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New Orleans, Louisiana
United States
BrandingIon Television
SloganPositively Entertaining
ChannelsDigital: 50 (UHF)
(to move to 33 (UHF))
Virtual: 49 (PSIP)
OwnerIon Media Networks
(Ion Media New Orleans License, Inc.)
First air dateMarch 19, 1989; 30 years ago (1989-03-19)
(first incarnation)
May 25, 1994 (25 years ago) (1994-05-25)
(current incarnation)
Last air dateMay 23, 1990; 29 years ago (1990-05-23)
(first incarnation)
Call letters' meaningPaX Louisiana
Former callsignsWCCL (1989–1990; 1994–1998)
Former channel number(s)Analog:
49 (UHF, 1989–1990; 1994–2009)
Former affiliationsIndependent (1989–1990)
CBS (secondary) (1989–1990)
Dark (1990–1994)
HSN (1994–1998)
Transmitter power1000 kW
575 kW (CP)
Height272 m (892 ft)
271 m (889 ft) (CP)
Facility ID21729
Transmitter coordinates29°55′13.1″N 90°1′28.5″W / 29.920306°N 90.024583°W / 29.920306; -90.024583Coordinates: 29°55′13.1″N 90°1′28.5″W / 29.920306°N 90.024583°W / 29.920306; -90.024583
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile

WPXL-TV, virtual channel 49 (UHF digital channel 50), is an Ion Television owned-and-operated television station licensed to New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. The station is owned by Ion Media Networks. WPXL-TV's offices are located on Veterans Memorial Boulevard and Cleary Avenue in Metairie, and its transmitter is located off Behrman Highway in New Orleans' Algiers neighborhood. On cable, the station is available on Cox Communications channel 49 in standard definition and on channel 1049 in high definition.


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]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
49.1 720p 16:9 ION Main Ion Television programming
49.2 480i 4:3 qubo Qubo
49.3 IONPlus Ion Plus
49.4 Shop Ion Shop
49.5 QVC QVC
49.6 HSN HSN


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' decision to discontinue carriage of network affiliate newscasts as a result of Pax TV's financial troubles.


  1. ^ Pax, NBC reach four JSAs, Broadcasting & Cable, July 30, 2001.
  2. ^ New Orleans Station Gets Boost From Paxson, Broadcasting & Cable, September 7, 2005.
  3. ^ Ion Grabs Two Stations, Broadcasting & Cable, August 21, 2007.
  4. ^ ION MEDIA NETWORKS COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF WPXX IN MEMPHIS AND WPXL IN NEW ORLEANS Archived 2008-02-22 at the Wayback Machine, Ion Media Networks, January 2, 2008.
  5. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WPXL
  6. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.

External links[edit]