WPPX-TV
CityWilmington, Delaware
Channels
BrandingIon Television
Programming
Affiliations61.1: Ion Television
for others, see § Subchannels
Ownership
Owner
History
First air date
July 9, 1986 (36 years ago) (1986-07-09)
Former call signs
WTGI-TV (1986–1998)
WPPX (1998–2009)
Former channel number(s)
Analog:
61 (UHF, 1986–2009)
Digital:
31 (UHF, 2003–2019)
Analog/DT1:
Independent (1986–1987)
ABC (secondary, 1986–1988)
Telemundo (1987–1993)
TBN (1993–1995)
inTV (1995–1998)
DT2:
Qubo (until 2021)
Court TV (2021)
DT3:
Ion Plus (until 2021)
DT4:
Ion Shop (until 2021)
Ion Mystery (2021)
DT5:
HSN (until 2021)
DT6:
QVC (until 2021)
Call sign meaning
Philadelphia Pax
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID51984
ERP131 kW (STA)
310 kW (CP)
HAAT251 m (823 ft) (STA)
312 m (1,024 ft) (CP)
Transmitter coordinates40°2′39″N 75°14′25″W / 40.04417°N 75.24028°W / 40.04417; -75.24028Coordinates: 40°2′39″N 75°14′25″W / 40.04417°N 75.24028°W / 40.04417; -75.24028
Links
Public license information
Websiteiontelevision.com

WPPX-TV (channel 61) is a television station licensed to Wilmington, Delaware, United States, broadcasting the Ion Television network to the Philadelphia area. It is owned and operated by the Ion Media subsidiary of the E. W. Scripps Company, and maintains offices on Main Street in Manayunk, with a transmitter in Roxborough, both sections of Philadelphia.

History

History of channel 61 in Philadelphia

The UHF channel 61 allocation in eastern Pennsylvania was originally assigned to Reading, Pennsylvania in the 1950s, when WHUM-TV occupied the channel as a CBS affiliate. The allocation was eventually reassigned to Wilmington after the Reading station went dark on September 4, 1956 after a lightning strike on the WHUM-TV tower severely damaged the station's antenna and waveguide.

WPPX history

WPPX-TV logo card, 2011.
WPPX-TV logo card, 2011.

The current station occupying channel 61, now licensed to Wilmington, Delaware, signed on the air as WTGI-TV on July 9, 1986, originally operating as a general entertainment independent station. It mostly broadcast programs that the established Philadelphia stations did not desire, including drama series, old movies, reruns of old game shows, religious shows, and some ABC network shows that were not cleared by WPVI-TV (channel 6). Reruns of Dynasty were WTGI's most prominent program, as well as an attempt at a local newscast entitled Delaware Valley Tonight. In addition, the station was scheduled to broadcast Philadelphia Big 5 basketball, but that idea was dropped before the season started. A lack of cable system carriage (partly because of the news program) and a transmitter located away from the heart of the Philadelphia market left the station with minimal viewership and an inability to sell advertising time at a profit.

WPPX logo from 1998.
WPPX logo from 1998.

When Vineland, New Jersey-based independent WSJT (channel 65, now Univision owned-and-operated station WUVP-DT) was sold to Home Shopping Network later that year, WTGI planned to acquire that station's programming inventory of mostly 1950s sitcoms. But after low sales and a larger loss of money than was thought, the station changed course abruptly. Various Spanish, religious and shopping channels were considered for affiliation. On November 24, 1986, all the entertainment shows were dropped and WTGI began carrying home shopping programming from the Video Shopping Channel about 18 hours a day. The station continued to run some rejected ABC shows and religious programs part of the day.

In the fall of 1988, WTGI adopted an ethnic-based format airing Telemundo programming during the evening hours, a few hours a day of other foreign language programs, and religious shows (in English) for part of the day. In 1993, WTGI became an affiliate of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, which made an attempt to buy the station; however, this sale fell through. In 1995, the station was sold to Paxson Communications; it then became an affiliate of the company's all-infomercial service inTV, until becoming a charter affiliate of the Pax TV network on August 31, 1998, at which time it changed its call letters to WPPX.

From 2000 to 2005, WPPX-TV rebroadcast some newscasts from NBC owned-and-operated station WCAU (channel 10).

Technical information

Subchannels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect Short name Programming[1]
61.1 720p 16:9 ION Ion Television
61.2 Bounce Bounce TV
61.3 480i Grit Grit
61.4 TruReal TrueReal
61.5 Laff Laff
61.6 DeFy TV Defy TV
61.7 Newsy Newsy

Analog-to-digital conversion

WPPX-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 61, 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 continued to broadcast on its pre-transition UHF channel 31.[2] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 61, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.

References

  1. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WPPX". Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  2. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.