|Channels||Digital: 23 (UHF)|
|Affiliations||39.1: Ion Television|
39.2: True Crime Network
39.6: Shop LC
|Owner||HME Equity Fund II, LLC|
|Founded||May 31, 1989|
First air date
|January 30, 1995|
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
61 (UHF, 1995–2001)
16 (UHF, 2001–2014)
39 (UHF, 2014–2020)
|The WB (1995–1998)|
America One (1998–2004)
N1 (secondary, 1995–1997)
MTV2 (secondary, 2004–2015)
Call sign meaning
|Michigan J. Frog (from its days as a WB affiliate)|
|HAAT||107.3 m (352 ft)|
Public license information
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.
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.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|39.2||TruCrim||True Crime Network|
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.
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." 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."
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.
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.
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.