|Fort Pierce/West Palm Beach, Florida|
|Branding||The CW West Palm
My 15 WTCN-TV (on DT3)
|Channels||Digital: 34 (UHF)
Virtual: 34 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||34.1 The CW
34.2 Azteca América
|Owner||Sinclair Broadcast Group
(WTVX Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||April 5, 1962|
|Call letters' meaning||disambiguation of WTVJ (which WTVX replaced
|Sister station(s)||WPEC, WTCN-CA, WWHB-CA|
|Former channel number(s)||34 (UHF analog, 1962-2009)
50 (UHF digital)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1962, 1989-1993)
The WB (secondary, 2001-2005)
RTV (on DT4)
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
WTVX is the CW-affiliated television station for the Gold and Treasure Coasts of South Florida licensed to Fort Pierce. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 34 from a transmitter in unincorporated Martin County southwest of I-95. The station can also be seen on Comcast channel 4 and in high definition on digital channel 435. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, it is sister to CBS affiliate WPEC, Class A MyNetworkTV affiliate WTCN-CA, and Class A Azteca América affiliate WWHB-CA.
Both of the Class A outlets and WTVX share studios on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard in West Palm Beach while WPEC maintains a separate facility on Fairfield Drive in Mangonia Park (with a West Palm Beach postal address). Syndicated programming on this station includes Two and a Half Men, The King of Queens, Judge Judy, and 30 Rock among others.
WTVX began operations as an Independent station on April 5, 1962 and soon after became a CBS affiliate. Airing an analog signal on UHF channel 34, it was the market's third television outlet to sign-on after WPTV-TV and WPEC. Despite its call sign, the station was never owned by the TVX Broadcast Group which coincidentally was a predecessor to former owner Paramount Stations Group now called CBS Television Stations.
WTVX was originally owned by Indian River Television and based out of a small building along U.S. 1 just south of the St. Lucie and Indian River County line. Prior to the station becoming a CBS affiliate, the network was seen through Miami's WTVJ. Even after WTVX signed-on, its UHF signal was not nearly as powerful as WTVJ's VHF transmission and the latter continued to be recognized as the CBS affiliate for the Palm Beaches.
It would not be until the 1980s when cable penetration allowed WTVX to gain a Palm Beach audience. In 1987, NBC bought WTVJ after which CBS needed a new Miami affiliate and purchased WCIX which had a Grade B signal in Fort Lauderdale. Meanwhile, West Palm Beach stations WPTV and WPEC had Grade A signals there forcing CBS to switch its West Palm Beach affiliate on January 1, 1989 to WPEC. As ABC decided to go from WPEC to new sign-on WPBF, WTVX was forced to become an Independent once again.
During the daypart the station showed movies, drama shows, and talk shows. By the summer of 1989, it became more of a traditional Independent station with sitcoms and cartoons being added to its schedule. Most of WTVX's shows were to have originally aired on WPBF before that station made the decision to affiliate with ABC. In 1990, WTVX was sold to Krypton Broadcasting. Krypton Broadcasting filed for bankruptcy in 1993, and the station was acquired by Whitehead Media at auction in 1994. Whitehead Media then entered into a local marketing agreement (LMA) with Paxson Communications, then owner of WPBF.
In 1995, Paramount/Viacom joined with Chris Craft/United Television to form the United Paramount Network (UPN). WTVX immediately became an affiliate of this new network. When WPBF was sold to the Hearst Corporation in early 1997, Viacom's Paramount Stations Group acquired WTVX; however, since at the time the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) did not permit one entity to directly own two television stations in adjacent markets whose city-grade signals overlapped, the license and other FCC assets of WTVX were sold to Straightline Communications, with Miami's then-UPN station WBFS-TV taking over the LMA from Paxson. (A similar arrangement existed in New England, where Straightline Communications acquired the FCC assets of WLWC in New Bedford, Massachusetts, with Viacom's Boston station WSBK-TV operating that station through a similar LMA.)
By the late-1990s, it had started to move away from cartoons, such as Pokémon, RoboCop: Alpha Commando, The Wacky World of Tex Avery, Sailor Moon, Pocket Dragon Adventures, The Mask, Mummies Alive!, Skysurfer Strike Force, Extreme Ghostbusters, Jumanji, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, Extreme Dinosaurs, Mighty Max, Monster Rancher and sitcoms, such as Full House, I Love Lucy, The Nanny, Mad About You, Roseanne, Family Matters, NewsRadio, and All in the Family adding more talk/reality and court shows, such as Judge Joe Brown, Judge Judy, Divorce Court. In the early-2000s, WTVX started to carry The WB on a secondary basis. Programming from that network, such as 7th Heaven aired after UPN prime time. The station soon rebranded from "UPN 34" to "TVX 34" which was based on its call letters. Viacom bought WTVX and WLWC outright in late 2001. In the fall of 2005, WTCN-CA (then a little-known community access channel) became the area's new WB affiliate after Viacom's acquisition of that station. As a result, WTVX reverted to solely being a UPN station and returned to the "UPN 34" branding.
On January 24, 2006, Time Warner and CBS announced the WB and UPN networks would end broadcasting and merge to form The CW, effective in September 2006. On February 22, News Corporation announced it would start up another new network called MyNetworkTV. This new service, which would be a sister network to Fox, would be operated by Fox Television Stations and its syndication division Twentieth Television. MyNetworkTV was created in order to give UPN and WB stations, not mentioned as becoming CW affiliates, another option besides becoming Independent.
WTVX was announced as becoming the area's affiliate of the new network because it was at the time owned by CBS. Even without the corporate deal, its full-powered status made it a forgone conclusion that the station would join The CW as network officials were on record as saying they preferred the stronger WB or UPN outlet to be affiliated with the new programming service. This left WTCN to either revert to an Independent station or join MyNetworkTV. It chose the latter option and became part of the other new programming service on September 5 while WTVX officially launched The CW on September 18. On February 7, 2007, CBS agreed to sell seven of its smaller-market stations to Cerberus Capital Management (including WTVX, WTCN, WWHB and WLWC) for $185 million. Cerberus formed a new holding company for the stations, Four Points Media Group, which took over the operation of the stations through local marketing agreements in late-June 2007 until the group deal closed on January 10, 2008.
Until the sale to Four Points, WTVX was one of three former CBS affiliates that later became CW stations that were owned by CBS. The other two are KSTW in Seattle/Tacoma, Washington and WPCW in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania both of which are still owned by the network. During CBS ownership, master control and some other internal operations of WTVX, WTCN, and WWHB were based at WFOR-TV's studios in Doral. As of February 2008, these three stations were operated from Four Points' hub facilities at KUTV in Salt Lake City, Utah. On September 8, 2011, the Sinclair Broadcast Group announced its intent to purchase Four Points from Cerberus Capital Management for $200 million. The former company began managing the stations (including WTVX, WTCN, WWHB and WLWC) under local marketing agreements following antitrust approval by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).1
Sinclair subsequently announced the acquisition of the television station division of Freedom Communications (owner of WPEC) which resulted in WTVX becoming a sister station to the CBS affiliate.2 The deal with Sinclair acquiring Four Points was completed on January 3, 2012.3 The station transmitted on UHF channel 50 during the DTV transition but switched to broadcasting digital television exclusively on channel 34 before the June 12 cut-off date. WTVX added the Retro Television Network (RTV) on its fourth digital subchannel and Comcast digital channel 225. This would subsequently be dropped in favor of LATV on June 29, 2010.4 WHDT became the area's RTV affiliate several months later.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||PISP Short Name||Video||Aspect||Programming|
|34.1||WTVX-HD||1080i||16:9||Main WTVX programming / The CW|
|34.2||WWHB||480i||4:3||Simulcast of WWHB-CA|
|34.3||WTCN||Simulcast of WTCN-CA|
As a CBS affiliate, WTVX operated a local news department from its main studios in Fort Pierce and maintained newsrooms in Stuart and West Palm Beach. Soon after the loss of the affiliation, it began to phase out its newscasts eventually ceasing them completely by the summer of 1989. At one point as a CW affiliate, the station aired short news updates under the title CW News Now on its website. In the summer of 2008, WTVX established its second local news department and debuted CW West Palm News at 10 on August 4. This production initially aired seven nights a week for 35 minutes and in high definition starting on September 15. As its first news broadcast to air in nearly twenty years, it competed with the well-established nightly prime time newscast on Fox affiliate WFLX (then produced by WPEC). As was the case with that station, WTVX's show also rated in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale market where it competed with similar newscasts on WSVN and WBFS-TV.
At some point in time, the Saturday night broadcast was dropped for an unknown reason. On March 2, 2009, WTVX moved its weeknight newscast to 6:30 in order to offer a local alternative to the national news programs airing on the area's big three stations. On June 8, 2009, the station discontinued the newscast altogether due to low ratings and inconsistent viewership. Throughout its life, WTVX's newscast was produced by owner Four Points Media Group in conjunction with sister station KUTV. The broadcast originated from a secondary set at that station's studios on Main Street in Downtown Salt Lake City. The station's studios in West Palm Beach functioned as a news bureau with two local reporters providing content.
Currently on weekdays, the station airs the second hour (from 7 until 8) of the nationally syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz. With WTVX and WPEC now sister stations, it remains to be seen if the CBS affiliate will produce local newscasts on this outlet in order to compete with WFLX (which now has local news produced by WPTV). WTVX, WTCN, and WWHB have yet to have their physical operations consolidated with WPEC. On September 7, 2013, WPEC canceled it's 7:00 p.m. weeknight newscast and canceled it's Saturday newscast at 7:00 the next day, to later move it to a weeknight-only primetime newscast at 10:00 p.m. on WTVX that will debut in January 2014. This will be WTVX's third showing of local news of any kind. 5
- X-34 News (1962-1980)
- News Source 34 (1980-1984)
- WTVX News (1984-1989)
- CW West Palm News at 10 (2008-2009)
- CW West Palm News at 6:30 (2009)
- "I Got To Know 'Em!" (1974-1986)
- "The Spirit of the Treasure Coast" (1986-1992)
- "Good Time TV!" (2002-2006)
- "Free to be CW" (2006-2007, used to promote switch to The CW)
- "All Your News in Half the Time" (2008-2009)
- CBS 12 News at 10:00 on The CW West Palm (weeknights from 10:00-10:30 p.m. starting in January 2014)
- Ben Becker - news anchor
- Stephanie Watson - news anchor
- John Matthews (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seal of Approval) - CBS 12 StormTrac Weather's Chief Meteorologist
- Matt Lincoln - sports director
- Sinclair Buys Four Points Media For $200M, TVNewsCheck, September 8, 2011.
- Colman, Price (November 2, 2011). "Sinclair Buying Freedom For $385 Million". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
- "Sinclair Closes Four Points Media Acquisition". TVNewsCheck. January 3, 2012. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
- "Nexstar/Four Points fired up to add 4th network in West Palm". Television Business Report. June 24, 2010. Retrieved June 25, 2010.
- WPEC To Move 7:00 p.m. Newscast, Replace It with 'Entertainment Tonight' TVSpy, August 13, 2013.