About Pix 11The station first signed on the air on June 15, 1948; it was the fifth television station to sign on in New York City and was the market's second independent station. It was also the second of three stations to launch in the New York market during 1948, debuting one month after Newark, New Jersey-based independent WATV (channel 13) and two months before WJZ-TV (channel 7). WPIX's call letters come from the slogan of the newspaper that founded the station, the Tribune-owned New York Daily News, whose slogan was "New York's Picture Newspaper". In its earliest years, WPIX maintained a secondary studio (called "Studio Five") at 110 Central Park South, where programs shot in front of a studio audience were produced.
WPIX Plaza, southwest corner of 2nd Avenue and 42nd Street.
Until becoming owned outright by Tribune in 1991, WPIX operated separately from the company's other television and radio outlets through the News-owned license holder, WPIX, Incorporated – which in 1963, purchased New York radio station, WBFM (101.9 FM) and soon changed that station's call letters to WPIX-FM. British businessman Robert Maxwell bought the Daily News in 1991. Tribune retained WPIX and WQCD; the radio station was sold to Emmis Communications in 1997. WPIX initially featured programming that was standard among independents: children's programs, movies, syndicated reruns of network programs, public affairs programming, religious programs and sports – specifically, the New York Yankees, whose baseball games WPIX carried from 1951 to 1998.
To generations of New York children, channel 11 was also the home of memorable personalities. In 1955, original WPIX staffer and weather forecaster Joe Bolton, donned a policeman's uniform and became "Officer Joe," hosting several programs based around Little Rascals, Three Stooges, and later Popeye shorts. Another early WPIX personality, Jack McCarthy, also hosted Popeye and Dick Tracy cartoons as "Captain Jack" in the early 1960s, though he was also the longtime host of channel 11's St. Patrick's Day parade coverage from 1949 to 1992. WPIX aired a local version of Bozo the Clown (with Bill Britten in the role) from 1959 to 1964; comic performers Chuck McCann and Allen Swift also hosted programs on WPIX during the mid-1960s before each moved to other entertainment work in Hollywood. Jazz singer Joya Sherrill hosted a weekday children's show, Time for Joya (later known as Joya's Fun School). Channel 11 produced the Magic Garden series, which ran on the station from 1972 to 1984. Beginning in the late 1970s and continuing through spring 1982, the station aired "TV PIXX", a television video game show played during commercial breaks of afternoon programs. Kids would call into the station for the chance to control a video game via telephone in hopes of winning prizes.