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WPFO is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Waterville, Maine, United States and serving the Portland, Maine television market, including southern Maine and eastern and northern New Hampshire. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on virtual and UHF channel 23 from a transmitter on Oak Hill in Litchfield near the Androscoggin–Kennebec county line. Owned by Cunningham Broadcasting, the station is operated under a local marketing agreement by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner of Portland-licensed CBS affiliate WGME-TV (channel 13). However, Sinclair effectively owns WPFO as the majority of Cunningham's stock is owned by the family of deceased group founder Julian Smith. The two stations share studios on Northport Drive in the North Deering section of Portland.

HistoryEdit

The station began broadcasting on August 27, 1999 as WMPX-TV and was a Pax TV (now Ion Television) affiliate owned by Paxson Communications (now Ion Media Networks). In addition to Pax programming, WMPX carried a small amount of local programming and in 2001, the station began airing rebroadcasts of NBC affiliate WCSH (channel 6)'s 11 p.m. newscasts when NBC had a partnership with Pax. Paxson sold the station in December 2002 to Corporate Media Consultants Group who changed the call sign to the current WPFO. The new calls reflected an affiliation change to Fox, which took place in April 2003, filling a gap created in fall 2001 when WPXT (channel 51) switched to The WB. In the interim, programming from the Fox network was provided exclusively on WFXT (which was owned by the network at the time) for those living on the New Hampshire side of the market, and on Foxnet for Portland/Auburn-area cable subscribers. In July 2007, WPFO debuted a new logo and updated website. The website's design was outsourced to Fox Interactive Media which also develops websites for Fox's owned-and-operated stations. WPFO switched website providers to Broadcast Interactive Media in March 2010. Currently WPFO's website provider is Sinclair Interactive Media.

As WPFO, in addition to Fox prime time, sports and syndicated programming, the station produces and airs local paid programming under the titles Fox 23 Lifestyle and Your Hometown. It was announced by the Maine Lottery on April 16, 2010, that starting May 11, WPFO would begin airing the Mega Millions lottery drawings Tuesday and Friday nights at 11 following the hour long 10 o'clock newscast. Maine joined the Mega Millions lottery on May 9 starting ticket sales on that date.

On October 31, 2013, Sinclair Broadcast Group acquired the non-license assets of WPFO from Corporate Media Consultants Group for $13.6 million; the deal made it a sister station to WGME-TV, which already produced newscasts for the station. On November 20, it was announced that Cunningham Broadcasting will acquire the license assets for $3.4 million. The sale of the license assets was approved on June 23, 2017. The sale was completed on August 1.


TV stations in New England
WTIC, Hartford/New Haven

WPFO, Waterville; WFVX-LD, Bangor; WAGM-DT2, Presque Isle
WFXT, Boston; WGGB-DT2, Springfield
WNAC, Providence
WFFF, Burlington/St. Johnsbury/Rutland/Windsor

TV stations in Southern Maine and Carroll and Coös Counties, New Hampshire, including Portland, Augusta, Berlin, and Rockland
WCSH 6 (NBC)
WMTW 8 (ABC)
WCBB 10 (PBS)
WGME 13 (CBS)
W14DA-D 14 (Ind.)
WLLB-LD 15 (Daystar)
WGBI-LP 21 (RTV)
WPFO 23 (Fox)
WMEA 26 (PBS)
WIPL 35 (Ion)
WFYW-LP 41 (3ABN)
WPXT 51 (CW)
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