WWTI Watertown NY ID 1991

WWTI Watertown NY ID 1991

The station was signed on January 3, 1988, as WFYF. Airing an analog signal on UHF channel 50, replaced a low-powered translator of Utica's ABC affiliate WUTR previously on the allotment. The station was the third outlet established in Watertown after WWNY-TV and WNPE-TV (now WPBS-TV). Prior to WFYF's launch, WWNY was a secondary ABC affiliate and also served Massena and Malone along with WIXT-TV (now WSYR) from Syracuse.

At its sign-on, WFYF took over the operation of repeater W25AB channel 25 in Massena to better serve the St. Lawrence River Valley. However, WVNY in Burlington, Vermont eventually launched a translator (W60AF channel 60) of its own in Malone. WFYF also operated a second repeater (W25AB channel 25) in order to expand its reach in and around Watertown.

In addition to being an ABC affiliate from the start, it shared a secondary NBC affiliation with WWNY until 1995, and also shared a secondary Fox affiliation with WWNY. While the latter cleared more of NBC and/or Fox's programming offerings, WFYF aired NBC Sports' coverage of National Football League (NFL) games on Sunday afternoons, which lasted until 1995 when it began airing Fox Sports' NFL games (in addition to carrying Monday Night Football through ABC). Its original ownership team consisted of several investors including General Manager David James Alteri, Steven Fox, and Richard Kimball. After the station went bankrupt under the initial partnership, it was sold to Robert Smith of Smith Broadcasting in 1990 and the current call sign WWTI was adopted September 14. A new General Manager, Shelly Markoff, took control of operations.


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