|Live Oak, Florida|
|Channels||Digital: 48 (UHF)|
|Owner||Budd Broadcasting Co., Inc.|
|First air date||June 15, 1998|
|Former callsigns||WFXU (1998–2011)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
57 (UHF, 1998–2009)
|Former affiliations||Fox, via WTLH (1998–2002)
The WB, via The WB 100+ (2005–2006)
The CW, via The CW Plus (2006)
|Transmitter power||22 kW|
WFXU is a television station serving southwest Georgia and the Tallahassee, Florida area, licensed to Live Oak, Florida. It broadcasts a digital signal on UHF channel 48 from a transmitter in Hamilton County, Florida, between Jasper and Jennings. It is owned by Budd Broadcasting.
WFXU began broadcasting June 15, 1998 as a full-time satellite of Fox affiliate WTLH, intending to improve that station's signal in the eastern part of the market. It broadcast an analog signal on UHF channel 57 from the transmitter location near Jasper. Originally owned by L.O. Telecast, Inc., WFXU was sold to KB Prime Media in 1999 and to WTLH owner Pegasus Communications in 2002 (the sale was approved because despite Tallahassee not having enough stations to support a duopoly under Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules, Pegasus had helped fund WFXU's construction). That April, WFXU broke off from WTLH and became a UPN affiliate.
WFXU's signal was not nearly strong enough to cover the entire market. To make up for this shortfall in coverage, it launched WTLF on May 7, 2003 as a full-time satellite. Pegasus declared bankruptcy in June 2004 over a dispute with DirecTV over marketing of the direct broadcast satellite service in rural areas.
On April 1, 2005, WFXU and WTLF switched to The WB, via The WB 100+; UPN promptly signed with WCTV, which launched a new subchannel to carry the network. Prior to this, The WB was carried on a cable-only WB 100+ station, "WBXT", which was operated by WTXL-TV. On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN announced that they would merge to form The CW. It was announced on April 24 that WTLH would create a new second digital subchannel to become Tallahassee's CW affiliate. These plans were modified around August 2006 to make WFXU/WTLF the primary CW affiliate, with a simulcast on WTLH-DT2; this took effect when the network premiered on September 18.
Although most of the Pegasus station group was sold in August 2006 to private investment firm CP Media, LLC of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, WFXU was instead sold to Budd Broadcasting that November. Since then, the station has operated intermittently as an independent station, with CW programming being seen only on WTLF and WTLH-DT2. More recently, it resumed operations from October 17 to November 14, 2010 and from November 12 to early December 2011 after being silent since November 2009; this was done in order to avoid forfeiture of the broadcast license.
In June 2008, WFXU applied to relocate its digital transmitter to west of High Springs, near Gainesville, with the intent of refocusing its viewership on that market. The FCC dismissed the application that December. The call letters were changed to WTXI on December 12, 2011, parking the call letters for a co-owned station in Miami; a week later, the station returned to WFXU.
The station currently has a Construction Permit, which would enable the station to broadcast at 1000 kilowatts at 278.9 meters HAAT, from a new transmitter site along US 441 in northern Columbia County, about 20 miles north of Lake City, allowing rimshot coverage into Gainesville, Jacksonville, and Waycross, Georgia.
- "Application Search Details (1)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- McConnell, Bill (April 2, 2002). "Pegasus wins OK for Tallahassee TV pair". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- Romano, Allison (March 29, 2005). "UPN Switches Florida Affiliates". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved July 24, 2010.
- "WDSI FOX61 Bought By CP Media, LLC.". The Chattanoogan. August 9, 2006. Retrieved July 24, 2010.
- "WFXU, this Budd's for you". Television Business Report. November 28, 2006. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- "Application Search Details (2)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- "Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved December 13, 2011.