WDPN-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 2, is a MeTV-affiliated television station serving Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States that is licensed to Wilmington, Delaware. The station is owned by Maranatha Broadcasting Company as part of a duopoly with Allentown-licensed independent station WFMZ-TV (channel 69). WDPN's transmitter is located at the antenna farm in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia.
History[edit | edit source]
WDPN-TV's origins lie in a construction permit granted to Ambassador Media in 1988 for a Jackson, Wyoming satellite station of its ABC affiliate in Pocatello, Idaho, KPVI. The new station, which signed on January 9, 1991 as KJVI, served as a semi-satellite of KPVI for the Wyoming side of the Idaho Falls–Pocatello market, airing separate commercials. KPVI and KJVI were sold to Sunbelt Communications Company in November 1995, who switched the stations to NBC in January 1996. Channel 2's call letters were changed to KJWY that June. While KJWY was technically a satellite of KPVI, it later began to carry Wyoming news from another Sunbelt-owned NBC affiliate, KCWY in Casper, after that station began a news operation.
KJWY had the distinction of being the lowest-powered full-service analog television station in the United States, at only 178 watts. It also tied CJBN-TV channel 13 of Kenora, Ontario, Canada, also at 178 watts, for the lowest-powered full-service analog station in North America. The analog channel 2 signal traveled a very long distance under normal conditions, and KJWY had to operate at very low power since it was short-spaced to KBCI-TV in Boise, Idaho (now KBOI-TV) and KUTV in Salt Lake City. After the digital transition was complete, KJWY's power was increased to 270 watts, equivalent to 1,350 watts in analog—still fairly modest for a full-power station.
On March 2, 2009, Sunbelt Communications Company filed an application with the FCC to sell KJWY to PMCM TV (whose principals own six Jersey Shore radio stations in Monmouth and Ocean counties as Press Communications, LLC); however, Sunbelt initially planned to retain control of KJWY under a local marketing agreement. The transaction was approved by the FCC on June 10, 2009 after both parties agreed to drop the proposed local marketing agreement. After closing the sale on June 12, 2009, KJWY dropped all NBC programming, as well as the KPVI simulcast. After two months off-the-air, KJWY returned on August 12 as a This TV affiliate. It switched to MeTV in 2012.
Move to Delaware[edit | edit source]
Soon after taking over, PMCM sought permission to reallocate KJWY from Jackson, Wyoming to Wilmington, Delaware as part of a legal loophole that allows any VHF station that moves to a state with no FCC-licensed commercial VHF stations to receive automatic permission to move. Delaware had not had any commercial VHF stations licensed within its borders since WVUE in Wilmington—whose frequency is now occupied by Philadelphia PBS member WHYY-TV—had gone off the air in 1958. (PMCM also looked to move KVNV to New Jersey under the same rule.) The request was denied by the FCC in a December 18, 2009 letter. The full Commission denied PMCM's application for review in a Memorandum Opinion and Order released on September 15, 2011; however, this denial was reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on December 14, 2012. On March 8, 2013, the call letters were changed to KJWP. KJWP applied for a construction permit to move to Wilmington (though its transmitter is in Philadelphia's Roxborough neighborhood where the transmitters for most Philadelphia television stations are located) on May 28, 2013. KJWP signed off from Jackson for the last time on August 11, 2013 in anticipation of the move. On November 18, 2013, KJWP signed on its up-converted 720p high-definition television signal from its new location at Roxborough. The station continued to carry MeTV following the move, and on February 27, 2014, KJWP launched in the Philadelphia and New Jersey area. On March 1, 2014, KJWP fully became the Delaware Valley's exclusive MeTV affiliate, with Allentown, Pennsylvania-based WFMZ-TV (channel 69) discontinuing their MeTV subchannel the same day. After the move to Wilmington, the station's power drastically increased to 9.36 kW, adjusting itself to the size of the Philadelphia television market.
The station also intends to introduce local programming, including news programs. In the months preceding the official launch, KJWP was added to Philadelphia-market cable systems through must-carry.
The station intends to identify as a station targeting the Delaware side of the market, going as far as to make sure both Philadelphia and Delaware are represented equally in their station identifications under MeTV's automation system.
In late June 2014, the station announced the hiring of longtime Philadelphia television personality Larry Mendte as public affairs director. Mendte hosts two programs for the station; The Delaware Way, a week-in-review rundown of state issues, and ...And Another Thing, a more general news and commentary program (the latter also airs on sister station WJLP in the New York City area).
On December 17, 2015, PMCM TV agreed to sell KJWP to Allentown-based Maranatha Broadcasting Company (owner of WFMZ-TV) for an undisclosed price. The deal will create a duopoly in the Philadelphia market with WFMZ, with the two stations serving different parts of the market. The deal was finalized nearly two years later, on August 31, 2017. On September 4, 2018, the call letters were changed to WDPN-TV
Gallery[edit | edit source]
|TV stations in Pennsylvania|
|Independent stations||Religious stations||Other stations|
|WDPN, Wilmington||W08EM-D, Wilkes-Barre||WWSI, Mount Laurel/Philadelphia|
|WACP, Atlantic City||W07DP-D, Dillsburg||WUVP, Vineland/Philadelphia|
|WPSJ-CD, Hammonton||WELL-LD, Philadelphia||WFPA-CD, Philadelphia|
|WSCP-LP, Johnstown/Altoona/State College||WPCB, Greensburg||WIIC-LP, Pittsburgh|
|WXBU, Lancaster||WKBS, Altoona||WBYD-CD, Pittsburgh|
|WLYH, Red Lion||WPCB, Greensburg||WYLN-LP, Hazleton|
|WPHY-CD, Trenton||WGTW, Millville||WWAT-CD, Uniontown|
|WQAV-CD, Atlantic City||WBPH, Allentown||WMGM, Wildwood|
|WTVE, Willow Grove|
|TV stations in Philadelphia, including the Lehigh Valley and Tri State Area|
|WDPN 2 (MeTV)|
KYW 3 (CBS)