WTVX is a CW-affiliated television station licensed to Fort Pierce, Florida, United States, serving the Gold and Treasure Coasts of South Florida. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on virtual and UHF channel 34 from a transmitter in unincorporated Martin County (southwest of Palm City and I-95/SR 9). Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, WTVX is a sister station to West Palm Beach-licensed CBS affiliate WPEC (channel 12), Palm Beach-licensed Class A MyNetworkTV affiliate WTCN-CA (channel 43), 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). On cable, WTVX can be seen on Comcast Xfinity channel 4 and in high definition on digital channel 435.
WTVX first began operations as an Independent station on April 5, 1966 and soon after became a CBS affiliate. Airing an analog signal on UHF channel 34, it was the market's third television outlet to sign-on after NBC affiliate WPTV (channel 5) and ABC affiliate WEAT-TV (channel 12, now WPEC). Despite its call sign, the station was never owned by the TVX Broadcast Group, which coincidentally was a predecessor to former owner Paramount Stations Group.
It was originally owned by Indian River Television and based in a small building along U.S. 1 just south of the St. Lucie–Indian River county line. Prior to the station becoming a CBS affiliate, Miami's WTVJ (then channel 4, now channel 6) was the market's default CBS affiliate. Even after WTVX launched, its UHF signal was not nearly as powerful as WTVJ's VHF signal, and the latter continued to be recognized as the CBS affiliate for the Palm Beaches. It was not until the 1980s that cable penetration allowed WTVX to gain significant audience in Palm Beach. Even then, it remained stubbornly in the ratings basement. It not only had to contend with local rivals WPTV and WPEC, but also with WTVJ, one of the strongest CBS affiliates in the nation. Indian River Television sold the station to the Spain family of Tupelo, Mississippi, owners of that city's NBC affiliate, WTWV (now WTVA) in 1979. The station later relocated its operations to a new studio facility located on North 25th Street (SR 615) in Fort Pierce.
An Independent in the 80s
In 1987, NBC bought WTVJ (however, it would have to run the station as a CBS affiliate for another year as its affiliation contract was not up yet). CBS then bought former Fox affiliate WCIX (channel 6, now WFOR-TV on channel 4), which had a Grade B signal in Fort Lauderdale and Broward County. In hopes of improving its coverage in Broward County, CBS persuaded WPEC to switch its affiliation to CBS. WPEC has a fairly strong city-grade signal in Broward County. Logically, this should have allowed WTVX to take the ABC affiliation. However, ABC opted instead to align with new sign-on WPBF-TV (channel 25). This left WTVX as an independent station once again, which took effect on January 1, 1989. It bought a significant number of WPBF's classic sitcom and cartoon inventory, since WPBF no longer had time to air it.
During the day, the station showed movies, drama shows, and talk shows. By the summer of 1989, more sitcoms and cartoons were added to the schedule. In 1991, WTVX was sold to Krypton Broadcasting. Krypton filed for bankruptcy in 1993 and the station was acquired by Whitehead Media at an auction in 1994. Whitehead Media then entered into a local marketing agreement (LMA) with Paxson Communications, then owner of WPBF.
Affiliating with UPN
On January 16, 1995, Paramount/Viacom joined with Chris Craft/United Television to form the United Paramount Network (UPN). WTVX immediately became an affiliate of this new network. When WPBF was sold to the Hearst Corporation in early 1997, Viacom's Paramount Stations Group acquired WTVX. However at that time, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) did not permit one entity to directly own two television stations in adjacent markets whose city-grade signals overlapped. Miami's WBFS-TV provided a city-grade signal to West Palm Beach (indeed, for years, WBFS identified as "Miami–Fort Lauderdale–West Palm Beach"), so Paramount could not retain both stations.
To solve the problem, Paramount sold the license and other FCC assets of WTVX to Straightline Communications, with WBFS taking over as WTVX' LMA partner. A similar arrangement existed in New England where Straightline Communications acquired the FCC assets of WLWC in New Bedford, Massachusetts with Viacom's Boston station WSBK-TV operating that station through a similar LMA.
By the late-1990s, like other stations affiliated with the smaller networks, WTVX started to move away from cartoons and sitcoms by adding more talk-reality and court shows. In the early-2000s, WTVX started to carry The WB on a secondary basis. Programming from that network, such as 7th Heaven, aired after UPN prime time. However, the full WB schedule could be seen via Miami's WBZL-TV. WTVX soon re-branded from "UPN 34" to "TVX 34," which was based on its call letters.
Viacom would later buy WTVX and WLWC outright in 2001. After Viacom merged with the previous CBS Corporation, master control and some other internal operations of WTVX were integrated into WBFS and WFOR's studios on Northwest 18th Terrace in Doral. WFOR served as the flagship of the network-owned cluster, dubbed the "CBS South Florida Television Station Group". Throughout CBS ownership of WTVX and WTCN (as well as WWHB), the stations maintained local offices in West Palm Beach at Beacon Circle.
Affiliating with The CW
In the fall of 2000, WTCN-CA (then a little-known community access channel) became the area's new WB affiliate after Viacom's acquisition of that station. As a result, WTVX reverted to solely being a UPN station and returned to the "UPN 34" branding. On January 24, 2006, Time Warner and CBS announced the WB and UPN networks would merge to form The CW, effective in September 2006. On February 22, News Corporation announced it would start up another new network called MyNetworkTV. This new service, which would be a sister network to Fox, would be operated by Fox Television Stations and its syndication division Twentieth Television. MyNetworkTV was created in order to give UPN and WB stations, not mentioned as becoming CW affiliates, another option besides becoming independent.
On the same day The CW's formation was announced, it signed a ten-year affiliation agreement with eleven CBS-owned UPN stations, including WTVX. Even without the affiliation deal, its full-powered status made it the obvious choice as the new network's affiliate for the Gold and Treasure Coasts. This left WTCN to either revert to an Independent station or join MyNetworkTV. It chose the latter option and became part of the other new programming service on September 5 while WTVX officially launched The CW on September 18.
On February 7, 2007, CBS agreed to sell seven of its smaller-market stations to Cerberus Capital Management (including WTVX, WTCN, WWHB, and WLWC) 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. However, 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. Until the sale to Four Points, WTVX was one of three former CBS affiliates that later became CW stations that were owned by CBS. The other two are KSTW in Seattle and WPCW in Pittsburgh both of which are still owned by the network.
Sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group
On September 8, 2011, the Sinclair Broadcast Group announced its intent to purchase Four Points from Cerberus Capital Management for $200 million. The former company then began managing the stations (including WTVX, WTCN, WWHB, and WLWC) under local marketing agreements following antitrust approval by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Sinclair subsequently announced the acquisition of the television station division of Freedom Communications (owner of WPEC) which resulted in WTVX becoming a sister station to the CBS affiliate. 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.
|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)