WCGV-TV: Wikis

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WCGV-TV
WCGV MyNet Logo.png
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Branding My 24
Channels Digital: 25 (UHF)
Virtual: 24.1 (PSIP)
Affiliations My Network TV
Owner Sinclair Broadcast Group
(WCGV Licensee, LLC)
Founded March 24, 1980
Call letters’ meaning Wisconsin's Choice for Great Viewing
Sister station(s) WVTV-TV
Former channel number(s) Analog:
24 (UHF) (1980–-2009)
Former affiliations Independent (1980-1986),
(January 1998-August 1998)
Fox (1986-1994),
UPN (1995-1998,
August 1998-September 2006)
CBS & NBC (secondary, 1981-1995)
The Tube (March-December 2006 on DT2)
Transmitter Power 625 kW
Height 340.3 m
Facility ID 71278
Transmitter Coordinates 43°5′45.7″N 87°54′15.3″W / 43.096028°N 87.90425°W / 43.096028; -87.90425
Website My24Milwaukee.com

WCGV-TV, Digital channel 25 (Virtual channel 24.1), is a television station located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, affiliated with MyNetworkTV. Its signal covers most of southeastern Wisconsin, including the cities of Racine, Kenosha, Sheboygan and Waukesha. The station is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group as part of a duopoly in Milwaukee with WVTV, and the station's transmitter site is on Milwaukee's northwest side, co-located with WVTV on the Milwaukee Public Television broadcast tower.

Contents

History

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As an independent (1980-1986)

WCGV signed on the air on March 24, 1980. It was owned by B&F Broadcasting. At the time, it ran religious shows, old movies, cartoons, and drama shows during the day, along with daytime CBS and NBC programs which WITI and WTMJ passed on airing. At night, the station ran a pay-TV service called SelecTV, a premium movie service whose programming was scambled over the air; subscribers needed to buy a converter box to see first-run movies or, on Friday nights, adult programming from The Playboy Channel.

However, as cable TV became widespread, WCGV dropped the pay TV service in 1984, and eventually became a more serious contender against now-sister station WVTV for the title of the area's leading independent station. The station was known simply as 'TV-24'. By then the station was owned by Arlington Broadcasting, which also owned WTTO Channel 21 Birmingham.

Fox affiliation (1986-1994)

On March 15, 1987, WCGV joined Fox at the last minute after turning down the network offer in 1986, becoming 'Fox 24'. The station joined on the condition that it be allowed to pre-empt Joan Rivers' late night talk show. By 1988, the station scored a major coup by acquiring the air rights to the Milwaukee Brewers and the Milwaukee Bucks, both previously seen on now-sister station WVTV. At this time, the station was based in studios on N. 27th St. which were formerly the home of WITI (Channel 6) until WITI's move to newer studios in Brown Deer in 1978. In the late 1980s Arlington Broadcasting was sold and became known as HR (as in Hal Roach Studios, of Little Rascals/Our Gang fame) Broadcasting.

WCGV along with WTTO Birmingham came under the ownership of Abry in 1990. The station continued with the general entertainment format along with Fox shows. WCGV entered into a local marketing agreement with Gaylord's WVTV in 1994. The two stations also merged operations, and WCGV moved into WVTV's studios at N. 35th St. and Capitol Drive.

UPN affiliation (1995-2006)

WITI-TV became the new Fox affiliate in 1994 as a result of a deal between its owner (New World Communications) and Fox. WCGV lost the Fox affiliation on December 1, 1994; however, it did not take the CBS affiliation dropped from WITI (which went to WDJT-TV), as the station would become a charter UPN affiliate in January 1995, following a pattern in which many former Fox affiliates in markets where New World owned a station decided to join either UPN or fellow upstart network WB. At this time the station was identified as "UPN 24", with a generic logo consisting of the station's call letters and channel number beneath the primary color UPN 'shapes' logo of that time.

In 1995, Abry would be acquired by Sinclair making them the owners of WCGV, WTTO, and other Abry stations. WVTV was purchased by Glencairn Corp. (which was owned by a former Sinclair executive). This arrangement, however, prompted Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow/PUSH coalition to bring forward litigation, citing their concerns on racial issues in the face of one entity holding two broadcast licenses in a market. (WVTV finally became fully owned by Sinclair in 2000, after the FCC overturned the rules that had prohibited duopolies.)

In January 1998, WCGV/Sinclair decided to drop the UPN affiliation over ratings and monetary matters, as did several other Sinclair stations in other markets when Sinclair signed a lucrative affiliation deal with The WB (which included WVTV) to shift several stations from UPN. For eight months, the station returned to being independent. However, it saw its ratings drop without the network. It also received complaints from vocal Star Trek fans who had to watch Voyager on stations from other markets or tape trade. Sinclair would then reverse its decision, and re-affiliated with UPN on August 4. Three months after reaquiring the UPN affiliation, WCGV made up for the pre-emptions by airing an all-day Voyager marathon, showing all 13 episodes missed over the last half of the 1997-98 season, with UPN's blessing. However, the station continued to omit the mention of UPN from its own branding, and called itself "Channel 24" until the beginning of the 2001-2002 TV season, when it readopted the "UPN 24" branding.

WITI was not interested in airing Fox Kids programming after it became a Fox station; therefore, Fox Kids continued to air on WCGV for ten years after the affiliation switch (which included the station continuing to maintain a Fox 24 Kids Club through most of these years). However, as time went on, WCGV began to use its own logo bug to cover all Fox logos, and advertise the block sparingly on UPN's behest (which had its own children's block airing on the station up until its end in 2003). The station declined to renew the children's block, now known as Fox Box/4Kids TV, after the fall of 2004, and subsequently 4Kids TV moved to independent WMLW (Channel 41), where it aired Sunday mornings until December 28, 2008.

MyNetworkTV (2006- )

On March 2, 2006 Sinclair announced that Channel 24 was to be the Milwaukee affiliate for MyNetworkTV, which was created by Fox Television Stations Group in the wake of the January 24, 2006 announcement that the UPN and WB networks would cease operations in September 2006, and merge into one network, The CW. Sister station WVTV, the former WB affiliate, is Milwaukee's CW affiliate. This resulted in the Milwaukee duopoly becoming one of five My Network TV/CW duopolies owned and/or controlled by Sinclair; the other four are KVMY/KVCW in Las Vegas, Nevada, WABM/WTTO in Birmingham, Alabama, WUXP/WNAB in Nashville, Tennessee and WRDC/WLFL in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina.

In the interim two weeks between the beginning of MyNetworkTV and UPN's end in early to mid-September, WCGV still showed select UPN programming on Sunday afternoons, airing Friday Night SmackDown, followed by Girlfriends, Everybody Hates Chris, All of Us from 12pm-5pm, all which were renewed by The CW and moved to Channel 18.

Current programming

Currently, Channel 24's weekday schedule consists of mostly syndicated off-network sitcoms such as Frasier (in a long-time after primetime double run at 9pm), and The George Lopez Show, along with many former UPN and Fox sitcoms in their off-network runs. The Simpsons has been syndicated on the station since that show's launch in syndication in September 1994 (four months before the station lost Fox), and airs weeknights at 6pm and 10pm, followed by Family Guy in both timeslots. During daytime from 11am-2pm, Channel 24 airs Maury followed by The Jerry Springer Show (which has a weeknight midnight repeat), and Jerry spin-off The Steve Wilkos Show.

During the weekend, the station airs off-network dramas like 24, The Shield, and ER. On Sunday evenings, the one evening MyNetworkTV does not program, Channel 24 airs a syndicated film. The rest of the weekend features a variety of movies, sitcoms, dramas, and syndicated poker tournaments. The station had continued to air Milwaukee Bucks games, sharing rights with FSN Wisconsin until the end of the 2006-07 season, when the team became FSN-exclusive [1].

The station currently airs very little children's programming, with only Liberty's Kids carried on weekday mornings (one episode Monday-Thursdays, two on Friday, all at 7am) and Wild America on Saturday morning to fulfill minimum FCC educational/informational programming requirements. WCGV was the last true Milwaukee commercial station (WVCY, although technically a commercial licensee, does not solicit advertising) to have some time where they were off the air, signing off for 4 1/2 hours on early Monday mornings until March 10, 2008, when the station went with a full 168-hour schedule (although to note, the early Monday morning schedule consists of all paid programming due to the lack of a Shepard's Chapel program to air on Monday morning). WVCY followed with 24/7 programming in January 2010.

Since the 2007-08 season, the station has branded itself with the slogan "America's Hottest MyNetworkTV Station", based on the station's sign-on to sign-off ratings being the highest among the network's affiliates.

Cable carriage of digital signal

On June 28, 2007, Time Warner Cable began carrying WCGV's digital signal on their southeastern Wisconsin systems on Channel 524, along with WVTV on Channel 518, after Sinclair and Time Warner came to a compensation agreement for the stations [2]. Charter Communications, the other dominant cable provider in the area, came to a compensation agreement in April 2007, but the HD signal was not added until June 9, 2009, when the HD signal began to air over Channel 614 on Charter's southeastern Wisconsin systems.

The Tube Music Network

On March 23, 2006, Sinclair announced that it would start multicasting The Tube onto the digital subcarriers of many of its stations across the country. The channel launched on WCGV's DT2 subchannel on June 15, 2006 [3]. On December 31, The Tube was dropped by WCGV due to new E/I regulations put into effect by the FCC, and the network went out of business on October 1, 2007, probably from several factors including the dropping by Sinclair.

Digital television

On February 17, 2009, [1] WCGV continued digital broadcasts on its current pre-transition channel number, 25. [2] However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display WCGV's virtual channel as 24.

On February 4, Sinclair announced that WCGV would still turn off their analog signal on February 17 despite the congressional action delaying the switchover to June 12 [3]. For the two weeks after February 17, WCGV and WVTV aired nightlight programming on their signals, which features a looping program about the digital transition and local numbers for DTV hotlines. This was discontinued on March 4, 2009.

Dual affiliations

  • WCGV is one of a few stations to have been affiliated with both News Corporation-owned networks, Fox and My Network TV.

References

External links


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