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New Orleans, Louisiana
United States
Branding Ion Television
Slogan Positively Entertaining
Channels Digital: 50 (UHF)
Virtual: 49 (PSIP)
Subchannels 49.1 - Ion HD (720p)
49.2 - qubo (480i)
49.3 - Ion Life (480i)
49.4 - Ion Shop (480i)
49.5 - Home Shopping Network
49.6 - QVC
Affiliations Ion Television
Owner Ion Media Networks
First air date March 19, 1989; 28 years ago (1989-03-19)
Call letters' meaning PaX Louisiana
Former callsigns WCCL (1989–1998)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
49 (UHF, 1989–2009)
Former affiliations Independent (1989–1990)
CBS (secondary) (1989-1990)
Dark (1990–1994)
HSN (1994–1998)
Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 272 m
Facility ID 21729
Transmitter coordinates 29°55′13.1″N 90°1′28.6″W / 29.920306°N 90.024611°W / 29.920306; -90.024611Coordinates: 29°55′13.1″N 90°1′28.6″W / 29.920306°N 90.024611°W / 29.920306; -90.024611
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website www.iontelevision.com

WPXL-TV, virtual channel 49 (UHF digital channel 50), is an Ion Television owned-and-operated television station located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. The station is owned by Ion Media Networks. WPXL-TV maintains offices located on Veterans Memorial Boulevard and Cleary Avenue in Metairie, and its transmitter is located off Behrman Highway in New Orleans's Algiers neighborhood.


Early history[edit]

The station first signed on the air on March 19, 1989 as WCCL; it originally operated as an independent station with a general entertainment format, along with numerous CBS programs preempted by WWL. Due to financial issues, the station ceased operations and went off the air on May 23, 1990. Flinn Broadcasting Corporation purchased the station's license three years later and returned channel 49 to the air on May 25, 1994, carrying programming from the Home Shopping Network. The station changed its call letters to WPXL-TV on August 31, 1998; that same day, the station became a charter affiliate of the family-oriented network Pax TV (now Ion Television).

As part of the affiliation deal with Pax TV, Flinn Broadcasting entered into a time brokerage agreement with Pax TV owner Paxson Communications (now Ion Media Networks) to operate the station. On July 30, 2001. Paxson entered into a joint sales agreement with Hearst-Argyle Television (now Hearst Television), owners of NBC affiliate WDSU (channel 6), to provide advertising and marketing services for WPXL.[1]

Hurricane Katrina[edit]

In early September 2005, shortly after Hurricane Katrina made landfall in southern Louisiana, WPXL partnered with WDSU, whose transmitter building in Chalmette was damaged due to flooding caused by the storm, to simulcast channel 6's programming.[2] The station also added programming from The Worship Network and the signals of the Tribune Broadcasting-owned duopoly of ABC affiliate WGNO (channel 26) and CW affiliate WNOL (channel 38) as subchannels on its digital signal for New Orleans area residents that had television sets with built-in digital tuners.

On March 29, 2008, almost a month after WGNO and WNOL resumed digital transmissions over WNOL's digital allocation on UHF channel 15, WPXL began to carry the Ion-owned children's network Qubo and lifestyle network Ion Life on digital channels 49.2 and 49.3; both networks had launched a year-and-a-half after Katrina hit the area.

Sale to Ion Media Networks[edit]

On August 21, 2007, Ion Media Networks announced that it would purchase WPXL-TV and Memphis sister station WPXX from Flinn Broadcasting outright for $18 million.[3] The sale was completed on January 2, 2008, with WPXL becoming an Ion Television owned-and-operated station.[4]

Digital television[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Network
49.1 720p 16:9 ION Ion Television
49.2 480i 4:3 qubo Qubo
49.3 IONLife Ion Life
49.4 Shop Ion Shop
49.5 HSN HSN
49.6 QVC QVC


Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WPXL shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 49, 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 continued to broadcasts on its pre-transition UHF channel 50.[6] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 49.


In September 2001, as part of the JSA with that station, WPXL began airing tape delayed rebroadcasts of NBC affiliate WDSU's 10:00 p.m. newscasts each Monday through Friday evening at 10:30 p.m. (beginning shortly before that program's live broadcast ended on WDSU). The news share agreement ended on June 30, 2005 (coinciding with Pax's rebranding as i: Independent Television), due to Paxson Communications's decision to discontinue carriage of network affiliate newscasts as a result of Pax TV's financial troubles.


External links[edit]