Digital: 27 (UHF)|
(shared with WCLJ-TV; to move to 28 (UHF))
Virtual: 63 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||Ion Television (O&O)|
Ion Media Networks|
(Ion Media Indianapolis License, Inc.)
|First air date||December 27, 1988|
|Call letters' meaning||Indianapolis PaX|
|Former callsigns||WIIB (1988–1998)|
|Former channel number(s)||
63 (UHF, 1988–2009)
125 kW (CP)
310 m (1,017 ft)|
324 m (1,063 ft) (CP)
|Public license information:||
WIPX-TV, virtual channel 63 (UHF digital channel 27), is an Ion Television owned-and-operated television station serving Indianapolis, Indiana, United States that is licensed to Bloomington. The station is owned by Ion Media Networks, as part of a duopoly with Ion Life owned-and-operated station WCLJ-TV (channel 42, also licensed to Bloomington). The two stations share offices on Production Drive (near I-74/I-465) in southwestern Indianapolis and transmitter facilities on County Road 50 in rural southwestern Johnson County (due southeast of Trafalgar).
The station first signed on the air on December 27, 1988 as WIIB. Founded by Sinclair Broadcast Group, it originally operated as an affiliate of the Home Shopping Network. Sinclair had planned to eventually convert WIIB into a general entertainment independent station. However, those plans were halted when Sinclair acquired another Bloomington-licensed station, UPN affiliate WTTV (channel 4, now a CBS affiliate), through its April 1996 merger with River City Broadcasting, with the company immediately focusing its efforts on that station and its Kokomo satellite WTTK (channel 29). In 1995, WIIB became an affiliate of the Infomail TV Network (inTV) infomercial service.
As Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations at that time had forbidden the common ownership of two full-power commercial television stations in the same market, Sinclair had to obtain a crossownership waiver from the FCC to keep WTTV/WTTK and WIIB. Channel 63 was sold to DP Media, a company owned by Devon Paxson, son of Paxson Communications and HSN founder Lowell "Bud" Paxson in 1998; around the same time, DP Media acquired low-power ValueVision affiliate W51BU and converted it into a translator of WIIB. On August 31 of that year, the station became a charter affiliate of Paxson's family-oriented network Pax TV (now Ion Television), changing its call letters to WIPX-TV to reflect its new affiliation. WIPX-TV and WIPX-LP became Pax owned-and-operated stations, when DP Media merged with Paxson Communications in 2000 (Paxson had earlier attempted to purchase WB affiliate WNDY-TV [channel 23, now a MyNetworkTV affiliate] for $28.4 million in 1997, before it was outbid by a $35 million offer from the Paramount Stations Group that October).
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|63.1||720p||16:9||ION||Main WIPX-TV programming / Ion Television|
WIPX-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 63, 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 continued to broadcast on its pre-transition UHF channel 27. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 63, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.
In September 2000, in conjunction with a joint sales agreement that Paxson had signed with NBC affiliate WTHR (channel 13), WIPX-TV began airing rebroadcasts of that station's 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. newscasts on a half-hour tape delay Monday through Fridays at 6:30 and 11:30 p.m. (the latter beginning shortly before that program's live broadcast ended on WTHR).
On February 28, 2005, WTHR began producing a half-hour primetime newscast at 10:00 p.m. for channel 63, which competed with the longer-established 35-minute primetime newscast on Fox affiliate WXIN (channel 59) and a half-hour newscast on WNDY-TV (channel 23)—the latter of which WTHR had produced for nine years before CBS affiliate WISH-TV (channel 8, now a CW affiliate) took over production responsibilities for the program after its owner LIN TV Corporation acquired WNDY. The news rebroadcasts ended and the primetime newscast was cancelled on June 30, 2005, as Pax TV's news share agreements with network-affiliated stations were terminated upon the network's rebranding as i: Independent Television as a result of the network's financial troubles.
WIPX-TV's signal was formerly relayed on translator station WIPX-LP (UHF analog channel 51) in Indianapolis; it maintained transmitter facilities on Walnut Drive in the northwestern portion of the city. WIPX-LP covered northern portions of the Indianapolis market that receive a Grade B to non-existent signal from WIPX-TV (including the cities of Kokomo, Marion and Muncie), though there was a decent amount of overlap between the coverage areas of both WIPX-TV and WIPX-LP's signals otherwise. On-air references to WIPX-LP were limited to FCC-mandated hourly station identifications during Ion Television programming. Channel 51 ceased broadcasting in 2013.
On December 15, 2014, Ion reached a deal to donate WIPX-LP to Word of God Fellowship, parent company of the Daystar network. The station is currently silent, with a digital construction permit set to expire in September 2015.
- Modification of a Licensed Facility for DTV Application
- WB, UPN woo WNDY-TV, Broadcasting & Cable, October 27, 1997. Retrieved June 19, 2014 from HighBeam Research.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WIPX
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "APPLICATION FOR TRANSFER OF CONTROL OF A CORPORATE LICENSEE OR PERMITTEE, OR FOR ASSIGNMENT OF LICENSE OR PERMIT OF TV OR FM TRANSLATOR STATION OR LOW POWER TELEVISION STATION (WIPX-LP)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. December 23, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2014.