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WACY-TV
WACY "My New 32"
Appleton/Green Bay, Wisconsin
Branding My new 32
Channels Digital: 27 (UHF) (PSIP 32)
Affiliations MyNetworkTV
Owner Ace TV, Inc.
(operated by
Journal Broadcast Group, Inc.)
First air date March 7, 1984
Call letters’ meaning Ace Communications
Sister station(s) WGBA-TV
Former callsigns WXGZ-TV (1984-1995)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
32 (1984-2009)
Former affiliations independent (1984-1986)
Fox (1986-1992)
silent (1992-1994)
independent (1994-1995)
UPN (1995-2006)
The WB (secondary, 1995-1999)
Transmitter Power 50 kW (digital)
Height 297.3 m (digital)
Facility ID 361
Transmitter Coordinates 44°21′30″N 87°58′48″W / 44.35833°N 87.98°W / 44.35833; -87.98
Website www.mynew32.com

WACY-TV is a television station in the Green Bay-Fox Cities, Wisconsin, market. The station's studios are located at 1391 North Road, Green Bay, Wisconsin, with its transmitter some 25 miles (40 km) southwest in the town of Glenmore, Wisconsin. WACY is branded as "My New 32," as it is currently affiliated with MyNetworkTV.

Contents

Station history

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WXGZ era: 1984-1992

The station began as WXGZ in 1984, and was the first television station to be based out of Appleton, under the ownership of Appleton Midwestern Television (APTV). The Appleton Post-Crescent reported on January 31, 1984 that the station was on the air with tests; the station formally launched programming on March 7, 1984. The station was independent during its first 3 years, showing off-network sitcoms and syndicated programming.

WXGZ was a charter affiliate for Fox beginning in October 1986 (when The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers premiered). WXGZ was the first station in the Green Bay-Appleton television market to begin broadcasting in stereo, and identified itself as Super 32 after making this change. Some viewers may remember Oscor the Clown (a.k.a. Wayne Lowney), who was the mascot of the station's children's lineup and a Sunday morning show starting in approximately 1986 called Oscor's Place [1]. The major sponsor for the show was Chuck E. Cheese's forerunner brand, Showbiz Pizza. In addition, the station heavily promoted its broadcast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which was one of the first major television shows to be broadcast in first-run syndication.

The station ran into financial problems by November 1991 however, and APTV ended up having to declare bankruptcy. After an unsuccessful search for a new buyer for the station or more financing, WXGZ was forced to sign off permanently on the night of February 14, 1992, ending their history with a half hour retrospective featuring on-air and behind-the-scenes footage at the station. WXGZ's general manager said the last of the staff's goodbyes, and with that the station was closed. WGBA (Channel 26) took over the FOX affiliation the next morning.

The station's license was left in the hands of a holding company from March to August 1992, at which time it was bought by Ace TV, Inc. Channel 32 remained off the air for two years, with occasional word that the station was intended to begin broadcasting again "in the near future".

WACY era: 1992-present

WXGZ's license to operate was at last put to use in 1994. Ace TV, still owner of WXGZ's license, changed the call letters to WACY, using the Ace of Spades as the station's logo. The station was put back on the air with the help of WGBA, which arranged to put WACY on solid financial footing by creating a local marketing agreement where they would program Channel 32, allow WACY to use WGBA's studios, and sell ad time for the station.

WACY relaunched as an independent station (airing mostly syndicated and regional and local sports programming) for a short time, before becoming a charter UPN affiliate in January 1995, along with a secondary off-hours affiliation with The WB.

In late 1994, the station began to air local programming also. One of the most durable programs was called Who, What, When, Where. The show was hosted by Jim C. Hoffman and Dan Davies, who (at that time) were hosting shows on public access cable in Oshkosh. The series featured various interviews, advertisements (notably Ron and Lloyd's supermarket and WNAM radio), and entertainment sketches performed by Davies. The show changed its name to N.E.W. Now in early 1997. Occasionally, a special interview was conducted for the Green Bay audience, in accordance with the agreement between WACY and WGBA. N.E.W. Now ended in 1997. A new show, "It's the Law", hosted by Oshkosh lawyer George W. Curtis, began operation in 1999; Hoffman produced the new series. Another local program of note was Polka, Polka, Polka, which aired Sunday mornings from a Manitowoc supper club/dance hall.

In August 1995, WGBA became the market's NBC affiliate after WLUK (Channel 11) switched affiliation to Fox. Due to this, WACY took most of Channel 26's children's programs to air throughout the day and decided to change over to an all day children's programming format, under the branding WACKY 32. The schedule ran from 6-11 a.m. and 1-5 p.m. (11 a.m.-1 p.m. was filled with general programming and infomercials), and consisted of various programming lineups, including UPN Kids, The Disney Afternoon, syndicated product such as Garfield and Friends, Scooby Doo, Dennis the Menace and Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, along with some educational and informational-compliant programs like The New Zoo Revue. WACY also aired Kids' WB on-pattern in the mornings and afternoons, and aired Pokémon in its one-season syndicated run before it became a part of Kids' WB. The lineup contained local continuity from Cuddles the Clown.

This programming strategy continued until 1999, when by then the effect of the rules on children's advertising and competition from cable networks like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon made it hard for broadcast stations to financially justify airing children's programming more than necessary. The station also lost their secondary WB affiliation after ACME Communications bought WPXG (channel 14) from Paxson Communications in that same year, converting it from PAX TV to a primary WB affiliate as WIWB. Kids' WB then moved to Channel 14, and WACY began to move towards a general programming direction. The station continued to air UPN's Disney's One Too children's block weekdays until its discontinuation in September 2003 by the network.

In 2004, Journal Broadcast Group (owners of Milwaukee's WTMJ-TV) announced plans to buy WGBA for $43.2 million, and the sale closed in October of that year. WGBA and WACY have a local marketing agreement with WGBA providing studio space, weather coverage, staff for the high school football games, and other facilities. Journal Communications said at the time of the purchase it would continue the agreement and has agreed to buy WACY should the Federal Communications Commission change its bylaws to allow the purchase. Currently, the Green Bay DMA does not have enough full-power commercial television stations to legally permit a duopoly.

The UPN and WB networks announced that they would be merging into a new network, The CW in January 2006, which would take to the air in September of the same year. As WIWB claimed the CW affiliation, WACY went with Fox's new secondary network, MyNetworkTV as of March 22 [2], and by early June, WACY was beginning to distance itself from their former network, airing only the first hour of UPN programming on most weeknights, and replacing the second hour with infomercials. WACY discontinued UPN after September 4, leaving WIWB to finish the network's run in Green Bay by airing Veronica Mars on Saturday nights, and Friday Night Smackdown on Sunday afternoon until the network's end.

Currently the station runs a weekday lineup outside of network hours made up of mostly off-network sitcoms, court shows, and other programs such as Malcolm in the Middle, Two and a Half Men, According to Jim, The Simpsons, South Park and Cops, along with mostly infomercials in the overnights and morning hours. Movies make up a majority of the weekend schedule.

The station also aired a high school football game of the week on Friday nights in the fall featuring local teams and, in 2007, began airing selected University of Wisconsin–Green Bay men's and women's basketball games. All sports broadcasts use WGBA's announcers, and the UW–Green Bay telecasts use the in-house camera systems from the arena where the game is being played, instead of station cameras.

The broadcasts of the high school games were discontinued in 2008 due to Journal Communications cutting WGBA's sports staff in a budgetary move, and the unresolvable conflicts that were sure to ensue with the return of Smackdown in October 2008 to the station on Friday nights via WWE's new programming agreement with MyNetworkTV.

Channel 32 began to use the MyNetworkTV branding in late July 2006, and is now called My new 32, with the "new" standing for both the new network and the station's coverage area, northeastern Wisconsin (commonly abbreviated as N.E.W.). The new logo is also the first time since WACY's sign-on that no elements of the Ace of Spades appear, and the WACY call letters are being played down in favor of My new 32, Green Bay/Appleton (a version of the logo with Appleton/Green Bay instead appears on-screen at the top of the hour because of FCC requirements that the city of license appear first in a visual identification). The station's graphics are less elaborate and glossy than other Journal stations, due to utilization of the default MyNetworkTV graphics and imaging package.

Ned the Dead

A late-night feature on weekends is the Ned the Dead movie program. While it has moved around the schedule a lot, it can currently be seen Saturday nights around 11 pm. The show features a B-movie from the fifties (usually scifi or horror) with "Ned" doing wraparounds and comic relief. Steve Brenzel, the actor who plays Ned, also is the spokesperson for Van Vredee's, a local furniture and appliance store. The store sponsors The Ned the Dead Show. As of March 21, 2009, the "Ned the Dead" show will de-emphasize the "Chiller Theater" title (referencing the old black and white horror films), and instead involve added sketches by Ned and his colorful troupe of sidekicks. Color low-budget films will also be shown (titles never aired on the show before.)[1]

References

  1. ^ Green Bay fixture Ned the Dead likes show's makeover: http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20090323/GPG0705/903230509/1261/GPG05

External links


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