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|Channels||Digital: WGGB-DT 40.2 (UHF)
Virtual: 40.2 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||Fox & MyNetworkTV|
|Owner||Gormally Broadcasting, LLC (sale to Meredith Corporation pending)
|Call letters' meaning||see WGGB|
|Former affiliations||The Tube|
|Transmitter power||460 kW (digital)|
|Height||324 m (digital)|
|Facility ID||25682 (digital)|
|Licensing authority||FCC (digital)|
WGGB-DT2 is the primary Fox and secondary MyNetworkTV television station for the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. The station is a second digital subchannel of ABC affiliate WGGB-TV owned by Gormally Broadcasting. Over-the-air, it broadcasts a 720p high definition digital signal on UHF channel 40.2 from a transmitter on Mount Tom in Holyoke. Its parent station has studios on Liberty Street in Springfield. Syndicated programming on WGGB-DT2 includes How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family, Family Guy, and The Simpsons among others.
WGGB-DT2 first became active under Sinclair Broadcast Group ownership. The broadcast group signed a deal which added The Tube (a 24-hour digital music channel) to many of the company's stations including WGGB. As a result of lacking any advertising and incoming revenue source, The Tube shut down operations at the end of 2006.
Meanwhile, the market did not have a Fox affiliate of its own with Springfield being the largest television market in the United States to have this distinction. WTIC-TV in Hartford and even WFXT in Boston served as the default affiliate on cable. At one point, new Class A outlet WFXQ-CD had been rumored as attempting to affiliate with the network (hence the station's call letters). That station is owned as part of a duopoly with rival NBC affiliate WWLP.
On March 31, 2008, WGGB announced it would launching the area's first locally-based Fox affiliate on this second digital subchannel. Almost immediately, WTIC had its cable channel location on Comcast systems taken by WGGB-DT2, and as a result, was moved to the digital tier on channel 292. Charter eventually followed suit as well placing WTIC on digital channel 261. When WGGB-DT2 signed-on for the second time, it also added MyNetworkTV as a secondary relation. Currently, programming from the Fox sister network is seen in a delayed manner from 12:35 until 2:35 early the next morning. There is no local branding and/or logo indicating the secondary MyNetworkTV affiliation status aside from network promotions.
On June 18, 2014, the Meredith Corporation (owner of WFSB in Hartford) announced that it would acquire WGGB creating a duopoly with low-powered CBS affiliate WSHM-LD. Although FCC broadcast ownership rules normally forbid same-market ownership of two of the four highest-rated television stations (based on monthly total-day ratings), which often constitute stations affiliated with the four major broadcast networks (the Springfield market has only three full-power television stations, too few to allow a duopoly in any normal circumstance), the deal is permissible under FCC rules which allow common ownership of full-power and low-power television stations (the respective class designations of WGGB and WSMH) in all markets.
With the launch of Fox and MyNetworkTV on WGGB-DT2, plans were made to launch a prime time newscast on this channel. A weeknight, half-hour program eventually launched on September 8, 2008. Known as Fox 6 News at 10, the program originally featured a separate graphics package and music theme from the main WGGB broadcasts. Rival CBS affiliate WSHM-LD had already established a nightly prime time newscast at 10 on its cable-only 24-hour weather channel. That program aired in a commercial-free, face-paced format and was also steamed live on its website. The broadcast was eventually dropped for an unknown reason.
Eventually, WGGB-DT2's show was expanded to weekends and became known as ABC 40 First on Fox. On April 6, 2009, the main channel's weekday morning show became a full two-hour broadcast like most other ABC affiliates. WGGB-DT2 simulcasts this program then replays it at 7. The main station then added a half-hour to the newscast becoming Pioneer Valley's first station offering a weekday morning broadcast beginning at 4:30 (WGGB-DT2 simulcasts that half-hour as well). On September 14, 2011, WGGB officially became the first station in the Springfield market to upgrade local news production to high definition level (shows seen on WGGB-DT2 were included with the change).