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Columbia, South Carolina
United States
Branding Ion Television
Slogan Positively Entertaining
Channels Digital: 47 (UHF)
Virtual: 47 (PSIP)
Subchannels 47.1 - Ion HD (720p)
47.2 - qubo (480i)
47.3 - Ion Life (480i)
47.4 - Ion Shop (480i)
47.5 - QVC
47.6 - HSN
Affiliations Ion Television
Owner Gary Chapman (as trustee)
(sale to Cedar Creek Broadcasting pending)
(Broadcast Trust)
Operator Ion Media Networks
First air date January 1, 2005
Call letters' meaning WZ Roberts Broadcasting (former owner)
Former channel number(s) 47 (UHF analog, 2005–2009)
Former affiliations UPN (2005–2006)
The CW (2006–2014; secondary from February–March 2014)
Transmitter power 240 kW
Height 192 m
Facility ID 136750
Transmitter coordinates 34°2′39″N 80°59′51″W / 34.04417°N 80.99750°W / 34.04417; -80.99750
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website www.iontelevision.com

WZRB, virtual and UHF digital channel 47, is an Ion Television owned-and-operated television station located in Columbia, South Carolina, United States. The station is owned by Gary Chapman as trustee[1] with Ion Media Networks as its beneficiary. WZRB maintains studio and transmitter facilities located on Cushman Drive (near US 1) on the northeast side of Columbia. On cable, the station is available on Charter Spectrum channel 13 and in high definition on digital channel 1212.

Digital programming[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Network
47.1 720p 16:9 ION Ion Television
47.2 480i 4:3 qubo Qubo
47.3 IONLife Ion Life
47.4 Shop Ion Shop
47.5 QVC QVC
47.6 HSN HSN

WZRB's high definition feed is not currently carried by AT&T U-verse in the area; however, it is carried by Time Warner Cable, Dish Network and DirecTV.

Because it was granted an original construction permit after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) finalized the DTV allotment plan on April 21, 1997, [1], the station did not receive a companion channel for a digital television station. Instead, during the week of January 19, 2009, before February 17, 2009, which was the end of the digital television conversion period for most full-service stations, WZRB turned off its analog signal and turned on its digital signal (called a "flash-cut").[2][3]

On March 29, 2011, WZRB's license was initially cancelled by the FCC for failure to file for either a license to cover or an extension of its digital construction permit (the license for sister station WRBJ-TV in Jackson, Mississippi was initially cancelled for the same reasons two days later). However, Roberts Broadcasting filed an appeal, stating that the licenses to cover were improperly filed upon the digital transition. The FCC agreed, and reinstated the licenses of the two stations on April 19. Roberts had to file for new licenses to cover.


Early history[edit]

The station first signed on the air on January 1, 2005, as the sixth commercial television station to sign on the air in the Columbia television market. Founded by St. Louis-based Roberts Broadcasting, it originally operated as a UPN affiliate. Prior to WZRB's sign-on, Elgin-licensed WB affiliate WBHQ (channel 63, now WKTC) carried UPN programming on a secondary basis, airing its primetime schedule on a two-hour delay.

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.[4][5] WZRB became Columbia's CW affiliate when the network launched on September 18, 2006; WKTC took the MyNetworkTV affiliation, and joined that network when it launched two weeks earlier on September 5.

Sale to Ion Media Networks[edit]

On December 2, 2013, Roberts filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission to sell WZRB to Radiant Light Ministries, a subsidiary of religious broadcaster Tri-State Christian Television;[6] however, on December 11, the United States bankruptcy court gave initial approval for a plan by Roberts' creditors to instead transfer WZRB and its sister stations, WRBU in St. Louis and WAZE-LP in Evansville, Indiana, to a trust with Ion Media Networks (a creditor in Roberts' chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings) as its beneficiary, with Roberts' attorney subsequently stating that Ion would purchase the three stations.[7][8]

On February 10, 2014, WZRB became an Ion Television owned-and-operated station, carry the network's programming for the majority of its broadcast day, resulting in the removal of WZRB's syndicated programming inventory in the process. For the first month of its tenure as an Ion O&O, CW programming – including primetime shows – continued to air on the station as a secondary affiliation, pre-empting one hour of Ion's daytime lineup and the first two hours of its primetime schedule (although the Vortexx children's block on Saturday mornings, was aired one hour earlier than the network's recommended timeslot nationwide, at 6:00 a.m. in order to accommodate Ion programming that started at 11:00 a.m.). This was a departure from the standard Ion O&O programming structure (in which stations carry only Ion programming with limited to no local content and no acquired programming outside of that offered by the network); as a result, it marked the first time since 2008, the end of a two-year period in which Ion Media Networks ran MyNetworkTV programming on select i/Ion owned-and-operated stations, that the company had carried another network's programming on its stations. This arrangement proved to be only temporary, as existing MyNetworkTV affiliate WKTC took the CW affiliation on March 17, 2014, resulting in WZRB beginning to carry the entire Ion Television schedule. On January 29, 2015, Cedar Creek Broadcasting (a company controlled by Brian Brady, who also owns several other broadcasting companies such as Northwest Broadcasting) agreed to purchase WZRB and WRBU from the trust for $6 million; following the deal's completion, Ion will provide services to the stations, which will remain Ion affiliates.[9]


External links[edit]