|Channels||Digital: 31 (UHF)|
(shared with WITI)
Virtual: 30 (PSIP)
|Slogan||The Christian Alternative|
|Owner||VCY America, Inc.|
First air date
|January 11, 1983|
Former channel number(s)
30 (UHF, 1983–2009)
22 (UHF, 2006–2018)
33 (UHF, 2018–2019)
W04CW 4 Tigerton/Marion (analog)
|FamilyNet (until 2009)|
Call sign meaning
|HAAT||316 m (1,037 ft)|
|Translator(s)||W26EE-D Wittenberg UHF 26 / virtual 30 (PSIP)|
Public license information
WVCY-TV, virtual channel 30 (UHF digital channel 31), 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 WIS 190) in Shorewood. WVCY is also carried on cable television throughout southeastern Wisconsin and invokes must-carry statuses for mandatory carriage.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (September 2017)
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
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. Locally, the deal included WITI, which would switch from CBS to Fox in December 1994. With only months to find an affiliate, CBS 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.
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 (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, 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 Wittenberg, Wisconsin. W04CW's license was returned for cancellation on February 5, 2019.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|30.1||480i||4:3||WVCY-TV||Main WVCY-TV programming|
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. 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 WITI channel sharing arrangement
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 did not leave the air, arranging to share a channel with then Tribune Broadcasting-owned WITI (now a Fox-owned station), with the existing WVCY schedule retained under their existing numbering and identification as channel 30.1 and being associated under the WVCY calls. Along with three other stations in the market, WVCY transitioned to their new arrangement on January 8, 2018. The proceeds from the spectrum sale have since been used to expand VCY's radio presence nationwide, with several station acquisitions.
Although WVCY operates under a commercial license, the station chooses not to accept advertising and asks for viewer support through donations via the station, purchases through its religious bookstore in Wauwatosa and associated online store, and appeals on 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 aired 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.
WVCY-TV operates one translator in northern Wisconsin:
|City of license||Callsign||Channel||ERP||HAAT||Facility ID||Transmitter coordinates|
|Wittenberg||W26EE-D||26||15 kW||155 m (509 ft)||189397||
- WITI-VCY Milwaukee CSA (Redacted)
- "Cancellation Application". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. February 5, 2019. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
- "Fox Gains 12 Stations in New World Deal". Chicago Sun-Times. May 23, 1994. Archived from the original on October 11, 2013. Retrieved June 1, 2013.
- VCY America sells stations, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, May 30, 1997. Retrieved from http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/1997/06/02/tidbits.html.
- 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.
- Application Search Details fcc.gov. Accessed July 19, 2012
- RabbitEars TV Query for WVCY
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
- 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.
- "FCC Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction Auction 1001 Winning Bids" (PDF). April 13, 2017. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
- "Spectrum Auction Channel Changes in the Upper Midwest". Upper Midwest Broadcasting, Northpine.com. April 13, 2017. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
- Modification of a Licensed Facility for DTV Application
- 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.