WTCN-CA is a Class A, MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station licensed to Palm Beach, Florida, United States, serving the Gold and Treasure Coasts of South Florida. It broadcasts a low-powered high definition digital signal on virtual and UHF channel 43 from a transmitter in unincorporated Martin County (southwest of Hobe Sound) on the Jonathan Dickinson State Park boundary. On cable, the station can be seen on Comcast Xfinity channel 15 (hence the on-air branding My 15 WTCN-TV) and in high definition on digital channel 430.
Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, WTCN is sister to West Palm Beach-licensed CBS affiliate WPEC (channel 12), Fort Pierce-licensed CW affiliate WTVX (channel 34), 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).
Due to WTCN's Class A status, the station's low-powered directional antenna pattern prevents it from reaching Vero Beach (to the north) and Boca Raton (to the south). In order to expand the broadcasting radius, WTCN is simulcast in standard definition on WTVX's third digital subchannel. This signal broadcasts on virtual and UHF channel 34.3 from a transmitter, southwest of Palm City and I-95/SR 9, in unincorporated Martin County.
History[edit | edit source]
The station began broadcasting on January 11, 1991 as an Independent and had the call letters W16AR. It was located on UHF channel 16 and was licensed to Stuart. Retired businessman August Gabriel began the station with $200,000 and three employees. From October 1996 until February 1997, it briefly produced a local morning show known as Good Morning Treasure Coast that was hosted by Tom Teter. Ed Birchfield also briefly hosted a 7 p.m. Treasure Coast News program from February to July 1997.
The station moved to UHF channel 15 in 2001 and then to UHF channel 14 in 2002. It added a translator on UHF channel 53 in order to reach West Palm Beach. At some point[when?], the station received the present calls of WTCN-CA and switched to UHF channel 43. This aired from a transmitter at the western boundary of Johnathan Dickinson State Park in Martin County southwest of Jupiter Island. The call letters were originally used by two stations in Minneapolis–St. Paul, Minnesota that are now WCCO-TV and KARE.
Bill Brothers, who had been operating WTCN through a local marketing agreement (LMA) since 1997, purchased the station for an undisclosed price in 2001. In the fall of 2005, CBS/Viacom bought WTCN and sister station WWHB-CA from Bill Brothers for $7.7 million. Local operations were then integrated with WTVX at its facility at Beacon Circle in West Palm Beach. However, master control originated from the studios of WBFS-TV and WFOR-TV on Northwest 18th Terrace in Doral (WFOR served as the flagship of the network-owned cluster, dubbed the "CBS South Florida Television Station Group").
At some point during the first six months of 2005, it began airing Kids' WB programming when the area's primary UPN and secondary WB affiliate WTVX stopped airing it. After its purchase by CBS/Viacom, WTCN became affiliated with The WB, its first full network affiliation. Until that point, WTVX had aired programming from that network after UPN prime time.
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. On the same day, The CW signed a ten-year affiliation agreement with eleven CBS-owned UPN stations, including WTVX. Even without the affiliation deal, that station's full-powered status made it a foregone conclusion that the station would become the CW affiliate for the Gold and Treasure Coasts.
On February 22, News Corporation announced that it would start up another new broadcast television network called MyNetworkTV. This new network, which would be sister to Fox, would be operated by Fox Television Stations and its syndication division Twentieth Television. WTCN would subsequently become one of only two MyNetworkTV affiliates owned by CBS. In 2006, WTCN placed sixth in the Nielsen ratings in the Palm Beach market with 0.4% of the audience.
On February 7, 2007, CBS agreed to sell seven of its smaller-market stations to Cerberus Capital Management for $185 million. Cerberus formed a new holding company for the stations, Four Points Media Group, which took over the operation of the stations through local marketing agreements in late-June 2007 until the group deal closed on January 10, 2008. At this point in time, local operations of WTVX, WTCN, and WWHB moved to offices on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard. Master control was eventually moved to Four Points' hub facility at KUTV in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 25, 2008.
On March 20, 2009, Nexstar Broadcasting Group took over the management of Four Points under a three-year outsourcing agreement. After the digital transition date on June 12, 2009, WTCN began airing on WTVX's previous digital channel (50). At this point, the station's transmitter was relocated to its current location southwest of Hobe Sound.
On September 8, 2011, the Sinclair Broadcast Group announced its intent to purchase Four Points from Cerberus Capital Management for $200 million; Sinclair began managing the stations, including WTCN, under local marketing agreements following antitrust approval. Sinclair subsequently announced its purchase of the entire broadcasting division of Freedom Communications, including WPEC. As a result, Sinclair would now control three of the six largest English-language network affiliations in West Palm Beach. The deal with Sinclair acquiring Four Points was completed on January 3, 2012.
Although WTVX, WTCN, and WWHB initially retained separate operations from WPEC, they would eventually be merged into WPEC's studios. On May 24, 2012, the FCC granted WTCN a construction permit to air a low-powered digital signal on UHF channel 43 (one of its former analog allotments) and become WTCN-CD (with "CD" referring to digital Class A status). It is unclear when this will actually sign-on but its proposed 15 kW power will offer market-wide coverage as opposed to the limited broadcast radius of the current analog signal.
The station began airing sports programming from the American Sports Network package of syndicated sports on August 30, 2014.
|TV stations in Florida|
|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-CD 48 (AZA)
WBWP-LD 57 (Ind)
WFGC 61 (CTN)
WBEC 63 (ETV)
WPXP 67 (Ion)