Mahoning/Shenango Valley Area TV Stations

19 WYFX Youngstown, Ohio
Owner: New Vision Television with sale pending to LINn TV
Network: Fox

Starting as W62BT on Channel 62 in 1989, it wasn’t until nearly the turn of the 21st Century that WYFX-LP was formally on the air. It was aided by repeater WFXI-LP (17) in Mercer, Pennsylvania. Owned by Piedmont Television, the WFXI calls were also being used on a full-power sister station in North Carolina. WFXI would later be converted to a Class A license. The two channels were branded together as “Fox 17/62” until about 2008 as the transition to digital began. Being co-owned with WKBN – a full-power station – WYFX has enjoyed some privileges that most low-power stations don’t benefit from such as being carried on most of the local cable systems. Local news broadcasts are managed by WKBN. In 2009, New Vision turned in the license for WFXI-CA in Mercer. In 2012, LIN TV announced the acquisition of New Vision Television.

21 (20) WFMJ Youngstown, Ohio
Owner: Vindicator Publishing Company
Network: NBC

William F. Maag, Jr., who owned and published the Youngstown Vindicator, founded WMFJ (the calls are his initials) in 1953 and ran it along side the newspaper and WFMJ-AM/FM (1390/105.1). It was originally allocated to UHF channel 73, but Maag bought the construction permit for Channel 21 (for WUTV) and moved the station there in 1954. WFMJ boasts a strong signal which reach the southern regions of Cleveland. It is also one of few stations which remains locally owned and operated. The main channel is the NBC affiliate, but the second digital subchannel supplies the Youngstown region with “The Valley’s CW”.

27 WPCP-CD New Castle, Pennsylvania
Owner: Bruno Goodworth Network
Network: Independent

A repeater for WBGN-CD in Pittsburgh.

27 (41) WKBN-TV Youngstown, Ohio
Owner: New Vision Television with sale pending to LIN TV
Network: CBS

WKBN-TV went on the air in 1953 as the first UHF station in Ohio and sixth in the nation. The Williamson family owned the station along with WKBN-AM/FM (570/98.9) which were both CBS affiliates. Out of loyalty, the TV station started out as and has remained the area’s CBS affiliate. WKBN had secondary affiliations with ABC and DuMont until New Castle-licensed WKST-TV took the ABC affiliation and DuMont ceased operation. The Williamsons didn’t sell the station until 1997 when it went to Gocom which would later become Piedmont Television. They held on to the radio stations for two more years when they were sold to what eventually became Clear Channel. The sale of the TV station to New Vision took place in 2007 which is when WKBN took over operations of rival WYTV in a Shared Services Agreement with Parkin Broadcasting. Meanwhile, in 2012 LIN TV announced the acquisition of New Vision Television and will retain both WKBN and WYFX as well as the SSA with Parkin.

33 (36) WYTV Youngstown, Ohio
Owner: PBC Broadcasting, LLC
Network: ABC

 WYTV originated as WKST-TV (45) licensed to New Castle, Pennsylvania in 1953 being co-owned with WKST Radio. It would serve as the primary ABC affiliate in Western Pennsylvania as WTAE in Pittsburgh would not sign on until 1958 and WJET Erie in 1966. WKST moved to Channel 33 and was reassigned to Youngstown in the early 1960s and became WYTV in 1964. Meanwhile, WXTV moved from Channel 73 to Channel 45 and would eventually be reassigned to Alliance, Ohio. WYTV was known for airing children’s programming to fill a void when the market had no independent stations. YTV was often the go-to channel for after-school TV watching. The station served as Youngstown’s first Fox affiliate in the mid-1990s prempting ABC programs for Fox even though Fox was a secondary affiliation. WYTV was owned by Benedek Broadcasting through the 1990s until the company filed for bankruptcy in 2002. Unlike most of its sisters who went to Gray Television, WYTV went to Chelsey Television and was managed by Barrington Broadcasting. Chelsey sold to Parkin Broadcasting in 2007 and thus began a Shared Services Agreement with WKBN/WYFX. All three are operated from the same facility.

45 (46-45) WNEO Alliance, Ohio
Owner: Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio, Inc.
Network: PBS

WNEO went on the air in 1973 licensed to Alliance, serving Youngstown and with a transmitter site in Salem, Ohio. W44CR-D is operated as a digital translator within the low-lying valley areas which are not able to receive the main signal. It replaced W58AM which served as the analog translator until 2009. In 1975, full-power WEAO signed on to translate the WNEO programming to Cleveland. The two stations together are branded as Western Reserve PBS