Durham, North Carolina
|City||Archer Lodge, North Carolina|
|Channels||Digital: 32 (UHF)|
(shared with WRPX-TV)
Virtual: 62 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||Ion Plus (O&O; 2018-present)|
|Owner||Ion Media Networks|
(Ion Media License Company, LLC)
|First air date||March 1985|
(in Fayetteville, North Carolina; license moved to Archer Lodge in 2018)
|Call letters' meaning||Fayetteville's PaX|
|Former callsigns||WFCT (1985-1993)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
62 (UHF, 1985-2009)
Digital: 36 (UHF, until 2018)
15 (UHF, 2018-2019)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1985-1994)|
Ion Television (as satellite of WRPX-TV, 1998-2018)
|Transmitter power||170 kW|
|Height||563.8 m (1,850 ft)|
|Public license information||Profile|
WFPX-TV, virtual channel 62 (UHF digital channel 32), is an Ion Plus owned-and-operated television station licensed to Archer Lodge, North Carolina, United States and serving the Triangle region (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill-Fayetteville). The station is owned by Ion Media Networks (the former Paxson Communications), as part of a duopoly with Rocky Mount-licensed Ion Television owned-and-operated station WRPX-TV (channel 47). The two stations share a sales office on Gresham Lake Road in Raleigh and transmitting facilities northeast of Middlesex in unincorporated Nash County.
Originally licensed to Fayetteville, it previously served as a relay of WRPX for the southern part of the market, including Fayetteville and Southern Pines; WRPX served the northern part, including Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.
Channel 62 signed on in 1985 as WFCT, an independent station owned by Fayetteville/Cumberland Telecasters. Attorneys Robinson and Katherine Everett of Durham, founders of WRDU-TV (now MyNetworkTV affiliate WRDC) in Durham, along with WJKA (now Fox affiliate WSFX-TV) in Wilmington and WGGT (now MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYV) in Greensboro, were two of the principals in this company.
The station changed call letters to WFAY in 1993 and became a Fox affiliate in 1994; the affiliation came as part of a deal that also saw the Everetts switch their CBS affiliates, WJKA and KECY-TV in El Centro, California/Yuma, Arizona to Fox. Even though WFAY was located in the same market as WLFL (a Fox affiliate at the time), it mainly focused on communities located south of Fayetteville that did not get a good signal from WLFL. Some of its non-network programming was also simulcast to the Raleigh-Durham area on WRAY-TV for a couple of years in the mid-1990s until it was acquired by the Shop at Home network.
WFAY later became WFPX and dropped Fox after being bought out by Paxson in 1998. Later that year, newly minted Fox station WFXB out of the Florence-Myrtle Beach market expanded its signal to cover areas formerly served by WFAY. It is worthy of note that WFPX's signal was not seen at all in the northern portion of the Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville market, but covered northern portions of the Florence-Myrtle Beach market, which did not have its own Ion affiliate until 2015, when WBTW added Ion on a digital subchannel following a deal made with Media General.
On April 4, 2017, WFPX was identified by the FCC as receiving $62.4 million for the spectrum reallocation auction. WFPX later entered into a channel-sharing arrangement with WRPX and changed its city of license to Archer Lodge, North Carolina. After the channel share went into effect, WRPX-DT3, carrying Ion Life, took WFPX's 62.1 virtual channel, assuring that network market-wide must-carry over pay-TV systems.
WFPX-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 62, at noon on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal continued to broadcasts on its pre-transition UHF channel 36. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 62, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.
WFPX-TV moved from channel 15 to channel 32 on September 11, 2019.