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Wvua logo.jpg
Northport/Tuscaloosa, Alabama
United States
City of license Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Branding WVUA-TV (general)
WVUA News (newscasts)
This is WVUA (imaging)
Slogan Your Home Team
Alabama's Home Team
(both used interchangeably)
Channels Analog: WVUA: 7 (VHF)
Digital: WUOA: 6 (VHF)
Virtual: 23 (PSIP)
Subchannels WUOA:
23.1/.2 This TV
23.2 Alabama Public Radio
23.4 Exponential Radio
Translators WDVZ-CD 3 Greensboro
WJMY-CA 25 Demopolis
Affiliations This TV (part-time)
Owner University of Alabama
(The Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama)
Founded 1998
First air date WVUA: 2002; 13 years ago (2002)
WUOA: 2004; 11 years ago (2004)
Call letters' meaning WVUA:
Voice of the
University of
(named after the radio station)
University Of Alabama
Former callsigns WVUA: W49BO (1994–1997)
WJRD-LP (1998–2001)
WUOA: WLDM (2001–2005)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
49 (UHF, 1998–2001)
23 (UHF, 2001–2009)
Former affiliations Pax TV (1998–2002)
America One (2002–2008)
Transmitter power WVUA: 0.43 kW
WUOA: 26 kW
Height WVUA: 183 m
WUOA: 395 m
Class WVUA-CA:' Class A
WUOA: Full-power digital
Facility ID WVUA: 70429
WUOA: 77496
Transmitter coordinates WVUA:
33°9′36″N 87°30′54″W / 33.16000°N 87.51500°W / 33.16000; -87.51500
33°29′2″N 86°48′20.7″W / 33.48389°N 86.805750°W / 33.48389; -86.805750 (WUOA)
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: / WUOA Profile
Website www.wvuatv.com

WVUA-CA, VHF analog channel 7, is a This TV-affiliated television station located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States. The station's transmitter is located on Jug Factory Road in southern Tuscaloosa.

As WVUA does not have a digital signal of its own and its low-powered broadcasting radius does not reach the entire Birmingham/Tuscaloosa/Anniston market, the station's programming is simulcast on satellite station WUOA, virtual channel 23 (VHF digital channel 6), which is also licensed to Tuscaloosa. WUOA's transmitter is located atop Red Mountain, near the southern edge of Birmingham.

WVUA and WUOA are owned by the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama. The two stations maintain studio facilities located within the College of Communication and Information Sciences on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, drawing on the resources of its Department of Telecommunication and Film.[1] In addition to WUOA, WVUA-CA's signal is relayed on low-power repeaters WDVZ-CD (channel 3) in Greensboro, and WJMY-CA (channel 25) and WJMY-LD (channel 22) in Demopolis. WVUA is available on most cable providers within the Birmingham/Tuscaloosa/Anniston market.


Despite being owned by the University of Alabama System, the station is financially independent from the university.[2] Because WVUA operates as a commercial station, most of its funding is from advertising revenue. This makes WVUA one of only three commercial television stations in the U.S. that is owned by a public institution (alongside University of Missouri-owned KOMU-TV in Columbia, Missouri and Tougaloo College-owned WLOO in Jackson, Mississippi). The station has a full-time paid staff including station and sales executives, anchors, production staff and a news director, and relies heavily on University of Alabama students who act as on-air staff, production staff and sales assistants.


The station first signed on the air in 1998 as WJRD-LP, broadcasting on UHF channel 49; with its sign-on, the station's news department brought local news coverage to west Alabama for the first time since WDBB (channel 17) and WCFT-TV (channel 33) shifted focus to the Birmingham area, the latter being a byproduct of WBRC's switch to Fox in September 1996. It originally operated out of studio facilities located on Jug Factory Road in Tescaloosa, that formerly housed the operations of WDBB. The station became a charter affiliate of Pax TV (now Ion Television) when it debuted on August 31, 1998; it remained affiliated with the network until 2002, three years after Pax parent company Paxson Communications (now Ion Media Networks) bought Gadsden-based WNAL-TV (channel 44) and converted it into Pax TV owned-and-operated station WPXH-TV in 1999. The station subsequently switched its affiliation to America One.

The University of Alabama purchased WJRD-CA in 2001, after a receiving a $1 million gift from the family of legendary Alabama Crimson Tide coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. Once the sale was finalized, the station moved its operations to the University of Alabama campus, and its call letters were changed to WVUA-CA in January 2002, after its license was upgraded to Class A status.

In November 2004, Channel 23 LLC filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to donate its full-power station, WLDM, to the university. Shortly after the gift was finalized, the station's call letters were changed to WUOA (for the University Of Alabama) and it was converted into a full-power satellite station of WVUA in order to reach most of the Birmingham market. In 2006, WVUA was added to the Birmingham local stations lineup on both Dish Network and DirecTV. In November 2008, WVUA began carrying This TV programming as a part-time affiliation, with syndicated programming and newscasts filling certain timeslots where This TV programming does not air (this causes periodic scheduling issues due to the network's movie-dominant schedule, as some films run into timeslots where WVUA runs syndicated programming due to time length). As the station does not carry all of This TV's programming on its main channel nor on one of its subchannels, WVUA is the largest part-time affiliate by market size that does not carry the network's full schedule.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[3][4]
23.1 1080i 16:9 WUOA-DT Main WVUA-CA programming / This TV
23.2 480i 4:3
23.3 Audio simulcast of Alabama Public Radio
23.4 Audio simulcast of WXPN ("XPoNential Radio")

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

Because it was granted an original construction permit after the FCC finalized the DTV allotment plan on April 21, 1997 [1], WUOA did not receive a companion channel for a digital television station. Instead, on June 12, 2009, the end of the conversion period from analog to digital transmissions for full-power television stations in the United States, WUOA was required to turn off its analog signal and turn on its digital signal (called a "flash-cut"). The University was granted a construction permit for WUOA to move to channel 6; through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 23.

News operation[edit]

Unlike most low-power or Class A television stations, WVUA-CA produces its own local newscasts. The station presently broadcasts 8½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 1½ hours on weekdays, and a half-hour on Saturdays and Sundays).

Approximately 80 percent of the station's staff is made up of students, both in paid and non-paid positions. Students are involved in all aspects of the news-gathering and production process. On June 12, 2012, the station began broadcasting portions of its local newscasts, particularly weather segments, in high definition.[5] WVUA now broadcasts from the Digital Media Center in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The station was formerly housed in the basement area of Reese-Phifer Hall until the move occurred in April 2014. [6]


  1. ^ Telecommunication and Film
  2. ^ "UA News". UA’s WVUA-7 Takes Top Honors from Associated Press. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  3. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WVUA
  4. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WUOA
  5. ^ "WVUA Weather Graphics in SD from HD program feed". 
  6. ^ "UA Facilities". Design and Construction Projects Report. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 

External links[edit]