Arecibo/Mayagüez, Puerto Rico
|City||Ponce, Puerto Rico|
|Channels||Digital: 7 (VHF)|
Virtual: 7 (PSIP)
|Translators||WLII-DT 11.2 Caguas|
WSUR-DT 9.2 Ponce
WOLE-DT 12.2 Aguadilla
|Affiliations||Independent (1958–1991, 1994–present)|
|Licensee||WLII/WSUR License Partnership, G.P.|
|First air date||February 2, 1958|
|Call sign meaning||Siete (Spanish for seven)|
|Former call signs||WRIK-TV (1958–1979)|
|Former affiliations||Univision (1991–1994)|
|Transmitter power||See below|
|Transmitter coordinates||See below|
|Public license information||Profile|
WSTE-DT, virtual and VHF digital channel 7, branded on air as Teleisla, is an independent television station serving San Juan, Puerto Rico, that is licensed to Ponce. The station is owned by the Univision Local Media subsidiary of Univision Communications, as part of a duopoly with Caguas-licensed Univision owned-and-operated station WLII-DT (channel 11); it is also sister to radio stations WKAQ (580 AM) and WKAQ-FM (104.7). These stations share studios on Calle Carazo in Guaynabo. WSTE maintains a network of five transmitter sites, located at Cerro Maravilla in Ponce, at Cerro La Marquesa in Aguas Buenas, at Cerro Canta Gallo in Aguada, on Highway 22 in Arecibo, and at the Monte del Estado in Mayagüez.
The station first signed on as WRIK-TV on February 2, 1958, after receiving the FCC permit to go on the air on channel 7. It was the first television station in Ponce, and the fourth in Puerto Rico, after WKAQ-TV, WAPA-TV (both were established four years earlier), and WORA-TV (established three years earlier). It was owned by Alfredo Ramírez de Arellano. Its news director was Manuel Morales-Flores, with Felix Suria as production manager and Edmund Reid as its chief engineer. It transmitted from the Ponce Darlington building on Calle Marina in Ponce, its first high-rise building,[b] completed in 1952. Its transmission tower was located at the Hotel Ponce Intercontinental. It operated as an independent station, as did all stations in Puerto Rico at that time. It carried some 18 daily programs, including news, movies, cartoons, and soap operas, among others. One notable show, airing in the late afternoons, was "El Show de Tío Carlitos". In 1964, the station's staff had expanded to include George A. Mayoral, president, general manager William Cortada, commercial manager and news director Luis A. Wito Morales, promotional manager Monsita M. Diaz, and chief engineer Americo Cintron.
In 1969, David V. Picker, president of United Artists Corporation, and Alfredo Ramirez de Arellano, president of Ponce Television, announced that United Artists would gain control of WRIK-TV, together with its affiliate WORA-TV (channel 5) in Mayaguez. WRIK began operating from color-equipped studios in Ponce and San Juan. The station's slogan became "W-R-I-K Televisión Canal 7 Ponce: cubriendo a Ponce y San Juan" ("W-R-I-K Television Channel 7 Ponce: covering Ponce and San Juan"). In 1970, WRIK-TV was bought by United Artists and moved to San Juan, and rebranded as Rikavisión. The station's logo was a rooster. From San Juan, the station broadcast El Show de Tito Rodriguez for two seasons; the station also produced Ahi Va Eso (with Awilda Carbia, Jacobo Morales and Norma Candal), Contigo Anexo 3, Showtime (with Wilkins), Las Caribelles, El Show de Carol Myles, and the legendary children's show, Rikalandia (hosted by Sandra Zaiter). One notable 1971 show was María, with Lucy Boscana. The station continued some programming from Ponce, including local newscasts. Its news anchor was Rafael L. Torres, in whose name the Southern Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce later created an Excellence in Journalism award.
Cerro Maravilla incident
In 1978, two pro-independence activists attempted to blow up the WRIK-TV transmitter tower at the Cerro Maravilla mountain peak in an effort to call attention to their cause. Their plan was discovered by police and the two young men were ambushed by police at the peak during their operation. They were arrested and then murdered by the police while still in their custody at the peak.
In 1979, WRIK-TV was acquired by Puerto Rican producer Tommy Muñiz, owner of AM radio station WLUZ (or Radio Luz); its callsign was subsequently changed to WLUZ-TV (branded as Teleluz) on March 28, 1979. Financial troubles forced Muñiz to sell the station to Malrite Communications Group, which subsequently rebranded the station as SuperSiete. On February 18, 1987, the station changed its call letters to WSTE.The station experienced limited success at the time using colorful motion graphics and a new logo as well as major advertising in newspapers, and televising popular American sitcoms of the time, such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Simpsons, along with major Hollywood movies. It also was acknowledged for its children's show El Show de Burbujita y Bolillo, produced by Milly Cangiano, and its Saturday morning cartoons. Around this time, one of Puerto Rico's longest-running shows, No te Duermas with Antonio Sánchez El Gangster, began airing on channel 7 as well. WSTE also produced a successful game show, La Hora de Oro with Hector Marcano and Sánchez, and two family-oriented sitcoms, Maripili and El Cuartel de la Risa. SuperSiete also broadcast five daily news segments named Noticapsulas (literal translation: news capsules) hosted by news reporter Doris Torres.
SuperSiete / TeleIsla (1987–present)
In 1991, Malrite bought WLII-TV and WSUR-TV and sold WSTE to Siete Grande Television, Inc., owned by Florida entrepreneur Jerry Hartman. WSTE was then branded as "El Nuevo SuperSiete" ("The New SuperSeven"). During the 1990s, WSTE was rebranded as "Tele-Isla" during prime time hours. Due to the failure of the new programming, and the lack of full island coverage by WLII at the time, WSTE began re-broadcasting WLII's prime time programming mainly for the western and central areas of Puerto Rico.
In 1995, WLII entered into an affiliation agreement with WORA-TV. This created a conflict with the FCC, as WLII's programming was being rebroadcast by two different stations across the island; WLII and WSTE in the north, WSUR-TV and WSTE in the south, and WSTE, WNJX-TV and WORA-TV in the west. During this time, the channel proudly showed its coverage channels on its "ident", as 11-9-7-5-22. After admonishment by the FCC, WLII dropped WSTE and WNJX-TV coverage.
On March 23, 2007, Siete Grande Television, Inc. announced it would sell WSTE to Univision Communications. The sale was approved by the FCC on October 11, 2007. On June 23, 2009, the station's call letters were revised to WSTE-DT.
The channel's SuperSiete "ident" animation, logo, and name survived for over 25 years, dating back to 1987. A new logo with the Teleisla branding was introduced a few months before the FCC-mandated digital transition date of June 12, 2009. On January 2, 2012, WSTE-DT introduced a new logo in the form of a four-color clover (orange representing morning, green representing afternoon, violet representing weekend, and blue representing nightly programming). The station also expanded its broadcast day to 1:00 a.m. On November 1, 2012, Dish Network began carrying WSTE-DT on channel 12. In early 2016, WSTE-DT expanded its broadcast schedule to 24 hours a day, and adding the health program Hablando de Salud from 1:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.
To effectively cover all of Puerto Rico, WSTE used booster-type translator facilities across the island prior to the analog shutdown. In order for this booster system to work without any interference, WSTE's main transmitter had to be kept silent. The Ponce area was thus served from an auxiliary station transmitting at 100 kW. WSTE now uses a four-site, digital distributed transmission system to cover the island as the booster system had done before it.
- WSTE-DT's facilities
(VC / RF)
|ERP||HAAT||Facility ID||Transmitter coordinates|
|25 kW||88 m (289 ft)||60341|
|San Juan||7 (PSIP)
|25 kW||336 m (1,102 ft)||60341|
|10 kW||362 m (1,188 ft)||60341|
|0.1 kW||65 m (213 ft)||60341|
|0.5 kW||631 m (2,070 ft)||60341|
- WSTE's old analog booster system
|Station||Type||City||Channel||ERP||HAAT||Facility ID||Transmitter coordinates|
|Ponce||7 (VHF)||186 kW||826 m (2,710 ft)||60341|
|WSTE||Auxiliary||Ponce||7 (VHF)||100 kW||88 m (289 ft)||60341|
|WSTE1||Booster||San Juan||7 (VHF)||310 kW||341 m (1,119 ft)||91770|
|WSTE2||Booster||Mayagüez||7 (VHF)||24.1 kW||386 m (1,266 ft)||91773|
|WSTE3||Booster||Arecibo||7 (VHF)||1 kW||62 m (203 ft)||91771|
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|7.1||1080i||16:9||WSTE HD||Main WSTE-DT programming / Teleisla|
|40.1||WMPJ-HD||Simulcast of WMTJ / Sistema TV / PBS|
WSTE shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 7, at noon 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 relocated from its pre-transition VHF channel 8 to channel 7 for its post-transition operations.
- For a 1965 photo of WRIK-TV at the Edificio Ponce Darlington, see Carmelo Rosario Natal, Ponce en su Historia Moderna: 1945-2002, Secretaría de Cultura y Turismo, Municipio Autónomo de Ponce, 2003, p. 205.
- Although Carmelo Rosario Natal uses the term "multi-story" in his book to refer to Edificio Ponce Darlington, the correct term here would be "high-rise" (see definition of "multi-story building" at Emporis here) as defined by modern architectural engineers as well as real estate companies (See Emporis at High-rise building. Accessed 10 August 2019.). Ponce's first "multi-story building", on the other hand, was the 3-story low-rise" at the northwest corner of the intersection of Calle Reina-Isabel and Calle Atocha, a building colloquially known as "El rascacielos de Ponce" (Ponce's skyscraper). For a 1915 photo, see Neysa Rodriguiez Deynes, Brevario Sobre la Historia de Ponce, Gobierno Municipal Autónomo de Ponce, Oficina de Cultura y Turismo, 2002, p. 51.
- WSTE-DT: DTS SITE 2: BROADCAST AUXILIARY/REMOTE PICK-UP/STL. Accessed 4 October 2019.
- PUERTO RICO. Archived August 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
- Broadcasting Yearbook. Broadcasting Yearbook. 1969. Page A-77. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
- Carmelo Rosario Natal. Ponce En Su Historia Moderna: 1945-2002. Published by Secretaría de Cultura y Turismo of the Government of the Autonomous Municipality of Ponce. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 2003. p. 54.
- Luis Fortuno Janeiro. Album Histórico de Puerto Rico (1692-1963). Page 408. Ponce, Puerto Rico: Imprenta Fortuno. 1963. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
- Independent TV in 1965. Independent TV. Retrieved December 11, 2011.
- Guillermo A. Baralt. Historia de El Nuevo Dia (1909-2000). Fundación El Nuevo Dia. San Juan, Puerto Rico. Editores: Publicaciones Puertorriqueñas. 2002. p.262. ISBN 1-881720-82-9.
- Ponce County. 1964. Broadcasting Yearbook. Page A-80. Retrieved December 11, 2011.
- From the Music Capitals of the World. Archived December 31, 2018, at the Wayback Machine Antonio Contreras. Billboard. August 9, 1969. Page 98. Retrieved December 11, 2011.
- Lucy Boscana. Archived September 7, 2012, at Archive.today Fundación Nacional para la Cultura Popular. 2011. Retrieved December 11, 2011.
- "What Happened in Cerro Maravilla?" Archived December 16, 2005, at the Wayback Machine (in Spanish) by Maggie Bob and Miguel Rocca, Pulso.org
- "Digital TV Market Listing for WSTE-TV". rabbitears.info. Archived from the original on September 21, 2011. Retrieved December 11, 2011.
- "Deals - 7/16/2007 - Broadcasting & Cable". Archived from the original on December 2, 2008. Retrieved October 27, 2007.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WSTE
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WSTE-TV
- A history of television in Puerto Rico Archived at WayBack Machine of 15 January 2008.
- WRIK-TV's (Rikavision's) rooster logo in 1976 Archived at WayBack Machine on 24 February 2011.
- WRIK-TV at Edificio Raluan Darlington, Calle Marina, Ponce