WXXA-TV, channel 23, is the Fox-affiliated television station for the Capital District of New York State and western New England that is licensed to Albany. Its transmitter is located on Mount Pinnacle in New Scotland. Owned by Newport Television, the station has studios on Corporate Circle on the border of Albany suburbs Colonie and Guilderland. WXXA broadcasts "The Variety Channel" on its second digital subchannel and Time Warner digital cable channel 423. syndicated shows on the station includes: Tyra, Montel, The People's Court, Everybody Loves Raymond, and The Simpsons.
|23.1||7.1||720p||16:9||main WXXA programming / Fox HD|
|23.2||7.2||480i||4:3||"The Variety Channel"|
In 2009, WXXA-TV will continue digital broadcasts on channel 7 when the analog to digital transition is complete.
WXXA is the only Albany television station that has never changed its network affiliation or call letters (the original owners were a group of investors led by the station's former founding President and station manager Jim Boaz and Orion Pictures). However, it started as an independent. WXXA began broadcasting on July 30, 1982 as the market's first independent station. Before this, the channel 23 position existed for many years as a construction permit (originally as WPTR-TV) and prior to sign-on was rumored to get the NBC affiliation shed by WRGB prior to that network affiliating with WNYT.
In 1986, WXXA became one of the sign-on affiliates of the fledgling Fox network and was sold from its original local owners to Heritage Broadcasting. In 1994, Heritage sold the station to Clear Channel Communications preceding its radio entry into the market and its sizeable expansion of television assets in the Northeast by several years. Clear Channel would soon move WXXA from its original studios on Central Avenue in Albany (now a car dealership) to an expanded facility in Albany located near the Westmere area of the city. This move and expansion allowed the station to begin producing newscasts in October 1996. When UPN launched in 1995, WXXA gained a secondary affiliation with the network and aired its programming at off-hours on the weekends. Cable viewers in virtually the entire market were also able to watch the shows in-pattern on WSBK-TV from Boston. WXXA's secondary affiliation ended at the start of the 1997-1998 television season when UPN affiliated with WYPX who would show UPN programs off-pattern from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. weeknights. Albany UPN affiliation would then switch to WVBG-LP in September 1999 to January 2000.
From January 2000 until August 2003, WXXA operated "WEDG-TV", a cable-only UPN affiliate seen on Time Warner, Charter, and Mid-Hudson Cablevision cable systems in the market. Known on-air as UPN 4, the station signed off concurrent with the sign-on of broadcast UPN affiliate WNYA. WXXA's digital signal began broadcasting in December of 2005 on VHF channel 7. A combination of objections from analog co-channels in New York City and Watertown, both of which have signals at the fringes of the Albany market, was the primary reason for the late (and delayed) sign-on.
In January 2007, Clear Channel launched a digital-only network known as "The Variety Channel". The network broadcasts classic TV shows, auto showcase programming, and various home improvement programs. WXXA also inserts some local programming including newscast rebroadcasts. It began airing on WXXA's second digital subchannel in mid-January 2007. On April 20, 2007, Clear Channel entered into an agreement to sell its entire television stations group to Providence Equity Partners' Newport Television. However, Providence Equity Partners currently owns a 16 percent stake in Freedom Communications, the owner of CBS affiliate WRGB. As a result, the FCC granted conditional approval of the deal in late-November provided that Providence Equity Partners follows through with its planned divestiture of its share in Freedom Communications (as required when Providence Equity Partners purchased a minority stake in the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision earlier in 2007) to another company before the group deal can be finalized. In the interim, WXXA was moved over to the Aloha Station Trust, alongside assorted for-sale Clear Channel radio stations, until a divestiture can be made. Once the share of Freedom Communications is spun off, WXXA will be fully transferred to Newport TV.
It was also the first television station worldwide to provide video podcasts. On September 25, 2006, WXXA launched a weekday morning newscast which currently runs from 5 to 8 A.M. The announcement of this launch back in March of that year led to a preemptive move in April by WRGB. That station added an extension of its weekday morning news from 7 to 8 A.M. on MyNetworkTV affiliate WNYA. At the same time, there were rumors circulating that WRGB would start producing a 10 P.M. newscast on WNYA. The rumors shifted to WCWN when it was purchased by WRGB's owner and made a sister station. At the start of 2007, the WRGB morning news extension moved to WCWN. That shift was made because WCWN has higher ratings than WNYA. On September 24, 2008, WRGB started producing a weeknight 10 o'clock newscast in high definition. Airing for 10 minutes, it features the top stories of the day along with an updated weather forecast. During weather forecasts, WXXA uses live, NOAA National Weather Service radar data from four regional sites.
(in alphabetical order)
|Mark Baker||Fox23 News Daybreak||2006|
|John Gray||Fox23 News at 5, Fox23 News at 10/Consumer Reporter||2004|
|Ann Hughes||Fox23 News at 10/Health Reporter||1998|
|Diane Lee||Fox23 News Daybreak||2006|
|Jeff Saperstone||Fox23 News at 10 (Interim Weekend Anchor)||2003|
Fox 23 Weather Where You Live Meteorologists
(in order of rank)
|Steve Teeling||Fox23 News at 5, Fox23 News at 10, Fox23 News Chief Meteorologist||2006|
|Brandon Hertell||Fox23 News Daybreak Meteorologist||2006|
|Ryan Finn||Fox23 News Weekend/Fill-in Meteorologist||2008|
|Rich Becker||Sports Director, Fox23 News at 5, Fox23 News at 10/Host of: Fox23 Times Union High School Sports Show, Fox23 Fast Track||1999|
|Scott Morlock||Weekend Sports Anchor/Host of: Fox23 Fast Track Fox23 Times Union High School Sports Show||1997|
(in alphabetical rrder)
|Kathryn Hauser||Fox23 News Daybreak General Assignment Reporter||2006|
|Kristin Lowman||General Assignment Reporter||2007|
|Walt McClure||General Assignment Reporter||2005|
|Cait McVey||General Assignment Reporter||2007|
|Paul Merrill||General Assignment Reporter||2007|
Outside the realm of news, a few other personalities in WXXA-TV's past could be considered notable
The (Nielsen) family that views together.... November book reissued in Albany after discovery of diary from house of Fox affiliate employee.
Mar 16, 1998; November book reissued in Albany after discovery of diary from house of Fox affiliate employee Talk about a loyal following. In...