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KWHY-TV
Los Angeles, California
Channels Digital: 42 (UHF)
Translators KWHY-LP 22 Santa Barbara
K46GF 46 Santa Maria
K47GD 47 San Luis Obispo
Affiliations Independent
Owner NBC Universal
(NBC Telemundo License Company)
First air date March 21, 1964
Call letters’ meaning WHY (A question prefix)
Sister station(s) KNBC, KVEA
Former callsigns KPOL-TV (1964-1966)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
22 (UHF, 1964-2009)
Former affiliations Business news (1967-1999)
Transmitter Power 486 kW
Height 892 m
Facility ID 26231
Transmitter Coordinates 34°12′47.8″N 118°3′41″W / 34.213278°N 118.06139°W / 34.213278; -118.06139
Website www.canal22.tv

KWHY-TV digital channel 42 is a Spanish Independent station, owned by the Telemundo network / NBC, a subsidiary of NBC Universal.

History

Channel 22 in Los Angeles started life as KBIC in 1954 (but never aired anything but a test pattern). In 1962, the station changed hands and was known as KIIX, airing a schedule of entirely black-oriented programming, before going off the air on September 22, 1963. On March 21, 1964 the station returned to the air as traditional independent KPOL-TV (John Poole), sister station to KPOL radio, with a minimal schedule consisting of old movies and syndicated programming. It was sold again in 1966 to the Bunn family who changed the call letters to KWHY and together with Quotron, who then provided all brokerage houses with real time stock market information, launched the first business news service for television. (At one time, it grew to a 12-station network, including affiliates in New York and Chicago). The tickertape was delayed 15 minutes and airtime was given away to stock brokers while news readers "ripped and read" from the news wires. Although KWHY was not profitable, it was a staple in thousands of offices, restaurants, and homes each trading day. The programing switched to ethnic programming in the afternoon and evening hours, notably in Korean, Japanese and Chinese. Dick "Huggy Boy" Hugg, a local broadcast personality, hosted his own dance program, The Huggy Boy Show, which aired weekly on KWHY. The show was noted for its prominence in Southern California Chicano culture.

In 1978, KWHY-TV received the first subscription television license in the United States from the FCC and soon thereafter replaced much of the ethnic programming with the pay-TV service SelecTV. In 1982, the station was sold to Harriscope of Los Angeles.

KWHY-TV took the business news through a number of facelifts and distribution expansions. In the 80's as the cable TV reach expanded beyond Los Angeles and Quotron's technology became obsolete, the business news was reinvented. A complete graphic overhaul was done creating the first multi-element screen. This showed all of the stock and commodity indexes, two rows of stock ticker tapes and over-the-shoulder realtime pricing information. Meanwhile, an anchor read the news live. The service was renamed, "The Business Channel". At the same time, KWHY faced competition from KSCI, the local affiliate of the Financial News Network.

In 1989, FNN went off the air. In the meantime, as local stations received FCC protection with must-carry rules, the name changed to "22 Business News", and then "Business News 22" (or BN 22, for short). And finally, with the internet, it became "BizNews 1" and was streamed on the internet as "BizNews1.com.", and broadcast over KJLA as KWHY went fulltime in Spanish. Sometime in 2001, KJLA cancelled the service.

The growth of cable TV and HBO caused subscription TV to lose audience and SelecTV cut back its hours in 1984. Infomercials filled many hours, including one which featured live broadcasts from car dealerships. In 1984 KWHY launched Video 22, a 3 hour, weekday afternoon rock video show which had the slogan "We cook for 3 hours before dinner." The show used the first Macintosh computers to inventory the playlists. Video 22 used a stop motion aniamated mascott named VIDEO JOE. Video 22 was cancelled when SelecTV merged with competitor On-TV and expanded their hours. In 1989, SelecTV went out of business. KWHY sold its non-business news airtime to Univisa, a division of Televisa, who aired Galavision, the Spanish language cable TV service. In 1991, Televisa became part owner of Univision (KMEX) and KWHY became the first independent Spanish language TV station in the country. The mix of classic movies, game shows, and newscasts gained one of the biggest audiences for area Spanish-language media.

In 2001, with the FCC allowing duopoly (ownership of two television stations in one TV market) Telemundo (which already owned its West Coast flagship, KVEA Channel 52) purchased KWHY and has kept it as a Spanish-language independent station. It has operated out of the KNBC studios in Burbank since NBC purchased Telemundo in 2002.

Interestingly, NBC Universal has been temporarily allowed to own three stations in the Los Angeles market, while Federal Communications Commission regulations limit ownership to two. KWHY and KVEA were a duopoly before NBC/Telemundo merged and were allowed to remain co-owned by the FCC pending a decision on the ownership caps.

KWHY operates a low-power repeater, KWHY-LP in Santa Barbara, also on channel 22 (formerly channel 65), K46GF in Santa Maria, and K47GD in San Luis Obispo [1]. The station also provided much of the programming to San Diego Spanish independent station KBOP-CA; KBOP now operates independently from KWHY. The station also aired on K53GF channel 53 (formerly K67FE channel 67) in Phoenix, Arizona in the late 90's and early 2000s. K53GF now operates independently with its own programming.

On September 9, 2007, KWHY's owners, NBC Universal, announced that they put KWHY and WKAQ-TV ("Telemundo Puerto Rico") for sale. This came after NBC-U's acquisition of Oxygen Media. ([2]). On December 21, 2007, NBC Universal reversed its decision to sell the stations. KWHY and WKAQ will remain owned and operated by NBC Universal for the foreseeable future.

Station firsts

  • First all-business television station in the United States
  • First station in Los Angeles that used news anchor operated TelePrompters for newscasts
  • First with an automated commercial playback machine
  • First with computer-generated graphics from an optical disc player
  • First to use a news-oriented non-linear editing system (Grass Valley)
  • First UHF to have a high definition digital transmitter in LA.

External links

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