WKTV-DT2

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WKTV-DT2
CBS Utica logo.jpg
Utica/Rome, New York
United States
Branding "CBS Utica 2" (general)
"NewsChannel 2" (newscasts)
Slogan Where the News
Comes First (during WKTV news simulcasts)
Channels Digital: WKTV-DT 29.4 (UHF)
Virtual: 2.2 (PSIP)
Affiliations CBS
Owner Heartland Media
(WKTV, Licensee LLC)
Founded September 1998
Call letters' meaning see WKTV
Former callsigns "WBU" (1998–2006)
Former affiliations The WB (1998–2006, via The WB 100+)
The CW (2006–2015, via The CW Plus)
Transmitter power 708 kW (digital)
Height 402 m (digital)
Facility ID 60654 (digital)
Transmitter coordinates 43°6′8.4″N 74°56′19″W / 43.102333°N 74.93861°W / 43.102333; -74.93861 (digital)

WKTV-DT2 is the CBS-affiliated television station for Central Upstate New York's Mohawk Valley. The station is a second digital subchannel of NBC affiliate WKTV that is owned by Heartland Media. Over-the-air, WKTV-DT2 broadcasts a 720p high-definition digital signal on UHF channel 29.4 (or virtual channel 2.2 via PSIP) from a transmitter in the Eatonville section of Fairfield and Herkimer. The station can also be seen on Time Warner Cable channel 5 and in high definition on digital channel 1209.[1] WKTV-DT2's parent station has studios on Smith Hill Road in Deerfield (with a Utica postal address).

History[edit]

The station signed-on in September 1998 alongside the creation of The WB 100+. WKTV partnered with the group to launch a cable-only WB affiliate. This new service replaced network flagship WPIX from New York City on Time Warner Cable systems in the Mohawk Valley and it used the "WBU" (standing for The WB Utica) call sign in a fictional manner.

"Central New York's CW 11" Logo used from September 18, 2006 until November 22, 2015 when the CW+ affiliate moved to WKTV-DT3 from WKTV-DT2.

In January 2006, The WB and UPN announced that they would merge and form The CW Television Network, from which affiliates were to be drawn from existing WB and UPN affiliates. "WBU" was chosen to become the CW affiliate for Utica, while UPN affiliate WPNY-LP associated itself with MyNetworkTV (a network started by Fox, whose Utica affiliate WFXV was a sister station to WPNY-LP) for UPN or WB affiliates not chosen by The CW. Responding to the selection, WKTV launched a new second digital subchannel to simulcast WBU and offer off-air access to CW programming, which begun along with the CW on September 18. The station then began using the WKTV-DT2 calls in an official manner. Originally, this subchannel was known on-air as "Central New York's CW" but was eventually re-branded to "Central New York's CW 11" (and more recently "The CW 11") to reflect its location on Time Warner Cable systems.

Due to an ongoing retransmission dispute, Time Warner Cable replaced WKTV with fellow NBC affiliate WBRE-TV from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on December 16, 2010. WKTV-DT2 was also dropped and eventually replaced by HBO Family. On the same date, rival ABC outlet WUTR began to be seen in the Burlington, Vermont/Plattsburgh, New York market on Time Warner Cable after then-sister station WVNY was dropped for the same reason.[2] Nexstar Broadcasting Group, owner of WBRE, and Mission Broadcasting (a company whose stations are operated by Nexstar), owner of WUTR and eventual owner of WVNY, opposed the use of their stations as replacement programming and requested the Time Warner Cable franchise for the affected regions be revoked. Incidentally, Nexstar's former sister company Atlantic Broadband is the only other company with operations in Upstate New York. WKTV and Time Warner reached an agreement, the terms of which both sides refused to reveal, on January 8, 2011 allowing WKTV and its subchannel to return to the cable system the next day.

On October 1, 2013, Smith Media reached a deal to sell WKTV (and thus WKTV-DT2) to Heartland Media, a company owned by former Gray Television executive Bob Prather.[3] The sale was completed on March 20, 2014. [4]

On October 26, 2015, WKTV announced that it would change WKTV-DT2's affiliation from The CW to CBS on November 22. The new affiliation marks the first time CBS has had an affiliate in Utica since the end of WKTV's secondary affiliation with the network in the mid-1950s, as well as the first time CBS has ever had a full-time affiliate in Utica. (Prior to this, WTVH in Syracuse and WBNG in Binghamton served as the default CBS affiliates for the Utica market.) WKTV-DT2's former CW affiliation, as well as its programming and cable channel position, moved to WKTV's third subchannel, and MeTV in turn was transferred to a new fourth subchannel.[5] Within a month, WKTV-DT2 had replaced WTVH on Time Warner Cable channel 5 in Utica proper, while DirecTV later added WKTV-DT2 to its local packages, as did Dish Network shortly after the new year.[6] On July 1, 2016, WKTV-DT2 was re-launched in the rest of the Utica DMA when the station replaced WTVH in Herkimer County and WBNG in Otsego County.[7][8]

In May 2016, WKTV-DT2 upgraded their over-the-air digital signal into 720p high definition; thus offering a locally-operated in-market over-the-air high definition feed for CBS for the first time in the Utica/Rome market.[9]

Programming[edit]

WKTV-DT2 clears the entire CBS schedule, except for the CBS Morning News which it preempts in favor of looping the CBS Overnight News until beginning its second-hour simulcast of its parent station's morning newscast. Syndicated programming on WKTV-DT2 includes The Dr. Oz Show (which also airs on WKTV), RightThisMinute, and Friends.[10]

Newscasts[edit]

In September 2001, WKTV entered into a news share agreement with Fox affiliate WFXV (then owned by Quorum Broadcasting) leading to a 10 p.m. newscast on that station.[11] Known as NewsChannel 2 on Fox, the show aired every night for a half-hour and was virtually identical to WKTV's regular newscasts. The broadcast generally originated live from WKTV's studios. However, there were frequently technical problems beaming the show to WFXV's facility on Greenfield Road in Rome through microwave relay. Sometimes, WKTV personnel had to record the newscast in advance and physically deliver the videotape to WFXV (the stations' studios were roughly thirty minutes apart).

When the outsourcing contract ended on August 31, 2004, WFXV decided not to renew it (by this point, WFXV was owned by the Nexstar Broadcasting Group and operated Mission Broadcasting's WUTR through a joint sales agreement). The next day, the 10 p.m. newscast moved to cable-exclusive "WBU" with the weekend edition being dropped. The newscast continued to air on the station until November 22, 2015, when it moved to WKTV-DT3 along with the rest of the CW programming.[12]

WKTV-DT2 currently simulcasts the second hour of its parent station's morning newscast, the first half-hour of its noon newscast, and its 11 p.m. newscast, with future plans for exclusive newscasts using CBS resources. The second half-hour of the noon newscast only airs on WKTV to allow WKTV-DT2 to air The Young and the Restless in CBS' recommended 12:30 p.m. time slot.[13] During weather forecast segments, WKTV (and thus WKTV-DT2) features live NOAA National Weather Service weather radar data from several regional sites. On-air, this system is known as "StormTracker 2 Live Doppler".

References[edit]

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