The CW Springfield (CD2)
|Slogan||Working For You
Dare To Defy (CD2)
|Channels||Digital: 28 (UHF)
Virtual: 22 (PSIP)
22.3 Ion Television
|Owner||Nexstar Media Group
(WWLP Broadcasting, LLC)
|First air date||May 6, 1987|
|Call letters' meaning||refers to unfulfilled
|Sister station(s)||WCTX, WTNH, WPRI-TV, WNAC-TV, WTEN, WXXA-TV|
|Former callsigns||W11BJ (1988–2006)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
11 (VHF, 1987–2006)
28 (UHF, 2006–2009)
UPN (2004–2006, as repeater of WCTX)
|Transmitter power||0.024 kW|
|Class||Class A digital|
WFXQ-CD is a Class A television station for the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts that is licensed to Springfield. Owned by Nexstar Media Group, it broadcasts a low-powered digital signal on UHF channel 28 (or virtual channel 22.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter at the old Mount Tom Ski Area summit in Holyoke. The station serves as a full-time repeater of NBC affiliate WWLP and its CW-affiliated second digital subchannel.
The station first went on-the-air May 6, 1987 on VHF channel 11. Using the calls W11BJ, it originally aired a low-powered analog signal from the Rattlesnake Mountain transmitter site of Connecticut's Fox affiliate WTIC-TV. The station was an Independent that aired local shows to a senior retirement community in Farmington, Connecticut. It used a live skycam weather forecast which consisted of a character generator and a home video camera with shots of the window from the transmitter building. The owner of the station was the Chase family (who also owned WTIC).
When LIN TV bought W11BJ in 2004, there was a construction permit approved to broadcast this station on UHF channel 28 from a new transmitter on Mount Tom in Holyoke. During the building of this transmitter, WWLP temporarily put on a simulcast of Connecticut's UPN affiliate WCTX (a sister station) through an off-air pickup. In early-2006, W28CT signed-on from the top of Mount Tom and the W11BJ transmitter on Rattlesnake Mountain was shut down. Right from the start, the station began to simulcast WWLP in a full-time manner. LIN TV had initially changed the call sign to WXCW-CA in reference to The CW in anticipation of it becoming an affiliate of that network. This affiliation eventually went to cable-only WB affiliate "WBQT".
As a result, the channel's call sign was changed again to WFXQ-CA referring to a possible Fox affiliation. This caused rumors on several television industry message boards that it would become an affiliate of that network. Speculation also existed that WFXQ might affiliate with Fox's new sister network, MyNetworkTV. At the time, cable television viewers in the Springfield/Holyoke market received Fox from WTIC-TV and the network's owned-and-operated station in Boston, WFXT, with MyNetworkTV coming from WCTX.
On November 16, 2007, the Springfield Republican reported that ABC affiliate WGGB-TV would be launching a Fox affiliate on a new second subchannel which was expected to launch at the end of that year. This was ultimately delayed until the end of March 2008 when the new service took on a primary Fox and secondary MyNetworkTV affiliation. Up to that time, Springfield held the distinction of being the largest television market without a Fox affiliate of its own.
Until December 9, 2008, WFXQ's analog signal transmitted on the same frequency as CW affiliate WLWC. After the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a construction permit, the station "flash-cut" to digital sometime after June 12, 2009 although, at the time, the station was still assigned a "-CA" suffix. Eventually, the FCC updated its listing and this channel began using the WFXQ-CD calls.
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 WGGB-TV, and the Springfield-Holyoke market does not have enough full-power television stations to legally allow a duopoly in any event (WGGB-TV and WWLP are the only full-power licenses assigned to the market), the companies will be required to sell either WGGB-TV or WWLP to comply with FCC ownership rules as well as recent changes to those rules regarding same-market television stations that restrict sharing agreements. Meredith-owned CBS affiliate WSHM-LD (channel 3) is the only one of the three stations affected by the merger that can legally be acquired by Meredith Media General, as FCC rules permit common ownership of full-power and low-power stations regardless of the number of stations within a single market. On January 27, 2016, however, Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Media General, who subsequently abandoned its plans to purchase Meredith.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|22.1||1080i||16:9||WWLP-DT||Main WFXQ-CD programming / NBC|
|22.2||720p||WWLP-D1||The CW Springfield|
On December 23, 2014, as part of a long-term affiliation renewal with the network, Media General announced that WWLP and WFXQ-CD would affiliate their respective second digital subchannels with The CW, allowing the former cable-exclusive "WBQT" channel serving the market to have an over-the-air presence. As a result, on April 1, 2015, WFXQ-CD and WWLP began carrying CW programming (via The CW Plus) on digital subchannel 22.2, under the brand "The CW Springfield". The subchannel is available on Comcast channel 16 and Charter channel 13 (both in standard definition) to viewers in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties. Comcast began carrying a high definition feed of WWLP-DT2 on digital channel 820 on April 1, 2015, with Charter adding the feed on digital channel 788 in mid-April 2015 (for viewers in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties), making CW programming available in HD in the Springfield-Holyoke market for the first time.
On November 5, 2015, WWLP soft-launched a standard definition feed of Ion Television's main signal on both 22.3 and WFXQ-CD3 as part of Media General's carriage agreement of the network in markets without a dedicated Ion affiliate. New London, Connecticut-based WHPX-TV has served as the market's nominal affiliate for years with some cable coverage, though over-the-air coverage of that station is generally poor in the Pioneer Valley.
- "Media General buys LIN Media, owner of WWLP Channel 22 in Springfield". The Republican. Associated Press. March 21, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
- Media General Completes Merger With LIN Media, Press Release, Media General, Retrieved 19 December 2014
- "Media General Acquiring Meredith For 2.4 Billion". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. September 8, 2015.
- 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.
- Chris Lindahl (September 8, 2015). "Media General buying Meredith Corp.; companies own Springfield-area TV stations WWLP, WGGB, CBS 3, Fox 6". Daily Hampshire Gazette. Newspapers of New England. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
- Picker, Leslie (January 27, 2016). "Nexstar Clinches Deal to Acquire Media General". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WFXQ-CD
- "WWLP digital subchannel to become CW affiliate". WWLP. Media General. December 23, 2014.
- "The CW moving to a new home in WMass; station will air 22News at 10:00". WWLP. Media General. March 13, 2015.
- "The CW Springfield is now live on the air". WWLP. Media General. April 1, 2015.
- "Here's where to watch The CW Springfield on your television". WWLP. Media General. April 1, 2015.