XETV-TDT

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XETV-TDT
XETV logo 2016.png
Tijuana, Baja California/
San Diego, California
Mexico/United States
City Tijuana, Baja California
Branding CW 6 (general)
CW 6 News (news)
Channels Digital: 23 (UHF)
Virtual: 6 (PSIP)
Subchannels (see article)
Affiliations The CW
(to disaffiliate on May 31, 2017)
Owner Televisa
(Radio Televisión, S.A. de C.V.)
Operator Bay City Television
(to shut down on May 31; to be operated by Televisa thereafter)
First air date April 29, 1953; 63 years ago (1953-04-29)
Call letters' meaning XE (Mexican ITU prefix)
TeleVision
Sister station(s) XEWT-TDT, XHUAA-TDT
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 6 (VHF, 1953–2013)
Former affiliations
Transmitter power 200 kW[1]
Height 215.0 meters (705.4 ft)
Transmitter coordinates 32°30′7.9″N 117°2′26.8″W / 32.502194°N 117.040778°W / 32.502194; -117.040778Coordinates: 32°30′7.9″N 117°2′26.8″W / 32.502194°N 117.040778°W / 32.502194; -117.040778
Licensing authority IFT
Website www.cw6sandiego.com

XETV-TDT, channel 6, is a television station located in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, whose over-the-air signal also covers the San Diego, California area across the international border in the United States. The station is owned by Mexican media company Grupo Televisa; its San Diego-based English language programming, and sales rights are managed by Bay City Television, a California-based corporation owned by Televisa.[2][3] XETV maintains production facilities on both sides of the border: its American operations (including the station's studio facilities, news department and advertising sales offices) are located on Ronson Road in the Kearny Mesa section of San Diego, while its technical operations and transmitter facilities are located on Mount San Antonio in Tijuana.

XETV broadcasts in English on its primary channel (6.1) under the brand "CW 6", which serves as an affiliate of The CW. XETV's secondary digital subchannel (6.2) carries programming from the Televisa-owned network Canal 5;[4] Channel 6.1 is available on cable and satellite providers on the U.S. side of the market, and is also available on DirecTV to serve the few areas of the western United States where the CW's programming is not available through a local station.

In January 2017, the CW announced it would move its San Diego affiliation from XETV's main channel to a subchannel of KFMB-TV (channel 8), effective May 31. The station's immediate future is currently in flux.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

XETV came into existence because of a technical quirk affecting stations in San Diego and Los Angeles. Even after the Federal Communications Commission's Sixth Report and Order lifted a four-year-long freeze on awarding television construction permits in 1952, signing on a third television station in the San Diego market proved difficult. While San Diego and Los Angeles are not close enough that one city's stations can be seen clearly over the air in the other, the unique geography of Southern California results in tropospheric propagation. This phenomenon makes co-channel interference a significant enough problem that the two cities must share the VHF band.[citation needed]

By 1952, San Diego (assigned channels 8 and 10) and Los Angeles (assigned channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13) already had all but three channels on the VHF band covered. Channel 3 initially had been deemed unusable as a signal because KEYT-TV in Santa Barbara would travel in a straight line across the Pacific Ocean (it would ultimately be allocated to Tijuana Canal Once outlet XHTJB-TV). San Diego's first two television stations, KFMB-TV (channel 8) and KFSD-TV (channel 10, now KGTV), which were respectively affiliated with CBS and NBC, were among the last construction permits issued before the FCC's freeze on new television station licenses went into effect. The UHF band, introduced by the FCC after the freeze, was not seen as a viable option; television set makers were not required to include UHF tuners until 1964 as a result of the passage of the All-Channel Receiver Act. Additionally, several portions of San Diego County are very mountainous, and UHF signals do not carry very well across rugged terrain.[citation needed]

Complicating matters, the Mexican authorities had allocated two VHF channels to neighboring Tijuana – channels 6 and 12. Since these were the last two VHF channels left in the area, the FCC did not accept any new construction permits from San Diego as a courtesy to Mexican authorities. One of the frequencies, channel 6, had originally been assigned to San Diego before the freeze; it was reassigned to Mexico as a result of the Sixth Report and Order.[5]

Although San Diego was large enough to support three television stations, it soon became obvious that the only way to get a third VHF station on the air would be to use one of Tijuana's allocations. The Azcárraga family, owners of Telesistema Mexicano (the forerunner of Televisa), quickly snapped up the concession for channel 6, and signed XETV on the air on April 29, 1953.[6] It is the San Diego area's second-oldest television station after KFMB-TV, which began operations on May 16, 1949.

At its launch, XETV was an independent station, broadcasting programs in both English and Spanish from its studio facilities in Tijuana.[7][8] Channel 6 also established a business office (and later, a studio) on Park Boulevard in the University Heights section of San Diego, which handled sales accounts from north of the border. The Azcárragas chose to focus XETV toward San Diego and its English-speaking audience because there were more households in that side of the market that had television sets at the time than there were in Tijuana,[9] which did not get its own all-Spanish station until 1960 when the Azcárragas signed on sister station XEWT-TV (channel 12).[8] Even though XETV is licensed to Tijuana and owned by Mexican interests, for all intents and purposes it has been a San Diego station from the beginning. Owing to its initial bilingual, bi-national audience, XETV billed itself as "The International Station" during its early years.[10]

Joining ABC[edit]

In January 1953, former ABC programming executive Alvin George Flanagan filed an application with the FCC to supply programming to XETV via microwave relay from San Diego.[11] Flanagan's request was neither approved or denied and he took a position with Los Angeles station KLAC-TV (now KCOP) in early 1954.

A subsequent petition by ABC to allow it to transmit network programming across the Mexican border to XETV via microwave relay was approved in November 1955.[12] Pending the outcome of an appeal by KFMB-TV and KFSD-TV, ABC signed an affiliation deal with XETV which allowed channel 6 to carry network programming via film and kinescope; that became effective April 5, 1956[13] and replaced the part-time carriage of ABC programming by the two San Diego-licensed stations.

The original decision was stayed by the United States Court of Appeals due to the decision having been made in the absence of hearings by the FCC; after hearings were held, the FCC upheld the grant in October 1956. KFMB-TV again appealed the grant and the Appeals Court remanded the decision to the FCC.[14] The Commission again upheld the grant on April 22, 1958; in November of that year, KFMB-TV again asked for revocation, based on an ad in Broadcasting which XETV identified itself as a San Diego station.[15]

Throughout XETV's tenure with ABC, network programs were received via microwave and AT&T cable at the station's San Diego offices, where they were reproduced (on film or kinescope, and later videotape) and then physically transported to channel 6's transmission facilities in Tijuana, a practice known in the television industry as "bicycling". While this arrangement legally circumvented the station's inability to broadcast a direct network feed, it left XETV unable to carry live network programming, such as breaking news events and some sports coverage. The FCC held the option of renewing the authorization on an annual basis, as well as reviewing it if – and when – a third commercial television station signed on in the American side of the market.[16]

Transition[edit]

In 1968, as it had every year since 1956, the FCC renewed its permit allowing ABC to provide programming to XETV. Only this time, Western Telecasters, which owned independent UHF station KCST (channel 39, now KNSD) at the time, contested it and began a lengthy battle to take San Diego's ABC affiliation from XETV. KCST claimed that it was no longer appropriate for a Mexican-licensed station to be affiliated with an American television network when there now was a viable American station available, and also asserted that XETV had lacked local programming that effectively served the San Diego audience.[17][18][19] In May 1972 the FCC, siding with KCST, revoked channel 6's permission to carry ABC programming, with the wording of the Commission's decision forcing ABC to move its affiliation to KCST.[20] XETV and ABC appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals, which eventually upheld the FCC ruling;[21] the station later sought relief at the U.S. Supreme Court, and was also denied.[22]

XETV surrendered the ABC affiliation to KCST in two stages: daytime programming moved to KCST in June 1973, followed by primetime programs and all other shows (including children's programming and sports) by July 1, 1973.[23] In spite of seeing ratings gains both nationally and locally,[24] ABC was dissatisfied with having been forced onto a UHF station and stayed with KCST for only four years before moving to KGTV in 1977.[25][26]

XETV once again became an independent station, with a standard program schedule composed of syndicated offerings, off-network programs, movies and children's shows. In addition, because Mexican broadcast regulations did not limit commercial time[citation needed] (as FCC regulations did at the time) – every Sunday, the station – in a forerunner to future changes in the U.S. – in effect, became the first station in North America to carry an infomercial,[27] which consisted of a one-hour advertisement of listings of local houses for sale. As FCC regulations at that time limited television stations to 18 minutes of commercials in an hour, such a program could not have been run on U.S. television at that time.[28]

In 1976, XETV moved its business operations to an office facility on Ronson Road in the Kearny Mesa neighborhood of San Diego; the station's broadcast operations, meanwhile, remained in Tijuana. Channel 6's Tijuana-based production and technical operations eventually moved from Mexico into an expanded wing of this facility.[29] In the early 1980s, XETV produced a popular comedy program, Disasterpiece Theatre, which parodied campy low-budget horror and science fiction films by making fun of them as they aired, similar to the format of Mystery Science Theater 3000 a decade later.

As a Fox affiliate[edit]

XETV's fourth and final Fox-era logo, used from 2000 to July 2008.

In 1986, XETV became one of the very first stations outside of the original group of six television stations formerly owned by Metromedia (which had been purchased by Fox's parent company affiliate, News Corporation, earlier that year) to sign deals to join the newly launched Fox Broadcasting Company, becoming a charter affiliate of the network when it launched on October 6. Similar to its earlier arrangement with ABC, channel 6 received (via satellite) and recorded Fox programs in San Diego and then "bicycled" the recordings across the U.S.–Mexico border to Tijuana. When Fox acquired the broadcast rights to the NFL's National Football Conference in 1994, the FCC soon granted a waiver of the rules and allowed Fox to transmit a direct-to-air network feed to XETV.

From 1993 to 1997, XETV also aired programming from the Prime Time Entertainment Network (most notably Babylon 5) on weekend afternoons, instead of the weeknight primetime slots that were recommended by the programming service due to the Fox programs that aired during the evening hours on the station.

In November 1995, McKinnon Broadcasting, owners of UPN affiliate KUSI-TV (channel 51), filed an appeal in an unsuccessful attempt to wrestle the Fox affiliation away from XETV. As cited in the U.S. Court of Appeals case Channel 51 of San Diego, Inc. vs. FCC and Fox Television Stations, Inc. 79 F.3d 1187, the appeal challenged the FCC's decision to grant the waiver based on the Commission's regulations that disallowed television stations licensed outside of the United States from airing live sporting events from a U.S. broadcast network without licensing approval. The permit was granted to Fox on behalf of XETV, and the case was settled on March 26, 1996.[30] That same year, the station became a Grupo Televisa-owned property[31] outright after the Azcárragas transferred the ownership of XETV to their family-run, Mexico City-based multimedia company.

In 1999, the station's constructed a new 25,000 square feet (0.57 acres), three-story facility at the Ronson Road studio grounds to house a newsroom and production studios for a planned news operation that launched in December of that year. The one-story building that was located adjacent to the new facility, where the station's offices were based (which continued to house sales and management offices after the new facility was completed) was not large enough to house a fully staffed news department; the offices for XETV's production, promotions and engineering departments were also relocated to the new building.[2]

In October 2001, Grupo Televisa entered into a joint sales and programming agreement with Entravision Communications. Under this agreement, Entravision, which already operated UPN affiliate XHUPN-TV (channel 49, now MyNetworkTV affiliate XHDTV-TDT) under a local marketing agreement, took over the management of XETV and consolidated XHUPN's operations into XETV's facilities.[32] The agreement expired in 2006;[33] by 2007, Televisa, through Bay City Television, had retaken full control of XETV's operations.[34]

As a CW affiliate[edit]

XETV's former logo, used from August 1, 2008 to December 31, 2015.

During a seminar by Sam Zell on March 25, 2008, it was announced that Tribune Broadcasting (which Zell had acquired the previous year as part of his takeover of corporate parent Tribune Company) had signed an affiliation agreement with Fox for its San Diego CW affiliate KSWB-TV (channel 69).[35] Fox cited concerns with having its programming airing on a Mexican-licensed station, even though XETV had been with the network since Fox's inception and had broadcast its programming almost entirely in English for over half a century.[36] This caught XETV station management off guard as officials were unaware about the pending affiliation switch until the announcement was made public.[37]

The fate of both XETV and the CW affiliation for the San Diego market remained unclear, with Bay City Television/Grupo Televisa even reportedly considering filing a lawsuit to prevent the switch on the grounds that it would violate XETV's affiliation contract with Fox, which was not set to expire until 2010. This uncertainty was resolved on July 2, 2008, when channel 6 announced that it had signed an affiliation agreement with The CW.[38][39] The station began dropping on-air references to Fox just over two weeks later on July 19, 2008, rebranding itself as San Diego 6. The affiliation swap officially took place two weeks afterward on August 1, ending XETV's 22-year association with Fox – with channel 6 joining The CW, while the Fox affiliation moved over to KSWB.[40] XETV, upon switching networks, replaced KSWB-TV on DirecTV as a default affiliate in the few areas of the western United States where a CW-affiliated station is not receivable over-the-air or through cable television (DirecTV identifies XETV as "CW-W" and carries its programs in standard definition only). The San Diego 6 logo incorporated a miniature CW logo in its top left corner for news programming, otherwise setting it off to the right of the station's logo in proportionate size; instead of being the standard green color, the CW logo was colored a bright blue in non-news advertising to match the station logo's blue, gold and white color scheme.

On April 29, 2013, XETV celebrated its 60th anniversary of broadcasting.[41] The station's morning newscast provided special coverage of the festivities, including separate proclamations of "XETV Channel 6 Day" by the San Diego City Council and San Diego County Board of Supervisors (the latter made on April 30 to general manager Chuck Dunning and chief financial officer Rodrigo Salazar).[42] A special segment of the newscast that was dedicated to the anniversary was broadcast in black-and-white (the standard for broadcast television in 1953) with news anchors dressed in clothing and hairstyles from that period reporting on the major news and entertainment stories of 1953 and giving a contemporary weather forecast with paper graphics pasted on a hand-drawn weather map.[43] On January 1, 2016, XETV changed its branding to fit The CW's station branding standardizations, identifying itself as "CW 6".[9]

Upcoming loss of CW affiliation[edit]

On January 18, 2017, KFMB-TV announced that it would begin to carry CW programming on one of its digital subchannels beginning on September 1, 2017.[44] Chuck Dunning, XETV's vice-president and general manager, would later admit to the San Diego Union-Tribune that the reason for the CW's departure from XETV was a failure of the two sides to reach a new affiliation agreement to replace the deal that was to expire that September; that lack of resolution prompted The CW to explore other options in the San Diego market.[45]

The announcement of The CW's move to KFMB left XETV's future in question, with a station spokesperson stating on the day of the announcement that the station was evaluating its options.[46] The station would reveal its plans on January 26; on that date, it announced that news programming on XETV would be discontinued following the conclusion of the March 31, 2017 edition of the 10:00 p.m. newscast. Then, at midnight on May 31, and at the network's request, the CW affiliation will move to KFMB-TV (reportedly on its 8.3 subchannel). XETV's 6.1 subchannel will then become a full-time Spanish language outlet, with a programming source to be determined. XETV had initially indicated it would transmit Televisa's Mexico City-based Gala TV, a network already seen in the Tijuana/San Diego area on XHBJ-TDT (channel 45), but has since walked back that statement. Bay City Television, the Televisa subsidiary that operates XETV, will concurrently shut down on May 31, affecting, by Chuck Dunning's estimate, 150 full-time, part-time, and freelance staffers.[47][45] The shutdown of Bay City Television will conclude XETV's 64-year history of serving San Diego with English-language programming, and also end channel 6's affiliation with The CW three months earlier than scheduled.

Special broadcast authority[edit]

Because XETV-TDT is licensed to Tijuana by the Mexican government, it is not covered under the FCC's must carry rules. This means that local cable providers are not required to carry XETV-TDT, even if the television station requests to be carried under this provision. However, subchannel 6.1 is carried by Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and AT&T U-verse in San Diego,[48] while subchannel 6.2 is not carried by the pay television providers on the American side of the border.[49] It also is carried by all Mexican cable systems in its coverage area, as carriage of local broadcast stations is mandated by the Federal Telecommunications Institute. Subchannel 6.2 notwithstanding, XETV has broadcast almost entirely in English since 1956, if not earlier. The only exceptions are station identifications, the compulsory playing of the Mexican national anthem El Himno Nacional Mexicano, technical disclaimers and public service announcements.

XETV-TDT broadcasts 24 hours a day; however, for legal sign-on purposes and as required by Mexican regulations (specifically Article 41 of Mexico's Law on the National Arms, Flag, and Anthem and Article 253 of the Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law), its broadcast day begins at 5:00 a.m. Pacific time Monday through Saturday and 6:00 a.m. on Sundays; this begins with the playing of El Himno Nacional Mexicano, followed by the customary operational information and disclaimer, read in both English and Spanish on its primary digital channel (6.1).[50] For a period of time dating back to its days as a Fox affiliate, the station had also played the national anthem of the United States, "The Star-Spangled Banner", prior to the disclaimer (XETV has since[when?] dropped the American anthem and only airs the Mexican anthem[citation needed]).

Since the mid-1990s, XETV's production operations have been based in the United States. The station's production, news and sales operations are owned by Televisa subsidiary Bay City Television, while Televisa itself owns the master control and transmitter facility on Mount San Antonio in Tijuana. Local programming is fed from San Diego to Mount San Antonio by way of microwave link, and network and syndicated shows are disseminated via satellite. There are currently no locally produced programs on XETV which originate from Tijuana.[2][8][51]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[52]
6.1 1080i 16:9 XETV-HD Main XETV-TDT programming / The CW
6.2 720p XHGC-HD Canal 5

XETV-TDT2[edit]

On March 5, 2012, XETV became the new Tijuana affiliate for Televisa's Canal 5, which the station carries on digital subchannel 6.2 (originally in standard definition, before the subchannel was upgraded to high definition in 2013), and prior to the Tijuana market's May 2013 transition to digital-only television broadcasts, was also carried on analog channel 6; Tijuana's previous Canal 5 station, XHBJ-TV (channel 45), switched its affiliation to Galavisión on that same date – Canal 5 replaced XETV's English-language programming on its analog signal, in order to serve Spanish-speaking viewers in Tijuana that did not have television sets with built-in digital tuners or digital converter boxes prior to the Tijuana market's 2013 transition to digital television. The affiliation switch coincided with the commencement of digital multicasting on Televisa's Tijuana stations.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

In 2000, XETV-TV began transmitting a digital signal on UHF channel 23, becoming the first San Diego area station to begin digital television transmissions. It was also the first television station in Mexico to operate a digital signal because of its Tijuana transmitter; no other Mexican television station had begun digital operations at that time.[2] It maps on digital tuners in both countries as virtual channel 6.1 through PSIP technology.

As the original American digital television transition date of February 17, 2009 approached, XETV had expressed intentions to follow other San Diego-area stations in ceasing transmission of its analog signal. While the U.S. switchover deadline of February 17 was later pushed back to June 12, 2009 and only applied to American-licensed stations in any case, plans were announced to voluntarily make the station's English-language programming digital-only, with the former analog signal being repurposed as a repeater of sister station XEQ-TV in Mexico City. Claims on XETV's website that the station was indeed going to transmit a digitally-exclusive signal were rescinded on February 17, 2009 as the station decided to delay cutting off its analog signal until after it secured approval from the Mexican government.[53] XETV management later stated that it had decided to maintain its analog signal to benefit Mexican viewers.[54] XETV's analog signal was eventually repurposed on March 5, 2012, when the station began multicasting on its digital signal with the addition of Televisa's youth-oriented Canal 5 network on subchannel 6.2 and on its analog feed, while digital channel 6.1 retained the newscasts, CW network and syndicated programs in English.

Cofetel, Mexico's Federal Telecommunications Commission, chose Tijuana as the first city to switch over to digital as a pilot program for the rest of the nation. Unlike the U.S. digital switchover, which took place nationwide on June 12, 2009, Mexico switched to digital television in stages by geographic area, completing the process on December 31, 2015. The original Tijuana switchover date of April 16, 2013 was delayed by Cofetel because the local population had not yet attained the required 90% readiness for free over-the-air digital service to trigger the transition. On May 28, 2013, XETV and all other Tijuana television stations ceased transmitting their analog signals,[55][56] but switched them back on a few days later after complaints from residents and political leaders that more viewers were left without over-the-air television service than Cofetel reported, including many poor residents outside of Tijuana proper that were not included in Cofetel's outreach program to allow residents to receive free digital-to-analog converter boxes. The temporary reprieve was extended to July 18, 2013 when all analog television signals were shut down permanently. At this time, XETV added the "-TDT" suffix (a Spanish initialism for "Terrestrial Digital Television").

XETV retained virtual channel 6 after a major reshuffle of Mexican virtual channels in October 2016, which ordered all existing Mexican national networks to realign their virtual channels in par with the flagship channels in the capital Mexico City. The station's current coverage made them the only station on channel 6 in Mexico because the IFT reserved channel 6 for a potential fourth national network. The IFT considers XETV a Canal 5 transmitter, but virtual channel 5 is not available to XETV because of signal overlap between XETV and fellow CW affiliate KTLA (owned by Tribune, and broadcasting on virtual channel 5), primarily around Oceanside, California.

Repeaters[edit]

XETV operates two repeaters, on Cerro La Nopalera in Tecate[57] and Colonia Playas de Tijuana.[58] Both repeaters broadcast on channel 23 in areas where the main channel 23 signal from Mount San Antonio provides insufficient over-the-air coverage and are co-located with identical transmitters for XHUAA and XEWT.

Programming[edit]

Syndicated programs broadcast by XETV (as of September 2016) include The Simpsons, Seinfeld, Rules of Engagement, We the People with Gloria Allred and White Collar. XETV also produces an hour-long lifestyle program, San Diego Living, airing weekdays following the station's morning newscast. As the San Diego affiliate of The CW, XETV-TDT clears the network's entire programming schedule on digital channel 6.1.

Prior to the cancellation of its weekend morning newscasts in March 2017, the station aired The CW's children's program blocks – The CW4Kids/Toonzai, Vortexx and, from September 2014 onward, One Magnificent Morning – into two blocks on Saturday mornings: the block's first three hours ran from 5:00 to 8:00 a.m. (two hours earlier than the timeslot recommended for the programs in that portion of the block to air in all time zones) and the final two hours airing after the newscast from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (which air in pattern with the rest of the country); XETV began airing One Magnificent Morning in its network-recommended time period (7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.) on March 11, 2017, following the phaseout of the station's weekend newscasts in preparation for its disaffiliation from The CW. Though the station meets the educational programming guidelines of the United States with the One Magnificent Morning blocks, XETV, being a Mexican-licensed station, is not required to meet the United States' broadcasting regulations.

As the Tijuana transmitter of Canal 5, XETV-TDT clears the entire network schedule on digital subchannel 6.2. Children's programming includes Spanish-dubbed versions of Nickelodeon's iCarly, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly OddParents and The Penguins of Madagascar, as well as original Televisa programs such as its animated version of El Chavo along with the Cartoon Network original series La CQ. Other programming includes a primetime program block called PM, as well as mostly Spanish-dubbed versions of current and recent American shows (such as Malcolm in the Middle and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) and the boxing program Sabados de BOX.[59]

News operation[edit]

CW6 News logo, used since December 31, 2015.

As of March 15, 2017, XETV-TDT presently broadcasts 25 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with five hours on weekdays); the station does not currently produce any newscasts on Saturdays and Sundays. As a result of the cancellation of its 4:00 p.m. newscast on March 3, 2017, XETV is the only English-language television station in the San Diego-Tijuana market among the six that maintain a news operation that does not produce local newscasts that air in midday or early evening timeslots.

Former news logo, as San Diego 6 News, used from August 1, 2008 to December 31, 2015.

XETV had originally carried a local newscast from the station's sign-on in 1953 until its news department was shut down in 1967 (Lionel Van Deerlin, later a congressman representing San Diego in the U.S. House of Representatives, served as news director during XETV's early years). In 1980, during its tenure as an independent station, XETV began running local news updates throughout the day; these continued to air until several months prior to the station's affiliation with Fox in October 1986. Although then-general manager Martin Colby originally stated that XETV would not offer a newscast, in response to then-Fox President Barry Diller's comments during the 1991 Television Critics Association Convention in pushing for Fox's affiliates to produce local newscasts that the network "won't tolerate any affiliate that is not in the news business," XETV began reconsidering the possibility of launching a news department.[60]

The station would not resume news programming until the establishment of an in-house news department – based out of the satellite facility at the Ronson Road studios – on December 27, 1999, when it debuted a 35-minute newscast at 10:00 p.m.;[61] the program competed against an established prime time newscast on KUSI-TV and another newly launched 10:00 p.m. newscast on KSWB-TV that launched three months earlier in September 1999. Much of the news department's original on-air staff consisted of younger anchors and reporters (most of whom were in their early 30s, with a median staff age of 32) and its story content incorporated more sensationalistic feature reporting designed to appeal to Fox's young-skewing demographic.[62] In September 2000, the station expanded its news programming with the debut of a three-hour weekday morning newscast – originally titled Fox in the Morning (later renamed San Diego 6 News in the Morning in August 2008 and then as Wake Up San Diego in November 2014) – from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m., and a half-hour newscast at noon.

After the station appointed Richard Doutre Jones as its vice president and general manager in the fall of 2001, XETV overhauled its news presentation in January 2002, adopting a more traditional style mixed with faster story pacing and investigative reports. The station also hired older and more experienced journalists to its on-air staff, including main co-anchor Brian Christie, assignment reporter Terry Burhans and entertainment reporter Fred Saxon, all of whom previously worked at rival KUSI. In addition, the flagship prime time newscast was expanded to one hour, and Fox in the Morning was restructured from a traditional newscast to an infotainment format; the noon was also cancelled and replaced with syndicated programming. For most of its existence, the station's news department usually placed last among the San Diego market's English language television news operations. As a Fox affiliate, the 10:00 p.m. newscast typically rotated with KSWB's prime time newscast as the top-rated local newscast during the 10:00 half-hour, though both programs were usually beaten by the longer-established KUSI News at Ten for the full one-hour time period.[63]

On September 5, 2006, XETV's news team gained national attention, when investigative reporter John Mattes was badly beaten by Sam Suleiman and Rosa Barraza, a husband-and-wife team accused of perpetrating a real estate scam who were being investigated by Mattes. The incident was captured on videotape and aired on many news programs throughout the nation.[64] On January 20, 2007, XETV debuted a two-hour edition of its morning newscast on Saturday and Sundays; the programs originally aired at 7:00 a.m., but were moved to 8:00 a.m. after the CW affiliation switch. From the station's August 2008 switch until the is one of only four CW affiliates with a local newscast on weekend mornings (along with KTLA in Los Angeles, KMAX-TV in Sacramento and WPIX in New York City).[65]

Upon switching to The CW on August 1, 2008, XETV debuted the 11-minute 11@11 newscast on weeknights, becoming the only evening newscast in the traditional late news timeslot (11:00 p.m. Pacific time on the California side of the market) to air on a CW affiliate (until KMAX-TV launched its own 11:00 p.m. broadcast in 2013); the 11:00 p.m. newscast was discontinued on January 14, 2013.[36] The following year on April 6, 2009, the 10:00 p.m. newscast was reduced from one hour to 33 minutes, with the second half-hour being replaced by reruns of Seinfeld; it was later reduced to a half-hour by 2011 (the length of the 11:00 p.m. newscast and the reduction of the 10:00 p.m. program resulted in an odd-numbered amount of news programming hours, making XETV the largest news-producing minor network station serving the United States whose evening newscast did not run for 30, 35 or 60 minutes, as well as having the only half-hour San Diego-targeted television newscast at 10:00 p.m., due to KUSI and KSWB having hour-long newscasts).[66]

On March 9, 2009, XETV shut down its sports department; with the move, then-vice president and general manager Richard Doutre Jones (who left the station in June 2010 and was replaced by veteran sales manager Chuck Dunning) announced the firings of sports anchors C.S. Keys (who returned to XETV as a weather and traffic anchor from October 2011 to 2013) and Andrea Nakano and sports producer Mike Lamar.[67] On April 23, 2011, XETV became the sixth television station in the San Diego market to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. Two days later on January 16, XETV expanded the weeknight editions of the 10:00 p.m. newscast back to one hour on weeknights; the weekend editions would not follow suit until January 17, 2015.[68][69] The station would not program news outside its established morning and 10:00 p.m. slots again until January 12, 2015, when it premiered an hour-long late afternoon newscast at 4:00 p.m., which competed against existing newscasts aired at that hour on NBC owned-and-operated station KNSD and Fox affiliate KSWB-TV.[68][70]

As a consequence of the closure of Bay City Television's operations following the loss of XETV's CW affiliation, the station announced that it would shut down its news operation on March 31, 2017.[47] Rather than discontinue its weekday newscasts on the date of the news department's cessation and its weekend newscasts on the Sunday prior, XETV opted to phase out some of its news programming in advance; the station discontinued its 4:00 p.m. newscast after the February 24, 2017 edition; this was followed by the cancellation of the weekend editions of CW 6 News in the Morning and the 10:00 p.m. newscast after the March 12 broadcasts of both programs. The weekday editions of CW 6 News in the Morning and the 10:00 p.m. newscast will continue to air until March 31.[71][72]

On-air staff[edit]

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

Radio[edit]

Prior to the termination of the station's analog broadcasts, XETV's audio signal could be heard at 87.75 MHz on the FM band in San Diego, Tijuana and surrounding areas, though at a slightly lower volume than other FM radio stations. Unlike the digital ATSC standard, analog NTSC carried its sound on an FM subcarrier and TV 6 (82-88 MHz) is adjacent to the standard broadcast FM band.

When XETV-TV shut down its analog signal on May 28, 2013, it shut down the station's 87.75 MHz audio subcarrier. An analog FM broadcast receiver cannot tune and decode digital television on any frequency.[73]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]