WXIX-TV, virtual channel 19 (UHF digital channel 15), is a Fox-affiliated television station serving Cincinnati, Ohio, United States that is licensed to Newport, Kentucky (as such, it is the only commercial television station in Cincinnati to be licensed to a community on the Kentucky side of the market). The station is owned by Gray Television. WXIX-TV's studios are located at 19 Broadcast Plaza on Seventh Street just west of downtown Cincinnati, and its transmitter is located in the South Fairmount neighborhood on the city's northwest side.
|Newport, Kentucky/Cincinnati, Ohio|
|Branding||Fox 19 Now|
|Slogan||Always Local, Always Now|
|Channels||Digital: 15 (UHF)|
Virtual: 19 (PSIP)
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||August 1, 1968|
|Call letters' meaning||XIX is "19" in Roman numerals|
|Sister station(s)||WOIO, WUAB, WTVG, WAVE, WKYT, WYMT, WSAZ|
|Former channel number(s)|
|Former affiliations||Independent (1968–1986)|
|Transmitter power||235 kW|
|Height||290 m (951 ft)|
|Transmitter coordinates||39°7′19″N 84°32′52″W|
|Public license information||Profile|
WXIX-TV began operation as an independent station on August 1, 1968; it was founded by U.S. Communications Corporation, which also owned UHF independent stations WATL-TV in Atlanta, WPGH-TV in Pittsburgh, WPHL-TV in Philadelphia and KEMO-TV (now KOFY-TV) in San Francisco.It was jointly owned by the U.S. Communications Corporation (subsidiary of AVC Corporation) station group of Philadelphia holding an 80% interest and the remaining 20% by Daniel H. Overmyer. Overmyer had previously sold the majority interest (80%) in the construction permits for the stations in Atlanta, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Houston to AVC on March 28, 1967, with FCC approval of their sale coming December 8, 1967. Before the sale to AVC, Overmyer had planned on bringing channel 19 on the air in late 1966 as WSCO-TV, named for his wife Shirley Clark Overmyer. WXIX-TV was the first new commercial station in the market since 1949, and the second UHF station in the area (behind PBS member station WCET, channel 48). The original channel allocation tables set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) did not have channel 19 in the greater Cincinnati market. The construction permit awarded to Overmyer on March 10, 1965 was for channel 74. On August 10, 1965, a request was made by Overmyer to change the allocation from channel 74 to 19, which was done in the next allocation table release a year later. The lower channel number not only allowed WXIX to provide wider signal coverage at less cost, but was also thought to be more marketable.
While WXIX was running test transmissions before its inaugural broadcast, the station intermittently aired "mini-shows" featuring The Larry Smith Puppets that promoted the sale of UHF converters for use with pre-1964 television sets which were only equipped to receive VHF signals at the time. Larry Smith and his puppets (a witch named "Battie Hattie from Cincinnati" and her dog "Snarfy" among other characters) later hosted a daytime children's program on weekday afternoons for several years. Afterward, "The Cool Ghoul"—played by Dick VonHoene, known for his weekend late night sci-fi/monster movie program Scream-In—also hosted a weekday afternoon children's program. There was an afternoon show called Kimberly's Cartoon Capers, a cartoon variety hour hosted by Kimberly, a 13-year-old girl.
By the early 1970s, U.S. Communications encountered financial difficulties, largely due to poor advertising revenues. The firm wound up taking its San Francisco, Atlanta and Pittsburgh stations off-the-air in 1971 (all would resume operations under different ownership) and also considered the same for WXIX-TV. Instead it put the station up for sale, and would sell WXIX-TV to Metromedia in 1972 for assumption of $3 million in debt. Metromedia's deep pockets helped stabilize channel 19's entire operation, and the station benefited from Metromedia's aggressiveness in purchasing syndicated programming as well as developing its own first-run programming. After over a decade on air, channel 19 finally received competition in 1980 with the launch of WBTI (channel 64, now WSTR-TV), which ran general entertainment and religious programming before 7 p.m. and subscription television at night. However, that competition was short-lived, ending when WBTI became a full-time subscription station by 1982. The over-air subscription television phenomenon occurred in larger markets in the U.S. where cable had yet to penetrate city centers before the late 1980s.
Malrite Communications bought channel 19 from Metromedia in December 1983. The station remained the leading independent station in the market, even after WBTI returned to full-time general entertainment programming in 1985. On October 9, 1986, WXIX became a charter affiliate of the upstart Fox network (which, coincidentally, used some of WXIX's former Metromedia sister stations as its charter owned-and-operated stations).
The station changed its on-air branding from "19XIX" to "Fox 19" in 1996. In 1998, Malrite Communications merged with Raycom Media. Around 2000, WXIX operated a large open space inside the Tri-County Mall called the "Fox 19 Station Break."
Sale to Gray Television
On June 25, 2018, Atlanta-based Gray Television announced it had reached an agreement with Raycom to merge their respective broadcasting assets (consisting of Raycom's 63 existing owned-and/or-operated television stations, including WXIX-TV), and Gray's 93 television stations) under Gray's corporate umbrella. The cash-and-stock merger transaction valued at $3.6 billion – in which Gray shareholders would acquire preferred stock currently held by Raycom – will result in WXIX-TV gaining new sister stations in nearby markets, including ABC affiliate WTVG in Toledo (while separating it from WTOL), and CBS affiliate WKYT in Lexington. The sale was approved on December 20, and was completed on January 2, 2019.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|19.1||720p||16:9||WXIX-DT||Main WXIX-TV programming / Fox|
|19.2||480i||4:3||Bounce||Bounce TV/Some local sports|
WXIX originally carried The Tube Music Network on digital subchannel 19.2 until the network's closure in 2007. The subchannel was reactivated in January 2009 as an affiliate of This TV, which remained with the subchannel until December 2011. Bounce TV replaced This TV on January 1, 2012 (the This TV affiliation was then acquired by WBQC-LD for its 25.2 subchannel). The Grit TV Network was added as 19.3 in July 2015.
On August 1, 2018, the station's 50th anniversary, it added a fourth subchannel, Ion Television.
WXIX-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 19, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 29, using PSIP, to display WXIX-TV's virtual channel as 19 on digital television receivers.
WXIX-TV clears the complete Fox network schedule in pattern, including Weekend Marketplace on Saturday mornings, and Xploration Station Sunday mornings. The station also airs at least three Cincinnati Bengals games during the NFL season, usually when the team plays host to an NFC team at Paul Brown Stadium, or starting in 2014, with the institution of the NFL's new 'cross-flex' broadcast rules, any Bengals games involving their fellow AFC teams that are moved from WKRC-TV, along with Thursday Night Football.
On September 17, 2012, WXIX began carrying the syndicated game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, picking up both programs from ABC affiliate WCPO-TV (channel 9), after its owner E. W. Scripps Company decided to instead carry internally produced national programming on their stations. WXIX is among eight Fox affiliates to air Jeopardy! and Wheel; the others being located in Baltimore; Syracuse, New York; New Orleans; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Denver; Lake Charles, Louisiana and Mobile, Alabama.
WXIX presently broadcasts 54 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 9½ hours each weekday, 3 hours on Saturdays and 3½ hours on Sundays).
The station launched its news department on October 18, 1993, with the debut of a 35-minute-long late-evening newscast, originally titled The Ten O'Clock News. Originally anchored by Jack Atherton and Phyllis Watson, alongside chief meteorologist Rich Apuzzo and sports director Greg Hoard, it was the first successful attempt at a prime time newscast in the Cincinnati market. The station gradually expanded its news programming, expanding the Ten O'Clock News to a full hour on January 22, 1996, and adding a three-hour weekday morning newscast, 19 in the Morning, the following year. During the mid-1990s, WXIX also aired a Midnight News program, one of the few late night local newscasts ever attempted on modern U.S. television. In the late 1990s, the station added a 19 News Midday newscast at 11:30 a.m. WXIX partnered with WBQC-CA (channel 25) to air channel 19's evening newscast during the Cincinnati Bearcats college basketball season. After cable providers in Northern Kentucky and Southwest Ohio dropped WBQC from their basic tiers, these newscasts were moved to Insight Communications channel 6 in Kentucky and Time Warner Cable channel 2 in Ohio. (WXIX no longer broadcasts Bearcat football or basketball games.)
Paul Horton joined WXIX as its chief meteorologist on January 31, 2007; he left channel 19 seven months later on August 7 to become a morning meteorologist at Phoenix CBS affiliate KPHO-TV. Steve Horstmeyer left his longtime morning and noon position at CBS affiliate WKRC-TV (channel 12) to replace Horton as chief meteorologist on August 7, 2008. Horstmeyer traveled to Lake Charles, Louisiana, to assist sister station KPLC, as part of a Raycom effort to cover Hurricane Gustav.
On August 11, 2008, WXIX debuted a half-hour early evening newscast at 6:30 p.m., which is aimed at the 18 to 54-year-old demographic. The broadcast competes with national network newscasts airing at 6:30 on WLWT (channel 5), WCPO-TV and WKRC-TV. On September 21, 2009, the program was extended to a full hour, with the addition of a half-hour of news at 6 p.m. On September 19, 2011, WXIX reverted the start time of the newscast to 6:30 p.m., though retaining its one-hour time length. By 2015, WXIX had cut its newscast back to a half-hour, starting at 6:30.
On November 4, 2008, WXIX became the second Cincinnati television station (after WCPO) to begin broadcast its local newscasts in high definition. However, the station continued to broadcast most field reports and weather radar imagery in standard definition. By mid-December, nearly all aspects of its newscasts (including in-studio and field footage, and select video from affiliate news services) were available in high definition. In December 2009, WXIX entered an agreement with WCPO-TV to pool videographers at press conferences. On March 31, 2010, WXIX entered into an agreement with Clear Channel Communications to provide hourly news and weather updates on local radio station WLW (700 AM); these updates began airing on WLW on April 1. This agreement expired in 2015.
On September 20, 2010, WXIX expanded its weekday morning newscast to 5½ hours, from 4:30 to 10:00 a.m. with the addition of an extension of the newscast during the 9:00 a.m. hour called Fox 19 Morning Xtra. On July 25, 2011, WXIX debuted a half-hour weekday morning weather-focused newscast at 4:00 a.m. called Fox 19 First Weather. On August 18, 2012, WXIX launched two-hour long Saturday and Sunday morning newscasts, airing from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. In addition on September 10, 2012, the weekday morning newscast was expanded to seven hours from 4:00 to 11:00 a.m., as the Morning Xtra portion of the program was expanded by one hour. But as of 2013, the 4:00 a.m. half-hour of the morning newscast was cut. The program is now run from 4:30 to 11:00 a.m.
- Kevin Frazier – sports reporter/anchor (now co-host for Entertainment Tonight)
- Dan Hoard – radio and TV sportscaster for the Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Bearcats football and basketball
- Greg Hoard – sports writer and commentator
- Maria LaRosa – meteorologist (now with WNBC)
- Ben Swann – anchor/reporter (2010–2013)
- Dick VonHoene – news anchor and news director in the early days of WXIX; also known as the "Cool Ghoul", host of 19's Scream-In, a late night weekend horror movie show (early 1970s)
- "The Cincinnati Enquirer 19 Goes On The Air". Newspapers.com. August 1, 1968. p. 8.
- "Broadcasting" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. August 12, 1968. p. 61.
- "TV Factbook 1970-71 #40 Page 589-b WXIX-TV Ownership Section". americanradiohistory.com.
- "Broadcasting" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. April 3, 1967. p. 80.
- "Broadcasting" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. June 19, 1967. p. 63.
- "Broadcasting" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. December 11, 1967. p. 5.
- "Broadcasting December 18, 1967" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. p. 95.
- "Broadcasting WSCO-TV Newport, Ky. awarded call letters, changed from WNOP-TV" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. October 4, 1965. p. 84.
- "He's hitched his wagon to a UHF star" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. Broadcasting May 30, 1966. p. 93.
- "Broadcasting Overmyer's second" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. July 11, 1966. p. 49.
- "TV Factbook No. 37 1967 Page 532-b WSCO-TV". americanradiohistory.com.
- "Broadcasting Yearbook 1965 The Facilities of TV Channel Allocation Tables: Kentucky". americanradiohistory.com. pp. A–74 and A–76.
- "Broadcasting Telecasting 1956 TV Stations WNOP-TV Channel 74". americanradiohistory.com. p. 130.
- "Broadcasting KNOP-TV [sic] Newport, Ky" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. March 15, 1965. p. 163.
- "Part1HouseInvestigation.pdf Testimony of Robert Adams in the House Investigation Subcommittee July 16, 1968 Pages 46 through 48". House Investigation.
- "Broadcasting Rulemakings: Newport, Ky" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. August 23, 1965. p. 94.
- "Broadcasting Actions of May 6: WSCO-TV Newport, Ky" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. May 16, 1966. p. 91.
- "Broadcasting Yearbook 1967 The Facilities of TV TV Allocations for Ohio, Page A-89". americanradiohistory.com.
- "'Ghoul' Approaches Goal Coolly". Newspapers.com. The Cincinnati Enquirer February 12, 1970. p. 18.
- "WXIX-TV Cool Ghoul Advertisement". Newspapers.com. The Cincinnati Enquirer February 20, 1971 p.46. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
- "Broadcasting March 29, 1971" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. p. 96.
- "The Cincinnati Enquirer '19' Chief Says WSJ Blackout Story Untrue". Newspapers.com. August 6, 1971. p. 8.
- "Channel 19 Blackout Canceled". Newspapers.com. The Cincinnati Enquirer. August 7, 1971. p. 1.
- "Broadcasting August 9, 1971 Page 8" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com.
- "Broadcasting" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. October 25, 1971. p. 11.
- "Broadcasting" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. October 11, 1971. p. 48.
- "Broadcasting August 14, 1972 Page 37" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com.
- "FCC Approves WXIX Sale". Newspapers.com. The Cincinnati Enquirer. August 10, 1972. p. 43.
- "Through the roof with Metromedia" (PDF). Broadcasting Magazine. August 30, 1982. p. 25.
- "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting Magazine. December 5, 1983. p. 72.
- "Station Break". WXIX. 1999. Archived from the original on August 23, 2000. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
- "GRAY AND RAYCOM TO COMBINE IN A $3.6 BILLION TRANSACTION". Raycom Media (Press release). June 25, 2018.
- Miller, Mark K. (June 25, 2018). "Gray To Buy Raycom For $3.6 Billion". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
- John Eggerton (June 25, 2018). "Gray Buying Raycom for $3.6B". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media.
- Dade Hayes (June 25, 2018). "Gray Acquiring Raycom For $3.65B, Forming No. 3 Local TV Group". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation.
- "FCC OK with Gray/Raycom Merger". Broadcasting & Cable. December 20, 2018. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
- "Gray Closes On $3.6 Billion Raycom Merger". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. January 2, 2019. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WXIX
- Kiesewetter, John (May 20, 2009). "Florence Freedom On TV Thursday". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Cincinnati, Ohio: Gannett Company.
The Florence Freedom's first night game will air live at 7 pm Thursday on WXIX-TV's digital subchannel, digital Ch. 19.2 ("This TV"). Fox 19 is picking up the telecast from Ted Bushelman's All-Volunteer Cable One crew...
- Kiesewetter, John (May 11, 2011). "Fox 19 Adding New TV Network". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Cincinnati, Ohio: Gannett Company. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
WXIX-TV (Channel 19) will add the new Bounce TV ... on its digital side channel in January. It will replace THIS TV on digital Channel 19.2.
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations
- CDBS Print
- "Updates on Wheel, Jeopardy, Couric, General Hospital". Cincinnati.com. March 27, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Broadcasting Cablecasting Yearbook 1988. Broadcasting Publications. 1988. p. 52.
- Kay, Suzanne (October 11, 1985). The Headline Report (Television broadcast). Newport, Kentucky: WXIX.
- "Fox 19 personalities through the years". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Gannett Company. February 27, 2014.
- Kiesewetter, John (January 22, 1996). "Channel 19 expands 'Ten-O'Clock News'". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Gannett Company. p. C1 – via Newspapers.com.
WXIX-TV may premiere its expanded one-hour Ten O'Clock News format today with a live report from Bosnia.
- Steve Horstmeyer's Official Webpage
- Kiesewitter, John. The Cincinnati Enquirer, August 3, 2008.
- Kiesewetter, John (December 11, 2009). "What Does The Ch 9–19 Pool Video Agreement Mean?". Retrieved December 12, 2009.
- Fox 19 Gets WEBN Fireworks, WLW Weather Deal, The Cincinnati Enquirer, March 31, 2010.
- New faces in news at Fox 19, The Cincinnati Enquirer, September 4, 2010.
- WXIX Launching Half-Hour Of Weather At 4 A.M., TVNewsCheck, July 7, 2011.
- WXIX Launches Weekend Morning Newscasts, Hires Jessica Brown as Co-Anchor, TVSpy, July 18, 2012.
- WXIX Adding An Hour To Its Morning News, TVNewsCheck, August 2, 2012.