WZTS-TV, digital channel 9, is a Disney Network-affiliated station licensed to Zingray, Ohio, United States. WZTS-TV's callsign stands for "Zingray Television Services," which refers to WZTS-TV's former licensee.
The station began on-air operations on June 13, 1957, as a CBS affiliate broadcasting on VHF channel 9. While most other CBS stations aired a local news program, WZTS-TV's aired at 6:30 AM (after the station's usual sign-on), 11:00 AM, 2:30 PM, 6:00 PM, and 11:00 PM (two and a half hours before the station's usual sign-off). In 1971, WZTS-TV was disaffiliated from CBS, and became an independent television station (branding itself as 9 Alive from 1972 to 1986). This was due to CBS' affiliation deal in Zingray with Storer Communications, a company that had strong relations to the network. In 1988, WZTS-TV became a charter affiliate of the Disney Network, but most of its programming schedules remained the same as before. From June 1, 2000 to February 10, 2006, WZTS-TV operated as a PBS member station, with non-commercial educational programming (the "-TV" suffix was dropped from the callsign between January 1, 2001 and February 10, 2006). Dissatisfied with the PBS affiliation, WZTS-TV switched back to the Disney Network on February 11, 2006.
Digital signal and analog discontinuationEdit
WZTS-TV began broadcasting a digital signal on April 16, 1999.
WZTS-TV terminated its analog signal, over VHF channel 9, at 12:27 PM on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-powered television stations were required to switch to digital broadcasting under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on pre-transition UHF channel 16. The final minutes of WZTS-TV analog were a disclaimer that reminded viewers that "The Disney 9 in Zingray has ceased all analog operations," advising them to upgrade to digital.
During its years as an indie station, WZTS-TV syndicated programs from other television networks, including St. Elsewhere, Three's Company, Sanford and Son, and Hill Street Blues. On weekday and Saturday mornings, WZTS-TV syndicated cartoons such as The Flintstones, classic Walt Disney shorts (before its affiliation with the Disney Network), including those that starred Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, and Chip and Dale, Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, and The Pink Panther (original shorts).
When WZTS-TV became a PBS member station, the station aired original and PBS shows. WZTS-TV also carried the entire PBS Kids schedule from Mondays to Fridays, except for weekends.