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Wcav 2009.png
Charlottesville, Virginia
United States
Branding CBS 19 (general)
CBS 19 News (newscasts)
WAHU Fox 27
(on DT3)
Slogan Where Charlottesville
News Comes First
Channels Digital: 19 (UHF)
Virtual: 19 (PSIP)
Subchannels 19.1 CBS
19.2 AccuWeather
19.3 Fox
Affiliations CBS
Owner Gray Television
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
First air date August 15, 2004 (2004-08-15)
Call letters' meaning CAValier
(the UVA mascot)
Sister station(s) WVAW, WAHU-CD, WHSV-TV, WSVF-CD
Former channel number(s) Analog:
19 (UHF, 2004-2009)
Transmitter power 155 kW
Height 325.6 m
Facility ID 363
Transmitter coordinates 37°59′3″N 78°28′52″W / 37.98417°N 78.48111°W / 37.98417; -78.48111
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website newsplex.com

WCAV is the CBS-affiliated television station for Charlottesville, Virginia. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 19 from a transmitter on Carters Mountain. The station can also be seen on Comcast channel 6 and in high definition on digital channel 212. Owned by Gray Television, WCAV is sister to low-powered ABC affiliate WVAW-LD and low-powered Fox affiliate WAHU-CD. All three share studios, known as the "Charlottesville Newsplex", on 2nd Street Southeast in Downtown Charlottesville.

In addition, some behind-the-scenes duties are run alongside that of sister station WHSV-TV in Harrisonburg (which the "Newsplex" has a resource sharing alliance with).


WCAV began broadcasting on August 15, 2004 becoming the market's first CBS affiliate and first station to mount a challenge against established NBC affiliate WVIR-TV. Previously, the analog UHF channel 19 allocation was considered to bring Richmond a primary WB station. That area had lacked such an affiliation since the switch of WUPV to UPN in 1997. Charlottesville had previously received CBS programming on cable from Richmond's WTVR-TV and Washington D.C.'s WUSA. When it launched, WCAV immediately replaced WUSA on local cable systems.

During 2007, the station first swapped analog cable channel allocations with WTVR. After that, the Richmond station moved to the digital tier. Shortly after WCAV's sign-on, owner Gray Television signed on ABC affiliate WVAW-LP on UHF channel 16. That station was formerly a low-powered repeater (on UHF channel 64) of Harrisonburg's WHSV and it replaced that station on Charlottesville-area cable systems. In early-2005, the two stations were joined by new Class A Fox affiliate WAHU-CA on UHF channel 27.

Since 2006, the three have been the official flagships of University of Virginia sports. The station is not related to the former WCAV-FM (now WKAF-FM) in Brockton, Massachusetts.

On June 17, 2013, the WAHU Fox 27 simulcast on WCAV 19.3 was changed to high definition.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channel[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1]
19.1 1080i 16:9 CBS19 Main WCAV programming / CBS
19.2 480i 4:3 19NOW 19 Weather Now
19.3 720p 16:9 FOX27 Simulcast of WAHU-CD

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WCAV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 19, on February 16, 2009, the day to the prior to the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were set to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later rescheduled for June 12, 2009). The station "flash-cut" its digital signal into operation on its analog-era UHF channel 19.[2] Of all of the Richmond and Washington, D.C. stations replaced on the main tier for the new Charlottesville ABC, CBS, and Fox affiliates, only WTTG survived. On Comcast digital cable, Richmond channels include WRIC-TV and WTVR. WUSA is not on digital cable nor is any other district station. Other Comcast providers north and west of Charlottesville do pick up Washington and Richmond locals either on the main tier or digital lineup.


Syndicated programming on the station includes: Entertainment Tonight, Judge Judy, Family Feud, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

News operation[edit]

News open.

WCAV and its sister stations employ the largest television news team dedicated exclusively to the Charlottesville market. While WVIR dedicates some staff to adjacent areas, WCAV focuses its coverage solely on the counties that comprise the Charlottesville viewing area. In June 2006, WCAV received the runner-up award for "Outstanding News Operation" by the Virginia Association of Broadcasters. WWBT in Richmond was the winner in that category. In 2007, the station received the "Outstanding Sports Coverage" award for a commercial television station from the Virginia Association of Broadcasters.

That same year, its website was the runner up to WVEC in Norfolk for an outstanding website award. Beth Duffy, formerly of WVIR, returned to the airwaves on WCAV on April 16, 2007. On September 21, 2007 WCAV launched The Local AccuWeather Channel on a new second digital subchannel and live streaming video on its website. Known on-air as "CBS 19 Weather Now", it was added to Comcast digital channel 209 in December. Programming consists of local weather updates and national weather forecasts provided by AccuWeather.

As the primary station in the "Charlottesville Newsplex" operation, it airs the most newscasts. WVAW simulcasts the second hour of Good Morning Charlottesville on weekday mornings (6:00-7:00 a.m.), CBS 19 News weeknights at 5:00, 5:30 and 6:00, Charlottesville Tonight weeknights at 7:00 and CBS 19 News Nightcast weeknights at 11:00 p.m. WAHU airs an hour-long extension of Good Morning Charlottesville weekday mornings at 7:00 a.m. and nightly prime time newscasts at 10:00 p.m. that competes with CW affiliate WVIR-DT3. All shows, except the extension of Good Morning Charlottesville on WAHU, are streamed live on the "Charlottesville Newsplex" website.


External links[edit]