|Channels||Digital: 31 (UHF)|
Virtual: 20 (PSIP)
|Branding||TV 20 Detroit (general)|
7 Action News on TV 20 Detroit (newscast)
|Slogan||Taking Action for You|
|Owner||E. W. Scripps Company |
(Scripps Broadcasting Holdings LLC)
First air date
|September 15, 1968|
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
Call sign meaning
|HAAT||324 m (1,063 ft)|
Public license information
WMYD, virtual channel 20 (UHF digital channel 31), is a MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station licensed to Detroit, Michigan, United States. The station is owned by the E. W. Scripps Company, as part of a duopoly with ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV (channel 7).
The two stations share studios at Broadcast House on 10 Mile Road in Southfield; WMYD's transmitter is located on Eight Mile Road in Oak Park, along the Oakland–Wayne county line. Previously, WMYD maintained separate studios at the American Center Building on Franklin Road, also in Southfield, while the WXYZ-TV facilities only housed WMYD's master control and some internal operations.
On cable, WMYD is available in standard definition on channel 3 on Comcast Xfinity's Detroit city, western Wayne County and Macomb County systems, and on Charter Spectrum (though some systems carry it on channel 6), channel 20 in most other suburbs and on AT&T U-verse, and channel 62 on Cogeco's system in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and in high definition on Xfinity channel 235 and U-verse channel 1020.
As an independent station
The station first signed on the air on September 15, 1968, as WXON-TV, broadcasting on UHF channel 62 and operating as an independent station. It moved to channel 20 in 1972 after two short-lived stations abandoned the frequency in the 1950s and 1960s; the first was WPAG-TV in Ann Arbor, which started broadcasting in April 1953, and suspended operations in December 1957 in a failed attempt to move to VHF channel 12. In 1960, WJMY-TV in Allen Park was awarded a construction permit for channel 20, broadcasting for eight months in 1962-63. After the previous owner died, new owners tried several times to bring WJMY back on, airing a series of test signals in the late 1960s; they finally gave up in 1970, paving the way for WXON to purchase WJMY's construction permit and move to channel 20 in November 1972. WGPR-TV (now CBS owned-and-operated station WWJ-TV) took over the channel 62 frequency in 1975.
WXON initially operated from studio facilities located on Decker Road in the Oakland County town of Walled Lake, but later moved to its present location in Southfield. Through the 1970s, WXON aired cartoons, lower-rated sitcoms, off-network dramas, old movies, religious programs and the annual Variety Club of Detroit telethon hosted by Soupy Sales. It offered English-dubbed versions of live action Japanese sci-fi children's programs such as Ultraman, Johnny Sokko and Space Giants. WXON also brought the infamous late-night horror movie cult favorite The Ghoul Show back to Detroit television after WKBD had canceled it in 1975. In addition, the station broadcast the anime series, Robotech, initially as a 1985 summer replacement series with two consecutive episodes, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, each weekday. Continuing much as channel 62 had earlier, WXON also often aired a package of films primarily sourced from American International Pictures and heavily balanced toward 1950s and early 1960s horror and science-fiction features.
In 1979, WXON began to carry subscription television programming provided by ONTV, which aired daily after 8 p.m. The ONTV broadcasts were encrypted, requiring a rented set-top box to decode WXON's signal during hours when the station ran ONTV programming; the service was not cheap at $22.50 a month (equivalent to $79.26 in 2019 adjusted for inflation). Many people, especially those living across the river in Windsor, Ontario, who figured out the technological simplicities in how WXON encrypted ONTV programming built their own decoder boxes and watched the service for free illegally. The network carried uncut movies, concerts and local sporting events. However, since many games began before 8 in the evening, fans missed the start of many contests. In one famous incident, the Detroit Red Wings racked up a 5–0 lead in a game against the Calgary Flames before ONTV began its coverage.
In 1982, WXON began airing ONTV on weekend afternoons and faced a challenge from In-Home Theatre, which aired 24 hours a day on WIHT (channel 31, now WPXD-TV) in Ann Arbor. Still lagging far behind WKBD-TV (channel 50) in the ratings, WXON dropped ONTV on March 31, 1983, and resumed a general entertainment format full-time. It added a number of movies to its lineup. The station also acquired several barter cartoons as the children's programming business peaked between 1984 and 1985. As the 1980s progressed, the station began acquiring stronger off-network sitcoms. It got a significant boost after WKBD became a Fox charter affiliate on October 6, 1986. Channel 20 was an established independent station by 1991. When fellow Detroit outlet WJBK dropped its CBS affiliation in favor of Fox, the former network approached WXON for an affiliation deal which the station rejected; though ABC would also briefly court channel 20 out of fear of losing WXYZ-TV to CBS without success (as WXON was more interested in joining The WB when it launched); thus, channel 20 was unaffected by the network affiliation swaps that occurred in December 1994. Until that year, the station signed off the air early each morning from 1 to 5 a.m.; the station has generally broadcast a 24-hour schedule ever since although it has signed off and signed back on periodically during the late 1990s.
On January 11, 1995, WXON became a charter affiliate of the upstart WB Television Network. Granite Broadcasting bought WXON two years later in January 1997 and on October 14 of that year, the station's call letters were changed to WDWB. In 2004, the station became the new over-the-air broadcast home of the NBA's Detroit Pistons, taking the rights from the team's longtime broadcaster, WKBD and was the broadcast home for 15 to 20 Detroit Tigers baseball games produced by Fox Sports Net Detroit. WDWB carried the full WB network schedule, but after joining the network it frequently preempted programming that it rescheduled or did not air in favor of programming such as movies, Big Ten Conference basketball, the Pistons, the Tigers, and from 1999 until 2012, the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon. Like the baseball and basketball games, the annual MDA telethon was broadcast live, but since the station had no studios to accommodate the local telethon segments, it was produced out of the studios of PBS member station WTVS (channel 56) in the New Center section of downtown Detroit.
In September 2005, Granite announced its intention to sell WDWB and its San Francisco sister station KBWB (now KOFY-TV) to AM Media Holdings, Inc. (a unit of Acon Investments and several key Granite shareholders) for a price rated, on WDWB's end, to around $97 million. The low price (Granite had purchased the station for $175 million) was largely out of Granite wanting to cut down its debt load while keeping control of the stations. On February 15, 2006, Granite announced the restructuring of the sale considering the changing conditions of the station but the sale eventually fell apart. In May 2006, DS Audible announced its intent to purchase the stations for about $84 million on WDWB's end. On July 18, 2006, this sale also fell apart and Granite announced its intention to retain the station. In November, Granite Broadcasting announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy but would continue to operate its stations including WMYD.
On January 24, 2006, the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner and CBS Corporation announced that the two companies would shut down The WB and UPN and combine the networks' respective programming to create a new "fifth" network called The CW. One month later on February 22, News Corporation announced the launch of a new "sixth" network called MyNetworkTV, which would be operated by Fox Television Stations and its syndication division Twentieth Television. MyNetworkTV was created to give UPN and WB stations that were not mentioned as becoming CW affiliates another option besides converting to independent stations.
Like many stations about to lose a WB or UPN affiliation due to The CW's launch, WDWB changed its on-air logo to remove the "WB" logo; its new logo was introduced during a Pistons-Minnesota Timberwolves basketball game on February 1. The station had also announced that it would no longer promote any WB programing. The station changed its call letters to the current WMYD on May 7 in recognition of its future affiliation. On July 29, 2006, the new WMYD logo was introduced during a Tigers-Minnesota Twins baseball game in preparation for its switch; the station was then re-branded as "My TV 20". During the time before the actual launch, WMYD covered up all WB branding during programming and did not carry network promos. It became a MyNetworkTV affiliate on September 5 and WKBD joined The CW on September 18.
Occasionally as time now permits, WMYD may carry network programming from Fox, NBC or ABC should either WJBK (channel 2), WDIV-TV (channel 4) or WXYZ-TV (channel 7) preempt any shows for special programs, or extended breaking news or severe weather coverage; as of now, it has not done so. In April 2008, WMYD began airing Wolfman Mac's Nightmare Sinema (now known as Wolfman Mac's Chiller Drive-In), a 90-minute comedic "horror host" series hosted by "Wolfman" Mac Kelly featuring vintage sci-fi and horror films, skits and cartoons. It is the first original locally produced show of its kind to be seen in Detroit in over a decade. The program was dropped from WMYD's schedule on February 14, 2010, three months after Chiller Drive-In reached a deal with the Retro Television Network to show reruns as well as new episodes.
On February 10, 2014, the E. W. Scripps Company announced that it would acquire WMYD and ABC affiliate WKBW-TV in Buffalo, New York from Granite Broadcasting for $110 million. The purchase created a duopoly with Scripps' ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV. In addition, Scripps began to take over certain operations of WMYD through a time brokerage agreement until the purchase was consummated. Another likely factor in the purchase was for Scripps to acquire Indianapolis' WNDY from LIN Media, which would have formed a duopoly with sister station WRTV. The FCC approved the sale on May 2. The sale was completed on June 16.
With the purchase, the station and WKBW-TV became the most recent purchase by Scripps; the previous one was of the television division of McGraw-Hill Broadcasting in 2011 where it acquired nine stations. In early June, Granite employees stopped updating the station's Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as news blogs as part of the station's news department. Also, WMYD's news department was shifted to WXYZ's following the sale; the final WMYD-produced newscast aired on June 13. The station's Granite Broadcasting-era website was redirected to WXYZ's page for the station after the sale was completed three days later. Also, WMYD's branding changed to "TV 20 Detroit", and debuted a brand new logo (seen above) on that day. WMYD was also the first and only MyNetworkTV station owned by Scripps until their merger with Journal Broadcasting.
The station digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|20.1||720p||16:9||WMYD-HD||Main WMYD programming / MyNetworkTV|
|20.3||WMYD-ES||Court TV Mystery|
WMYD formerly carried Universal Sports on its second digital subchannel from October 15, 2007, until August 2008 (shortly after its rebranding from World Championship Sports Network to Universal Sports). A standard definition simulcast of the station's main channel was later carried on digital channel 20.2. The subchannel was eventually deleted altogether, although it was reactivated on September 12, 2011, as an affiliate of TheCoolTV. That network was dropped on September 19, 2012, as TheCoolTV experienced severe liquidity issues (and the inability to pay WMYD for their carriage), which resulted in a near-complete collapse of its affiliate base into 2013; in the meantime it became a standard definition simulcast of 20.1.
On March 8, 2013, Cozi TV began to broadcast on WMYD-DT, with Escape arriving on July 1, 2015. On February 1, 2016, Antenna TV launched on 20.2, with Cozi moving to Antenna's former home on WADL-DT4 (who had dropped Antenna TV five months earlier).
WMYD shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 20, on February 17, 2009, the original target date for full-power television stations in the United States to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. As a result, WMYD was the only major television station in Detroit and one of two commercial stations in Detroit overall (alongside WPXD-TV, channel 31) to terminate its analog signal before June 12, the date which Congress chose to reschedule the completion of the digital transition. The station's digital signal continued to broadcast on its pre-transition UHF channel 21. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 20.
As part of the SAFER Act, WMYD kept its analog signal on the air until March 4 to inform viewers of the digital television transition through a loop of public service announcements from the National Association of Broadcasters. Prior to the digital switchover, WMYD transmitted its signal from a 1,000-foot tower at the intersection of Eleven Mile and Inkster Roads in Southfield along with WTVS (channel 56) and WKBD-TV (channel 50). Only WKBD and WPXD-TV (channel 31) currently transmit their signals from that tower.
Syndicated programming on WMYD includes Daily Mail TV, Right This Minute, Maury, and The 700 Club among others. It also carries Fox's Saturday morning infomercial block, Weekend Marketplace, which is preempted by the network's owned-and-operated station WJBK.
During its days as a carrier of ON-TV, WXON carried games from Detroit's major professional sports teams. However, because ON-TV signed on at 8 p.m., WXON did not broadcast the early portions of many games. In 2006, WMYD began carrying more sporting events on its schedule involving local teams including Detroit Tigers baseball (produced by Fox Sports Detroit) and Detroit Pistons basketball; the Tigers telecasts moved to WJBK in 2007, and both the Pistons and Tigers moved exclusively to Fox Sports Detroit beginning in 2008.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the station aired live news updates in various forms. In the 1990s, it had a short-lived weekly show called NewsWrap, which aired late Sunday nights. It also carried programming from the All News Channel during the overnight hours.
On July 14, 2008, WMYD launched a weeknight prime time newscast produced by the Independent News Network (INN) in order to compete with WJBK's longer-established hour-long 10:00 p.m. newscast. Titled My TV20 News at 10, the half-hour newscast was produced out of INN's facilities in Davenport, Iowa. Although news anchors, meteorologists and sports anchors were provided by the centralized news operation, WMYD maintained two locally-based reporters that contributed to the broadcast. In September 2009, Granite terminated the agreement with INN, and production of the newscast was shifted to WMYD's Fort Wayne, Indiana sister station and NBC affiliate WISE-TV (whose studio had recently become a master control hub for the company's Midwestern stations). As before, the newscast was produced in advance using centralized anchors, with contributions from Detroit-based reporters.
With the acquisition of the station by Scripps, new sister station WXYZ-TV began producing news programming for WMYD; on June 16, 2014, the station re-launched its primetime newscast as 7 Action News at 10 on TV 20 Detroit. On August 4, 2014, WMYD also introduced a two-hour extension of Action News This Morning, running from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.; both the morning and 10 p.m. newscasts are designed to compete against WJBK, which has historically been the only other station in Detroit to air newscasts in these timeslots.
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