|Channels||Analog: 38 (UHF)|
|Founded||1953 (defunct 1954)|
|Sister station(s)||WEBC, WEBC-FM|
|Former affiliations||CBS (1953 - March 1954)
NBC (1953 - March 1954)
WFTV Channel 38 was the first television station in Duluth, Minnesota.
The station signed on in 1953 carrying programming from all four TV networks of the time, ABC, CBS, NBC, and the DuMont Television Network. It shared office space with WEBC radio and transmitted from the former WEBC-FM tower on Duluth's Observation Hill.
WFTV faced challenges from the beginning, being a UHF station in an era when television sets only included VHF tuners. A converter box was required to receive the station. In March 1954, VHF stations KDAL-TV and WDSM-TV - both co-owned with other radio stations in the market - signed on and took the NBC and CBS affiliations. WFTV could not compete and left the air shortly thereafter.
The bottom portion of the tower used by WEBC-FM and WFTV still stands, and is used today for telecommunications. Channel 38 is currently occupied by the digital signal of WDSE, but will be empty again in 2009 when WDSE moves digital operations to channel 8.
- TV Guide, January 8–14, 1954
- A Technological History of WEBC Radio, A Graduate Thesis submitted by Roger J. Johnson
- fybush.com Tower Site of the Week, February 17, 2006 http://www.fybush.com/sites/2006/site-060217.html
- A Technological History of WEBC Radio, Chapter 4, with a mention of WFTV
- A list of stations included in the January 8-14, 1954 edition of TV Guide, including WFTV