West Palm Beach, Florida
|City||Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
|Channels||Digital: 30 (UHF)|
|Branding||Telemundo 51 (general; read as "Telemundo Cincuenta y Uno")|
Noticiero Telemundo 51 (newscasts)
|Owner||Telemundo Station Group|
(NBC Telemundo License LLC)
First air date
|December 6, 1968|
February 14, 1972
Last air date
|August 10, 1970|
(1 year, 247 days)
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
Call sign meaning
|"ese ce ve"|
(That one is seen)
|HAAT||304 m (997 ft)|
Public license information
WSCV (channel 51) is a television station licensed to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States, broadcasting Telemundo programming to the Miami area. It is one of two flagship stations of the Spanish-language network (the other being WNJU in the New York City market). WSCV is owned and operated by NBCUniversal's Telemundo Station Group alongside NBC outlet WTVJ (channel 6). Both stations share studios on Southwest 27th Street in Miramar, while WSCV's transmitter is located in Pembroke Park, Florida.
WSCV is one of two commercial television stations with a city of license in Broward County (along with UniMás station WAMI-DT, channel 69, licensed to Hollywood). The station also serves as the de facto Telemundo outlet for the West Palm Beach market.
The construction permit for channel 51 was awarded in 1965, but channel 51 did not begin broadcasting until December 6, 1968 as WSMS-TV. The Broward Broadcasting Company, owned by attorney Paris G. Singer, was the original permitholder. The call letters had been selected to mean "Where Sun Meets Sea"; a proposed sister station for Tampa would have been WTSS, for "Where The Sun Sets". Delayed from a planned October 1 start due to bad weather, WSMS was the first station in Fort Lauderdale in 12 years, operating from its studios on Federal Highway. The station aired syndicated programming as well as all-color local news and sports, alongside other local productions including Romper Room, the afternoon interview show Talk About Town and the cartoon show Capt'n' Zero, plus local stock market reports. Channel 51's news moved to 10 p.m. in July 1969, making it the only local newscast in that time slot in South Florida.
Engineering difficulties forced WSMS-TV to suspend operations on February 6, 1970; while local news reports only mentioned engineering problems, in its request for silence with the Federal Communications Commission, WSMS-TV also cited financial difficulties. In April, the station announced it would remain off air, citing the financial condition of Gold Coast Telecasting, the licensee.
In 1971, a buyer appeared for the silent television station. Channel 51, Inc., majority-owned by Recreation Corporation of America (owner of the Pirates World amusement park in Dania), was set to acquire channel 51, with Singer being an officer in the new company. The new owners changed the call letters to WKID and planned to target a youth audience, with the studios to be at Pirates World. However, an opponent of Channel 51, Inc.'s plans soon appeared in Hank Zinkil, state representative and former mayor of Hollywood. Zinkil claimed that Pirates World had been "the source of great controversy" and a site of drug deals. The FCC shrugged off Zinkil's challenge, and from a new 1,049-foot (320 m) tower affording market-wide coverage, WKID returned to the air on February 14, 1972. Eventually, channel 51 maintained a bilingual format featuring a mix of English- and Spanish-language programming.
1975 was a year of unique challenges. Shortly after two bombs went off at the studios in Dania and a production office the station leased in Miami on the night of February 24—an attack for which a Cuban exile group took credit, blaming WKID's policy of rapprochement with communist Cuba—Channel 51, Inc. went bankrupt in March, and Pirates World with the WKID studio was condemned in September. Channel 51 moved to temporary quarters in Pembroke Park as WKID was acquired by an investment group headed by Johns and Alvin Koenig in 1976; the group became known as CB TV Corp. in 1977.
During the late 1970s, WKID aired Spanish-language programming during the daytime and a slate of older English-language films and sitcoms during the overnight hours. With all other Miami-area stations having signed off the air during the overnight hours, WKID's late-night programming reached cult status among South Florida residents who stayed up at night. Dubbed The All Night Show, WKID's late-night block consisted of a mix of films, television series, music videos, and classic cartoons, along with special guests. The All Night Show was hosted by Dave Dixon, an icon from that era of South Florida UHF television. The All Night Show is believed to have served as the inspiration for USA Network's similar late-night block, Night Flight. During this era, cable providers that carried competing independent WCIX (channel 6, now CBS owned-and-operated station WFOR-TV on channel 4) outside of the Miami market (especially in the Tampa and Orlando markets) carried WKID during the overnight hours, after WCIX signed off for the night. WKID-TV was also the first affiliate of sorts for what would become the Christian Television Network, as the network purchased a block of evening airtime every night on channel 51 prior the establishment of its first station, WCLF in Tampa.
In 1980, CB TV Corp. sold WKID to Oak Industries, a cable television equipment manufacturer and owner of ON TV, a subscription television service that was carried during the evening hours, which could only be viewed for a monthly fee and required a set-top decoder box and outdoor antenna for adequate reception. The station's programming during this period included business news programming from the Financial News Network during the daytime hours and a horse racing show hosted by Bob Savage in the early evening. The ON TV subscription service programming commenced at 7 p.m.—later 6 p.m.— Monday through Friday and at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, expanding again in 1982 to a 4 p.m. start. With the expansion of cable television in the Miami area, ON TV proved to be an ill-fated venture; by July 1984, when it laid off half its staff, subscriptions had fallen from a 1982 high of 44,700 to 28,500, making it the smallest of Oak's STV operations at the time.
Oak's financial difficulties and the failure of ON TV motivated the company to sell WKID-TV. At the end of July 1984, Oak announced that it had sold WKID-TV to John Blair & Co. for $17.75 million; the new buyers intended to program it as a Spanish-language station.
Blair, led by Cuban-American media entrepreneur Julio Rumbaut, completed the acquisition in December. Channel 51 then went off the air as Blair prepared to implement the station's relaunch as WSCV, south Florida's second Spanish-language television station. The new call letters, when pronounced in Spanish, read "Doble-U Ese Se Ve," which is translated into English as "that one is seen").
The launch took longer than expected due to transmitter troubles, WSCV finally launched on June 2, 1985. The new WSCV positioned its programming as a local, independent Miami-targeted alternative to the Mexican-dominated Spanish International Network (now Univision) and its station WLTV (channel 23), with a program hosted by Rolando Barral as part of its charter lineup. Reflecting the market it aimed to serve, the station played both the United States and Cuban national anthems at sign-on and sign-off.
Rumbaut, president of Telemundo of Florida, led WSCV as a catalyst and one of the flagship stations of NetSpan in 1986. The Reliance Group, then owners of NetSpan, acquired WSCV and Blair's other Spanish-language stations, as well as WNJU in New York City, KVEA in Los Angeles and WKAQ-TV in San Juan, Puerto Rico and used them to relaunch the network as Telemundo in 1987.
On October 11, 2001, NBC acquired the Telemundo network, including WSCV, from Sony and Liberty Media for $1.98 billion (increasing to $2.7 billion by the sale's closure) and the assumption of $700 million in debt, in an equal cash and stock split by NBC's then-parent General Electric. The acquisition was finalized on April 12, 2002, making WSCV part of a duopoly with NBC's existing O&O WTVJ.
WSCV presently broadcasts 19½ hours of locally produced news and talk programming each week (with 3½ hours each weekday and one hour each on Saturdays and Sundays); in addition, the station produces the half-hour entertainment and lifestyle program Acceso Total (airing weekdays at 10:00 a.m.).
The station launched its news department in 1987, when it debuted a half-hour 6:00 p.m. newscast, titled Noticiero 51 a las 6; it was anchored by Cuban-born Lucy Pereda and Eduardo Arango. Pereda left WSCV the following year to co-anchor Univision's first morning program, Mundo Latino, alongside Frank Moro, a Cuban telenovela actor who left to return to acting in Mexican telenovelas. He was substituted by Jorge Ramos (who later became Univision's main news anchor). WSCV hired Maria Montoya, a former actress who had arrived in Miami as part of the Mariel boatlift of 1980 and Ambrosio Hernandez, who had worked at several stations in Chicago, to complement the team, which included weather anchor Angel Martin and sportscaster Rene Giraldo. Telemundo president Julio Rumbaut hired Montoya and Hernandez, both of whom would represent the longest-serving anchor team in the United States in any language, until Montoya was fired in late 2013; Giraldo later became a sports anchor for the Telemundo network.
WSCV was positioned as the "Cuban" station in stark contrast to WLTV, which aired Mexican programming and was therefore perceived, in some circles, as less anti-Castro. In 1988, Alfredo Duran, who was recently hired as the station's general manager, announced that well-known WLTV reporter Alina Mayo Azze was hired by WSCV. Azze's heralded arrival was diminished when Duran announced the hire of WLTV main anchor Leticia Callava to co-anchor the station's 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. newscasts with Azze. Callava, regarded as the most respected news anchor on Spanish-language television, was fired by WLTV management shortly after Duran defected to Telemundo. Callava and Duran had become a couple at the time, and this triggered a series of events that would change the Latin television landscape in Miami. Several news reporters and both Montoya and Hernandez bolted to WLTV as the station tried to reinvent itself.
Under Duran's oversight, the station's newscasts were retitled Noticentro 51, with both Azze and Callava as its lead anchors, becoming the first all-female anchor team on a Spanish-language newscast in the Miami–Fort Lauderdale market. The revamp would help WSCV's fortunes in local news and earned the station 12 Emmy Awards during the late 1980s. Two years later, in 1990, WSCV announced that Mayo Azze would depart the station. Several months later, Mayo Azze was hired as anchor at WLTV. Argentine news anchor Nicolas Kasanzew, who became famous covering the Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas/Guerra del Atlántico Sur) for the state-run network ATC (Argentina Televisora Color), was then hired as co-anchor of the evening newscasts. Kasanzew was later removed as anchor, after Ambrosio Hernandez was re-hired by WSCV.
The backstage drama between Callava and Hernandez was more intriguing than what viewers saw on the station's newscasts. It was rumored that each would count the stories assigned to them to be on even ground. In 2001, as part of a strategy by Telemundo management to expand local news programming on its stations (with similar expansions on its owned-and-operated stations in Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles), WSCV added a one-hour weekday morning newscast on January 15, 2001 (That would later be expanded to two hours after 9/11) and half-hour weekend evening newscasts at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. that debuted on September 8, 2001. The station re-hired Maria Montoya to serve as the anchor of the morning newscast at 11:30 am (That debuted in 1999 at 12:00 Noon, and was the first in the nation in Spanish-language television to launch a midday newscast) other anchors that WSCV hired was Ivan Taylor who anchored the weekend newscast. And Jose Camilo and Lisett Mari anchored the two-hour morning edition.
In 2003, Montoya was reassigned to the 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. newscasts, being repaired with Ambrosio Hernandez. After spending 25 years as Miami's most well-known television personality (having spent ten years at WLTV and fifteen at WSCV), Leticia Callava's contract was not renewed when allegedly she refused to take a pay cut (Callava has since become the television spokesperson for Humana-owned Miami healthcare conglomerate Care Plus; while Duran is now serves as general manager for E! Latin America. WSCV's late evening newscast registered its first-ever first-place win in the 11:00 p.m. slot, beating other area newscasts including its main Spanish-language rival WLTV in May 2006; the station has won the 11:00 p.m. time period many times since, most recently during the May 2013 sweeps period.
On March 5, 2008, WSCV became the first Spanish-language television station in the Miami–Fort Lauderdale market (and the state of Florida) to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. WSCV's HD production equipment was among the assets that were to be acquired in a proposed 2008 sale of sister station WTVJ to Post-Newsweek Stations (owner of ABC affiliate WPLG, channel 10), which would later be terminated due to financial issues and a lack of FCC approval. For over a year, the station's newscasts were broadcast in 16:9 widescreen high definition, while all other programming continued to air in upconverted and pillarboxed 4:3 standard definition until April 23, 2009, when Telemundo became the first Spanish-language network in the United States to carry programming in HD.
In June 2013, after about a year or more of having aired its early evening newscast in the earlier timeslot due to movies airing in the 6:00 p.m. timeslot on Saturday and Sunday evenings, WSCV officially announced that its weekend early evening newscast would move a half-hour early from 6:00 to 5:30 p.m. full-time (the change concurred with the network's decision to move certain weekend afternoon programs into the 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time hour, including the newscast's Saturday lead-in, Ritmo Deportivo). On October 18 of that year, Maria Montoya abruptly left the station, breaking up the longest tenured anchor duo in South Florida, in order "to pursue other opportunities" in a statement by station management; Montoya left the station without conducting a formal departure. On that evening's 6:00 p.m. newscast, Ambrosio Hernandez solo anchored the broadcast, and after a quick introduction, simply mentioned that Montoya was "not here." Buenos Dias Miami anchor Daisy Ballmajo was appointed as weeknight co-anchor on October 28. On April 24, 2014, WSCV debuted a new set with monitors big TV's, new weather center, sports center, live pictures in the background through a monitor in the back, similar to WNBC and KNBC, Chicago's WMAQ-TV, Los Angeles' KVEA-TV, Texas stations KXAS-TV and KXTX-TV and sister station WTVJ.
On March 20, 2015, at the end of the 11:00 p.m. newscast, Daisy Ballmajo and Fausto Malave mentioned that Ambrosio Hernandez had decided to leave WSCV for another opportunity and bid him farewell and good luck. Hernandez, who was under contractual renewal negotiations, was unable to reach a common ground with WSCV.
The anchor team of Ambrosio Hernandez and Maria Montoya who were discovered and hired by Julio Rumbaut was the longest on-air anchor team in the history of the U.S. television industry. WLTV Univision 23 outbid WSCV's offer and offered him work as main anchor as well as positions in radio and digital media platforms. That same day the announcement was made, his attorney notified WSCV of his resignation. This marked the departure of the second-longest tenured on-air personality on Channel 51, the first being Marilys Llanos who has been with the station since sign on in June 1985 and is still there.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|51.1||1080i||16:9||WSCV-DT||Main WSCV programming / Telemundo|
|51.4||16:9||WSCV-PB||Semi-simulcast of 51.1, with commercials|
targeting the West Palm Beach market
WSCV ended programming on its analog signal, on UHF channel 51, 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 moved from its pre-transition UHF channel 52, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to channel 30. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 51.