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WGTW-TV

WGTW-TV

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Encyclopedia
WGTW-TV, digital channel 27, is a Trinity Broadcasting Network
Trinity Broadcasting Network
The Trinity Broadcasting Network is a major American Christian television network. TBN is based in Costa Mesa, California, with auxiliary studio facilities in Irving, Texas; Hendersonville, Tennessee; Gadsden, Alabama; Decatur, Georgia; Miami, Florida; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Orlando, Florida; and New...

-owned and operated television station licensed to Burlington, New Jersey
Burlington, New Jersey
Burlington is a city in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States and a suburb of Philadelphia. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was 9,920....

, and serving the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous. The city is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. It is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States,...

 area. With studios in suburban Folcroft
Folcroft, Pennsylvania
Folcroft is a borough in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 6,978 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Folcroft is located at ....

, and transmitter in the nearby Roxborough
Roxborough, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Roxborough is a neighborhood in the Northwest Philadelphia section of the United States city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is bordered to the southwest, along the Schuylkill River, by the neighborhood of Manayunk, along the northeast by the Wissahickon Creek section of Fairmount Park, and to...

 section, its signal covers Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

, and Delaware
Delaware
Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

.

History


Channel 48 was once the home of WKBS-TV
WKBS-TV (Philadelphia)
WKBS-TV was an independent television station licensed to Burlington, New Jersey, which served the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area from 1965 to 1983. WKBS-TV had studio facilities located in South Philadelphia, and transmitter at the Roxborough tower farm in Philadelphia.-History:WKBS-TV began...

, which operated from 1965 until 1983, when owner Field Communications
Field Communications
Field Communications was a division of Field Enterprises, which owned the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Daily News. The company owned independent television stations in the United States, with WFLD-TV in Chicago as its largest-market station....

 voluntarily took the station off-the-air and returned its license to the Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission
The Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, created, Congressional statute , and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the...

. Six months later, the FCC put channel 48's license back up for auction. Among those bidding on the license were the late Dorothy Brunson
Dorothy Brunson
Dorothy Edwards Brunson was a notable African-American broadcaster.Between 1973 and 1979, Brunson was an executive with Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, which owned five radio stations including WLIB and WBLS in New York City.After leaving Inner City Broadcasting, Brunson was the first...

, an African-American woman who previously worked in radio; and Cornerstone Television
Cornerstone Television
The Cornerstone TeleVision Network is a non-commercial Christian broadcast and satellite television network based in Wall, Pennsylvania, United States. Its founder and CEO is Russ Bixler...

, a Christian television network based in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in the US Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Allegheny County. Regionally, it anchors the largest urban area of Appalachia and the Ohio River Valley, and nationally, it is the 22nd-largest urban area in the United States...

. After a two-year process, the auction ended with Brunson winning the license. Cornerstone had, during the interim, purchased channel 48's transmitter, moved it to Altoona
Altoona, Pennsylvania
-History:A major railroad town, Altoona was founded by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1849 as the site for a shop complex. Altoona was incorporated as a borough on February 6, 1854, and as a city under legislation approved on April 3, 1867, and February 8, 1868...

, and used it to sign on a new station in 1985 on channel 47
WKBS-TV
WKBS-TV is a Christian television station serving the Allegheny area of Pennsylvania that is licensed to Altoona. It broadcasts a digital signal on UHF channel 46...

, ironically enough under the WKBS-TV call letters.

Channel 48 signed back on the air on August 15, 1992, under the call letters WGTW-TV (Good TV to Watch), an independent station. Initially the station ran public domain movies, infomercials (including religious programs), and home-shopping programs. By 1994, WGTW had a larger variety of programming, including off-network series, first-run syndicated shows, and children's programs. The station also aired NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 daytime programs that were pre-empted by then-affiliate KYW-TV
KYW-TV
KYW-TV, virtual channel 3, is an owned and operated television station of the CBS Television Network, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. KYW-TV shares a studio facility with its sister station, CW flagship WPSG just north of Center City Philadelphia...

. However, by 2001, many of WGTW's classic shows were no longer available, and the financial restraints of ownership made the station unable to acquire better syndicated programming. As a result WGTW moved to more paid programming but still retained some general entertainment programs.

In 2004, Brunson sold the station to the Trinity Broadcasting Network
Trinity Broadcasting Network
The Trinity Broadcasting Network is a major American Christian television network. TBN is based in Costa Mesa, California, with auxiliary studio facilities in Irving, Texas; Hendersonville, Tennessee; Gadsden, Alabama; Decatur, Georgia; Miami, Florida; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Orlando, Florida; and New...

 and on October 1 of that year, the station switched to TBN programming. TBN is known for purchasing television stations so that the network could get must-carry
Must-carry
In cable television, governments apply a must-carry regulation stating that locally-licensed television stations must be carried on a cable provider's system.- Canada :...

 status on area cable systems, despite offering almost no local programming. However, WGTW (like all TBN stations) does broadcast two hours of original local programming weekly: a public-affairs show called Joy in Our Town and a local version of Praise the Lord, TBN's flagship program.

WKBS/WGTW License facts conflict


WGTW operates under the same allocation, but not the same license, as WKBS-TV. It has been argued about the link between the license for WKBS-TV and WGTW. Articles in The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Philadelphia Inquirer is a morning daily newspaper that serves the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, metropolitan area of the United States. The newspaper was founded by John R. Walker and John Norvell in June 1829 as The Pennsylvania Inquirer and is the third-oldest surviving daily newspaper in the...

and the Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News
The Philadelphia Daily News is a tabloid newspaper that serves Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. The newspaper is owned by Philadelphia Media Holdings which also owns Philadelphia's other major newspaper The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Daily News began publishing on March 31, 1925, under...

from over the years stated that Brunson did indeed purchase the same license that WKBS-TV vacated from the FCC. (The archives of these articles can be found at http://www.philly.com , however, there is a subscription fee). However, sometime between Brunson winning the license and 1988, the FCC deleted the license that WKBS operated on, thus the current channel 48 license is a new construction permit, dating from July 14, 1988.

As far back as when Field announced that WKBS was going dark, it was mentioned in several Inquirer articles that six months after the station went dark the license would be put up for auction, though with a preference to minority groups, so it was a foregone conclusion that channel 48 would return to the air in some form in the future.

News operation


In 2002, WGTW launched an hour-long news and public affairs show, known as 48 Update, which aired weeknights at 7:00 p.m.. The final edition of 48 Update aired on October 1, 2004, one hour before the station switched to TBN programming.

External links