator on UHF channel 59 in New Haven (W59AA licensed to West Haven). Although WHNB had boosted its power to cover New Haven a few months earlier, some areas in Southern Connecticut still could not get a good signal from the station.
On November 5, 1994, the station finally began broadcasting as a standalone Independent under the callsign WTVU. It initially operated at low-power, running Shop at Home programming for most of the day. In April 1995, WTVU upgraded to full-power operations and WTNH owner LIN TV took over control of the station through a local marketing agreement (LMA). With the LMA came an affiliation with The WB, which until that point, had been airing on WTNH following its late newscast on Saturday nights (The WB only offered two hours a week of programmimg at that point).
The LMA also allowed WTVU to significantly upgrade its programming. It acquired stronger syndicated programs, mostly barter shows and second runs from WTNH. It also began running classic sitcoms and drama shows such as Perry Mason, I Love Lucy, Happy Days, The Honeymooners, The Andy Griffith Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched and Gilligan's Island among others that were removed from the schedules of WTXX (channel 20, now WCCT-TV) and WTWS (channel 26, now WHPX-TV) some years back. It also picked up the rights to telecast Hartford Whalers hockey games, which aired on the station until the team became the Carolina Hurricanes in 1997.
On April 1, 1996, the station changed its call letters to WBNE (for "WB New England"). After Tribune Broadcasting (a minority owner of The WB) purchased then-UPN affiliate WTXX, WBNE and that station swapped network affiliations on January 1, 2001. With the new network relationship came the current WCTX calls and use of the on-air identity "The X". That identity was used in lieu of the conventional "UPN (channel number)" branding. LIN TV purchased WCTX outright in 2002. On September 19, 2005, WCTX became known as "UPN 9," highlighting its cable channel position in some areas. This branding was the same as WWOR in New York City, a station that is available over-the-air and on cable in Southwestern Connecticut.
On January 24, 2006, CBS Corporation and the Warner Bros. Entertainment unit of Time Warner announced that UPN and The WB would cease broadcasting and merge their programming inventories to create a new network called The CW. WTXX was chosen as Connecticut's CW affiliate after its owner Tribune announced a ten-year deal with the upcoming network leaving WCTX to tentatively become an independent station once again. However on April 26, WCTX announced it would join MyNetworkTV (a second new network launched by News Corporation).
MyNetworkTV began broadcasting on September 5, and as a result, the station did not carry the final two weeks of UPN programming. With its new network affiliation, the station changed its branding to the current "MyTV9". As of the 2007/2008 season, University of Connecticut men's college basketball games now air primarily on WCTX while a handful of games air on sister station WTNH. It recently signed a multi-year television deal with the WNBA's Connecticut Sun to broadcast select regular season games as well.
Until March 31, 2008, WCTX served as the default MyNetworkTV affiliate on Charter Communications cable systems for the Springfield/Holyoke, Massachusetts market as that area did not have an affiliate of its own. On that date, ABC affiliate WGGB-TV added the network as a secondary affiliation on its new Fox-affiliated second digital subchannel. WCTX is still seen on Charter. WCTX was also repeated on W11BJ (now WFXQ-CD) from a transmitter on Rattlesnake Mountain in Farmington from 2004 until 2006 while LIN TV built a new transmitter for that channel and moved its city of license to Springfield.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|59.1||720p||16:9||WCTX-DT||Main WCTX programming / MyNetworkTV|
Until TheCoolTV was added on WCTX-DT2 in 2010 (which was subsequently dropped on July 15th, 2013), the subchannel aired a 24-hour live feed of WTNH's regional weather radar known as the "SkyMax Doppler Network".
WCTX shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 59, on June 12, 2009, the date 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 39 for post-transition operations, using PSIP to display WCTX's virtual channel as 59 on digital television receivers, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.
Since the start of the local marketing agreement with WCTX in 2000, WTNH has been producing a nightly prime time newscast at 10 p.m. on channel 59. It has competed right from its April 17, 2000 debut with WTIC-TV's 10 p.m. broadcast which established itself as the leading primetime newscast in the market since it debuted in 1989. As of the February 2008 ratings period, WCTX's weeknight newscast is actually the most watched late evening news broadcast in the market even gathering more viewership that the 11 p.m. newscasts on Connecticut's Big Three stations.
In 2005, WCTX began simulcasting the second hour of WTNH's weekday morning show (at 6 a.m.), followed by a third hour from 7 to 8 a.m. that is seen exclusively on WCTX, except for simulcasted Good Morning America cut-ins on WTNH. The second hour was eventually dropped for an unknown reason. The 7 a.m. hour received competition on March 3, 2008 when WTIC launched its own weekday morning newscast. On April 26, 2010, WTNH rebranded from News Channel 8 to News 8. In addition, WTNH began broadcasting its local newscasts in 16:9 widescreen enhanced definition, with WCTX's newscasts being included in the upgrade. On October 4, 2010, WTNH became the third station in the market to begin broadcasting its newscasts in high definition; WCTX's newscasts also made the transition.
- Chris Velardi - weekday mornings from 6:00-7:00 a.m.
- Ali Reed - weekday mornings from 6:00-7:00 a.m.
- Darren Kramer - weeknights at 10:00 p.m.
- Ann Nyberg - weeknights at 10:00 p.m.
- Don Lark - fill-in anchor
- Erin Logan - weekend evenings at 10:00 p.m.; also reporter
Storm Team 8 Meteorologists
- Gil Simmons (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval; member, NWA) - chief, weekday mornings at 6:00-7:00 a.m.
- Erika Martin (member, American Meteorological Society) - weeknights at 10:00 p.m.
- Sam Kantrow (member American Meteorological Society) - weekend mornings (6:00-7:00 a.m.); also fill-in
- Justin Goldstein (member, American Meteorological Society - weekend evenings at 10:00 p.m.; also fill-in
- Quincy Vagell - executive producer of WXedge.com and weekday web producer/web meteorologist
Sports Team 8
- Noah Finz - sports director; weeknights at 10:00 11:00 p.m.
- John Pierson - sports anchor; weekends at 10:00 p.m.; also fill-in sports anchor
- Erik Dobratz - sports producer; also fill-in sports anchor
- Mark Davis - Hartford bureau chief political correspondent
- Tina Detelj - New London bureau chief and general assignment reporter
- David Iversen - chief investigative reporter
- Teresa Dufour - weekday morning traffic reporter (6:00-7:00) a.m. & Connecticut Style host (weekdays at 12:30 p.m.)
- Jocelyn Maminta - health and medical correspondent
- Kent Pierce - general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor
- Bob Wilson - general assignment reporter
- Stephanie Simoni - general assignment reporter also fill-in anchor
- Noelle Gardner - general assignment reporter
- Josh Scheinblum - general assignment reporter
- Aj Walker - general assignment reporter
- Brian Spyros - general assignment reporter
- Tom Michaels - (off-camera) fill-in weekday morning traffic reporter (6:00-7:00 a.m.)
- '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.
- My LIN TV: 4 More For New Fox Net, Broadcasting & Cable, April 26, 2006.
- Harrison, Crayton (March 21, 2014). "Media General To Buy LIN For $1.6 Billion". Hartford Courant. Bloomberg News. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WCTX
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- WBNE To Add 10 p.m. Newscast, Hartford Courant, January 13, 2000.
- WBNE Begins 10 p.m. News, Hartford Courant, April 17, 2000.