|New Haven/Hartford, Connecticut
|City||New Haven, Connecticut|
|Branding||My TV 9 (general)
News 8 (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 39 (UHF)
Virtual: 59 (PSIP)
|Owner||Nexstar Media Group
(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
|First air date||April 3, 1995|
|Call letters' meaning||CT (USPS state abbreviation) and
"The X" (past branding)
|Former channel number(s)||
|Transmitter power||170 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
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 Nexstar Media Group, 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 Nexstar-owned NBC affiliate WWLP in Chicopee, Massachusetts. WCTX's transmitter is located in Hamden.
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 April 3, 1995 the station finally began broadcasting as a WB affiliate under the callsign WTVU under a local marketing agreement (LMA) with LIN TV, owner of WTNH. Before WTVU's sign on, The WB's programming had been shown on WTNH following its late newscast on Saturday nights (The WB only offered two hours a week of programming at that point).
The LMA also allowed WTVU to broadcast strong syndicated programs, mostly barter shows and second runs from WTNH. It also ran 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.
On September 8, 2015, Media General announced that it would acquire the Meredith Corporation for $2.4 billion, with the combined group to be renamed Meredith Media General once the sale is finalized. Because Meredith already owns WFSB, and the two stations rank among the four highest-rated stations in the Hartford-New Haven market in total day viewership, the companies would have been required to sell either WFSB or WTNH to comply with FCC ownership rules as well as recent changes to those rules regarding same-market television stations that restrict sharing agreements; WCTX would have been the only one of the three stations affected by the merger that could been legally be acquired by Meredith Media General, as its total day viewership ranks below the top-four ratings threshold. However, on January 27, 2016, Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Media General, resulting in the termination of Meredith's acquisition by Media General.
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 & ASN|
Until TheCoolTV was added on WCTX-DT2 in 2010 (which was subsequently dropped on July 15, 2013), the subchannel aired a 24-hour live feed of WTNH's regional weather radar called the "SkyMax Doppler Network".
WCTX shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 59, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 39, 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, WTIC'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.
- Channel 9 branded TV stations in the United States
- Channel 39 digital TV stations in the United States
- Channel 59 virtual TV stations in the United States
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- My LIN TV: 4 More For New Fox Net, Broadcasting & Cable, April 26, 2006.
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- Cynthia Littleton (September 8, 2015). "TV Station Mega Merger: Media General Sets $2.4 Billion Acquisition of Meredith Corp.". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
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- RabbitEars TV Query for WCTX
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations
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