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Ithaca/Syracuse, New York
United States
CityIthaca, New York
ChannelsDigital: 13 (VHF)
Virtual: 52 (PSIP)
TranslatorsWDSS-LD 38 (UHF) Syracuse (city)
AffiliationsDaystar (O&O; 2009–present)
OwnerDaystar Television Network
(Word of God Fellowship, Inc.)
First air date2002; 17 years ago (2002)
Call letters' meaningNew York Ithaca
Former channel number(s)Analog:
52 (UHF, 2002–2009)
20 (UHF, 2009–2019)
Former affiliationsUnivision (2002–2009)
Transmitter power28 kW
Height260 m (853 ft)
Facility ID34329
Transmitter coordinates42°48′5.2″N 76°26′12.8″W / 42.801444°N 76.436889°W / 42.801444; -76.436889
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile

WNYI, virtual channel 52 (VHF digital channel 13), is a Daystar owned-and-operated television station licensed to Ithaca, New York, United States and serving the Elmira, Binghamton and Syracuse[1] television markets. The station is owned by Word of God Fellowship. WNYI's transmitter is located on Quarry Road in Moravia, New York. It is rebroadcast in Syracuse on WDSS-LD, a low-power translator station that broadcasts on UHF channel 38 from a transmitter in Onondaga.


The original construction permit was issued to "Ithaca 52 Inc." in December 1999, valid for three years, with the first program tests run in late 2002 to meet an FCC deadline.[2] The initial broadcast consisted of 26 kW of color bars from a tower location near Ithaca College.[3]

The station was sold to Caroline Pawley in June 2003[4] and to Equity Broadcasting in 2004; as a Univision affiliate it had been fed remotely via satellite from Equity's central automated satellite hub in Little Rock, Arkansas since 2004.[5] WNYI, licensed as a full service station despite its low signal power terrestrially, had applied for must-carry access to Time Warner Cable in Syracuse in May 2005.[6] While Ithaca is nominally in the Syracuse market area, the terrestrial WNYI signal had always been inadequate to reach Syracuse or other communities outside of Ithaca itself. The station had made various applications for an increase in licensed power but no decisions had been made by the Federal Communications Commission on these requests.

WNYI was the only full-service television station in upstate New York to provide Spanish language programming.

At auction on April 16, 2009, Daystar bought WNYI, pending approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Daystar changed programming to its namesake network.[7] Univision's national feed was quickly returned to Time Warner Cable (now Spectrum), causing little to no impact for viewers, and due to various technical issues which often plagued Equity's stations, steadied the area's access to the network.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channel[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[8]
52.1 480i 4:3 WNYI Daystar

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WNYI shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 52, and "flash-cut" its digital signal into operation to UHF channel 20.[9] Because it was granted an original construction permit after the FCC finalized the DTV allotment plan on April 21, 1997, the station did not receive a companion channel for a digital television station.[10] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 52, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.

Both the ability of WNYI to transition to digital and its ability to continue broadcasting were directly jeopardized as on December 8, 2008, the licensee's parent corporation filed a petition for bankruptcy relief under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code, case #4:08-BK-17646-M, U.S. district court for the district of Arkansas, notifying the FCC that "This station must obtain post-petition financing and court approval before digital facilities may be constructed. The station must cease analogue broadcasting on (the end of DTV transition in) 2009, regardless of whether digital facilities are operational by that date. The station will file authority to remain silent if so required by the FCC."[11]

While the DTV Delay Act extended this deadline to June 12, 2009, Equity had applied for an extension of the digital construction permit in order to retain the broadcast license after the station went dark.[12] WNYI could not continue analogue operations as it was a full service station on a frequency which is to be reallocated for non-broadcast use at the end of the digital television transition.

On June 12, 2009 a license to cover was granted to Word of God Fellowship for WNYI by the FCC.[13] That firm was required to construct digital television facilities on an in-core frequency before WNYI could be returned to the air, which needed to occur before June 12, 2010, lest the license be automatically forfeited to the FCC. On the weekend of May 22–23, WNYI commenced digital broadcasts on channel 20, within weeks of its license deadline.[14]


  1. ^ http://www.stationindex.com/tv/callsign/WNYI
  2. ^ http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/cdbsmenu.hts?context=25&appn=100590430&formid=301&fac_num=34329
  3. ^ Northeast Radio Watch, December 2002 WNYI as "the long-delayed debut of a TV station that almost didn't make it"
  4. ^ http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_det.pl?Application_id=625629
  5. ^ Northeast Radio Watch, April 2004 announcement of Equity acquisition of WNYI, WNGS
  7. ^ http://www.tvnewsday.com/articles/2009/04/17/daily.11/
  8. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WNYI
  9. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  10. ^ http://www.transmitter.com/FCC97115/chanplan.html
  11. ^ http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/cdbsmenu.hts?context=25&appn=101285341&formid=387&fac_num=34329
  12. ^ http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_det.pl?Application_id=1284597
  13. ^ http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/cdbsmenu.hts?context=25&appn=101313071&formid=314&fac_num=34329
  14. ^ Fybush, Scott (2010-05-24). Two Station Sales in New York. NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved 2010-05-24.

External links[edit]