call_letters = WFQX-TV / WFUP
station_slogan = Northern Michigan's
station_branding = Fox 33
Fox 33 News
WFQX: 33 (UHF)
WFUP: 45 (UHF)
digital = WFQX: 47 (UHF)
other_chs = W43CM Pickford
W61CR Sault Ste. Marie
affiliations = Fox
airdate = WFQX:
January 11, 1993
location = WFQX: Cadillac /
Traverse City, Michigan
callsign_meaning = WFQX: refers to Fox
WFUP: Fox Upper Peninsula
former_callsigns = WFQX: WGKI (1989-2000)
WFUP: WGKU (1992-2000)
owner = Cadillac Telecasting Company
(SSA with Heritage Broadcasting Group)
effective_radiated_power = WFQX:
776 kW (analog)
500 kW (digital)
WFUP: 851 kW
HAAT = WFQX:
297 m (analog)
393 m (digital)
WFUP: 324 m
facility_id = WFQX: 25396
coordinates = WFQX: coord|44|8|52.5|N|85|20|44.8|W|type:landmark_scale:2000 (analog)
homepage = [http://www.fox33.com/ fox33.com]
WFQX-TV is the Fox-affiliated
television stationfor the northern Lower and eastern Upper Peninsulas of Michigan. Licensed to Cadillac, the station broadcasts an analog signal on UHFchannel 33 from a transmitter located northeast of Tustin in northern Osceola County. WFQX broadcasts a digital signal on UHF channel 47 from a transmitter located east of Kalkaska. As with other network affiliates in this vast rural area, the station operates a full-time satellite, WFUP. Licensed to Vanderbilt, this station broadcasts an analog signal on UHF channel 45 with no digital simulcast. WFUP's transmitter is located about 8 miles WNW of Vanderbilt on Hudson Lookout in Charlevoix County.
Unlike other network affiliates in Northern Michigan, the WFQX & WFUP combination is not known on-air as "Fox 33&45". The stations are simply known on-air as "Fox 33" (there is no logo for WFUP either). Aside from legal identification, there is no on-air mention that WFUP exists. WFQX is owned by Cadillac Telecasting but is operated through a shared services agreement (SSA) by Heritage Broadcasting Group (the owner of area
CBSaffiliate WWTVand its full time satellite, WWUP). Hour-to-hour operations are handled from the station's main facilities just southeast of Cadillac, while newscasts on WFQX are produced at WWTV's studios on 130th Avenue northeast of Tustin. The station broadcasts 24/7, although overnights are filled with home shopping and other paid programming. WFQX also airs a large number of infomercialsand religious paid programs such as "Believer's Voice of Victory", "Walking By Faith" and " The 700 Club" (which moved from WGTUin the fall of 2008).
The station began broadcasting in October of 1989. Its call letters, WGKI, were named from founder Gary Knapp, a former DJ and television personality. Despite its limited reach, WGKI was shown on local cable systems. Prior to WGKI, northern Michigan received Fox programming on cable from
WKBDin Detroit. In WGKI's early years, the station was extremely low-budget. This was shown in the station's use of 1970s-era electronic graphics for their first few years of broadcasting. Due to the growing popularity of the Fox network and shows such as " The Simpsons" and " Married With Children", the station quickly grew. The on-screen graphics were modernized and the station started to use higher-quality video equipment. In the early-1990s, the station launched several repeaters in the eastern Upper Peninsula unreached by the station's signal. By the mid-1990s, WFQX moved into permanent studios that were built southeast of Cadillac. On January 11, 1993, Gary Knapp launched WGKU-TV in Vanderbilt as a full-time satellite of WFQX. That station's signal reached the Gaylord and Petoskey areas.
When Fox moved to WJBK in 1994, WGKI started using that station's resources. The move also disallowed rival WKBD from distributing
Detroit Red Wingsand Tigers games to WGKI. Knapp made a station promo explaining the situation between WGKI, WKBD, and WJBK. When the Fox affiliation switch in Detroit was made, WGKI replaced WKBD on cable systems in central Michigan and the eastern Upper Peninsula. This was done so viewers without a local Fox station would maintain access to the network's programming. As a consequence, WGKI also expanded into parts of the Flint, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Detroit markets via cable carriage. As a result, some cable viewers especially in Bay City, Saginaw, and the Thumb found out that most of WGKI's programming, especially those from Fox programs, were being blacked out by request of the local Fox affiliate. Soon after, many cable systems outside the northern Lower and eastern Upper Peninsulas either dropped WGKI or brought back WKBD.
January 15, 1995, WGKI became a secondary affiliate of the new UPNnetwork. The station aired the network's shows outside of prime time. In 1999, WGKI increased its ERP from 219 kW to 774 kW, significantly increasing its coverage area. In 2000, Knapp retired and sold his stations to Rockfleet Broadcastingfor $12 million dollars. Part of the deal called for channels 33 and 45 to change their call letters. Channel 33 became WFQX and channel 45 became WFVX. The latter station later became WFUP. The WFVX calls were moved to a former sister station based in Bangor, Maine, WFVX-LP. On January 24, 2006, The WBand UPN announced that they would cease broadcasting and merge. The new network would be called The CW, the letters representing the first initial of its corporate parents: CBS(the parent company of UPN) and the Warner Bros.unit of Time Warner. On February 22, News Corporationannounced that they would start up another new broadcast network called MyNetworkTV. This new network, which would be sister to Fox, would be operated by Fox Television Stationsand its syndication division Twentieth Television. MyNetworkTVwas created in order to give UPN and WB stations, not mentioned as becoming CW affiliates, another option besides becoming independent. It was also created to compete against The CW.
MyNetworkTV began broadcasting on
September 5, 2006. WFQX dropped its secondary UPN affiliation when The CW launched on September 18. The area's cable-only WB affiliate "WBVC" became affiliated with The CW. Currently, there is no MyNetworkTV affiliate in northern Michigan. The nearest affiliate is WNEM-DT2from the mid-Michigan television market. However, it can only be seen on Charter cable channel 9 in the nearby Alpena television market. On February 10, 2007, WFQX upgraded its digital signal to begin broadcasting all Fox programming in high definition for over-the-air viewers. Until that point, the station broadcasted a low-power HDTV signal in the Cadillac area. It was also, and continues to be, offered on Charter digital cable channel 783. On May 10, it was announced that Rockfleet Broadcastingwas planning to sell WFQX to Cadillac Telecasting. The FCCapproved the sale in late-October. After this approval, Cadillac entered into a shared services agreement (SSA) with Heritage Broadcasting Group (owner of WWTV). At that point, WFQX began to be operated by WWTV. WFQX closed its studios and moved its operations into the WWTV facilities. It has been announced with the coming switch to digital broadcasting, WFUP will shut down completely on or before February 19, 2009. WFQX is an affiliate of The Detroit Lions Television Networkwhich airs pre-season games as well as the weekly syndicated show "The Ford Lions Report" during the regular season.
WCMU-TVare the only stations in the northern Michigan market that offer repeaters. Although listed with the FCC, W54CR channel 54 is currently silent. At one point in time, there was another repeater on channel 40 in Traverse City. That station was shut down with the addition of channel 54.
As WGKI, the station simulcasted WKBD's 10 P.M. news. At some point, the simulcasts ended. In
June 2000, WFQX launched a news department and began producing a nightly 10 o'clock newscast known as "Northern Michigan Fox News at 10". From the start, it was plagued by the lack of basic resources such as reporters and engineering upkeep. WFQX did have its own weather department at first but that changed when the forecasts began to be outsourced to " AccuWeather" in State College, Pennsylvania. The weather segments were pre-taped and fed via satellite. As a result, WFQX was criticized for being too late when severe weather was an issue. At some point in time, the news title changed to "Fox 33 News at 10". On January 8, 2007, WJBK (Detroit's Fox owned-and-operated affiliate), started simulcasting parts of its weekday morning news on WFQX.
It ran from 6 to 8 A.M. on the station, was known as "Michigan's Fox News Morning", and featured updated weather forecasts from "AccuWeather". The simulcast was possible because of a cooperative arrangement between the two stations that offered local advertising opportunities to northern Michigan businesses. On
February 5, WFQX began to simulcast the second half of WJBK's weeknight 10 o'clock news from 10:30 until 11 P.M. After the sale of WFQX to Cadillac Telecasting, the station's news department was shut down. Starting on October 31, WWTV began producing a weeknight 10 o'clock newscast. At this point, the weeknight 10:30 o'clock simulcast of WJBK's news stopped airing. On January 7, 2008, there was a significant expansion of local news on WFQX. The station now airs a two hour long extension of WWTV's morning news at 7 A.M. In addition, WWTV launched a weeknight 7 o'clock news on WFQX. On January 14, the WJBK morning news simulcast was dropped. There is no weekend local news on WFQX.
"Michigan This Morning on Fox 33"
"(Weekday Mornings 7 to 9 A.M.)"
**Scott Michael Trager
"Fox 33 News at 7 and 10"
"(Weeknights 7 to 7:30 and 10 to 10:30 P.M.)"
**Ryan Raiche (based in Traverse City)
"WFQX features additional news personnel from WWTV. See that article for a complete listing."
*Quentin Parker - News Director
*Jennifer Bauer - reporter
*Vic McCarty - weeknights
**now freelancing on WWTV
*Jolyn Thomas - weekends
*Jaime Meyers - reporter
*Kristin Abraham - now at
*Tim Toth - Chief seen on weeknights
*Jim Kosek - weeknights
*Bernie Rayno - fill-in
*Mark Henderson - weekends
*Todd Simcox - weekends
*Mike Galloway - Director seen on weeknights
*Sean Cook - weekends
*Stefanie Schulz - Technical Director
*Maria Tocco - now at
* [http://www.fox33.com/ WFQX-TV / WFUP "Fox 33"]
* [http://www.9and10news.com/ WWTV / WWUP-TV "9&10 News"]
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