WGPX-TV, virtual channel 16 (UHF digital channel 14), is a Ion Television owned-and-operated television station licensed to Burlington, North Carolina, United States and serving the Piedmont Triad region (Greensboro–Winston-Salem–High Point). The station is owned by Ion Media Networks. WGPX-TV's offices are located on North O'Henry Boulevard in Greensboro, and its transmitter is located south of Reidsville. The station is carried on cable channel 12 in most parts of the market.
The station first signed on the air on August 7, 1984 as WRDG, originally operating as a religious independent station. It changed its call letters to WAAP in 1990, continuing to air religious programs while adding home shopping programming from Shop at Home. The station added cartoons during the early mornings and afternoons in the fall of 1992, and some low-budget barter entertainment shows during the evening hours that winter. In 1991, WAAP ran a local newscast, titled News Source 16. Austin Caviness, now a meteorologist at WXII-TV (channel 12), was among the on-air staffers; the newscast was cancelled in 1992.
By 1993, WAAP had become a general entertainment station running mostly barter shows and professional wrestling from the United States Wrestling Association, Smoky Mountain Wrestling, and the World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment). However, it never was able to gain much traction against the established non-Big Three stations in the market, Fox affiliate WNRW (channel 45, now ABC affiliate WXLV-TV) and its satellite WGGT (channel 48, now MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYV), and WBFX (channel 20, now CW affiliate WCWG). The Triad market was not large enough at the time to support what were essentially three independent stations, and channel 16 barely registered in the ratings. The station originally desired to affiliate with UPN and/or The WB when those networks launched in January 1995, but both of them affiliated with other area stations instead (The WB with WBFX; UPN on a secondary basis with WXLV/WGGT). By the fall of that year, WAAP did manage to acquire a few syndicated cartoons from WXLV and WGGT when those stations took the ABC affiliation from WGHP.
Paxson Communications (the forerunner to Ion Media Networks) bought the station in July 1996, and by the end of the year, WAAP became an affiliate of the Infomail Television Network (inTV), airing infomercials and religious programs for most of the day and overnight programming from The Worship Network. The station changed its call letters to WGPX-TV in January 1998, and became a charter owned-and-operated station of Pax TV (now Ion Television) when it launched on August 31 of that year.
The station broadcast its signal from a transmitter located in the Cane Creek Mountains near Snow Camp for many years, but has since moved its transmitter to southern Rockingham County.
|TV stations in North Carolina|
| WRPX, Rocky Mount|
|TV stations in the Piedmont Triad, including Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina|
| WFMY 2 (CBS) |
WGHP 8 (Fox)
WXII 12 (NBC)
WGPX 16 (Ion)
WGSR-LD 19 (Ind.)
WCWG 20 (CW)
WUNL 26 (PBS)
WLXI 43 (TCT)
WXLV 45 (ABC)
WMYV 48 (MNTV)