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WSTR-DT
Wstr new.png
Cincinnati, Ohio
Branding Star 64
Channels Digital: 33 (UHF)
Subchannels 64.1 MyNetworkTV
Translators W66AQ Dayton
Affiliations MyNetworkTV
Owner Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.
(WSTR Licensee, Inc.)
Founded January 28, 1980
Call letters’ meaning STaR 64
Former callsigns WBTI (1980-1984)
WIII (1985-1990)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
64 (1980-2009)
Former affiliations independent (1980-1995)
UPN (1995-1998)
The WB (1998-2006)
Transmitter Power 675 kW (digital)
Height 319 m (digital)
Facility ID 11204
Transmitter Coordinates 39°12′0″N 84°31′21.5″W / 39.2°N 84.522639°W / 39.2; -84.522639
Website www.star64.tv

WSTR-DT (Star64) is a digital broadcast station in Cincinnati, Ohio, affiliated with My Network TV. The station previously broadcast on channel 64; its digital channel is 33, and it is carried in Cincinnati on Time Warner Cable channel 11. WSTR is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Its transmitter is located at the Star Tower in College Hill. The station's studios are located near the intersection of I-75 and Towne Street (exit 8) in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Bond Hill.

WSTR also operates a translator, W66AQ, located in Dayton (Dayton has its own MyNetworkTV affiliate via a digital subchannel of sister station WRGT-TV).

Contents

History

On June 29, 1979, permission was granted by the FCC for a new TV station to be constructed and operated in Cincinnati, Ohio. WBTI-TV Channel 64 signed on in January 1980 with 1 million watts of power from studios at 5177 Fishwick Drive in Cincinnati, and a tranmitter and tower located at 2222 Chickasaw Street in Cincinnati. It was owned by Buford Television of Ohio, Inc. During the early days of Channel 64, the station signed on at 10:00 am and operated as a general interest independent station until 7:00 pm each evening. At that time, WBTI began transmitting in the "encoded or scrambled" transmission mode to provide programming for subscribers of the (ON-TV) subscription service. Eventually, WBTI would sign on earlier and program movies and cartoons until 10:00 am, when the CBN program "The 700 Club" aired until 11:30 am. The afternoon lineup consisted of movies, cartoons, and sitcoms such as "I Love Lucy" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show." Morning cartoons included "Underdog", "Tennessee Tuxedo", and classic "Popeye." Weekends were heavily laden with classic movies and adventure shows such as "The Outer Limits", "Wild Wild West", and "Bonanza." WBTI also began airing WCT Tennis and Notre Dame football. The weekly "Hollywood Gold" movies on Saturday and Sunday were hosted by one-time theater operator and Hamilton, Ohio native Fred Baum, who most recently owned the Holiday Auto Theater. Baum died in 2007.

In January 1981, Channel 64 added more sitcoms to the lineup during the week with "Mr. Ed", "Petticoat Junction", "The Addams Family", "The Munsters", "The Beverly Hillbillies", "Batman", "I Dream of Jeannie", "Hogan's Heroes", "Gomer Pyle", and "Leave it to Beaver" joining the lineup. The ON-TV service expanded its hours on Saturdays and Sundays, signing on at 5:00 pm. The ON-TV service would air movies, sports, and live events for several hours each night, usually ending around 2:00 am. On some nights, WBTI would then come back on and show programs until it signed off. In August, 1981, Buford Television changed its name to HEN Incorporated, for Home Entertainment Network. In January 1982, HEN was officially the new owner of WBTI.

On April 1, 1982, the ON-TV service expanded to 20 hours per day. At that time, the FCC required that broadcast stations be on-air for at least four hours per day. WBTI was signing on at 8:30 a.m. during the week and 7:00 a.m. on weekends. ON-TV was now making up the rest of the broadcast day. There was a short time in 1983, that WBTI extended some afternoon programming to 2:00 p.m., but that was short lived.

Star 64 station identification during the 1990s

By late 1983 - and after much delay - Warner-AMEX cable had been available in the Cincinnati city limits for over a year. This made the ON-TV subscription service less attractive to viewers. ON-TV was only one channel, at close to the same price as the 60 channel Warner-AMEX "QUBE" service. In January 1985, ON-TV was pulled back to begin programming at 11:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 p.m. weekends. New owners Channel 64 Joint Venture re-launched Channel 64 on New Year's Day 1985 under the WIII call sign and the slogan, "The Eyes of Cincinnati". WIII-TV was now a general interest independent station from 6:00 a.m., until 11:30 p.m. when the ON-TV service resumed. Older movies and Drama shows were added to the schedule at that point. The station dropped ON-TV completely in June of that year. The station had just been reborn, when during an ice storm, a section of ice on the station's tower broke free and cut through the station's transmission line from the transmitter to the antenna. The station was either off the air or on very low power for weeks. The station remained on the air after repairs were made, but never quite recovered financially. By 1986, the station had been turned over to Stephen J. Kent as receiver. In 1987, the station license was involuntarily assigned to Channel 64 Joint Venture Debtor-in-Possession. In March 1988, Channel 64 Acquisition, Inc. took over. In November 1989, the license was voluntarily assigned to Cincinnati TV 64 Limited Partnership, under the ownership of Andrew Banks and Royce Yudkoff. Their initials made up the name ABRY Communications. In 1992, control was officially transferred to ABRY Communications, LP. In 1996, Sinclair Communications bought the station.

In 1990, WIII became WSTR-TV and became known as Star 64 on air. In 1994, WSTR increased power from 1 million to 5 million watts at a brand new tower and transmitter site in Cincinnati's College Hill neighborhood. That tower would be known as "STAR Tower" and would eventually be home to several radio stations and other communications services. Also under ABRY's ownership, the station acquired other syndicated shows, and became a founding UPN affiliate in January 1995, later branding itself "UPN 64". The Sinclair Broadcast Group acquired Abry in 1996, and became the owner of WSTR-TV.

Former WSTR WB 64 logo from its News at Ten days

WSTR-TV switched affiliations with WBQC in 1998, becoming a WB affiliate. Beginning in December 2003, the station aired Sinclair's News Central evening news program, in an attempt to compete with WXIX-TV's 10:00 news offering. However, WSTR announced that it would drop the show on February 24, 2006, citing a small audience compared to WXIX during the 10:00 time slot.[1] In September 2006, UPN and The WB merged to form The CW Television Network. Earlier in the year, WSTR seemed likely to become CW's Cincinnati affiliate, being a full-power station. On March 2, however, Sinclair announced that WSTR would affiliate with My Network TV, Fox's new network launching at the same time.[2][3] The announcement seemingly opened the door for WBQC to potentially become the CW's Cincinnati affiliate. Instead, the CW agreed on April 19 to be carried on WKRC-DT2, forcing WBQC to become an independent station. With its new MyNetworkTV affiliation, WSTR adopted the "My64" brand, similar to most other stations in the network.

WB 64 logo once News at Ten was cancelled
My64 logo until September 2009

On April 26, 2006, it was announced that WSTR would soon replace their 10pm newscast with one produced jointly with WKRC-TV (Channel 12).[4] This resulted, once the WB ended and My Network TV began, in a CBS affiliate's newscast being carried on a station affiliated with a Fox-affiliated network. However, WKRC announced its intent to move the newscast to the CinCW network which is on WKRC's digital subchannel 12.2 in August 2008. WSTR management expressed interest in partnering with other local stations to produce a newscast, but will run syndicated shows otherwise.[5]

On September 21, 2009, WSTR reintroduced its 1990s name, dropping the "My" branding in favor of "Star64".[6 ]

Digital television

Digital channels

Channel Programming
64.1 / 33.1 main WSTR programming
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Post-analog shutdown

After the analog television shutdown[7], WSTR-TV remained at channel 33 [8] PSIP is used to display WSTR-TV's virtual channel as 64.

Along with Sinclair Broadcast Group's other stations, WSTR-TV ceased analog broadcasting on the original DTV transition date of February 17, 2009, despite an extension granted by Congress.

External links

References


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