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WMJF-CD
Towson/Baltimore, Maryland
United States
CityTowson, Maryland
ChannelsDigital: 23 (UHF)
Virtual: 39
Programming
Affiliations39.1: Ion Television
39.2: True Crime Network
39.3: Quest
39.4: Grit
39.5: Buzzr
39.6: Shop LC
Ownership
OwnerHME Equity Fund II, LLC
History
FoundedMay 31, 1989
First air date
January 30, 1995 (26 years ago) (1995-01-30)
Former call signs
W61BT (1995–1996)
WMJF-LP (1996–2014)
Former channel number(s)
Analog:
61 (UHF, 1995–2001)
16 (UHF, 2001–2014)
Digital:
39 (UHF, 2014–2020)
The WB (1995–1998)
America One (1998–2004)
N1 (secondary, 1995–1997)
MTV2 (secondary, 2004–2015)
Independent (2004–2018)
MeTV (2020–2021)
Call sign meaning
Michigan J. Frog (from its days as a WB affiliate)
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID191262
ERP15 kW
HAAT107.3 m (352 ft)
Transmitter coordinates39°24′10.4″N 76°36′10.9″W / 39.402889°N 76.603028°W / 39.402889; -76.603028Coordinates: 39°24′10.4″N 76°36′10.9″W / 39.402889°N 76.603028°W / 39.402889; -76.603028
Links
Public license information
Profile
LMS

WMJF-CD, virtual channel 39 (UHF digital channel 23), is a low-powered, Class A Ion Television-affiliated station serving Baltimore, Maryland, United States that is licensed to Towson. The station is owned by HME Equity Fund II, LLC. WMJF-CD's transmitter is located on Maryland Route 45 near the Towson Town Center mall.

History

WMJF Studio One in the Media Center at the campus of Towson University.
WMJF Studio One in the Media Center at the campus of Towson University.

Towson University (then Towson State University) applied for a construction permit on channel 61 in 1988 as a student television station. After eight extensions of the permit into 1994, Towson applied to reduce the station's effective radiated power by a factor of ten to just 521 watts. Station W61BT then applied for its license January 30, 1995.[1]

W61BT was the Baltimore market's charter affiliate for The WB, which launched the same month. At the time "Towson State Television" was largely invisible to local viewers, as its coverage radius was about three miles (5 km) from the university and it did not have must-carry rights on cable as a low-powered station. Station management took the chance on joining The WB after no full-powered station in the city was willing to join the network, and expressed optimism that the network affiliation for the new station would lead to cable carriage and provide a unique learning opportunity for students.[2] By the fall, when the network was also available from WBDC (now CW affiliate WDCW) in Washington, D.C., this had not materialized and Baltimore Sun sports media critic Milton Kent called on local cable providers to carry that station instead.[3] The station changed its callsign to WMJF-LP in February 1996, reflecting its network's mascot, Michigan J. Frog. The WB signed a deal to move to UPN affiliate WNUV (channel 54) in July 1997, effective the following January, and a network spokesman referred to Baltimore as one of the network's "five biggest holes" in coverage.[4]

After a brief stint as an America One affiliate, WMJF flipped to MTV2 in 2004. WMJF was also a CNN student bureau, one of only two in the country.

WMJF was a 90% student run organization, operated under faculty advisers Dr. John MacKerron and Dr. David Reiss, and an executive board of five elected and appointed positions that they deemed necessary to help operate the station.

Towson University sold WMJF-LP to LocusPoint Networks in December 2012.[5] The deal closed on August 8, 2013. LocusPoint then sold WMJF-CD to HME Equity Fund II on April 8, 2018. Towson University continued to operate the station until 2019. Programming and operations are handled remotely via satellite feed.

Digital channels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[6]
39.1 480i 4:3 WMJF-CD Ion Television
39.2 TruCrim True Crime Network
39.3 Quest Quest
39.4 Grit Grit
39.5 Buzzr Buzzr
39.6 ShopLC Shop LC

Programming

WMJF-produced programming was generally seen weekday evenings from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights from 9 p.m. to midnight. Syndicated shows were seen weekdays from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., with the actual times depending on student-produced programs scheduled; syndicated programming included a National Lampoon hour block of programming three times a week, and federally mandated Educational/Informational (E/I) programming for children. Other times were filled with MTV2 programming, especially on weekends and student holidays.

News

Sports

Entertainment

WMJFNow

WMJFNow was launched in August 2006, after a beta run the previous spring. The program is run using Google Video. WMJFNow is the creation of webmaster and station president, Christopher Taydus with help from many station members including Josh Eisenberg, Joe Achard and Diego Torres. It was created to help find a new audience for the station. Taydus was quoted as saying, "I have a friend who goes to Northeastern who has been watching our sitcom Film School. We've even had guys from other countries watching."[7] When asked about the numbers that some shows were receiving, Josh Eisenberg said, "In the college television market those are incredible numbers to be receiving. It used to be just a five-mile radius, and now anyone can see it."[7]

Half-Way There Festival

The Half-Way There Festival is an annual film festival sponsored and hosted by WMJF. It was created by Josh Eisenberg with help from Christopher Taydus and Professor Greg Faller. It is held every December and gets its name from the fact that it's held halfway between the previous and the next Media Arts Festival (Towson University's Electronic Media and Film Department's Annual Film Festival). WMJF-TV lets the audience vote to choose the winners. Lambda Kappa Tau, Towson's Media Arts Fraternity, took over the festival in fall 2008.

WMJF.tv launched

The student-run television station WMJF-TV was relaunched as an internet-only service, WMJF.tv, in 2013 under General Manager and Faculty Advisor Dr. Dave Reiss—utilizing the internet as the means for broadcasting student-produced programming via a newly designed website. The new Media Center HDTV studio, now utilizing virtual sets, was fully integrated into the productions. Coverage of campus news and events continue, along with new programming including alumni profiles.

Spectrum reallocation

As a part of the repacking process following the 2016–2017 FCC incentive auction, WMJF-CD relocated to UHF channel 23 in summer 2020, using PSIP to display its virtual channel number as 39.[8]

References

  1. ^ "DWMJF-LP Facility Data". FCCData.
  2. ^ McKerrow, Steve (15 January 1995). "Two networks debut this week in Baltimore area". Baltimore Sun.
  3. ^ Kent, Milton (5 September 1995). "Credit Olbermann for viewpoint". Baltimore Sun.
  4. ^ Kaltenbach, Chris (15 July 1997). "WNUV pulls plug on UPN, switches to WB in Jan". Baltimore Sun.
  5. ^ Seyler, Dave (December 13, 2012). "LocusPoint again demonstrates it's a Class A Act". Television Business Report. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  6. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WMJF
  7. ^ a b "Technology Briefs". The Towerlight. November 16, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-13.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Searchable Clearinghouse | National Association of Broadcasters". www.nab.org. Retrieved 2018-05-28.