|Channels||Digital: 19 (UHF)|
Virtual: 27 (PSIP)
|Owner||Entravision Communications |
(Entravision Holdings, LLC)
First air date
|February 12, 1985 (36 years ago) as WVJV-TV|
(in Marlborough, Massachusetts; license moved to Worcester in 2017)
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
Call sign meaning
|ERP||50 kW (STA)|
970 kW (CP)
|HAAT||334 m (1,096 ft) (STA)|
374 m (1,227 ft) (CP)
|Transmitter coordinates||Coordinates: (CP)|
Public license information
WUTF-TV, virtual channel 27 (UHF digital channel 19), is a UniMás-affiliated television station serving Boston, Massachusetts, United States that is licensed to Worcester. The station is owned by Entravision Communications, which also operates Marlborough-licensed Univision-owned station WUNI (channel 66) under a joint sales agreement (JSA) with the Univision Local Media subsidiary of Univision Communications. WUTF-TV's studios are located on 4th Avenue, and its transmitter is located on Cedar Street, both in Needham.
The station first signed on the air on February 12, 1985 as WVJV-TV (branded as "V-66, the Beat of Boston"), maintaining a music video format at a time when they were a major part of the American culture (this was just four years after MTV launched in August 1981). The station was originally owned by longtime New England radio broadcasters John Garabedian (who later became host of the nationally syndicated radio show Open House Party) and Arnie "Woo-Woo" Ginsburg. Garabedian also owned WGTR (1060 AM, now WQOM); both WVJV and WGTR operated from studios in Natick. The music format combined videos from progressive rock (as heard on WBCN) and pop contemporary (as heard on WXKS-FM). Irrespective of the must-carry rule requiring cable systems to carry the station, many cable systems freely chose to carry WVJV instead of VH1. WVJV was also the first station in the Boston area to transmit in stereo.
Change from music videos to home shopping
Garabedian had hoped to launch a national over-the-air music video network (predating the existence of The Box) to compete against MTV, if WVJV had succeeded. However, although channel 66 received a sizable number of viewers, the station struggled to retain them for long periods of time, and by mid-1986, the station's advertising sales were insufficient to ensure the station's long-term viability; additionally, attempts to broaden the station's programming to include shows on sports and other topics proved unsuccessful. Consequently, WVJV was sold to the HSN later that year, with the station transitioning to HSN's shopping programs soon afterwards on September 21, 1986; a callsign change to WHSH followed the next year. For the next thirteen years, WHSH continued to run HSN programming, with some local feature segments in-between.
A documentary film about V66 titled Life on the V: The Story of V66, produced by Christian de Rezendes and Eric Green, premiered at the Independent Film Festival of Boston on April 29, 2014.
Short-lived independent format
In the late 1990s, Barry Diller, who was the owner of HSN and its broadcast television arm (USA Broadcasting, formerly Silver King Television), began plans to turn his stations into true independents. On August 1, 2000, this format was implemented on channel 66 as WHUB-TV (from Boston's nickname "The Hub"), branding as "Hub 66", and airing primarily syndicated programs (both reruns, including Cheers, Taxi and Star Trek: The Next Generation, and first-run programs) and movies under the HubFlix banner; the station also obtained the rights to Boston University ice hockey games (previously held by WABU/WBPX), as well as the annual Beanpot tournament. However, at the end of 2000, USA Broadcasting was preparing to sell its stations. Disney/ABC was in the running to become the owner of WHUB (which would have created a partnership with Hearst Television-owned ABC affiliate WCVB-TV channel 5), however Univision Communications outbid them in a close race. Plans were immediately announced to make the station a charter station of what would become Telefutura (at that time referred to as Univision Duo); in the meantime, WHUB reverted to HSN programming on January 31, 2001 in an attempt by USA to cut costs; its five-month run made it one of the shortest-ran independent-formatted stations in the country (a few 1950s UHF independent stations, such as the three-month-long WBES-TV, had shorter). AT&T Broadband then obtained some of WHUB's programming for its AT&T 3 channel (including the 2001 Beanpot, which WHUB never telecast due to returning to HSN; the tournament has since moved to NESN; AT&T 3 would be replaced by CN8 New England in 2003, which itself would shut down in January 2009).
Switch to Telefutura
To reflect the pending affiliation with Telefutura, channel 66 changed its call letters to WFUB (likely[weasel words] standing for "TeleFUtura Boston") in November 2001. However, the station changed the callsign again just one month later, to WUTF – both changes occurred while the station was still running HSN programming. It was not until January 14, 2002 that channel 66 finally joined Telefutura, offering a general entertainment format with Spanish movies, serials, sports and children's programs (the network rebranded as UniMás on January 7, 2013).
Move to channel 27
On December 4, 2017, as part of a channel swap made by Entravision Communications, WUTF and sister station WUNI swapped channel numbers, with WUTF moving to digital channel 29 and virtual channel 27.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|27.1||1080i||16:9||WUTF-TV||Main WUTF-DT programming / UniMás|
WUTF shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 66, 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 moved its digital signal from its pre-transition UHF channel 23 to channel 27. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 66, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.
- "Digital TV Market Listing for WUTF". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
- Rudavsky, Shari (February 26, 1985). "Debut of Free Video Channel May Steal Time From Radio, MTV". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- "Worcester, Mass - V-66, Boston's Video Channel of the 80s". www.worcestermass.com. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
- Simmons, Doug (June 2, 1985). "THEY'RE REALLY ROCKIN' IN BOSTON; V-66 TUNES INTO MTV'S TURF". Boston Globe.
- Hilliard, John (June 12, 2008). "The short, eventful life of a local music video station". The Framingham Tab. Community Newspaper Company. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- "V66 Documentary Home - Life on the V". www.lifeonthev.com. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
- "Life on the V: The Story of V66". Independent Film Festival of Boston 2014. Archived from the original on June 3, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
- "Review: Life on the V: The Story of V66". Rockerzine. April 25, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
- Fybush, Scott (August 7, 2000). "So Long, Charles..." North East RadioWatch. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- "USA Broadcasting Announces WHUB Channel 66, Boston" (Press release). USA Broadcasting. March 8, 2000. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- "WHUB-TV, A USA Broadcasting Station". WHUB-TV. Archived from the original on December 6, 2000. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- Fybush, Scott (December 11, 2000). "Adios, WHUB!". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- Brown, Joel (January 24, 2001). "Cubic zirconia return to WHUB". Boston Herald. Archived from the original on February 7, 2001. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- Fybush, Scott (February 5, 2001). "River Flows to New Home". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- Fybush, Scott (March 5, 2001). "More on Lydon/WBUR Dis-"Connect"". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- Fybush, Scott (November 5, 2001). "Doing the Albany Shuffle". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- Fybush, Scott (December 17, 2001). "CBC Expands French Network". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- Fybush, Scott (December 24, 2001). "WHTR Makes Its Move". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- "Cambios programación UniMas y Univision". Entravision Communications. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
- WUTF in the FCC's TV station database
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WUTF-TV