WUNI
ATSC 3.0 station
CityMarlborough, Massachusetts
Channels
BrandingUnivision Boston; Noticias Nueva Inglaterra
Programming
Affiliations
Ownership
Owner
OperatorEntravision Communications via JSA
WWJE-DT, WUTF-TV
History
First air date
February 12, 1985; 39 years ago (1985-02-12)
Former call signs
  • WVJV-TV (1985–1987)
  • WHSH (1987–1992)
  • WHSH-TV (1992–2000)
  • WHUB-TV (2000–2001)
  • WFUB (2001)
  • WUTF (2001–2009)
  • WUTF-DT (2009–2017)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog: 66 (UHF, 1985–2009)
  • Digital: 23 (UHF, 1998–2009)
Call sign meaning
Univision or Univision Nueva Inglaterra (New England)
Technical information[1]
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID60551
ERP400 kW
HAAT356 m (1,168 ft)
Transmitter coordinates42°23′2.7″N 71°29′35.3″W / 42.384083°N 71.493139°W / 42.384083; -71.493139
Links
Public license information
Websitenoticiasya.com/nueva-inglaterra/

WUNI (channel 66) is a television station licensed to Marlborough, Massachusetts, United States, broadcasting the Spanish-language Univision network to the Boston area. It is owned by TelevisaUnivision alongside Derry, New Hampshire–licensed True Crime Network affiliate WWJE-DT (channel 50); Entravision Communications operates WUNI under a joint sales agreement (JSA), making it sister to Worcester, Massachusetts–licensed UniMás affiliate WUTF-TV (channel 27). WUNI and WWJE share studios and transmitter facilities on Parmenter Road in Hudson; under the JSA, master control and some internal operations of WUNI are based at WUTF's studios on 4th Avenue in Needham.

History

V66

The station first signed on the air on February 12, 1985,[2] as WVJV-TV (branded as "V-66, the Beat of Boston"[3]), maintaining a music video format at a time when they were a major part of the American culture (this was just four years after MTV launched in August 1981). The station was originally owned by longtime New England radio broadcasters John Garabedian (who later became host of the nationally syndicated radio show Open House Party) and Arnie "Woo-Woo" Ginsburg. Garabedian also owned WGTR (1060 AM, now WQOM); both WVJV and WGTR operated from studios in Natick. The music format combined videos from progressive rock (as heard on WBCN) and pop contemporary (as heard on WXKS-FM). Irrespective of the must-carry rule requiring cable systems to carry the station, many cable systems freely chose to carry WVJV instead of VH1. WVJV was also the first station in the Boston area to transmit in stereo.[4]

Change from music videos to home shopping

Garabedian had hoped to launch a national over-the-air music video network (predating the existence of The Box) to compete against MTV, if WVJV had succeeded.[5] However, although channel 66 received a sizable number of viewers, the station struggled to retain them for long periods of time, and by mid-1986, the station's advertising sales were insufficient to ensure the station's long-term viability; additionally, attempts to broaden the station's programming to include shows on sports and other topics proved unsuccessful.[5] Consequently, WVJV was sold to the Home Shopping Network later that year, with the station transitioning to HSN's shopping programs soon afterwards on September 21, 1986;[5] a callsign change to WHSH followed the next year. For the next thirteen years, WHSH continued to run HSN programming, with some local feature segments in-between.

A documentary film about V66 titled Life on the V: The Story of V66,[6] produced by Christian de Rezendes and Eric Green,[5] premiered at the Independent Film Festival of Boston on April 29, 2014.[7][8]

"Hub 66", WHUB-TV

In 1999, Barry Diller, owner of HSN and its broadcast arm USA Broadcasting (formerly Silver King Television), began plans to turn his stations into true independents under the "CityVision" banner. After switching stations in Miami, Atlanta, and Dallas–Fort Worth, this format was implemented in Boston on Channel 66 as WHUB-TV[9] (from Boston's nickname "The Hub"), with the "Hub 66" branding and a main slogan echoing The Standells' "Dirty Water" ("Ahhh, Boston you're our home").

The station under the "CityVision" format aired primarily syndicated and first-run programming including sitcom reruns of shows like Cheers and Taxi, drama reruns of shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation, cartoons, and movies under the HubFlix banner. Like other "CityVision" stations, the station also obtained live sports rights specifically Boston University ice hockey games[10] (previously held by WABU/WBPX), as well as the annual Beanpot tournament.[10]

Plans were set to convert the entire chain of USAB stations to the "CityVision" format, but at the end of 2000, USA Broadcasting scrapped all plans and put all its stations up for sale with WHUB reverting to HSN affiliation in the interim period to cut costs. Disney/ABC and Univision Communications were both in the running to become the owner of WHUB with Disney planning on aligning with Hearst-owned ABC affiliate WCVB-TV; however, Univision outbid them in a close race,[11] with plans immediately announced to make the station (and all but three USAB stations) a charter affiliate of what would become Telefutura (originally referred to as Univision Duo and later rebranded as UniMás in 2013);[11] The station's five-month run made it one of the shortest-run independent-formatted stations in the country[12][13] (a few 1950s UHF independent stations, such as the three-month-long WBES-TV, had shorter).[14]

AT&T Broadband obtained some of WHUB's programming for its AT&T 3 channel[13][15] including the 2001 Beanpot,[13] (which WHUB never telecast after reverting to HSN;[12][13] the tournament has since moved to NESN); AT&T 3 would be replaced by CN8 New England in 2003 which, itself, would shut down in January 2009.

Switch to Telefutura/UniMás

To reflect its pending affiliation change, channel 66 changed call letters to WFUB (likely[weasel words] standing for "Telefutura Boston") in November 2001.[16] However, just one month later, the station changed the callsign again to WUTF[17][18] with both changes occurring during the interim period of HSN programming. It was not until January 14, 2002, that channel 66 joined Telefutura, offering a general Spanish-language entertainment format with movies, serials, sports and children's programming. Telefutura later rebranded as UniMás on January 7, 2013.

2017 call sign and channel swap; ATSC 3.0 conversion

On December 4, 2017, as part of a multi-market realignment, the programming and call signs of WUTF and sister station WUNI were swapped: WUTF and its UniMás programming moved to the Entravision-owned facility using digital channel 29 and virtual channel 27, while Univision's digital channel 27 and virtual channel 66 facility became the new home of WUNI.[19]

On November 30, 2022, it was announced that WUNI would convert to ATSC 3.0.[20]

News operation

The Univision parade float in Boston's 2016 Dominican Parade.
A Univision Boston/Noticias Univision Nueva Inglaterra float at Boston's Dominican Parade in 2016.

WUNI presently broadcasts 2+12 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with a half-hour each on weekdays; the station does not produce a late evening newscast on any night nor any news programs on Saturdays and Sundays).

On April 1, 2003, WUNI on channel 27 launched a half-hour local newscast, Noticias Univision Nueva Inglaterra (Univision News New England), at 6 p.m. Sara Suarez was brought from Univision's Denver owned-and-operated station KCEC to serve as anchor and news director. Angel Salcedo, who hosted WUNI's public affairs program Enfoque Latino for several years, was chosen as Suarez's co-anchor. However, Salcedo left the station shortly afterwards, leaving Suarez as the sole anchor until Carlos Ruben Zapata was hired as Salcedo's replacement. In 2005, Zapata left the station and eventually hired Eduardo Guerrero as co-anchor late that year. Before the newscast debuted, the station signed a news share agreement with New England Cable News, in which the regional cable news channel provided news footage. In addition, several commercial spots for NECN aired on WUNI and WUTF-TV, targeted at both stations' Hispanic audience.

The agreement with NECN expired in mid-2005; WUNI then signed a content sharing agreement with CBS owned-and-operated station WBZ-TV (channel 4). WBZ is acknowledged with an on-air credit when news footage supplied by the station appears on WUNI's newscasts, as well as at the end of the broadcast, before the copyright tag.

In April 2007, WUNI began producing news updates under the title Despierta Boston (which was anchored by Maria Gonzalez), during Univision's morning news/talk program Despierta América at 25 minutes past the hour from 7 to 9 a.m. The station used a modified version of the Despierta América logo branding, while using an alteration of the graphics and music package used on the 6 p.m. newscast. While Despierta Boston was relatively successful, economic problems led to Entravision discontinuing the morning updates in early 2009. The station also laid off Eduardo Guerrero (once again resulting in Sara Suarez anchoring solo) and 10-year veteran sports journalist Omar Cabrera.

On July 14, 2007, the station began airing the weekend edition of then-Univision-owned San Juan, Puerto Rico, station WLII's newscast Las Noticias Univision; this was subsequently dropped.[citation needed]

Technical information

Subchannels

The station's ATSC 1.0 channels are carried on the multiplexed signals of other Boston television stations:

Subchannels provided by WUNI (ATSC 1.0)[21]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming ATSC 1.0 host
66.1 1080i 16:9 WUNI Univision WNEU
66.2 480i Bounce Bounce TV WFXT
66.3 4:3 GetTV get
66.4 16:9 Court TV Court TV WSBK-TV
66.5 16:9 Twist Blank WGBH-TV

Analog-to-digital conversion

WUNI (as WUTF) shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 66, on June 12, 2009, the official date on which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station moved its digital signal from its pre-transition UHF channel 23 to channel 27,[22] using virtual channel 66.

ATSC 3.0 lighthouse service

Subchannels of WUNI (ATSC 3.0)[23]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
2.1 1080p 16:9 WGBH*NX PBS (WGBH-TV)
4.1 WBZ*NX CBS (WBZ-TV) DRM
5.1 WCVB*NX ABC (WCVB-TV) DRM
15.1 WBTS*NX NBC (WBTS-CD) DRM
25.1 WFXT*NX Fox (WFXT)
50.1 480p WWJE*NX True Crime Network (WWJE-DT via WCVB-TV)
66.1 1080p WUNI*NX NBC LX Home DRM
  Subchannel broadcast with digital rights management

See also

References

  1. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WUNI". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  2. ^ Rudavsky, Shari (February 26, 1985). "Debut of Free Video Channel May Steal Time From Radio, MTV". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
  3. ^ "Worcester, Mass - V-66, Boston's Video Channel of the 80s". www.worcestermass.com. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  4. ^ Simmons, Doug (June 2, 1985). "THEY'RE REALLY ROCKIN' IN BOSTON; V-66 TUNES INTO MTV'S TURF". Boston Globe.
  5. ^ a b c d Hilliard, John (June 12, 2008). "The short, eventful life of a local music video station". The Framingham Tab. Community Newspaper Company. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
  6. ^ "V66 Documentary Home - Life on the V". www.lifeonthev.com. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  7. ^ "Life on the V: The Story of V66". Independent Film Festival of Boston 2014. Archived from the original on June 3, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  8. ^ "Review: Life on the V: The Story of V66". Rockerzine. April 25, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  9. ^ Fybush, Scott (August 7, 2000). "So Long, Charles..." North East RadioWatch. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
  10. ^ a b "WHUB-TV, A USA Broadcasting Station". WHUB-TV. Archived from the original on December 6, 2000. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
  11. ^ a b Fybush, Scott (December 11, 2000). "Adios, WHUB!". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
  12. ^ a b Brown, Joel (January 24, 2001). "Cubic zirconia return to WHUB". Boston Herald. Archived from the original on February 7, 2001. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
  13. ^ a b c d Fybush, Scott (February 5, 2001). "River Flows to New Home". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
  14. ^ "The Buffalo Broadcasters: History of UHF TV in Buffalo". www.buffalobroadcasters.com. Archived from the original on August 23, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  15. ^ Fybush, Scott (March 5, 2001). "More on Lydon/WBUR Dis-"Connect"". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
  16. ^ Fybush, Scott (November 5, 2001). "Doing the Albany Shuffle". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
  17. ^ Fybush, Scott (December 17, 2001). "CBC Expands French Network". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
  18. ^ Fybush, Scott (December 24, 2001). "WHTR Makes Its Move". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
  19. ^ "Cambios programación UniMas y Univision". Entravision Communications. November 10, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  20. ^ "FCC Grants NEXTGEN TV Modifications For Miami, Boston Licensees". Radio and Television Business Report. December 27, 2022. Retrieved December 27, 2022.
  21. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WNEU
  22. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  23. ^ "Digital TV Market Listing for WUNI". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved January 26, 2017.