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Lexington, Kentucky
United States
ChannelsDigital: 27 (UHF)
Virtual: 36 (PSIP)
  • ABC 36 (general)
  • ABC 36 News (news)
  • MyKentuckyTV (on DT2)
SloganYour Neighbors. Your News.
OwnerMorris Multimedia
First air date
June 2, 1968 (52 years ago) (1968-06-02)
Former call signs
WBLG-TV (1968–1974)
WTVQ-TV (1974–2009)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 62 (UHF, 1968–1980)
  • 36 (UHF, 1980–2009)
  • Digital:
  • 40 (UHF, 2002–2019)
Call sign meaning
We Tell Viewers Quicker
TeleVision Quality
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID51597
ERP635 kW
487 kW (CP)
HAAT286 m (938 ft)
285 m (935 ft) (CP)
Transmitter coordinates38°2′3″N 84°23′39″W / 38.03417°N 84.39417°W / 38.03417; -84.39417
Public license information

WTVQ-DT, virtual channel 36 (UHF digital channel 27), is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Lexington, Kentucky, United States. The station is owned by Morris Multimedia. WTVQ-DT's studios and transmitter are located on the outer loop of Man o' War Boulevard (a.k.a. KY 1425) in the Brighton section of Fayette County. By coincidence, competitor WKYT-TV's studios are just across Winchester Road from the Channel 36 facilities.

On cable, WTVQ-DT is seen on Charter Spectrum channel 10 in the Lexington area.[1]


The station launched as WBLG-TV on June 2, 1968, and was located on channel 62. At the time, this was one of the highest network-affiliated full-power television channels assigned in the country. It was founded by Lexington area businessman Roy White and Reeves Broadcasting along with WBLG radio (AM 1300, now WLXG), and was the third commercial television station to begin broadcasting in the Lexington market.

From the first day of operation, and because of its radio sister's affiliation with ABC, WBLG was the ABC affiliate for central Kentucky. WKYT, the former primary affiliated with ABC, became the CBS affiliate. Reeves Broadcasting went into bankruptcy and eventually White ended up as the sole owner of WBLG-TV. In 1974, the station changed its call letters to the current WTVQ-TV after White sold the TV station to Starr Broadcasting company, while White retained ownership of WBLG radio. Eventually, Starr Broadcasting also went into bankruptcy. In 1979, Shamrock Broadcasting purchased the station from Starr Broadcasting. Shamrock was wholly owned by Roy Disney, nephew of Walt and son of Walt's brother Roy. In 1980, Shamrock installed a new 1.5 million watt transmitter and moved WTVQ from channel 62 to channel 36 in June of that year (channel 62 later carried the now-defunct WLKT-TV and WBLU-LP). The station underwent a major renovation in 1985 that doubled the existing office space and created all new technical facilities. On January 30, 1992, Park Broadcasting purchased WTVQ from Shamrock Broadcasting.

In July 1995, Park Communications was sold to Gary B. Knapp and Donald R. Tomlin, Jr. under the name Park Acquisitions. Media General purchased Park Acquisitions and its properties (including WTVQ) in January 1997. On February 26, 2002, it became central Kentucky's first commercial television station to broadcast a digital television signal on UHF channel 40. Soon afterward, it became the area's first commercial digital television channel to broadcast programming in high definition. On October 29, 2007, Media General announced that it was exploring the sale of WTVQ.[2] On January 22, 2008, the Lexington Herald-Leader mentioned the sale of the station.[3] That headline was confirmed on March 7 when Media General announced it reached an agreement to sell WTVQ to Morris Multimedia for an undisclosed sales price.[4] That price will likely be disclosed with either the FCC or SEC though a media consulting analyst [5] in the $30–35 million range. The sale became final on May 13. In June 2008, Morris Network named Chris Aldridge as General Manager of WTVQ. Aldridge previously served as the station's General Manager from 1992 until 1999.

It was announced on October 31, 2008, that WTVQ-DT2 would become the Lexington market affiliate for MyNetworkTV, replacing WBLU-LP in the wake of WWE's Smackdown! moving to MyNetworkTV; WBLU's low-power status and weak schedule meant that it had little possibility of cable carriage, and the network had to find quickly an affiliate in the market with full-market coverage.[6] On January 1, 2009, WTVQ-DT2 officially became a full-time MyNetworkTV affiliate under the branding "MyTVQ2" after two months of only carrying Smackdown! on Friday nights, with a repeat after the Saturday late news on WTVQ's main channel. It also simulcasted the 24-hour weather channel during overnights until April 2009. The station shutdown its analog signal at 11:59 p.m. on February 17, 4 months before the day that all television stations in the U.S. transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate on June 12, 2009.[7] WTVQ-TV's official calls became WTVQ-DT on June 17, 2009.

On December 7, 2011, WTVQ replaced 24-hour weather on WTVQ-DT3 with Antenna TV.[8]

On June 1, 2015, WTVQ re-branded WTVQ-DT2 from "MyTVQ2" to "MyKentuckyTV".

In early 2016, WTVQ launched Laff on WTVQ-DT4. Later in the summer, WTVQ launched two more networks: Justice Network on 36.3, moving Antenna TV to 36.6, and Escape on channel 36.5. These were joined by Grit in early June 2017 on channel 36.7, giving the network a new home in the Lexington market after it was dropped by Sinclair-owned WDKY-TV in early 2017. Quest replaced Antenna TV in early 2018, with the Antenna TV affiliation falling to the third sub-channel of Beattyville-based WLJC-TV.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[9]
36.1 720p 16:9 WTVQ-1 Main WTVQ-DT programming / ABC
36.2 WTVQ-2 WTVQ-DT2 / MyNetworkTV
36.3 480i WTVQ-3 True Crime Network
36.4 WTVQ-4 Laff
36.5 WTVQ-5 Court TV Mystery
36.6 WTVQ-6 Quest
36.7 WTVQ-7 Grit

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WTVQ-TV was the first station in Lexington to broadcast a digital signal in 2002. The station shut down its analog signal over UHF channel 36, on February 17, 2009, the original target date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 40.[10] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 36.

TV spectrum repack[edit]

WTVQ moved its channel allocation from digital channel 40 to digital channel 27 and remained on virtual channel 36.[11]


Syndicated programming on WTVQ includes Judge Judy, Entertainment Tonight, and Extra. Syndicated programming on WTVQ-DT2 includes The Insider, The Doctors, and Seinfeld, among others.[12]

News operation[edit]

On December 1, 2005, WTVQ launched a 24-hour local weather channel on its second digital subchannel and Insight digital cable channel 436. It moved to a new third digital subchannel on January 1, 2009, when "MyTVQ2" launched. This coincided with a new nightly 10 o'clock newscast called ABC 36 News at 10 that competes with Fox affiliate WDKY-TV whose 10 p.m. news is the highest-rated late local news in the Lexington market. In addition to the new 10 o'clock newscast on WTVQ-DT2, there are repeats of weekday newscasts that aired on the main channel. This includes the Noon news (at 1:00), the 6:00 broadcast (at 6:30) and the 11 o'clock news (at Midnight).[13] WTVQ was the last major network station in Lexington to broadcast their local news in high definition. The 10 p.m. news was soon discontinued. On June 1, 2015, however, the 10 p.m. newscast returned to WTVQ-DT2 as it was rebranded "MyKentuckyTV". On April 2, 2018, WTVQ began airing a half-hour newscast at 9 p.m. on Beattyville-licensed religious independent WLJC-TV. This newscast continued after WLJC moved their Cozi TV affiliation to their main subchannel in late 2018.


  1. ^ "Time Warner Cable - Channel Lineup for Lexington, Kentucky". Archived from the original on 2015-01-08. Retrieved 2014-10-27.
  2. ^ "Media General Exploring Sale of Five Television Stations" (Press release). Media General. 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  3. ^ http://www.kentucky.com/179/story/293577.html
  4. ^ "Media General Announces Sale of WTVQ-TV in Lexington, Ky., to Morris Network, Inc" (Press release). Media General. 2008-03-07. Archived from the original on 2012-09-07. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  5. ^ http://www.kentucky.com/454/story/340715.html interviewed by the Herald-Leader
  6. ^ Now a second chance to watch 'Smackdown'. Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved on October 31, 2008.
  7. ^ http://www.kentucky.com/211/story/689551.html
  8. ^ "Antenna TV Affiliation: WTVQ". Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  9. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WTVQ
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ http://www.rabbitears.info/market.php?request=station_search&callsign=WTVQ
  12. ^ WTVQ Programming Schedule (TitanTV.com)
  13. ^ http://www.bizlex.com/Articles-c-2009-02-19-85162.113117_Aldridge_looks_to_bring_competitiveness_back_to_WTVQ.html

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Channel 62 Lexington occupant
Succeeded by