|Batavia/Buffalo/Rochester, New York
|Channels||Digital: 23 (UHF)
Virtual: 51 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||51.1 Ion Television
51.3 Ion Life
51.4 Ion Shop
|Owner||Ion Media Networks
(Ion Media Buffalo License, Inc.)
|First air date||June 17, 1999|
|Call letters' meaning||PaX J
(disambiguation from other Ion affiliates)
|Former channel number(s)||51 (UHF analog, 1999–2009)
53 (UHF digital, –2009)
|Transmitter power||455 kW|
|Height||276 m (906 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
WPXJ-TV, virtual channel 51 (UHF digital channel 23), is an Ion Television owned-and-operated television station serving Buffalo and Rochester, New York, United States that is licensed to Batavia. The station is owned by Ion Media Networks. The station's offices are located on Exchange Street in Buffalo, and its transmitter is located in Pavilion, approximately halfway between the station's two target cities, Buffalo and Rochester; it is the only station in Western New York to serve both markets with the same signal (WNYB also serves both markets, but uses translators to do so), although what little local programming the station has carried has traditionally favored Buffalo.
The station signed on the air on June 17, 1999 as an owned-and-operated station of Ion predecessor Pax TV, and was founded by Paxson Communications (the former name of Ion Media Networks). WPXJ-TV was Paxson's second effort at launching a television station in Western New York; the first was Jamestown-based WNYP-TV (channel 26), an affiliate of Canadian television network CTV, which Pax founder Lowell W. "Bud" Paxson majority owned from 1966 to 1969. In February 2006, WPXJ-TV was added to Dish Network's Buffalo channel lineup on channel 51.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Network|
WPXJ-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 51, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal moved from its pre-transition UHF channel 53, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to UHF channel 23 (formerly allocated to the analog signal of CW affiliate WNLO, which continues to use channel 23 as its virtual channel). Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 51.
For a time, WPXJ-TV carried a rebroadcast of newscasts from NBC affiliate WGRZ (channel 2), as well as a live 10:00 p.m. newscast produced by that station (this was part of a nationwide initiative for Pax affiliates to carry news and local content from NBC stations). Channel 2 News First at Ten was the first primetime newscast in the Buffalo market (as previously noted, virtually none of the newscast's content was geared toward Rochester, despite WGRZ having a large sister news bureau in that city). It was never a ratings contender and consistently lost the ratings battle with WNLO (channel 23)'s newscast in the same time slot, which had debuted a few weeks later but had been planned for months.
After Pax ended its local news partnerships with NBC in 2005, WGRZ later established a news share agreement with WNYO-TV (channel 49) to produce a half-hour 10:00 p.m. newscast for that station in April 2006, which effectively replaced WNYO-TV's in-house newscast that was cancelled the month before in relation to the shutdown of owner Sinclair Broadcast Group's News Central division; that newscast was moved to Fox affiliate WUTV (channel 29) on April 8, 2013.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WPXJ
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- Pergament, Alan (March 27, 2013). Ch. 2's 10 p.m. newscast headed to WUTV. The Buffalo News. Retrieved March 27, 2013.