|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, WAXA, WINK-FM, WNPL, WTLQ-FM|
|Former callsigns||WNPL-TV (1990–1995)
|Former channel number(s)||46 (UHF analog, 1990–2009)|
|Former affiliations||Independent (1990–1995)
The WB (1998–2006)
|Transmitter power||1,000 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, WXCW is one of two Fort Myers-based stations that is licensed to Naples, alongside ABC affiliate WZVN-TV). The station is locally owned by Sun Broadcasting; Fort Myers Broadcasting Company, which owns Fort Myers-licensed CBS affiliate WINK-TV (channel 11), operates WXCW under a shared services agreement. The two stations share studio facilities located on Palm Beach Boulevard (SR 80) in northeast Fort Myers; WXCW's transmitter is located near the Charlotte and 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. 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 Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner and CBS Corporation announced that the two companies would shut down The WB and UPN and combine the networks' respective programming to create a new "fifth" network called The CW. ACME later announced on March 9, 2006 that its stations, including WTVK, were to join The CW when it launched on September 18, 2006, with WNFM choosing to affiliate with fellow upstart network MyNetworkTV. 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.
|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.
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 cancelled. 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.