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Title: Wiwn  
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Subject: Time Warner Cable Sports Channel (Wisconsin), WWRS-TV, WYTU-LD, WBAY-TV, WITI (TV)
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Fond du Lac/Milwaukee/
Green Bay, Wisconsin
United States
City of license Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Channels Digital: 5 (VHF)
Virtual: 68 (PSIP)
Affiliations Sonlife Broadcasting Network
Owner Caballero Acquisition, LLC
First air date 2000
Call letters' meaning WIsconsin's WeatherNation (former affiliation)
Former callsigns WMMF-TV (2000–2004)
WWAZ-TV (2004–2012)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
68 (UHF, 2000–2008)
Former affiliations FamilyNet (2000–2008)
WeatherNation TV (2012-2014)
OnTV4U (2014)
Transmitter power 700 kW
Height 195 m
Facility ID 60571
Transmitter coordinates

WIWN, virtual channel 68 (VHF digital channel 5), is a television station licensed to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, United States carrying the Sonlife Broadcasting Network. The station is owned by Caballero Acquisition, LLC. WIWN maintains studio and transmitter facilities located on North Humboldt Boulevard in Milwaukee's Estabrook Park neighborhood. Although the station mainly serves the Milwaukee market, it is classified by A.C. Nielsen as being part of the Green Bay/Appleton market due to its home county of Fond du Lac County residing in the Green Bay market.


  • History 1
    • Move to Milwaukee area 1.1
  • Digital television 2
    • Digital channel 2.1
  • References 3
  • External links 4


The station first signed on the air in 2000 as WMMF-TV, which carried programming from FamilyNet. It shared transmitter facilities with WWRS-TV (channel 52), north of Iron Ridge in Dodge County. WIWN is the second television station to be licensed to Fond du Lac. KFIZ-TV (channel 34), an independent station that was co-owned with KFIZ (1450 AM) and WFON (107.1 FM) and had operated from 1968 to 1972. The station changed its call letters to WWAZ in late 2004, in anticipation for a change in affiliation to the Spanish language Azteca America network; however the station never did join Azteca, Pappas ended up dropping almost all of its affiliations with the network from its stations in July 2007 during a conflict with the network, replacing it with its own new Spanish-language service, TuVision. During TuVision's life, the network was never carried by WWAZ.

Most of the station's audience prior to 2007 received its signal over-the-air, as WWAZ and Pappas had previously not pursued any must-carry provisions with local cable and national satellite providers because of affiliation uncertainties; for instance, the station was not carried on the Charter Communications system in Fond du Lac. From Iron Ridge, the station's coverage area ranged from most of the northern part of the eleven-county Milwaukee market area, to the eastern portion of the Madison market, along with the southern portions of the Green Bay market. However as the station's transmitter was located west of the Kettle Moraine range that bisects the station's coverage area, communities in Sheboygan and Ozaukee counties were unable to receive the station without an outdoor antenna at minimum.

However, this changed in mid-2007, when Pappas filed a must-carry provision with Time Warner Cable's Northeastern Wisconsin system, and the station was subsequently added in Green Bay and the Fox Cities on June 26, 2007,[1] replacing Milwaukee CW affiliate WVTV (channel 18), which had aired on the provider since the mid-1980s during that station's phase of becoming a superstation with intrastate coverage across Wisconsin. Eventually though, FamilyNet was added to Charter systems through a national deal to add it to their digital family tier,[2] and carriage of WWAZ was of no priority to Charter, as the station carried the network without any local deviation, along with having on-air malfunctions to the point their hourly station identification would often not show up.

The station ceased broadcasting in January 2008 as the financial issues of Pappas Telecasting elsewhere began to build up, resulting in the ceasing of operations of Walla Walla, Washington sister station KCWK. After the station went silent, a slide on the station's slot on Time Warner Cable went up containing the sentence WWAZ-TV informed Time Warner Cable that it has ceased broadcast operations until further notice. On January 15, 2008, WWAZ-TV filed a request with the Federal Communications Commission to cease broadcasting in analog before the end of the digital television transition period and become a digital-only station, broadcasting on UHF channel 44.[3] The request was approved in late July 2008.[4] The station continued to broadcast for a short time before permanently ending its analog service within two weeks.

Pappas Telecasting Companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 10, 2008; however the WWAZ license, operations and facilities were not covered under the filing. However, due to Pappas's financial problems, the station remained silent,[5] and in an FCC filing, the station requested a move to channel 5 after WFRV-TV discontinued its analog signal and vacated the channel in March 2009 (retaining its digital channel 39), but asserted it was unable to complete the new transmitter and tower until 2010 at the earliest.[6]

Move to Milwaukee area

In August 2009, the FCC conditionally approved the move to channel 5 after the build-out of the new transmitter, which was approved for the traditional tower site on the northeast side of Milwaukee. According to FCC mapping, the station leases space on the MPTV Tower to broadcast the station, with the signal directed towards the west and north to avoid interference with the stations mentioned below. The channel 5 construction permit was accepted by the FCC on October 16, 2009.

The petition to move was contested by Weigel Broadcasting, WLFM-LP (now WRME-LP) in Chicago (a station then using the analog channel 6 audio overlap quirk on 87.7 FM to broadcast a smooth jazz radio station with video imagery; it now carries sports talk), as well as by Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, near Grand Rapids, which has its Kalamazoo PBS member station WGVK based on digital channel 5, mapping via PSIP to channel 52. Weigel objected mainly on concerns of abandonment by WWAZ of serving Fond du Lac and the surrounding area to become a full-time Milwaukee station (creating a possible competitor to Weigel's two full-power and two low-power stations in the area), while Grand Valley's and WLFM's concerns were with interference from the more southern signal within Chicago and across Lake Michigan.

The application was approved mainly due to ABC asking for the FCC to allow them to move the main digital signal of its Chicago owned-and-operated station WLS-TV from VHF channel 7 to UHF channel 44 due to signal reception problems in their market, a move supported by Pappas and approved by the FCC in October 2009, which was carried out at the beginning of 2010. Pappas planned to address the abandonment concerns of the rural audience by building two low-power digital translator stations in areas formerly served by the WWAZ analog signal, the first on channel 15 from Ripon which has reception in the city of Fond du Lac, and the second on channel 30, broadcasting from Columbus within the northeast reaches of the Madison market.[7] However the Ripon and Columbus applications have since disappeared from the FCC database, leaving solely the entry for the Milwaukee tower site.

On August 12, 2012, it was reported that the station had begun to broadcast from the MPTV Tower, airing programming from WeatherNation TV; it also changed its call letters to WIWN, which became official one day later on August 13.[8] The network is carried fully in 1080i high definition, with forced framing to widescreen for standard definition viewers via the AFD #10 code.[9] DirecTV picked up the station shortly after it came to air for their southeastern Wisconsin lineup under must-carry requested from Pappas.

The station acquired its first cable carriage in April 2014, when Charter added the stations to their southeastern Wisconsin systems as part of Charter's new retransmission consent agreement for Pappas stations elsewhere in the country, finally bringing the station carriage in its city of license of Fond du Lac. It airs on channel 22 on those Charter systems, along with channel 616 in high definition. Time Warner Cable (which is in the process of having their Wisconsin systems acquired by Charter) was to add the station for their area systems in June 24 on standard channel 68 and in high definition on channel 1068.[10] This addition has since been moved to December 5, 2014.

On June 16, 2014, Pappas Telecasting and their bankruptcy trustees agreed to a purchase of the station for $1.8 million by Caballero Acquisition LLC, a station group mainly made up of low-power television stations in California and Texas formerly owned by Viacom which carry Viacom's MTV Tres network, most of which were purchased mainly to acquire the assets of former competitor Mas Musica, a network owned by a past company of those who own Cabellero. It entered into a local marketing agreement to operate the station until the completion of the sale.[11] Upon the start of the temporary LMA, the station began to carry a secondary affiliation with the OnTV4U paid programming network, pre-empting WeatherNation programming. The sale was completed on September 24.[12]

As of November 10, 2014, all WeatherNation programming was removed from the station's schedule, and outside of a daily 9 a.m. slot to carry required E/I programming, ran an all-infomercial format mainly from OnTV4U through the entire day.

On December 1, 2014, the station began to air programming from the religious Sonlife Broadcasting Network full-time. It is unknown if this will be the station's permanent affiliation under Cabellero. The same day, a second subchannel carrying paid programming was also added.

Digital television

Digital channel

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[13]
68.1 1080i 16:9 WIWN-TV Main WIWN programming
68.2 480i 4:3 TBA paid programming


  1. ^ Warren Gerds column: Mr. Monk gets a bobble-head, Fourth of July marathon, Green Bay Press-Gazette, July 2, 2007.
  2. ^
  4. ^ FCC Lets Two More Stations Pull Analog Plug, Broadcasting & Cable, July 28, 2008.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Report and Order
  8. ^ New OTA station?
  9. ^ Kirchen, Rich (27 August 2012). "Milwaukee's newest TV station: WeatherNation". Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "Wisconsin Programming Legal Notices".  
  11. ^ "Asset Purchase Agreement". FCC. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  12. ^ Consummation Notice, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  13. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WIWN

External links

  • WIWN official website
  • Query the FCC's TV station database for WIWN
  • BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WIWN-TV
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