WTVY (TV)

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WTVY
Wtvy 2011.png
Dothan, Alabama
Branding WTVY News 4
Slogan Your Hometown News Leader
Channels Digital: 36 (UHF)
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
Subchannels 4.1 WTVY/CBS
4.2 MyNetworkTV/Me-TV
4.3 The CW
4.4 NBC
Network CBS
Owner Gray Television, Inc.
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
First air date February 12, 1955; 59 years ago (1955-02-12)
Sister station(s) WRGX-LD, WJHG-TV, WECP-LD
Former channel number(s) Analog:
9 (VHF, 1955-1960?)
4 (VHF, 1960-2009)
Former affiliations DT2:
UPN (2005-2006)
Transmitter power 1,000 kW
Height 573 m
Transmitter coordinates 30°55′11.7″N 85°44′29.5″W / 30.919917°N 85.741528°W / 30.919917; -85.741528 (WTVY)
Website www.wtvy.com

WTVY, virtual channel 4, is the CBS-affiliated television station in Dothan, Alabama; it is owned by Gray Television. The station's signal, originating from a transmitter in Bethlehem, Florida, reaches portions of Alabama, Georgia and Florida. In addition to its CBS affiliation, WTVY carries programming from The CW and MyNetworkTV, respectively, on its two digital subchannels. It also retransmits the signal of the market's NBC affiliate WRGX-LD on 4.4.

For much of its history, WTVY was also the designated CBS affiliate for the Panama City, Florida market, where Gray also owns that city's NBC affiliate, WJHG-TV; in exchange, WJHG had long been available in Dothan on cable since Dothan didn't have its own NBC affiliate. In fact, WTVY's transmitter is located in the Panama City market even though it is only 28 miles from Dothan. This status ended on September 24, 2012, when Gray launched WECP-LD as a Panama City-based CBS affiliate, though most cable systems in that market would continue to carry WTVY in lieu of WECP until October, when the latter replaced WTVY on area systems.[1] [2] Gray likewise launched WRGX-LD, as a Dothan-based NBC affiliate on June 1, 2013, replacing WJHG and Montgomery's WSFA on area cable systems.[3]

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
4.1 1080i 16:9 WTVY TV Main WTVY-TV programming / CBS
4.2 480i 4:3 WTVY MY "My 4" MyNetworkTV/Me-TV
4.3 WTVY CW "Dothan's CW"
4.4 WRGX-LD NBC

History[edit]

WTVY's first broadcast was on February 12, 1955, originally on channel 9, as a CBS affiliate. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[4]

In a massive reallocation of signals in Alabama and Georgia mandated by the Federal Communications Commission to minimize signal interference, the station moved to channel 4 around 1960, where it still remains today. At the time of the reallocation, WTVY also relocated to new studios with a 1,209 ft (368.5 m) tower in Webb, five miles (8 km) east of Dothan. At the time, the tower was the tallest structure in the state of Alabama. In the early 1970s WTVY became one of the first stations in the country to broadcast 24 hours a day. WTVY-FM still utilizes the tower to transmit its signal.

In 1978, WTVY moved to its current 2,035 ft (ASL) tower in Bethlehem (28 miles/45 km southwest of Dothan). The tower is the tallest structure in the state of Florida and one of the tallest broadcasting towers in North America. The tower is so tall that on clear nights the strobe warning lights on the tower have been seen as far as 50 miles away in certain locations. The move was made in part to improve its signal in Panama City and along the Florida Gulf Coast, where it had been the default CBS affiliate since 1961. The new tower gave WTVY one of the largest coverage areas in the southeastern U.S. It provides at least grade B coverage as far east as the Florida side of the Mobile/Pensacola market (including Fort Walton Beach and Destin) and as far west as the fringes of the Montgomery market.

In 1993, WTVY moved its studios to the historic Houston Hotel building in downtown Dothan (now known as the Woods Building). WTVY operates on the first two floors. The news studio is actually located in what used to be the grand ballroom of the hotel. The building is tall enough (eight stories) that the station's studio-to-transmitter microwave dish is located on top of the building, not requiring a smaller tower to be built on the property.

For many years Charles Woods, a perennial aspirant to the governorship of Alabama and occasional minor-party presidential candidate, owned WTVY, through Woods Communications. As such, for a time it was a sister station to WCOV-TV in Montgomery. The station ownership was transferred to Chemical Bank and operated under the corporate name of Dothan Holdings, LLC. Benedek Broadcasting bought WTVY from Chemical Bank/Dothan Holdings in 1995 for a price of $28 million. WTVY was one of the Benedek stations that was purchased by Gray Television in 2002.

Programming[edit]

Syndicated programming includes Wheel of Fortune, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Rachael Ray, and Live with Kelly. When Panama City relied on WTVY for a CBS station, all syndicated programming that was duplicated on WJHG and WMBB was still shown on WTVY on Panama City's cable systems. This is in contrast to SyndEx laws, which gives local stations the option to restrict importing of syndicated programming that is already available on an in-market station. With WECP replacing WTVY as Panama City's CBS affiliate, WECP was able to air shows that WJHG could not, and would not have to rely on an out-of-market station to fill an affiliation slot.

News operation[edit]

Newscasts air weekdays from 5-7 a.m., and 12-12:30, 5-5:30, 5:30-6 (WRGX), 6-6:30, 9-9:30 (WTVY-DT3), and 10-10:30 p.m. Central, plus 8-9 a.m. on Saturday mornings, 6:00 on Saturday, 5:00 on Sunday, and weekends at 10:00 p.m. This is a considerable amount for a station serving two fairly small markets (Dothan is the 172nd market, Panama City is the 151st market).

WTVY has historically been a ratings powerhouse in the Wiregrass, winning every news timeslot. This is partly because its only local competition, ABC affiliate WDHN, has a coverage area only half as large.

The building WTVY is broadcasting from also has a radar dome that is used, but is "unreliable to the current TruVu Titan system," according to the staff of the station. Currently, the weather center of the station is using a TruVu Titan 6.2.4 radar specifically made for WTVY.

On Monday, June 4, 2012, WTVY became the first station in the Dothan market to broadcast local news in high definition. Live at Lunch was the first news program aired in HD. Ben Stanfield and Connor Vernon ushered in a new era of local television with Mayor Mike Schmitz of Dothan as a guest. Mayor Schmitz read a proclamation on the first ever local HD broadcast that proclaimed June 4th as "HD Day".

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgoth, Ali (July 17, 2012). "CBS station to go on air in Bay County". The News Herald. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  2. ^ New CBS station on air Monday at the Wayback Machine (archived September 26, 2012)
  3. ^ Phillips, Greg (May 6, 2013). "Dothan getting NBC affiliate". Dothan Eagle. Retrieved May 13, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films" ([dead link]), Boxoffice, November 10, 1956: 13 

External links[edit]