|Branding||The Valley's Fox
CBS The V (on DT2)
|Channels||Digital: 43 (UHF)
Virtual: 43 (PSIP)
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||1996 (as WAZT-CA repeater)
October 26, 2006 (Fox programming, on WHSV-TV 3.2)
|Call letters' meaning||We're Shenandoah Valley's Fox|
|Sister station(s)||WHSV-TV, WCAV, WVAW-LD, WAHU-CD|
|Former callsigns||W25CC (1996–1997)
|Former affiliations||WAZT-CA repeater (on WSVF-CD, 1996–2012)
Sportsman Channel (secondary overnights on WHSV-DT2, 2006–2009)
|Transmitter power||13 kW|
|Class||Class A digital|
WSVF-CD is the low-powered Fox-affiliated television station for the Shenandoah Valley of Western Virginia. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 43 from a transmitter on the peak of Massanutten Mountain. The station can also be seen on Comcast digital channel 192 (SD). Owned by Gray Television, WSVF is sister to ABC affiliate WHSV-TV; the two stations share studios on North Main Street/U.S. 11 in Downtown Harrisonburg.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|43.1||720p||16:9||WSVF-DT||Main WSVF-CD programming / Fox|
|43.2||1080i||WSVF-CD2 / CBS|
The Valley's Fox
The Fox affiliation currently seen on WSVF-CD began on October 26, 2006 with the launch of WHSV-DT2, a standard definition subchannel of WHSV-TV. The subchannel's launch gave the Shenandoah Valley its first full-time Fox affiliate; until then, WTTG, the Fox owned-and-operated station in Washington, D.C., served as the area's default Fox affiliate, though WHSV was a secondary Fox affiliate from 1994 through 1996. To this day, WTTG continues to be carried on Comcast systems in the Shenandoah Valley. During the late summer and early fall of 2006, WHSV underwent major technical upgrades to make way for the creation of WHSV-DT2. A large receiving tower was built behind its Harrisonburg studios to accommodate the additional satellite receiver needed for the Fox venture.
In March 2007, WHSV-DT2 was added to Comcast systems in the market on digital channel 705. Eventually, it moved to the current location on channel 192. The OTA high definition feed of WSVF-CD1 is available on channel 213.
What is now WSVF-CD was started in 1996 as W25CC, operating on channel 25 as the Staunton and Waynesboro translator for WAZT-LP, a Woodstock-based religious independent station. It changed its call letters to W25AZ in 1997 and WAZM-LP in 2000, and upgraded to class A status in 2002. However, WAZM was all but invisible in the market because the area's cable companies wouldn't carry it. Cable and satellite are all but essential for acceptable television in the Shenandoah Valley, even more so because nearly all of this market is in the United States National Radio Quiet Zone. In April 2012, then-owner Jones Broadcasting announced it was selling WAZM-CA to Gray Television. Gray changed its callsign to WSVF-CA on June 4, 2012.
On June 1, 2012, Gray Television applied for and was granted a Notification of Suspension of Operations Request from the Federal Communications Commission. The reason for suspension of operations was due to the fact Gray "did not purchase the analog equipment for the station". Instead, Gray Television built out the station's existing digital construction permit (under the callsign WSVF-LD). WSVF's analog signal, operating at 21,900 watts, completely missed the major cities in the market, including its cities of license. However, its digital signal covers virtually all of the market, and extends as far southeast as the adjacent market of Charlottesville.
On July 17, 2012, Gray Television signed an affiliation agreement with CBS for WSVF and two other low-powered CBS affiliates. As a result, WSVF-LD became the CBS affiliate for the Shenandoah Valley on October 3, 2012. However, CBS programming is aired on the station's second digital subchannel, while the Fox programming previously seen on WHSV-DT2 airs on WSVF's primary channel. This is to provide a high-definition signal for Fox network programming to the Shenandoah Valley; technical limitations do not allow any of WHSV's subchannels outside of the main ABC signal to air in high definition. WSVF is the second full-time terrestrial network affiliate in the area; WHSV has had the market more or less to itself since it signed on in 1953. In February 2013, WSVF's class A status was transferred from the former analog channel 25 signal to the digital station.
Due to WSVF's link to WHSV, the same FCC must-carry rules that kept it off cable now forced its addition. The must-carry rules also give full-powered stations the option of retransmission consent, which allows these stations to request compensation from cable systems as a condition of carrying them. In this case, Gray has the right to require cable systems to carry WSVF as part of the compensation for carrying WHSV.
In early 2013, Gray won FCC permission to move the station's license to Harrisonburg.
WHSV currently produces a weeknight prime time newscast on WSVF. Known on-air as The Valley's Fox 10 O'Clock News, the show can be seen for thirty minutes from a secondary set at the North Main Street facility. Although it features additional reporters seen on WHSV, the show maintains a dedicated news anchor and reporter. The broadcast primarily features news anchor Gloria Balding, meteorologist Aubrey Urbanowicz, and reporter Tim Wronka (also fill-in news anchor). MyNetworkTV/Me-TV affiliate WHSV-DT4 simulcasts the prime time newscast. Even if the program is delayed or preempted on WSVF, it still airs in the regular time slot on WHSV-DT4.
- "WHSV-TV3 and The Valley's FOX Are Coming To Satellite". WHSV.com. October 23, 2006. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- "With Ratings Only So-So, WHSV Drops Fox's Redskins". Daily News-Record. March 4, 1996. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- "Application Search Details (license to cover W25CC permit)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- "Call Sign History (WSVF-LP)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- Seyler, Dave (April 9, 2012). "Another Class A for Gray". Television Business Report. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- "Media Bureau Call Sign Actions" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. May 23, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- "Notification of Suspension of Operations/Request for Silent STA". Federal Communications Commission. June 1, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
- "Three Gray Stations Sign CBS Affiliations". TVNewsCheck/NewsCheckMedia, LLC. July 17, 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
- "WHSV-TV3 Adds CBS to Family of Stations in the Valley". WHSV-TV/Gray Television, Inc. July 17, 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
- "APPLICATION FOR CLASS A TELEVISION BROADCAST STATION CONSTRUCTION PERMIT OR LICENSE". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. February 4, 2013. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- WHSV-TV website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WSVF
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WSVF-CD