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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media — comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Contact John at

Movies!, Heroes & Icons Networks Added To Channel 25

James Garner (left) and Jack Kelly star in "Maverick," a 1950s TV show on Heroes & Icons.

They're back! Low-power WKRP TV (Channel 25) has added two networks from sister station WOTH-TV (Channel 20), which stopped broadcasting Tuesday.

Those watching over-the-air television must re-scan their channels to get Heroes & Icons and Movies! They'll show up on Channel 25 listed under their WOTH-TV channel designations.

Heroes & Icons (Channel 20.4): Home for many old TV dramas such as "NYPD Blue," "Hill Street Blues," "Star Trek," "Rawhide" and "Maverick."

Movies! (Channel 20.1): Old feature films from 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, TriStar Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Paramount Pictures.

Credit Rich Emery
Screen grab of Channel 25's new channels, which are marked as if still Channel 20 subchannels.

WKRP TV owner Elliott Block says the Decades channel from WOTH-TV also be added to Channel 25 as Channel 20.2 in about a month, along with a new network, Quest, on Channel 20.3. He's waiting on new equipment to arrive, he says.

Channel 20 vanished Jan. 23, thefirst of three area stations going out of business this year as part of a huge national digital TV channel realignment.  Called the "repack," the move makes more of the broadcast spectrum available for cell phone and other wireless companies.

Credit Elliott Block
Signing off WOTH-TV (Channel 20) at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Shutting down in April is Trinity Broadcasting's WKOI-TV (Channel 43) licensed to Richmond, Ind., which has broadcast religious programming from a tower north of Hamilton since 1982.

Dayton's WBDT-TV (Channel 26) -- which multicasts the CW, Bounce and Ion networks – also accepted a payment to end broadcasting. No announcement has been made yet about shutting down. It is expected that the CW network will be added as a subchannel by WDTN-TV (Channel 2), which operates Channel 26.

Last year, the FCC raised $19.8 billion by auctioning off parts of the spectrum, starting a 39-month digital transition. Block received $13.2 million for WOTH-TV.  Trinity Broadcasting gets $20 million for WKOI-TV.  Owners of WBDT-TV will get $27.3 million.

The FCC says $7.3 billion was applied to reducing the federal deficit. Auction proceeds also will compensate TV stations for new transmitters and antennae needed for their channel moves in 2019.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.