(This has furthered existing confusion among some viewers over the connection between Fox News and local newscasts on Fox stations, despite the fact that Fox News is not structured as a news division of the Fox Broadcasting Company and operates as a separate entity from its broadcast sister.) On August 2, 2017, it was reported that Fox Television Stations was in talks with Ion Media to create a joint venture that would own their respective stations.
The partnership was said to include plans to shift affiliations from Sinclair stations in favor of Ion-owned stations, such as those whose affiliation agreements are soon to expire.
As was the case with other Fox stations during the network's early years, channel 59 was for essential intents and purposes, programmed as a de facto independent station as Fox initially ran primetime programs only on weekends and would not carry seven nights a week of programming until September 1993.
Until Fox began airing programming on a nightly basis, WXIN aired a movie at p.m. The station began identifying as "Fox WXIN 59" by 1988 (simply adding the Fox name to the "WXIN 59" branding in use since 1985), which was simplified to "Fox 59" in 1991; it also added more sitcoms to its inventory, and eventually began to overtake WTTV in the ratings.
After that station moved its allocation to UHF channel 18 in 1957, UHF channel 59 would remain dormant until the Federal Communications Commission later reassigned the allotment to Indianapolis.
In the event that WXIN loses its Fox affiliation, the station may return to independent status.
On January 1, 2015, WXIN became the second largest Fox affiliate (behind WRAZ in Raleigh, North Carolina) owned in a duopoly with a "Big Three" station when WTTV switched from The CW to CBS; it is also the only station in Indianapolis to have never changed its network affiliation.
On May 8, 2017, Sinclair Broadcast Group announced that it would acquire Tribune Media for .9 billion, plus the assumption of .7 billion in debt held by Tribune.
It was founded locally by USA Communications, operated by Ron imon (co-founder of shopping mall owner Simon Property Group and co-owner of the Indiana Pacers NBA franchise), whose last initials served as the basis for the WPDS callsign.
Originally operating as an independent station, channel 59 maintained a general entertainment programming format featuring cartoons, movies, classic sitcoms and drama series.