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Title: Wami-tv  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Miami, Miami Heat, Fox Kids, Miami metropolitan area, Barry Diller, WSFL-TV, WBFS-TV, Cenk Uygur, WAMI, List of Miami Marlins broadcasters
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City of license Hollywood, Florida
Branding UniMás Miami (general)
Noticias 23 (during WLTV-produced newscast)
Channels Digital: 47 (UHF)
Virtual: 69 (PSIP)
Subchannels 69.1 UniMás
Owner Univision Communications, Inc.
(TeleFutura Miami, LLC)
First air date August 10, 1988
Call letters' meaning We Are MIami or "Whammy"
Sister station(s) WLTV-DT
Former callsigns WYHS (1988–1992)
WYHS-TV (1992–1998)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
69 (UHF, 1988–2009)
Former affiliations HSN (1988–1998)
Independent (1998–2002)
TeleFutura (2002-2013)
Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 297 m
Facility ID 60536
Transmitter coordinates

25°59′9″N 80°11′37″W / 25.98583°N 80.19361°W / 25.98583; -80.19361

Website TeleFutura

WAMI-DT, virtual channel 69, is a UniMás owned-and-operated television station licensed to Hollywood, Florida, United States, and serves the cities of Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The station is owned by Univision Communications, as part of a duopoly with Univision owned-and-operated station WLTV-DT (channel 23). Its studio is located in Doral, and its transmitter is located in the city's Dale Village neighborhood.

Digital television

WAMI's digital signal transmits on channel 47.

Digital channels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1]
69.1 1080i 16:9 WAMI-DT Main WAMI-DT programming / UniMás
69.2 480i 4:3 WAMI-D2 Bounce TV

Analog-to-digital conversion

WAMI shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 69, 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 47.[2] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 69, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.


Prior history of channel 69 in Miami

The analog UHF channel 69 allotment was first used by a translator station of WCIX (channel 6, now WFOR-TV) from its sign-on in 1968 until 1988, to provide adequate coverage of Miami proper. WCIX had to keep its analog transmitter in Florida City, Florida due to the presence of WDBO-TV (channel 6; later WCPX-TV, now WKMG-TV) in Orlando prior to the translator going dark.

Early history

As a Home Shopping Network affiliate

WAMI first signed on the air on August 10, 1988 as WYHS-TV, carrying programming from the Home Shopping Network. The station was owned by HSN's broadcasting arm, Silver King Communications. The primary purpose of these stations was to force HSN on the cable companies in each media market through the Federal Communications Commission's must-carry provisions as QVC was taking away a large slice of HSN's audience as several cable providers owned interest in QVC, but not HSN. Eventually, Silver King Communications acquired an ownership interest in the USA Network, and as a result, later became USA Broadcasting, the broadcast arm of the cable conglomerate USA Networks, Inc. In the fall of 1997, channel 69 began carring Fox Kids programming, after it was dropped by the market's WB station WDZL (channel 39, later WBZL and now WSFL-TV), which acquired the Fox Kids lineup in 1993 after Fox affiliate WSVN (channel 7) decided to stop carrying Fox's children's programming.

As an independent station

On June 1, 1998, the station changed its call sign to WAMI-TV and at 6:00 a.m. that day, became an independent station with a general entertainment format with a strong focus on locally produced shows. These included a daily news program called The Times; the sports discussion show SportsTown; Generation ñ, a program targeted at Latin American audiences; the lifestyle programs Ocean Drive (which was based on the magazine of the same name) and Ten's (which was rebroadcast on Dallas sister station KSTR-TV from 1999 to 2001); the dance program Barcode; an alternative lifestyle program called Kenneth's Frequency; and the talk show Out Loud, which was hosted by Bill Teck and produced by Miami producer and media personality Paul Bouche. All programing was mostly aimed at a demographic of teenagers and young adults between the ages of 16 and 34.

WAMI repackaged the Fox Kids block, incorporating it into the live, locally produced interactive children's show Wami on Miami. The on-air hosts of that program would hold up a "WAMI" hand sign, holding up both hands, making "L' shapes and crossing their hands together to form a "W," shouting; "Wami, baby!" to its on-air audience. Children would show up at WAMI-TV sponsored Fox Kids/Power Rangers events, held throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties, mimicking their favorite WAMI on Miami on-air host.

The station soon began heavy use of live local remote interstitials. WAMI-TV often shot its interstitials, "live" at remote locations all over Miami-Dade and Broward counties, with the WAMI interstitial host often pulling passers-by, literally, right off the streets to read the cue cards announcing the programs that would be shown on on the station during the next hour. Another short program not seen on most other stations was a topical program called; Lips, featuring a pair of ruby red lips in front of a black background, teasing the days stories or issues, thought to be inspired by The Rocky Horror Picture Show.[3]

WAMI-TV prominently used the on-air station "bug" or WAMI station ID logo, a variation of the WAMI "thought bubble", the station ID graphic that would flash on the lower part of the television screen, at the top and bottom of the hour, or each time the station programming returned from a commercial break, and then fade out. WAMI's vice president of promotions ordered that the station logo bug stay on-screen during programming, around the clock, and to give it a translucent appearance so that it was seen constantly. WAMI also featured "WAMI-cams", which were :03 to :05 second on-air spots used to fill air time, usually catching a glimpse of South Beach street life, scenic views or interesting goings-on in Miami, followed a "pop" sound and the appearance of the WAMI "thought bubble" graphic. The rest of WAMI-TV's block of programming was supplemented with some first-run syndicated reality and talk shows, syndicated network sitcoms, movies, other cartoons and a few religious programs.

By December 1998, after only six months on air, WAMI-TV had outbid UPN affiliate WBFS-TV and WB affiliate WBZL to land an exclusive six-year contract for the local television broadcast rights to Florida Marlins Major League Baseball games. WAMI had also procured the rights to broadcast Miami Heat NBA games prior to the station's relaunch.[4]

By late 1999, WAMI had grown into its role as the "flagship station" of what was to become the USA Broadcasting Network, comprising thirteen stations scattered around the country, twelve of which were former HSN affiliates. All of these stations, owned by Barry Diller, were to be converted one by one to follow WAMI's format, called "City Vision".[5] "City Vision" was based on Mr. Diller's theory that local programming was being ignored and that the general public wanted a sense of what is going on in their communities on television. A scaled down version of the "City Vision" format was spread throughout the USA Broadcasting Network to these new affiliate stations in Dallas' KSTR-TV "K-Star 49" (formerly KHSX-TV), Boston's WHUB-TV "Hub 66" (formerly WHSH-TV, now WUTF-TV) and Atlanta's WHOT-TV "Hotlanta 34" (now WUVG-TV). The rest of the former HSN over-the-air affiliates that were due to be converted were WHSE-TV and WHSI in the New York/Long Island area (whose calls were to be changed to WORX "The Works" upon the format change), WEHS in Chicago (which was to be changed to WNDE "Windy" upon format change), WQHS-TV in Cleveland, KHSC-TV in Los Angeles (whose calls were to be changed to KLIK "Click" upon the format change), WHSP in Philadelphia, WHSW in Baltimore, KHSH in Houston and WBHS in Tampa.

Sale to Univision and switch to a Spanish-language format

Due to financial woes that USA Networks, Inc. began facing in 2000, the company began looking to divest some of its assets. USA Broadcasting, as one of these assets, was considered for divesture as part of a deal to help USA Networks get its financial situation back in order. In 2001, the remaining entertainment units of USA Broadcasting, were sold to Vivendi Universal, along with $10.3 billion worth of shares held by Barry Diller. The television stations were to be sold to Disney/ABC (which, locally, would have created a partnership between channel 69 and Post-Newsweek Stations-owned ABC affiliate WPLG), but Univision Communications outbid its competition in a close race. The sale to Univision was finalized on January 3, 2002.[6]

On January 14, 2002, WAMI-TV ended its run as an English-language station and became an owned-and-operated charter station of Univision's fledgling Spanish-language secondary network, Telefutura (which rebranded as UniMás eleven years later on February 7, 2013). WPXM-TV and West Palm Beach sister station WPXP-TV picked up the Marlins telecasts (currently produced by Fox Sports), which were aired on the Florida Marlins Television Network, eventually dropping them in 2005 after Pax TV's rebranding as i. Sun Sports (formerly Sunshine Network and FSN Florida currently air the Marlins telecasts. The Miami Heat telecasts are now primarily cable-only on Sun Sports and carried over-the-air occasionally on local CBS-owned station WFOR-TV.

In late 2009, most Univision-owned television stations, including WAMI and sister station WLTV, upgraded their main digital signals to transmit in 1080i high definition with a 16:9 aspect ratio. TeleFutura's sister network Univision became the last major over-the-air television network in the United States to have begun offering high definition programming.

Newscasts and local programming

Univision owned-and-operated sister station WLTV produces an hour-long weekday morning newscast for WAMI called Noticias 23 Al Amanecer en UniMás Miami, which airs Monday through Fridays at 7 a.m. and is an extension of WLTV's two-hour morning newscast. In addition, that station produces a public affairs program called Ahora en Nuestra Comunidad, which airs on Saturday mornings at 6 a.m. on WAMI-DT with a rebroadcast on WLTV at 11:30 a.m.

Awards and nominations

WAMI-TV during its 2½ year run under USA Broadcasting ownership, received 18 Suncoast Regional Emmy Awards and 22 Promax Awards.

  • 1998: 7 Regional Emmys[7]
  • 1999: 6 Regional Emmys, 10 Promax Awards[8]
  • 2000: 5 Regional Emmys,[9] 10 Promax Awards[10]
  • 2001: 2 Promax Awards[10]

On-air staff

Current on-air staff[11]


  • Eileen Cardet - weekday mornings on Noticias 23 Al Amanecer (7:00-8:00 a.m.)
  • Jorge Hernandez - weekday mornings on Noticias 23 Al Amanecer (7:00-8:00 a.m.)
  • Paola Elorza - meteorologist; weekday mornings on Noticias 23 Al Amanecer (7:00-8:00 a.m.); also environmental reporter (also seen on Primer Impacto, Noticiero Univision and via satellite for Philadelphia sister station WUVP)


  • Jose Alfonso Almora - religious/political affairs reporter
  • Arlena Amaro - general assignment reporter
  • Roger Borges - entertainment reporter
  • Dr. Maritza Fuentes - health reporter
  • Maria Fernanda Lopez - general assignment reporter
  • Jenny Padura - general assignment reporter
  • Sonia Parissos - general assignment reporter
  • Sandra Peebles - political affairs reporter
  • Carolina Rosario - general assignment reporter
  • Mario Vallejo - Cuban affairs reporter

Notable alumni


External links

  • Variety Business
  • TeleFutura
  • The Legend of WAMI (unofficial, but links to archived, official pages through banner)
  • Query the FCC's TV station database for WAMI-DT
  • BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WAMI-TV
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