WTNZ is the Fox-affiliated television station for the central portion of East Tennessee, licensed to Knoxville. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 34 (virtual channel 43.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter on Sharp's Ridge in the city's Arlington section. Owned by Raycom Media, WTNZ has studios on Executive Park Drive (along I-75/I-40) in Knoxville's Green Valley section. Syndicated programming on the station includes Two and a Half Men, Everybody Loves Raymond, Paternity Court and The Middle among others. On most cable systems, WTNZ is carried on channel 11.
The station signed-on December 31, 1983 with the calls WKCH-TV. It was known on-air as "Catch 43" and aired an analog signal on UHF channel 43. It was locally owned by Knoxville Television, LP. There had been another independent in the area, WINT-TV, but it went dark about a month after WKCH signed on. On October 6, 1986, WKCH became a charter Fox affiliate and became known on-air as "Catch Fox 43".
Knoxville Television, LP declared bankruptcy in the late 1980s, and WKCH was sold to FCVS Communications (the owner of WACH in Columbia, South Carolina) in 1990. FCVS sold all three of its stations (WKCH and WACH, plus WEVU-TV (now WZVN-TV) in Naples, Florida) to Ellis Communications in 1993.
In 1994, it changed call letters to the current WTNZ. Ellis Communications was folded into current owner Raycom Media in late 1996. In late 2013, WTNZ-TV debuted a new logo and changed their on-air branding to "Foxville 43". Despite the network musical chairs which have occurred in Knoxville over the years, the station has been the area's only Fox affiliate during the network's history.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|43.1||720p||16:9||WTNZ-DT||Main WTNZ programming / Fox|
|43.2||480i||4:3||THIS TV||Bounce TV|
WTNZ shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 43, 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 remained 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 43.
Mobile DTV channel
|Channel ||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|43.32||WTNZ-HD||Mobile DTV Simulcast of 43.1|
In the mid-1980s, it produced a news break each day called WKCH News. The brief news and weather update was anchored by one of the station's staff announcers, Phil Rainey. In 1998, a news share agreement was established with ABC affiliate WATE-TV. This resulted in a nightly prime time newscast debuting on WTNZ known as Fox 43 Ten O'Clock News. The show originated from WATE's studios in Camp House on North Broadway Northeast/SR 33/SR 71/US 441 in the city's Old North Knoxville section. It competed with another nightly broadcast seen in the time slot on CW affiliate WBXX-TV.
In March 2011, WTNZ terminated its agreement with WATE and entered into a new arrangement with NBC affiliate WBIR (owned by the Gannett Company). At the same time, that station stopped producing the WBXX update. On March 28, WBIR took over production of the nightly half-hour newscast which is still known as FOX 43 Ten O'Clock News.
Starting June 2, a two-hour weekday morning show (airing from 7 until 9) was added to WTNZ and is known as FOX 43 Morning News. In addition, the weeknight prime time news at 10 was expanded to an hour. All shows now originate in high definition from WBIR's facilities on Hutchinson Avenue in Knoxville's Lincoln Park section (official address is Bill Williams Avenue). Although existing personnel from that station is featured on WTNZ, WBIR's on-air staff will eventually increase by less than a dozen.