WMYV, virtual channel 48 (UHF digital channel 33), is a MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station licensed to Greensboro, North Carolina, United States and serving the Piedmont Triad region (Greensboro–Winston-Salem–High Point). The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, as part of a duopoly with Winston-Salem-licensed ABC affiliate WXLV-TV (channel 45). The two stations share studios on Myer Lee Drive in Winston-Salem (along Business I-40); WMYV's transmitter is located in Randleman (along I-73/U.S. 220).
History[edit | edit source]
Prior history of UHF channel 48 in the Piedmont Triad The UHF channel 48 allocation in Greensboro was originally occupied by WUBC, an independent station that operated from 1967 until 1970.
Early history[edit | edit source]
The current licensed station on channel 48 first signed on the air on May 9, 1981 as WGGT-TV, running a general entertainment format featuring cartoons, classic movies, classic sitcoms, religious programs, and CBS network shows that were preempted by WFMY-TV (channel 2), as well as business news programming from the Financial News Network. It was owned locally by Guilford Broadcasters. The station was initially a strong competitor with the area's other independent station, WJTM-TV (channel 45). However, it took a toll financially.
The Piedmont Triad region was too small at the time to support two independent stations, and there was not enough programming to go around. In addition, WGGT's signal was considerably weaker than rival WJTM's. WGGT fell further behind when TVX Broadcast Group bought WJTM in 1983 and changed its call letters to WNRW. With stronger ownership, WNRW was able to pick clean most of the better programming that was available, and had also beat out WGGT for the Triad's Fox affiliation in 1986. In the mid-1980s, the station aired a program on Sunday mornings called Pet Pals, which showcased a variety of information for people and pets. Co-hosted by Greensboro native Jerry Cunningham, Pet Pals was North Carolina's first weekly program dedicated to pets and became a hit. The most visible on-air personality at WGGT was "Billy Bobb" (created by comedian Dana Lowell), who hosted Billy Bobb's Action Theater and Billy Bobb's Fun Club from January 14, 1987 to December 18, 1991.
WGGT was unable to fill the void left by WNRW joining Fox. Like most early Fox affiliates, WNRW was still essentially programmed as an independent; Fox would not air a full week's worth of programming until 1993. By 1987, WGGT was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It managed to stay on the air, albeit with far more barter programming. The financial woes continued unabated and it was close to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 1991. At the end of December 1991, Act III Broadcasting, which had bought WNRW in 1988, stepped in and bought WGGT's stronger programming, then merged it onto WNRW's schedule. WGGT began simulcasting WNRW, creating a strong combined signal with over 60% overlap in the market. The two stations became known as the "Piedmont Superstation". At that time, Act III took over management of WGGT as well, and nearly all of its employees were laid off, except for a secretary and a master control technician. The simulcast continued after Act III merged with Abry in 1993.
As an ABC/UPN affiliate[edit | edit source]
WNRW and WGGT took a secondary affiliation with UPN when it debuted on January 16, 1995 while retaining its primary Fox affiliation. The two stations then jointly became the market's ABC affiliate that September after longtime ABC station WGHP (channel 8) became a Fox station following its purchase by the network. In 1996, Abry merged with the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Guiliford Broadcasters then sold WGGT to Glencairn, Ltd.. However, 90 percent of Glencairn's stock was owned by the family of Sinclair's founder, Julian Smith. In effect, Sinclair owned both stations and now had a duopoly in the Triad in violation of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules. Sinclair further circumvented the rules by taking control of WGGT's operations under a local marketing agreement (LMA) with WNRW (now WXLV) as the senior partner. Under the terms of the LMA, Sinclair dropped the simulcast, with UPN programming becoming exclusive to channel 48. WGGT changed its call letters to WUPN-TV after Glencairn officially took control on June 19. The station was purchased by Sinclair outright in 2001, creating the market's first (and so far, only) legal duopoly.
As a MyNetworkTV affiliate[edit | edit source]
On January 24, 2006, the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner and CBS Corporation announced that the two companies would shut down The WB and UPN and combine the networks' respective programming to create a new "fifth" network called The CW. On February 22, 2006, News Corporation announced the launch of a competing "sixth" network called MyNetworkTV, which would be operated by Fox Television Stations and its syndication division Twentieth Television. On March 2, Sinclair announced that all of its UPN and WB affiliates, except for one of its stations in markets where the company owned affiliates of both networks, would join MyNetworkTV. This cleared the way for WTWB-TV to sign an affiliation deal with The CW on March 17, 2006. On June 19, channel 48 changed its call letters to the current WMYV in anticipation of this affiliation switch, which took place on September 5, 2006.
On May 8, 2017, Sinclair entered into an agreement to acquire Chicago-based Tribune Media – which has owned WGHP since December 2013 – for $3.9 billion, plus the assumption of $2.7 billion in debt held by Tribune. While WMYV is not in conflict with existing FCC in-market ownership rules and could have been retained by Sinclair in any event, the group was precluded from acquiring WGHP directly whilst retaining ownership of WXLV, as both rank among the four highest-rated stations in the Piedmont Triad in total day viewership, and there are too few independently owned full-power stations in the Piedmont Triad to permit legal duopolies in any event. On April 24, 2018, Sinclair announced that it would sell WXLV-TV and eight other stations – Sinclair-operated KOKH-TV in Oklahoma City, WRLH-TV in Richmond, KDSM-TV in Des Moines, and WOLF-TV (along with LMA partners WSWB and WQMY) in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and Tribune-owned WPMT in Harrisburg and WXMI in Grand Rapids – to Standard Media Group (an independent broadcast holding company formed by private equity firm Standard General to assume ownership of and absolve ownership conflicts involving the aforementioned stations) for $441.1 million. The transaction includes a transitional services agreement, though which Sinclair would have continued operating WXLV for six months after the sale's completion.
Three weeks after the FCC's July 18 vote to have the deal reviewed by an administrative law judge amid "serious concerns" about Sinclair's forthrightness in its applications to sell certain conflict properties, on August 9, 2018, Tribune announced it would terminate the Sinclair deal, intending to seek other M&A opportunities. Tribune also filed a breach of contract lawsuit in the Delaware Chancery Court, alleging that Sinclair engaged in protracted negotiations with the FCC and the DOJ over regulatory issues, refused to sell stations in markets where it already had properties, and proposed divestitures to parties with ties to Sinclair executive chair David D. Smith that were rejected or highly subject to rejection to maintain control over stations it was required to sell. The termination of the Sinclair sale agreement places uncertainty for the future of Standard Media's purchases of WXLV and the other six Sinclair- and Tribune-operated stations included in that deal, which were predicated on the closure of the Sinclair–Tribune merger.
|TV stations in North Carolina|
|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)