WDKY-TV
WDKY-TV logo.svg
CityDanville, Kentucky
Channels
BrandingFox 56
Programming
Affiliations
Ownership
Owner
History
First air date
February 10, 1986 (36 years ago) (1986-02-10)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 56 (UHF, 1986–2009)
  • Digital:
  • 4 (VHF, 2001–2009)
  • 31 (UHF, 2009–2019)
Independent (February–October 1986)
Call sign meaning
Initials for its city of license and postal abbreviation for Kentucky
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID64017
ERP1,000 kW
HAAT351.9 m (1,155 ft)
Transmitter coordinates37°52′50.9″N 84°19′15.9″W / 37.880806°N 84.321083°W / 37.880806; -84.321083
Links
Public license information
Websitefoxlexington.com

WDKY-TV (channel 56) is a television station licensed to Danville, Kentucky, United States, serving the Lexington area as an affiliate of the Fox network. The station is owned by Nexstar Media Group and maintains studios on Euclid Avenue in Lexington's Chevy Chase neighborhood and a transmitter southeast of the city off Interstate 75.

Built as the market's first Independent station in early 1986, the station has been affiliated with Fox since the network started later that year. It has aired local newscasts since 1995, first in partnership with another local station, WKYT-TV, and since 2022 on an independent basis.

History

On December 29, 1982, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted a construction permit to Robert Bertram, an attorney, to build a new channel 56 television station at Danville.[1] However, it took more than three years to get the station built. Officials with the Kentucky Airport Zoning Commission fretted over proximity of the proposed Mercer County mast to several aviation facilities,[2] and while the zoning board overruled objections from the aviation community,[3] the FCC refused to approve the site.[4]

With a busy law practice, Bertram found he no longer had time to pursue construction of the station, having already secured an alternative tower site in Garrard County. In 1985, Bertram sold the WDKY construction permit to Backe Communications.[4] Backe set out to build studios in Danville and Lexington,[5] and WDKY-TV began broadcasting on February 10, 1986.[6] It was the first independent station in the Lexington market and became a charter affiliate of Fox later that year.[7]

After several venture capital investors in Backe Communications opted to exit television, owner John Backe reluctantly put WDKY and other stations up for sale. In 1989, Backe agreed to sell the station to the Pruett family of Little Rock, Arkansas, through MMC Television Corporation; the Pruetts cited the station's probability and the demise of its only independent competitor, WLKT (channel 62), which had operated for less than a year.[8] The deal, however, collapsed in March 1990 when the Pruetts failed to arrange the necessary financing.[9] Act III Broadcasting was then retained by Backe as a management consultant with the option to buy a minority stake in the station.[10]

Backe sold WDKY in 1992 to Superior Communications, a company owned by 34-year-old Perry Sook; it was his first TV station property.[11] It took Sook 14 months to find a station to buy and assemble financing to make the deal work.[12] Superior moved the station from its original Lexington base on Interstate Avenue to the Chevy Chase Plaza after signing a lease for the property in 1995.[13] Sook then sold WDKY and KOCB in Oklahoma City to Sinclair Broadcast Group in 1996.[12]

On January 27, 2020, Sinclair announced that it would sell WDKY and the non-license assets of KGBT-TV in Harlingen, Texas, to Nexstar Media Group as part of a settlement between the two companies over Sinclair's failed acquisition of Tribune Media, which was ultimately acquired by Nexstar.[14] The deal reunited Sook, who had gone on to found Nexstar almost immediately after selling Superior,[12] with the first station he had purchased nearly 30 years prior; it also gave Nexstar its first television station in Kentucky. The transaction was completed on September 17, 2020.[15]

Newscasts

On January 2, 1995, CBS affiliate WKYT-TV began producing a nightly 10 p.m. newscast for WDKY, starting a relationship that would last for 27 years.[16][17] WKYT supplied all of the talent except co-anchor Marvin Bartlett, an employee of WDKY.[18] Within two years, the newscast, which WDKY paid channel 27 to produce, made money.[19] On March 12, 2007, WDKY began airing an hour of news on weekday mornings at 7 a.m., also produced by WKYT.[20]

Under its new Nexstar management, WDKY ended the WKYT arrangement and began to originate its own newscasts, including an expanded morning show (5–9 a.m.) and 6:30 p.m. newscast on January 3, 2022, with the in-house news department launching with the 10 p.m. newscast on January 1, 2022.[21]

On June 6, 2022, the station added a 7 p.m. newscast, making it the market's second to air on the said timeslot, effectively ending WLEX's 7 p.m. newscast monopoly.[22]

Technical information

Subchannels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Subchannels of WDKY-TV[23]
Channel Video Aspect Short name Programming
56.1 720p 16:9 FOX Main WDKY-TV programming / Fox
56.2 480i Rewind Rewind TV
56.3 CHARGE! Charge!
56.4 TBD TBD

Analog-to-digital conversion

WDKY-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 56, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal moved from its pre-transition VHF channel 4 to UHF channel 31.[24][25]

TV spectrum repack

WDKY moved its channel allocation from digital channel 31 to 19 at 10:00 a.m. on May 7, 2019, and remains on virtual channel 56.[26]

References

  1. ^ Girard, Annabel (January 13, 1983). "FCC issues permit for TV station to be built here". The Advocate-Messenger. Danville, Kentucky. p. 1. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ Witt, Jo (June 7, 1984). "State panel to rule on TV tower". The Advocate-Messenger. Danville, Kentucky. p. 1, 8. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ Witt, Jo (June 27, 1984). "State airport panel OKs tower for area TV station". The Advocate-Messenger. Danville, Kentucky. p. 1. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ a b "New York firm seeks to buy construction permit for TV station". The Advocate-Messenger. Danville, Kentucky. May 22, 1985. p. 3. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ Poole, Shelia (July 18, 1985). "Bluegrass will get new TV station". Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky. p. A1, A18. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "Station off air for several hours". Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky. February 15, 1986. p. 71. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ White, Susan (July 14, 1986). "Channel 36 buys rights to 'Dr. Ruth Show'". Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky. p. B3, B5. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Lexington's WDKY-TV sold to Chicago couple". Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky. August 9, 1989. p. A1, A7. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ White, Susan; Daykin, Tom (March 24, 1990). "Sale of WDKY-TV falls through because couple lack financing". Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky. p. A10. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ White, Susan (April 14, 1990). "Deal with Norman Lear takes WDKY off the market". Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky. p. B1, B7. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ White, Susan (May 6, 1992). "Buyer of Fox Channel 56 beginning broadcast group". Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky. p. B1, B3. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ a b c Clarke, Melanie M. (January 23, 2005). "Sook Builds Broadcast Powerhouse". Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on March 3, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2021.
  13. ^ Crane, Nancy (May 18, 1995). "WDKY-TV moving operations to Lexington's Chevy Chase Plaza". Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky. p. C9. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ Eggerton, John (January 27, 2020). "Sinclair Pays Nexstar $60M, Some Assets, to Settle Tribune Suit". Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on January 28, 2020. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  15. ^ "Consummation Notice". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. September 18, 2020. Archived from the original on October 8, 2021.
  16. ^ Nash, Francis M. (1995). Towers Over Kentucky: A History of Radio and TV in the Bluegrass State (PDF). ISBN 9781879688933 – via World Radio History.
  17. ^ Crane, Nancy (October 7, 1994). "Channel 27 to produce 10 p.m. news on Channel 56". Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky. p. B1, B6. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ Pack, Todd (April 23, 1996). "Pending sale of WDKY may affect Fox 56 news". Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky. p. A6. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ McClellan, Steve (August 19, 1996). "Sinclair makes news moves" (PDF). Broadcasting. pp. 33–34. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 8, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2021.
  20. ^ Sloan, Scott (May 14, 2007). "Good news met with skepticism". Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky. p. C1, C10. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  21. ^ "WDKY FOX 56 announces major expansion of local news programming beginning Jan. 1, 2022" (Press release). WDKY. September 17, 2021. Archived from the original on October 16, 2021. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  22. ^ "FOX 56 to launch new 7 p.m. Newscast on June 6". June 2022.
  23. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WDKY". Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  24. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  25. ^ Sloan, Scott (February 10, 2009). "All but one station delay TV switch". Lexington Herald Leader. Archived from the original on February 11, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2009.
  26. ^ "RabbitEars.Info". Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 9, 2014.