WIIH-CD, virtual channel 17 (VHF digital channel 8), is a low-powered television station located in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. The station is owned by Media General, and is operated as a sister station to CW affiliate WISH-TV (channel 8) and MyNetworkTV affiliate WNDY-TV (channel 23). WIIH-CD currently serves as a translator station to WISH-TV. All three stations share studio facilities located on North Meridian Street (at the north end of Television Row) in northwestern Indianapolis; WIIH-CD maintains transmitter facilities located on Walnut Drive, also on the city's northwest side (near Meridian Hills).


Early history

The station first signed on the air on January 29, 1988 as W11BV, broadcasting on VHF channel 11. Its original owner, White River Corporation, sold the station to Indiana Broadcasting Corporation, the subsidiary of LIN Broadcasting Corporation (predecessor to LIN Media) that held the license for WISH-TV, on December 21, 1992.[2] The station changed its call letters to WIIH-LP in 1995. In 2002, WIIH moved its allocation to UHF channel 17 and received approval from the Federal Communications Commission to reclassify its license to Class A status, modifying its calls to WIIH-CA in the process. In 2003, the station became the market's Univision affiliate, branding as "Univision Indiana". Soon afterward, WISH-TV began producing a nightly Spanish-language newscast for WIIH-CA (titled WIIH Noticias), which was cancelled in 2008. On May 18, 2007, LIN TV announced that it was exploring strategic alternatives that could result in the sale of the company.[3]

On September 15, 2008, LIN and Time Warner Cable entered into an impasse during negotiations for new retransmission consent deals for some of the group's television stations. Bright House Networks, a major cable provider for Indianapolis, negotiates carriage contracts through Time Warner Cable. LIN TV requested compensation for carriage in a manner similar to cable networks, as other broadcast station owners began to seek compensation from pay television providers for their programming. The agreement with Bright House expired on October 2.[4] By 12:35 a.m. on October 3, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks substituted WIIH, WISH and MyNetworkTV affiliate WNDY-TV (channel 23) as well as LIN's other television stations around the country with other cable channels in markets where the group owns or manages stations and both providers maintain systems. Locally, WISH and WNDY were restored 23 days later on October 26 after LIN reached a groupwide carriage agreement with TWC/Bright House, however WIIH-CA was excluded from the deal. By 2008, Indianapolis had grown to become the 57th largest media market based on the local Hispanic population in the United States.[5]

On January 1, 2009, the station dropped Univision programming after LIN failed to renew its contract with the network (which expired the day before on December 31, 2008), and adopted a weather-focused programming format, branded as "LWS: Local Weather Station". As a result, two other pay television providers in the Indianapolis market, Comcast and AT&T U-verse secured carriage agreements with Univision to receive its programming from the network's national feed; however, Bright House decided not to pursue a contract with the network at that time.[5]

As a WISH-TV translator

On January 29, 2010, LIN TV filed an application to the FCC to operate a fill-in translator station for WISH-TV using WIIH-LD's UHF channel 17 signal,[6] to serve areas of Indianapolis that experienced problems receiving the WISH-TV signal after the transition. The Commission granted a construction permit to build transmitter facilities for this purpose on June 16, 2010.[7] The transmitter was relocated to the tower site used by WISH-TV on 7619 Walnut Drive (though the City of Indianapolis lists the address as 2500 Westlane Road[8]) in northwestern Indianapolis, and was installed on the tower at 144 metres (472 ft) above average terrain.

The FCC cancelled WIIH-CA's analog license on January 13, 2011, when WIIH-LD was converted into a fill-in translator of WISH-TV[9] (LWS programming remained on digital subchannel 8.2 on WISH-TV and was moved to that same mapped subchannel on both WIIH-CD with the translator conversion). In September 2011, LIN Media filed an application to the FCC to upgrade the WIIH-LD license to Class A status. After the move was approved by the FCC, WIIH's call letters were modified to WIIH-CD.

On March 21, 2014, Media General announced that it would merge with LIN Media in a $1.6 billion deal.[10] The merger was completed on December 19.[11]

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[12]
8.11080i16:9WISH-HDSimulcast of WISH-TV / The CW
8.3JustNetJustice Network

Analog-to-digital conversion

WIIH-CA terminated its analog signal on September 9, 2009 and flash cut its digital signal into operation on VHF channel 8 (the former analog and current virtual channel allocation of WISH-TV, which it vacated upon the June 12 digital television transition).