|Naples/Fort Myers, Florida|
Estrella TV (DT2)
|Channels||Digital: 45 (UHF)|
(to move to 32 (UHF))
Virtual: 46 (PSIP)
|Owner||Sun Broadcasting, Inc.|
|Operator||Fort Myers Broadcasting Company|
|Founded||August 14, 1986|
|First air date||October 22, 1990|
|Call letters' meaning||The CW|
|Sister station(s)||WINK-TV, WUVF-LD/WLZE-LD, WANA-LD, WAXA, WINK-FM, WNPL, WTLQ-FM|
|Former callsigns||WNPL-TV (1990–1995)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
46 (UHF, 1990–2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1990–1995)|
The WB (1998–2006)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
900 kW (CP)
|Height||456 m (1,496 ft)|
393 m (1,289 ft) (CP)
|Public license information||Profile|
WXCW, virtual channel 46 (UHF digital channel 45), is a CW-affiliated television station serving Fort Myers, Florida, United States that is licensed to Naples (as such, it is one of two Fort Myers-based full-power stations that are licensed to Naples, alongside ABC affiliate WZVN-TV, channel 26). Locally owned by Sun Broadcasting, WXCW is sister to two low-powered stations: Univision affiliate WUVF-LD (channel 2) and Azteca América affiliate WANA-LD (channel 18), both also licensed to Naples. Fort Myers Broadcasting Company, which owns Fort Myers-licensed CBS affiliate WINK-TV (channel 11), operates WXCW, WUVF and WANA under a shared services agreement (SSA). The four stations share studios on Palm Beach Boulevard (SR 80) in northeast Fort Myers; WXCW's transmitter is located north of Fort Myers Shores, near the Charlotte-Lee county line.
The station first signed on the air on October 22, 1990 as WNPL-TV (for NaPLes) which was founded and run by CEO William Darling of Southwest Florida Telecommunications. Originally operating as an independent station, it filled a void in the market after WFTX-TV (channel 36) joined Fox four years earlier in October 1986. The station first operated from studios located on Goodlette Road in Naples. The station was beset with problems early on, particularly with regard to finding programming. Despite this, from 1993 to 1998, the station carried Florida Marlins baseball games televised by WBFS-TV in Miami before the debut of the Tampa Bay Rays, which then claimed southwest Florida as the team's territory. It also was the area's affiliate for the Orlando Magic broadcast network.
On January 16, 1995, the station became a charter affiliate of the United Paramount Network (UPN); it subsequently changed its call letters to WTVK on June 30 of that year (those calls were previously used on what is now WVLT-TV in Knoxville, Tennessee; the WNPL call sign was brought back to the Fort Myers–Naples market in 2009 when a new radio station at 1460 AM signed on to improve coverage of WPTK – 1200 AM, now WAXA). Darling sold the station to Second Generation Television in 1995. In 1998, Second Generation sold the station to ACME Communications, which swapped affiliations with the area's cable-only WB affiliate WSWF (later WNFM). It then adopted the on-air moniker "WB 6", after its cable channel location in the market.
On January 24, 2006, the merger of UPN and The WB into The CW was announced. With ACME's CEO Jamie Kellner being a former WB executive, WTVK's future CW affiliation was virturally assured to be a mere formality. Indeed, on March 9, 2006, ACME indeed affiliated all but one of their stations with the CW upon launch on September 18, 2006; WNFM was left with MyNetworkTV and did not confirm their affiliation until August.
On May 15, 2006, ACME announced that it would sell WTVK to Sun Broadcasting. The sale was completed on February 16, 2007, with the station subsequently changing its call sign to WXCW on March 2.
WXCW has been digital-only since February 17, 2009.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming |
|46.1||720p||16:9||WXCW HD||Main WXCW programming / The CW|
|46.2||ETV HD||Estrella TV|
On August 13, 2012, WXCW launched MundoFox (later MundoMax) on a new digital subchannel 46.2. It is also available on Comcast digital cable channel 229 in standard definition and channel 437 in high definition. Once MundoMax ceased operations on December 1, 2016, the channel began to carry a 720p simulcast of Estrella TV.
WINK-TV presently produces 27½ of locally produced newscasts each week for WXCW (with 4½ hours on weekdays, 3½ hours on Saturdays and 1½ hours on Sundays).
As an independent station, WNPL operated a news department, producing a primetime newscast on weeknights entitled Channel 46 Ten O'Clock News. The program originated from the station's original studio facilities on Bonita Bay Boulevard in Bonita Springs, along South Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41/SR 45). Due to low ratings and financial reasons, the news department was shut down, effectively canceling the program.
On March 26, 2007, WINK-TV (channel 11) began producing a half-hour primetime newscast for WXCW under a news share agreement. Right from the start, it emerged at a strong second place behind WFTX's longer-established and hour-long 10 p.m. newscast. On October 20, 2007, WINK-TV became the first station in Southwest Florida to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition; the newscasts on WXCW were included in the upgrade. On January 7, 2008, WINK began producing a two-hour extension of its weekday morning newscast for WXCW, running from 7 to 9 a.m. The program was moved to WXCW, after WINK complied with CBS's new requirement for all of its affiliates to air its morning news program The Early Show (which was replaced by CBS This Morning in January 2012) in its entirety. Originally, WINK-TV had preempted the first hour of that program due to the third hour of its weekday morning newscast, which was specifically titled as Hello Southwest Florida.
Beginning on October 31, 2008, the 10 p.m. newscast began to be presented commercial-free for the first 21 minutes of the broadcast. The 10 p.m. newscast was expanded to one hour on August 24, 2009. In the fall of 2010, WINK began producing a weekday 11 a.m. newscast on WXCW, that program has since been canceled. On September 16, 2013, the WINK-produced weekday morning newscast on the station was expanded by one hour, now running from 7:00 to 10:00 a.m.
- Channel 45 digital TV stations in the United States
- Channel 46 virtual TV stations in the United States
- 'Gilmore Girls' meet 'Smackdown'; CW Network to combine WB, UPN in CBS-Warner venture beginning in September, CNNMoney.com, January 24, 2006.
- UPN and WB to Combine, Forming New TV Network, The New York Times, January 24, 2006.