WTNZ

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WTNZ
Wtnz 2014.png
WTNZ-DT2 Bounce Knoxville.png
Channels
BrandingFox 43 (general)
Fox 43 News (WBIR-produced newscasts)
Bounce TV Knoxville (on DT2)
Programming
Affiliations
Ownership
Owner
WKNX-TV
History
First air date
December 31, 1983 (38 years ago) (1983-12-31)
Former call signs
WKCH-TV (1983–1994)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 43 (UHF, 1983–2009)
  • Digital:
  • 34 (UHF, until 2019)
Call sign meaning
Tennessee
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID19200
ERP289 kW
HAAT529 m (1,736 ft)
Transmitter coordinates35°59′44.4″N 83°57′23.1″W / 35.995667°N 83.956417°W / 35.995667; -83.956417
Links
Public license information
Websitewtnzfox43.revrocket.us

WTNZ (channel 43) is a television station in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States, affiliated with the Fox network. It is owned by Lockwood Broadcast Group alongside independent station WKNX-TV (channel 7). Both stations share studios on Executive Park Drive (along I-75/I-40) in Knoxville's Green Valley section, while WTNZ's transmitter is located on Sharp's Ridge in North Knoxville.

History[edit]

Knoxville Family Television, Limited Partnership, was granted a construction permit on November 3, 1982, to build a station on Knoxville's channel 43; the proposal from Knoxville Family beat out another by Marvin E. Palmquist, who owned WQRF-TV in his hometown of Rockford, Illinois.[1] Channel 43 had previously been used for several years by WBIR-TV as a UHF relay to aid areas in the city of Knoxville that did not receive a satisfactory picture on VHF and was discontinued upon an upgrade to the VHF facility.[2]

From studios on Central Street,[3] WKCH-TV made its debut on the evening of December 31, 1983—with introductory remarks that then had to be repeated because the audio was not broadcast the first time.[4] It was the city's first independent station (WINT-TV was on the air in Crossville, but its plans to move into Knoxville were delayed by more than a decade). It was also the first new full-market commercial station in Knoxville since WBIR-TV signed on 27 years earlier.

Like a number of other independent stations, management affairs were primarily controlled by Media Central, which provided consulting and other services to independent stations and owned much of channel 43. Media Central's independent stations, WKCH-TV included, spurned Fox when it launched in 1986,[5] but it joined the network the next year.[6]

Media Central filed for bankruptcy protection in 1987, and channel 43 would remain in that status for more than two years.[7] A bankruptcy court judge approved the sale of WKCH-TV to NewSouth Broadcasting, owned by Timothy S. Brumlik, in June 1989. However, as the deal was pending at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the proceedings were jolted when Brumlik was arrested by federal and Florida officials on money laundering charges connected to Colombian drug interests.[8] Officials alleged that Brumlik's ownership of TeleOnce in Puerto Rico was a front for two important Latin American media men: Remigio Ángel González, reported to be a business partner with Manuel Noriega in a Panamanian television station, and Julio Vera Gutiérrez, a Peruvian citizen.[9] In November 1989, a motion was filed by WKCH-TV's trustee to cancel the proposed sale to Brumlik, citing the uncertainty created by the money laundering case.[10] Even despite the continued uncertainty over channel 43's future ownership, the station grew and was recognized as one of the fastest-growing Fox affiliates.[11]

FCVS Communications, which owned WACH in Columbia, South Carolina, bought WKCH-TV in 1990.[12] Under FCVS, the station increased its community involvement and improved its transmission facilities.[13] In 1993, FCVS received an "offer it could not refuse" from Ellis Communications and sold its broadcast holdings: WKCH-TV, WACH, and WEVU-TV in Naples, Florida.[14]

Ellis made further improvements, including changing the call sign to WTNZ and relocating the studio to Executive Park Drive in 1994.[15][16] Ellis Communications was then folded into Raycom Media in late 1996.

On June 25, 2018, Raycom Media announced that it agreed to be sold to Gray Television.[17] Gray kept its existing duopoly of WVLT-TV and WBXX-TV and sold WTNZ to a third party;[18] on August 20, 2018, Gray sold WTNZ, along with fellow Fox affiliates WFXG in Augusta, Georgia, WPGX in Panama City, Florida, and WDFX-TV in Dothan, Alabama, to Lockwood Broadcast Group (owner of independent station WKNX-TV).[19] The sale was completed on January 2, 2019.[20]

Newscasts[edit]

Not long after going on the air, channel 43 began producing short news breaks.[21]

In 1998, WTNZ established a news share agreement with WVLT-TV to produce its first local newscast, the Fox 43 Ten O'Clock News. Liz Tedone, Patrick McMurtry, Nick Paranjape, and Craig Edwards anchored the news, weather and sports for the half-hour nightly newscast; the talent, separate from the presenters for WVLT's own newscasts, were absorbed by channel 8 itself in 2000. In 2001, Fox 43 ended its agreement with WVLT and entered into a similar contract with ABC-affiliated WATE-TV; channel 8 thought it was not financially feasible to continue, while WATE thought it was.[22]

After 10 years, the WTNZ-WATE collaboration ended, and WTNZ entered into an agreement with NBC affiliate WBIR-TV to produce local news. On March 28, 2011, WBIR took over production of the nightly newscast and expanded it to one hour on weeknights. Later that year, a two-hour morning show produced by WBIR-TV was also added.[23] Prior to producing the WTNZ newscasts, WBIR had produced a 10-minute 10 p.m. newscast for WBXX-TV (channel 20); WATE-TV took over those duties from WBIR and expanded that program to a full 35 minutes.[24] A half-hour 6:30 p.m. newscast from WBIR-TV was added in 2017.[25]

Technical information[edit]

Subchannels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect Short name Programming[26]
43.1 720p 16:9 WTNZ-DT Main WTNZ programming / Fox
43.2 480i 4:3 WTNZ-BN Bounce TV
43.3 WTNZ-GT GritTV

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WTNZ shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 43, 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 remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 34, using virtual channel 43.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mink, Ken (October 26, 1980). "New TV Station for Knox Would feature Golden Oldies". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Knoxville, Tennessee. p. 84. Archived from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ "He Applauds WBIR-TV For Adding UHF channel 43 to Its Telecasting". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Knoxville, Tennessee. February 22, 1975. p. 4. Archived from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ "TV Station Due Shortly". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Knoxville, Tennessee. November 4, 1983. p. 18. Archived from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "New Station Goes on Air". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Knoxville, Tennessee. January 1, 1984. p. B10. Archived from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ Carter, Reon (August 15, 1986). "Some viewers will see Joan Rivers". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Knoxville, Tennessee. p. B5. Archived from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ Carter, Reon (June 25, 1987). "WKCH joins fourth network". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Knoxville, Tennessee. p. B7. Archived from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ Carter, Reon (July 8, 1987). "WKCH-TV parent bankrupt". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Knoxville, Tennessee. p. A10. Archived from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Prospective WKCH buyer charged in sting". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Knoxville, Tennessee. September 18, 1989. p. A3. Archived from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ Powelson, Richard (September 19, 1989). "Prospective WKCH buyer linked to alleged partner of Gen. Noriega". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Knoxville, Tennessee. p. A1, A2. Archived from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ Powelson, Richard (November 7, 1989). "Motion filed to cancel sale of WKCH to drug suspect". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Knoxville, Tennessee. p. C7. Archived from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ Pickle, Betsy (February 13, 1990). "WKCH hopes to bring stability to Fox's rising star". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Knoxville, Tennessee. p. B1, B2. Archived from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "S. Carolina partnership seeks federal approval to purchase WKCH-TV". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Knoxville, Tennessee. June 3, 1990. p. B1. Archived from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ Pickle, Betsy (April 23, 1992). "WKCH owners happy with strides". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Knoxville, Tennessee. p. B4. Archived from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ Gold, Lara (July 24, 1993). "WEVU sold". News-Press. p. 7A. Archived from the original on October 26, 2019. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  15. ^ "WKCH-TV now WTNZ". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Knoxville, Tennessee. April 27, 1994. p. D7. Archived from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ "WTNZ upgrades facilities". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Knoxville, Tennessee. December 30, 1994. p. B2. Archived from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ Miller, Mark K. (June 25, 2018). "Gray To Buy Raycom For $3.6 Billion". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  18. ^ "Gray and Raycom to Combine in a $3.6 Billion Transaction". Raycom Media. June 25, 2018. Archived from the original on June 25, 2018.
  19. ^ Aycock, Jason (August 20, 2018). "Gray sets divestitures in eight more markets for Raycom deal". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  20. ^ "Gray Completes Acquisition of Raycom Media and Related Transactions" (PDF). Gray Television. January 2, 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 3, 2019. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  21. ^ Segroves, Gerry (February 26, 1984). "Mystery Solved: Truck Blocked WKCH-TV Signal". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Knoxville, Tennessee. p. TV1. Archived from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 30, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  22. ^ Morrow, Terry (August 27, 2001). "WATE set to take over production of WTNZ news". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. p. C3. Archived from the original on November 25, 2021. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  23. ^ "WBIR To Produce HD Newscasts For WTNZ". TVNewsCheck. February 28, 2011. Archived from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  24. ^ Malone, Michael (July 14, 2011). "WATE Knoxville to Produce WBXX Newscast". Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on April 19, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  25. ^ Zimmerman, Lee (March 13, 2017). "WDVX rolls out plans to celebrate 20th anniversary". Knoxville News Sentinel. Archived from the original on February 28, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  26. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WTNZ". rabbitears.info. Archived from the original on 2016-03-16. Retrieved 2021-11-30.
  27. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.

External links[edit]