WTBY-TV, channel 54 (UHF digital channel 23), is a television station licensed to Jersey City, New Jersey, United States, owned by the Trinity Broadcasting Network and serving the New York City television market. WTBY's studios are located on Union Square in Manhattan, with transmitter located atop the Empire State Building.
The station signed on April 6, 1981 as WFTI-TV, originally licensed to the city of Poughkeepsie, New York, in the Hudson Valley region. The station was initially owned by Family Television, Inc., founded by Keith Houser in 1979, and headquartered in the Poughkeepsie Plaza Mall on U.S. Route 9 in Poughkeepsie. WFTI's early programming included reruns of The Lone Ranger and The Cisco Kid, and the station originated coverage of Army Cadets sports (except the Army-Navy college football game); Family TV also produced Valley Magazine, a nightly 30-minute program with interviews of local celebrities, such as James Cagney.
After Irving Trust, the station's sole banking source, experienced financial problems and prematurely called the station's loan in 1982 (Irving Trust was ultimately shut down by the Federal Reserve), Family Television sold the station to the Trinity Broadcasting Network in June 1982, though the sale would not be completed until over a year later, in July 1983. TBN then changed the station's call letters on October 4, 1982 to the present WTBY-TV and moved the station's operations to studios in the village of Fishkill. Not long after taking control of the station, TBN co-founders Paul and Jan Crouch helped sign WTBY on the air under TBN ownership with a special edition of the network's flagship program Praise the Lord, broadcast from the new Fishkill studios.
While Poughkeepsie is part of the New York City television market, WTBY's over-the-air signal could only be seen clearly in the northern fringes of the area. Most of the core of the New York area, including the Five Boroughs, got only a rimshot signal even in digital, and it completely missed most of Long Island. For most of its first quarter-century as a TBN-owned station, the bulk of its viewership was in the Albany–Schenectady–Troy market. Until 2010, WTBY operated two translators in that market—W52DF channel 52 to reach Albany and the Capital District, and W47CM on channel 47 to reach Glens Falls and the Adirondacks. Both stations ceased broadcasting due to declining support, which has been attributed to the digital transition, with W52DF shutting down on March 13 and W47CM shutting down one month later. W52DF's license, along with 43 other silent TBN repeaters, was canceled on December 1, 2011 for remaining silent over a year.
Until 2007, WTBY was not carried on the two main cable systems in New York City itself (Optimum TV [formerly Cablevision] and Spectrum [formerly Time Warner Cable]), and its cable penetration is still spotty at best on the New Jersey and Connecticut sides of the market. It is not available on DirecTV or Dish Network's New York City local feeds; only the national version is available, as is the case with all TBN-owned stations.
Despite its modest cable penetration in the area, TBN has poured significant resources into WTBY in recent years. In 2007, when TBN opened a new studio in the former Century Center for the Performing Arts near Union Square in Manhattan, WTBY's studio/office operations were moved to that location.
Locally produced programs include versions of Praise the Lord and Joy in Our Town, a public affairs program. WTBY also carries programs produced by local pastors, notably A.R. Bernard of Christian Cultural Center, and Floyd H. Flake of the Greater Allen A. M. E. Cathedral of New York. As of 2017, this programming was cancelled.
|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||WPXO-LD, East Orange||WXNY-LD, New York City||WFTY-DT, Smithtown/New York City|
|WTBY, Jersey City/New York City||WASA-LD, Port Jervis||WNYX-LD, New York City||WJLP, Middletown Township/New York City|
|WDVB-CD, Edison||WBQM-LD, Brooklyn||WNXY-LD, New York City||WYCI, Saranac Lake|
|W20CQ-D, Hempstead||WKOB-LD, New York City||WMBC, Newton/New York City||W41DO-D, New York City|
|WZME, Bridgeport/New York City|
|WRNN, New Rochelle/New York City|
|WLNY, Riverhead/New York City|
|TV Stations in the New York City Metropolitan Area|
WLIW 21 (PBS)|WVVH-CD50 (YTA)|WLNY 55 (IND)|WFTY 68 (UNM)