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CW69 Logo.png
Atlanta, Georgia
Branding CW 69
Slogan TV To Talk About
Channels Digital: 43 (UHF)
Subchannels 69 The CW-HD
Affiliations The CW
Owner CBS Corporation
(Atlanta Television Station WUPA, Inc.)
First air date August 22, 1981
Call letters’ meaning UPN Atlanta
(former affiliation; see timeline)
Former callsigns WVEU (1981-1995)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
69 (UHF, 1981-2009)
Former affiliations independent (1981-1995)
UPN (1995-2006)
Transmitter Power 1000 kW (digital)
Height 335 m (digital)
Facility ID 6900
Transmitter Coordinates 33°44′40″N 84°21′36″W / 33.74444°N 84.36°W / 33.74444; -84.36

WUPA, channel 69, is a television station in Atlanta, Georgia that serves the Atlanta television market. The station airs programming from The CW Television Network and identifies itself as "CW 69". WUPA is a full-power television station that operates with 1000 kW of effective radiated power and is owned-and-operated station by CBS Corporation. Founded August 22, 1981, the station is broadcast locally in high-definition on channel 43 (virtual channel 69.1). Originally atop the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel, Atlanta's tallest building at the time, it now transmits from another site further east.


The beginning (1981-1995)

The station first began operations on August 22, 1981, under the call letters WVEU. It was originally owned by locally-based BCG Communications. Initially, its programming line-up consisted of business news during the day and VEU, a subscription TV service during the evenings and weekends. By 1982, it was running subscription TV most of the day. In 1984, WVEU dropped "VEU" programming and turned towards a general entertainment format. In 1984 and 1985 the station branded was "Atlanta's Music Video Channel" and had music videos and VJs. The station later added cartoons, low budget syndicated shows, preempted CBS and NBC programs and mini-blocks music videos to its line-up. However, it struggled in the ratings as its competitors, WTBS TV 17, WATL TV 36, and WGNX-TV 46 picked the best choices.

The station began running Home Shopping Network for about fifteen hours a day in 1986 as the network tried to buy the station and make them its full-time Atlanta affiliate. However, the deal fell through in 1987, thus the Home Shopping Network failed to buy WVEU - but it did arrange for WNGM-TV in Athens (channel 34, now WUVG-TV) to air HSN programming 24 hours a day. From 1989 to 1994, WVEU primarily aired Home Shopping Network programming, but also aired some religious shows, infomercials, NBC and ABC programs preempted by WXIA-TV and WSB-TV and a few syndicated shows. It continued to struggle in the ratings.

On May 22, 1994, New World Communications, by then the owners of Atlanta's longtime CBS affiliate, WAGA, announced an affiliation deal with the Fox Broadcasting Company in which most of New World's stations would become affiliates of the network. This deal came after Fox won the rights to air NFC football games. Because of this, Fox decided to sell its existing O&O in Atlanta (and the market's original Fox affiliate), WATL. Meanwhile, CBS was left looking for an affiliate in the 9th-largest market. First, it approached WSB and WXIA—but neither of those stations were interested. Also not interested at first were WATL and Atlanta's other independent, WGNX—the latter, then owned by Tribune Broadcasting, was slated to join The WB Television Network, which it co-owned with Time Warner -- while WATL was most likely to become Atlanta's affiliate for the United Paramount Network (UPN), which was co-owned by Paramount Pictures and Chris-Craft Industries. CBS did not even approach WTBS, despite affiliating with that station would have made CBS the first "Big 3" network to broadcast over a national superstation (provided it not use syndex). Almost out of desperation CBS agreed to buy WVEU in October, even though the station had the lowest ratings and the weakest signal of all of Atlanta's full-power stations. However, at the 11th hour Tribune Broadcasting relented and agreed to allow WGNX to join CBS, while WATL would become the WB affiliate (and eventually purchased by Tribune. WATL is now owned by Gannett). WGNX (which later became WGCL-TV) sold WVEU many of its syndicated cartoons as well as Disney Afternoon cartoons along with off network classic sitcoms—not only did this give WVEU a stronger lineup than ever before, it also ushered in a new era for the station.

UPN era (1995-2006)

WVEU became one of the charter affiliates of UPN in January 1995. That summer, Paramount Stations Group, a subsidiary of Viacom (which had purchased original parent Paramount Pictures not long after UPN was founded), bought the station and changed its call letters to WUPA to reflect its new status as an O&O and significantly boosted the station's signal. The station returned to CBS hands when CBS merged with Viacom in 2000. However, the station remained affiliated with UPN, and CBS would keep the station after Viacom spun off the cable & movie assets and adopted the CBS Corporation moniker in 2006.

Over the years, more first run syndicated shows were added to the station's schedule. When the Disney cartoon block ended in 2003, WUPA stopped running kids programming except for the weekends.

On Monday, April 5, 2004, the station launched "UPN Atlanta News at Ten", a 10pm newscast produced by WXIA-TV as well as a live program at 10:30pm titled "Atlanta Tonight". Both suffered in the ratings, and they were cancelled on Sunday, August 28, 2005. WXIA has since resumed a 10pm newscast after purchasing WATL in 2006.

The CW (2006-present)

On January 24, 2006, CBS and Time Warner announced they were "merging" their respective UPN and WB networks into The CW Television Network, effective September 2006. WUPA was selected as Atlanta's CW affiliate; however, WUPA retained its call letters. It would not have been an upset had WATL been chosen instead, however. CW officials were on record as preferring the "strongest" WB and UPN stations, and Atlanta was one of the few markets where the WB and UPN stations were both relatively strong.

In August 2006, WUPA updated their website, TV logo bug, and promos to incorporate their new TV moniker, The CW Atlanta.

In celebration of The CW coming to WUPA, the network produced a one-hour fashion and music program in partnership with Macy's and VIBE entitled, Beats, Style, & Flavor. The program was hosted by Eva Pigford from America's Next Top Model and V-103's Greg Street. The program first aired on September 7, 2006 and re-aired on September 17, the eve of The CW's launch.

In November 2006, FTVLive revealed that WUPA's master controls will be moved to sister CW affiliate WGNT in Norfolk, Virginia. CBS Corporation has since confirmed that WUPA and its Tampa Bay sister station WTOG will be hubbed out of WGNT, with layoffs expected from both stations this comes after CBS denied that such would happen ([1]). On January 29, 2008, WUPA changed their branding from CW Atlanta to CW69.

The station produces a local public affairs program called Focus Atlanta, which is hosted by Keisha Williams and features topics of community interest.

WUPA sponsors a local theater venue in a promotional partnership with Rival Entertainment at 17th and West Peachtree Streets in downtown Atlanta. Called The CW Midtown Music Complex, it features three performance spaces within the same space; "Center Stage", "The Loft", and "Vinyl".

On Sunday mornings, a kids block called The CW4Kids, owned by 4Kids Entertainment, CBS Corporation and Time Warner, airs on WUPA. On most other states in the USA, It airs on Saturdays.

Recently, rumors have spread about CBS Corporation (which split from Viacom in 2005) purchasing WGCL, making it sister to WUPA. Meanwhile, other rumors persist about CBS selling WUPA to either Meredith Corporation (current owners of CBS affiliate WGCL) or Cox Television (owners of ABC affiliate WSB). Tribune Company sold WATL to the Gannett Company (owners of local NBC affiliate WXIA-TV) in 2006, giving them a duopoly.

Digital television

WUPA-DT broadcasts on digital channel 43, virtual channel 69.1

The station fills the sidebars of its widescreen signal with grey instead of black, which prevents most widescreen TV sets from stretching the picture to fill the screen. This keeps the picture in the proper aspect ratio, since the FCC failed to make the Active Format Descriptor mandatory.[citation needed]

Up until mid-2008, the station used virtual channel 43.1 in its PSIP transmissions. As of June 2008, the station now complies with FCC regulations which require TV stations to use their analog channel number as their major channel number in digital, so it now appears at channel 69.1.

After the analog shutdown was complete on June 12, 2009, WUPA remained on digital channel 43 as channels 52 to 69 were removed from the U.S. TV bandplan for other services.

External links




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