WGN America

Superstation WGNWGNsuperstation feednational feedsuperstationformer superstation feednational superstation feedWGN SuperstationWGN-TVcable-satellite feed
WGN America is an American subscription television network that is owned by the Nexstar Media Group, and is the company's only wholly owned, national cable-originated television channel.wikipedia
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WGN-TV

WGNWGN 9K32MF-D
WGN America was originally established on November 9, 1978, when United Video Inc. began redistributing the signal of WGN-TV (channel 9) in Chicago, Illinois—which, alongside WGN America, Chicago-based local cable news channel Chicagoland Television (CLTV) and news/talk/sports radio station WGN (720 AM), was among the flagship broadcasting properties of Tribune Media (formerly known as the Tribune Company prior to the August 2014 spin-off of its publishing division) until the closure of Nexstar's acquisition of Tribune in September 2019—to cable and satellite subscribers throughout the United States.
The former "superstation" feed, WGN America, was converted by Tribune into a conventional basic cable network in December 2014, at which time it removed all WGN-TV-produced local programs from its schedule and began to be carried on cable providers within the Chicago market (including Xfinity, U-verse, WOW!

Tribune Media

Tribune CompanyTribuneTribune Co.
WGN America was originally established on November 9, 1978, when United Video Inc. began redistributing the signal of WGN-TV (channel 9) in Chicago, Illinois—which, alongside WGN America, Chicago-based local cable news channel Chicagoland Television (CLTV) and news/talk/sports radio station WGN (720 AM), was among the flagship broadcasting properties of Tribune Media (formerly known as the Tribune Company prior to the August 2014 spin-off of its publishing division) until the closure of Nexstar's acquisition of Tribune in September 2019—to cable and satellite subscribers throughout the United States.
It owned national basic cable channel/superstation WGN America, regional cable news channel Chicagoland Television (CLTV) and Chicago radio station WGN.

The Bozo Show

Bozo's CircusBozoBozo`s Circus
The station was also known locally for its lineup of children's programs including Bozo's Circus (which became the most well-known iteration of the Bozo franchise through its local and, later, national popularity, featuring a mix of comedy sketches, circus acts, cartoon shorts and in-studio audience participation games), Ray Rayner and His Friends (a variety show which featured animated shorts, arts and crafts segments, animal and science segments and a viewer mail segment) and Garfield Goose and Friends (a series hosted by Frazier Thomas as the "prime minister" to the titular clacking goose who designated himself as "King of the United States," which is considered to be the longest running puppet show on local television) as well as a robust lineup of feature films (showing as many as four movies – one in the morning, and two to three films per night – each weekday, and between three and six movies per day on weekends).
The Bozo Show was a locally produced children's television program that aired on WGN-TV in Chicago and nationally on what is now WGN America.

WPCH-TV

WTBSWTCGPeachtree TV
This expanded the prominent independent station into America's second satellite-distributed national "superstation," after the concept's progenitor, Atlanta, Georgia-based WTBS (now separately operating as WPCH-TV in the Atlanta market and as conventional subscription channel TBS nationwide).
In 1981, Turner decided to have all of the shows carried by WTBS continue to air both locally and nationally, but separated the feeds (in a move that preceded United Video implementing this practice for the national version of WGN-TV after the FCC reinstituted the syndication exclusivity rights rule in January 1990).

Chicago

Chicago, IllinoisChicago, ILCity of Chicago
WGN America was originally established on November 9, 1978, when United Video Inc. began redistributing the signal of WGN-TV (channel 9) in Chicago, Illinois—which, alongside WGN America, Chicago-based local cable news channel Chicagoland Television (CLTV) and news/talk/sports radio station WGN (720 AM), was among the flagship broadcasting properties of Tribune Media (formerly known as the Tribune Company prior to the August 2014 spin-off of its publishing division) until the closure of Nexstar's acquisition of Tribune in September 2019—to cable and satellite subscribers throughout the United States.
The McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade is seen across the nation on WGN-TV and WGN America, featuring a variety of diverse acts from the community, marching bands from across the country, and is the only parade in the city to feature inflatable balloons every year.

WPIX

WPIX-TVPIX 11WPIX 11
It was also the first Tribune-owned independent station to be distributed to a national pay television audience—United Video would later uplink WPIX (now a CW affiliate) in New York City in May 1984; Netlink began distributing KWGN-TV (now a CW affiliate) in Denver in October 1987; and Eastern Microwave began distributing KTLA (now a CW affiliate) in Los Angeles in February 1988 —and the first superstation to be distributed by United Video—with WGN and WPIX being joined by Gaylord Broadcasting-owned KTVT (now a CBS owned-and-operated station) in Dallas–Fort Worth in July 1984 and, after it assumed retransmission rights from Eastern Microwave, KTLA in April 1988.
Several of Tribune's other television stations (as well as WGN America and Antenna TV) have carried the WPIX version, complete with its audio soundtrack, on Christmas morning since the late 2000s, and is also streamed online on WPIX's website.

Tribune Broadcasting

TribuneTribune Studiosits own television stations
Channel 9 was Chicago's leading independent station for much of the period between the early 1960s and the early 1990s; although it was briefly overtaken in this distinction from 1979 to 1981 by rival independent WFLD (channel 32, now a Fox owned-and-operated station), which forced WGN-TV parent subsidiary Tribune Broadcasting (previously known as the WGN Continental Broadcasting Company from 1956 until 1981) to initiate efforts to beef up the station's inventory of off-network syndicated programs and add product from the Tribune Company's upstart national syndication unit, Tribune Entertainment.
The new company will produce programs primarily for Tribune Broadcasting's television stations and WGN America, some of which will receive national distribution.

Tribune Entertainment

Tribune StudiosTribune Entertainment CompanyTribune
Channel 9 was Chicago's leading independent station for much of the period between the early 1960s and the early 1990s; although it was briefly overtaken in this distinction from 1979 to 1981 by rival independent WFLD (channel 32, now a Fox owned-and-operated station), which forced WGN-TV parent subsidiary Tribune Broadcasting (previously known as the WGN Continental Broadcasting Company from 1956 until 1981) to initiate efforts to beef up the station's inventory of off-network syndicated programs and add product from the Tribune Company's upstart national syndication unit, Tribune Entertainment. A few shows were also dropped from the WGN America schedule (such as longtime staples U.S. Farm Report and Soul Train), primarily due to the Tribune Company dissolving its television production and distribution unit, Tribune Entertainment.
Tribune Studios will produce programs primarily for the company's 23 television stations and WGN America, some of which will receive national distribution.

The WB 100+ Station Group

The WB 100+WB 100+cable-only
Into the late 1990s, The WB began to expand its local broadcast coverage in American media markets that had to rely on the WGN national feed to receive the network's programming through affiliation agreements signed with local broadcast stations (including UPN charter affiliates, leftover independents, former noncommercial stations adopting an entertainment format, and dual affiliations with stations already affiliated with other networks [such as UPN]) within the top-100 media markets after its launch; coverage in the 110 smallest markets was achieved through the September 1998 launch of The WeB (subsequently renamed The WB 100+ Station Group), a packaged feed of WB network and syndicated programs provided to participating cable-based affiliates.
Through that deal, WGN's national superstation feed (now separately branded as WGN America and operating as a conventional basic cable channel) would act as a default WB affiliate for select markets where the network would have difficulty securing an affiliation with a broadcast television station at The WB's launch on January 11, 1995 (either due to the lack of available over-the-air stations or the absence of a secondary affiliation with an existing station within the market).

The WB

WBThe WB Television NetworkWB Network
On November 2, 1993, Time Warner announced the formation of The WB Television Network, a venture developed in partnership with the Tribune Company (which, prior to acquiring an 11% interest in August 1995, was a non-equity partner in the new network) and former Fox network executive Jamie Kellner (who would serve as the original president of and would hold a minority ownership stake in The WB).
On December 3, 1993, The WB announced a separate affiliation agreement with Tribune for its Chicago flagship station WGN-TV (which originally planned to remain an independent station due to concerns about handling its sports programming commitments while maintaining a network affiliation ); through this deal, WGN's superstation feed would provide additional national distribution for The WB as a cable-only affiliate, in order to give the network time to fill gaps in markets where it was unable to find an affiliate at launch.

Rerun

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This left WGN-TV with the faltering DuMont until that network completed its operational wind-down in August 1956, at which time it became an independent station; at that time, off-network syndicated reruns (such as The Cisco Kid, Our Miss Brooks and My Little Margie) were added to the schedule.
On cable and satellite, channels that devote at least some of their program schedule to post-syndication reruns include Nick at Nite, TV Land, TBS, USA Network, WGN America, Pop, Discovery Family, Game Show Network, Boomerang, Nicktoons, INSP, RFD-TV, and the Hallmark Channel.

Superstation

superstationscable superstationsvia satellite
This expanded the prominent independent station into America's second satellite-distributed national "superstation," after the concept's progenitor, Atlanta, Georgia-based WTBS (now separately operating as WPCH-TV in the Atlanta market and as conventional subscription channel TBS nationwide). This resulted in WGN-TV joining the ranks of WTBS to become America's second national "superstation"—independent stations distributed via satellite to cable providers within their respective regions, or throughout the country—and becoming the first of three independent stations to be redistributed on a national basis before the end of 1979: KTVU (now a Fox owned-and-operated station) in Oakland, California was uplinked by Satellite Communications Systems in December 1978 and WOR-TV (now MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station WWOR-TV) in New York City was uplinked by Newhouse Newspapers subsidiary Eastern Microwave Inc. in April 1979.
The separation of TBS from its founding Atlanta parent left the WGN national feed – which became known as Superstation WGN in November 2002 and then as WGN America in May 2008 – as the last remaining superstation to be transmitted nationwide through all multichannel television distribution methods, whereas the other six remaining superstations are available only through satellite television.

Bozo the Clown

BozoBozo's Big TopBozo's Circus
The station was also known locally for its lineup of children's programs including Bozo's Circus (which became the most well-known iteration of the Bozo franchise through its local and, later, national popularity, featuring a mix of comedy sketches, circus acts, cartoon shorts and in-studio audience participation games), Ray Rayner and His Friends (a variety show which featured animated shorts, arts and crafts segments, animal and science segments and a viewer mail segment) and Garfield Goose and Friends (a series hosted by Frazier Thomas as the "prime minister" to the titular clacking goose who designated himself as "King of the United States," which is considered to be the longest running puppet show on local television) as well as a robust lineup of feature films (showing as many as four movies – one in the morning, and two to three films per night – each weekday, and between three and six movies per day on weekends).

KTVT

KTVT-TVKTVT 11KTVT Tower
It was also the first Tribune-owned independent station to be distributed to a national pay television audience—United Video would later uplink WPIX (now a CW affiliate) in New York City in May 1984; Netlink began distributing KWGN-TV (now a CW affiliate) in Denver in October 1987; and Eastern Microwave began distributing KTLA (now a CW affiliate) in Los Angeles in February 1988 —and the first superstation to be distributed by United Video—with WGN and WPIX being joined by Gaylord Broadcasting-owned KTVT (now a CBS owned-and-operated station) in Dallas–Fort Worth in July 1984 and, after it assumed retransmission rights from Eastern Microwave, KTLA in April 1988.
Gaylord was not willing to create a dedicated feed that included substitute programs that would replace shows aired on KTVT locally in certain time slots that could not air outside of its primary viewing area due to market exclusivity claims by various stations (as WGN-TV and WWOR-TV did at the time the law became official); as such, when the law went into effect on January 1, 1990, cable providers in some areas throughout the South Central U.S. chose to drop KTVT from their lineups.

WWOR-TV

WOR-TVWWORWOR
This resulted in WGN-TV joining the ranks of WTBS to become America's second national "superstation"—independent stations distributed via satellite to cable providers within their respective regions, or throughout the country—and becoming the first of three independent stations to be redistributed on a national basis before the end of 1979: KTVU (now a Fox owned-and-operated station) in Oakland, California was uplinked by Satellite Communications Systems in December 1978 and WOR-TV (now MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station WWOR-TV) in New York City was uplinked by Newhouse Newspapers subsidiary Eastern Microwave Inc. in April 1979.
By the early 1990s, WWOR and WPIX began to be replaced on many cable systems by the superstation feed of WGN-TV, which also launched an alternate feed for nationwide viewers in response to SyndEx regulations.

Salem (TV series)

SalemSalem'' (TV series)Salem: Bloodbath
(Some of the proposed designs included variants of the logo that would forego the "WGN" reference in favor of identifying the channel under the abbreviation "GNA".) The new imaging was unveiled on December 19, 2013, as part of a promotional trailer for its first scripted drama series, Salem.
The series premiered on WGN America on April 20, 2014, becoming the network's first original scripted series.

WWE Superstars

SuperstarsWWF Superstars
Had the acquisition gone through and the promotion moved its broadcasts to the network, Ring of Honor Wrestling would have marked WGN America's first foray into professional wrestling since WWE Superstars was removed from its schedule in 2011.
WWE Superstars, or simply Superstars, is a professional wrestling television program that was produced by WWE that originally aired on WGN America in the United States and later broadcast on the WWE Network.

Nexstar Media Group

Nexstar Broadcasting GroupNexstarNexstar Broadcasting
WGN America is an American subscription television network that is owned by the Nexstar Media Group, and is the company's only wholly owned, national cable-originated television channel.

Syndication exclusivity

syndexSyndication Exclusivity Rights Ruleexclusivity
In the years following the January 1990 re-imposition of federal syndication exclusivity regulations, programming between the two feeds increasingly deviated as the WGN national feed incorporated alternative syndicated programming to replace shows on the WGN-TV schedule that were subjected to market exclusivity claims by individual television stations and some local programs that the national feed chose not to clear (particularly from the late 2000s onward, as the WGN Chicago signal began expanding its local news programming and added lifestyle programs to its schedule).
WGN's national superstation feed, later branded as "WGN Superstation" and "Superstation WGN", would be renamed WGN America in 2007; by this point, the number of syndicated programs that WGN-TV both gained full signal rights to and aired on both the Chicago broadcast signal and the national feed had substantially decreased, with WGN America mirroring the former WWOR EMI Service in its scheduling.

Chicago White Sox

White SoxChicago White StockingsChicago
As the national feed of WGN-TV, the channel broadcast a variety of programming seen on the Chicago signal, including sports (mainly Chicago Cubs and White Sox baseball, and Chicago Bulls basketball games); locally originated news, children's, religious and public affairs programs; movies; and syndicated series.
In the past, WGN games were broadcast nationally on the WGN America superstation, but those broadcasts ended after the 2014 season as WGN America began its transition to a standard cable network.

Kids' WB

Kids' WB!Kids WB!Kids WB
The WGN superstation feed carried The WB's prime time lineup from the start of the network's operations, and added the Kids' WB children's programming block when it was launched by the network on September 11, 1995.
However, WGN's superstation feed carried the block when it carried The WB's programming from 1995 to 1999 to make the network available to markets without a local affiliate.

Soul Train

4th Lady of Soul AwardsLady of Soul AwardsOld Train
A few shows were also dropped from the WGN America schedule (such as longtime staples U.S. Farm Report and Soul Train), primarily due to the Tribune Company dissolving its television production and distribution unit, Tribune Entertainment.
However, by the start of the 2008–09 television season, the Tribune Broadcasting-owned stations (including national carrier WGN America) that had been the linchpin of the show's syndication efforts dropped the program, and many others followed suit.

WCIU-TV

WCIUWCIU-DT6The U
Conversely, in the Chicago market, WGN-TV chose to only air the network's prime time lineup, and exercised a right of first refusal to decline Kids' WB in order to offer a local morning newscast and an afternoon block of syndicated sitcoms aimed at a family audience on weekdays and a mix of locally produced news, public affairs and children's programs as well as paid programs on weekend mornings; this cleared the way for Weigel Broadcasting to cut a separate deal to air Kids' WB programs locally over group flagship WCIU-TV (channel 26, now a CW affiliate), an independent station that ran the block Monday through Saturdays from September 1995 until WGN-TV began clearing the block on its schedule in September 2004.
The WB's primary affiliate in the market, WGN-TV (channel 9), opted not to carry the block and continued to run its morning newscast and an afternoon sitcom block in the time slots where Kids' WB would normally air on other WB affiliates (ironically, WGN's superstation feed for cable providers outside of the Chicago area and satellite providers nationwide carried Kids' WB programming, in addition to The WB's prime time schedule).

Chicago Cubs

CubsChicago OrphansCHC
As the national feed of WGN-TV, the channel broadcast a variety of programming seen on the Chicago signal, including sports (mainly Chicago Cubs and White Sox baseball, and Chicago Bulls basketball games); locally originated news, children's, religious and public affairs programs; movies; and syndicated series.
WGN's Cubs games formerly aired nationally on WGN America; however, prior to the 2015 season, the Cubs, as well as all other Chicago sports programming, was dropped from the channel as part of its re-positioning as a general entertainment cable channel.

The CW

CWThe CW Television NetworkCW Network
It was also the first Tribune-owned independent station to be distributed to a national pay television audience—United Video would later uplink WPIX (now a CW affiliate) in New York City in May 1984; Netlink began distributing KWGN-TV (now a CW affiliate) in Denver in October 1987; and Eastern Microwave began distributing KTLA (now a CW affiliate) in Los Angeles in February 1988 —and the first superstation to be distributed by United Video—with WGN and WPIX being joined by Gaylord Broadcasting-owned KTVT (now a CBS owned-and-operated station) in Dallas–Fort Worth in July 1984 and, after it assumed retransmission rights from Eastern Microwave, KTLA in April 1988. Conversely, in the Chicago market, WGN-TV chose to only air the network's prime time lineup, and exercised a right of first refusal to decline Kids' WB in order to offer a local morning newscast and an afternoon block of syndicated sitcoms aimed at a family audience on weekdays and a mix of locally produced news, public affairs and children's programs as well as paid programs on weekend mornings; this cleared the way for Weigel Broadcasting to cut a separate deal to air Kids' WB programs locally over group flagship WCIU-TV (channel 26, now a CW affiliate), an independent station that ran the block Monday through Saturdays from September 1995 until WGN-TV began clearing the block on its schedule in September 2004.
CW predecessor The WB previously had two cable-only affiliate outlets: WGN America, the national superstation feed of WGN-TV at the time, from January 1995 to October 1999 and network-operated The WB 100+ Station Group (the direct predecessor to The CW Plus), which was formed in September 1998 and had several of its cable-only outlets join The CW Plus at the CW network's launch.