|Hollywood/Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
|Channels||Digital: 47 (UHF)|
|Owner||Univision Communications, Inc.
(TeleFutura Miami, LLC)
|First air date||August 10, 1988|
|Call letters' meaning||We Are MIami or "Whammy"|
|Former callsigns||WYHS (1988-1992)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
|Former affiliations||HSN (1988-1998)
USA Broadcasting -independent (1998-2002)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||25°59′9″N 80°11′37″W / 25.98583°N 80.19361°W / 25.98583; -80.19361|
Channel 69, WCIX translator channel (1968-1988)
From sign-on in 1968 until 1988, channel 69 was a translator for WCIX channel 6. (Channel 6 in Miami had to keep its analog transmitter in Florida City, Florida due to the presence of WDBO-TV - which became WCPX-TV - prior to the translator going dark)
WYHS-TV, Silver King Communications (1988-1997)
Home Shopping Network Affiliate
On August 10, 1988, WYHS-TV signed onto the air waves, airing Home Shopping Network programming. When it launched, WYHS-TV was owned by HSN's broadcasting arm, Silver King Communications. The primary purpose of these stations was to force HSN on the cable companies in each Designated Market Area through the Federal Communications Commission's Must-carry provisions as QVC was taking away a large slice of HSN's audience as several cable companies owned interest in QVC, but not HSN. Eventually, Silver King Communications came to own interest in the USA Network and, as a result, later became USA Broadcasting, the broadcast arm of the cable conglomerate USA Networks, Inc. In the fall of 1997, Channel 69 added Fox Kids to its line-up after it was dropped by WDZL.
WAMI-TV under USA Broadcasting (1998-2002)Starting on June 1, 1998 at 6:00am, the station, formerly known as WHYS and a Home Shopping Network affiliate, changed its call sign to WAMI-TV and began running a general entertainment format with a strong focus on locally produced shows. These included the Times (news), SportsTown (sports), Generation ñ (Latin), Ocean Drive(lifestyle; based on the magazine), Ten's (lifestyle) [rebroadcasted on sister station KSTR-TV in Irving, Texas from late 1999-2001], Barcode (dj/dance show), Kenneth's Frequency (alternative lifestyles), and "Out Loud" (talk show) hosted by Bill Teck and produced by Miami producer and media personality Paul Bouche. All programing was mostly aimed at the age 16-34 demographic.
WAMI re-packaged the Fox Kids programming block, incorporating it into the live, locally produced, interactive, kids show "Wami on Miami," aimed at children in Miami/Dade and Broward market. "Wami on Miami" on-air hosts would hold up a "WAMI" hand sign, holding up both hands, making "L' shapes and crossing their hands together to form a "W," shouting; "Wami, baby!" to its on-air audience. Children would show up at WAMI-TV sponsored Fox Kids/Power Ranger events, held throughout Miami/Dade andBroward counties, mimicking their favorite "WAMI on Miami" on-air host.
WAMI-TV soon began heavy use of live local remote interstitials. WAMI-TV often shot its interstitials, "live" at remote locations all over Miami/Dade and Broward counties, with the WAMI interstitial host often pulling passers by, literally, right off the streets to read the cue cards announcing the next hour's viewing line-up on the station. Another short program not seen on most other stations was a topical program called; "Lips," featuring a pair of ruby red lips in front of a black background, teasing the days stories or issues, thought to be inspired by The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
WAMI-TV prominently used the on-air station "bug" or WAMI station i.d. logo, a variation of the WAMI "thought bubble," the station i.d. graphic that would flash on the lower part of the television screen, at the top and bottom of the hour, or each time the station programming returned from a commercial break, and then fade out. The WAMI Promotions VP ordered that the station logo "bug" be left up on the television screen, around the clock, and to "ghost it," making it transparent so that it was seen constantly as you watched WAMI-TV. WAMI also featured "WAMI-cams", which were :03 to :05 second on-air spots used to fill air time, usually catching a glimpse of South Beach street life, or scenic views, or interesting goings-on in Miami, followed a "pop" sound and the appearance of the WAMI "thought bubble" graphic. The rest of WAMI-TV's block of programming was supplemented with some first run syndicated reality and talk shows, syndicated network sitcoms, movies, other cartoons and a few religious programs.
By December 1998, after only six months on air, WAMI-TV had outbid the local UPN and WB affiliates to land an exclusive six year contract to the local broadcasting rights to air and produce Florida Marlins baseballgames. WAMI had also procured the rights to broadcast Miami Heat NBA games prior to the station's launch.
Flagship station of USA Broadcasting
By late 1999, WAMI-TV, had grown into its role as the "flagship station" of what was to become the USA Broadcasting Network, comprising thirteen stations scattered around the country, twelve of which were former HSN broadcasting affiliates and the Atlanta station. All of these stations, owned by Barry Diller, were to be converted one by one to follow WAMI's format, called "City Vision". "City Vision" was based on Mr. Diller's theory that local broadcast programming was being ignored and that the general public wanted a sense of what is going on in their local communities on television. A scaled down version of the "City Vision" format was spread throughout the USA Broadcasting Network to these new affiliate stations in Dallas' KSTR-TV "K-Star 49" -formerly KHSX-TV, Boston's WHUB-TV "Hub 66" -formerly WHSH-TV (now WUTF-TV), and Atlanta's WHOT-TV "Hotlanta 34" (now WUVG-TV). The rest of the former HSN broadcast affiliates that were due to be converted were WHSE-TV and WHSI-TV New York/Long Island (calls were to be changed to WORX "The Works" upon format change), WEHS-TV Chicago (call was to be changed to WNDE "Windy" upon format change), WQHS-TV Cleveland, KHSC-TV Los Angeles (call was to be changed to KLIK "Click" upon format change), WHSP-TV Philadelphia, WHSW-TV Baltimore, KHSH-TV Houston, and WBHS-TV Tampa.
However, due to financial woes USA Networks, Inc. began facing in 2000, the company began looking to divest some of its assets. USA Broadcasting, as one of these assets, was considered for divesture as part of a deal to help USA Networks, Inc. get its financial house back in order. In 2001, the remaining entertainment units of USA Broadcasting Inc., were sold to Vivendi Universal, along with $10.3 billion worth of shares held by Barry Diller. The TV stations were to be sold to Disney/ABC (which would've created a partnership for Post-Newsweek Stations-owned ABC affiliate WPLG), but Univision Communications outbid its competition in a close race. On January 3, 2002, the plug was pulled on USA Broadcasting Inc. as this station transformed into a TeleFutura affiliate..
Awards and nominations
- 1998: 7 Regional Emmys
- 1999: 6 Regional Emmys, 10 Promax Awards
- 2000: 5 Regional Emmys, 10 Promax Awards
- 2001: 2 Promax Awards
Notable WAMI (USAB) alumni
"The Times" anchors and reporters
- Ben Mankiewicz ("The Times" News Anchor) now on TMZ and cohost of At the Movies; Air America Radio personality as cohost of "The Young Turks Radio Show"
- Alan Cohn ("The Times" Investigative Reporter) Investigative Reporter at WTNH, in New Haven, CT; recipient of the 2007 George Foster Peabody Award, one of journalism's highest honors, for report that defective parts were installed on Black Hawk helicopters.
- Jim Altman ("The Times" Reporter) Emmy Award winning Reporter at Fox 61, WTIC-TV in Hartford, CT
- John Mattes ("The Times" Investigative Reporter) Investigative Journalist for Fox affiliate XETV, based inTijuana and San Diego
- Lisa Cabrera ("The Times" Entertainment Reporter) Reporter and fill-in Anchor for WNYW-TV in New York City.
"SportsTown" anchors and co-hosts
- Chris McWatt ("SportsTown" Cohost) Correspondent/Cohost of "Home Matters" and "Road Trip"(segments) on Discovery Home Channel
- Mark Jones ("SportsTown" Co-Anchor) Sportscaster on ESPN and for ABC
- Tim Ring ("SportsTown" Co-Anchor) Sports Anchor on Fox Sports Rocky Mountain
- Brad Steinke ("SportsTown" Co-Anchor) Sports Anchor on Fox Sports Network AZ.
- Dave Benz ("SportsTown" Co-Anchor) Sports Anchor on Fox Sports Network CO.
"On-Air Interstitials" hosts
- Stephanie Lydecker ("WAMI Interstitials" Live On-Air Host) Host on the DIY Network
- Veronica Puleo ("WAMI Interstitials" Live On-Air Host) Indie/Acoustic/Folk Rock singer in Los Angeles
Other on-air hosts and personalities
- Daniel Tosh ("Tens" co-host) Standup Comedian who has appeared on The Tonight Show and Comedy Central's Premium Blend and Tosh.0
- Jennifer Cole ("Tens" co-host) Cohost of "Strip Poker" on USA Network; Host of "Sex Wars" game show, and has appeared on "House of Style"
- Hunter Reno ("Ocean Drive" Host) -niece of Janet Reno and Host of "New Florida" -Florida's Weekly Television News Magazine 
- Bill Teck ("Generation nˆ" Producer) in 2000, Newsweek named him one of the top 20 young Latinos to watch.
- Ray “Fajita” Trujillo (WAMI Promotions Sound Designer & Audio Engineer) since 2004, with Discovery Channel Latin America/Iberia
- Cenk Uygur (WAMI-TV legal staff); Air America Radio personality also as cohost of "The Young Turks Radio Show"
- Donald Hansen ("Kenneth's Freakquency" Television Engineer) appeared on WAMI-TV programs; Emmy Award nominee in 2007.
- David Silverstein, WAMI News Director. Became News Director in Columbus, OH and Baltimore, MD. Currently Manager of Distribution & Marketing, Pentagon Channel
USA Broadcasting to Telefutura
|||This section requires expansion.|
Under Univision, and on January 14, 2002, WAMI-TV became a Telefutura affiliate. WPXM and sister station WPXP in West Palm Beach picked up the Marlins telecasts (currently produced by Fox Sports), which are aired on the Florida Marlins Television Network, eventually dropping them in 2005 after the Pax Network's rebranding as i. Sun Sports (formerly Sunshine Network) and FSN Florida currently air the Marlins telecasts. The Miami Heat telecasts are now primarily cable-only on Sun Sports and carried over-the-air occasionally on local CBS affiliate WFOR. WAMI 69 airs a newscast produced by WLTV called "Noticias Univision Al Amanecer en Telefutura". The newscast airs from 7-8 AM and is anchored by the "Noticias 23 Al Amanecer" team.
As of late 2009, most Univision-owned television stations, including WAMI and sister station WLTV, have upgraded their main signals to be transmitted in 1080i high definition with a 16:9 aspect ratio. TeleFutura's sister network Univision became the last major over-the-air television network in the United States to have transitioned to HDTV programming.
- ^ "The_Legend_of_WAMI-TV". The Legend of WAMI-TV. March 13, 2009. http://ke4qpf.com/wami/index.htm. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
- ^ Paxman, Andrew (May 3, 2008). "Variety Business WAMI_nabs_Marlins_rights". Variety Business. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117489536.html?categoryid=18&cs=1. Retrieved May 3, 2008.
- ^ Fabrikant, Geraldine (May 3, 2008). "The New York Times Business Diller's_Latest_Tele-Vision;_First,_a_Network_of_Cubic_Zirconium._Now,_a_Station_of_Lips_and_Hardbodies.". The New York TImes Business. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9905E0D81130F930A15752C1A96E958260. Retrieved May 3, 2008.
- ^ "05-21-02_Federal_Communications_Commission_Grants_Clearance_for_Univision’s_Proposed_Acquisition_of_USA_ Broadcasting". univision. January 28, 2009. http://www.univision.net/corp/en/pr/Los_Angeles_21052002-1.html. Retrieved January 28, 2009.
- ^ "BNet USA_Broadcasting_Appoints_Chris_Sloan_to_Senior_Vice_President_Creative_Director_in_Charge_of_Promotions". BNet. May 3, 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_1999_May_17/ai_54652479. Retrieved May 3, 2008.
- ^ "1999_Suncoast_Regional_Emmy_Award_Recipients". suncoast.emmyonline.org. March 13, 2009. http://suncoast.emmyonline.org/emmy/1999Emmy/99emwin.htm. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
- ^ "2000_Suncoast_Regional_Emmy_Award_Nomineess". suncoast.emmyonline.org. March 13, 2009. http://suncoast.emmyonline.org/emmy/2000Awards/winners2000.htm. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
- ^ a b "Award_Winners-Promax,_BDA._...". promaxbda. March 13, 2009. http://www2.promax.tv/awards/winners/results1.asp. Retrieved March 13, 2009. [dead link]
- ^ "New Florida-Florida's_Weekly_Television_News_Magazine_Hosts Hunter_Reno_Host". New Florida .Org. May 21, 2008. http://newflorida.org/hosts.html. Retrieved May 21, 2008.