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|Branding||My Network Topeka
|Channels||Digital: WIBW-DT 13.2 (VHF)
Virtual: 13.2 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||MyNetworkTV & Me-TV|
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||September 5, 2006|
|Call letters' meaning||see WIBW|
Colours TV (2006–2009)
This TV (2009–2012)
|Transmitter power||27 kW (digital)|
|Height||413 m (digital)|
|Facility ID||63160 (digital)|
|Licensing authority||FCC (digital)|
WIBW-DT2 is a primary MyNetworkTV- and secondary Me-TV-affiliated television station located in Topeka, Kansas, United States. It operates as a second digital subchannel of CBS affiliate WIBW-TV (channel 13), which is owned by Gray Television. Over-the-air, it broadcasts a standard definition digital signal on VHF channel 13.2 from a transmitter located on Windy Hill Road in Maple Hill. WIBW-TV maintains studio facilities located on Commerce Place (next to the interchange of I-70, I-470, US 40, US 75 and K-4) in southwestern Topeka.
On cable, the subchannel is also available on Cox Communications channel 11 in Topeka and channel 12 elsewhere within its northeast Kansas service area. The subchannel is officially branded as "My Network Topeka" for general purposes (both during time periods occupied by MyNetworkTV programming as well as for promotions for the programming service), and alternately branded as "Me-TV Topeka" during Me-TV programming hours.
On February 22, 2006, News Corporation (which would later spin-off its American television properties into 21st Century Fox in July 2013) announced the launch of MyNetworkTV, a new network that would be operated by two of its divisions, Fox Television Stations and Twentieth Television. MyNetworkTV was created to compete against another upstart network that would launch at the same time that September, The CW – a network created through a partnership between CBS Corporation and Time Warner, which had announced one month earlier on January 24 that the two companies would respectively shut down UPN and The WB, which originally consisted primarily of the higher-rated programs from its two predecessors; MyNetworkTV was also formed to give UPN- and WB-affiliated stations that were not named as The CW's charter affiliates another option besides converting into independent stations. Prior to the CW announcement, WIBW station management had considered launching a digital subchannel affiliated with UPN (which had previously been affiliated with Fox affiliate KTMJ-CA (channel 43) from the network's launch in 1995 until 2003, with its programming airing in late-evening timeslots).
On March 13, 2006, WIBW was named as MyNetworkTV's Topeka affiliate through a 13-station affiliation agreement with owner Gray Television. One month later on April 10, 2006, Montecito Broadcast Group announced that NBC affiliate KSNT (channel 27) would serve as The CW's Topeka affiliate (through its national feed for smaller markets, The CW Plus), carrying the network on its second digital subchannel.
WIBW-TV first signed its second digital subchannel on the air on September 5, 2006 as a primary affiliate of MyNetworkTV and a secondary affiliate of the multicultural television network Colours TV. In September 2009, WIBW-DT2 became a secondary affiliate of This TV, carrying a mix of syndicated programming to fill select evening time periods otherwise occupied by feature film content from the network.
The subchannel disaffiliated from This TV on September 10, 2012, and switched its secondary affiliation to Me-TV (both networks were owned at the time by Weigel Broadcasting). Me-TV programming airs on WIBW-DT2 during the late morning, afternoon and overnight hours as well as much of the weekend schedule outside of late afternoon and evening timeslots. In a September 5 interview with The Topeka Capital-Journal, then-WIBW-TV general manager Jim Ogle cited that the station chose to switch 13.2's secondary affiliation to allow leverage in scheduling local newscasts and sports programs onto the subchannel, as the vast majority of Me-TV programs run either 30 minutes or an hour in length, in comparison to the feature-length movies aired by This TV. Most of the syndicated programming aired on the subchannel was dropped by September 2014, when WIBW-DT2 began clearing most of the Me-TV schedule outside of the first two hours of prime time on weeknights that are occupied by MyNetworkTV content.
Outside of the Me-TV and MyNetworkTV schedules, WIBW-DT2 also carries select Major League Soccer games involving Sporting Kansas City (consising entirely of away games) produced by Kansas City independent station KMCI-TV, and college football and basketball games from the Atlantic Coast Conference provided by Raycom Sports' ACC Network syndication service.
In September 2007, WIBW began producing local newscasts for its second digital subchannel, in the form of a one-hour extension of its weekday morning newscast 13 News This Morning (initially running from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m., with a rebroadcast immediately afterward; before expanding to a full two-hour broadcast in September 2009) and a half-hour prime time newscast at 9:00 p.m. each weeknight, in addition to simulcasts of the 5:00 to 7:00 a.m. block of the weekday morning newscast seen on WIBW's main channel; these newscasts pre-empted classic television series and children's programming broadcast by WIBW-DT2's secondary This TV, and later Me-TV affiliations, during those time periods. The morning and primetime newscasts on competed with those produced by NBC affiliate KSNT seen on that station's Fox-affiliated sister KTMJ-CD (channel 43).
The subchannel also began airing simulcasts of the Saturday evening 6:00 p.m., Sunday evening 5:30 p.m. and weekend 10:00 p.m. newscasts (mainly due to preemptions incurred by CBS Sports broadcasts that run into those programs' timeslots on the station's main channel). The morning and 9:00 p.m. newscasts were cancelled in September 2014, with their former time periods replaced by classic television series provided by the subchannel's secondary Me-TV affiliation; as such, WIBW-DT2 airs very little programming other than that provided by Me-TV and MyNetworkTV or through sports syndication services.
- "News Corp. to launch new mini-network for UPN stations". USA Today. Gannett Company. February 22, 2006. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- John Eggerton (February 22, 2006). "News Corp. Unveils MyNetworkTV". Broadcasting & Cable. Reed Business Information.
- "'Gilmore Girls' meet 'Smackdown'; CW Network to combine WB, UPN in CBS-Warner venture beginning in September". CNNMoney.com. Time Warner. January 24, 2006.
- "UPN and WB to Combine, Forming New TV Network". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. January 24, 2006.
- Dave Pomeroy (December 23, 2005). "Digital becoming mainstream". The Topeka Capital-Journal. Morris Communications. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
- "MyNetworkTV Adds 30 New Affiliates" (Press release). News Corporation. March 30, 2006. Retrieved August 18, 2015 – via The Futon Critic.
- Allison Romano (April 10, 2006). "CW Signs 13 More Affils". Broadcasting & Cable. Reed Business Information. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
- Bill Blankenship (September 5, 2012). "WIBW 13.2 to switch from My TV to Me-TV". The Topeka Capital-Journal. Morris Communications.
- Diana Marszalek (July 23, 2013). "News Finds A New Home Among Diginets". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media.