WTCL-LD

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(Redirected from WLFM-LP)

WTCL-LD
Channels
BrandingTelemundo Cleveland
Programming
Affiliations
Ownership
Owner
History
First air date
November 30, 1989
(34 years ago)
 (1989-11-30)
Former call signs
  • W47BE (1989–1998)
  • W65DL (1998–2000)
  • WXOX-LP (2000–2012)
  • WLFM-LP (2012–2020)
  • WLFM-LD (2020–2021)
  • WTCL-LP (2021–2022)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog: 47 (UHF, 1989–1998), 65 (UHF, 1998–2012), 6 (VHF, 2012–2020)
Call sign meaning
"Telemundo Cleveland"
Technical information[3]
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID6699
ClassLD
ERP15 kW
HAAT306.8 m (1,007 ft)
Transmitter coordinates41°22′45″N 81°43′11″W / 41.37917°N 81.71972°W / 41.37917; -81.71972
Translator(s)WOHZ-CD 6.1 Canton
Links
Public license information
LMS
Websitewww.telemundocleveland.com

WTCL-LD (channel 6) is a low-power television station in Cleveland, Ohio, United States, affiliated with Telemundo. It is owned by Gray Television alongside two full-power sister stations: Shaker Heights–licensed CBS affiliate WOIO (channel 19) and Lorain–licensed CW affiliate WUAB (channel 43); WTCL-LD also functions as an ultra high frequency (UHF) repeater for WOIO and WUAB. All three stations share studios at Reserve Square in downtown Cleveland; WTCL-LD's transmitter is located in suburban Parma.

Founded as a mostly obscure low-power station in the Cleveland area on UHF channels 47 and 65, this station moved to channel 6 in 2012 after several failed attempts to convert the station for digital broadcasting, enabling it to operate as WLFM-LP, a de facto radio station on 87.7 FM. After briefly carrying a hybrid modern rock/talk format, a lease to TSJ Media resulted in the installation of a Spanish language radio format as "La Mega 87.7", the first such format to operate on a full-time basis in the market. Increasing technical complications and limitations forced WLFM-LP to convert to digital in July 2020. A sale to Gray Television the following year saw the station relaunched as the market's first Telemundo affiliate.

History[edit]

Early history and attempted digital conversion[edit]

This station signed on as a low-power station on channel 47 on November 30, 1989,[4] using the sequentially assigned W47BE call sign.[5] Moving to channel 65 (which had been previously reserved for commercial UHF broadcasts in the early 1950s which were never built[6][7]) on April 15, 1998,[8] the calls were changed to W65DL, then adopted the WXOX-LP calls on January 12, 2000.[5] In the final years as WXOX, the station was affiliated with the Home Shopping Network (HSN).

WXOX-LP filed paperwork requesting the station move to channel 44 and increase power to 120 kW,[9] but amended the request for digital conversion.[10] Federal Communications Commission (FCC) findings stated channel 44 would cause interference with adjacent WNEO,[11] prompting WXOX-LP to request broadcasting over a subchannel of WCDN-LP.[12] WXOX-LP was then forced off the air on October 27, 2009, when wireless carrier Verizon purchased the part of the wireless spectrum where the station had been broadcasting.[13] An attempt was made to convert WXOX to a low-power digital station on channel 31,[14] which WJW broadcast from prior to the June 12, 2009, analog shutoff date. Due to potential co-channel interference issues with CITY-DT-2 in Woodstock, Ontario, which also broadcast on RF channel 31, the application was abandoned.

As a "Franken-FM" radio station[edit]

87.7 Cleveland's Sound[edit]

In May 2011, the station's then-owner, Venture Technologies Group, filed a new FCC request to move the station to channel 6 analog,[15] leading to speculation that it could carry the audio feed of an FM radio station due to analog transmissions on that frequency also being audible over 87.7 FM.[16] After entering into an operating agreement with Murray Hill Broadcasting—headed by former WWWE,[17] WRMR and WDOK co-owner Tom Wilson and aligned with Venture executive Paul Koplin[18]—Wilson announced the launch of a personality-driven alternative rock/talk format,[19] using the WLFM-LP call sign[5] which Venture transferred from their low-power channel 6 station in Chicago.[20]

With studios located within the Cleveland Agora,[21] what became known as "87.7 Cleveland's Sound" was originally scheduled to launch in July 2012, but did not debut until September 9, 2012.[22] WLFM-LP aired a taped loop of Cleveland-themed sports songs and "My Town" as a prolonged stunt,[19] while the TV signal displayed either a loop of slides of local landmarks, or a screensaver for Western Digital.[23] A casting call was conducted for possible air talent, with former WKRK-FM host Rachel Steele named as afternoon host and former WFBQ program director Marty Bender assuming like duties.[22] Former WMMS personalities Dan Stansbury[24] and Chad Zumock were later added to the airstaff.[25]

Readers of Cleveland Scene awarded WLFM-LP as "Best Local Radio Station" in 2013.[26] The station also featured area local music show Inner Sanctum but the program was cancelled in September 2013; host Pat Johnson said the station "was hoping for a big summer and that hasn't translated into sales yet".[27]

La Mega 87.7[edit]

Logo as "La Mega 87.7", playing off of the station's aural transmissions being audible at 87.7 FM.

Murray Hill Broadcasting announced a local marketing agreement (LMA) with Cincinnati-based TSJ Media on December 11, 2013, effectively changing WLFM-LP to a Spanish language radio format, de facto becoming the first full-time Hispanic radio station in Cleveland proper. Tom Wilson viewed Murray Hill's LMA with TSJ Media as "a significant upgrade of an opportunity... sometimes you just don't realize what opportunity is there until somebody presents it to you. It's really the way to go".[21] When the LMA took effect on January 1, 2014,[28] WLFM-LP was renamed "La Mega 87.7: Latino and Proud", boasting an airstaff that included several area disc jockeys.[29] TSJ Media would later be acquired by Columbus-based La Mega Media, Inc., on April 16, 2019.[30]

Beginning with the 2014–15 NBA season, WLFM-LP carried Spanish-language broadcasts of the Cleveland Cavaliers, then added Spanish-language broadcasts of the Cleveland Browns in 2018; Rafael Hernandez Brito served as play-by-play announcer for both teams.[31][32]

Conversion to digital[edit]

WLFM-LP suspended operations on February 26, 2019, when WOUC-TV in Cambridge, Ohio, moved to RF channel 6 during the repacking of broadcast spectrum initiated by the FCC's 2016 auction;[33] WLFM-LP returned to the air several days later with a power reduction to 3 watts.[34] While low-power television stations operating as "Franken-FMs", including WLFM-LP, had deadlines for digital conversion extended multiple times by the FCC,[35] the spectrum repack forced the station to convert to digital broadcasting on RF channel 20. Thus, WLFM-LP discontinued analog broadcasting on June 30, 2020, with the "La Mega 87.7" format moved to an internet-only platform.[36]

On July 29, 2020, the renamed WLFM-LD launched, carrying Jewelry Television as a temporary affiliation.[18]

Sale to Gray and Telemundo affiliation[edit]

Murray Hill Broadcasting sold WLFM-LD to WOIO and WUAB owner Gray Television on July 29, 2021, for $1.65 million,[18] which the FCC approved on September 13.[2] Shortly thereafter, Gray announced WLFM-LD would adopt the WTCL call sign and join Telemundo on January 1, 2022; prior to this, Cleveland was the largest market in the United States not to have a dedicated Telemundo affiliate.[1] The new station would also have evening newscasts in Spanish produced by WOIO, the first such newscasts to be broadcast in the Cleveland market, as Univision-owned WQHS-DT only carries remotely-produced news briefs.[1][37] WOIO previously produced a daily Spanish-language newscast, Al Día, for their website, social media and OTT services, but was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic; WOIO retained both Al Día reporters and planned to hire two additional bilingual reporters.[38]

WLFM-LD was renamed WTCL-LP on October 15, 2021, and adopted the -LD suffix on August 5, 2022.[5]

In early 2023, WTCL-LD was added to the Spectrum Cleveland cable lineup on channel 17, giving the station wider reach in the market.

On June 1, 2023, WTCL's programming became simulcast on Canton-licensed WOHZ-CD, extending its visibility to the southern part of the Cleveland–Akron–Canton market.[39]

Subchannels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Subchannels of WTCL-LD[40]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
6.1 1080i 16:9 TLMD Telemundo
6.2 480i MeTV MeTV / MyNetworkTV
19.10 1080i WOIOHD CBS (WOIO)
43.10 480i WUAB The CW (WUAB)
  Simulcast of subchannels of another station
Map
  • Grade A signal contours for WTCL-LD and translator WOHZ-CD.
    •   WTCL-LD
    •   WOHZ-CD

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "WOIO-TV will launch new Telemundo station in Cleveland". Cleveland19.com. Cleveland, Ohio. September 22, 2021. Archived from the original on September 22, 2021. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Assignments". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. July 29, 2021. Archived from the original on October 13, 2022. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  3. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WTCL-LD". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  4. ^ "Application Search Details: BPTTL-19890310QF". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. November 30, 1989. Retrieved October 14, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d "WTCL-LD: Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. October 15, 2021. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  6. ^ "Cleveland's WERE Gets TV Permit". Akron Beacon Journal. Akron, Ohio. June 19, 1953. p. 38. Archived from the original on September 26, 2022. Retrieved September 25, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "FCC Acting To Cancel Permits To TV Stations". The Newark Advocate. Newark, Ohio. Associated Press. February 20, 1960. p. 25. Archived from the original on September 26, 2022. Retrieved September 25, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Application Search Details: BPTTL-19960517ZG". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. April 15, 1998. Retrieved October 14, 2022.
  9. ^ "Application Search Details: BPTTL-20050927ALC". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. February 6, 2006. Retrieved October 14, 2022.
  10. ^ "Application Search Details: BDFCDTL-20080221ACU". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. January 22, 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2022.
  11. ^ "In re: Low Power Television Application of: Venture Technologies Group, LLC; Channel 44, Cleveland, OH; File number: BDFCDTL-20080221ACU; Facility Id No.: 6699". Federal Communications Commission. December 16, 2008. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2010.
  12. ^ "Application Search Details". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved January 2, 2014.[dead link]
  13. ^ "Notification of Suspension of Operations/Request for Silent STA: BLSTA - 20091110AED". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Archived from the original on December 23, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  14. ^ [1] Archived March 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Application Search Details: BDISTVL-20100408ACE". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  16. ^ "New 'Franken FM' Preps for Cleveland Launch". Radio World. Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  17. ^ Cavazos, Shaina (June 27, 2012). "New Cleveland Radio Station to Aim for Hyper-local Approach". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland, Ohio. Archived from the original on June 28, 2012. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
  18. ^ a b c Jacobson, Adam (July 29, 2021). "Gray Gains a Cleveland LPTV Property". Radio & Television Business Report. Archived from the original on October 13, 2022. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  19. ^ a b Park, Michelle (June 21, 2012). "Longtime radio exec plans launch of new Cleveland rock station". Crain's Cleveland Business. Cleveland, Ohio. Archived from the original on October 13, 2022. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  20. ^ Venta, Lance (June 25, 2012). "87.7 WLFM Cleveland To Launch With Rock Format". RadioInsight. Archived from the original on October 13, 2022. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  21. ^ a b Lazette, Michelle Park (December 10, 2013). "Cleveland FM station 87.7 to ditch alternative rock for Hispanic format". Crain's Cleveland Business. Cleveland, Ohio. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  22. ^ a b Venta, Lance (September 10, 2012). "87.7 Cleveland's Sound Debut". RadioInsight. Archived from the original on February 20, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  23. ^
  24. ^ "87.7 FM Cleveland's Sound Hires Dan Stansbury For PM Drive". AllAccess.com. November 6, 2013. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  25. ^ "87.7 Cleveland Sound » Proud to Announce "Sunday Nights with Chad Zumock"". Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  26. ^ Bolden, Chris (April 10, 2013). "Best of Cleveland 2013: People & Places". Cleveland Scene. Cleveland, Ohio. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  27. ^ Niesel, Jeff (September 27, 2013). "87.7 pulls the plug on local music show Inner Sanctum". Cleveland Scene. Cleveland, Ohio. Archived from the original on September 29, 2013. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  28. ^ Grzegorek, Vince (December 11, 2013). "87.7 Sold, Will Switch to Latin Music Programming on January 1, 2014 | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog". Cleveland Scene. Cleveland, Ohio. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  29. ^ Smith, Robert L. (January 9, 2014). "Wepa! La Mega brings Spanish music, news and excitement to Cleveland airwaves". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland, Ohio. Archived from the original on January 10, 2014. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  30. ^ Caproni, Erin (April 16, 2019). "Cincinnati media firm sells". Cincinnati Business Courier. Cincinnati, Ohio. Archived from the original on October 13, 2022. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  31. ^ Kleps, Kevin (October 16, 2014). "Cleveland Cavs games will be broadcast in Spanish on 87.7 FM La Mega". Crain's Cleveland Business. Cleveland, Ohio. Archived from the original on July 5, 2018. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  32. ^ "Cleveland Browns". Archived from the original on August 9, 2018. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  33. ^ "Suspension of Operations of an Analog LPTV Station Application- File Number: 0000068413". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. March 7, 2019. Archived from the original on October 16, 2022. Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  34. ^ "Analog LPTV Engineering STA Application- File Number: 0000068414". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. March 7, 2019. Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  35. ^ Venta, Lance (October 10, 2014). "Franken-FM's To Get Temporary Stay; Potentially Permanent One". RadioInsight. Archived from the original on October 13, 2022. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  36. ^ Venta, Lance (June 23, 2020). "TV Repack Sends Mega 87.7 Cleveland To Go Online Only". RadioInsight. Archived from the original on September 13, 2020. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  37. ^ Palmer, Kim (February 20, 2022). "Telemundo Cleveland rolls out Spanish-language station". Crain's Cleveland Business. Cleveland, Ohio. Archived from the original on September 16, 2022. Retrieved September 16, 2022.
  38. ^ Barron, Alicia (October 14, 2021). "Building a Telemundo affiliate from scratch". Cronkite News Lab. Archived from the original on October 14, 2022. Retrieved October 14, 2022.
  39. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WOHZ-CD". RabbitEars. Archived from the original on October 10, 2022. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  40. ^ "Digital TV Market Listing for WTCL". RabbitEars. Archived from the original on December 23, 2021. Retrieved October 9, 2022.

External links[edit]