|Slogan||Dayton's Urban Station|
|Channels||Analog: 40 (UHF)
Digital: 40 (UHF) (CP)
|Owner||Ross Communications, Ltd.|
|First air date||August 24, 1987|
|Former callsigns||WUCT-LP (1995–2000)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
56 (UHF, 1987–1994)
51 (UHF, 1994–2002)
|Former affiliations||Network One (mid to late–1990s)
The WB (1995–1999)
MBC Channel (2001–2004)
Black Family Channel (2004–2007)
Ion Television (2007–2012)
|Transmitter power||29 kW|
WRCX originally signed on in the mid-1990s as WUCT-LP channel 51; the station was, at one point, a charter affiliate of The WB network. However, they lost the affiliation to WBDT in 1999, in part due to management trouble. WBDT's then-ownership group (ACME Communications) was run by Jamie Kellner, the founding president of the WB.
Ross Communications, owned by Dayton resident Glenn "Skip" Ross, purchased the station from Higher Calling Enterprises. At one point, the Higher Calling group was locked out of the building due to unpaid rent. The station's lone master control operator at the time, broke into the building to bring the station back on the air.
Upon taking the station over, Ross began programming to appeal to the area's minority community, and offered programming unavailable on other stations.
During the time of transition of ownership, the previous group was barred from going onto the property, while the legal battles over the license continued.
New ownership and staff
Although the company's offices are located on Hillcrest Avenue in Dayton, the station continued to physically broadcast from WUCT's studios on Gettysburg Avenue, which housed the transmitter and was owned by WPTD, the local PBS station. The building serviced as studios, offices, and the transmitter facility for WRCX, WUCT and WPTD.
Ross replaced Program Director Walter Briggs, a local sports personality, with Michael Crook, who had been a master control operator at various television stations. Ross also employed the services of Fran Robinson, who at the time was an on-air personality at local station WDTN, although she was mostly on the production side, rarely appearing on-air. She mostly did voiceovers for commercials that the company did for the local Ross automobile dealerships, owned by Ross' cousin.
With supervision from Ross, Crook ensured that new programming was added constantly, including children's programming, such as Zebby's Zoo, and Blinky Bill. During this time of transition, sports programming was added, which consisted mostly of live coverage of black teams. The station added numerous musical specials.
When the September 11, 2001 attacks occurred, the station aired around the clock news coverage, thanks in large part to agreements with World Harvest Television, America One, and a special arrangement with CNN. WRCX was also one of the many stations nationwide who aired a live concert as a benefit for the victims' families.
For a time, the station aired Music and the Spoken Word, a program produced by the LDS Church, and aired by WRCX through an agreement with the church that was negotiated by Crook. This program was added upon Ross' learning that Gladys Knight is a member of the church. Another religious show, Singsations, which aired from Chicago. That show was removed from the lineup in 2001, due to a lack of new shows being produced.
Around this time, Ross was searching for a network that would provide programming and resources for WRCX. Ross wanted UPN, which was on a cable channel operated by WHIO. They did not get the affiliation. Another Pax, but that idea was dropped when it was learned the network wanted a ten-year deal. The station eventually became an affiliate of Black Family Channel, then known as MBC, a network that caters to black families.
Also added during this time was an agreement with the Cleveland Cavaliers. To this day, the station continues to broadcast their games.
Losing Channel 51
The station began to transition to facilities at the Hillcrest location, in preparation for the loss of their Channel 51 signal. WRCX began sending a signal directly to the cable company to ensure that they would remain available to most of their viewers while arrangements were made to broadcast on Channel 40.
In the Spring of 2002, fellow Dayton station WKEF officially took over the Channel 51 slot for its digital allocation, leaving WRCX without an over-the-air signal for a time, though it remained on Channel 22 for much of the area's Time Warner Cable subscribers.
WRCX gained approval to broadcast on Channel 40, and now that the license and ownership has been officially transferred to Ross Communications after years of appeals and battles with one of WUCT's former members, the station continues to broadcast original and syndicated programming to the Dayton area. WRCX TV-40 has become the #1 leader in High School Sports coverage in the Dayton/Miami Valley and an innovator in creating local shows for the market.
Black Family Channel and Ion
On April 24, 2007, BFC announced that they would cease as a cable channel, effective April 30, 2007, as part of a deal in which BFC's programming and subscriber base would be sold to the Gospel Music Channel. It was announced on June 3, 2008 that the station would become the newest affiliate of Ion Television, as announced on the home page of its website. However, as of June 25, 2008, the station does not appear in the station listings for Ion's website, and the deal was not announced until July 24. This returned Ion service to southwestern Ohio for the first time since the early 2000s, after the Ion network itself (then Paxson Communications) sold Channel 26 to ACME Communications to become the area's WB/CW affiliate as WBDT. Sometime in 2012, the station announced via its website that Ion Television had decided to no longer provide its programming to WRCX-LP. The station substituted other programming in place of Ion. Since October 2013, this station is now an affiliate of Soul of the South Network.
In the summer of 2009, WRCX-LP began the transition to digital. It shut off its analog signal to install a new digital transmitter, but encountered technical problems resulting in its old analog transmitter being turned back on for the time being. WRCX-LP has an application filed with the FCC, as well as a construction permit to convert to digital. As part of the digital television transition in the United States, WRCX-LP must convert to digital operation by September 1, 2015, or close down the station.
- Channel 40 low-power TV stations in the United States
- List of television stations in Ohio
- List of television stations in Ohio (by channel number)
- List of television stations in the United States by call sign (initial letter W)