|Arlington, Virginia/Washington, D.C.|
|Branding||Univision Washington D.C.|
Digital: 15 (UHF)|
Virtual: 14 (PSIP)
(UniMas D.C. LLC)
|First air date||August 3, 1993|
|Call letters' meaning||
(after its previous affiliation)
|Former channel number(s)||
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||38°56′24″N 77°4′54″W / 38.94000°N 77.08167°WCoordinates: 38°56′24″N 77°4′54″W / 38.94000°N 77.08167°W|
|Public license information:||
WFDC-DT, virtual channel 14 (UHF digital channel 15) is a Univision owned-and-operated television station licensed to Arlington, Virginia and serving Washington, District of Columbia. The station is owned by Univision Communications and managed by Entravision Communications; this makes WFDC a sister station to UniMás affiliate WMDO-CD (channel 47). The two stations share studios located in Washington, and its transmitter is located in the Tenleytown section of Washington's northwest quadrant.
On cable, the station is carried on Xfinity channel 14 in the Washington area and on channel 11 in Baltimore (the latter market's NBC affiliate, WBAL-TV, broadcasts over-the-air on channel 11, but is carried on channel 21 due to signal issues).
Prior history of channel 14 in Washington
Channel 14 first signed on as WOOK on March 6, 1963 as the first television station in the country aimed at the African-American demographic. WOOK's claim to fame was their teen-oriented dance show called Teenarama, which featured big-name acts such as James Brown and Marvin Gaye. In 1969, the station changed its call letters, to WFAN-TV (the WFAN call letters are now used on a radio station at 660 AM in New York City). From 1968 to 1972, channel 14 was the sister station to WMET (channel 24) in Baltimore, Maryland. Both stations were owned by United Broadcasting.
On February 12, 1972, channel 14 went dark after accumulating financial difficulties. Throughout the late 1970s and 1980s, channel 14 was used to relay public channel 53 WNVT to the Washington, D.C. market, and occasionally served as a low-power Univision affiliate.
WFDC station history
A new station on channel 14 signed on as WTMW on August 3, 1993; the call letters came from the initials of the station's owner, Theodore M. White. From 1997 to May 1999, WTMW aired programming from America's Store, a discount shopping channel operated by the Home Shopping Network.
In May 1999, WTMW began airing the new Military Channel (not related to the cable channel of the same name owned by Discovery Communications, which is now the American Heroes Channel). After the Military Channel stopped broadcasting one month later, channel 14 aired programming from the Panda Shopping Network. Channel 14 became an affiliate of the American Independent Network in December 1999, which primarily broadcast reruns of old sitcoms and infomercials. The channel changed affiliations again in January 2001, when it became an affiliate of the Renaissance Network.
None of these formats were financially viable and in November 2001, Theodore M. White sold the station to Univision Communications and its call letters were changed to WFDC. Univision already had a Washington affiliate on channel 47, WMDO-CA (that station's owner, Entravision Communications, would take over WFDC through a local marketing agreement), so WFDC instead became one of the first flagship stations of their new network TeleFutura. The network was created to directly compete with Telemundo for the Latino American demographic, since Univision is more Mexican-oriented. Telefutura first broadcast on January 14, 2002 and channel 14 has done better financially since then.
On January 1, 2006, WFDC and WMDO swapped network affiliations: WFDC affiliated with Univision, while WMDO took the TeleFutura affiliation.
On April 3, 2014, Katz Broadcasting announced plans to multicast Grit and Escape on WFDC's DT3 and DT4 sub-channels. The two networks began broadcasting on August 18, 2014.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|14.1||1080i||16:9||WFDC-DT||Main WFDC-DT programming / Univision|
Like all of the DC-area Mobile DTV broadcasters, WFDC-DT commenced ATSC-M/H broadcasting on February 27, 2011. WFDC-DT also has a Mobile DTV feed of subchannel 14.1, labelled "Univision", with two encrypted video feeds of E! (14.2) and the Food Network (14.3), broadcasting at 5.5 Mbit/s. This is tied with WDCA-TV for the highest bit rate of any DC-area television station mobile feed.
WFDC broadcasts on channel 14.1, but due to its low-UHF channel positiong, suburban viewers in parts of Howard County and Anne Arundel County, Maryland have issues with signal reception. Contractually due to separate ownership between WFDC and WMDO, the latter is unable to be carried by WFDC, like it is in other Univision/UniMás duopoly markets. WMDO's owner Entravision has attempted to move sister station WJAL (Channel 68) from Hagerstown, Maryland to Silver Spring to take over as a full-market UniMás affiliate several times, without success.
On June 12, 2009, WFDC terminated its analog signal, on UHF channel 14, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 15. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display WFDC's virtual channel as 14.
After switching from TeleFutura to Univision, the station continued its news department. It broadcast 6 hours of news on weekdays and 2 hours of news on the weekends. On September 30, 2012, Buenos Dias DC, the first Spanish morning news show in the Washington market, debuted. The show was produced by Silvana Quiroz, who is also the anchor sharing cameras with co-anchor Nestor Bravo. The morning news magazine ran from 6am to 7am. On April 19, 2014, a weekend newscast debuted at 6pm and 11pm and ran through October 2015 and was similar to the weekday schedule. On March 1, 2014, the Univision Washington team was replaced. Anchor Mario Sol and Sports Anchor Oscar Burgos were laid-off. Maria Rosa Lucchini, the 6PM anchor, was promoted to White House correspondent; months later, she resigned. Claudia Uceda, the 11pm anchor, was switched to reporter, and months later, resigned to work as a freelancer for the Univision network. Tsi-Tsi-Ki Félix replaced the entire team, leaving only Fanny Gutierrez, who at the time was on maternity leave, and months later, resigned from her duties. Edwin Pitti, who was hired as a reporter, was promoted to White House correspondent.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WFDC
- Schotz, Andrew (18 October 2011). "WJAL-TV wants to move license from Hagerstown to Silver Spring". The Herald-Mail, Hagerstown, Maryland. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations
- WFDC-DT / WMDO-CD website
- Univision website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WFDC
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WFDC-DT