|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2014)|
|Fort Myers/Naples, Florida|
|Branding||My TV 8|
My TV 8
|Founded||January 11, 1995|
|Call letters' meaning||Naples/Fort Myers|
WEVU-LP (official, 1998-2004)
|Former channel number(s)||cable channel 10 (1995-1998)|
The WB (1995-1998)|
Jewelry Television (overnights)
"WNFM" is the MyNetworkTV-affiliated cable channel for Southwest Florida using fictional call sign. It broadcasts exclusively on Comcast channel 8 (hence the My TV 8 branding) and is operated from the Comcast's Southwest Florida headquarters south of Naples Manor on Tower Road along SR 951/Collier Boulevard. WNFM and WAMY-TV in Huntsville, Alabama are the only MyNetworkTV affiliates that have fictional call letters. It is also the largest cable-only MyNetworkTV affiliate.
This channel began on January 11, 1995 as a WB affiliate. It aired exclusively on MediaOne channel 10 (then Southwest Florida's cable provider) and was not available over-the-air. It used the fictional call letters "WSWF" and was branded as "WB 10". In March 1998, WSWF switched affiliations with WTVK (now WXCW) and became a UPN affiliate.
However, anyone in the market that did not have cable could not get "TV 10" as it was later called, so UPN made an affiliation deal with low-powered WEVU-LP which would allow for additional coverage over-the-air. Several months later, WEVU owner Caloosa Television made a deal with MediaOne to have the cable system take over programming of the off-air station on analog VHF channel 7.
MediaOne then discarded the faux WSWF call letters in favor of WEVU-LP (already is use officially as assigned by the Federal Communications Commission) and adopted the on-air moniker "UPN 8" after changing its cable channel to that location (previously used by over-the-air WEVU). MediaOne replaced the over-the-air station's non-network programming with its own thus unifying the UPN affiliates in the market. During this period, the network could also be seen in Naples on low-powered WBSP-LP on VHF channel 9 because this translator repeated WEVU-LP's weak signal to the market's southern locations.
The working relationship lasted until midnight on September 1, 2004 shortly after Holston Valley Broadcasting (then owner of over-the-air WEVU-LP) struck a deal for carriage of the station on DirecTV. However, this forced VHF channel 7 to seek UPN programming via microwave from UPN owned-and-operated station WTOG in St. Petersburg, Florida. Eventually, Comcast merged with MediaOne and took over as the area's cable provider. The company continued to operate the UPN affiliate on cable channel 8 which resumed using fictional call letters, "WNFM".
On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN announced the networks would cease broadcasting and merge. The new combined service would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initial of corporate parents "C"BS (the parent company of UPN) and the "W"arner Bros. unit of Time Warner. On February 22, News Corporation announced that it would start up another new network called MyNetworkTV. This new service, which would be sister to Fox, would be operated by Fox Television Stations and its syndication division Twentieth Television. The network was created to give UPN and WB stations, not mentioned as becoming CW affiliates, another option besides becoming Independent as well as compete against The CW.
On March 9, ACME Communications announced all of its WB stations (including WTVK) would affiliate with The CW. However, it was likely that it would receive the affiliation without the corporate deal since WNFM is a cable-only station. On August 10, confirmation that this station would become the area's MyNetworkTV affiliate was made. At the network's inception on September 5, WNFM changed its branding to "My TV 8" and Comcast debuted a new website for the station featuring a new logo. Meanwhile, WTVK joined The CW on September 18, 2006. At one point, WNFM was the official "broadcast" home of the Florida Everblades ice hockey team.
At one point as a UPN affiliate, WNFM aired an hour-long lifestyle/entertainment magazine program called D'Latinos Morning News in Spanish on weekday mornings from 7 until 8. Eventually, the show moved to low-powered Azteca América affiliate WTPH-LP. In late-August 2006 through a news share agreement, ABC affiliate WZVN-TV began producing a nightly half-hour prime time newscast called ABC 7 Gulfshore News at 10 on My TV 8. Rhis was the second show established in the time slot behind long dominant Fox affiliate WFTX-TV. Since WZVN shares a news department with NBC affiliate WBBH-TV, some personalities seen on that station were also seen on the WNFM broadcast.
On March 26, 2007, CBS affiliate WINK-TV began airing the area's third prime time news every night at 10 on WXCW. Within days of that show's debut, it became ranked at a strong second place. As a result of this popularity ABC 7 Gulfshore News at 10 ended its broadcasting run on May 25, 2007. Currently, Comcast provides thirty second public service messages and a periodic public affairs show.