WPFO, channel 23, is the Fox-affiliated television station for Portland, Maine that is licensed to Waterville. Its transmitter is located on Oak Hill in Litchfield. The station does not broadcast an over-the-air digital signal of its own. However, it does provide a high definition digital signal on Time Warner cable channels 507 and 704 as well as DirecTV. Owned by Corporate Media Consultants Group, WPFO has studios on Oxford Street in downtown Portland. Syndicated programming on the station includes: Two and a Half Men, Seinfeld, According to Jim, and Family Guy.
Because it was granted an original construction permit
after the FCC
finalized the DTV
allotment plan on April 21, 1997, the station did not receive a companion channel for a digital television station. Instead, on or before February 17, 2009, which is the end of the digital television conversion period for full-service stations, WPFO will be required to turn off its analog signal
and turn on its digital signal
(an action called a "flash-cut
The station began broadcasting on August 27, 1999. It had the call sign WMPX-TV
and was owned by Paxson Communications
. The station originally aired programming from the PAX (now ION
) Network. Paxson sold channel 23 in December of 2002 to Corporate Media Consultants Group who changed the call sign to the current WPFO
. The station changed its affiliation to Fox in April of 2003. That filled a gap created in the Fall of 2001 when WPXT
switched to The WB
. In July of 2007, WPFO launched a new logo and website. The new web address is based on the Fox owned-and-operated
format although WPFO is not owned by the network.
From its sign-on until April 12, 2003, Winstar Communications ran the station and branded it on-air as WMPX-TV PAX 23
. As such at that time, the station carried programming from the PAX Network with a small amount of local programming. During the 2000 election season, it aired a presidential debate from NBC News
(that aired on the same night as a MLB
playoff game). Some rallies of evangelist Luis Palau
were also seen on the station. As WPFO, in addition to Fox primetime and sports programming, the station airs local programming made by outside producers. In 2003, the station aired a morning talk show, with a 3 hour call-in format called, So Goes The Nation
. It was hosted by Alan Silberberg and former WVOM
host Charlie Horne from WFVX-LP
's studios in Bangor
. The show started on WFVX and then was simulcast on WPFO and via the radio on WLOB
-AM 1310. So Goes The Nation
was canceled in September of 2004.
On November 9, 2005, WPFO began simulcasting WLOB-AM's weekday morning show that is known as The Fox Morning News. It is hosted by Ray Richardson and Ted Talbot. During the program, there are short features and news stories from Fox News and weather forecasts with former WGME-TV meteorologist Paul Cousins. The program is more of a talk show than a newscast and features live call-ins from viewers and listeners. WLOB is a Fox News Radio affiliate with a conservative slant. The show originates from WLOB's studios on Warren Avenue in Portland. On February 5, 2007, CBS affiliate WGME began producing a nightly 10 o'clock newscast on WPFO known as News 13 on Fox. It competes with the 10 P.M. news that airs on CW affiliate WPXT. That newscast is co-produced by Maine's NBC affiliates, WCSH in Portland and WLBZ in Bangor. The WGME-produced news on WPFO is possible because of a news share agreement between the two stations. It is broadcasted from a secondary set at WGME's studios on Northport Drive in Portland. WPFO's website features video from The Fox Morning News and News 13 on Fox.
The Fox Morning News
(Weekday Mornings 6 to 9 A.M.)
- Ray Richardson
- Ted Talbot
- Paul Cousins - voice over only with graphics
- Political Commentator:
News 13 on Fox (10 to 10:35 P.M.)
WPFO uses additional news personnel from WGME. See that article for a complete listing.