WPBF is the ABC -affiliated television station for the Gold and
Treasure Coasts of South
Florida in the
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
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.
* 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
Former logo used from 2000 until September 2009.
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 affiliate WPTV-TV
from 1956 to 1961.
The original plans called for the station to be an independent .
However, in mid-1988,
CBS (which was due to lose its longtime Miami
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
CBS persuaded the longtime ABC affiliate in West Palm Beach ,
to switch to
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
WTVX , owing to the success of
Phipps and Potamkin's other station,
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.
WPBF was sold to Paxson Communications which at the time
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 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 to its majority-owned subsidiary, Hearst
Television (formerly Hearst-Argyle Television). All Hearst ABC
Saving Private Ryan in 2004. The
station was one of three ABC affiliates in the state of
preempted the movie.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed :
PSIP SHORT NAME
WPBF programming / ABC
On WPBF-DT2 and
Comcast digital channels 208 and 616 is the
Estrella TV . Previously, WPBF-DT2 was part
The Local AccuWeather Channel and known locally as "Weather First
TV". There was also a live video stream of that channel on its
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 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 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 .
Syndicated programming on
WPBF includes: Wheel of Fortune , Jeopardy!
The Dr. Oz Show
The Dr. Oz Show , and
Access Hollywood .
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
the area. However with Hearst's traditional hard news focus on their
stations instituted within WPBF's news operation,
became a spirited second place news operation, and usually outranks
WPEC currently in most timeslots.
WPTV regularly beats
WPEC in Nielsen ratings
as the most watched in West Palm Beach and South Florida. Following
the May 2009 sweeps period,
WPTV retained its title as the
most-watched television station in the state of
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 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,
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 dropped weeknight newscasts in the 5
p.m. hour to make room for Dr. Phil which had moved to the station
WPTV ; that change has since been reverted, for as of September
The Dr. Oz Show
The Dr. Oz Show replaced the 4 p.m. newscast.
Until October 4, 2010,
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 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,
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
Orlando . In December 2012,
WPBF upgraded their graphics package to the new Hearst Television
graphics along with new music and talent opens. However, like another
KSBW in Salinas ,
California , HD is not mentioned in
the news openings.
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.
* ^ Instant TV WPBF, New ABC Affiliate Starting From Scratch, Races
Toward Sunday Air Debut, South
Florida Sun-Sentinel , December 30,
* ^ Fanfare Absent As Switchovers Strike Airwaves In S. Florida,
Florida Sun-Sentinel, January 2, 1989.
* ^ ABC Picks Palm Affiliate That Is Not Yet On The Air, South
Florida Sun-Sentinel, October 19, 1988.
* ^ Paxson Communications Corp. announces the sale of West Palm
Beach television station
WPBF TV-25 to Hearst Corp.