TV Stations Wikia
Advertisement

KWHY-TV, virtual channel 22 (VHF digital channel 4), is a Spanish-language independent television station licensed to Los Angeles, California, United States. The station is owned by Meruelo Broadcasting as part of a duopoly with Garden Grove-licensed Canal de la Fe affiliate KBEH (channel 63); the two stations share channel 4 under a channel sharing agreement. KWHY and KBEH share studios on West Pico Boulevard in the Mid-City section of Los Angeles and transmitter facilities atop Mount Harvard.

KWHY's signal is relayed on two low-power translator stations: K46GF (analog channel 46) in Santa Maria, and K47GD-D (digital channel 47) in San Luis Obispo.

History[]

Early years[]

The UHF channel 22 allocation in Los Angeles was first used for KBIC in 1954 (however, that station had never aired any programming other than a test pattern). In 1962, the station's license changed hands and was relaunched as KIIX, airing a schedule of entirely African American-oriented programming, before it shut down on September 22, 1964. On March 21, 1965, the station returned to the air as general entertainment independent station KPOL-TV, which was co-owned alongside KPOL radio; the station carried a minimal schedule consisting of old movies and syndicated programming. It was sold again in 1966 to the family of Thomas S. Bunn, who changed the station's call letters to KWHY-TV, it became operated by Coast Television Corporation. Together with Quotron, who then provided all brokerage houses with real-time stock market information, launched the first business news service for television (at one time, it grew to a 12-station network, including affiliates in New York City and Chicago). The tickertape was delayed by 15 minutes and airtime was given away to stock brokers while newsreaders "ripped and read" from the newswires. Although KWHY was not profitable, it was a staple in thousands of offices, restaurants and homes each trading day.

The programming format switched to ethnic programs in the afternoon and evening hours, notably in Korean, Japanese and Chinese. Local broadcast personality Dick "Huggy Boy" Hugg, hosted his own dance program, The Huggy Boy Show, which aired weekly on the station. The show was noted for its prominence in Southern California Chicano culture.

In 1978, KWHY-TV received the first subscription television license in the United States from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and soon thereafter replaced much of the ethnic programming with the pay-TV service SelecTV. In 1982, Coast Television Corporation sold the station to Harriscope of Los Angeles, Inc. KWHY-TV took the business news programming through a number of facelifts and distribution expansions. In the 1980s, as cable television's reach expanded beyond Los Angeles and Quotron's technology became obsolete, the business news format was reinvented. A complete graphical overhaul was made, creating the first multi-element screen. This showed all of the stock and commodity indexes, two rows of stock ticker tapes and over-the-shoulder real-time pricing information. Meanwhile, an anchor read the news live. The service was renamed "The Business Channel". At the same time, KWHY faced competition from KSCI (channel 18), an affiliate of the Financial News Network. During this time, KWHY became the first station in the country with an automated commercial playback machine, and the first to utilize computer animation from an optical disc player.

Early years as KBIC-TV, KIIX and KPOL-TV[]

On June 19, 1952, John Poole, owner of radio station KBIG (740 AM), filed for a construction permit for a new television station on channel 22 in Los Angeles, which was granted as KPIK on December 20, 1952. It was stated in February that KPIK would debut that fall. Poole announced that the facility, with an effective radiated power of 540,000 watts, would be the most powerful in the country. Construction began in March on a new facility atop Mount Wilson which was proposed to house the UHF television stations proposed for channels 22, 28 and 34 in Los Angeles. The call letters were changed to KBIC-TV, previously housed on the Poole construction permit for channel 46 at Sacramento, on November 10, 1953. KBIC-TV did transmit a test image in 1954, but it never entered program service.

The channel 22 construction permit languished until it was sold in 1962 to the Central Broadcasting Corporation of California for $180,000; the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the sale in January 1963. On January 25, 1963, the call letters were changed to KIIX (pronounced "kicks"), which proceeded to announce that it would aim its programming at the African American community, as the second station of its kind after WOOK-TV in Washington, D.C. Central established studios at 2330 W. Washington Blvd., a former car dealership where the showroom floor became a studio, and set a program schedule of seven hours a day including kids, teenage and news shows. On March 25, KIIX at last entered program service, more than a decade after the original grant of the construction permit to Poole and 20 days after WOOK-TV launched. 30-year-old Larry McCormick, who had held down morning drive at KGFJ (1230 AM), worked at channel 22, hosting "KIIXville", a daily music hour; Los Angeles Rams players Dick Bass and Pervis Atkins covered sports. Three quarters of the station's staff was black.

KIIX had an ambitious start, but it showed signs of financial distress within months. On August 1, it axed much of its live programming and fired 35 staff, a significant change for a station that once produced all but 30 minutes of its six-hour broadcast day live; instead, KIIX would run two hours of films a day to maintain its license. Los Angeles fire commissioner Fred Kline urged the city council to buy KIIX, valued at $485,000 in mostly equipment, for use as an emergency broadcast outlet and even to broadcast criminal lineups instead of having victims drive to police headquarters. Relief would not come until 1964, when the Coast Television Broadcasting Corporation, sister to the Coast Radio Broadcasting Corporation and its KPOL (1540 AM), acquired the station for a total of $205,000 in cash consideration and assumption of notes.

After being off the air since September 1964, channel 22 returned under its new ownership March 29, 1965—delayed from a planned March 1 start—as KPOL-TV, primarily broadcasting older filmed programming; the station was notable for running a limited commercial inventory, with breaks every 15 minutes during movies and no tobacco or alcohol advertising.

Becoming KWHY-TV[]

The Capital Cities Broadcasting Company acquired KPOL radio and television in 1966 and immediately spun off the television station to Coast stockholders, including KPOL general manager Frederick Custer and channel 22 program director Robertson Scott, for $400,000. The call letters were changed to KWHY-TV on August 15. On November 14, channel 22 would debut a program that would become a fixture for 35 years: an eight-hour program of stock market coverage, from the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange to the closing bell of the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange. Prior to the launch of the stock market program, the station was not broadcasting during the day. By 1969, The Stock Market Observer, produced by Scantlin Electronics of Los Angeles, aired in four cities. On weeknights, channel 22 showed Spanish-language fare, and weekends included shows in Korean, Japanese and Chinese.

Coast reached a deal to sell KWHY-TV to Zenith Electronics in 1971; channel 22 would have served as the Los Angeles-area outlet for its Phonevision pay television system. The sale application was dismissed the next year.

While Zenith's bid to use channel 22 for subscription television had fallen through, another operator would succeed in July 1978. SelecTV, owned by American Subscription Television, launched with a model whereby subscribers paid per program viewed. This differentiated it from competing ON TV, where subscribers paid a flat fee. By November, SelecTV had signed up 5,000 subscribers. Additionally, KWHY-TV increased its effective radiated power from 107,000 watts to 2.57 million.

In 1981, Burt Harris of Harriscope and SelecTV teamed up to buy KWHY-TV from Coast Television for $5.3 million; SelecTV opted to exercise an option to buy channel 22 after Coast continually opposed the airing of R-rated movies by SelecTV. KWHY-TV took the business news programming through a number of facelifts and distribution expansions. In the 1980s, as cable television's reach expanded beyond Los Angeles, the business news format was reinvented. A complete graphical overhaul was made, creating the first multi-element screen. This showed all of the stock and commodity indexes, two rows of stock ticker tapes and over-the-shoulder real-time pricing information; meanwhile, an anchor read the news live. The service was renamed "The Business Channel". During this time, KWHY became the first station in the country with an automated commercial playback machine, and the first to utilize computer animation from an optical disc player.

SelecTV continued to broadcast, even as subscriber numbers for subscription television dwindled. When ON TV folded in Los Angeles, SelecTV acquired its subscribers. SelecTV was acquired by Telstar in January 1987. Continued erosion of the service's subscriber base led KWHY to start preparing a transition to Spanish-language programming during prime time. SelecTV ceased operating over KWHY after more than a decade of operations on March 31, 1989, having reached a deal to conclude the month after going into bankruptcy; one night, KWHY did not air SelecTV because the station had not been paid.

Transition to Spanish[]

In May 1991, FNN went off the air (merging with upstart cable business news channel CNBC). In the meantime, as local stations received FCC protection with must-carry rules, the brand changed to "22 Business News", and then "Business News 22" (or "BN 22", for short). And finally, with the internet, it became "BizNews 1" and was streamed on the internet on BizNews1.com, and broadcast over KJLA (channel 57) as KWHY went to Spanish language programming full-time; sometime in 2001, KJLA discontinued the service.

The growth of cable television and premium services such as HBO caused over-the-air subscription services to lose audiences; SelecTV cut back its hours in 1984. Infomercials filled much of the schedule, including one which featured live broadcasts from car dealerships. In 1984, KWHY launched Video 22, a three-hour rock video show seen on weekday afternoons, which promoted itself under the slogan "We cook for 3 hours before dinner." The show used the first Macintosh computers to inventory the playlists; the program used a stop-motion animated mascot named Video Joe. Video 22 was cancelled when SelecTV merged with competitor ONTV and expanded its programming hours; SelecTV shut down in 1989. KWHY sold its non-business news airtime to Univisa, a division of Televisa, who owned the Spanish-language cable channel Galavision. In 1991, Televisa became part-owner of Univision (owner of KMEX-TV, channel 34); that year, KWHY-TV became the first Spanish-language independent station in the United States. The mix of classic movies, game shows and newscasts gained one of the biggest Spanish-language television audiences in the area.

In 2001, following the FCC's decision to allow duopolies (the ownership of two television stations in a single market by one company), Telemundo (which already owned its West Coast flagship, KVEA, channel 52) purchased KWHY; however, it continued to operate it as an independent. After NBC purchased Telemundo in 2002, KVEA and KWHY's operations were integrated with NBC owned-and-operated station KNBC (channel 4) at the NBC Studios complex (now The Burbank Studios) in Burbank. NBC Universal (the company that was created through Vivendi Universal's purchase of NBC in 2003) was temporarily allowed to own three stations in the Los Angeles market, while FCC regulations limit ownership to two. KWHY and KVEA were a duopoly before NBC/Telemundo merged and were allowed to remain co-owned by the FCC pending a decision on the ownership caps.

In addition to its two existing translators, KWHY operated a third repeater, KWHY-LP in Santa Barbara, also on channel 22 (formerly on UHF channel 65); that repeater's transmitter facilities were destroyed by the Montecito Tea Fire on November 14, 2008; the license was surrendered a year later. KWHY-TV also provided much of the programming to San Diego Spanish independent station KBOP-CA; what is now KSEX-CD now operates independently from KWHY. The station also aired on K53GF (channel 53; formerly K67FE on channel 67) in Phoenix, Arizona in the late 1990s and early 2000s; as with the San Diego station, what is now K38IZ-D (channel 38) now operates separately.

On September 9, 2007, NBC Universal announced it would place KWHY and its San Juan, Puerto Rico sister station WKAQ-TV up for sale; this came after NBCU's acquisition of Oxygen Media. The stations were taken off the sale market just over three months later on December 21, 2007.

On May 7, 2010, NBC Universal reportedly planned to sell KWHY due to its pending merger with Comcast. NBC Universal and Comcast had been hoping that the FCC would ease its media ownership rules and allow them to own three stations in major markets, but after the FCC's first bid to do so was overturned in court, the agency has taken no further steps in that direction. On January 26, 2011, NBCU announced that it would sell KWHY-TV to locally based investment firm The Meruelo Group. The deal was approved by the FCC in April, and officially closed on July 6, 2011.

As a MundoFox/MundoMax affiliate[]

On August 13, 2012, the station became a charter affiliate of MundoFox and effectively serves as the network's flagship station. The station also intends to expand its local news programming. In addition, non-network programming, along with the station's classic television program inventory subsequently moved to a new digital subchannel that launched the same day under the branding Super 22.2.

On July 27, 2015, the station rebranded as MundoMax 22, in accordance with the network rebranding. A month later, on August 31, Meruelo announced that RCN Television, which owns MundoMax, would take over KWHY-TV's sales and marketing as of September 1; RCN also simultaneously took over the operations of the network's Houston affiliate, KUVM-CD, through a similar arrangement.

Return to independence[]

On December 1, 2016, following the demise of MundoMax, KWHY-TV began programming a Spanish-language independent format on the station's primary channel. KWHY began to run a broad mix of Spanish language music and entertainment programming (such as ¡Ah qué Kiko!, Cuanto Cuesta el Show, Sala de Justicia, Fiesta de Comediantes, Cine Mexicano, Cine a la Cama and Cineteca 22, among others); it also started airing local Spanish-language newscasts produced in Monterrey, Mexico by Milenio Television branded as Noticias 22 Milenio, later shortened to Milenio Noticias, as well as national broadcasts from Milenio Television. It is expected at a future date, KWHY-DT2 will shift from Universal Church to Retro TV programming.

On January 1, 2022, KWHY-TV started carrying Azteca América on digital subchannel 22.2 after the network affiliation ended with KJLA.

News operation[]

By August 2015, KWHY-TV broadcast five hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with one hour each on weekdays; the station did not broadcast any local newscasts on Saturdays or Sundays). In addition, the station produced the news and lifestyle program Viva el 22, which airs weekday mornings at 8 a.m. KWHY was the first station in Los Angeles to utilize news anchor-operated TelePrompters for newscasts, and the first to use a news-oriented non-linear editing system (operated by Grass Valley). Following the August 31, 2015 announcement that RCN Television would take over KWHY's operations, the station's newscasts were immediately canceled and the news operation was closed down (RCN had also discontinued MundoFox/MundoMax's national news operation after acquiring full control of the network in July). The station's lead anchor, Palmira Pérez (who was one of five station staffers retained by RCN), was reassigned to anchor one-minute local and national news updates during MundoMax programming.

The station resumed airing news programming on March 13, 2017, carrying newscasts outsourced from Grupo Multimedios networks in Monterrey, Mexico, including Milenio Televisión and Multimedios Televisión's Telediario division. A newscast made for KWHY is taped between 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time from the Telediario set. The newscasts are anchored by the afternoon Telediario anchor team of Priscila Cantú and Miguel Karcz, and air weekdays at 7 p.m (1 hour) and 10 p.m. (35 minutes). The weekend edition of the newscast also airs at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. and is anchored by Pedro Gamboa.

The network also airs three editions of Milenio Noticias throughout the day and one on weekends, all on tape delay:

Weekdays[]

  • Milenio Noticias con Samuel Cuervo y Aliz Vera at 11 a.m.
  • Milenio Noticias con Victoria Torres y Luis Carlos Ortiz at 3 p.m.
  • Milenio Noticias con Sergio Gomez at 10:35 p.m.

Weekends[]

  • Milenio Noticias con Mario Castillo y Zyntia Vanegas at 10:30 p.m.

Technical information[]

Subchannels[]

For other channels on this multiplex, see KBEH § Subchannels.

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Subchannels of KWHY-TV
Channel Video Aspect Short Name Programming
22.1 1080i 16:9 KWHY-HD Main KWHY-TV programming
22.2 720p KWHY-D2 Main KWHY-DT2 programming / Azteca America
22.3 480i 4:3 JerusTV Spanish Infomercials (Jerusalem TV)
22.4 VICTORY [Blank]
22.5 MAJ TV
22.6 HAI LE
22.7 ASIAN
22.8 Jerus 2

Former Subchannels[]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Former Subchannels of KWHY-TV
Channel Video Aspect Short Name Programming
22.1 720p 16:9 KWHY-HD Main KWHY-TV programming
22.2 480i 4:3 EEE EEE Network
22.3 JerusTV Spanish Infomercials (Jerusalem TV)
22.4 VICTORY Spanish Infomercials
22.5 MAJ TV EEE Network
22.6 HAI LE [Blank]
22.7 ASIAN Spanish Infomercials
22.8 Jerus 2 [Blank]

Analog-to-digital conversion[]

KWHY-TV became the first UHF station in the market to sign-on a high definition digital signal in 2001. the station shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 22, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 42, using PSIP to display KWHY-TV's virtual channel as 22 on digital television receivers.

Translators and repeaters[]

KWHY over the years has operated several translator facilities in southern California and beyond.

In Santa Barbara, the station owned KWHY-LP channel 22 (formerly on UHF channel 65); that repeater's transmitter facilities were destroyed by the Montecito Tea Fire on November 14, 2008, and the license was surrendered a year later. K46GF in Santa Maria and K47GD-D in San Luis Obispo were surrendered for cancellation on January 9, 2019.

KWHY-TV also provided much of the programming to San Diego Spanish independent station KBOP-CA; what became KSEX-CD later operated independently from KWHY before closing in 2017. The station also aired on K53GF (channel 53; formerly K67FE on channel 67) in Phoenix, Arizona in the late 1990s and early 2000s; as with the San Diego station, what is now K14RK-D now operates separately.

TV stations in California
Azteca América UniMás Telemundo Univision Other stations
KMSG-LD2, Fresno KBTF-CD/KTFB-CA, Bakersfield KKEY-LP, Bakersfield KVER-CD, Indio KVMM-CD, Santa Barbara KVMD, Twentynine Palms KCBT-LD, Bakersfield KZMM-CD, Fresno
KVYE-DT2, El Centro KEVC-CD, Indio KUNA-LD, Indio KVYE, El Centro KSDX-LD, San Diego KWHY, Los Angeles
XHAS-TDT, Tijuana/San Diego KKTF-LD, Chico KMUV-LD, Monterey KDTV-DT/KDTV-CD, San Francisco/Santa Rosa KGMC, Merced
KRHT-LD, Redding KDJT-CD, Monterey KNVN-DT2, Chico KBNT-CD, San Diego KQCA-DT3, Stockton
KSBO-CD, San Luis Obispo KTSB-CD, Santa Maria KCSO-LD/KMUM-CD/KMMW-LD, Sacramento/Stockton KUVS-DT/KEZT-CD, Modesto/Sacramento KRCA, Riverside
KBBV-CD, Bakersfield KFTR-DT, Ontario KTAS, San Luis Obispo KFTV-DT, Hanford
KMCE-LD, Monterey KDTF-LD, San Diego KSTS, San Jose KUCO-LD, Chico
KSAO-LD, Sacramento KAJB, Calipatria KUAN-LD, Poway KEUV-LD, Eureka
KEMO, San Francisco KTFF-DT/KTFF-LD, Porterville/Fresno KNSO, Clovis KMEX-DT, Los Angeles
KWHY-DT2, Los Angeles KTFK-DT, Stockton KVEA, Corona KPMR, Santa Barbara
KFSF-DT, Vallejo KABE-CD, Bakersfield
KSMS, Monterey
TV stations in Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange County, and portions of the Inland Empire
KCBS 2 (CBS)
KNBC 4 (NBC)
KTLA 5 (CW)
KHTV-CD 6 (MeTV+)
KABC 7 (ABC)
KFLA-LD 8 (NEWSNET)
KCAL 9 (Ind)
KIIO-LD 10 (IND)
KTTV 11 (FOX)
KTBV-LD 12 (Ind)
KCOP 13 (MNTV)
KPOM-CD 14 (Story)
KSCI 18 (Ind)
KNLA-CD 20 (SBN)
KVME 20 (H&I)
KWHY 22 (Ind)
KVCR 24 (PBS)
KVHD-LD 26 (EVINE)
KSFV-CD 27 (JTV)
KCET 28 (ETV)
KPXN 30 (Ion)
KVMD 31 (LATV)
KCIO-LD 33 (IND)
KMEX-DT 34 (UNI)
KTAV-LD 35 (ALMA)
K36JH-D 36 (TVA)
KHIZ-LD 39 (COURT)
KTBN 40 (TBN)
KXLA 44 (Ind)
KFTR-DT 46 (UnM)
KOCE 50 (PBS)
KVEA 52 (TLM)
KAZA 54 (MeTV)
KDOC 56 (Ind)
KJLA 57 (Ind)
KLCS 58 (PBS)
KRCA 62 (ESTRELA)
KBEH 63 (Rel)
KILM 64 (BOUNCE)
KEDD-LD 69 (HSN)
Advertisement