|New York, New York|
|Channels||Digital: 12 (VHF)|
(shared with WNET and WNDT-CD)
Virtual: 46 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||First Nations Experience|
|Owner||The WNET Group |
|TV: WLIW, WNDT-CD, WNET, NJ PBS|
|Founded||February 11, 1993|
First air date
|March 13, 1997 (24 years ago)|
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
22 (UHF, 1997–2006)
46 (UHF, 2006-2012)
46 (UHF, 2006–2017)
|The Box (1997–2001)|
MTV2 (2001–January 2008)
Off-the-air (January-March 2008, 2017-2018)
Cornerstone Television (March 2008–2012)
Informercials (2012, 2013)
Soi TV (2012–2013)
Biz TV (2013-2017)
MHz Worldview (2018–2020)
Call sign meaning
|Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens|
|HAAT||405 m (1,329 ft)|
Public license information
WMBQ-CD virtual channel 46 (VHF digital channel 12), is a class A low–power, First Nations Experience-affiliated television station, licensed to New York City. Owned by WNET, the station is sister to the city's two PBS member stations, Newark-licensed WNET (channel 13) and Garden City-licensed WLIW (channel 21), and a Class A station which, like WMBQ-CD, shares spectrum with WNET: WNDT-CD (channel 14). The station's transmitter is located at One World Trade Center.
As W22BM and WLBX-LP
A construction permit for UHF channel 22 in Cranford, New Jersey was granted to Craig Fox with alpha-numeric call-sign W22BM on February 11, 1993; it signed on in March 1997. The call-sign was changed to WLBX-LP on April 24, 1998. WLBX-LP was previously an affiliate of The Box until that network's acquisition by Viacom in 2001; the station then carried MTV2 like many other former Box stations. On September 11, 2001, WLBX-LP aired footage from CNN and TechTV.
The call sign was changed to WMBQ-CA in 2004. In 2006, Renard Communications Corp. (the Craig Fox-controlled company that by then held the license) began transitioning to a new studio and transmitter they were constructing in Manhattan. Due to this change, WMBQ-CA was displaced from channel 22 to channel 46, and the city of license was changed from Cranford to New York City. On August 17, 2007, Renard Communications Corp. announced that would sell its three stations to Equity Media Holdings for $8 million. However, the transaction had a closing deadline set for June 1, 2008, and either party could cancel the sale if it were not completed by then. The sale had not been consummated by June 19 of that year, as the company was making budget cuts elsewhere; and later that year, Equity Media Holdings entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy. On January 3, 2008, WMBQ-CA went dark, reportedly as a result of moving to a new transmitter site.
In mid-2011, Renard sold WMBQ for $5,250,000 to Prime Time Partners LLC, whose main principals are Jose Rodríguez and Marisol Messir.
The call sign was changed to WMBQ-CD on April 23, 2012, when the station completed its digital transition. Long-form infomercial programming was added full-time; however, later that year, Canal SOI was added after having been removed from WNJU-DT3, which had aired it for a year. The SOI programming ended in 2013, and infomercial programming was once again added back to the subchannel, with just one local program airing, the morning show Al Día. This format continued through late December; Biz TV was then added, making WMBQ-CD the first station to air financial programming in the New York City TV market since WBIS aired financial programming from 1996–1998.
Spectrum sale and donation to WNET
In the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s incentive auction, WMBQ-CD sold its spectrum for $28,313,224 and indicated that it would enter into a post-auction channel sharing agreement. On September 29, 2017, the station entered into a channel sharing agreement with WNET (channel 13); concurrently, Prime Time Partners agreed to donate the WMBQ license to WNET. The donation was completed on December 22, 2017; the next day, WMBQ-CD was taken off-the-air while WNET prepared to move the shared transmitter to the World Trade Center. The station returned to the air in November 2018 as an affiliate of MHz Worldview. Like WNDT-CD, WMBQ-CD airs NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and a locally produced program, Metrofocus. Among local programing PBS Kids Sprout and Cyberchase airs on Saturday afternoons from WNET. After MHz Networks announced in January that MHz Worldview will cease operations by March 1, 2020 in favor of digital streaming, WNET switched its programming to First Nations Experience.
WMBQ-CD transmits one channel on the multiplex shared with WNET and WNDT-CD:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|13.1||1080i||16:9||WNET-HD||WNET / PBS|
|14.1||1080i||WNDT-CD||First Nations Experience|
A third subchannel, EEE, a Spanish-language religious network, was added in 2014 but with low audio levels. In January 2015, EEE was replaced with long-form infomercial programming. Biz TV was previously on WMBQ's primary channel 46.1 until it was donated to WNET.
- Equity Media Announces Acquisition of Three New York City Television Stations Archived 2009-02-07 at the Wayback Machine Equity Media Holdings Corporation - Equity Media Announces Acquisition of Three New York City Television Stations
- Manthey, Toby (June 14, 2008). "Equity ends newscasts; N.Y. station buy teeters". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Archived from the original on February 6, 2009. Retrieved June 19, 2008.
- "BLSTA-20070119ABT (Notification of Suspension of Operations / Request for Silent STA)".
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- "FCC Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction Auction 1001 Winning Bids" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. April 4, 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
- "Amendment to a Modification of a Licensed Facility for Digital Class A TV Station Application". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. October 20, 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
- "APPLICATION FOR CONSENT TO ASSIGNMENT OF BROADCAST STATION CONSTRUCTION PERMIT OR LICENSE". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. October 26, 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
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- "Request for Silent Authority of a Digital Class A Station Application". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. December 28, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
- Here's How to Keep Watching MHz Worldview Programming After March 1st
- "WMBQ-CD". RabbitEars.info. Retrieved October 24, 2020.