|Branding||The CW Erie
WICU 12 News
|Slogan||Dare to Defy|
WSEE-DT2 16.2 (UHF) &
WICU-DT2 12.2 (VHF)
Virtual: WSEE-DT2 35.2 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||The CW (via The CW Plus)|
(Lilly Broadcasting of Pennsylvania License Subsidiary, LLC)
|Call letters' meaning||see WSEE-TV|
|Sister station(s)||WENY-DT3, WICU-TV|
|Former callsigns||"WBEP" (1998-2006)|
|Former affiliations||The WB (1998-2006,
via The WB 100+)
|Transmitter power||75 kW (WSEE-DT2)
5.4 kW (WICU-DT2)
|Height||271 m (WSEE-DT2)
306.7 m (WICU-DT2)
|Facility ID||49711 (WSEE-DT2)
WSEE-DT2 is the CW-affiliated television station for Pennsylvania's Northwestern Region. The station is part of The CW Plus. It is a second digital subchannel of CBS affiliate WSEE-TV that is owned by Lilly Broadcasting. Over-the-air, WSEE-DT2 broadcasts a digital signal on UHF channel 16.2 (or virtual channel 35.2 via PSIP) from a transmitter on Old Waterford Road in Greene Township. Its parent station shares studios with NBC affiliate WICU-TV on State Street in Erie. WSEE-DT2 is simulcasted in standard definition on WICU-TV's second digital subchannel (VHF channel 12.2).
The station signed-on in September 1998 after WSEE-TV entered into a partnership with The WB 100+, a national programming service operated by The WB for television markets ranked greater than 100, and Time Warner Cable. It was a cable-exclusive station, and as a result, used the call sign "WBEP" (standing for "The WB Erie, Pennsylvania") in a fictional manner for identification purposes. WSEE-TV provided local advertisement and promotional duties for the outlet based at the CBS affiliate's original facilities on Peach Street/U.S. 19 in Downtown Erie. On January 24, 2006, UPN and The WB announced that the two networks would cease broadcasting and merge creating a new programming service. The new combined network would be called The CW.
The letters would represent the first initial of corporate parents "C"BS (the parent company of UPN) and the "W"arner Bros. unit of Time Warner. On September 18 of that year, The CW officially launched nationwide at which point WSEE-TV added a new second digital subchannel to simulcast "WBEP" allowing non-cable subscribers access to the new network. From its launch on January 16, 1995 until The CW signed-on, WSEE-TV carried the network through a secondary arrangement and aired some of the network's programming on weekends. With the launch of WSEE-DT2, "WBEP" began official use of the former call sign and became part of The CW Plus, a successor to The WB 100+.
After WSEE-TV moved its operations into WICU-TV's State Street facility, the existing studio set was split in two and it was anticipated that a smaller (one man) master control center operation would be built for WSEE-TV. This separation would then allow the existence of simultaneous live newscasts airing on WSEE-TV and WICU-TV. However, the second part of the arrangement was never completed as planned. As a result, WSEE was required to tape most of its local news in advance so that the set can be used for WICU.
The CBS outlet's weeknight show at 11 was moved to this CW-affiliated subchannel at 10 so it would no longer directly compete with WICU-TV's newscast. The program in its new time slot now began to air against another prime time newscast seen for an hour on WFXP. Ironically, WICU-TV had previously aired a broadcast on the Fox affiliate through a news share agreement until 1998 at which point rival ABC affiliate WJET-TV took over the production.
Originally, WSEE-TV's sixty-minute weekday morning show Mornings Live was recorded at 4 and then aired in the 6 o'clock hour. It retained the show's branding (as made obvious by the lack of current conditions during weather forecasts) despite the actual operation. During the 2012–13 season, following the national trend toward 4 a.m. newscasts, Mornings Live was actually seen "live" from 4–5 a.m. on WSEE-DT2 in addition to being taped for its later showing on WSEE-TV. In cases of breaking news, severe weather, or election coverage WSEE-TV and WICU-TV simulcast newscasts and occasionally include this CW subchannel as well. WSEE-DT2 also aired a half-hour 4:00 p.m. newscast (branded with the WSEE-TV branding) Monday through Friday during the 2012–13 season. WSEE-TV canceled the 4 p.m. newscast in 2013; Mornings Live was canceled in 2015, when WSEE and WICU merged their remaining newscasts under the "Erie News Now" brand.
On weekday mornings, WSEE-DT2 provides a simulcast of the first hour of WICU-TV's Erie News Now Sunrise at 5 a.m. and also carries WICU's and WSEE's joint noon newscast.
For one year starting in March 2009, a special feed of WSEE-DT2 (incorrectly identified on-air as "WBEP-DT2 Northwest Pennsylvania CW") was aired in the portions of Cattaraugus County, New York served by Atlantic Broadband. This special feed replaced the first run of the prime time news at 10 with a replay of WICU-TV's weeknight show seen earlier at 6. The practice was performed in order to compensate for the fact that WICU-TV is not seen on Atlantic Broadband (whereas WSEE-TV and WSEE-DT2 both are). Without explanation, "WBEP-DT2" was discontinued in March 2010 and Cattaraugus County viewers began receiving the same WSEE-DT2 feed as viewers in Pennsylvania receive including the WSEE-TV-produced 10:00 newscast.