|Trenton, New Jersey
|Channels||Digital: 50 (UHF)
Virtual: 25 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||Sonlife Broadcasting Network|
|Owner||NRJ TV, LLC
(Operated by Titan TV Broadcast Group)
(NRJ TV Philly License Co., LLC)
|First air date||1993|
|Call letters' meaning||PHillY|
|Former callsigns||W25AW (1989–2012)
W50DZ-D (Jan–Nov 2012)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
25 (UHF, 1993–2011)
|Former affiliations||Conus, CNN, America One, Youtoo America|
|Transmitter power||5.55 kW|
|Height||127 m (417 ft)
AMSL: 189.7 m (622 ft)
|Class||DC (Digital Class A)|
|Public license information:||Profile
WPHY-CD, virtual channel 25, is a digital Class A television station serving Mercer County, New Jersey, portions of Hunterdon, Burlington, Middlesex, and Somerset Counties in New Jersey. The station is an affiliate of the Sonlife Broadcasting Network. It is the only independent television station to exclusively serve the residents of central New Jersey; however, its transmitter is located in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia (Trenton is part of the Philadelphia television market).
The station first broadcast in 1993 on analog channel 25, and was originally assigned the call sign W25AW, though for much of its history it branded as "WZBN TV-25." The station's tower was located in Hamilton Township, Mercer County, New Jersey. The station's call sign became W50DZ-D in January 2012 after converting to digital broadcasting on channel 50; however, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel 25.
The station has received several awards from the Community Broadcasters Association for local service and programming.
With the creation of a statewide and regional cable news service owned by the cable companies, cable outlets threatened to pull WZBN off their systems in the late 1990s. Protests by viewers ensured the station remained on cable. WZBN has since expanded its reach with additional broadcasts on three competing cable systems (Verizon Fios, Cablevision, Comcast) in the area.
In 2012, the station's longtime owners, the Zanoni family, announced that they would sell W50DZ-D to NRJ TV, LLC (a company unrelated to European broadcaster NRJ Radio), which already owned WTVE. The station's local programming was discontinued on June 8, 2012; the sale was completed a week later, on June 15, 2012.
On November 1, 2012, NRJ TV changed W50DZ-D's call sign to WPHY-CD. The WPHY call sign was previously used by two radio stations audible in the market; it was on 560 AM in Philadelphia for ten months in 1993-94, ending when that signal's heritage call sign WFIL became available and was reclaimed, and it was on 920 AM in Trenton from 2002 to 2008. In January 2014, Cablevision announced that it would drop WPHY from its Trenton-area systems on January 28 to accommodate a must-carry request from Me-TV affiliate KJWP (channel 2); WPHY's former channel 25 slot on Cablevision was taken by WCBS-TV from New York City, which lost its previous channel 2 slot on the system to KJWP. In June 2016, the station began to carry Sonlife Broadcasting Network programming; it had previously been affiliated with Youtoo America.
Notable former staff
- "FCC Ownership Report Search Results - Facility ID 74464". FCC.gov. Federal Communications Commission.
- "FCC Assignment of License / Transfer of Control - Facility ID 74464". FCC.gov. Federal Communications Commission.
- "FCC Call Sign History - Facility ID 74464". FCC.gov. Federal Communications Commission.
- "NRJ adds to portfolio with Trenton NJ LPTV". Television Business Report. March 2, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "Mercer's WZBN-TV agrees to sell for $3.5 million". The Times. May 19, 2012. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
- "WPHY-CD - FCC Application Search Details - BALDTA-20120301ABB Assignment of License". FCC.gov. Federal Communications Commission. Accepted 2 February 2012; Granted 23 April 2012; Consummation 15 June 2012. Check date values in:
- "WPHY-CD - FCC 314 - APPLICATION FOR CONSENT TO ASSIGNMENT OF BROADCAST STATION CONSTRUCTION PERMIT OR LICENSE - BALDTA-20120301ABB". FCC.gov. Federal Communications Commission. Accepted 2 February 2012; Granted 23 April 2012; Consummation 15 June 2012. Check date values in:
- Davis, Mike (January 15, 2014). "Cablevision will switch CBS NY channel in Mercer, but will not remove it from dial". The Times. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
- "Children's Television Programming Report" (PDF). Public Inspection Files. Federal Communications Commission. July 7, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2017.