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WPBF
WPBF
is the ABC -affiliated television station for the Gold and Treasure Coasts of South Florida
Florida
in the United States
United States
. Licensed to Tequesta , it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 16 (or virtual channel 25 via PSIP ) from a transmitter in Palm City southwest of I-95 . Owned by the Hearst Television subsidiary of the Hearst Corporation , the station has studios on RCA Boulevard in the Monet section of Palm Beach Gardens . On cable , the station can be seen on Comcast Xfinity
Xfinity
channel 10 (in Martin , Palm Beach , Okeechobee , and southern St. Lucie counties) and channel 9 (in Indian River and northern St. Lucie counties), and in high definition on digital channel 431.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 2 Digital television

* 2.1 Digital channels * 2.2 Analog-to-digital conversion

* 3 Programming * 4 News operation * 5 References * 6 External links

HISTORY

Former logo used from 2000 until September 2009.

WPBF
WPBF
first went on-the-air January 1 , 1989, owned by Alan Potamkin and the John H. Phipps Company. This marked a return to West Palm Beach for Phipps, which had previously owned NBC
NBC
affiliate WPTV-TV from 1956 to 1961.

The original plans called for the station to be an independent . However, in mid-1988, CBS
CBS
(which was due to lose its longtime Miami affiliate WTVJ
WTVJ
to NBC
NBC
) bought Fox affiliate WCIX (now WFOR-TV ). That station only provided a Grade B ("rimshot") signal to Fort Lauderdale and Broward County because its transmitter was farther south than the other Miami
Miami
stations.

CBS
CBS
persuaded the longtime ABC affiliate in West Palm Beach , WPEC , to switch to CBS
CBS
in order to get a city-grade signal in Fort Lauderdale. In Fall 1988, ABC made the decision to affiliate with WPBF rather than with former CBS
CBS
affiliate WTVX , owing to the success of Phipps and Potamkin's other station, WCTV
WCTV
. These changes occurred on the day of WPBF's sign-on. The station had bought a large inventory of classic sitcoms and cartoons but now had no time to air them. It sold this programming to WTVX a couple of months after signing-on when that station shut down its news department.

In 1993, WPBF
WPBF
was sold to Paxson Communications which at the time owned several FM radio stations as well as a few ABC and CBS affiliates. In 1997, Paxson sold their radio stations and network affiliates (including WPBF) in order to finance the acquisition of stations for Pax TV (now Ion Television ) with WPBF
WPBF
going to the Hearst Corporation (Paxson would acquire the inactive license for WPXP-TV (channel 67) shortly thereafter as their Pax station for West Palm Beach). As soon as the transaction was finalized, Hearst handed over control of WPBF
WPBF
to its majority-owned subsidiary, Hearst Television (formerly Hearst-Argyle Television). All Hearst ABC affiliates including WPBF
WPBF
preempted Saving Private Ryan in 2004. The station was one of three ABC affiliates in the state of Florida
Florida
that preempted the movie.

DIGITAL TELEVISION

DIGITAL CHANNELS

The station's digital channel is multiplexed :

CHANNEL VIDEO ASPECT PSIP SHORT NAME PROGRAMMING

25.1 720p 16:9 WPBF-HD Main WPBF
WPBF
programming / ABC

25.2 480i 4:3 WPBF-SD Estrella TV
Estrella TV

25.3 WPBF-DT3 Justice Network
Justice Network

On WPBF-DT2 and Comcast digital channels 208 and 616 is the Spanish-language network Estrella TV
Estrella TV
. Previously, WPBF-DT2 was part of The Local AccuWeather Channel and known locally as "Weather First TV". There was also a live video stream of that channel on its website.

ANALOG-TO-DIGITAL CONVERSION

WPBF
WPBF
discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 25, at 11:59 p.m. on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States
United States
transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 16. Through the use of PSIP , digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 25.

As part of the SAFER Act , WPBF
WPBF
kept its analog signal on the air until July 12 to inform viewers of the digital television transition through a loop of public service announcements from the National Association of Broadcasters .

PROGRAMMING

Syndicated programming on WPBF
WPBF
includes: Wheel of Fortune , Jeopardy! , The Dr. Oz Show
The Dr. Oz Show
, and Access Hollywood .

NEWS OPERATION

Initially, WPBF
WPBF
had a small news department. After being purchased by Paxson Communications, the station added additional newscasts to its schedule. For a long time they struggled with ratings in their own market . This can be attributed to WPLG 's very strong over-the-air signal in Palm Beach County and its availability on Comcast throughout the area. However with Hearst's traditional hard news focus on their stations instituted within WPBF's news operation, WPBF
WPBF
eventually became a spirited second place news operation, and usually outranks WPEC currently in most timeslots.

NBC
NBC
affiliate WPTV
WPTV
regularly beats WPBF
WPBF
and WPEC in Nielsen ratings as the most watched in West Palm Beach and South Florida. Following the May 2009 sweeps period, WPTV
WPTV
retained its title as the most-watched television station in the state of Florida
Florida
based on sign-on to sign-off household ratings in metered markets.

On July 12, 2006, it started airing a half-hour newscast called Weather First at 4 on weekdays becoming the first station in West Palm Beach to do so. While the main intention of the new broadcast was to cover West Palm Beach area weather, news updates and headlines were added after a short time. This production is streamed live on their website. On July 17, 2006, WPBF
WPBF
added thirty minutes to its weekday morning show which began airing at 5:30. It became a full two-hour broadcast on January 28, 2008. The station debuted a new traffic reporting system featuring data from Traffic.com on February 14 that included a new traffic segment, Beat the Traffic, seen on weekdays.

Expansion of local news continued with the launch of a weekend morning newscast on March 8. On August 18, 2008, WPBF
WPBF
began broadcasting a broadcast at noon during the week which is also streamed live on its website. On September 14, 2009, the station debuted a new logo, set, and graphics package while expanding the 4 p.m. newscast to an hour. WPBF
WPBF
dropped weeknight newscasts in the 5 p.m. hour to make room for Dr. Phil which had moved to the station from WPTV
WPTV
; that change has since been reverted, for as of September 12, 2011, The Dr. Oz Show
The Dr. Oz Show
replaced the 4 p.m. newscast.

Until October 4, 2010, WPBF
WPBF
was the only channel in the West Palm Beach market that did not offer newscasts in high definition or even 16:9 enhanced definition widescreen . However, WPBF
WPBF
was operating HD-ready studios and field cameras for its broadcasts. The shows were displayed in pillarboxed 4:3 standard definition while showing the station's logo and "HD" in the left and right thirds of the screen. On October 4 starting with the weeknight 4 p.m. newscast, WPBF
WPBF
started broadcasting local news in high definition. Upon the upgrade, it began using an updated music package and slightly revised HD graphics previously used by sister station WESH in Orlando
Orlando
. In December 2012, WPBF
WPBF
upgraded their graphics package to the new Hearst Television graphics along with new music and talent opens. However, like another sister station, KSBW
KSBW
in Salinas , California
California
, HD is not mentioned in the news openings. WPBF
WPBF
will also continue to display HD in the left and right thirds of the screen when video footage is shown in 4:3 standard definition. The station does not currently operate a sports department which is unusual for a big three network channel.

REFERENCES

* ^ Instant TV WPBF, New ABC Affiliate Starting From Scratch, Races Toward Sunday Air Debut, South Florida
Florida
Sun-Sentinel , December 30, 1988. * ^ Fanfare Absent As Switchovers Strike Airwaves In S. Florida, South Florida
Florida
Sun-Sentinel, January 2, 1989. * ^ ABC Picks Palm Affiliate That Is Not Yet On The Air, South Florida
Florida
Sun-Sentinel, October 19, 1988. * ^ Paxson Communications Corp. announces the sale of West Palm Beach television station WPBF
WPBF
TV-25 to Hearst Corp. Business Wire