WUHF is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Rochester, New York, United States. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 28 (or virtual channel 31 via PSIP) from a transmitter on Pinnacle Hill on the border between Rochester and Brighton. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which also operates ABC affiliate WHAM-TV (channel 13) under a shared services agreement with owner Deerfield Media. The two outlets share studios on West Henrietta Road (NY 15) in Henrietta (though the mailing address says Rochester). On cable, WUHF can be seen on Charter Spectrum channel 7 in both standard and high definition.
WUHF began operations on January 27, 1980 as a general entertainment independent station running cartoons, sitcoms (classic and recent), movies, drama series, and religious programs. The station was owned by Malrite and the General Manager was Jerry Carr who was the former The Weather Outside personality. Apparently by sheer coincidence, the station re-used a call sign which was previously used by a different and unrelated station which operated on the same channel 31, albeit in New York City. The latter station had only used the WUHF calls for its first year of experimental operation (1961–62); it is now Ion Television owned-and-operated station WPXN-TV.
In 1983, former underground cartoonist Brian Bram produced and hosted All Night Live, a program aired live from midnight to 7 in the morning on Fridays and Saturdays. Bram's show was a showcase for regional bands including Personal Effects, Cousin Al and the Relatives, and The Degrads. On October 6, 1986, WUHF became a charter affiliate of Fox for Rochester and was known on-air as "Fox 31". Most of the religious shows were gone by then. However, WUHF was initially still programmed as an independent station since Fox would only air one program, The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers until April 1987, and even then, would not present an entire week's worth of programming until 1993. In 1989, Act III Broadcasting bought the station from Malrite Communications Group. In a group deal, Abry would become the owner in 1994.
By 1996, it was controlled by Sinclair and was eventually sold to that company. In the 1990s, classic sitcoms, movies, and drama shows made way for talk, reality, and court shows. The station ended weekday airings of cartoons at the end of 2001 when Fox canceled its weekday kids block nationwide. In 1999, the station became known on-air as "Fox Rochester" although it adopted a "Fox 31" logo in from 1999 to 2005. Its digital signal signed on-the-air in 2004 under a special temporary authority from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In 2006, WUHF added The Tube digital music video channel on a new second digital subchannel. This continued until the service went out of business in 2007.
In August 2005, the Sinclair Broadcast Group entered into a shared services agreement with Nexstar Broadcasting Group, owner of CBS affiliate WROC-TV (channel 8). Sinclair agreed to be the subordinate entity allowing Nexstar to control programming for WUHF. The station then moved from its studios on East Avenue (NY 96) in Rochester to WROC-TV's facilities.
On May 15, 2012, Sinclair and Fox agreed to a five-year extension to the network's affiliation agreement with Sinclair's 19 Fox stations, including WUHF, allowing them to continue carrying the network's programming through 2017.
On December 3, 2012, Sinclair announced it would acquire the non-FCC assets of ABC affiliate WHAM-TV from Newport Television (with the license and other FCC assets being transferred to Deerfield Media). On December 31, 2013, WUHF terminated its eight-year SSA with WROC-TV, and the station was re-located into the Henrietta studios of WHAM-TV. On January 1, 2014, WUHF introduced two WHAM-TV-produced newscasts, Good Day Rochester, and a new 10 p.m. newscast. Both were previously seen on WHAM-DT2 (a CW-affiliated subchannel).
In 1994, several cable systems in Canada started carrying WUHF via the Cancom communications satellite in out-of-market areas where Fox was not otherwise available. However, it had been carried on cable in Belleville, Ontario and other communities on the north shore of Lake Ontario since the 1980s. It was formerly carried by Eastlink (in SD only) and on Bell Aliant FibreOP TV (in both SD and HD) for viewers in Atlantic Canada until late 2012 (January 30, 2013 in Eastlink's case), when it was replaced with WFXT in Boston, a former Fox O&O (now owned by Cox Media Group). The station is also carried in the Thousand Islands region of the North Country in the town of Hammond (via Citizens Cable TV) as well as in the provinces of Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador. WUHF has been carried on satellite systems since 1996 and it is currently the only Rochester-based television station seen in Canada on the Shaw Direct satellite provider.
CF Cable in the western suburbs of Montreal used to carry the station in 1995 but replaced it with sister station WUTV from Buffalo the following year. That station was carried on Vidéotron for cable systems outside the West Island. It was also the first Fox station carried on Montreal cable. However, the northern suburbs of that city (particularly Saint-Jérôme) still carry the station, even though in Mont-Tremblant, WFFF-TV along with other Burlington, Vermont–Plattsburgh, New York stations are seen there instead. Sinclair was re-negotiating for carriage of WUHF on the local Time Warner Cable system in Rochester. The previous agreement expired on December 31, 2010. An updated retransmission agreement was reached in February 2011. Had this not happened, WUHF could have pulled its signal from Time Warner Cable.
|TV stations in New York|
|WNYW, New York City|
|TV stations in the Greater Rochester, New York area|
|WGCE-CD 6 (Heartland) |
WROC 8 (CBS)
WHEC 10 (NBC)
WHAM 13 (ABC)
WXXI 21 (PBS)
WUHF 31 (Fox)
WBGT-CD 46 (MNTV)