WTCL-LP
Telemundo CLE.png

WOIO CBS 19 2019.svg


WUAB 2018 Logo.png
Channels
BrandingTelemundo Cleveland
Programming
Affiliations6.1: Telemundo[1]
6.2: Circle
19.10: CBS
43.10: The CW
Ownership
Owner
WOHZ-CD, WOIO, WUAB
History
First air date
November 30, 1989 (32 years ago) (1989-11-30)
Former call signs
  • W47BE (1989–1998)
  • W65DL (1998–2000)
  • WXOX-LP (2000–2012)
  • WLFM-LP (2012–2020)
  • WLFM-LD (2020–2021)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 47 (UHF, 1989–1998)
  • 65 (UHF, 1998–2012)
  • 6 (VHF, 2012–2020)
Call sign meaning
Telemundo Cleveland
Technical information
Facility ID6699
ClassLD
ERP15 kW
HAAT242.8 m (797 ft)
Transmitter coordinates41°22′58″N 81°42′6″W / 41.38278°N 81.70167°W / 41.38278; -81.70167
Links
Websitewww.telemundocleveland.com

WTCL-LP, virtual channel 6 (UHF digital channel 20), is a low-power Telemundo-affiliated television station licensed to Cleveland, Ohio, United States. Owned by Atlanta-based Gray Television, WTCL-LP also functions as a repeater for its full power Cleveland sister stationsShaker Heights–licensed CBS affiliate WOIO (channel 19) and Lorain-licensed CW affiliate WUAB (channel 43). This is similar to another sister station, Canton-licensed WOHZ-CD, which also serves as a repeater for WOIO and WUAB, but in the southern part of the market.

The stations share studios on the ground floor of the Reserve Square building in Downtown Cleveland; WTCL-LP's transmitter is located on West Ridgewood Drive in suburban Parma, Ohio.

Due to its low-power status, its broadcasting radius only covers the immediate Cleveland area. Thus WTCL-LP relies on cable and satellite carriage to reach the entire market.

History

Early history and attempted digital conversion

The former allotment, channel 65, was originally for a planned station of WERE back in the 1950s.[3] The station never materialized and thus WERE-TV never aired. The channel 65 allotment was eventually used in 1998 when W47BE moved from channel 47 as W65DL. In 2000, the call letters were changed to WXOX, which were originally assigned to a radio station on AM 1250 in Bay City, Michigan.

In the final years as WXOX, the station was affiliated with the Home Shopping Network (HSN). HSN had previously aired in Cleveland on WQHS-TV (channel 61), which was purchased by Univision in 2002.

WXOX submitted an application to move to channel 44 and increase power to 120 kW, but then modified the application to convert the analog transmission to digital.[4] FCC findings stated that channel 44 would cause interference with nearby WNEO.[5] So WXOX instead decided to briefly carry a digital feed on WCDN-LD2.[6] WXOX was then forced off the air on October 27, 2009 when wireless carrier Verizon purchased the part of the wireless spectrum where the station had been broadcasting.[7] An attempt was made to convert WXOX to a low-power digital station on channel 31,[8] which was previously used by WJW before the June 12 analog shutoff date. However, due to potential co-channel interference issues with CITY-DT-2 across Lake Erie in Woodstock, Ontario (which also broadcasts on UHF 31, in digital), the application was abandoned.

As a radio station

In May 2011, the station's then-owner, Venture Technologies Group, filed a new FCC request to move the station to Channel 6 analog[9] leading to speculation that it would be used to carry the audio feed of an FM radio station since the sound of channel 6 analog can be heard at 87.7 FM on any FM radio. The station was kept at low power so it wouldn't interfere with WSYX in Columbus.

WLFM-LP was scheduled to launch in July 2012, but the station did not debut until September 9, 2012 (during at least part of the month in between, the station stunted with, among other things, a loop of "My Town" by The Michael Stanley Band, as well as a cassette tape-recorded loop of snippets of each number 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 list from 1955 to 1992, with occasional station IDs in between and the TV signal showing either a loop of slides of local buildings and sights, or a screensaver for Western Digital).[10][11]

The website Radio World described WLFM-LP as a "Franken-FM... an unholy mix of radio and TV stations." The WLFM-LP studios were located within the Cleveland Agora.[12]

87.7 Cleveland's Sound

From its launch until January 1, 2014, the station – branded 87.7 Cleveland's Sound – aired a mixed format of alternative rock and AAA music, focusing more on alternative rock towards the end. As 87.7 Cleveland's Sound, the WLFM-LP local on-air staff included Archie Berwick, Kim Monroe, Rachel Steele, Lyd the Kidd (Lydia Puccini), Bull (Sean Robertson), Dan Stansbury, Rocco the Rock Dog (Ric Bennett), and Chad Zumock. WLFM-LP was named best local radio station in 2013 by readers of Cleveland Scene.[13][14][15][16][17]

From mid-October 2012 until its cancellation in late September 2013, the station aired Inner Sanctum, a locally produced music program featuring Cleveland area bands. Cleveland Scene observed that although it bills itself as "a local station for Clevelanders by Clevelanders", WLFM-LP "pulled the plug" on a local show. Program director Ryan Benes said the station was going "in a different direction". Host Pat Johnson said the station "was hoping for a big summer and that hasn't translated into sales yet". Previously broadcast on WENZ, WKRK-FM, and WNWV, Inner Sanctum had recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary.[18][19]

The final song to air on WLFM-LP as 87.7 Cleveland's Sound was "Hate Me" by Blue October.[20]

La Mega 87.7

On December 11, 2013, it was reported that WLFM-LP would soon enter into a local marketing agreement (LMA) with Cincinnati-based TSJ Media; the LMA began at 12:00 a.m. on January 1, 2014, and was accompanied by a format change. The "Franken-FM" radio station now airs a Spanish language format, consisting largely of Latin music. WLFM-LP is currently branded La Mega 87.7, and uses the slogan "Latino and Proud".[21][22][23]

Since the 2014–15 NBA season, WLFM-LP served as the Spanish language radio home of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Rafael Hernandez Brito was the team's Spanish language play-by-play announcer.[24]

Beginning in 2018, La Mega 87.7 started to also serve as the Spanish language radio outlet for the Cleveland Browns. As he did for the Cavaliers broadcasts, Hernandez Brito served as play-by-play announcer.[25]

In March 2019, it was reported that WLFM-LP would soon enter into a local marketing agreement (LMA) with Columbus-based La Mega Media, Inc.; the LMA began at 12:00 a.m. on March 25, 2019, and was accompanied by a programming change.

Conversion to digital

WLFM-LP signed off their analog broadcast on RF 6 on June 30, 2020, due to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requiring the station to convert to a digital broadcast, rendering the operation as a radio station unusable due to the different technologies used from analog FM, HD Radio, and ATSC. La Mega 87.7 (rebranded as La Mega Cleveland) is now heard exclusively as an online stream on both their website and mobile phone apps. As a result of the spectrum repack, WLFM-LP was able to file for a suitable frequency on RF 20.

On July 29, 2020, WLFM-LP started broadcasting as a digital TV station on RF 20, carrying Jewelry Television as a temporary affiliation. The suffix at the end of the calls was changed from -LP to -LD.

Sale to Gray and Telemundo affiliation

Exactly one year later on July 29, 2021, WLFM-LD's owners agreed to sell the station to Gray Television, making it a sister station to its duopoly of WOIO and WUAB. The sale was approved by the FCC on September 13.[2] On September 22, Gray announced that WLFM-LD would change its call letters to WTCL-LD and join Telemundo on January 1, 2022, giving Cleveland its first-ever Telemundo affiliate, and the first ever competition to Univision-owned WQHS-DT. In addition, Gray announced that WOIO would produce 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts in Spanish for WTCL-LD, the first such newscasts to be broadcast in the Cleveland market, as WQHS only carries remotely-produced news briefs.[1] On October 15, the station changed its call sign to WTCL-LP.[26]

After adopting its new call letters, WTCL-LP switched to a temporary simulcast of WOIO 19.1, including airing CBS network programming, before beginning its Telemundo affiliation on December 22, 2021. The WOIO simulcast was then moved to a subchannel.

Subchannels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect Short name Programming[27]
6.1 1080i 16:9 WTCL-LP Telemundo
6.2 480i Circle Circle
19.10 1080i WOIO-DT simulcast of WOIO / CBS
43.10 480i WUAB-DT simulcast of WUAB / The CW

References

  1. ^ a b "WOIO-TV will launch new Telemundo station in Cleveland". Cleveland19.com. Gray Television. September 22, 2021. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Assignments". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. July 29, 2021. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  3. ^ "Video Vault: Cleveland TV 'Right Before Your Eyes' in 1953; WEWS celebrates 65th anniversary – newsnet5.com Cleveland". Newsnet5.com. 2012-12-17. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
  4. ^ http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/getattachment_exh.cgi?exhibit_id=620547[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2010-02-11.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ http://licensing.fcc.gov/cdbs/CDBS_Attachment/getattachment.jsp?appn=101182451&qnum=5120&copynum=1&exhcnum=2. Retrieved January 2, 2014. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  7. ^ FCC Internet Services Staff. "Application View ... Redirecting". Licensing.fcc.gov. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
  8. ^ [1] Archived March 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ FCC Internet Services Staff. "Application Search Details". Licensing.fcc.gov. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
  10. ^ WLFM Cleveland Franken-FM Stunting 8/17/12
  11. ^ WLFM-LP Analog 6 Cleveland Slideshow- YouTube
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-01-02. Retrieved 2012-09-15.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  13. ^ Cavazos, Shaina (2012-06-27). "New Cleveland Radio Station to Aim for Hyper-local Approach". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2012-06-29.
  14. ^ Bolden, Chris. "People & Places | People & Places". Clevescene.com. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
  15. ^ "See the Possible: New radio station with old soul". wkyc.com. 2013-08-08. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-03. Retrieved 2013-10-07.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "87.7 FM Cleveland's Sound Hires Dan Stansbury For PM Drive". AllAccess.com. 2013-11-06. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
  18. ^ "Inner Sanctum Playlist 10-14-12". InnerSanctumCleveland.com. Inner Sanctum. October 15, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  19. ^ Niesel, Jeff (September 27, 2013). "87.7 pulls the plug on local music show Inner Sanctum". CleveScene.com. Cleveland Scene. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2014-01-05.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ Grzegorek, Vince (2013-12-11). "87.7 Sold, Will Switch to Latin Music Programming on January 1, 2014 | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog | Cleveland Scene". Clevescene.com. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
  22. ^ "Subscription Center". CrainsCleveland.com. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
  23. ^ Smith, Robert L. (January 9, 2014). "Wepa! La Mega brings Spanish music, news and excitement to Cleveland airwaves". Cleveland.com. Northeast Ohio Media Group LLC. Retrieved January 10, 2014. ... a staff of seven DJs that includes names familiar to area Latinos, including DJ Flaco Flash, Liliani Gonzalez and Edgar Betancourt.
  24. ^ Kleps, Kevin (October 16, 2014). "Cleveland Cavs games will be broadcast in Spanish on 87.7 FM La Mega". CrainsCleveland.com. Crain Communications. Retrieved October 16, 2014. The Cavs and Murray Hill Broadcasting's 87.7 FM La Mega are partnering to broadcast all of the team's games in Spanish, the Cavs announced on Thursday, Oct. 16. ... Rafael Hernandez Brito, the Spanish play-by-play voice of the Brooklyn Nets the previous two seasons, will call the Cavs' games for La Mega.
  25. ^ "Cleveland Browns".
  26. ^ "Call Sign History", CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, 15 October 2021, Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  27. ^ "Digital TV Market Listing for WTCL". www.rabbitears.info.