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May 20 2015

Follow up to the Mailbag

Sometimes it doesn’t take long to get answers…!

  • The FCC database has updated the listing for Channel 22 in Pittsburgh. It is officially WPNT – the callsign that graced 92.9 FM when it was beautiful music. The network is still “MY TV” for which WPMY stood. So perhaps there is something more than the eye can see coming down the line. One has to wonder why the calls didn’t go back to the original set – WPTT. They aren’t being used anywhere and were last used on Renda Broadcasting’s 1360 AM in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
  • A few eager LAFF-TV fans have e-mailed us as well. WPXI’s planned start date for 11.3 is now June 15. I suggested that it was due to technical reasons for the channel which has remained dormant for a few years. One alert reader suggests that it’s to allow local cable outlets – Comcast, Verizon, and others – to make room on their channel grids.

4 comments

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  1. Joseph Gerard

    I’m guessing that WPNT, like other Sinclair-owned (or operated) MYTV affiliates, could be adopting a more local identity in the near future. Sinclair-controlled WSTR-TV in Cincinnati and formerly Sinclair-owned WTTA in Tampa (Sinclair swapped WTTA to Media General a few months ago in exchange for some of their stations due to the Media General-LIN merger) both adopted local identities while keeping the MYTV affiliation. Sinclair isn’t alone in this: a lot of MYTV affiliates have moved towards local identities in recent years. With it effectively being a syndication service at this point, despite its relatively high ratings I wouldn’t be surprised if Fox shuts it down next year when a lot of the affiliation contracts are up.

    With that said, it does seem like WPNT is becoming a poor man’s Root Sports Pittsburgh with regards to sports programming. (“Poor man’s” in the sense that its over-the-air instead of cable-only.) They air programming from Sinclair-owned American Sports Network and Sinclair-owned Ring of Honor (if you want to consider the latter a sport, although its more athletically-based than WWE), and have drawn in high ratings for airing Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins games. I wouldn’t be surprised if they reach an agreement with Root Sports to simulcast some weekend Pirates and Penguins games, possibly air local colleges outside the big conferences. (Think Robert Morris, IUP, Cal U, etc…) And a lot of its non-Sinclair syndicated programming already airs on WPGH. WKBN-TV in Youngstown has done a good job essentially turning WYTV-DT2 into a local sports channel. I could see the same for WPNT.

  2. Joseph Gerard

    Update: WPNT just commented back on their official Facebook page on the call sign change. They said to expect more changes September 1st. Guess they are going to a more local identity.

  3. Frank

    WPXI fired up 11.3 this weekend. On Sunday morning it was a simulcast of the MeTV feed on 11.2. Perhaps it is just an equipment test as someone else speculated.

  4. Brian

    11.3 had a slate up last evening the Laff is coming on June 1st.

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