Channel 59, as an Indianapolis station, first signed on the air on February 1, 1984 as WPDS-TV. It was founded locally by USA Communications, operated by Ron Palamara (founder of locally based Anacomp, Inc. ), Chris Duffy (who formerly served as station manager at NBC affiliate WTHR (channel 13)) and Melvin Simon (co-founder of shopping mall owner Simon Property Group and co-owner of the Indiana Pacers NBA franchise). The last initials of Palamara, Duffy, and Simon 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. Through Simon’s part-ownership of the station, it also aired Indiana Pacers NBA games in the 1984–85 season. The station originally operated from studio facilities located on North Meridian Street in Indianapolis’ Television Row section. Its primary competitor was rival independent WTTV (channel 4, now a CBS affiliate) in Bloomington; WPDS would gain another competitor when WMCC (channel 23, now MyNetworkTV affiliate WNDY-TV) signed on November 1, 1987. Palamara, Duffy and Simon sold the station to Outlet Broadcasting (through its Atlin Communications subsidiary) in 1985; the station’s call letters were then changed to WXIN on August 10 of that year. The station lost the Pacers broadcast rights after the sale, with the telecasts returning to WTTV for the 1985-86 season.