WFFF-DT2

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WFFF-DT2
Escape TV logo.png
Burlington, Vermont/
Plattsburgh, New York
Branding Escape
Channels Digital: WFFF-DT2 43.2 (UHF)
Virtual: 44.2 (PSIP)
Affiliations Escape (2016–present)
Owner Nexstar Media Group
(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
First air date September 27, 2007; 9 years ago (2007-09-27)
Call letters' meaning see WFFF-TV
Sister station(s) WVNY
Former affiliations The CW (2007–March 2013)
Independent (March–September 2013)
Dark (October 2013–2016)
Transmitter power 47 kW
Height 839 m
Facility ID 10132
Transmitter coordinates 44°31′32.0″N 72°48′54.0″W / 44.525556°N 72.815000°W / 44.525556; -72.815000
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS

WFFF-DT2 is an Escape affiliated-television station serving Vermont's Champlain Valley and Upstate New York's North Country. It is a second digital subchannel of Fox affiliate WFFF-TV that is owned by Nexstar Media Group. Over-the-air, WFFF-DT2 broadcasts a standard definition digital signal on UHF channel 43.2 (or virtual channel 44.2 via PSIP) from a transmitter on Vermont's highest elevation, Mount Mansfield. Its parent station has studios on Mountain View Drive in Colchester, Vermont. The station was formerly a CW-affiliated and later Independent station. The station could also be seen on Charter channel 11, Comcast channel 20, and Time Warner Cable digital channel 266.

During its time as a CW affiliate, WFFF-DT2 carried the branding The CW Burlington, it changed it to 44.2 EFFF when it became independent. Syndicated programming on WFFF-DT2 included Family Feud, COPS, America's Funniest Home Videos, and Friends among others. There was no website for this station besides a link to program listings on its parent station's website. The station temporarily ceased programming after September 30, 2013, and was replaced over the air by a standard definition feed of its parent station a few days later.[1] It resumed operations on August 23, 2016 as an affiliate of Escape.[2]

History[edit]

On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN announced the two networks would cease broadcasting and merge. The new combined service would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initials of corporate parents "C"BS (the parent company of UPN) and the "W"arner Bros. unit of Time Warner. Until The CW's launch on September 18, it was unknown if there would be an affiliate in Burlington and Plattsburgh. Just before the launch date, it was announced The CW would air on WFFF-TV in a delayed basis at 10 p.m. as did programming from The WB. Before it was officially confirmed it would be a secondary CW affiliate, there was a possibility new television station WCWF (now WYCI) in Saranac Lake, New York would become affiliated with the network.

As was the case with the previous network, The CW would also be available on cable the area through flagship WPIX from New York City. It was unlikely Class A UPN affiliate WGMU-CA would have been affiliated with The CW, since network officials were on record as preferring the "stronger" WB and UPN affiliates and, despite secondary status, WFFF-TV was by far the stronger station with its full-powered signal. (WGMU-CA would subsequently join MyNetworkTV, a network owned by Fox.)

Logo as a CW affiliate, 2007-2013.

On September 27, 2007, WFFF-TV moved The CW to its second digital subchannel. For Comcast viewers in Vermont, WFFF-DT2 immediately replaced WPIX. The subchannel was initially going to carry the branding "The CW 20" after its channel location on the cable provider. At its launch, the station branded itself as "The CW Burlington".

It was not until December 31, 2008 when Charter systems in New York State did the same thing. It was not available on cable in Canada or some provider's basic tier within its home market such as Saranac Lake where Time Warner Cable offered WPIX instead. Smith Media agreed to sell WFFF-TV (and thus WFFF-DT2) to the Nexstar Broadcasting Group on November 5, 2012.[3] The sale was finalized on March 1, 2013.

Despite having a similar logo to CW Plus affiliates, being on a digital subchannel, and was licensed to a bottom 100 market, WFFF-DT2 was not part of that service during its tenure with the network.

On March 4, 2013, WPTZ-DT 5.2 assumed the CW affiliation for the Plattsburgh/Burlington market from WFFF-DT2.[4] As a result, WFFF-DT2 replaced CW primetime programming with Extra, omg! Insider, Access Hollywood, and TMZ. The Bill Cunningham Show, which was aired weekday afternoons via The CW, was replaced with a second episode of The Wendy Williams Show, and the Saturday morning Vortexx block was replaced with Litton's Weekend Adventure.[5] (WFFF-DT2 was the only non-ABC affiliate to carry Litton's Weekend Adventure; the block was shared with sister station and ABC affiliate WVNY.) The station dropped the "The CW Burlington" brand and began referring to itself on-air as "44.2 EFFF".

The station temporarily ceased programming as of October 1, 2013 and was replaced over the air with a standard definition feed of its parent station a few days later. Some of its programs were moved to WFFF-TV or WVNY.[1]

On June 15, 2016, Nexstar announced that it has entered into an affiliation agreement with Katz Broadcasting for the Escape, Laff, Grit, and Bounce TV networks (the last one of which is owned by Bounce Media LLC, whose COO Jonathan Katz is president/CEO of Katz Broadcasting), bringing one or more of the four networks to 81 stations owned and/or operated by Nexstar, including WFFF-TV and WVNY. As a result, WFFF-DT2 resumed operations two months after that carrying programs from Escape.

References[edit]