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Batavia/Buffalo/Rochester, New York
United States
CityBatavia, New York
BrandingIon Television
SloganPositively Entertaining
ChannelsDigital: 23 (UHF)
(to move to 24 (UHF))
Virtual: 51 (PSIP)
OwnerIon Media Networks
(Ion Media Buffalo License, Inc.)
First air dateJune 17, 1999 (20 years ago) (1999-06-17)
Call letters' meaningPaX J
(disambiguation from other Ion affiliates)
Former callsignsWAQF (1996–1998)
Former channel number(s)Analog:
51 (UHF, 1999–2009)
53 (UHF, until 2009)
Transmitter power455 kW
1000 kW (CP)
500 kW (application)[1]
Height276 m (906 ft)
274 m (899 ft) (CP)
374.4 m (1,228 ft) (application)[1]
Facility ID2325
Transmitter coordinates42°53′42″N 78°0′56″W / 42.89500°N 78.01556°W / 42.89500; -78.01556
42°46′58″N 78°27′27″W / 42.78278°N 78.45750°W / 42.78278; -78.45750 (application)[1]
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile

WPXJ-TV, virtual channel 51 (UHF digital channel 23), is an Ion Television owned-and-operated television station licensed to Batavia, New York, United States and serving the Buffalo and Rochester television markets. The station is owned by Ion Media Networks. WPXJ'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 relies on translators and cable carriage to do so), although what little local programming the station has carried has traditionally favored Buffalo, and Ion also maintains a separate Rochester affiliation on the fourth digital subchannel of WHEC-TV.


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.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Network
51.1 720p 16:9 ION Ion Television
51.2 480i 4:3 qubo Qubo
51.3 IONLife Ion Plus
51.4 Shop Ion Shop
51.5 QVC QVC
51.6 HSN HSN


Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

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,[3] 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.

WPXJ has an application to move its transmitter to the tower of MyNetworkTV affiliate WNYO-TV (channel 49) in Bennington, New York.[1]


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.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d "Amendment to a Modification of a DTV Station Construction Permit Application". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  2. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WPXJ
  3. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  4. ^ Pergament, Alan (March 27, 2013). Ch. 2's 10 p.m. newscast headed to WUTV. The Buffalo News. Retrieved March 27, 2013.

External links[edit]