WSTQ-LP, UHF analog channel 14, is a low-powered, CW-affiliated television station licensed to Syracuse, New York, United States. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, it is a sister station to NBC affiliate WSTM-TV (channel 3); Sinclair also operates CBS affiliate WTVH (channel 5) through joint sales and shared services agreements with owner Granite Broadcasting. The three stations share studios on James Street/NY 290 in the Near Northeast section of Syracuse; WSTQ-LP's transmitter is located in the city's Lakefront section.
Due to its low-powered status, WSTQ's signal is only attainable in the immediate Syracuse area (northern and eastern boundary is roughly NY 481/Interstate 481; southwestern reach is NY 173). Therefore, in order to reach the entire market, it is simulcast in 720p high definition on WSTM-TV's second digital subchannel. This signal can be seen on UHF channel 24.2 (or virtual channel 3.2 via PSIP) from a transmitter in the town of Onondaga. WSTQ-LP is branded as CW 6 in reference to its universal channel position on area cable systems (not over-the-air channel 6 which is held in the market by WVOA-LP).
The station signed-on June 19, 2000 as WAWA-LP and was owned by Venture Technologies Group, LLC. The majority of the lineup consisted of home shopping and other paid programming. On October 20, 2001, ten months after WNYS-TV dropped its UPN affiliation, WAWA-LP picked it up. For two years, it asked for carriage on Time Warner Cable. Due to the station's schedule outside of primetime, the provider found no justification for doing so, and it was not obligated to carry WAWA-LP due to its status as a low-powered station which had no "must-carry" protection.
Time Warner Cable added UPN O&O WSBK-TV from Boston to its line-up on channel 6 in July 2001 in advance of the move of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to UPN's schedule two months later from The WB, at the cost of $1 million a year in out-of-market licensing fees, but with a schedule fully filled with syndicated content and Boston sports outside of primetime. Despite this, WAWA-LP made no effort to improve their schedule outside of primetime to feature less paid programming and home shopping.
At one point, WAWA-LP even offered to pay Time Warner Cable for carriage. Low-powered outlets buying channel space on cable is commonplace due to the lack of "must-carry" protection. WAWA-LP took the case to the Federal Communications Commission and asked them to adopt a rule that would require the provider to black out WSBK's primetime UPN lineup whether it carried WAWA-LP or not, effectively nullifying the entire purpose by Time Warner to carry WSBK and likely angering viewers of UPN programming had they ruled for the blackout but disallowed WAWA-LP carriage. In the end, the FCC ruled against the station on both counts.
In 2003, Raycom Media (then the owner of WSTM-TV) purchased WAWA-LP from Venture Technologies for an undisclosed amount. The station had its call letters changed to the current WSTQ-LP (a disambiguation from WSTM-TV) and was given the on-air branding "UPN 6, The Q". Raycom used "6" to reflect its pending cable channel slot on Time Warner which was obtained July 1, 2003 (replacing WSBK) following WSTQ-LP's acquisition by the company; carriage of WSTQ-LP was now required by Raycom to carry WSTM-TV under FCC regulations giving full-powered stations the option of "retransmission consent" for sister stations (and later, digital subchannels) or requesting compensation from cable systems to carry them. Also under Raycom ownership, the former surrounding home shopping and paid programs were drastically reduced and replaced with regular syndicated programming, and its operations were merged into WSTM's facilities.
Until 2005, WSTQ-LP carried the Bill Keeler Show (a daily and later weekly local comedy series that was based in Utica and aired on Fox affiliate WFXV). When the show did not register in the ratings and was losing money, Keeler yanked the show from the Syracuse market in 2005, also citing upcoming FCC requirements which required closed captioning of all produced content, including his program.
On January 24, 2006, CBS Corporation (which split from Viacom in December 2005) and Time Warner's Warner Bros. Entertainment (the division that operated The WB) announced that they would dissolve UPN and The WB, and move some of their programs to a newly created network operated as a joint venture between the companies, The CW Television Network. As a result of that announcement, WSTQ-LP revealed in March that it would become Syracuse's affiliate with the new network. The station became a CW affiliate on September 18 and changed its branding to "CW 6". On March 27, 2006, Raycom Media announced the sale of WSTQ-LP and WSTM-TV to Barrington Broadcasting. Also in 2006, Ion Television affiliate WSPX-TV filed an application with the FCC to broadcast its digital signal on channel 14 where WSTQ-LP's analog signal is located. This was eventually abandoned in favor of channel 15 on December 3, 2008. WSTQ-LP was largely unaffected by the consolidation of WSTM-TV with rival WTVH on March 2, 2009. On February 28, 2013, Barrington Broadcasting announced the sale of its entire group, including WSTQ-LP, to the Sinclair Broadcast Group. The sale was completed on November 25. The station has an application to "flash-cut" its analog signal to digital on UHF channel 14. Using the WSTQ-LD call sign (referring to low-powered digital), it will drastically increase the station's coverage area and will originate a signal from WSTM-TV's tower in Onondaga.
|TV stations in New York|
| WPIX, New York City|
|TV stations in Central New York, including Syracuse|
| WSTM 3 (NBC) |
WTVH 5 (CBS)
WSYR 9 (ABC)
WONO-CA 11 (COR)
WSTQ-LP 14 (CW)
WTVU-CD 22 (COR)
WCNY 24 (PBS)
WWLF-LP 35 (AMGTV)
W42EB-D 42 (Ind.)
WNYS 43 (MNTV)
WBLZ-LD 49 (Ind.)
WHSU-CD 51 (HSN)
WNYI 52 (Daystar)
WSPX 56 (Ion)
WSYT 68 (Fox)