WBTI was sold to United Cable in November 1984, and resumed general entertainment programming from 6am to 7pm (with religious programing during mid-morning) in January 1985 under the WIII call sign, with the slogan, "The eyes of Cincinnati". The station dropped ON TV completely in June of that year, and began to air cartoons, classic sitcoms, old movies, religious programming, and drama; still, it continued to underperform in the ratings.
The station was sold to Abry in 1987. It changed its call letters to WSTR-TV in 1990, and became known as "Star 64" on air. Under Abry, the station acquired other syndicated shows, and became a founding UPN affiliate in January 1995, with the branding UPN 64. The Sinclair Broadcast Group acquired Abry in 1996, and became the owner of WSTR-TV.
WSTR-TV switched affiliations with WBQC in 1998, becoming a WB affiliate. Beginning in December 2003, the station aired Sinclair's News Central evening news program, in an attempt to compete with WXIX-TV's 10:00 news offering. However, WSTR announced that it would drop the show on February 24, 2006, citing a small audience compared to WXIX during the 10:00 time slot. Effective September 2006, UPN and The WB will merge to form The CW Television Network, and WSTR, being a full-power station, seemed to be most likely to become CW's Cincinnati affiliate. On March 2, 2006, however, it was announced that WSTR would affiliate with My Network TV, Fox's new network launching at the same time. This seemingly opened the door for WBQC to potentially become the CW's Cincinnati affiliate, but on April 19, the CW announced an agreement to be carried on a digital subchannel of WKRC-TV instead. (WBQC will become an independent station at that time.)
On April 26, 2006, it was announced that WSTR would soon replace their 10pm newscast with one produced jointly with WKRC-TV (Channel 12). This resulted, once the WB ended and My Network TV began, in a CBS affiliate's newscast being carried on a station affiliated with a Fox-affiliated network.However, WKRC has announced its intent to move the newscast to the CinCW network which is on WKRC's digital subchannel 12.2 in August 2008. WSTR management has experessed interest in partnering with other local stations to produce a newscast, but will run sydicated shows otherwise.
|64.1||WSTR-DT||Regular WSTR programming|