WFUT-TV, channel 68, is a Spanish-language television station licensed to Newark, New Jersey, which serves as an affiliate of the Telefutura network for the New York City market. Owned by the Univision Broadcast Group along with WXTV (channel 41), the stations share studios in Secaucus, New Jersey and transmitting facilities at the Empire State Building.

WFUT's programming is rebroadcasted on a satellite station, WFTY (channel 67) in Smithtown, New York, which serves the eastern areas of Long Island.


WFUT first signed on September 29, 1974 as WBTB-TV (named for original owners Blonder-Tongue Broadcasting; its calls before that were WWRO-TV as a construction permit, but the calls were changed by the first transmission, a test card with a drawing of a shade tree with the WBTB calls). Initially, channel 68 offered old classic TV shows during the weekday afternoons, as well as a business news report, a variety series called The Uncle Floyd Show, and ethnic and brokered programming at night and for most of the weekend as well as religious programming during the day on Sunday and on weekday mornings.

In 1976 Wometco Broadcasting, the founding and longtime owners of WTVJ in Miami, purchased the station originally with the intent of making it more of a general entertainment station, competing with WNEW-TV, WOR-TV and WPIX with the new callsign of WTVG. However, the fact that those independents were all VHF stations as well as the general ignorance of UHF in the area, made this very hard to accomplish. However, WTVG did acquire the rights to some programs.

In 1977, Wometco launched a nationwide subscription television service called Wometco Home Theater, and opted to use channel 68 as the New York affiliate, under new call letters, WWHT. However, only a morning movie from 10 a.m. to noon and programming during primetime and overnight hours were used for the service, with the independent format continuing at all other times. By 1980, WWHT was running religious shows from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., WHT Programming 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 8 p.m. through the overnight, more religious shows from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., general entertainment from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and business news from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

On weekends the station ran children's programming early Saturday morning followed by brokered programming from late morning to about 4 p.m. Sundays consisted of religious shows until 4 p.m. WHT began after 4 p.m. on weekends at that point. Also, at that point, WSNL-TV (channel 67) in Smithtown, New York, was purchased by Wometco and began simulcasting WWHT.

In the spring of 1981, WWHT dropped afternoon programming and began running Financial News Network from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. In the spring of 1983, WHT began offering programming 24 hours a day. WWHT at this point only ran some religious programming from 7 to 10 a.m. Weekdays and Sundays and WHT programming the rest of the time. FNN, brokered shows, and the few entertainment shows were dropped. Uncle Floyd would move to New Jersey Network. In 1984, a year after Wometco's founder Mitchell Wolfson died, WWHT/WSNL and the other Wometco stations were all sold to investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, which also bought the Storer Broadcasting group of stations.

By 1985, WHT folded, due to huge losses as a result of the expansion of cable television; as a result, the station switched to music videos as U-68, programmed by Steve Leeds (later at MTV). KKR was looking to sell all of its broadcast properties. The Wometco stations were sold to separate buyers, with WTVJ eventually going to NBC. (The other Storer stations picked up by KKR went to Gillett Broadcasting.) However, in the fall of 1986, WWHT and WSNL were sold to the Home Shopping Network and became WHSE and WHSI, airing the HSN format full-time for the next sixteen years. When Barry Diller bought the USA Network, the company was renamed USA Broadcasting.

By the late 1990s, HSN's broadcasting arm, known as USA Broadcasting, planned to switch their HSN stations to an independent format, with WHSE/WHSI slated to switch in 2001. Several sisters stations did indeed switch. Late in 2000, however, USA Broadcasting, who owned HSN by that time, decided to sell their stations to Univision, meaning that WHSE would switch to AIN/UATV, networks generally used by low-powered stations, before becoming a charter Telefutura affiliate on January 14, 2002, re-called as WFUT-TV.

Digital television

Channel Programming
68.1 / 53.1 main WFUT-TV/Telefutura programming

Analog-to-digital conversion

After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion, which is tentatively scheduled to take place on February 17, 2009 , WFUT-TV will move its digital broadcasts to channel 30.

See also


External links

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