|Bluefield - Beckley -
Oak Hill, West Virginia
|City of license||Bluefield, West Virginia|
WVVA News (newscasts)
Two Virginias' CW (on DT2)
|Slogan||Here For You!
TV to Talk About
|Channels||Digital: 46 (UHF)
Virtual: 6 (PSIP)
|Translators||43 (UHF) Beckley, WV
(WVVA Television, Inc.)
|First air date||July 31, 1955|
|Call letters' meaning||USPS abbreviations for West Virginia and VirginiA|
|Former callsigns||WHIS-TV (1955-1979)|
|Former channel number(s)||6 (VHF analog, 1955-2009)|
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WVVA, channel 6, is an NBC-affiliated television station in Bluefield, West Virginia, USA, owned by the Quincy Newspapers media chain, which is the company's only television asset outside of the Midwest states. The station's studios are located on U.S. Route 460 in Bluefield, and its transmitter is based at East River Mountain, near the West Virginia-Virginia border.
The station went on the air on July 31, 1955, under the special commitment of a VHF allotment made to Bluefield following the release of the Federal Communications Commission's Sixth Report and Order in 1952. Because of its proposed antenna height and location on East River Mountain, the channel 6 allocation in Bluefield was short-spaced to WATE-TV (also on channel 6) in Knoxville, Tennessee and side-spaced to WCYB-TV (on adjacent channel 5) in Bristol, Virginia. As a result, the proposed station on the channel 6 frequency would therefore be limited to one-half of the visual maximum effective radiated power, or 50,000 watts effective radiated power.
The station's original call letters were WHIS-TV, named for West Virginia politician Hugh Ike Shott. Shott died in 1953, two years before the station made it to air, and his heirs were channel 6's original owners. The Shotts constructed a privately owned microwave relay system to receive NBC programming from WSLS-TV in Roanoke, Virginia, the closest and most accessible city receiving network signals. When it was completed in September WHIS-TV began carrying NBC programs, the first being The Pinky Lee Show. The station's operations were originally housed in the Bluefield Municipal Building; on January 1, 1967, the WHIS stations moved into new facilities on Big Laurel Highway (U.S. Routes 19 and 460), known as "Broadcast Center," and channel 6 began full color operations.
The Shott family controlled not only WHIS-TV but also the city's only radio stations—WHIS-AM-FM—and the city's only daily newspaper, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Although their media holdings in Bluefield were considered a monopoly by some (as highlighted in a July 1974 Wall Street Journal article), only the newspaper was a vehicle for their conservative political views. But in 1975, the FCC decreed that a single company could not own all of the media outlets in one area, and required several small-market broadcast-print combinations to be broken up. The ruling forced the Shott family to sell their Bluefield television station. In 1979, after four years of appeals, the Shotts sold WHIS-TV to Quincy, Illinois-based Quincy Newspapers. After the sale was completed, the new owners changed the station's call letters to WVVA, which stands for the states which channel 6 serves, West Virginia and Virginia.
On February 17, 2009, WVVA switched to "Digital Nightlight" service on its analog signal showing information on the transition to exclusive digital television and its nightly 6 o'clock newscast. Post-transition digital operations continued on channel 46, which uses PSIP to display its virtual channel as 6. The station's analog service was terminated altogether in late-April 2009.
WVVA currently has a construction permit for a digital fill-in translator on channel 43 from a transmitter near Layland. This will have the same call sign as the main signal and primarily serve the northern portion of the market.
Out-of-market cable carriage
In the 1970s and 1980s, WVVA was carried as far south into Boone, North Carolina and as far east as Hillsville, Virginia.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|6.1||1080i||16:9||WVVA-DT||Main WVVA programming / NBC|
|6.2||720p||WVVA-CW||Two Virginias' CW|
WVVA remains one of the strongest NBC affiliates in the country and continually averages high Nielsen rating shares in the mountainous nine county market. WVVA News began broadcasting in High Definition from a totally renovated studio with new sets as well as a new control room in June, 2012. In addition to its main studios, WVVA operates a Beckley Bureau (on Main Street along North Kanawha Street/WV 210) and a "virtual" Greenbrier Valley Bureau (covering Summers, Monroe, and Greenbrier Counties in West Virginia as well as Giles County, Virginia).
- Elliott, Karen J. "Media monopoly." The Wall Street Journal, July 23, 1974.
- "FCC at last defines policy on newspaper-broadcast crossownership." Broadcasting, February 3, 1975, pp. 23-24.  "Under the new rule, newspaper-television acquisitions will be barred if the television station puts a Grade A signal over the community in which the newspaper is published. And the rule requires divestiture by Jan. 1, 1980, if the only daily newspaper and only television station placing a city-grade signal over the community are commonly owned. The stations affected are WHMA-TV Anniston, Ala.; WALB-TV Albany, Ga.; KGLO-TV Mason City, Iowa; WTOK-TV Meridian, Miss.; WWNY-TV Watertown, N.Y.; KTAL-TV Texarkana, Tex.; and WHIS-TV Bluefield, W. Va."
- "Changing hands." Broadcasting, April 23, 1979, pg. 43. 
- WVVA website
- WHIS-TV/WVVA history
- WVVA-DT2 "Two Virginias' CW"
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WVVA