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New WBFF digital channel to rerun local favorites


Starting on May 1, nostalgic viewers with a hankering for reruns of All in the Family, Sanford and Son and other stalwarts will be able to tune in to the shows on a digital channel courtesy of WBFF, Channel 45, the station announced yesterday.

The Fox affiliate, owned by Hunt Valley-based Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., will carry a separate stream of programming on the digital subchannel, known as 45-2, which will be available via the Comcast, Millennium and Verizon cable TV systems in the Baltimore market. The offerings will also include In the Heat of the Night and Good Times.

It will broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will be the first digital channel in the Baltimore market dedicated to non-weather programming. Each of two other local stations, WBAL, Channel 11, the NBC affiliate, and ABC-linked WMAR, Channel 2, has a digital channel for weather buffs.

Bill Fanshawe, general manager of WBFF, said yesterday that the new channel will also include as many as six hours of religious programming on Sundays, beamed from Baltimore-area churches. By the end of the year, he said, the channel - yet to be named - will also feature news updates provided by the Fox 45 news team.

The station plans to include other local programming such as "public-service and community-based shows," Fanshawe said, without being more specific.

But the meat and potatoes of the channel, Fanshawe said, will be syndicated reruns.

"It's programming that has performed exceptionally well in the Baltimore market," he said. "These shows have always been hits."

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