WFTC

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WFTC / KFTC
WFTC Minneapolis.jpg
WFTC: MinneapolisSaint Paul, Minnesota
KFTC: Bemidji, Minnesota
City of license

WFTC: Minneapolis, Minnesota

KFTC: Bemidji, Minnesota
Branding My29 WFTC
Slogan My Shows Are on My29!
Channels Digital:
WFTC: 29 (UHF)
Virtual: 29 (PSIP)
KFTC: 26 (UHF)
Virtual: 26 (PSIP)
Subchannels 29.1 MyNetworkTV (HD)
9.2 KMSP-TV/Fox (SD)
29.3 Bounce TV (SD)
29.4 Movies! (SD)
Translators see article
Affiliations MyNetworkTV
Owner Fox Television Stations
(Fox Television Stations, Inc.)
First air date WFTC: September 13, 1982
KFTC: June 20, 1999
Call letters' meaning Fox Twin Cities
(for the station's owner, previously for former Fox affiliation)
Sister station(s) KMSP-TV
Former callsigns WFTC:
WFBT (1982–1984)
KITN (1984–1991)
KITN-TV (1991–1994)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
WFTC:
29 (UHF)
(1982–2009)
KFTC:
26 (UHF, 1999–2009)
Digital:
WFTC:
21 (UHF, until 2009)
Former affiliations independent (1982–1988)
Fox (1988–2002)
UPN (2002–2006)
Transmitter power WFTC: 1000 kW
KFTC: 4.5 kW
Height WFTC: 352 m
KFTC: 156 m
Facility ID WFTC: 11913
KFTC: 83714
Transmitter coordinates WFTC:
45°3′29.5″N 93°7′28.2″W / 45.058194°N 93.124500°W / 45.058194; -93.124500
KFTC:
47°28′7.4″N 94°49′24.6″W / 47.468722°N 94.823500°W / 47.468722; -94.823500 (KFTC)
Website www.my29tv.com

WFTC, channel 29, is a MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated television station licensed to Minneapolis, Minnesota, which serves the Minneapolis–Saint Paul television market. The station is owned by the Fox Television Stations subsidiary of the 21st Century Fox, and is the sister station to Fox station KMSP-TV (channel 9). The two stations share studio facilities in Eden Prairie, and a transmission tower in Shoreview. WFTC also rebroadcasts its signal on several low-power stations across Minnesota, and on one full-power satellite station: KFTC (channel 26) in Bemidji, Minnesota.

History

Early history

The station signed on air on September 13, 1982 under the callsign WFBT (for "Family Bible Television"). Channel 29 originally maintained a schedule offering reruns of classic family-oriented series and Christian-based religious programming. On May 6, 1984, the station was sold to the Beverly Hills Hotel Corporation, headed by prominent arbitrageur Ivan Boesky, who changed its call letters to KITN-TV (which although it actually stood for "Independent Twenty-Nine", colloquially meant "Kitten" as in, "The KITN That Roars!"). At that time, it transitioned into a mainstream independent station, airing syndicated programs such as The Beverly Hillbillies, Batman and Star Trek: The Original Series. It also acquired broadcast rights to the NHL's Minnesota North Stars, and as well as University of Minnesota college football games. The following year, BHHC sold the station to Nationwide Communications, the broadcasting subsidiary of Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide Insurance.

As a Fox affiliate

In 1988, KMSP-TV ended its affiliation with Fox, disappointed with the network's weak programming offerings that were bogging down the station's otherwise successful general entertainment lineup. The Fox affiliation moved to channel 29 that and began branding itself as "Fox 29". The station again changed its call sign to WFTC on October 1, 1994 (for "Fox Twin Cities"), with the additional change using the "W" first-letter identifier over the "K", allowed for by its transmitter location on the eastern side of the Mississippi River. Until 1998, it served as the de facto Fox affiliate for almost all of Minnesota; the state's other two markets, Duluth and Rochester, did not have Fox affiliates of their own until KXLT-TV signed on in Rochester in 1998, and KQDS-TV debuted in Duluth one year later. Most areas in western Minnesota received Fox programming from Fargo, North Dakota affiliate KVRR or Sioux Falls, South Dakota's KTTW.

As part of its liquidation of its broadcasting interests, Nationwide Communications sold WFTC to Clear Channel Communications in 1994 (it was the last remaining television station under Nationwide's ownership, the company having sold its other three stations, all of which were affiliated with ABC, to Young Broadcasting the year before). In 2001, Clear Channel sold the station to Fox Television Stations in exchange for KMOL-TV (now WOAI-TV) in San Antonio and KTVX in Salt Lake City. Both stations were acquired by Fox through its purchase of Chris-Craft Industries' broadcast properties, which included then-UPN affiliate KMSP-TV. As soon as its newest duopoly was in place, Fox then switched the affiliations of the two stations on September 8, 2002: Fox programming returned to KMSP, while WFTC affiliated with UPN. Channel 9 had a stronger signal and higher ratings than channel 29.

Switch to MyNetworkTV

On January 24, 2006, CBS Corporation and Time Warner announced that UPN and The WB would shut down and be replaced by a new network that would carry programs from both networks, The CW.12 Despite affiliating with most of CBS Corporation's UPN stations and Tribune Broadcasting's WB stations, Fox's UPN affiliates were not included in the new network. Although The CW did not sign its Twin Cities' affiliate until May 2006 (when KMWB-TV was announced as the network's local affiliate), WFTC joined Fox's other UPN stations in removing all references to the network in their branding and programming the next day, becoming branded as simply "WFTC 29". On February 22, less than a month after the announcement of The CW, Fox announced that it would (in conjunction with its syndication division Twentieth Television) launch a new network called MyNetworkTV, which would use WFTC and Fox's other UPN stations as its charter affiliates.3 On June 2, 2006, WFTC officially changed its branding to "My 29".

Although MyNetworkTV announced its launch date to be September 5, UPN continued to broadcast on stations across the country until September 15, 2006. While some UPN affiliates that switched to MyNetworkTV aired the final two weeks of UPN's programming outside its regular primetime slot, the Fox-owned stations (including WFTC) dropped the network entirely on August 31, 2006. On September 9, 2006, WFTC began carrying the 4Kids TV lineup for the first time since 2002, when the station was a Fox affiliate airing what was then Fox Kids.

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming4
9.2 480i 16:9 KMSP-SD Simulcast of KMSP-TV
29.1 720p WFTC-HD Main WFTC programming / MyNetworkTV
29.3 480i 4:3 BOUNCE Bounce TV
29.4 16:9 MOVIES! Movies! 5

In November 2009, a standard definition simulcast of KMSP was added to WFTC's second subchannel and given a virtual channel number of 9.2. In turn, a standard definition simulcast of WFTC was placed on KMSP's second subchannel and given a virtual channel number of 29.2. This ensures reception of both stations even in cases where the ATSC channel on which KMSP or WFTC operates is not actually receivable.

On August 27, 2012, WFTC began carrying programming from Bounce TV on a new digital subchannel on 29.3, as part of an affiliation deal between the network and Fox Television Stations' MyNetworkTV O&Os.6

Analog-to-digital conversion

On February 5, 2009, WFTC's Bemidji-based satellite station KFTC began broadcasting its signal in digital only. WFTC shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 29, 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 relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 21 to its former analog-era UHF channel 29 for post-transition operations.7 While KFTC (which did not receive a companion digital channel prior to the digital transition) flash-cut to digital on its former analog channel assignment of UHF channel 26.

Programming

Syndicated programs seen on WFTC include The Simpsons, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Judge Alex, Divorce Court, Family Guy, Modern Family, America's Court with Judge Ross, The Wendy Williams Show, Two and a Half Men, The Office, Glee, Cops, Burn Notice, Judge Judy, Bones, The Closer, 30 Rock, The Big Bang Theory, Trisha and Futurama. The station also broadcasts Fox's Saturday morning infomercial block Weekend Marketplace in lieu of KMSP. The station also holds the local over-the-air broadcast rights to basketball games from the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves.

News operation

Clear Channel started a news department for the station shortly before selling the station to Fox. As a Fox affiliate, WFTC launched an hour-long primetime newscast at 9:00 p.m. in 2001, where it faced competition from KMSP's established hour-long news program. After Fox assumed control of the station, the station's news department was integrated with that of KMSP, and its late newscast was moved to 10:00 p.m. and shortened to 30 minutes. Though this move protected new sister station KMSP, WFTC now faced stiff competition from late evening newscasts on KARE, KSTP-TV and WCCO-TV. Channel 29's 10 p.m. newscast was eventually cancelled due to low ratings, airing its final edition on June 30, 2006, the timeslot was then replaced by syndicated programming. The 10:00 news program was then moved to KMSP as part of an expanded late news block. Some members of WFTC's on-air staff were retained by KMSP's news department.

Former on-air staff

  • Tom Halden - weekend anchor (at WFTC until 2005, then at KMSP)
  • Bill Keller - weekend anchor (2005–2006, then at KMSP)
  • Brandon Roux - chief meteorologist (2004–2006)

Translator stations

In addition to KFTC channel 26 in Bemidji, WFTC is rebroadcast on a network of eight translators in central and southern Minnesota. All of them broadcast in digital.

City of license Callsign Channel
Alexandria K30AF-D 30
K48DV-D 48
Frost K29IF-D 29
Jackson K51KT-D 51
Olivia K49AJ-D 49
Red Lake K43MY-D 43
St. James K34JX-D 34
Willmar K50HZ-D 50

References

External links








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