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WPEC is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to West Palm Beach, Florida, United States, serving the Gold and Treasure Coasts of South Florida. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 13 (or virtual channel 12 via PSIP) from a transmitter southeast of Wellington along US 441/SR 7, in unincorporated Palm Beach County. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the station is sister to Fort Pierce-licensed CW affiliate WTVX (channel 34), Palm Beach-licensed Class A MyNetworkTV affiliate WTCN-CA (channel 43) and Stuart-licensed Class A Azteca América affiliate WWHB-CA (channel 48). All of the television outlets share studios together on Fairfield Drive in Mangonia Park (with a West Palm Beach postal address). On cable, WPEC can be seen on Comcast Xfinity channel 9 (in Martin, Palm Beach, Okeechobee, and southern St. Lucie counties) and channel 12 (in Indian River and northern St. Lucie counties), and in high definition on digital channel 433.

HistoryEdit

The station signed-on as an ABC affiliate with the callsign WEAT-TV on January 1, 1955. It was owned by RKO General. Its original studios were on South Congress Avenue in West Palm Beach. RKO sold the station to Rex Rand in 1957. In 1964, Gardens Broadcasting, a company founded by businessman John D. MacArthur bought the station. In 1973, Photo Electronics bought the station from John D. MacArthur. The station moved to its present studio facilities on Fairfield Drive in Mangonia Park that same year. On January 27, 1974, the WEAT calls were changed to the current WPEC which stood for Photo Electronics Corporation in reference to the station's then-current owner, a company founded by local entrepreneur Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr.. The previous calls are currently used by an area radio station that is owned by Palm Beach Broadcasting.

On January 1, 1989, it switched affiliations to CBS after the network purchased WCIX in Miami (channel 6, now WFOR-TV on channel 4) from the TVX Broadcast Group. WCIX's over-the-air signal was weaker than the other Miami VHF stations in Fort Lauderdale and Broward County. In contrast, WPEC, like nearly all of the West Palm Beach stations, provides city-grade coverage to most of Broward County. New sign-on WPBF took WPEC's old ABC affiliation, forcing former CBS affiliate WTVX to become an Independent station. A similar situation happened to NBC in 1995 when WCIX moved to channel 4 as WFOR and NBC was demoted to channel 6.

This caused WPEC to lose much of its Broward County audience to WFOR. As a result, rival West Palm Beach station WPTV gained Broward County NBC market share from WTVJ that was now on channel 6. In 1996, Freedom Communications bought the station. On April 8, 2009, WPEC announced that it was eliminating its 24-hour local weather channel (known as "CBS 12 Now") in favor of a new local Spanish-language television station originally known as "232 Mi Pueblo TV". However, the weather channel was reinstated on digital channel 12.3 in mid-2009.

Freedom announced on November 2, 2011 that it would bow out of television and sell its stations, including WPEC, to the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Sinclair had earlier announced the acquisition of Four Points Media Group, owner of WTVX, and the two purchases will result in the first full duopoly in West Palm Beach. Sinclair began operating the Four Points stations (including WTVX and its low-power sisters) through time brokerage agreements at some point in October; the company entered into a similar arrangement with the Freedom stations (including WPEC) two months later. The deal was completed on April 2, 2012, although the physical operations of WPEC and WTVX (along with WTCN and WWHB) initially remained separate. WTVX, WTCN, and WWHB would eventually be merged into WPEC's studios.


TV stations in Florida
WFOR, Miami

WTSP, Tampa
WGFL, Gainesville
WJAX, Jacksonville
WECP-LD 18/WJHG-DT3, Panama City
WKMG, Orlando
WINK, Fort Myers
WPEC, West Palm Beach

TV stations in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, including Port St. Lucie, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Fort Pierce
WPTV 5 (NBC)
WFPI-LP 8 (Ind)
WHDT 9 (COURT)
WWCI-CD 10 (Ind)
WPEC 12 (CBS)
WTCE 21 (TBN)
WPBF 25 (ABC)
WFLX 29 (Fox)
WXOD-LD 33 (Buzzr)
WTVX 34 (CW)
WSLF-LD 35 (Daystar)
WXEL 42 (PBS)
WTCN-CA 43 (MNTV)
W47DW-D 47 (Ind)
WWHB-CA 48 (AZA)
WBWP-LD 57 (Ind)
WFGC 61 (CTN)
WBEC 63 (ETV)
WPXP 67 (Ion)
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