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WPME is the MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station for southern Mainemarker and northern New Hampshiremarker that is licensed Lewiston, Mainemarker. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 35 from a transmitter on Dutton Hill in South Graymarker. They can also be seen on Time Warner Cable channel 17 and in high definition on digital cable channel 517. Owned by MPS Media, the station is operated by New Age Media through a local marketing agreement (a.k.a. LMA). This makes it sister to CW affiliate WPXTmarker and the two share studios on Ledgeview Drive in Westbrookmarker. Syndicated programming on WPME includes: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Everybody Loves Raymond, The King of Queens, and Friends.

Digital programming

The station's signal is multiplexed. On June 27, 2008, WPME launched a public access channel for tourists and visitors on its second digital subchannel. Known on-air as the "Maine Visitors Channel", it features highlights on current events like festivals, tours, and art exhibits. There is a weather forecast offered and advertising opportunities are given to local businesses. Its primary target is to area motels. Currently, this channel is not offered on Time Warner digital cable at least to non-hospitality subscribers.

Channel Video Aspect Programming
35.1 720p 16:9 main WPME programming / MyNetworkTV HD
35.2 480i 4:3 WPME-DT2 "Maine Visitor's Channel" SD


History

The station went on-the-air on August 13, 1997 under a time brokerage agreement. It was owned by New England Television as sister station to Fox affiliate WPXT. Pegasus Communications purchased the station outright in February 2001. WPME maintained primary affiliation with UPN and secondary affiliation with The WB. It aired WB prime time programming on a tape delay starting at 10 P.M. When WPXT switched its affiliation from Fox to The WB, this secondary affiliation was dropped. WPME aired Boston Celtics and Bruins games in the late-1990s and Red Sox baseball until 2002. The Red Sox, owning half of cable sports network NESN, moved their games to that network.

This station's only attempt at local news was a 7 P.M. broadcast (produced by WPXT) in 2001 that was quickly canceled due to low ratings. The station did not air local news at 10 o'clock like many other UPN affiliates because it would compete with WPXT's news. However, that station's 10 o'clock newscast was simulcasted on WPME for a period of time. Pegasus declared bankruptcy in June 2004 over a dispute with DirecTV over marketing of the direct broadcast satellite service in rural areas. The Pegasus station group was sold in August 2006 to private investment firm CP Media, LLC of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvaniamarker for $55.5 million dollars. CP Media eventually formed a new broadcasting company, New Age Media.

On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN announced that they would end broadcasting and merge. The combined network would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initial of its corporate parents, CBS (the parent company of UPN) and the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner. On February 22, News Corporation announced that they would start up another new network called MyNetworkTV. This new service, which would be a sister network to Fox, would be operated by Fox Television Stations and its syndication division Twentieth Television. MyNetworkTV was created in order to give UPN and WB stations, not mentioned as becoming CW affiliates, another option besides becoming independent. It was also created to compete against The CW.

On March 9, it was announced that WPXT would become Portland's CW affiliate, while on May 1, it was announced that WPME would affiliate with MyNetworkTV. Until December 6, 2006, this station was the only MyNetworkTV affiliate in the state of Mainemarker. Since then, Bangormarker's Fox affiliate WFVX-LPmarker has become a secondary MyNetworkTV affiliate. At one point, it was possible, when Presque Islemarker's CBS affiliate WAGM-TVmarker was in the process of creating a Fox affiliate on its firstmarker digital subchannel, it would also be a secondary MyNetworkTV affiliate. A preliminary schedule released by Time Warner Cable for the new channel indicated that WAGM-DT1 would also carry the two-hour programming block. However, the channel's current listings indicate that this is not the case. As a result, MyNetworkTV is only seen via WWOR-TVmarker on cable, DirecTV, and Dish Network north of the Bangor market. WPME ceased broadcasting in analog on September 18, 2008 ten months prior to the FCC digital switchover deadline of June 12, 2009.

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