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WJLP, virtual channel 33 (VHF digital channel 3), is a MeTV-affiliated television station, licensed to Middletown Township, New Jersey, United States and serving the New York City television market. Owned by Weigel Broadcasting, it is sister station to New York City-licensed independent station WNWT-LD (channel 37, officially a low-power station, operating under a frequency sharing arrangement with WJLP). The two stations share studios in Freehold Township, New Jersey, and transmitter facilities at 4 Times Square in midtown Manhattan.

History[]

Origins in Ely, Nevada (2001–2014)[]

Founded in 1998 by Harris Broadcasting, the station went on the air two and a half years later. The station was originally located in Ely, Nevada and signed on July 9, 2001 as KBJN, a satellite of KVBC (now KSNV-DT), the NBC affiliate in Las Vegas. Harris Broadcasting soon sold it to KVBC owner Valley Broadcasting Company. The call letters were changed to KVNV on November 15, 2005.

On July 1, 2008, Valley Broadcasting filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to sell KVNV to PMCM TV, LLC (which owns six Jersey Shore radio stations in Monmouth and Ocean County as Press Communications, LLC). The sale was approved on September 17, 2008 and was consummated on November 12, 2008; soon afterward, the station was relaunched as Intelliweather 3, carrying looping weather conditions and a news ticker. KVNV affiliated with My Family TV in October 2009. During 2012, the station began to expand its local programming, including a local weekend public affairs program and a locally produced children's program (to comply with the FCC's E/I regulations). KVNV also began to simulcast the noon and 6 p.m. newscasts of former sister station KRNV-DT in Reno, and added the statewide political show Nevada's Eye on Washington.

Move to New Jersey (2014–present)[]

Soon after its purchase of the station, PMCM TV sought permission to reallocate KVNV to Monmouth County, New Jersey, 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. The loophole came to be because New Jersey TV viewers felt shortchanged that nearly all commercial TV stations came from either New York City or Philadelphia, not from their own state. After the digital television transition of 2009, Delaware and New Jersey no longer had any VHF signals since station owners chose to move their signals to UHF channels which are better suited to digital broadcasting. The FCC denied the request 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. KVNV applied for a construction permit to move on May 28, 2013 to Middletown Township, New Jersey (though its transmitter location would be at the Condé Nast Building in midtown Manhattan to serve the entire New York media market).

In January 2014, MeTV announced that KVNV, would become its New York City affiliate, replacing Bridgeport, Connecticut-based WZME. In its June 2014 bill, Comcast systems in central New Jersey stated that KVNV would be added to its lineup on July 31, 2014. This was delayed because of objections from WFSB in Hartford, Connecticut, who voiced concerns to the FCC about signal overlap and disruption of its Fairfield County, Connecticut, channel lineup. WFSB's owner, Meredith Corporation, also suggested that the FCC assign virtual channel 33 (which is WFSB's RF channel) to KVNV instead of 3. On September 12, 2014, the FCC Media Bureau issued a public notice seeking comment on an alternative PSIP channel proposal set forth by PMCM—KVNV would broadcast on virtual channel 3.10 to not interfere with WFSB and would seek cable carriage on channel 3 throughout the New York market, except in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

KVNV commenced test broadcasting on September 29, 2014 at approximately 2:30 p.m. on RF channel 3 (virtual channel 3-10). This test transmission consisted of an EBR test pattern with a black text field bearing text – Line 1: "KVNV TV" static, Line 2: "WJLP-TV" static. Immediately at the base of the black text box, a white rectangular square rapidly moved back-and-forth horizontally. No audio or tones accompanied the test pattern. The test broadcast ended on September 30, 2014 at approximately 2 p.m. The station made a brief return to the air on October 1, 2014 at approximately 12:30 p.m.; this transmission lasted approximately five minutes.

First logo used under the MeTV affiliation (2014–2015); still used as a bug during programming

On October 1, 2014 at 5:01 p.m., KVNV signed-on its transmitter with intentions to officially commence programming at 6 p.m. The 5 p.m. transmission consisted of an EBR test pattern with a black text field, this time bearing text – Line 1: "KVNV-TV" static, Line 2: "CHANNEL 3.10" static. Immediately at the base of the black text box, a white rectangular square rapidly moved back-and-forth horizontally. No audio or tones accompanied the test pattern. The intention of this 58 minute broadcast was to allow for potential viewers to re-scan their tuners in order to add channel 3 as an active channel. At 5:59 p.m., the test pattern gave way to a solid black screen.

At 6 p.m., KVNV commenced regular programming from MeTV with an episode of CHiPs. The launch consisted of no sign-on message and was basically a soft launch. The station's PSIP TVCT information during this time identified the station as KVNV-HD using virtual channel 3-10.

On October 3, 2014, the call letters were changed to WJLP.

The FCC assigned virtual channel 33 on an interim basis to WJLP on October 23, 2014; this followed an October 3 joint filing by Meredith, CBS Television Stations, and Ion Media Networks urging the FCC to take this action because CBS-owned KYW-TV and Meredith's WFSB use virtual channel 3 and Ion-owned WPXN-TV was carried on cable channel 3 on most Cablevision systems in the New York market.

On November 7, 2014, following another joint complaint from Meredith, CBS and Ion, the FCC ordered that WJLP suspend operations effective at noon on November 10 unless the station remapped its virtual channel from 3.10 to 33.1. On November 10, 2014, PMCM TV filed an appeal with the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. The station asked the court for a stay until a final solution regarding the channel 3 dispute could be made. The station hoped that the court would review the appeal and make a decision on November 12, 2014. Simultaneously, WJLP also filed two petitions with the FCC.

Final WJLP logo indicating virtual channel 3.10, 2015

At approximately midnight on November 11, 2014, WJLP ran a video message from Lee Leddy, Group Station Manager for PMCM TV, LLC and the owner and licensee of WJLP, that explained the situation and what he called "erroneous complaints" to the FCC by CBS, Ion, and Meredith. Channel 3 then signed off the air. WZME resumed its place as the sole MeTV outlet for the New York area.

WJLP returned to the air a day after with a bumper that explained that the station was granted an emergency stay to continue broadcasting until at least December 1, 2014. On November 25, 2014, a federal court upheld the stay and allowed WJLP to continue broadcasting on channel 3.10. On March 16, 2015, the station remapped its virtual channel from channel 3 to channel 33 on an "interim" basis following an order from the FCC.

Pending sale to Weigel Broadcasting[]

On October 11, 2021, PMCM TV announced a pending sale to Weigel Broadcasting of Chicago of WJLP-TV for $62.5 million. The sale was completed on January 7.

Programming[]

As of September 1, 2016, WJLP carries the majority of the MeTV lineup, with some exceptions. Jersey Matters with Larry Mendte, a public affairs show focused on the New Jersey area, airs on Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 11 a.m. WJLP had previously preempted several hours of the MeTV schedule each day to air infomercials.

Technical information[]

Subchannels[]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
33.1 720p 16:9 MeTV MeTV
33.2 480i Laff Laff
33.3 Grit Grit
33.4 Mystery Court TV Mystery
33.5 4:3 Retro Retro TV
33.6 16:9 Heart Heartland

In February 2015, the station added the Justice Network (now True Crime Network) on digital subchannel 33.2. This was changed to Laff in 2016. On March 20, 2016, WJLP added two standard definition subchannels to its lineup, Escape and Grit. These diginets are available on many Univision-owned stations, including those was in the New York City television market.

A fifth subchannel was added two months later on 33.10 which airs local maritime and weather reports. The underlying audio for this station is provided by WWZY Long Branch.

WJLP added audio subchannels to its lineup—Thunder, B985, The Boss 107.1 FM, and Great Gold 1410 AM. All of these terrestrial radio stations are owned by Press Communications, LLC, which is a sister company to PMCM TV, LLC.

Gallery[]

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