WMDO-CD, virtual channel 47 (UHF digital channel 22), is a low-powered, Class A UniMás-affiliated television station licensed to the American capital city of Washington, District of Columbia. Owned by Entravision Communications, it is a sister station to Silver Spring, Maryland-licensed LATV affiliate WJAL (channel 68); Entravision also operates Arlington, Virginia-licensed Univision-owned station WFDC-DT (channel 14) under a local marketing agreement with the Univision Local Media subsidiary of Univision Communications. WMDO-CD and WFDC share studios located in Washington, and WMDO shares transmitter facilities with religious station WIAV-CD (channel 58) in the Tenleytown section of Washington's northwest quadrant.

The station's over-the-air signal is very weak, but the station is carried on many cable systems throughout the market, including Maryland, Virginia and southern Delaware.

History

The station first signed on the air as W14AA on UHF channel 14 by 1976.[9] First owned by Central Virginia Educational Television Corporation, it rebroadcast the signal of WNVT from a transmitter in Annandale, Virginia. In 1981, WNVT began building WNVC as a secondary station for the area and W14AA was no longer necessary. CVETC used the translator to broadcast Congressional hearings until WNVC went on the air in mid-1983.[10][11]

Los Cerezos Television Co. signed on station KA2XEH on channel 56 on June 29, 1980. The station relayed the programming of the Spanish International Network (SIN, as Univision was then known) via a satellite feed of flagship KWEX-TV in San Antonio, Texas. At the time, low-powered television translators were bound by the same rules as commercial FM translators; they were limited to repeating a signal received over-the-air from another station. As part of an FCC trial, SIN signed on two of these "satellators" under experimental licenses, denoted by the "2X" in the callsign.[12] With the FCC's rules relaxed, Los Cerezos purchased W14AA in July 1981. After two failed attempts to move the station to Wheaton, Maryland, SIN programming was on the air by March 1983.[11][13] The license for KA2XEH was deleted effective October 1, 1981.[14]

On November 1, 1988, W14AA moved to channel 48 and changed its callsign to W48AW. The call letters were changed to WMDO-LP on February 1, 1995. In October 1998, WMDO-LP moved to channel 30, in order to allow NBC owned-and-operated station WRC-TV to launch its digital signal on channel 48. On March 20, 2001, the station changed its call letters to WMDO-CA to reflect an upgrade to Class A status.

The WMDO callsign derives not from a former or planned affiliation with the competing Telemundo television network, but from co-ownership by Los Cerezos with WMDO radio (1540 AM, now WACA). The pair was broken up in 1999, when the television station was sold to Entravision.[11][15]

In November 2003, the station moved to channel 47 so that public station WNVT could sign on its digital signal on channel 30. WMDO's history of being shuffled around to different channels is not uncommon, since the FCC requires that low-power stations switch channels if a full-power station wishes to use their channel allocation.

On January 1, 2006, WMDO and WFDC switched network affiliations; WMDO joined TeleFutura (the forerunner of UniMás), while WFDC affiliated with Univision. In the summer of 2009, WMDO-LD began broadcasting a digital signal on VHF channel 8. This signal was nearly unusable as it received interference from WJLA-TV on channel 7, WUSA on channel 9, and distant station WGAL on channel 8. WMDO was forced to accept the interference as there were no other available channels in the area. In March 2011, WMDO filed to move to channel 22; Daystar was to use the channel for WDDN-LD, but accidentally allowed the construction permit to lapse in September 2010. After a legal fight with Daystar over the allocation, on May 22, 2015, the station was licensed to move to channel 22, and it changed its call sign to the current WMDO-CD.[16]

WMDO-CD was a winner in the FCC's 2016–17 spectrum reallocation auction, and received $58,231,415 to go off the air.[17] Winners in the auction who were to leave the air had the option of pursing a channel-sharing agreement with another station to preserve over-the-air coverage. WMDO-CD reached an agreement with WIAV-CD. The station suspended operations over its own signal on channel 22 and moved to WIAV-CD's signal on channel 44 on December 1, 2017.[18][19]

Digital television

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[8]
47.11080i16:9WMDO-CDMain WMDO-CD programming / UniMás