WFTC, channel 29, (branded My 29) is a MyNetworkTV owned and operated television station licensed to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and serving the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area. WFTC is owned by Fox Television Stations, a division of the News Corporation, which also owns MyNetworkTV and co-located Fox network station KMSP-TV (channel 9).
|WFTC: Minneapolis–Saint Paul, MinnesotaKFTC: Bemidji, Minnesota|
|Slogan||My shows are on My29!|
|Channels||Digital: WFTC: 29 (UHF)Virtual: 29 (PSIP)|
|Subchannels||29.1 MyNetworkTV (HD)29.2 KMSP-TV/Fox (SD)|
|Owner||Fox Television Stations
(Fox Television Stations, Inc.)
|First air date||WFTC: September 13, 1982KFTC: June 20, 1999|
|Call letters' meaning||Fox Twin Cities(for the station's owner, previously for former Fox affiliation)|
|Former callsigns||WFTC:WFBT (1982-1984)
KITN (1984-1991) KITN-TV (1991-1994)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:WFTC:
29 (UHF) (September 13, 1982 - February 17, 2009) KFTC: 26 (UHF, 1999-2009) Digital: WFTC: 21 (UHF, until June 12, 2009)
|Former affiliations||independent (1982-1988)|
|Transmitter power||WFTC: 1000 kWKFTC: 4.5 kW|
|Height||WFTC: 352 mKFTC: 156 m|
|Facility ID||WFTC: 11913KFTC: 83714|
|Transmitter coordinates||WFTC:45°3′29.5″N 93°7′28.2″W / 45.058194°N 93.1245°W / 45.058194; -93.1245|
The two stations share studio facilities in Eden Prairie, and a transmission tower in Shoreview. WFTC is also rebroadcast on several low-power stations across Minnesota, and on one full-power station: KFTC (channel 26) in Bemidji, Minnesota, which as of February 5, 2009, is operating as a digital-only station.
Prior to joining MyNetworkTV, WFTC was affiliated with the United Paramount Network (UPN), from September 8, 2002 to August 31, 2006.
The station signed on air on September 13, 1982 as WFBT (for "Family Bible Television"). It was a Christian station offering a family-oriented lineup consisting of classic reruns and religious programming. In 1984 The station was sold to the Beverly Hills Hotel Corporation, who changed its call letters to KITN-TV (which stood for Independent Twenty-Nine, known colloquially as Kitten as in, "The KITN That Roars!"), and changed the programming to that of a mainstream independent station, airing syndicated programing such as The Beverly Hillbillies, the 1960s Batman television show, and the original Star Trek series. BHHC sold it a year later to Nationwide Communications, the broadcasting subsidiary of Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide Insurance.
Along with becoming a traditional independent, KITN-TV also acquired broadcast rights to the NHL's Minnesota North Stars, and also aired University of Minnesota college football games. It then picked up the Fox affiliation from KMSP-TV in 1988 and became known as Fox 29. The station again changed its call sign to WFTC in 1994 (for "Fox Twin Cities"), with the additional change using the W first-letter identifier over the K, allowed for by its transmitter location on the eastern side of the Mississippi River.
As part of its liquidation of its broadcasting interests, Nationwide Communications sold WFTC to Clear Channel Communications in 1994. In 2001, Clear Channel spun off the station to Fox Television Stations in exchange for KMOL-TV (now WOAI-TV) in San Antonio and KTVX in Salt Lake City. Both stations were acquired by Fox through its purchase of Chris-Craft Industries' broadcast properties, which included KMSP-TV. As soon as its newest duopoly was in place, Fox then switched the affiliations of the stations on September 8, 2002: Fox programming returned to KMSP, and UPN shows moved from KMSP to WFTC.
Switch to MyNetworkTV
On January 24, 2006, the UPN and WB networks announced that they would merge into a new network called the CW. The following day (January 25), WFTC changed its branding from UPN 29 to WFTC 29, and revamped its logo to just feature the boxed "29". The station also announced that it would no longer promote any UPN programing. Similar changes were also made to Fox's other UPN affiliates, as the CW network list did not include WFTC or its sister stations. The formation of MyNetworkTV, of which WFTC and the other Fox-owned UPN stations have become affiliates, was announced on February 22, 2006, less than a month later. But it wasn't until May 2, 2006 that the CW announced outgoing WB affiliate KMWB-TV (now WUCW) as its Twin Cities station.
On June 2, 2006, with the impending switch to MyNetworkTV, WFTC's on-air branding was changed to My 29, using the new slogan on its newscasts and other non-UPN programming elements. On June 30, 2006, WFTC aired its final 10 p.m. newscast, and moved that program to sister station KMSP-TV.
Despite the announced launch date of MyNetworkTV (September 5), UPN continued to broadcast on stations across the country until September 15, 2006. While some UPN affiliates who switched to MyNetworkTV aired the final two weeks of UPN programming outside its regular primetime period, the Fox-owned stations, including WFTC, dropped UPN entirely on August 31, 2006.
On September 9, 2006, WFTC began carrying the 4Kids TV lineup for the first time since 2002, when the station was a Fox affiliate airing what was then Fox Kids. The Station Stills Airs Fox's New Saturday Morning Block, Weekend Marketplace.
In addition WFTC may carry Fox network programming should it be preempted by KMSP in the event of a local special or an emergency such as a breaking news story. A sample situation was used on August 1, 2007, during the I-35W Bridge Collapse.
Current programming on WFTC includes:
- Minnesota Timberwolves basketball
- The Simpsons
- Family Guy
- Everybody Loves Raymond
- Two and a Half Men
- King of the Hill
- UFC Wired
- American Chopper
- House M.D.
- Desperate Housewives
- Boston Legal
- Weekend Marketplace
- Malcolm in the Middle
- The Weekend Buzz with Jason Matheson
- The Office
- My Name is Earl
- Deal or No Deal
- Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
- Law & Order: Criminal Intent
- The Unit
- America's Funniest Home Videos
- American Dad
- WFTC is one of a few stations to have been affiliated with both News Corporation-owned networks, Fox and My Network TV along with WCGV Milwaukee.
- WFTC won 4 Emmys in October, 2008 for general composite ads and for the My29 "Pinball" Campaign.
- WFTC won 1 Emmy in October, 2007.
- A news truck from WFTC 29 (during its Fox affiliate days) was seen on the 1996 movie Jingle All the Way; along with a "WFTC Fox 29" broadcast from the Twin Cities Holiday Parade
- WFTC is one of three Fox owned-and-operated MyNetworkTV stations that airs Weekend Marketplace instead of a Fox O&O, along with WPWR in Chicago and KDFI In Dallas, Texas.
Under Clear Channel ownership, WFTC launched a 60-minute newscast at 9:00 p.m. in 2001, where it faced competition from KMSP's established hour-long news program. After Fox assumed control of the station, WFTC moved the newscast to 10:00 p.m., and shortened it to 30 minutes. Though this move protected new sister station KMSP, WFTC now faced stiff competition from late newscasts on KARE, KSTP-TV, and WCCO-TV. Channel 29's effort lasted five years, ending on June 30, 2006, and has been replaced with syndicated programming. The 10:00 news program was then moved to KMSP as part of an expanded late news programming block.
Former on-air staff
- Chris Conangla - weeknight anchor
- Jordana Green - weeknight anchor
- Tom Halden - weekend anchor (at WFTC until 2005, then at KMSP)
- John Henk - sports director
- Bill Keller - weekend anchor (2005–2006, then at KMSP)
- Brandon Roux - chief meteorologist (2004–2006)
- Chris Shaffer - weekend/fill-in meteorologist (2001–2005)
- Karl Spring - chief meteorologist (2001–2004)
- Ron Trenda - weekend meteorologist (2004–2006; then was at KMSP briefly)
- Lara Yamada - weekend anchor (was briefly on KMSP as weekend anchor)
In addition to KFTC channel 26 in Bemidji, WFTC is rebroadcasted on a network of translators to other regions of the state:
- WFTC Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WFTC
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KFTC
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K48DV
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K27FI
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K24CS
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K45FR
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K17BV
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K50HZ
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WFTC-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KFTC-TV
- RabbitEars.info website - WFTC
- RabbitEars.info website - KFTC