|Utica-Rome, New York
|Branding||WFXV 33 (general)
WFXV 33 Eyewitness News (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 27 (UHF)
Virtual: 33 (PSIP)
|Translators||31 W31BP Burlington|
|Owner||Nexstar Broadcasting Group
(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
|First air date||October 12, 1986|
|Call letters' meaning||FoX Utica
(the "V" looks like "U")
|Sister station(s)||WUTR, WPNY-LP, WROC-TV, WETM-TV, WSYR-TV, WWTI, WIVT, WBGH-CA, WFFF-TV & WVNY|
|Former callsigns||WTUV (1986–1990)|
|Former channel number(s)||33 (UHF analog, 1986–2009)|
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
WFXV is the FOX-affiliated television station for Central Upstate New York's Mohawk Valley. Licensed to Utica, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 27 (or virtual channel 33.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter at its studios on Smith Hill Road in Deerfield (official address is Utica). The station can also be seen on Time Warner Cable channel 6 and in high definition on digital channel 868. Owned by the Nexstar Broadcasting Group, WFXV is sister to low-powered MyNetworkTV affiliate WPNY-LP and ABC affiliate WUTR (all three outlets share facilities).
The latter is actually owned by Mission Broadcasting but operated by Nexstar through local marketing and joint sales agreements. WFXV can be seen on analog repeater W31BP channel 31 in the Town of Burlington from a transmitter on Clock Hill Road. Syndicated programming on WFXV includes Family Guy, The Maury Povich Show, Family Feud and Modern Family among others.
A construction permit for a new television station on analog channel 33 in Utica was granted in 1982 and issued the call letters WTUV; construction began in the spring of 1983. The new station attempted to affiliate with CBS, but the network refused, citing that the new station would not attract new viewers, and that the area was sufficiently covered by Syracuse-based WTVH. A petition filed by WTUV's owner, Mohawk Valley Broadcasting, against both the network and WTVH was rejected by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1984. WTUV finally signed-on October 12, 1986 as an affiliate of the then-new Fox network, and has been with Fox ever since. However, as with other Fox affiliates, WTUV considered itself an independent station until Fox began its prime-time schedule in April 1987. The station adopted the current call sign WFXV on February 1, 1990 in reference to the network. The call letters can also be interpreted as FoX Vtica ("U"tica) since the "V" looks like "U". Channel 33's studios were originally located on Greenfield Road in Rome.
At some point in time, translator station W11BS licensed to Little Falls became a sister station to WFXV and began to be housed at the Rome facility. In 1996, WFXV and what had become WUPN-LP were sold to Sullivan Broadcasting, which would itself be bought out by the Sinclair Broadcast Group only two years later. Instead of being acquired by that company, WFXV and the low-power station (by then WPNY-LP) were purchased by Quorum Broadcasting founded by former Sullivan head Dan Sullivan. The station was acquired by current owner Nexstar in 2003.
In December of that year, Mission Broadcasting, a company with connections to Nexstar and it would acquire ABC affiliate WUTR from Clear Channel Communications. The deal was closed on April 1, 2004—when local marketing and joint sales agreements were established between the two stations. Although the ABC affiliate was the subordinate entity, WFXV and WPNY-LP were consolidated into WUTR's studios in Deerfield.
This station aired The Bill Keeler Show (a local late-night comedy series) from April 1, 2003 to 2005 when the program moved to NBC affiliate WKTV. Prior to the DTV transition, WFXV filed an application with the FCC to relocate its transmitter southwest of Utica to a tower on Skyline Drive in Clinton, a village of Kirkland. However, this proposal was ultimately denied by the FCC. WFXV's broadcast became digital-only, effective March 16, 2009.
In September 2001, WFXV entered into a news share agreement with WKTV (then owned by Smith Television). This arrangement resulted in a prime time newscast at 10 to debut on this station. Known as NewsChannel 2 on Fox, the show aired every night for a half-hour and mirrored programs seen on WKTV. The broadcast was supposed to originate live from WKTV's Smith Hill Road studios in Deerfield but there were technical problems beaming the show to WFXV's facility in Rome through microwave relay.
Sometimes, personnel had to record the newscast in advance and physically deliver the videotape to this station which was a thirty-minute drive. When the outsourcing contract ended on August 31, 2004, WFXV decided not to renew it. The prime time broadcast moved to WKTV's cable-only WB affiliate "WBU" (now CBS affiliate WKTV-DT2) the next day and reduced to weeknights. Today the newscast airs on CW affiliate WKTV-DT3 as NewsChannel 2 at 10 and can be seen for thirty minutes.
After WUTR's acquisition by Mission Broadcasting, speculation began circulating Nexstar would establish a combined news department for WFXV as well as sister stations WUTR and WPNY in order to take on longtime dominant WKTV. Actual progress was not made until March 31, 2011 when the company announced it would launch a news operation for the three outlets by mid-September. Nexstar invested US$1 million for new equipment and the hiring of twelve employees. The company's initial press release indicated this station would feature separate news anchors from WUTR and be presented in a more fast-paced format to attract Fox's younger viewers.
In a later press release in August, however, indications mentioned only one anchor team was hired for both stations. The debut of WFXV 33 Eyewitness News at 10 occurred September 12, 2011, making WFXV the second station in the Utica area (behind WUTR which launched their newscast four hours ago) to broadcast local news in true high definition. WKTV would not switch to true high-definition until January 29, 2015. The newscast competes against a similar broadcast airing on WKTV's third digital subchannel. Throughout the process of building a local news operation from scratch, WFXV consulted with viewers and businesses for input in developing the final product. Right now, there is no sports department at the operation's inception.
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- Fybush, Scott (July 9, 1998). "North East RadioWatch". Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- Fybush, Scott (March 3, 2003). "Big Apple Circus". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- "WUTR, WFXV will switch to digital March 16". Observer-Dispatch. Feb 6, 2009. Retrieved Feb 6, 2009.
- Murpy, Montanette (Feb 17, 2009). "Local stations begin transition to digital". Observer-Dispatch. Retrieved Feb 17, 2009.
- Fybush, Scott (August 27, 2001). "Bad Blood at the Blood Drive". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- Fybush, Scott (August 30, 2004). "CHOI Wins a Reprieve". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- WUTR AND WFXV TO LAUNCH HIGH DEFINITION EYEWITNESS NEWS ON SEPTEMBER 12. News release (August 15, 2011). Retrieved August 15, 2011.
- Official website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WFXV
- Query the FCC's TV station database for W31BP