WUVG-DT, virtual channel 34 (UHFdigital channel 48), is a Univisionowned-and-operatedtelevision station serving Atlanta, Georgia, United States that is licensed to Athens. The station is owned by the Univision Television Group subsidiary of Univision Communications. WUVG-DT offers a Spanish-language programming format featuring TV news, talk shows, dramas, movies and other first-rate Spanish programming.
WUVG is also active in many community outreach efforts and events throughout the year including several signature hosted celebrations- the two largest being "Cinco de Mayo" (5 May) and "Fiestas Patrias" (National Holidays) in September.
The station went on air on April 18, 1987 as WNGM-TV with the call sign standing for North Georgia Mountains. Initially the station ran a general entertainment format with cartoons, classic and recent sitcoms, country music blocks of programming, old movies and syndicated first-run shows.
The station's transmitter was located 60 miles (nearly 100 km) away from Atlanta, reaching Athens with a grade A signal while sending a very weak signal into eastern metro Atlanta. As a result, many syndicators sold the rights for shows that were already on the Atlanta stations to WNGM. The station provided an alternative to viewers in areas which had moderate VHF reception and poor UHF reception from Atlanta. However, the station floundered in the ratings. By late 1988, the station was running a blend of infomercials, low-rated syndicated shows and movies, and shop-at-home programming.
In 1993, it moved its transmitter closer to Atlanta, covering the city with a grade A signal strength. This was the same radio tower as WFOX FM 97.1 and WYAY FM 106.7. Channel 34 was actually planned for this tower in 1984.
The station was bought by USA Broadcasting (which was under the same ownership as HSN, under Barry Diller) in 1997. It became WHOT-TV in October 1999 (for Hotlanta, one of the city's nicknames) and changes its on-air name to "Hotlanta 34." WHOT gave the Atlanta market a second true independent station, the other one being WTBS, which was at the time a nationwide Superstation as well. While WUPA was a UPN station and WATL was an affiliate of The WB, they too were sort of independent stations being those networks only offered a couple hours of programming a day. WHOT added syndicated cartoons, off-network sitcoms, dramas, old movies and syndicated talk/reality shows to its lineup, and also picked up Fox Kids from WATL. (The successor to Fox Kids, 4Kids TV, later moved to WUPA after WHOT/WUVG became a Univision station until that station switched to The CW; afterwards, the block was not aired on any Atlanta station until it went off the air in December 2008. Today, Fox offers a replacement infomercial block, Weekend Marketplace, which currently airs on WATL.) The station didn't receive spectacular ratings, but was still performing decently.
In 2000, WHOT obtained the rights to Atlanta Hawksbasketball games. USA then planned to sell its stations to Disney/ABC, which would've created a partnership for Cox-owned ABC affiliate WSB-TV, but Univision outbid its competition in a close race. In markets which already had Univision affiliates, the newly acquired stations became affiliates of TeleFutura, a new network started by Univision. However, WHOT was Univision's only station in Atlanta (which had a relatively low, but growing, Spanish-speaking population). As such, the station changed its call sign to WUVG (for Univision Georgia) in November 2001 and became Atlanta's Univision affiliate on January 14, 2002.
Despite still being licensed to serveAthens, Georgia, the station's digital TV transmitter and antenna are located very near the city of Atlanta, which has become a common occurrence for digital stations licensed to a community outside of the core metropolitan area of the main city within the media market. The exact location is in North Druid Hills, along with several other stations.
The station's over-the-air digital channel is multiplexed. WUVG-DT transmits digitally on physical channel 48 from Atlanta, and since early December 2009 on channel 17 (vacated by analog WPCH-TV) in Athens. Both stations have the same broadcast callsign and the following channels, and receivers that can tune both stations will see duplicates.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|34.1||1080i||16:9||WUVG-DT||Main WUVG-DT programming / Univision|
(launched August 18, 2014)
WUVG shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 34, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 48, using PSIP to display WUVG's virtual channel as 34 on digital television receivers.
The station airs UniMás on their digital subchannel 34.2, which is a rarity as Univision prefers their two networks to operate on two different channels rather than in multiplexed form. However, this is a legacy of analog TV, the major disadvantage of sharing now being that 34.2 does not have the right to must-carry since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) failed to implement it for digital TV stations, even for cable TV systems that drop almost all analog channels to supposedly make more room for digital as Comcast has done locally.
As of August 2014 UniMás on 34.2 is being broadcast over the air in 1080i HD.
WUVG launched its news department in April 2011, with twice daily half-hour evening newscasts at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. – branded as Noticias 34 Atlanta ("News 34 Atlanta") – anchored by Amanda Ramirez and Gianncarlo Cifuentes. The station also "Nuestra Georgia" (Our Georgia), hosted by Mariela Romero, airs Sundays at 6:00 PM on Univision 34 Atlanta. Univision 34 Atlanta has received multiple Emmy awards from the Southeast Regional Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in recognition of excellence in television. WUVG also maintains a content partnership with the local Spanish language newspaper MundoHispanico.