BrandingFox WZAW
FoundedMay 27, 2015 (2015-05-27)[citation needed]
First air date
July 1, 2015 (8 years ago) (2015-07-01)
Former channel number(s)
  • Digital: 31 (UHF, 2015−2016)
  • Virtual: 55 (2015−2016)
Call sign meaning
disambiguation of WSAW ("Z" added in honor of former news director Mark Zelich)
Technical information[1]
Licensing authority
Facility ID183262
ERP15 kW
HAAT313 m (1,027 ft)
Transmitter coordinates45°3′22″N 89°27′54″W / 45.05611°N 89.46500°W / 45.05611; -89.46500
Public license information

WZAW-LD (channel 33) is a low-power television station in Wausau, Wisconsin, United States, affiliated with the Fox network. It is owned by Gray Television alongside CBS affiliate WSAW-TV (channel 7). The two stations share studios on Grand Avenue/US 51 in Wausau; WZAW-LD's transmitter is located northeast of Nutterville in unincorporated Marathon County.


Since WZAW transmits at low-power, its signal does not reach Rhinelander or other areas to the north and east (such as Eagle River and Crandon), which would have caused complications, especially for Fox's broadcasts of NFL games, including games of the Green Bay Packers. Therefore, the station is simulcast on WSAW's third digital subchannel in 720p high definition to increase its over-the-air broadcasting radius. This signal broadcasts on channel 7.3 from a transmitter on Rib Mountain. It is also seen on WSAW's Sayner translator, W21DS-D3, which also maps to channel 7.3.


On July 1, 2015, Gray bought the non-license assets of the market's previous Fox affiliate WFXS-DT (owned by Davis Television, LLC). Due to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ownership restrictions, Gray established this new low-power station to become the new Fox affiliate. All of WFXS' program streams including its existing virtual channel numbering was then moved to WZAW. Subsequently, WFXS ceased broadcasting after nearly sixteen years on-the-air and its studios on North 3rd Street in Wausau were shut down.[2][3]

In consenting to the interference that would be caused by WZAW operating under special temporary authority on channel 31 (the same RF channel as WFXS) rather than its licensed channel 33, Davis Television stated that it would return the WFXS license to the FCC for cancellation following the sale.[4] In August 2015, WSAW launched a prime time newscast on this Fox outlet known as WZAW News at 9. The half-hour broadcast offers direct competition to WAOW's thirty-minute, weeknight-only news airing at the same time on its Decades (TV network) (formerly CW) digital subchannel.

In September 2016, WZAW moved from virtual channel 55 and RF channel 31 to RF and virtual channel 33. In 2017, its simulcast on WSAW-DT3 was upgraded to high definition to provide full-market access to Fox programming in HD.


The station's signal is multiplexed:

Subchannels of WZAW-LD[5]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
33.1 720p 16:9 WZAW-HD Fox
33.2 480i MeTV MeTV
33.3 MOVIES Movies!
33.4 Heroes & Icons
33.5 Start TV
34.10 720p CW CW+

Nearby channel WRJT-LD, which also broadcasts on subchannels of 34, is not affiliated with WZAW or Gray Television.


  1. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WZAW-LD". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  2. ^ "Gray in 4 New Deals, Closes 3 Earlier Ones". TVNewsCheck. July 1, 2015. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  3. ^ "Gray Television Acquires Local FOX Affiliation". Archived from the original on January 15, 2019. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  4. ^ Raff, Robert (June 9, 2015). "Interference Consent" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  5. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WZAW". RabbitEars.info.