TV Stations Wikia

WNJU, virtual channel 47 (UHF digital channel 35), is a Telemundo owned-and-operated television station licensed to Linden, New Jersey, United States and serving the New York City television market. It is one of two East Coast flagship stations of the Spanish-language network (alongside WSCV in Miami–Fort Lauderdale, Florida). Owned by the Telemundo Station Group subsidiary of NBCUniversal, WNJU is part of a duopoly with New York-licensed NBC flagship WNBC (channel 4). WNJU's studios are located on Fletcher Avenue in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and it shares transmitter facilities with WNBC at One World Trade Center.


WNJU-TV signed on the air on May 16, 1965 as the first commercial UHF station in the New York television market (WNYC-TV was the first UHF station to sign on the air in 1961, but it was operated as a non-commercial educational station for its first 35 years of existence despite having a commercial license). The station originally broadcast from the Mosque Theater (now Newark Symphony Hall), located at 1020 Broad Street in Newark, in the former studios of WATV (channel 13). The station was owned by Henry Becton (son of Maxwell Becton, co-founder of Becton Dickinson) and Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. (son of Fairleigh S. Dickinson Sr. the founder of Fairleigh Dickinson University and also the co-founder of Becton Dickinson. The general manager during WNJU's early years was pioneering UHF broadcaster Edwin Cooperstein. The station's initial schedule featured a mix of English, Asian, Spanish and Italian shows. During the mid-1960s, the station broadcast a live and locally produced teenage dance show called Disc-O-Teen, hosted by John Zacherle; and a folk music program, Rainbow Quest, hosted by Pete Seeger. WNJU was involved in some controversy when it aired bullfights, which some critics believed were too violent. The station was not profitable due to the lack of awareness of UHF stations in the New York metropolitan area. The market had seven VHF stations, six of which were commercial, at a time when most cities had an average of three commercial stations. WNJU already had two strikes against it, and served minority audiences with mostly brokered programming.

WNJU-TV was sold in the fall of 1970 for $8 million (a fairly high price for a UHF station back in 1970) to Screen Gems Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Columbia Pictures. It was thought that WNJU would now become competitive because Screen Gems had deep pockets, but the brokered ethnic format would ultimately continue. It maintained an English-speaking audience a few hours a week during the 1970s when it was the only New York broadcast outlet for the World Wide Wrestling Federation. The station used a logo with WAPA-TV's "Open 4", as it was WAPA-TV's sister station at the time.

By the late 1970s, WNJU-TV had evolved into mostly Spanish programming, along with some ethnic brokered programs that aired on weekends. During the week, WNJU ran English-speaking religious programming until Noon. From 12:00 p.m. onward, the station ran Spanish programming. On Sundays, the station also aired English-language religious programs in the morning. WNJU was sold in 1979 to a consortium led by Jerry Perenchio, Bud Yorkin and Norman Lear. By the early 1980s, much of the other brokered foreign language programming disappeared, with WNJU airing English language religious programming in the morning and Spanish programming the rest of the day. Some brokered programs, including Greek (and Italian in the early-mid 1970s), aired on Sunday afternoons into the early 1990s.

In 1984, WNJU-TV joined with two Spanish language television stations that were not affiliated with the Spanish International Network (now Univision) and formed NetSpan, the United States' second Spanish-language television network. NetSpan's original group of affiliates included WNJU-TV, KSTS in San Jose, California, and WBBS in Chicago, Illinois (which aired its programming in the evenings and late nights only); the latter two stations were locally owned. In 1985, KVEA in Corona, California, WSCV in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (both of which were owned by Blair Broadcasting), and locally owned WCIU-TV in Chicago (which aired NetSpan programming after 5 p.m. only) joined NetSpan. The network acquired WNJU-TV and the other stations, except for WCIU, outright in 1986.

In 1987, NetSpan added more affiliates, and changed its name to Telemundo. In Chicago, WSNS-TV dropped its Univision affiliation and joined Telemundo, with WCIU carrying Univision programming after 5 p.m. In the early 1990s, WNJU dropped its English-language religious shows and became a full-time Telemundo station.

In 1989, the station moved its operations to 39 Industrial Avenue in Teterboro. In 2001, General Electric (then-owner of NBC) purchased Telemundo. WNJU witnessed major overhauls, adopting similar opening graphics to those used at New York City's WNBC, and adopting a tweaked version of its opening music sequence. In 2003, WNJU relocated to the Sixth Floor at 2200 Fletcher Avenue in Fort Lee, occupying the former studios and offices of the NBC-owned CNBC cable network, which around the same time moved to a state-of-the-art new studio complex at 900 Sylvan Avenue (Route 9W) in Englewood Cliffs.

In 2009, WNJU debuted the morning magazine program Las Comadres con Gloria B, which became the #1 program in the market in its timeslot, garnering 1.5 million viewers.

On May 17, 2017, WNJU announced it would begin over-the-air nighttime transmission testing from the One World Trade Center in the fourth week of May 2017, which they expected to commence seven to 10 days later, and by the end of the year, WNJU and four other NYC area TV stations began broadcasting from the new tower.

Early years[]

On December 17, 1962, the New Jersey Television Broadcasting Company was granted a construction permit by the Federal Communications Commission to build a new commercial television station on a channel 47 allocation that belonged to New Brunswick. Edwin Cooperstein, the president of the permittee and director of radio and television at Fairleigh Dickinson University and who had been the head of WNTA-TV channel 13 when it was a commercial outlet, had proposed the station a year earlier, to transmit from a tower in the New Jersey Meadowlands. FDU influence was also felt in the company's ownership: it was primarily owned by Henry Becton (son of Maxwell Becton, co-founder of Becton Dickinson) and Fairleigh Dickinson Jr. (son of Fairleigh S. Dickinson Sr., founder of Fairleigh Dickinson University and also the co-founder of Becton Dickinson).

Channel 47 in Linden was a backup plan: the company had previously asked for the assignment of channel 14 to Newark, the city of license of WNTA-TV, arguing that the conversion of WNTA-TV to noncommercial WNET effectively gave all seven VHF stations to New York City. Even before filing for the permit, New Jersey Television Broadcasting had set up in the Mosque Theater (now Newark Symphony Hall) at 1020 Broad Street in Newark, WNTA-TV's former home, which included a 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) studio that was the largest at any non-network TV station in the United States; it announced it would use the former WNTA-TV transmitter site in West Orange and stocked its staff with several channel 13 veterans. When the permit was issued, Cooperstein announced that the station would launch in late 1963.

However, within a month of obtaining the permit, the new WNJU-TV decided on an Empire State Building site for its transmitter, which was approved by the FCC in April 1964. Cooperstein felt that this would be necessary to have picture quality parity with the New York stations. It had settled on a program format of shows for New Jersey audiences during the day and specialty ethnic programs at night. In March 1965, the station revealed a schedule with 19 hours a week of Spanish-language programming and another seven for Black audiences.

Screen Gems ownership[]

WNJU-TV was sold in the fall of 1970 for $8 million (a fairly high price for a UHF station in that time) to Screen Gems Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Columbia Pictures. Screen Gems was unusually suited for the station, as it owned WAPA-TV in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1968, WNJU originated a program for WAPA-TV, which represented the first live satellite connection from New York to San Juan.

In 1975, WNJU-TV received a short-term license renewal for only one year (instead of the then-customary three) for failure to abide by a previous pledge to limit commercials to 16 minutes per hour, which the station exceeded more than 16 percent of the time.

The station had evolved to carry mostly Spanish programming, along with some ethnic brokered programs that aired on weekends including shows in Japanese and Portuguese. Sales doubled from $2.2 million in 1976 to $4.4 million in 1978. By focusing on the large Puerto Rican community in New York, WNJU was able to beat the Spanish International Network's WXTV (channel 41), with its comparatively more Mexican programming, in the ratings.

To STV or not to STV[]

In 1978, Columbia Pictures applied for authority to broadcast subscription television (STV) programming on WNJU-TV, with the STV franchisee being National Subscription Television–New York, Inc., owned by Oak Communications and Chartwell Communications. These companies were the partners in the Los Angeles operation of ON TV, which had started in that city in 1977 and became the largest such operation in the United States; a pact in November 1978 gave the New York market to Chartwell to develop. Concern was noted over the potential displacement of Spanish-language programming from prime time on channel 47, but the deal was approved.

Jerry Perenchio, one of the shareholders in Chartwell, and his Tandem Productions acquired 80 percent of WNJU-TV from Columbia Pictures in late 1979 for $5 million. Chartwell gave the idea of bringing ON TV to New York serious thought; it pursued rights to the New York Yankees at a reported offer of $20 million a year and lost. It also proposed using the multichannel audio capability of the STV system to present some programs in English and Spanish simultaneously. A technical improvement also came in 1980, when WXTV and WNJU were approved to move to the World Trade Center.

The idea of turning channel 47 into a subscription station was dropped in January 1981, with competition from Wometco Home Theater (which had operated in the tri-state area since 1977), extensive cable penetration, and the station's existing ratings leadership over WXTV for Spanish-speaking audiences cited among the reasons for terminating the plans. Channel 47 continued to be Spanish-language, though interest from other suitors continued. In 1985, Grant Broadcasting System made a $65 million offer for the station, which was rejected as far too low.

NetSpan and Telemundo[]

In 1970, Carlos Barba, a former Cuban TV star who had been WAPA-TV's general manager, became the general manager of WNJU; he was promoted to president in 1980. In 1984, Barba led the creation of NetSpan, a second Spanish-language network to compete with SIN. NetSpan's founding affiliates were WNJU, ethnic independent KSCI-TV channel 18 for the Los Angeles market, and Chicago's WBBS-TV. That same year, channel 47 relocated from Newark to a new one-story building in Teterboro, and Barba hired a 22-year-old Nely Galán to be the station manager.

ON TV folded in 1985, and on the way out, it made two major contributions to the launch of a second Spanish-language television network by selling Los Angeles-area KBSC-TV to Estrella Communications, a Reliance Capital-backed group that converted it to Spanish as KVEA, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, station WKID to John Blair & Co., which relaunched it as Spanish-language WSCV. By 1986, KVEA had replaced KSCI (and WCIU-TV had entered in Chicago); the network offered three hours a day of programming plus specials. Reliance Capital Group, which also was in the process of buying WSCV, reached a deal to acquire WNJU-TV for $70 million in October 1986. Two higher offers had been made by groups that would have converted channel 47 to English-language operation, both of which were shunned.

With WNJU and WSCV now Reliance-owned, on January 12, 1987, NetSpan became Telemundo, supplying additional programming and national news programming. The station continued to air weekend programs in other languages into the 1990s, including Indian, Greek, Haitian and Pakistani programs. During the 1990s and early 2000s, the station experimented with Spanish-language sports simulcasts, which included games of the Yankees, New York Knicks and New York CityHawks. However, local ratings fell as New York viewing habits fell more in line with national ones and Univision came to dominate in national and local programming.

In 2002, General Electric (then-owner of NBC) purchased Telemundo, which led to a major overhaul of the on-air product at the network and the stations. In 2004, WNJU relocated from Teterboro to the sixth floor at 2200 Fletcher Avenue in Fort Lee, occupying the former studios and offices of the NBC-owned CNBC cable network, which had moved to a state-of-the-art new studio complex in Englewood Cliffs; the space was more than twice the size of the Teterboro facility.

After the September 11 attacks, WNJU was one of several stations that moved to the Alpine Tower provisionally. There was no space for a digital facility at the Empire State Building, so a permanent site in West Orange was used along with a secondary transmitter at 4 Times Square to improve signal levels in Queens and on Long Island. However, channel 47's analog facility returned to the ESB. On May 17, 2017, WNJU announced it would begin over-the-air nighttime transmission testing from One World Trade Center in the fourth week of May 2017, which they expected to commence seven to 10 days later; by the end of the year, WNJU and four other New York City-area TV stations began broadcasting from the new tower.

News operation[]

WNJU launched its news operation in the mid-1980s, with 6 p.m. newscasts anchored by Jorge L. Ramos; an 11 p.m. edition followed in 1996. In 1997, it launched a weekend edition of Noticiero 47; a morning newscast called Noticiero 47 Primera Edición followed in 2001. However, due to company-wide cutbacks, WNJU pulled the plug on its morning, midday, and weekend newscasts in 2009.

The weekend news was restored in 2011, along with the launch of a new public affairs show, Enfoque New York. In November 2012, a new morning newscast was introduced, called Buenos Días, Nueva York.

On September 18, 2014, Telemundo announced a new 5:30 p.m./4:30 p.m. newscast for all 14 of its owned-and-operated stations, including WNJU. In 2018, a noon newscast was added at 10 Telemundo stations, including WNJU.

Notable current on-air staff[]

  • Audris Rijo – on Acceso Total

Notable former on-air staff[]

  • John F. Bateman – host, Rutgers Football Highlights
  • Brook Benton – host, The Brook Benton Show
  • Buck Canel – anchor, Spanish News and Sports
  • Myer Feldman – host, Jewish Issues
  • Hal Jackson – host, World of Entertainment
  • Helen Meyner – Helen Meyner Program
  • Jorge L. Ramos – anchor
  • Jackie Robinson – host, A Time to Talk
  • Myrta Silva — host, Una Hora Contigo (An Hour With You)
  • Billy Taylor – host, Jazz in America
  • Richard Voliva – host, High School Wrestling
  • Zacherley – host, Disco-Teen

Technical information[]


For other channels on this multiplex, see WNBC § Subchannels.

WNJU presents two subchannels on the multiplex shared with WNBC:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
04.1 1080i 16:9 WNBC-HD Simulcast of WNBC/ NBC
04.2 480i COZI TV Simulcast of WNBC-DT2 / Cozi TV
04.3 NBCLX Lx
47.1 1080i WNJU-HD Main WNJU programming / Telemundo
47.2 480i TeleX TeleXitos
47.3 SOi TV [Blank]

Former Subchannels[]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
47.1 1080i 16:9 WNJU-HD Main WNJU programming / Telemundo
47.2 480i TeleX TeleXitos
47.3 SOi TV [Blank]

Analog-to-digital conversion[]

WNJU discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 47, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 36.

On April 13, 2017, it was revealed that the over-the-air spectrum of sister station WNBC had been sold in the FCC's spectrum reallocation auction, fetching $214 million; WNBC would remain in operation, sharing broadcast spectrum with WNJU. The shared broadcast took effect April 2, 2018. WNJU and WNBC later changed channels again to digital channel 35 on August 1, 2019.

TV stations in New York
Religious stations Spanish-language stations Ethnic and/or public secular stations Other stations
WNYB, Jamestown WNYN-LD, New York City WNDT-CD, New York City WEPT-CD, Newburgh
WDTB-LD, Buffalo WXTV-DT, Paterson/New York City WNYE, New York City WVTT-CD, Olean
W44CT-D, Albany WNJU, Linden/New York City WMBQ-CD, New York City WNCE-CD, Glens Falls
WNYI, Ithaca WFTY-DT, Smithtown/New York City WXNY-LD, New York City WJLP, Middletown Township/New York City
WTBY, Jersey City/New York City WPXO-LD, East Orange WNYX-LD, New York City WYCI, Saranac Lake
WDVB-CD, Edison WASA-LD, Port Jervis WNXY-LD, New York City W41DO-D, New York City
W20CQ-D, Hempstead WBQM-LD, Brooklyn WMBC, Newton/New York City WVBG-LP, Greenwich
WZME, Bridgeport/New York City WKOB-LD, New York City WRNN, New Rochelle/New York City
WVVH-CD, Southampton
WLNY, Riverhead/New York City
WBXZ-LP, Buffalo
WETM-DT2, Elmira
WBBZ, Springville/Buffalo
TV Stations in the New York City Metropolitan Area
Long Island:

New York City:
Southwestern Conneticut:
Upper NJ:
Defunct Stations:

New York.gif