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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

WFDC-DT
WFDC14.png
Arlington, Virginia/Washington, D.C.
United States
CityArlington, Virginia
ChannelsDigital: 15 (UHF)
(shared with WDCW[1])
Virtual: 14
BrandingUnivision Washington D.C.
SloganLa que nos Une
(The one that unites us)
Programming
Affiliations
Ownership
OwnerUnivision Communications
(UniMas D.C. LLC)
OperatorEntravision Communications
(via LMA)
WMDO-CD, WJAL
History
First air date
April 3, 1993; 28 years ago (1993-04-03)
Former call signs
  • WTMW (1993–2001)
  • WFDC (2001–2003)
  • WFDC-TV (2004–2009)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 14 (UHF, 1993–2009)
Call sign meaning
TeleFutura
District of
Columbia
(after its previous affiliation)
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID69532
ERP1,000 kW
HAAT227 m (745 ft)
Transmitter coordinates38°56′24″N 77°4′54″W / 38.94000°N 77.08167°W / 38.94000; -77.08167
Links
Public license information
Profile
LMS
Websitenoticiasya.com/washington-dc/

WFDC-DT, virtual channel 14 (UHF digital channel 15), is a Univision-owned television station serving the American capital city of Washington, District of Columbia that is licensed to Arlington, Virginia. Owned by the Univision Local Media subsidiary of Univision Communications, it is operated under a local marketing agreement (LMA) by Entravision Communications, making it sister to Silver Spring, Maryland-licensed Sonlife Broadcasting Network affiliate WJAL (channel 68) and Washington-licensed low-power, Class A UniMás affiliate WMDO-CD (channel 47). The three stations share studios on Constitution Avenue near the Capitol Building; WFDC shares transmitter facilities with CW affiliate WDCW (channel 50) in the Tenleytown section of Washington's northwest quadrant.

History

Prior history of channel 14 in Washington

Channel 14 first signed on as WOOK-TV on March 5, 1963 as the first television station in the country aimed at the African-American demographic. WOOK's claim to fame was their teen-oriented dance show called Teenarama, which featured big-name acts such as James Brown and Marvin Gaye. In 1968, the station changed its call letters to WFAN-TV to match its co-owned radio station at 100.3 FM. From 1968 to 1972, channel 14 was the sister station to WMET-TV (channel 24) in Baltimore, Maryland. Both stations were owned by United Broadcasting. On February 12, 1972, WFAN-TV went dark after accumulating financial difficulties and due to license hearings affecting its sister stations.[3]

Channel 14 was back on the air in 1976 in the form of translator W14AA, relaying Central Virginia Educational Television Corporation's WNVT from Annandale, Virginia.[4] CVETC attempted to have the full-powered channel 14 allocation moved to Fairfax, but this request caused controversy among District of Columbia elected officials and other interested applicants who argued that the city was under-served by local television.[5] CVETC accepted the allocation of channel 56 to Fairfax as a compromise, and upon the sign-on of WNVC in June 1981 W14AA was no longer necessary.[6][3] CVETC received special approval to broadcast Congressional hearings in the interim; later in the year, the station was sold to Los Cerezos Television Co., who converted it to an affiliate of the Spanish International Network (Univision's predecessor). This station moved to channel 48 in 1989 and is today WMDO-CD.[7]

WFDC station history

In 1985, the channel 14 allocation was awarded to Theodore M. White's Urban Broadcasting Corporation. The plan was to enter the market of general independent stations, dominated by WTTG (channel 5) and WDCA (channel 20) and soon to be joined by WFTY (channel 50); Milton Grant, who founded WDCA, consulted White on programming acquisition. Although the station claimed to the Washington Post it was aiming to start operations in the spring of 1986, legal wrangling continued among competing applicants delayed sign-on.[8]

It was a further seven years before WTMW signed on April 3, 1993 as a Home Shopping Network (HSN) affiliate.[9][10] Barry Diller's Silver King Broadcasting, predecessor to HSN's broadcasting arm, USA Broadcasting, had taken a 45% stake in the station in 1989 in order to keep it afloat.[11][12] Urban Broadcasting filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy less than two years later, on July 3, 1995.[13]

As part of WTMW's plan to emerge from bankruptcy, it agreed to begin broadcasting HSN's secondary network America's Store in 1997. A further dispute arose over this agreement. WTMW was originally licensed with an effective radiated power of 2,880 kilowatts. While testing its signal before sign-on, it was discovered that WTMW caused interference to local land mobile radio operations, and the filters required to reduce out-of-band transmissions necessitated a permanent reduction in power to 2,541 kW. However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted WTMW authorization to sign on with 1,440 kW, half of the original power. There were further issues with the transmitting equipment due to failed klystrons; bankruptcy proceedings revealed WTMW broadcast for a "substantial amount of time" at just 360 kW, or one-eighth of the original power. HSN's agreement with WTMW required it to broadcast at its full authorized power to receive compensation from the network; over HSN's objections that Urban Broadcasting was not capable of remedying the transmitter issues, the court found that it was and allowed the agreement to stand. After emerging from bankruptcy, WTMW claimed that its interpretation of the contract set the power requirement at 1,271 kW (i.e., half of 2,541), and not 1,440 kW, which triggered another lawsuit with HSN over which was correct.[13][14]

The lawsuits over the affiliation contract were decided in HSN's favor, and on May 10, 1999, White removed America's Store programming due to non-payment and began broadcasting the Military Channel without warning. Irate viewers flooded local cable companies, who were not aware of the change themselves, with phone calls.[15] The Military Channel, similar in programming but unrelated to Discovery Communications' later cable channel of the same name, had broadcast to just one million cable homes since 1993, but underwent aggressive expansion through satellite carriage and leased access to cable networks starting in 1998. When this did not deliver viewers, the network spent most of 1999 beset by financial trouble; WTMW was its only documented over-the-air affiliate. After several deals to rescue its operations fell through, the Military Channel went dark for good in July.[16] WTMW left the network early on June 12. White said to the Post that the military programming was deeply unpopular, and "people seemed to want shopping back on our channel." Shopping returned by way of the cable-based Panda Shopping Network, which had been newly acquired by pay-per-view operator TVN Entertainment Corporation.[17][18]

Former logo, used until December 31, 2012.
Former logo, used until December 31, 2012.

WTMW became an affiliate of the American Independent Network, which primarily broadcast reruns of old sitcoms and infomercials, on December 20 of the same year.[19] Without the fixed income from its HSN affiliation, however, Urban Broadcasting filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy again in August 2000.[11] Concurrently in December, Univision Communications bought all of USA Broadcasting's over-the-air stations including its 45% stake in WTMW.[20]

After two years with AIN, WTMW switched to the locally-based "Renaissance Network" around its launch on January 15, 2001, which provided the same general-entertainment format mixed with current affairs and politics programming with conservative viewpoints.[21] This was short-lived, as Univision Communications purchased WTMW outright along with the rest of Urban Broadcasting's assets in an April 2001 bankruptcy auction.[11][14] Univision already had an established Washington affiliate, Entravision Communications' WMDO-CA, so the rechristened WFDC instead became a charter affiliate of Univision's new secondary network TeleFutura, now known as UniMás, on January 14, 2002.[22]

This arrangement presented the obvious deficiency of Univision's primary network remaining on a low-powered station that was not subject to must-carry rules. On January 1, 2006, Univision Communications entered into a 16-year joint sales agreement (JSA) with Entravision, in which Entravision agreed to cede the market's Univision affiliation to WFDC in return for taking over its operation and advertising sales. WMDO-CA switched networks to TeleFutura on the same day. WMDO-CD and WFDC are to remain with their respective networks until the agreement's expiration on December 31, 2021, and the Univision affiliation automatically returns to WMDO-CD if the agreement expires or is terminated early.[23] [24]

On April 3, 2014, Katz Broadcasting announced plans to multicast Grit and Escape on WFDC's DT3 and DT4 subchannels. The two networks began broadcasting on August 18, 2014. Escape was replaced by Katz's Bounce TV on September 30, 2017.[25]

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[2]
14.1 720p 16:9 WFDC-DT Main WFDC-DT programming / Univision
14.2 480i 4:3 getTV GetTV
14.3 GRIT Grit TV
14.4 BOUNCE Bounce TV

WFDC does not carry WMDO-CD on a subchannel due to separate legal ownership; although WFDC is managed by Entravision, the license is held by Univision. In 2001, Entravision purchased WJAL (channel 68) for the sole purpose of moving it from Hagerstown, Maryland to Silver Spring to take over as a full-market UniMás affiliate, although they were unsuccessful.[26] WJAL was eventually able to relocate to Silver Spring as a result of the 2016–17 television spectrum reallocation, although it currently airs the SonLife Broadcasting Network (SBN) instead.

Analog-to-digital conversion

WFDC shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 14, 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's digital signal continued to broadcasts on its pre-transition UHF channel 15.[27] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 14.

News operation

After switching from TeleFutura to Univision, the station continued its news department. It broadcast 6 hours of news on weekdays and 2 hours of news on the weekends. On September 30, 2012, Buenos Días DC, the first Spanish morning news show in the Washington market, debuted. The show was produced by Silvana Quiroz, who is also the anchor sharing cameras with co-anchor Nestor Bravo. The morning news magazine ran from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. On April 19, 2014, a weekend newscast debuted at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. and ran through October 2015 and was similar to the weekday schedule. On March 1, 2014, the Univision Washington team was replaced. Anchor Mario Sol and Sports Anchor Oscar Burgos were laid-off. Maria Rosa Lucchini, the 6 p.m. anchor, was promoted to White House correspondent; months later, she resigned. Claudia Uceda, the 11 p.m. anchor, was switched to reporter, and months later, resigned to work as a freelancer for the Univision network. Tsi-Tsi-Ki Félix replaced the entire team, leaving only Fanny Gutierrez, who at the time was on maternity leave, and months later, resigned from her duties. Edwin Pitti, who was hired as a reporter, was promoted to White House correspondent.

In late December 2015, Entravision cancelled the morning newscasts of all of its stations in the United States (including Buenos Días DC). The last show aired December 7, 2015. [1]

References

  1. ^ "Modification of a Licensed Facility for DTV Application". FCC.gov. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Digital TV Market Listing for WFDC-DT". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Richards, K.M. "WOOK-TV/14, Washington, D.C." History of UHF Television.
  4. ^ Digilio, Alice (February 17, 1977). "WNVT tries for more clarity". Washington Post.
  5. ^ Darling, Lynn (May 22, 1978). "Area Groups Compete for Channel 14". Washington Post.
  6. ^ "In brief" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 27, 1976. p. 20.
  7. ^ "WMDO-CD Facility Data". FCCData.
  8. ^ Carmody, John (December 26, 1985). "THE TV COLUMN". Washington Post.
  9. ^ "[TV studio maintenance engineer]" (PDF). Broadcasting. February 22, 1993. p. 52.
  10. ^ "WFDC-DT Facility Data". FCCData.
  11. ^ a b c "In re: Urban Broadcasting Corporation". Findlaw. March 11, 2005.
  12. ^ McConnell, Chris (June 17, 1996). "Silver King faces more hurdles at the FCC" (PDF). Broadcasting. p. 24.
  13. ^ a b "In re Urban Broadcasting Corp., Case No. 95-12919-SSM Chapter 11". casetext.com.
  14. ^ a b "USA Broadcasting, Inc., and Univision Communications, Inc" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission.
  15. ^ Jackson, David Vail (May 18, 1999). "War Gear's Surprise Attack on Local Cable". Washington Post.
  16. ^ Redding, Rick (July 26, 1999). "Military Channel shooting for deal with A&E". Louisville Business Journal.
  17. ^ de Moraes, Lisa (June 17, 1999). "Overstuffing the Magazine Rack". Washington Post.
  18. ^ Dempsey, John (June 15, 1999). "TVN rings up two buys toward cable commerce". Variety.
  19. ^ Hughes, Dave (December 20, 1999). "Channel 14 Goes AIN". DCRTV.
  20. ^ Stern, Christopher (December 8, 2000). "Univision to Buy Diller TV Stations". Washington Post.
  21. ^ "A Rebirth in Television". Renaissance Network. January 15, 2001. Archived from the original on April 22, 2001.
  22. ^ Hughes, Dave (August 11, 2001). "Telefutura Coming To Channel 14". DCRTV.
  23. ^ "Entravision-UCI Joint Sales Agreement, January 1, 2006". FCC LMS.
  24. ^ Entravision Communications Corporation. "Entravision Communications Corporation Announces New Television Agreements with Univision". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  25. ^ "Univision Stations Renew Carriage of Katz Broadcasting Diginets". Broadcasting & Cable.
  26. ^ Schotz, Andrew (October 18, 2011). "WJAL-TV wants to move license from Hagerstown to Silver Spring". The Herald-Mail, Hagerstown, Maryland. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
  27. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved March 24, 2012.

External links

This page was last edited on 19 June 2021, at 23:03
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