|Fort Wayne, Indiana
|Branding||Fort Wayne's NBC (general)
Fort Wayne's NBC News (news)
|Channels||Digital: WPTA-DT 24.2 (UHF)
Virtual: 21.2 (PSIP)
(WPTA License, LLC)
|First air date||September 21, 1998|
|Former callsigns||"WBFW" (1998–2006)|
|Former affiliations||The WB (1998–2006)
The CW (2006–2016)
|Transmitter power||335 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WPTA-DT2, virtual channel 21.2 (UHF digital channel 24.2), is a NBC-affiliated television station located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States. It operates as a second digital subchannel of ABC affiliate WPTA (channel 21), which is owned by Quincy Media. Its parent station's studios and transmitter are located on Butler Road in Northwestern Fort Wayne. WPTA-DT2 is available on Verizon FiOS channel 4, Comcast channel 13 and on Mediacom channel 8 in outlying areas.
The channel's history traces back to the late-1998 launch of "WBFW", an affiliate of The WB 100+ Station Group, a group of cable-only channels affiliated with The WB. Since it was cable-exclusive and therefore not licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, the channel's call letters were used in a fictional manner. It was managed and promoted by WPTA, which at the time was owned by Granite Broadcasting outright. When that station's license was transferred to Granite partner company, the Malara Broadcast Group in 2005, "WBFW" became managed by the company. Prior to the sign-on of WBFW, Fort Wayne viewers received their WB programs via Chicago-based superstation WGN, and for a few months in 1998, WTTV when that station dropped UPN in January of that year and picked up the The WB in April of that year.
On January 24, 2006, 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 compete against The CW as well as to give UPN and WB stations that would not become CW affiliates another option besides converting to independent stations.
In March 2006, The CW announced that "WBFW" would become the network's Fort Wayne affiliate as part of The CW Plus (a similar small-market master feed to The WB 100+). WPTA decided to create a new second digital subchannel to simulcast "WBFW" and offer access to CW programming for over-the-air viewers. Meanwhile, on September 5, WISE-TV moved NBC Weather Plus from its second digital subchannel in order for it to become the area's affiliate of MyNetworkTV. Weather Plus then began airing on WISE-DT3. On September 18, The CW debuted on "WBFW" which officially began using the WPTA-DT2 calls. The move resulted in the deactivation of CBS affiliate WANE-TV (channel 15)'s second digital subchannel, which had been affiliated with UPN prior to the network's shutdown (and remained dark until it affiliated with TheCoolTV in 2011).
On February 11, 2014, it was announced that Quincy Newspapers would acquire WPTA (and therefore WPTA-DT2) from Malara Broadcast Group as part of its purchase of several other Granite stations. In November 2014, the deal was reworked to remove SagamoreHill Broadcasting, which had planned to acquire WISE-TV, from the transaction; Quincy was set to acquire WISE, with WPTA remaining with Malara. In July 2015, the deal was reworked yet again, reverting to Quincy and SagamoreHill acquiring WPTA and WISE respectively, but with the SSA wound down within nine months of the acquisition's closure, after which The CW's affiliation would be moved to WISE, WISE's NBC and MyNetworkTV affiliations moved to WPTA-DT2 and WPTA-DT3, and the two stations will begin operating independently. On September 15, 2015, the FCC approved the deal, and it was completed on November 2.
With the September 2006 affiliation switch to MyNetworkTV on WISE-DT2 and the addition of CW programming on WPTA's second digital subchannel, the former subchannel's primetime newscast (known as Indiana's NewsCenter Prime News) – which had earlier launched on July 24, 2006 on WISE-DT2 – began to be simulcast on WPTA-DT2. The simulcast of the half-hour 10 p.m. newscast was dropped in September 2011, replaced by syndicated programming supplied by the national CW Plus feed.
When WPTA-DT2 assumed the program stream formerly aired by WISE-TV, it initially continued WISE's preexisting 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts under the "NBC33 News" name, although on-air personnel took to using the new "Fort Wayne's NBC" name. On November 21, 2016, Quincy relaunched its newscasts for the Fort Wayne operation, having transferred two anchors from its shuttered WSJV operation as well as Jackson and meteorologist Chris Daniels from WPTA's morning newscasts to make up the evening anchor team on WPTA-DT2. Additional hires were made, and the channel began broadcasting a slate of live newscasts seven days a week.
- "Channel listings". Retrieved 11 August 2012.
- 'Gilmore Girls' meet 'Smackdown'; CW Network to combine WB, UPN in CBS-Warner venture beginning in September, CNNMoney.com, January 24, 2006.
- UPN and WB to Combine, Forming New TV Network, The New York Times, January 24, 2006.
- "News Corp. to launch new mini-network for UPN stations". USA Today. February 22, 2006. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- News Corp. Unveils MyNetworkTV, Broadcasting & Cable, February 22, 2006.
- "Quincy Buying Stations From Granite, Malara". TVNewsCheck. February 11, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- "Application For Consent To Assignment Of Broadcast Station Construction Permit Or License (WISE-TV)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
- "Amended Description of Agreements, Description of Transaction, and Request for Temporary Waiver". Quincy Newspapers, Inc. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
- Quincy Newspapers Inc. acquires four TV stations Archived November 7, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Quincy Herald-Whig, Retrieved 2 November 2015