call_letters = WBSF
station_branding = CW46 Mid Michigan
analog = 46 (UHF) (currently analog only| digital = 46 (future)
affiliations = The CW
September 15, 2006
location = Bay City/Saginaw/
callsign_meaning = Bay City
owner = Barrington Broadcasting Company, LLC
licensee = Barrington Bay City License, LLC
effective_radiated_power = 1600 kW
HAAT = 306.2 m
facility_id = 82627
coordinates = coord|43|28|26.8|N|83|50|44.5|W|type:landmark_scale:2000
homepage = [http://www.cw46online.com/ www.cw46online.com]
: "For the former
Home Shopping Networkaffiliate in Melbourne, Florida, see WOTF-TV."WBSF, (known as the air as CW 46) is the CW affiliate for the Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, Michigantelevision market. Formerly affiliated with The WB, it is operated by Barrington Broadcasting Company, which also operates WEYI, the NBCaffiliate for the same market.
WBSF signed on its analog transmitter on
September 13, 2006. However, WBSF has been seen on cable since 2004, and it was on WEYI's digital second digital subchanneluntil September 5, 2008. The station was also the Detroit Pistons' Mid-Michigan home from the station's inception until 2006; then-fellow WB affiliate WMYD(channel 20) in Detroit, along with WDIV-TV(channel 4), Detroit's NBCaffiliate, became the flagship Pistons stations during the fall of 2004. (Until WBSF was formed, Mid-Michigan viewers watched Pistons games through another Detroit station, WKBD.)
Prior to WBSF's opening in 2004, WB programming was seen on WEYI in the early-2000s, mainly in the overnight periods. Before WEYI's involvement began, mid-Michigan had no WB service, other than from Chicago's
WGN-TV, when they had WB programming nationwide, prior to 1999.
Like WMYD, WBSF was the last television station in its market to air cartoons on weekday afternoons. Since
December 30, 2005, Kids' WBhas been shown only on Saturday mornings, replaced by the Daytime WB block.
With the merger of The WB and
UPNto become The CW, WBSF became the Flint-Saginaw-Bay City-Midland CW affiliate in the fall of 2006. Because of this, a chance existed that WKBD (which, along with WBKP, are the only other analog over-the-air CW affiliates in Michigan) would be dropped from the market's cable systems, as both WBSF and WKBD would be CW affiliates (however, in the case of Midland, two CBSaffiliates do coexist on the same cable system); this occurred on Charter's Tri-Cities systems, which replaced WKBD with WNEM-TV's MyNetworkTVsubchannel, which became the new home of Pistons basketball that year.
As a result of the network change, WBSF rebranded from "Mid Michigan's WB" to "CW46 Mid Michigan." However, its call letters were not changed, as the "B" in the call letters also stands for Bay City, the station's city of license. ("S" and "F" stand for Saginaw and Flint, respectively.)
WBSF once aired a daily 7 o'clock newscast, titled "The 7 O'Clock News on CW46", which was produced by WEYI. It was canceled in April 2008.
Because it was granted an original
construction permitafter the FCC finalized the DTV allotment plan on April 21, 1997[http://www.transmitter.com/FCC97115/chanplan.html] , the station did not receive a companion channel for a digital television station. Instead, on or before February 17, 2009, which is the end of the digital TV conversion period for full-service stations, WBSF will be required to turn off its analog signaland turn on its digital signal(called a " flash-cut").
For this reason, WBSF used WEYI's second
digital subchannelfor its digital broadcasts (WEYI-DT2), until September 5, 2008. However, the picture was only standard definition, due to the limited bandwidth available on WEYI's digital signal.
On September 5, 2008,
Barrington Broadcastingturned off WBSF's digital channel. Since September 10, 2008, WEYI's second digital subchannel(WEYI-DT2) has been a SD simulcast of their analog channel. Therefore, WBSF is currently analog only, but Barrington Broadcastingplans to install WBSF's digital transmitter and tower during October and November and have it online in time for the federally mandated analog shut off date of February 17, 2009. According to the FCC database, WBSF has a construction permit for digital channel 46. Barrington Broadcastingplans to use the same protocol for WBSF's digital channels as it does for WEYI's: WBSF-DT1 will show national CW programs in HD, and WBSF-DT2 will show them in SD.
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