WJAL

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WJAL
Wjal 2011.jpg
Hagerstown, Maryland/
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania/
Martinsburg, West Virginia
United States
City of license Hagerstown, Maryland
Branding WJAL Family 68
Channels Digital: 39 (UHF)
Virtual: 68 (PSIP)
Subchannels (see article)
Affiliations Independent
Owner Entravision Communications Corporation
(Entravision Holdings, LLC)
First air date August 1, 1984; 30 years ago (1984-08-01)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
68 (UHF, 1984-2009)
Former affiliations Independent (1984-1995)
The WB (1995-1998)
Transmitter power 105 kW
Height 372 m
Facility ID 10259
Transmitter coordinates 39°53′25″N 77°58′4″W / 39.89028°N 77.96778°W / 39.89028; -77.96778
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.wjal.com

WJAL, "Family 68", is an independent television station serving Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia. It is one of only six English-language stations owned by Entravision, a company better known for its ownership of Spanish-language stations across the United States. Despite being licensed to Hagerstown, WJAL's offices are located in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania (within the Harrisburg television market), and its transmitter located fifteen miles (24 km) west of Chambersburg, near the town of McConnellsburg.

History[edit]

The station first broadcast on August 1, 1984, as the third television station in Hagerstown, the fourth independent station in the Washington DMA, after WTTG, WDCA, and WCQR, and the first outside Washington. For a time in the late 1990s, WJAL became a WB affiliate.

In 2001, Good Companion Broadcasting, a Christian broadcasting nonprofit organization, sold WJAL-TV to Spanish-language network Entravision Communications for $10.3 million.[1][2]

During the late hours of January 14, 2009, WJAL's transmitter building caught fire. An automated alarm had tripped at 5:45 p.m. that day, but upon visiting the building, firefighters found no sign of fire. 911 was called about an hour later to report the fire. The transmitter's location on top of Tuscarora Mountain and snow and ice that was occurring made it difficult for firefighters to reach the building. Chainsaws were needed to clear away fallen branches. Two firefighters from McConnellsburg suffered injuries when they slipped on a patch of ice. Both transmitter and building were completely destroyed.[3][4] WJAL returned to the air, via fiber feed to cable companies, within a day of the fire.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channel[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[5]
68.1 480i 4:3 WJAL-DT Main WJAL programming

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WJAL shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 68, on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 39.[6] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 68, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.

Programming[edit]

WJAL currently airs a mix of religious programming (especially on Sunday), public affairs programming, syndicated shows, sitcom reruns, movies, and children's programs. The station also carries West Virginia Tonight Live from WBOY-TV in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hempel, Jessi (August 12, 2004). "The IRS Calls Nonprofits to Account". Business Week. 
  2. ^ "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax" (pdf). Good Companion Broadcasting Company. Guidestar. 2000. 
  3. ^ "Local Television Station's Transmitter Building Destroyed By Fire, Station Off Air". your4state.com. WHAG-TV. 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2009-01-15. [dead link]
  4. ^ "WJAL transmitter burns on mountain". publicopinion.com (Chambersburg Public Opinion). 2009-01-15. Retrieved 2009-01-15. [dead link]
  5. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WJAL
  6. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 

External links[edit]