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WUTF-DT
WUTF-DT logo
Marlborough-Boston, Massachusetts
Branding TeleFutura 66 Boston
Channels Digital: 27 (UHF)
Subchannels 66.1 TeleFutura
Affiliations TeleFutura
Owner Univision Communications, Inc.
(managed by Entravision Communications Corporation)
(TeleFutura Boston, LLC)
First air date February 12, 1985
Call letters’ meaning Univision TeleFutura
Sister station(s) WUNI
Former callsigns WVJV-TV (1985-1987)
WHSH (1987-1992)
WHSH-TV (1992-2000)
WHUB-TV (2000-2001)
WFUB (2001)
WUTF (2001-2003)
WUTF-TV (2004-2009)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
66 (1985-2009)
Digital:
23 (1998-2009)
Former affiliations music videos (1985-1987)
HSN (1987-2000)
independent (2000-2001)
HSN (2001-2002)
Transmitter Power 100 kW
Height 333.8 m
Facility ID 60551
Transmitter Coordinates 42°23′2″N 71°29′37″W / 42.38389°N 71.49361°W / 42.38389; -71.49361
Website TeleFutura

WUTF-DT is a television station in the Boston market. Owned by the Univision Broadcast Group and managed locally by Entravision, the station is an affiliate of the Telefutura network. As such, they have an advertising relationship with Univision affiliate WUNI.

History

The original WVJV logo, 1984-1986

WUTF-DT signed on for the first time on February 12, 1985[1] as WVJV-TV ("V-66, the Beat of Boston"), playing music videos at a time when they were a major part of the American culture (this was just four years after MTV signed on). At that time, the owners were long-time New England radio men John Garabedian (current host of the nationally syndicated radio show Open House Party) and Arnie "Woo-Woo" Ginsburg. Garabedian also owned WGTR (now WBIX); both WVJV and WGTR operated from studios in Natick. The music format combined progressive rock (WBCN) and pop contemporary (Kiss 108). Irrespective of the must-carry rule requiring cable systems to carry the station, many cable systems freely chose to carry WVJV as opposed to VH1. WVJV was also the first station in the Boston area to transmit in stereo.

Garabedian had hoped to launch a national over-the-air music video network, competing against MTV, if WVJV has succeeded.[2] However, although channel 66 received a sizable amount of viewers, the station struggled to retain them for long periods of time, and by mid-1986 the station's advertising sales were insufficient to ensure the station's long-term viability; additionally, attempts to broaden the station's programming to include shows on sports and other topics proved unsuccessful.[2] Consequently, WVJV was sold to the Home Shopping Network later that year, with the station transitioning to HSN's shopping programs soon afterwards[2]; a callsign change to WHSH followed the next year. For the next thirteen years, WHSH continued to run HSN's shopping programs, with some local feature segments in-between. A documentary film on WVJV, tentatively titled Life on the V, is currently being produced by Christian de Rezendes and Eric Green.[2]

WHUB logo, used from Aug. 1, 2000 to mid-2001 under USA Broadcasting

In the late 1990s, Barry Diller, who was the owner of HSN and their broadcast television arm (USA Broadcasting, formerly Silver King Television), began plans to turn his stations into true independents. On August 1, 2000, this format was implemented on channel 66 as WHUB-TV[3], using the branding "Hub 66", airing primarily syndicated programs (both reruns, including Cheers, Taxi, and Star Trek: The Next Generation[2][4], and first-run programs[4]); the station also obtained the rights to Boston University ice hockey games[5] (previously held by WABU/WBPX), as well as the annual Beanpot tournament.[5] However, USA Broadcasting was preparing to sell its stations to the right buyer, which ended up to be Univision Communications.[6] Plans were immediately announced to make the station an affiliate of what would become Telefutura (at that time referred to as Univision Duo)[6]; in the meantime, WHUB reverted to HSN programming on January 31, 2001 in an attempt by USA to cut costs.[7][8] AT&T Broadband then obtained some of WHUB's programming for its AT&T 3 channel[8][9] (including the 2001 Beanpot[8], which WHUB never telecast due to returning to HSN[7][8]; the tournament has since moved to NESN). (AT&T 3 would be replaced by CN8 New England in 2003, which itself would close in January 2009.)

To reflect the coming Telefutura affiliation, channel 66 changed its call letters to WFUB, likely for "TeleFUtura Boston", in November 2001.[10] However, for unknown reasons, the station changed the callsign again just one month later, to WUTF[11][12] -- both changes occurred while still running HSN programming. It wasn't until January 14, 2002 that channel 66 finally became a charter Telefutura affiliate, offering a general entertainment format with Spanish movies, serials, sports and children's shows.

References

  1. ^ Rudavsky, Shari (February 26, 1985). "Debut of Free Video Channel May Steal Time From Radio, MTV". The Harvard Crimson. http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=234780. Retrieved June 28, 2009.  
  2. ^ a b c d e Hilliard, John (June 12, 2008). "The short, eventful life of a local music video station". The Framingham Tab (Community Newspaper Company). http://www.wickedlocal.com/framingham/homepage/x1470883550/The-short-eventful-life-of-a-local-music-video-station. Retrieved June 28, 2009.  
  3. ^ Fybush, Scott (August 7, 2000). "So Long, Charles...". North East RadioWatch. http://www.bostonradio.org/nerw/nerw-000807.html. Retrieved June 28, 2009.  
  4. ^ a b USA Broadcasting (March 8, 2000). "USA Broadcasting Announces WHUB Channel 66, Boston". Press release. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2000_March_8/ai_60005001/. Retrieved June 28, 2009.  
  5. ^ a b "WHUB-TV, A USA Broadcasting Station". WHUB-TV. Archived from the original on December 6, 2000. http://web.archive.org/web/20001206205100/http://whub.citysearch.com/. Retrieved June 28, 2009.  
  6. ^ a b Fybush, Scott (December 11, 2000). "Adios, WHUB!". North East RadioWatch. http://www.bostonradio.org/nerw/nerw-001211.html. Retrieved June 28, 2009.  
  7. ^ a b Brown, Joel (January 24, 2001). "Cubic zirconia return to WHUB". Boston Herald. Archived from the original on February 7, 2001. http://web.archive.org/web/20010207002935/http://www.bostonherald.com/entertainment/television/hotb01242001.htm. Retrieved June 28, 2009.  
  8. ^ a b c d Fybush, Scott (February 5, 2001). "River Flows to New Home". North East RadioWatch. http://www.bostonradio.org/nerw/nerw-010205.html. Retrieved June 28, 2009.  
  9. ^ Fybush, Scott (March 5, 2001). "More on Lydon/WBUR Dis-"Connect"". North East RadioWatch. http://www.bostonradio.org/nerw/nerw-010305.html. Retrieved June 28, 2009.  
  10. ^ Fybush, Scott (November 5, 2001). "Doing the Albany Shuffle". North East RadioWatch. http://www.bostonradio.org/nerw/nerw-011105.html. Retrieved June 28, 2009.  
  11. ^ Fybush, Scott (December 17, 2001). "CBC Expands French Network". North East RadioWatch. http://www.bostonradio.org/nerw/nerw-011217.html. Retrieved June 28, 2009.  
  12. ^ Fybush, Scott (December 24, 2001). "WHTR Makes Its Move". North East RadioWatch. http://www.bostonradio.org/nerw/nerw-011224.html. Retrieved June 28, 2009.  

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