WNEU, virtual channel
60 (UHF digital
channel 29), is a Telemundo owned-and-operated television station
serving Boston, Massachusetts
and Manchester, New Hampshire
, United States that is licensed
to Merrimack, New Hampshire
. Owned by the Telemundo Station Group
subsidiary of NBCUniversal
(itself a subsidiary of Comcast
), it is sister
to Nashua, New Hampshire
-licensed Class A NBC
owned-and-operated station WBTS-CD
(channel 15, formerly WYCN-CD), which shares spectrum
with Boston-based PBS member station WGBX-TV
(channel 44) to provide full-market coverage.
WNEU and WBTS-CD, along with co-owned regional cable news channel New England Cable News
(NECN) and regional sports network NBC Sports Boston
, share studios at the NBCU Boston Media Center on B Street in Needham, Massachusetts
, with WNEU's transmitter in the same city, off Cedar Street. Additionally, WNEU maintains a secondary office on Sundial Avenue in Manchester for executive operations and inspection of Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) public file
WNEU's Telemundo programming was formerly simulcast
by the low-power WYCN-LD
WTMU-LP) as a translator
. On January 1, 2017, WYCN-LD (as WBTS-LD) became an owned-and-operated NBC station known as ''NBC Boston'', replacing previous affiliate WHDH
(channel 7). In October 2019, WYCN-LD moved its transmitter to Norton, Massachusetts
and became the Telemundo station for Providence, Rhode Island
The station first signed on the air August 14, 1987 as WGOT, an independent station
owned by Golden Triangle TV 60 Corporation.
The call sign
was derived from the so-called "Golden Triangle
" region that encompasses Manchester, Nashua and Salem, New Hampshire
. Neal Cortell, who owned 50 percent of WGOT,
[ had earlier owned a stake in WXPO-TV (channel 50, now occupied by WWJE-DT).]
Paugus Television bought WGOT for $1.35 million on January 13, 1989. In the early 1990s, WGOT unsuccessfully attempted to become New Hampshire's Fox affiliate; in 1991, Paugus filed an antitrust lawsuit against Fox, its Boston affiliate WFXT (channel 25), and the Boston Celtics (who owned WFXT at the time) for conspiring to block WGOT from joining the network, as well as using Fox programming and WFXT's Celtics broadcasts to place channel 60 at a disadvantage in obtaining cable carriage. Another attempt at obtaining a Fox affiliation for the station ended in November 1994, after Fox attempted to instead lure ABC affiliate WMUR-TV (channel 9). [ (preview of subscription content)]
Paxson Communications purchased WGOT from Paugus for $3.05 million on May 17, 1995,
and switched the station to a mix of infomercials and religious programming, as an affiliate of the Infomall TV Network (or inTV). [ (preview of subscription content)] Paxson referred to WGOT as inTV's Boston affiliate; however, the channel 60 signal did not reach the city. To solve this, Paxson bought WRAP-LP (channel 33) in Gloucester from Electron Communications on October 31, 1996, moved the station to channel 54 in Boston under the call letters W54CN, and brought it to the air that November as a translator of WGOT. [ In December 2000, W54CN moved to channel 40] as W40BO. [
WGOT changed its call sign to WPXB on January 20, 1998,] and subsequently became a charter owned-and-operated station of Pax TV (now Ion Television) when it launched on August 31, 1998; WPXB split the Boston affiliation for the network with WBPX (channel 46, now WWDP) in Norwell. However, the station dropped Pax programming in June 1999 after DP Media (whose owner, Devon Paxson, was the son of Paxson Communications founder Bud Paxson) took over WABU (channel 68, now WBPX-TV) and made it Boston's new Pax station; WABU operated a satellite in New Hampshire, WNBU (channel 21, now WPXG-TV) in Concord. WPXB then returned to an infomercial format; [ on November 1, 2000, the station switched to ValueVision, which later became ShopNBC.]
In September 2002, NBC agreed to acquire WPXB from Paxson for $26 million, with the intention of making channel 60 an owned-and-operated station of its Telemundo network.
Paxson, which was in the process of selling some of its stations in order to raise $100 million, had originally planned to sell WPXB to another company, but NBC had a right of first refusal on Paxson's stations in the fifty largest markets, which it had obtained when it acquired a 32 percent stake in Paxson in 1999. NBC completed its purchase of WPXB on October 29, 2002; two days later, the call letters were changed to WNEU. [ Translator station W40BO was not included in the sale; Paxson eventually made channel 40 a translator of WBPX. Channel 60 continued to air ShopNBC programming until April 2003, while ValueVision Media (ShopNBC's parent company) was in the process of acquiring WWDP to move ShopNBC there; WNEU switched to Telemundo that month.]
Concurrently with the station joining Telemundo, WNEU entered into a joint sales and time brokerage agreement with ZGS Communications, owner of existing Telemundo affiliate WTMU-LP (then on channel 32; now WBTS-LD on channel 46). During this time, WNEU effectively served as a full-power satellite of WTMU-LP, even though channel 60 was promoted as the main station. The local marketing agreement with ZGS expired in April 2014; at that time, NBCUniversal retook full control of WNEU and placed the station in its Telemundo Station Group.
On January 7, 2016, Valari Staab, president of NBC Owned Television Stations, announced that NBC had declined to renew its affiliation with current affiliate WHDH beyond the end of 2016, and would launch a new NBC owned-and-operated station on January 1, 2017, known as "NBC Boston" and led by NECN and Telemundo Boston's general manager Mike St. Peter. It was rumored that NBC would be moved to WNEU, however Staab did not outright confirm whether WNEU will carry NBC programming, but iterated that the network would remain available over-the-air following the transition, and that NBCUniversal was "committed to expanding our over-the-air coverage of the market and are currently looking at a variety of options to accomplish that".
Unlike WHDH, whose signal radius is located directly over Boston, WNEU's signal only overlapped with the northwest portion of WHDH's signal. This prompted complaints by WHDH's owner, Sunbeam Television, which later sued Comcast under allegations that the affiliate switch violated FCC conditions on Comcast's acquisition of NBC, by reducing over-the-air coverage of the network and using its cable holdings to influence affiliation negotiations. The lawsuit was thrown out in May 2016.
In September 2016, NBCUniversal agreed to acquire WTMU-LP (now WBTS-LD)—WNEU's low-power translator in Needham, Massachusetts, which the company said would factor into its plan to broadcast the new service over-the-air into Boston. On November 1, 2016, NBCUniversal officially announced that NBC Boston would be simulcast on WBTS-LD, WNEU-DT2 and WMFP-DT5 when it launches on January 1, 2017.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
WNEU shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 60, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal continued to broadcast on its pre-transition UHF channel 34.
Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 60, which was among the high band UHF channels (52–69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.
In the early 1990s, WGOT aired a New Hampshire-oriented primetime newscast at 10:00 p.m. that was anchored by current NHDOT spokesperson Bill Boynton. The newscast, which started in August 1991,
[ (preview of subscription content)] was discontinued in June 1994; [ (preview of subscription content)] the cancellation was due to insufficient profits, as well as limited interest in a New Hampshire newscast from northern Massachusetts viewers that received the station on cable. [ (preview of subscription content)] WGOT would continue to air news briefs and news specials until the sale to Paxson Communications. [
On June 11, 2015, NBCUniversal announced that it would launch early evening and late newscasts for WNEU. The news operation shares resources with sister channel New England Cable News and operates out of NECN's studios, at the time located in Newton, Massachusetts. WNEU's newscasts include a live 11 p.m. newscast; competitor WUNI (channel 27) also airs a newscast at that time, but it is a rebroadcast of that station's 6 p.m. newscast.] The newscasts launched on August 17, 2015.
On December 15, 2017, NBCUniversal announced that WNEU's newscasts would be rebranded from ''Noticiero Telemundo Boston'' to ''Noticiero Telemundo Nueva Inglaterra'' to reflect an expansion of the news operation's reach to include all of New England. NBC concurrently announced that the newscasts would be simulcast on WRDM-CD in Hartford, Connecticut (along with Springfield repeater WDMR-LD), which they acquired from ZGS Communications in February 2018; a reporter based at WRDM's facilities at the WVIT studios in West Hartford files stories from Connecticut (outside of the WNJU-covered Fairfield County) and the Pioneer Valley. WRIW-CD in Providence, Rhode Island began simulcasting WNEU's newscasts on July 20, 2018, after NBC completed its acquisition of that station from ZGS.
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Category:Telemundo Station Group
Category:Television channels and stations established in 1987
Category:Merrimack, New Hampshire