|Vineland, New Jersey/|
|City||Vineland, New Jersey|
|Branding||Univisión 65 (general)|
Noticias 65 (newscasts)
|Slogan||Tu gente, tu voz|
(Your People, Your Voice)
|Channels||Digital: 17 (UHF)|
(shared with WPHL-TV)
Virtual: 65 (PSIP)
|Translators||WFPA-CD 28.2 Philadelphia|
WMGM-DT 40.3 (36.5 UHF) Wildwood, NJ
|Licensee||Univision Philadelphia LLC|
|First air date||July 13, 1981|
|Call sign meaning||UniVision Philadelphia|
|Sister station(s)||WFPA-CD, WMGM-TV|
|Former call signs|
|Former channel number(s)|
|Transmitter power||645 kW|
|Height||324 m (1,063 ft)|
|Public license information||Profile|
WUVP-DT, virtual channel 65 (UHF digital channel 17), is a Univision owned-and-operated television station serving Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States that is licensed to Vineland, New Jersey. The station is owned by the Univision Local Media subsidiary of Univision Communications, as part of a duopoly with Wildwood, New Jersey-licensed Justice Network affiliate WMGM-TV, channel 40 (which simulcasts WUVP-DT on its third digital subchannel); it is also sister to Philadelphia-licensed low-power, Class A UniMás owned-and-operated station WFPA-CD (channel 28). WUVP-DT and WFPA-CD share studios on Delsea Drive in Franklin Township, New Jersey while their news department is based in Center City, Philadelphia; WUVP shares transmitter facilities with MyNetworkTV affiliate WPHL-TV (channel 17) in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia.
The station first signed on the air on June 22, 1981 as WRBV. The station was owned by a local group called Renaissance Broadcasting of Vineland (not to be confused with the Renaissance Broadcasting Company that was sold to the Tribune Company, the current owners of WPHL-TV [channel 17], in 1996). Renaissance had hoped to operate the station as the ABC affiliate for southern New Jersey; however, the network decided not to add the station to its lineup, and when WRBV began operation it was running syndicated shows during the day, a half-hour local newscast at 7 p.m., and subscription television programming from Wometco Home Theater during the evening and overnight hours.
The station's signal, broadcast from a transmission tower located in Waterford Township, New Jersey (25 miles (40 km) southeast of Philadelphia), put it at a disadvantage. It covered the city of Philadelphia, but only a few of the densely populated and affluent suburbs west of the city, leaving it with a smaller potential audience than its competitors. WRBV also ran into difficulty obtaining carriage by the cable television providers within its large coverage area. In defiance of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations of the time, NYT Cable, Sammons, Tri-County and other large systems refused to add the station to their channel lineups. As a result, the station ran into financial difficulties within months, unable to get a network affiliation, garner an audience, or sell advertising to support its acquired programming and its extensive evening newscast (which was discontinued when the owners declared bankruptcy the first week of December 1981).
In December 1981, Renaissance filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, forcing the bankruptcy trustee Richard Milstead to lay off the entire newsroom staff and all but a skeleton crew of managers and technicians, as well as drop all programming outside of the Wometco Home Theater schedule. However, the station continued to sell production services and operate in bankruptcy for more than three years, resuming broadcasting within nine months and running at an operating profit under an aggressive, young staff led by veteran station manager Carmen Colucci. The former schedule of syndicated shows was succeeded by Financial News Network, public domain movies, and new syndicated series in 1982, when WWSG (channel 57, now WPSG) dropped FNN to run subscription television programming 24/7. When FNN went cable-only in 1984, WRBV began carrying a music video channel called Odyssey during all but the prime access hours. By 1985, Odyssey was broadcast during prime time as well, when Wometco Home Theater abruptly ceased operations. Management of the station under Milstead persuaded TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer to begin carrying the station's schedule information in their listings. Then, assisted by Washington attorneys, the station won an order by the FCC to the region's cable television systems to begin carrying WRBV. Both actions were critical to making the station attractive to potential investors.
In June 1985, Press Broadcasting Company, a division of the Asbury Park Press, purchased the station for a mere $3.3 million and changed the call letters to WSJT (for "South Jersey Television"). Press Broadcasting executives planned to program the station with relatively recent reruns of syndicated programming, but found that the rights to virtually all current product were held by existing Philadelphia market stations, even though many were not then being broadcast. One of the stations, WWSG, which was purchased by Milton Grant a few months earlier, bought most of the stronger leftover product, as that station would change formats that coming fall and begin running those shows. Consequently, Press Broadcasting adopted a strategy of televising old black-and-white series from the 1950s and 1960s, along with B-movies. In a notable success, previous to the sale to Press Broadcasting, the station obtained the rights to the basketball games of the newly formed Big East Conference, as well as LSU Tigers football. When Villanova's men's basketball team reached the top 10 rankings in winter 1985 and the Big East conference tournament came around, WSJT was the only station in the Philadelphia region with rights to carry the games, and thousands of area residents learned about the station for the first time.
Some of WSJT's shows included The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, The Danny Thomas Show, My Little Margie, Our Miss Brooks, December Bride, The Donna Reed Show, The Patty Duke Show, Petticoat Junction, Bachelor Father, Love That Bob, Gunsmoke, Naked City, Ironside, The Ann Sothern Show and other vintage series not wanted by other Philadelphia area stations. The station also resumed broadcasting news in the form of five-minute newsbreaks at the top of primetime hours, anchored by Brian Eckert, producer of the station's first news program in 1981. Unfortunately, ratings were dismal. Channel 57 had been renamed WGBS only a few months after Channel 65's format change and easily won the third place among independent stations. Soon after, the owners of the Asbury Park Press told Press Broadcasting's management that the station would have to significantly improve ratings "or else."
In 1986, Silver King Broadcasting, the Home Shopping Network's television station group, bought WSJT from Press Broadcasting for an astonishing $27 million. In announcing the sale to the station staff, Press Broadcasting executives said they expected to buy the defunct channel 48 license of the former WKBS, and that all of the now former WSJT staff would be rehired when that happened. However, the purchase never occurred.
WSJT changed its call letters to WHSP-TV (for "Home Shopping Philadelphia"), and began running HSN programming on the station full-time starting on December 31 of that year. The station remained a Home Shopping Network station for the next 16 years. Silver King was acquired by USA Broadcasting in the late 1990s. There were plans to eventually convert WHSP to a general entertainment format with many sitcoms from the 1960s and 1970s, drama series, and cartoons sometime in 2002, as USA-owned stations in Miami, Atlanta, Boston and Dallas-Fort Worth had already converted to such formats. However, USA Broadcasting put its stations up for sale in late 2000.
The Walt Disney Company almost bought the stations (had Disney bought WHSP, it would have created a duopoly with ABC O&O WPVI-TV channel 6), but Univision Communications wound up outbidding them for the broadcast group in 2001. Accordingly, on January 14, 2002, WHSP affiliated with the Univision network and changed its call sign to WUVP. The move gave Univision its first full-power station in the Philadelphia area. Previously, Univision aired on a low-powered repeater of New York City's Univision station, WXTV, which aired on WXTV-LP channel 28. Following the switch, that station joined Univision's new Telefutura network, as WFPA-CA.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|65.1||720p||16:9||WUVP-DT||Main WUVP-TV programming / Univision|
|65.3||Justice||Simulcast of WMGM-TV / Justice Network|
|Table data as of January 16, 2018|
WUVP-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 65, 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 29. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 65, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition. Eleven days later, WUVP, along with all other Univision owned-and-operated full-power television stations, permanently adopted a "-DT" suffix in its callsign, regardless of whether or not any stations had a "-TV" suffix prior to that date. As a result, the station's callsign was modified to WUVP-DT.
Get TV was launched on the station's 65.3 digital sub-channel in February 2014, becoming the first free over-the-air English movie channel to be seen on the station since its affiliation with Wometco Home Theater.
On June 22, 1981, WRBV-TV aired its first program, a weeknight half-hour 7 p.m. newscast, anchored by Dick Minton, news director; produced by Brian Eckert; directed by Dave Williams, all formerly of New Jersey Public Television. Eckert produced and anchored hourly weekday newscasts that began the next day. However, news and all other "free" programming were discontinued when the station declared bankruptcy on December 5, 1981. In the summer of 1985, after the station became WSJT, Press Broadcasting launched hourly evening news updates, anchored by Eckert. After acquisition by HSN, WHSP broadcast hourly three-minute current affairs interview programs hosted by Eckert.
WUVP-DT presently broadcasts five hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with one hour each on weekdays). On February 17, 2004, the station launched its news department with the premiere of Noticias 65, airing on Monday through Friday evenings at 6 and 11 p.m. making it the first Spanish-language television news operation in the Philadelphia market anchored by Ilia García. Since the station does not produce newscasts on weekends, the station initially rebroadcast newscasts from its San Juan, Puerto Rico sister station WLII-DT. In December 2013, the station announced a news share agreement with WPVI-TV (channel 6); as a result, WUVP began airing a live newscast at 11 p.m. on December 26.
On September 11, 2017, it was announced that WUVP was awarded two Emmys from the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The station won for news stories "Human Interests," "After a Second Chance," and "New Leash on Life," as well as the promotional campaign "Philadelphia Pride."