WLAX
WLAX-WEUX Logo.png
Channels
BrandingFox 25/48 (general)
First News at Nine (newscasts)
Programming
Affiliations
Ownership
Owner
WFRV-TV, WQRF-TV, WGN-TV
News share agreement: WEAU
History
First air date
November 10, 1986 (35 years ago) (1986-11-10)
Former call signs
WWQI (CP, 1982–1985)
Former channel number(s)
Analog:
25 (UHF, 1986–2009)
Digital:
17 (UHF, 2004–2020)
Call sign meaning
La Crosse
("X" refers to "Crosse")
and Fox (as backronym)
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID2710
ClassDT
ERP1,000 kW
HAAT295 m (968 ft)
Transmitter coordinates43°48′16″N 91°22′19.8″W / 43.80444°N 91.372167°W / 43.80444; -91.372167
Links
Public license information
Websitewww.wiproud.com
Satellite station
WEUX
CityChippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Channels
Brandingsee WLAX infobox
Programming
Affiliations
Ownership
Owner
  • Nexstar Media Group
  • (Nexstar Media Inc.)
see WLAX infobox
History
First air date
February 8, 1993 (29 years ago) (1993-02-08)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 48 (UHF, 1993–2009)
  • Digital:
  • 49 (UHF, 2006–2019)
Call sign meaning
"Eau Claire Fox"
Technical information
Facility ID2709
ClassDT
ERP600 kW
HAAT225.5 m (740 ft)
Transmitter coordinates44°57′24″N 91°40′4″W / 44.95667°N 91.66778°W / 44.95667; -91.66778 (WEUX)
Links
Public license information

WLAX (channel 25), licensed to La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States, and WEUX (channel 48), licensed to Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, are television stations affiliated with the Fox network and serving the La Crosse–Eau Claire market. The stations are owned by Nexstar Media Group. WLAX's studios are located at Interchange Place in La Crosse at the intersection of I-90/US 53/WIS 35 and Rose Street (hence the postal address name), and its transmitter is located in La Crescent, Minnesota.

WEUX operates as a full-time satellite of WLAX, serving the Chippewa Valley. WEUX maintains a news bureau and advertising sales office on WIS 93 in Eau Claire along the US 53 and Business US 53/Hastings Way interchange, and its transmitter is located southeast of Colfax, along the DunnChippewa county line.

History

The WLAX/WEUX main studios.
The WLAX/WEUX main studios.

WLAX signed on the air on November 10, 1986 with an analog signal on UHF channel 25. After a few months as Western Wisconsin's first general-entertainment independent station, it joined Fox. The station was originally owned by Family Group Broadcasting. However, since the outlet's transmitter was located in Minnesota, it provided an inadequate over-the-air signal to the northern part of the market (the same problem that long plagued ABC affiliate WXOW). As a result, viewers in Eau Claire could only watch the station on cable television. Family Group sold both WLAX and WGBA-TV in Green Bay to Aries Telecommunications in 1991.

In order to close this coverage gap, full-time satellite WEUX was launched on February 8, 1993 with an analog signal on UHF channel 48. The two stations then adopted the "Fox 25/48" branding. Grant Broadcasting acquired WLAX/WEUX from Aries in 1996.[1] On April 29, 2004, WLAX became available on DISH Network's locals-Into-Locals package. DirecTV would follow suit and do the same on May 24, 2005.[2]

On November 6, 2013, Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced that it would purchase the Grant stations, including WLAX/WEUX, for $87.5 million.[3] The deal will make WLAX and WEUX sister stations with Green Bay's CBS affiliate, WFRV-TV. The sale was completed on December 1, 2014.[4][5]

Subchannel history

On March 25, 2011, WLAX-DT2 started a standard definition simulcast of NBC affiliate WEAU (channel 13). The big three outlet was added to WLAX's second digital subchannel after WEAU's broadcast tower in Fairchild collapsed during a winter storm on March 22, 2011.[6] Although WEAU was able to resume its own over-the-air transmissions on July 22, 2011, the simulcasting on WLAX-DT2 and WQOW-DT3 would continue until the NBC station finished building a new tower and signed-on its new UHF transmitter which occurred on January 5, 2012. On January 12 at approximately 1:30 p.m., WEAU pulled its programming from WQOW-DT 18.3 and WLAX-DT 25.2. At that time, WLAX and WEUX launched MeTV on both of their second digital subchannels.[7]

In June 2016, Nexstar agreed to carry the networks of Katz Broadcasting as subchannels on its stations,[8] an agreement that went into effect on September 1 on WLAX/WEUX. Because of the unique circumstances of the two-station simulcast, the four Katz networks were spread across both stations, with Laff TV on WLAX-DT3 and Grit TV on WLAX-DT4, and Escape on WEUX-DT3 and Bounce TV on WEUX-DT4.[9]

Programming

Syndicated programming

Syndicated programming on WLAX/WEUX includes The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Modern Family, and Judge Judy among others.

Sports programming

The station carries pre- and postgame coverage of the Green Bay Packers from sister station WFRV-TV in Green Bay and Milwaukee Fox affiliate WITI, respectively. Also, the station airs KMSP-TV's coverage of Minnesota Vikings preseason games and some syndicated coverage of the team. However, due to Fox network coverage of the NFC, the two teams are occasionally scheduled games that are broadcast simultaneously.[10][11] When this occurs, the affiliate will carry Packer games due to the majority of its viewership residing on the Wisconsin side of the DMA.[12][13][14] All NFL programming, including NFL on Fox broadcasts, are marketed under "Destination Football" branding.[15]

Newscasts

On August 28, 2006, WLAX/WEUX entered into a news share agreement with WEAU (owned by Gray Television). This arrangement resulted in a weeknight prime time newscast, produced by the big three outlet, to debut on this station.[16] Known as Fox 25/48 News at 9, the thirty-minute broadcast would eventually expand to weekends starting January 20, 2007.

This station uses a majority of WEAU's on-air team except for maintaining a separate weeknight meteorologist and weekend news anchor (although they can fill-in on the NBC outlet when needed). Fox 25/48 News at 9 originates from a secondary set at WEAU's facility on South Hastings Way/US 53 Business in Altoona (with an Eau Claire postal address) and is fed to the WLAX/WEUX studios through a fiber-optic link.

During weather forecast segments, WLAX/WEUX features WEAU's Doppler weather radar that is based at the big three affiliate's studio. On August 5, 2011, WEAU upgraded its newscasts to high definition level. However, Fox 25/48 News at 9 was not included in the change because the show is produced from a secondary set that at the time lacked HD cameras. As of fall 2015, Fox 25/48 News is broadcast in HD.

Technical information

The stations' digital signals are multiplexed:

WLAX subchannels

Channel Video Aspect Short name Programming[17]
25.1 720p 16:9 WLAX-HD Main WLAX programming / Fox
25.2 480i WLAXANT Antenna TV
25.3 4:3 Laff Laff
25.4 Grit Grit

WEUX subchannels

Channel Video Aspect Short name Programming[18]
48.1 720p 16:9 WEUX-HD Main WEUX programming / Fox
48.2 480i WEUXANT Antenna TV
48.3 Escape Ion Mystery
48.4 Bounce Bounce TV

Analog-to-digital transition

On December 9, 2004, WLAX-DT signed-on with a standard definition digital signal on UHF channel 17.[19] WEUX-DT followed on February 1, 2006 with a digital signal on UHF channel 49 also in standard definition.[20] WLAX-DT added high definition capabilities on January 28, 2008 while also launching a new second digital subchannel to offer the same programming in standard definition.[21] As part of the DTV transition on February 17, 2009, both outlets signed off their analog signals. WEUX would not upgrade its digital signal to high definition until September 10, 2009, and just as WLAX did, added a second subchannel to allow continued standard definition service reception.[22]

References

  1. ^ "Home - WIPROUD". WIPROUD. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Home - WIPROUD". WIPROUD. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  3. ^ Malone, Michael (November 6, 2013). "Nexstar to Acquire Seven Grant Stations For $87.5 Million". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  4. ^ Consummation Notice, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  5. ^ Consummation Notice, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  6. ^ "WEAU 13 was on the air on 18.3 & 25.2, Charter Cable 6 and in HD on 606". WEAU.com. March 25, 2011. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
  7. ^ "Where to Watch MeTV". Me-TV Network. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  8. ^ Lafayette, John (16 June 2016). "Bounce TV, Grit, Escape, Laff Multicast Deal Covers 81 Stations, 54 Markets". Broadcasting and Cable. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  9. ^ "FOX 25/48 Announces Four New Channels". wiproud.com. 26 August 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  10. ^ "All Vikings games to be televised, but not all Packers games". 6 September 2008.
  11. ^ "Our View: Local Packer fans again denied TV games".
  12. ^ "Sports FAQ – Northern Antenna. (715) 802-6275".
  13. ^ https://www.wiproud.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/46/2021/08/FOX-Updated-NFL-Schedule-2021-22.jpg[bare URL image file]
  14. ^ "RabbitEars.Info".
  15. ^ "NFL Destination Football".
  16. ^ https://www.weau.com/home/headlines/3231461.html[dead link]
  17. ^ "RabbitEars.Info". www.rabbitears.info. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  18. ^ "RabbitEars.Info". www.rabbitears.info. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  19. ^ "LaCrosse / Wausau, WI - HDTV - Page 2 - AVS Forum - Home Theater Discussions And Reviews". www.avsforum.com. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  20. ^ "LaCrosse / Wausau, WI - HDTV - Page 7 - AVS Forum - Home Theater Discussions And Reviews". www.avsforum.com. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  21. ^ "LaCrosse / Wausau, WI - HDTV - Page 21 - AVS Forum - Home Theater Discussions And Reviews". www.avsforum.com. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  22. ^ "LaCrosse / Wausau, WI - HDTV - Page 46 - AVS Forum - Home Theater Discussions And Reviews". www.avsforum.com. Retrieved 20 April 2018.