WBXX-TV is a CW-affiliated television station serving Knoxville, Tennessee, United States that is licensed to Crossville. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on virtual and UHF channel 20 from a transmitter at Windrock, Buffalo Mountain outside Oliver Springs, Tennessee. Owned by Gray Television, WBXX is part of a duopoly with Knoxville-licensed CBS affiliate WVLT-TV (channel 8); the two stations share studios on Papermill Drive (near I-40/I-75) on the city's westside.
On cable, WBXX is available on Charter Spectrum channel 12, as well as Comcast Xfinity and WOW! channel 7, and AT&T U-Verse channel 20.
History[edit | edit source]
WBXX began operation as independent WCPT-TV on analog Channel 55 (716–722 MHz) beginning October 3, 1976 from a tower site on Haley Mountain (Renegade Resort) in Cumberland County, Tennessee. It was owned 100% by Edward M. Johnson, who also owned 49% of WSCV-AM, Crossville. Johnson sold the station on February 27, 1979 and it left the air in 1983.
Later in 1983, new owners John A. Cunningham, Larry Davidson and James C. Thompson, d/b/a Crossville TV LP, relaunched the station on analog Channel 20 (506–512 MHz) as WINT-TV from a transmitter site on Wells Road, south of downtown Crossville.
In 1997, Crossville TV LP sold the license to ACME Communications, which applied for full power status and moved the transmitter site to Windrock, an outcropping on Buffalo Mountain along the Cumberland Plateau above Oliver Springs, Tennessee. The designation for full power required the station to be licensed to Crossville–Knoxville, which it carries today. At the time, ACME also launched KWBQ in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but its construction permit originally belonged to another entity.
Based on its new affiliation with The WB at its relaunch, the call letters were changed to WBXX ("WB" from the network, "XX" the Roman numeral for 20). The station also ran select UPN programming during 2001 and 2002 as that network did not have a Knoxville affiliate at the time.
WBXX was consistently one of the highest-rated WB stations in the country, and was recognized as such by The WB network. After being known as "WB20" since signing on, WBXX rebranded as "East Tennessee's WB" in September 2003. When the station took affiliation with The CW, it was renamed "East Tennessee's CW." WBXX rebranded again, to "CW20", in August 2008.
WBXX is the only full-powered Knoxville-market station to be licensed in a city in the Central Time Zone; Cumberland County (where Crossville is located) and Fentress County are the only two counties in the Knoxville market that observe Central Time, one hour earlier than Knoxville, in Eastern Time. However, while CW network programming is promoted with both Eastern and Central Time listings, WBXX local programming is promoted with only Eastern Time listings.
In February 2011, ACME Communications announced a deal to sell the station to Virginia-based Lockwood Broadcast Group. The sale was approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on March 21 with the consummation being completed on May 6. From 1998 until 2004, the station aired a series of interstitials during children's programming called WB 20 Kids Club (later Dubba Clubba) hosted by comedian Jackson Bailey (known as "Joe Cool"). The interstitials featured information and contests to viewers in several vignettes each weekday covering topics such as science, biology, conservation, music, and pet care.
Since September 2015, WBXX has broadcast Atlantic Coast Conference football and men's basketball games syndicated from the Raycom Sports-operated ACC Network, some of which were shared with the main channel of CBS affiliate WVLT-TV. Those games were previously broadcast on MyNetworkTV affiliate WVLT-DT2 from 2009 until the end of the 2014–2015 season.
On October 1, 2015, Gray Television announced that it would acquire WBXX-TV from Lockwood. The purchase was made as part of Gray's acquisition of the broadcasting assets of Schurz Communications; as part of the deal, Lockwood received KAKE in Wichita, Kansas (which Gray put up for sale following the deal with Schurz) and paid $11.2 million to Gray. Gray (through WVLT-TV, Inc.) took the operations of the station via Local Marketing Agreement. The sale was completed on February 1, 2016.
|TV stations in Tennessee|
|TV stations in East Tennessee, including Knoxville|
|WATE 6 (ABC) |
WKNX 7 (Ind)
WVLT 8 (CBS)
WBIR 10 (NBC)
W14CX-D 14 (3ABN)
WKOP 15 (PBS)
WBXX 20 (CW)
WDTT-LD 24 (Daystar)
WTNZ 43 (Fox)
WAGV 44 (Ind)
W45DF-D 45 (HSN)
WVLR 48 (CTN)
WPXK 54 (Ion)