WSYT, virtual channel 68 (UHF digital channel 19), is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Syracuse, New York, United States. The station is owned by Northwest Broadcasting, as part of a duopoly with MyNetworkTV affiliate WNYS-TV (channel 43). The two stations share studios on James Street/NY 290 in Syracuse's Near Northeast section and transmitter facilities near Maple Grove, a hamlet of Otisco.

WSYT operates a digital Class A translator, W16AX-D, in Ithaca. This station broadcasts on UHF channel 16 (also remapping to virtual channel 68 via PSIP) from a transmitter, on the Ithaca College campus, along NY 96B in Eastern South Hill.

History[edit | edit source]

The station was originally assigned the call letters WKAF and was on UHF channel 62 rather than 68. After being reassigned to channel 68, the owners of WKAF (Channel 62 Inc.) got the station on-the-air February 15, 1986 and the outlet aired religious programming for three hours a day. The station was sold to The Flatley Company in late-1986 at which point construction of its facility on James Street in Syracuse began. WSYT began full-time operation on April 5, 1987 with a general entertainment format of cartoons, classic sitcoms, recent sitcoms, movies, drama shows, and sports. The launch of WSYT coincided with the prime time launch of the Fox network of which the station has been an affiliate with ever since.

Flatley owned WSYT until 1992 when the station was sold to Encore Communications, later known as Max Media Properties. In 1998, the Sinclair Broadcast Group bought the station. That company entered into a local marketing agreement with UPN affiliate WNYS-TV in 1995 and began operating that station out of WSYT's studios. It was carried on cable in the Kingston, Ontario area until 2009. That market is currently served by WNYF-CD in Watertown (for over-the-air ATSC viewers) and on cable by WUTV in Buffalo and WUHF in Rochester.

Like other Sinclair-owned stations in the region, WSYT and WNYS-TV have been transmitting digital-only signals since February 17, 2009. Until August 2008, WSYT had the highest analog channel allocation of any Fox associated television station before being eclipsed by KSWB-TV in San Diego, California when that station swapped its CW affiliation with XETV-TV. WSYT's analog power was limited to 1,000,000 watts due to its proximity to Canada. Until June 12, 2009 (the official day of the digital television transition in the United States), UHF analog stations in the country were licensed to transmit up to 5,000,000 watts. All of this changed back on February 17, 2009 when WSYT went digital-only and moved to a less power-hungry transmitter on UHF channel 19.

From 1987 through 2003, WSYT owned the local broadcast rights to Syracuse University men's basketball games when rights were acquired by Time Warner Cable (now Charter Spectrum) and began airing on their local sports channel. During the majority of those years, WSYT produced a live post-game show as well as a weekly basketball coach's show with Jim Boeheim. They also acquired the rights to Big East football in the 1990s and would air a post-game show after a Syracuse Orangemen game was shown. The coverage was expanded to include a football coach's show with Paul Pasqualoni and a football preview show hosted by Steve Hyder and Joe Zone. In the late-1980s, WSYT aired New York Yankees games that were produced and broadcast by WPIX in New York City.

On November 1, 2010, WSYT launched The Country Network on its second digital subchannel replacing a standard definition simulcast of its primary channel. On May 15, 2012, Sinclair and Fox agreed to a five-year extension to the network's affiliation agreement with Sinclair's nineteen Fox stations (including WSYT) allowing them to continue carrying the network's programming through 2017. In a YouTube video posted by WBFF in Baltimore, Maryland in July 2012, it was revealed that WSYT would air Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune beginning September 17, 2012. WSYT is one of a handful of Fox affiliates to air the game shows along with WBFF, WXIX-TV in Cincinnati, WVUE-DT in New Orleans, WLUK-TV in Green Bay, and WALA-TV in Mobile among the Fox affiliates to air the popular game shows.

Sinclair announced the sale of WSYT, the LMA for WNYS-TV, and WYZZ-TV in Peoria–Bloomington, Illinois to Cunningham Broadcasting on February 28, 2013 following its acquisition of Barrington Broadcasting. The sale was necessary due to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s ownership rules as Sinclair chose to keep Barrington's WSTM-TV in Syracuse. However, in an updated filing with the FCC, it was revealed that WSYT would instead be sold to Bristlecone Broadcasting, a company owned by Brian Brady, owner of Northwest Broadcasting. Those transactions were completed on November 25. Following the consummation of the sale, Sinclair continued to operate WSYT and WNYS-TV through a transitional service agreement for six months until May 2014. Sinclair will continue to own the station's studios on James Street and its transmitter site in Otisco for at least ten years. Bristlecone Broadcasting was incorporated into the Northwest Broadcasting corporate structure in a May 2015 restructuring of Brady's broadcast holdings, making WSYT and WNYS sister stations to WICZ-TV and WBPN-LP in Binghamton.

TV stations in New York
WNYW, New York City

WNYF-CD/WWNY-CD, Watertown/Massena
WXXA, Schenectady/Albany
WUTV, Buffalo
WUHF, Rochester
WSYT, Syracuse
WFXV, Utica
WICZ, Binghamton
WYDC, Corning

TV stations in Central New York, including Syracuse
W42EB-D 42 (Ind.)
WBLZ-LD 49 (Ind.)
WNYI 52 (Daystar)
WSPX 56 (Ion)
WSYT 68 (Fox)
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