WVTV launched in Fall 1953 as WOKY-TV, taking its call sign from radio sister station WOKY.
WOKY-TV would be purchased by CBS in late 1954, and by February 1955 would become Milwaukee's CBS affiliate under a new call sign, WXIX-TV.
WXIX-TV would relocate to channel 18 in 1958.
In 1959, CBS would sell WXIX-TV and move its programming to a VHF station with a stronger reach (the previously independent WITI). WXIX-TV would be off the air for a brief period, returning as an independent station later in 1959.
With another ownership change in 1963, WXIX-TV would become WUHF-TV. While the new call sign was a nod to the station's UHF dial status, incorporating a daschund's silhouette in the logo served as a visual play on a dog's bark ("woof" = WUHF).
WUHF-TV would be sold again in 1966, this time to WKY Television System, which would eventually become Gaylord Broadcasting (it's known as Ryman Hospitality Properties today). With the sale, the station would change call signs again, to the present-day WVTV.
Although WVTV was the strongest independent station at the time, the station declined to affiliate with the then-upstart Fox network on October 9, 1986; the affiliation instead went to WCGV-TV on March 15, 1987.
WVTV adopted the "Super 18" brand as it became a "Superstation," having launched on cable systems throughout Wisconsin. It also also used the tagline "Wisconsin's Superstation" at the start of the launch, but kept the "Super 18" branding until 1998.
WVTV Super 18 - Whitnall Park bumper 15 sec (1987)
Starting in 1987, "Super 18 Sports" was the WVTV's branding for its broadcasts of Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers games, and it's local sports-themed programs such as The Bowling Game.
1Owned by Tennessee Broadcasting. Sinclair is seeking an FCC "failing station" waiver to purchase this station. 2Nominally owned by Cunningham Broadcasting and operated by Sinclair under an LMA. However, trusts belonging to members of Sinclair's founding Smith family control almost all of Cunningham's stock. 3Operated by Nexstar Media Group under an LMA. 4Owned by Second Generation Ltd. and managed by Sinclair. Sinclair is seeking an FCC "failing station" waiver to purchase the station's license. 5Owned by Manhan Media and managed by Sinclair. 6Owned by Howard Stirk Holdings, operated by Sinclair under an LMA. 7Owned by Mercury Broadcasting Company and operated by Sinclair. 8Owned by Deerfield Media and operated by Sinclair under an LMA. 9Owned by South Sound Broadcasting, but operated by Sinclair under an LMA. 10Owned by Roberts Media, but operated by Sinclair. 11Owned by Mitts Telecasting and operated by Sinclair. 12Owned by GOCOM Media and operated by Sinclair. 13Owned by Waitt Broadcasting, but operated by Sinclair under an SSA. 14Owned by Granite Broadcasting Corporation and operated by Sinclair through a JSA and SSA. 15Owned by New Age Media and operated by Sinclair under an MSA. 16Owned by MPS Media, but operated by New Age Media under an LMA. 17Co-owned with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 18Owned by Diamond Sports Group, a joint venture of Sinclair and Entertainment Studios. 19Co-owned with Yankee Global Enterprises, The Blackstone Group, Amazon, RedBird Capital and Mubadala Investment Company. 20Co-owned with Chicago Cubs. 21Owned by Sinclair and operated by Jukin Media.
Notes Stations are arranged alphabetically by state and territory, and based on the station's city of license or Designated Market Area. +Station carries CW programming on a digital subchannel, via The CW Plus. +1Local CW Plus affiliate operates as cable-only channel.