|Key West/Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Florida
|Branding||Azteca 8 Miami (general)
Hechos Miami 8 (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 8 (VHF)
Virtual: 8 (PSIP)
|Founded||May 3, 1991|
|First air date||May 26, 1996|
|Call letters' meaning||GEN TV|
|Former callsigns||WWFD (1996–2000)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
8 (VHF, 1996–2009)
12 (VHF, until 2009)
|Former affiliations||CBS TeleNoticias
Spanish Independent (2006–2012)
|Transmitter power||7 kW|
|Height||55.9 m (183 ft) m|
|Public license information:||Profile
WGEN-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 8, is an Azteca America-affiliated television station located in Key West, Florida, United States. The station is owned by Mapale, LLC, the parent of Colombian-based holding company Valórem S.A.. WGEN-TV maintains studio facilities located on Northwest 75th Street in Miami's Medley neighborhood, and its transmitter is located on Simonton Street in Key West. WGEN's signal is relayed through a network of seven low-power translator stations throughout South Florida and the Florida Keys.
The station first signed on the air on May 26, 1996 as WWFD; it subsequently changed its call letters to WWTU on February 8, 2000, then to WVIB on February 8, 2002 and finally to its current calls as WGEN-TV on July 1, 2004. Prior to December 2005, WGEN was, under the ownership of Sonia Broadcasting, co-owned with another Key West station, WDLP-TV (channel 22, now WSBS-TV).
In December 2005, WGEN came under the control of Colombian broadcaster Caracol Televisión, which holds a 25% ownership stake in Mapale, LLC, the maximum allowed by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations regarding foreign ownership of broadcast stations. On September 18, 2006, Caracol relaunched the station under the "GenTV" brand and began serving as its primary program supplier; programming on WGEN included Colombian and Brazilian telenovelas, a Colombian-produced news program, and a local version of Desafío 20.06, a reality show similar to Survivor.
On December 28, 2012 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time, MundoFox moved its Miami affiliation from WJAN-CD to WGEN-TV. While WGEN-TV is owned and operated by and airs programming from the Colombian television network Caracol Televisión, as a MundoFox affiliate, it shares an indirect connection with another Colombian television network as the network was initially half-owned by the competing RCN Televisión; in June 2015, RCN Televisión acquired full control of the network. RCN content comes from the network feed of MundoFox, while Caracol programming is distributed directly to WGEN-TV through its owners. WGEN-TV formerly aired national newscasts from MundoFox through Noticias MundoFox, which used the resources of NTN24, RCN’s sister network and international Spanish-language news channel (MundoFox ended its national newscasts in July 2015); WGEN-TV also airs Caracol's national newscast Noticias Caracol. On December 1, 2016, WGEN-TV became an affiliate of Azteca America.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|8.1||1080i||16:9||WGEN DT||Azteca America|
WGEN-TV ended programming on its analog signal, on VHF channel 8, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition VHF channel 12 to channel 8.
As of December 2012, locally produced and outsourced programs broadcast by WGEN-TV include ALAIN, Una Mano Amiga, El Show con Tony Benitez and Club 10. Among the notable programs broadcast by WGEN-TV include: Desafío 20.06, ¿Quién Manda a Quién? (a remake of Who's The Boss, produced by Caracol Television and Sony Pictures Entertainment), La Boca Loca De Paul (hosted by Paul Bouche), La Ex and Maria Elvira.
WGEN-TV formerly broadcast five hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with one hour on weekdays), under the branding of Noticias MundoMax 8. In 2012, WGEN began broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. WGEN moved its half-hour weeknight 5 p.m. newscast to 6 p.m. on December 1, once it became an affiliate of Azteca America, rebranding as Hechos Miami 8 to reflect the network's news franchise, Hechos. WGEN was one of the few MundoMax affiliates (if not the only one) to keep its news department after that network shut down its news operation.
WGEN-TV's signal is relayed on seven translator stationss in the Miami area and the Florida Keys. From north to south, these translators are:
|City of license||Callsign||Channel||Notes|
|Miami/Pompano Beach||WDLP-CD||21+||Now defunct; transmitted from the Carver Ranches tower|
|Miami||W24DE-D||24||Transmits from the Carver Ranches tower)|
|Miami||WGEN-LD||45||Transmits from downtown Miami|
|Marathon||W21CL||21||Transmits from northeastern Grassy Key; co-located with unrelated W42DM, W29CW, and permit for W18DU-D|
|Marathon||W63AL||63||Transmits from southwestern Vaca Key;
permit modified in June 2010 to flash-cut to digital on UHF channel 35 by October 2010
|Marathon||W08ED-D||8||Transmits from southwestern Vaca Key;
permit extended again in July 2010 to construct by January 2011
W21CL was established before 1979 as W65AP, until forced to move out of the 700MHz band by the digital television transition. W17DG-D was also established before 1979, as was W63AL, which was briefly W23BG from late 1990 to early 1991. WDLP-CA began operations in 1992 as W21BD, which was deleted in June 1994 after its permit expired, and restored the following December. In April 2003, its license was upgraded to Class A status and its calls were changed to WGEN-CA; it was then changed to WDLP-CA the following month, and later to WDLP-CD on August 11, 2011.
W49CL and WGEN-LP in Miami are both now listed as having WSBS-TV in Key West as their parent station, indicating that they may be leased to that station. Both are still owned by WGEN-TV owner Mapale, which does not identify them on the GenTV website's station map. Their successor "digital companion channels" respectively are W24DE-D and WGEN-LD, which both rebroadcast WGEN-TV (unlike full-power stations, they are separate facilities, and as LPTV stations they are not required to simulcast the analog feed on digital).
W38AA in Marathon and W39AC in Key West are listed as having WSBS-TV as their primary station, although in the past the two stations had retransmitted Miami CBS owned-and-operated station WFOR-TV (channel 4). Their respective digital companion channels W08ED-D (under construction) and W12DI-D are shown as having WGEN-TV as the primary station, and 12.1 is shown on WGEN's map as an additional channel for Key West (though only analog channel 21 is shown for Marathon). Because Key West and even Marathon are well within the broadcast range of both WSBS and WGEN, it is unclear why this would be necessary (or in Key West, useful at all), given the total flatness of the terrain and water and the complete lack of other obstructions like tall buildings. The only advantage for WSBS is to continue to be seen on analog television.
All translator stations are owned by Mapale (from the Colombian music genre Mapalé) as they have always been. Digital stations (ending in -D, -LD, or -CD) may use virtual channel 8.1 as the main station does, or may use their physical (RF) channel numbers as their virtual channel. The -CA or -CD suffixes indicate Class A protection from other stations.
On April 13, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that WDLP-CD was a successful bidder in the spectrum auction, and would be surrendering its license in exchange for $3,673,224. Mapale LLC surrendered WDLP-CD's license to the FCC for cancellation on June 5, 2017.
- Hoag, Christina (2005-12-20). "Caracol Buys Stake in WGEN-TV". The Miami Herald. Backchannelmedia. Archived from the original (Republished) on 2006-10-04. Retrieved 2006-10-09.
- Hoag, Christina (2006-08-25). "Caracol revamps South Florida station". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 2006-10-09.
- Lafayette, Jon (December 28, 2012). "MundoFox Upgrades Affiliation In Miami Market With WGEN". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
- Palacios, Luis E. (December 30, 2012). "MundoFOX cambia de casa en el sur de la Florida". El Nuevo Herald (in Spanish). Retrieved December 30, 2012.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WGEN
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- FCC Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction — Auction 1001 Winning Bids
- Official website
- Caracol Televisión S.A.
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WGEN
- Query the FCC's TV station database for W16CA
- Query the FCC's TV station database for W48DE
- Query the FCC's TV station database for W39AC
- Query the FCC's TV station database for W38AA
- Query the FCC's TV station database for W63AL
- Query the FCC's TV station database for W21CL
- Query the FCC's TV station database for W49CL
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WDLP
- Query the FCC's TV station database for W17DG-D
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WGEN-TV