WMFD-TV, virtual channel 68 (VHF digital channel 12), is an independent television station licensed to Mansfield, Ohio, United States. The station is owned by Mid-State Television, Inc. (headed by Gunther Meisse), which also owns low-power, Class A station WOHZ-CD (channel 41) and radio stations WVNO-FM (106.1) and ESPN Radio affiliate WRGM (1440 AM and 97.3 FM). WMFD maintains studio and transmitter facilities located on Park Avenue West in Ontario. The station is available in both high definition and standard definition on digital cable systems in North-Central Ohio area and throughout the Cleveland market on DirecTV and Dish Network.

History

The station first signed on the air on January 10, 1986 as WCEO-TV, originally broadcasting on UHF channel 68.[2] It changed its call letters to WCOM on July 24, 1987. The station attempted to enter the Columbus market by construction with a tall transmitter tower (the tallest ever erected in Ohio) south of Mansfield in Butler, but it never achieved cable carriage in the market and shut down in 1989.

Channel 68 returned to the air under the current WMFD-TV call letters on June 1, 1992; this time, targeting viewers in north-central Ohio (the WMFD call letters were previously used on what is now WECT-TV in Wilmington, North Carolina from that station's sign-on in 1954 until 1958).

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[2]
68.11080p16:9WMFD-DTMain WMFD-TV programming
68.2480p4:3WMFD-DT-2Simulcast of WOHZ-CD

Analog-to-digital conversion

WMFD-TV signed on its digital signal on VHF channel 12 in 1998, claiming to be the first independent station in the United States to begin digital television broadcasts. The station shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 68, on June 16, 2008.. The station's digital signal continued to broadcasts on its pre-transition VHF channel 12.[34] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 68, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.

Programming

As the only television station serving the North Central Ohio area, the station concentrates on local programming such as Bon Appetit: The Dining Show and Focus on North Central Ohio. WMFD produces local newscasts, branded as NewsWatch HD, which air weekdays at 6 a.m. and noon for a half-hour, and for an hour each weeknight at 5, 6, 10 and 11 p.m. Outside of local programs, the station fills out the remainder of its schedule with syndicated programming and infomercials. Syndicated programs broadcast on WMFD include Access Hollywood, Laura McKenzie's Traveler, Bob Vila's Home Again, 30 Rock and Business Sense with Catherine Cullen.