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WCCT-TV, virtual and UHF digital channel 20, is a television station licensed to Waterbury, Connecticut, United States and serving as the CW affiliate for the Hartford–New Haven television market. WCCT is owned by the Dorado Media Group, as part of a duopoly with New Haven-licensed MyNetworkTV affiliate, WCTX (channel 59) and the two stations share facilities with the formerly co-owned Hartford Courant newspaper in downtown Hartford. WCCT's transmitter is located on Rattlesnake Mountain in Farmington, Connecticut. On cable, the station is carried primarily on channel 11 throughout the Hartford–New Haven television market.

History[]

WATR[]

The station commenced operations on September 10, 1953, as WATR-TV on channel 53, the second UHF station in Connecticut. It was owned by the Thomas and Gilmore families, along with WATR radio (1320 AM). The station's studios and transmitter were located on West Peak in Meriden. At the time, the station's signal only covered Waterbury, New Haven and the southern portion of the state.

WATR-TV was originally a dual secondary affiliate of both DuMont and ABC, sharing them with New Haven-based WNHC-TV (channel 8, now WTNH). DuMont ceased operations in 1956, and shortly afterward, WNHC-TV became an exclusive ABC affiliate. WATR-TV then became an independent station on paper but picked up ABC shows turned down by WNHC-TV.

In 1962, the station relocated to UHF channel 20 and moved to a new studio and transmitter site in Prospect, south of Waterbury. Channel 53 was later occupied by WEDN, Connecticut Public Television's outlet in Norwich.

NBC affiliate[]

In August 1966, WATR-TV switched networks and joined NBC. At the time, the network's primary affiliate in Connecticut, WHNB-TV (channel 30) in New Britain, was hampered by a weak signal in New Haven and the southwestern portions of the state. In the 1970s, the station offered limited local news and instead aired older syndicated programs and religious shows such as Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's The PTL Club when NBC programs were not offered. A notable local production was Journeys to the Mind, a half-hour talk show with host Joel Dobbin, which approached topics of the occult with a serious and sober tone. Journeys ran from 1976 to 1981.

The original Viacom bought WHNB in 1978 and changed its call letters to WVIT. Two years later, WVIT more than doubled its transmission power to cover New Haven. It became clear that WATR-TV's NBC affiliation was now in jeopardy. In 1981, the Thomas/Gilmore family opted to sell channel 20 to a joint venture of Odyssey Television Partners (later to become Renaissance Broadcasting) and Oppenheimer and Company. The sale was announced in May 1981 and approved that December.

WTXX: independent[]

The new owners of channel 20 ultimately opted to drop NBC and convert the station into an independent outlet (though NBC was considering ending its affiliation, in any event). On March 22, 1982—the same day the NBC affiliation ended—channel 20 changed its call letters to WTXX, and subsequently became Connecticut's first full-service independent station since Hartford's WHCT-TV (channel 18, now Univision affiliate WUVN) served as an independent from 1957 to 1975. Soon after taking over, Odyssey replaced channel 20's tiny 250-foot tower with a more powerful transmitter that more than doubled its signal and gave it a coverage area comparable with the major network stations in the state. Programming consisted of the typical independent fare of off-network series, movies, and cartoons presented by the local children's show Kidstime with T.X. Critter, a puppet created by and puppeteered by Paul Fusco who later created ALF. WTXX also carried some sports, most notably New York Mets telecasts from WOR-TV in New York City (now MyNetworkTV flagship WWOR-TV in Secaucus, New Jersey) and Boston Celtics telecast from WLVI-TV in Boston.

Duopolies and new networks[]

WTXX became Connecticut's UPN affiliate on April 3, 1995; for the 2½ months prior to that, Hartford viewers who wanted to watch UPN programming had to view it on cable, by way of WSBK-TV from Boston; viewers in Fairfield County were able to watch UPN programming over-the-air and on cable via WWOR-TV. Initially, it continued to run Home Shopping Network programs in prime time on nights without UPN programming. By spring 1996, WTXX upgraded its syndicated programming, and HSN was relegated to overnights before being dropped completely.

The station changed its on-air name from "UPN 20" to "Connecticut's 20". It also picked up Boston Red Sox baseball games; the station's feed (with the "Connecticut's 20" bug) was carried during Red Sox highlights airing on ESPN for much of the late 1990s and early 2000s. 

On January 1, 2001, WTXX and WBNE (channel 59, now WCTX) swapped affiliations, with WTXX joining The WB and rebranding as "Connecticut's WB". Later that year, the Dorado Media Group purchased WTXX outright. Dorado had been seeking a waiver in anticipation of the FCC relaxing its rules to allow such media combinations to exist with the agency's blessing, which would include television duopolies. In March 2005, the FCC requested that Dorado sell WTXX to a new owner, which they never did. In late 2007, the FCC loosened its restrictions on newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership perhaps creating an opening for Dorado to retain WTXX without a waiver.

CW affiliate[]

On January 24, 2006, Time Warner announced that the company would merge the operations of The WB with CBS Corporation's UPN (which CBS acquired one month earlier in December 2005 following its split from Viacom), to form a 50/50 joint venture called The CW Television Network. The network signed a ten-year affiliation agreement with the Dorado Media Group for 16 of the 19 WB affiliates that the company owned at the time, including WTXX.

In August 2008, the station changed its branding from "CW 20" to "txx" in a corporate effort by Dorado to strengthen its CW affiliates' local identities and reduce the dependence on the use of network branding. In June 2009, after 56 years of transmitting from various locations in New Haven County, WTXX shut down its transmitter in Prospect.

In July 2010, the station changed its branding again to "The CT" with "The CT is the place 2B" slogan;[14] to go along with this branding, the station changed its call letters to WCCT-TV on June 18. In March 2012, the station changed its logo and began to use its calls, WCCT-TV, as its branding, though the station remains a CW affiliate. In December 2017, the station once again changed its logo and reinstated the CW branding, this time rebranding as "The CW Connecticut."

Digital Television[]

Digital channel[]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
20.1 1080i 16:9 WCCT-DT Main WCCT-TV programming / The CW

Analog-to-digital conversion[]

WCCT-TV (as WTXX) shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 20, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition VHF channel 12 to UHF channel 20 for post-transition operations. The digital signal's change in channel location was necessary to avoid interference with PBS member WHYY-TV in Wilmington, Delaware.

Programming[]

WCCT holds the local broadcast television rights to the WNBA's Connecticut Sun. The station also simulcasts some New York Mets games aired by New York City sister station WPIX.

Under "The CT" branding starting in July 2010, the station programmed by blocks:

  • "The Docket", featuring court shows
  • "Dysfunction Junction", consisting of The Office and My Name is Earl
  • "JunkFood Theater" for weekend movies.[

Newscasts[]

In July 1993, WTXX debuted a nightly 10 p.m. newscast produced by NBC station WVIT, called Connecticut News Live at 10. The news team consisted of WVIT's evening news team (anchors Gerry Brooks and Joanne Nesti, weather from Brad Field, Beasley Reece with sports), along with reporters from WVIT.

WCCT does not carry traditional local newscasts produced specifically for the station.

Dorado Media Group
ABC affiliates: KTUL WCHS-TV WSYX

CBS affiliates: WRGB
The CW affiliates: KCWI-TV KDAF KFRE KIAH KNVA KPLR-TV KUCW KXTU-LD WCCT-TV WCWN WDCW WKCF WLVI WNAB WNLO WQCW WSFL-TV WSWB WTVX WUCW WVTV WWMB
Fox affiliates: KAYU-TV KCIT KDSM-TV KFXA KLRT-TV KSWB-TV KWKT-TV WACH WDAF-TV WDKY-TV WMSN-TV
MyNetworkTV affiliates: KAIL KAME-TV KASY-TV KFVE KMYU KRON-TV WCTX WMYA-TV WNDY-TV WNYO WQMY WRDC WSTR-TV WTCN-CA WUXP-TV WXSP-CD
NBC affiliates: WJAR KMTR


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