WVCY-TV

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WVCY-TV
WVCY-TV Logo.png
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
United States
Branding TV-30
Slogan The Christian Alternative
Channels Digital: 33 (UHF)
(shared with WITI; to move to 31 (UHF)[1])
Virtual: 30 (PSIP)
Translators W04CW 4 Tigerton/Marion (analog)
W26EE-D Wittenburg UHF 26 / virtual 30 (PSIP)
Affiliations Religious independent
Owner VCY America, Inc.
First air date January 11, 1983 (35 years ago) (1983-01-11)
Call letters' meaning Wisconsin
Voice of
Christian
Youth
Sister station(s) WVCY-FM & VCY America
Former channel number(s) Analog:
30 (UHF, 1983–2009)
Digital:
22 (UHF, until 2018)
Former affiliations FamilyNet (?–2009)
Transmitter power 1000 kW
959 kW (CP)
Height 304 m (997 ft)
316 m (1,037 ft) (CP)
Facility ID 72342
Transmitter coordinates 43°5′26″N 87°53′50″W / 43.09056°N 87.89722°W / 43.09056; -87.89722Coordinates: 43°5′26″N 87°53′50″W / 43.09056°N 87.89722°W / 43.09056; -87.89722
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website vcyamerica.org

WVCY-TV, virtual channel 30 (UHF digital channel 33), is a religious independent television station licensed to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. The station is owned by VCY America, Inc. WVCY-TV's studios are located on West Vliet Street in Milwaukee, and it shares transmitter facilities with Fox affiliate WITI (channel 6) on East Capitol Drive (just north of Highway 190) in Shorewood. WVCY is also carried on cable television throughout southeastern Wisconsin and invokes must-carry statuses for mandatory carriage.

History[edit]

The station first signed on the air on January 11, 1983; it has operated as a religious station since its sign-on.

Attempted purchase by CBS Corporation[edit]

On May 23, 1994, Fox signed an affiliation deal with New World Communications to shift the network affiliations of the company's stations in 12 markets to Fox starting in the fall of 1994.[2] Locally, the deal included WITI, which would switch from CBS to Fox in December 1994. With only months to find an affiliate, CBS Corporation approached WVCY's owners to purchase the station and make it an owned-and-operated station of that network. Offers to affiliate with the network had already been turned down by NBC affiliate WTMJ-TV (channel 4), ABC affiliate WISN-TV (channel 12, which had been affiliated with CBS from 1961 to 1977), WVTV (channel 18; which had earlier been a CBS owned-and-operated station in the 1950s), WCGV-TV (channel 24) and WJJA (channel 49, now WMLW-TV). The board of VCY America, along with station founder and VCY America chairman Vic Eliason, decided to reject the offer and retain ownership of the station, resulting in CBS then aligning itself with then low-profile independent WDJT-TV (channel 58), which had also initially declined an offer to affiliate with CBS, just days before WITI switched to Fox.

Sister stations[edit]

WVCY formerly had a sister station in the Green Bay market, Suring-licensed WSCO (channel 14), which VCY America owned from 1993 to 1997. That year, VCY sold WSCO to Paxson Communications (the forerunner to Ion Media Networks) in order to concentrate on its Milwaukee operations[3] (that station is now WCWF, which serves as Green Bay's CW affiliate).

In 1980, VCY was granted a construction permit to operate a station on UHF channel 43 in Tomah under the callsign WVCX-TV,[4] which would serve the La Crosse/Eau Claire market. However, that construction permit expired in 1985.

In 2008, VCY acquired W04CW (channel 4) in Tigerton/Marion, an area located between Green Bay and Wausau well outside of the Milwaukee market, which is used as a repeater of WVCY's programming. On July 18, 2012, VCY America was granted a digital broadcast license for W26EE-D (UHF 26 / virtual 30) in Wittenburg, Wisconsin.[5]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channel[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[6]
30.1 480i 4:3 WVCY-TV Main WVCY-TV programming

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WVCY-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 30, on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal continued to broadcasts on its pre-transition UHF channel 22.[7][8] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 30. The station does not broadcast any digital subchannel services and broadcasts its main feed in a standard definition format, meaning current-day programming filmed in widescreen high-definition is carried in a reduced letterboxed format.

Spectrum sale and upcoming channel sharing arrangement[edit]

On April 13, 2017, the results of the FCC's 2016 spectrum auction were announced, with VCY America successfully selling the UHF spectrum for WVCY for $76.3 million. WVCY will not leave the air, arranging to share a channel with Tribune Broadcasting-owned Fox affiliate WITI, with the existing WVCY schedule retained under their existing numbering and identification as channel 30.1 and being associated under the WVCY calls.[9][10][11] Along with three other stations in the market, WVCY transitioned to their new arrangement on January 8, 2018.

Programming[edit]

Although WVCY operates under a commercial license,[12] the station chooses not to accept advertising and asks for viewer support through donations via the station, its religious bookstore in Wauwatosa, and VCY America Radio instead for funding. Unlike other religious television stations, it does not carry Contemporary Christian music programming, or signs and wonders televangelists (such as Benny Hinn). The station is unique for carrying a top-of-the-hour text weather forecast as part of its station identification, a practice long discontinued by most commercial television stations.

The station airs programming from FamilyNet (the current day Cowboy Channel) from before the network's 2009 purchase by a company owned by televangelist Robert A. Schuller and subsequent 2013 conversion into a secular classic television and rural living service by the Rural Media Group, reflecting that network's previously religious roots; FamilyNet shows and films airing on WVCY show the network's pre-2008 logo, suggesting they were recorded before then and retained in the station's tape archive for later use. VCY America's radio network has also discontinued programs or affiliations in the past that have changed to more "mainstream" religious views or have financial appeals that go beyond the conservative views of VCY, and both television and radio operations refuse any programming featuring modern Contemporary Christian music. WVCY-TV also carries a disclaimer on CBN News broadcasts stating that CBN's views are not those of VCY America. A limited amount of programming from the Christian Television Network also airs on the station.

WVCY also carries some government hearings and presidential speeches, along with simulcasts of state political debates and the State of the State address produced by the state's public television organizations, and is the last commercial station in the state to continue to program weekday afternoon children's programming, a block that includes a rotation of series including Davey and Goliath, Becky's Barn and Sunshine Factory.

Besides Wisconsin Public Television's stations during school recesses and vacations, WVCY was the final commercial station in the state until the start of 2010 to sign-off the air on a nightly basis.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ WITI-VCY Milwaukee CSA (Redacted)
  2. ^ "Fox Gains 12 Stations in New World Deal". Chicago Sun-Times. May 23, 1994. Retrieved June 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ VCY America sells stations, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, May 30, 1997. Retrieved from http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/1997/06/02/tidbits.html.
  4. ^ REC Broadcast Query. Retrieved from http://cdbs.recnet.com/fmq.php?facid=&call=dwvcx&ccode=1&latd=&lond=&city=&state=&country=US&zip=&party=&party_type=LICEN&jaws=0.
  5. ^ Application Search Details fcc.gov. Accessed July 19, 2012
  6. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WVCY
  7. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  8. ^ Cuprisin, Tim (February 5, 2009). Channels 24, 30 will shut down analog signals and go digital Feb. 17. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, February 5, 2009. Retrieved from http://www.jsonline.com/entertainment/tvradio/39177437.html.
  9. ^ "FCC Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction Auction 1001 Winning Bids" (PDF). 13 April 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  10. ^ "Spectrum Auction Channel Changes in the Upper Midwest". Upper Midwest Broadcasting, Northpine.com. 13 April 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  11. ^ Modification of a Licensed Facility for DTV Application
  12. ^ FCC (May 5, 2009). Station Search Details – WVCY-TV. Retrieved from http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/sta_det.pl?Facility_id=72342.
  13. ^ http://vcyamerica.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=193&Itemid=129

External links[edit]