"This TV Marquette"
"My TV 19"
|Slogan||TV Just For U|
|Channels||Digital: 19 (UHF)
Virtual: 19 (PSIP)
19.2 MyNetworkTV/This TV
19.3 Antenna TV
|Founded||October 5, 2001|
|First air date||February 2, 2003|
|Call letters' meaning||MarQuette|
|Former callsigns||WMQF (2003–2009)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
19 (UHF, 2003–2009)
|Transmitter power||31 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WZMQ is a television station licensed to Marquette, Michigan and serving the central portion of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Broadcasting on UHF digital channel 19 from a transmitter in Ishpeming, Michigan, WZMQ is owned by MMMRC, LLC, and has affiliation with MeTV (on channel 19.1 or Charter Cable channel 14), MyNetworkTV and This TV (on channel 19.2 or Charter Cable channel 193) and Antenna TV (on channel 19.3 or Charter channel 194).
The station launched on February 2, 2003 as Fox affiliate WMQF. Prior to WMQF's launch, Fox programming was seen in the U.P. on a limited basis—either over-the-air (on WLUC-TV, which had a limited relationship with Fox in the mid-1990s, or through a translator of Green Bay's WLUK-TV) or through Charter Cable systems (which imported either WLUK or Cadillac's WFQX-TV). WMQF also had secondary affiliation with UPN, broadcasting that network's programming during off-network hours. (UPN was previously affiliated with Crystal Falls Class A station WUPT-CA, which folded after losing UPN affiliation to WMQF.) After UPN ended in 2006, WMQF adopted secondary affiliation with MyNetworkTV.
WMQF was originally owned and operated by Equity Media Holdings. Other than the transmitter, WMQF had no physical presence in the U.P. under Equity's ownership; the company central-casted 100% of WMQF's programming (as it did with its other stations) from its headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas. In addition to network and syndicated programming, Equity would air on WMQF two programs it produced for its Retro Television Network at the time, Unreliable Sources and Closing Remarks. Throughout its history (and especially during its early days), trying to pick up WMQF over-the-air was quite challenging due to its relatively weak 500,000-watt analog signal; when it was picked up, its signal and picture quality could still tend to be sub-par. As a result, most cable providers chose to obtain WMQF's signal directly off the satellite uplink to the transmitter (it was available free-to-air on the Galaxy 18 satellite system).
On December 8, 2008, Equity Media Holdings filed for bankruptcy and would auction off all its television stations the following April. WMQF would be sold to MMMRC, LLC, a company owned by the principals of De Pere, Wisconsin-based Smet Construction Services. The sale closed the week of June 23, 2009, when the station's call sign was changed from WMQF to WZMQ. By this time, however, WMQF programming was discontinued as Equity was not able to meet the mandatory digital transition earlier in June 2009 (see Digital Television below). As a result, Fox would move its affiliation from channel 19 to WLUC-DT2 channel 6.2 in August 2009 (the move relegated Universal Sports from full-time to overnight status on channel 6.2). During the interim, Fox programming was still available on Charter Cable through its importing of WLUK-TV from Green Bay (which continued on Charter Cable throughout WMQF's existence until WLUC asserted market exclusivity for the Fox affiliation in mid-2012).
Smet Construction Services would construct new facilities in De Pere, Wisconsin, from which WZMQ programming would originate. The construction was completed on or about October 15, 2009, after which Smet officially launched WZMQ, replacing the "Coming Soon" slides that were broadcast since the summer with programming from This TV and MyNetworkTV on channels 19.1 and 19.2 respectively. The studio in De Pere was abandoned and all operations moved to Marquette, Mi. Antenna TV would be added to channel 19.2 January 1, 2011, with MyNetworkTV moving to channel 19.1, replacing This TV's 8pm weeknight movie broadcast. In May 2011, WZMQ picked up the MeTV subchannel, placing it at 19.1; its other subchannels each were renumbered accordingly, with MyNetworkTV / This TV moving to channel 19.2 and Antenna TV moving to 19.3.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|19.2||This TV||MyNetworkTV & This TV|
WZMQ shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 19, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station "flash-cut" its digital signal into operation on UHF channel 19. Because it was granted an original digital construction permit after the Federal Communications Commission finalized the digital television allotment plan on April 21, 1997, WMQF did not receive a companion channel for a digital station. Since the channel was then owned by Equity Media Holdings, the company told the FCC it would not be able to convert WMQF and most of its stations to digital in time for the transition. After being sold to MMMRC, WZMQ made its flash-cut to digital shortly before the June 2009 transition cutoff, transmitting two subchannels that were at low-power due to some transmitter problems.
- "Takers found for 60 Equity stations". Television Business Report. April 18, 2009. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
- Source: Northpine.com 5/5/2009 posting
- "Call Sign History (WZMQ)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved June 27, 2009.
- "Consummation Notice". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved June 27, 2009.
- http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=325129 }
- Green Bay Press-Gazette: "Michigan TV station building studio in De Pere, 9/26/2009.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WZMQ
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- FCC DTV status report