|Branding||Fox 66 (general)|
Fox 66 News (newscasts)
66.3: Bounce TV
66.4: Antenna TV
|Owner||Mission Broadcasting, Inc.|
|Operator||Nexstar Media Group|
First air date
|September 2, 1986|
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
66 (UHF, 1986–2009)
22 (UHF, 2003–2019)
Call sign meaning
|HAAT||286 m (938 ft)|
Public license information
WFXP (channel 66) is a television station in Erie, Pennsylvania, United States, affiliated with the Fox network. It is owned by Mission Broadcasting, which maintains a local marketing agreement (LMA) with Nexstar Media Group, owner of ABC affiliate WJET-TV (channel 24), for the provision of certain services. The two stations share studios on US 19/Peach Street in Summit Township (with an Erie mailing address), where WFXP's transmitter is also located.
The analog UHF channel 66 frequency was first used in Erie by WEPA-TV, founded by Alfred E. Anscombe, who would also go on to launch Binghamton, New York's WIVT in the early-1960s. The station eventually went dark. WFXP signed-on September 2, 1986 as WETG operated by Gannon University. The assigned transmitter power of the station was significantly more modest than other commercial outlets at the time. The studio and production facilities were in the basement of the Nash Library on Gannon's campus, and the station was operated by the students of Gannon University's Theater and Communication Arts Program. Initially the station ran Catholic programs from 3 to 4 p.m., older movies until 6 p.m., some low-budget drama shows in the evenings, and some older movies at night. The station operated from 3 p.m. until midnight during its early days. By October, the station began signing on at noon after adding some cartoons 3 to 5 p.m. weekdays and some off-network comedy and drama shows. By November, after buying a few more off network sitcoms and drama shows, the station began 10 a.m. sign ons daily. In February 1987, the station began operating in the morning hours and was on the air 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. By then the station was running cartoons until 9 a.m., Catholic shows until 10 a.m., a mix of drama shows and movies until 2 p.m., cartoons until 5:30 p.m., older comedy shows until 8 p.m., a mix of movies, drama shows, and comedy shows after 8 p.m. On Saturdays, the station ran movies most of the day. On Sundays, the station ran Catholic shows a couple hours a day, cartoons a few hours, and a mix of movies and syndicated shows the rest of the day.
In 1988, WETG became Erie's charter Fox affiliate. During the network's first two years of existence, residents were only able to receive Fox programming via the network's Buffalo affiliate WUTV. As time went on, the station acquired more recent sitcoms as well first run shows and moved away from movies. Talk, reality and court shows began to appear by the mid-1990s. Cartoons began to disappear by about 2001. The station assumed the WFXP calls in 1995 after being sold by the University. In 1998, Nexstar (owner of WJET-TV) entered into an agreement with Mission Broadcasting to maintain responsibility for WFXP's daily operations except programming.
On December 21, 2007, this station started broadcasting its digital signal on UHF channel 22 in high definition with sister station WJET doing the same in 2008. WFXP has been digital-only since April 27, 2009.
On June 15, 2016, Nexstar announced that it has entered into an affiliation agreement with Katz Broadcasting for the Escape, Laff, Grit, and Bounce TV networks (the last one of which is owned by Bounce Media LLC, whose COO Jonathan Katz is president/CEO of Katz Broadcasting), bringing the four networks to 81 stations owned and/or operated by Nexstar, including WFXP and WJET-TV.
On March 6, 2020, subchannel 66.4 became the first network O&O of any kind of TV channel in Erie when Nexstar-owned Antenna TV was launched on the channel, by virtue of owner Mission Broadcasting's LMA with Nexstar.
When WJET-TV began operating WFXP, it took over production of this station's nightly half hour prime time newscast (called Fox 66 First at Ten). The broadcast had previously been produced by WICU-TV through a news share agreement. On September 10, 2007, WJET-TV began airing an hour-long weekday morning show at 8 on WFXP (called Fox 66 News in the Morning). This is the only local newscast in the area broadcasting in the time-slot.
So that it would not compete with WICU-TV, WSEE-TV's weeknight broadcast at 11 was moved to 10 on CW affiliate WSEE-DT2. That show now competes with WJET-TV's production on WFXP which had been the area's only prime time newscast. WICU-TV and WSEE-TV were supposed to merge their news departments, but this has not happened yet. However, weekend evening newscasts are simulcast on both stations.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||Short name||Programming |
|66.1||720p||16:9||WFXP-DT||Main WFXP programming / Fox|
|66.4||4:3||Ant TV||Antenna TV|