WZDC-CD

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WZDC-CD
WZDC44.png
Washington, D.C.
United States
Branding Telemundo 44 (general)
Noticiero Telemundo 44 (newscasts)
Channels Digital: 48 (UHF)
(shared with WRC-TV; to move to 34 (UHF))
Virtual: 44 (PSIP)
Affiliations Telemundo (O&O)
Owner NBCUniversal
(NBC Telemundo License LLC)
First air date April 1994 (24 years ago) (1994-04)
Call letters' meaning W
ZGS
District of
Columbia
(former owner)
Sister station(s) WRC-TV
NBC Sports Washington
Former callsigns W64BW (1993–1995)
WZGS-LP (1995–2000)
WZDC-LP (2000–2008)
WZDC-CA (2008–2011)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
64 (1993–2007)
25 (2007–2011)
Digital:
25 (2011–2018)
Transmitter power 813 kW
624 kW (CP)
Height 242 m (794 ft)
244 m (801 ft) (CP)
Facility ID 50347
Transmitter coordinates 38°56′24″N 77°4′53″W / 38.94000°N 77.08139°W / 38.94000; -77.08139
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.telemundowashingtondc.com

WZDC-CD, virtual channel 44 (UHF digital channel 48), is a Class A Telemundo owned-and-operated television station licensed to the American capital city of Washington, District of Columbia. Owned by the NBC Owned Television Stations subsidiary of NBCUniversal (itself a subsidiary of Comcast), it is a sister station to NBC owned-and-operated station WRC-TV (channel 4) and regional sports network NBC Sports Washington. WZDC-CD and WRC-TV share studios and transmitter facilities on Nebraska Avenue in the Tenleytown neighborhood of northwest Washington.

History[edit]

WZDC-CD signed on as W64BW on UHF channel 64 in April 1994, as the Telemundo affiliate in the Washington, D.C. market. On December 1, 1995, the call letters were changed to WZGS-LP, reflecting the station's ownership. On June 27, 2000, the call letters were changed to WZDC-LP. On June 3, 2002, the station began producing Spanish-language local newscasts at 6 and 11 p.m. weeknights.

On April 10, 2007, WZDC-LP moved to channel 25, as channel 64 was to be removed from television broadcasting as a result of the 2009 digital television transition.

The station received class-A status in September 2008, changing callsigns to WZDC-CA to match. An application to build a new digital signal on channel 26 was dismissed in the same month.[1] WZDC eventually received permission to flash-cut to digital on channel 25 in March 2011, and became WZDC-CD in doing so that September.[2]

In the 2016–17 incentive auction, WZDC-CD received $66,182,037 to leave the air, though it indicated that it would maintain over-the-air coverage by entering into a post-auction channel sharing agreement.[3]

On September 6, 2017, NBCUniversal internally announced that it would launch a Telemundo owned-and-operated station based out of WRC-TV (channel 4) in December; a Telemundo spokesperson stated that the sale of WZDC's spectrum "gave us the ability to take back the Telemundo affiliation for this market," without elaborating.[4][5] Subsequently, on December 4, 2017, NBCUniversal's Telemundo Station Group announced its purchase of ZGS' 13 television stations, including WZDC-CD.[6] As a result of the common ownership, WZDC-CD then entered into a channel-sharing agreement with WRC-TV, under which it ended broadcasts over its own signal on channel 25 and moved to WRC-TV's signal on channel 48.[7] NBCUniversal assumed the operations of WZDC on January 1, 2018 through a local marketing agreement.[8]

The channel-sharing agreement with WRC-TV took effect on March 7, 2018, at which time WZDC shut off its own signal.[9]

As the channel-share went into effect, WZDC's virtual channel number of 25 presented an issue. Virtual channel 25 is already in use by Hagerstown's WDVM-TV, which covers much of the western part of the Washington market. The PSIP standard resolves virtual channel conflicts by assigning the new station a virtual channel number equal to the existing station's physical channel number. As WDVM-TV broadcasts over physical channel 26, this would assign WZDC-CD virtual channel 26. However, this does not work since WETA-TV already uses virtual channel 26 in the market. A second option is virtual channel 64, corresponding to WZDC-CD's original analog channel. This introduces another conflict with WDPB, which overlaps the eastern portion of WRC-TV's coverage area. In this case, the same PSIP rule assigns virtual channel 44, which is available.[10]

Digital television[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[11]
44.1 1080i 16:9 WZDC Main WZDC-CD programming / Telemundo
44.2 480i XITOS TeleXitos

News operation[edit]

Presently, WZDC broadcasts 10 hours of locally produced newscasts each week. It currently airs at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. on weekdays. The station expanded local news to the 5 p.m. hour on February 5, 2018.[12]

References[edit]

External links[edit]