WWPX-TV
Satellite of WPXW-TV,
Manassas, Virginia/Washington, D.C.
Martinsburg, West Virginia/
Hagerstown, Maryland/
Winchester, Virginia
United States
CityMartinsburg, West Virginia
ChannelsDigital: 13 (VHF)
Virtual: 60
BrandingIon
SloganPositively Entertaining
Programming
Affiliations60.1: Ion (O&O)
60.2: Court TV Mystery
60.3: Court TV
60.4: Laff
60.5: HSN
60.6: QVC
Ownership
OwnerIon Media
(a subsidiary of the E. W. Scripps Company)
(Ion Television License, LLC)
WPXW-TV, WMAR-TV
History
FoundedMay 21, 1990
First air date
October 1, 1991 (29 years ago) (1991-10-01)
Former call signs
WYVN (1991–1996)
WSHE-TV (1996–1998)
Former channel number(s)
Analog:
60 (UHF, 1991–2009)
Digital:
12 (VHF, 2000–2020)
Analog/DT1:
Fox (1991–1993)
Independent (1993–1994)
Dark (1994–1996)
inTV (1996–1998)
DT2:
Qubo (2007–2021)
DT3:
Ion Plus (2007–2021)
DT4:
The Worship Network (20??–2010)
Ion Shop (201?–2021)
Call sign meaning
West Virginia's PaX; satellite of WPXW-TV
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID23264
ClassDT
ERP4.2 kW
HAAT327.5 m (1,074 ft)
Transmitter coordinates39°14′21″N 77°46′16″W / 39.23917°N 77.77111°W / 39.23917; -77.77111
Links
Public license information
Profile
LMS
Websiteiontelevision.com

WWPX-TV, virtual channel 60 (VHF digital channel 13), is an Ion owned-and-operated television station licensed to Martinsburg, West Virginia, United States and serving the northwestern portion of the Washington, D.C. television market.[1] The station is owned by the Ion Media subsidiary of the E. W. Scripps Company. WWPX-TV's transmitter is located on Blue Ridge Mountain east of Charles Town, West Virginia.

WWPX-TV operates as a full-time satellite of the main Ion station for the Washington area, Manassas, Virginia-licensed WPXW-TV (channel 66), whose studios are located in Fairfax Station, Virginia. WWPX covers areas of West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, northern Virginia, central Maryland and south-central Pennsylvania that receive a marginal to non-existent over-the-air signal from WPXW, although there is significant overlap between the two stations' contours otherwise. WWPX is a straight simulcast of WPXW; on-air references to WWPX are limited to Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-mandated hourly station identifications during programming. Aside from the transmitter, WWPX does not maintain any physical presence locally in Martinsburg.

History

Channel 60 signed on October 1, 1991, as WYVN ("Your Valley News"), with studios located in a renovated barn on Discovery Place in Martinsburg. WYVN was the second Fox affiliate in West Virginia, behind Charleston's WVAH-TV (now a Decades affiliate). Unusually for Fox stations in the network's early years, WYVN made a commitment from the beginning to local news and public affairs programming.[2] However, owner Flying A Communications found itself in financial trouble due to the cost of the local news operation and poor ratings from competition with Washington, D.C.-based stations. In addition to this, the station was beset by technical issues; its signal would go back and forth between black and white and color. A Fox network employee was reportedly sent to Martinsburg to investigate this matter, and was appalled by the sight of the station running The Simpsons episode "Lisa the Beauty Queen" in black and white; management responded by saying "we don't even have an engineer."[3] Flying A Communications filed for bankruptcy in October 1992, and the station suspended newscasts in May 1993.[4]

WYVN was forced off the air when Flying A went into receivership on September 17, 1993. A sale to WUSQ-FM owner Benchmark Communications, who would have converted the station to CBS affiliate WUSQ-TV, was worked out and approved by the station's bankruptcy trustee, but fell through at the last minute; the license was instead sold to Green River Broadcasting, who returned the station to air on September 24 while it worked out a financing plan.[5][6] Having lost its Fox affiliation, WYVN soldiered on as an independent, and briefly attempted a return of local news from January through February 1994.[7][8] The station remained unable to emerge from bankruptcy; the studio and equipment were sold to its creditors April 1, 1994, and they locked out the staff and suspended broadcasting.[6] Paxson Communications acquired the license out of bankruptcy for $1.9 million in late 1994.[9]

The station returned again on September 1, 1996, as WSHE-TV, a Paxson station that aired the company's standard infomercial format, with religious programming in some dayparts. The change was made as a clean break with the troubled history of WYVN, but also to "park" a heritage call sign that Paxson had recently removed from one of its FM stations in Miami (now WMIB).[10] The station changed its call letters to WWPX at the beginning of 1998 and became a charter member of Pax TV along with most of Paxson's other stations on August 31 of that year. It has remained with the network, later known as i: Independent Television and now known as Ion Television, ever since.

WWPX was originally a full affiliate of Pax. In 2002, it converted to a satellite of WPXW. The station could no longer afford its own staff of five master-control operators, and becoming a satellite allowed it to carry only the legal minimum of one manager and one engineer.[11]

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[12]
60.1 720p 16:9 ION Ion
60.2 480i Mystery Court TV Mystery
60.3 CourtTV Court TV
60.4 Laff Laff
60.5 HSN HSN
60.6 QVC QVC

Analog-to-digital conversion

WWPX-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 60, 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 remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 12.[13] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 60, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.

References

  1. ^ Hughes, Dave. "Washington DC/Baltimore Area TV Stations". dcrtv.com. Archived from the original on May 19, 2006. Retrieved May 21, 2006.
  2. ^ "Martinsburg gets new TV station". Frederick News-Post. Associated Press. 2 October 1991. p. D-7.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-10-14. Retrieved 2018-10-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "W.Va. Judge Approves Sale of TV Station to Kentucky Company". Associated Press. 11 October 1993.
  5. ^ "Trustee recommends WYVN-TV sale". Frederick News-Post. Associated Press. 2 September 1993. p. B-2.
  6. ^ a b "Lights out at Martinsburg, W. Va., TV station". Frederick News-Post. Associated Press. 6 April 1994. p. B-7.
  7. ^ "WWPX-TV Facility Data". FCCData.
  8. ^ "West Virginia Station Suspends News Programming". Associated Press. 16 February 1994.
  9. ^ "TV station purchased". Cumberland Times-News. Associated Press. November 29, 1994. p. 2B. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  10. ^ Foreman, David. "inTV Now On TV". Winchester Star. pp. C1, C3. Retrieved February 1, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Greene, Julie (1 February 2002). "Financial woes hit area TV stations". Hagerstown Herald-Mail. Archived from the original on 26 April 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  12. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WWPX". Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
  13. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designation for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.