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|Channels||Digital: 17 (UHF)|
(WTHR news simulcasts)
(sale to Standard General pending)
First air date
|March 28, 1988|
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
27 (UHF, 1988–2002)
50 (UHF, 2002–2012)
46 (UHF, 2012–2019)
Call sign meaning
|HAAT||268.2 m (880 ft)|
|Translator(s)||WTHR-DT 13.3 VHF Indianapolis|
Public license information
WALV-CD, virtual channel 46 (UHF digital channel 17), is a low-power, Class A MeTV-affiliated television station licensed to Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. Owned by McLean, Virginia–based Tegna Inc., it is a sister station to NBC affiliate WTHR (channel 13). Both stations share studios on North Meridian Street (south of I-65) in downtown Indianapolis, while WALV-CD's transmitter is located near Ditch Road and West 96th Street (near I-465) in Carmel.
Even though WALV-CD operates a digital signal of its own, the low-power broadcasting radius only covers the immediate Indianapolis area. Therefore, in order to reach the entire market, it is simulcast in 16:9 widescreen standard definition on WTHR's third digital subchannel (virtual and VHF channel 13.3) from the same transmitter site.
The station first signed on the air on March 28, 1988 as W27AR, broadcasting on UHF channel 27. Operating first as a repeater of WTHR, and then as an independent station known as "27 Alive." Its programming consisted of live and pre-recorded newscasts, replays of daytime talk shows such as Sally Jessy Raphael, Donahue and Rush Limbaugh's television talk show, as well as an off-hours affiliation with National Empowerment Television. The station changed its call letters to WALV-LP on December 1, 1995 to reflect its name. It has been owned by Dispatch Broadcast Group as a sister station to WTHR since its inception. In 2000, WALV was converted into a local weather service operated by WTHR—branded as the "SkyTrak Weather Network" (in reference to the weather branding that WTHR has used since it resumed using the Eyewitness News format for its newscasts in 1995). The station moved to UHF channel 50 in 2002, at which time, it was granted permission by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to upgrade its license to Class A status as WALV-CA.
WALV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 50, in 2012. The station flash-cut its digital signal into operation on UHF channel 46. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its physical UHF digital channel 46, instead of its former analog-era UHF channel 50; with the switch, Dispatch Broadcast Group received FCC permission to modify the station's call letters to WALV-CD.
As a Cozi TV affiliate
In March 2013, WALV-CD affiliated with the classic television and lifestyle network Cozi TV, dropping most of the ancillary programming from its schedule as a result–although it retained the second hour of Weekend Today on Saturday mornings. The station also began airing a nightly rebroadcast of WTHR's 11:00 p.m. newscast at midnight, a prime time rebroadcast of the syndicated talk show Dr. Phil each weeknight, as well as a limited number of infomercials preempting Cozi TV programming in select timeslots. On February 24, 2014, when WTHR expanded its 13 Eyewitness News Sunrise weekday morning newscast to 4:00 a.m., the station moved NBC's early morning newscast Early Today to WALV-CD in the former timeslot that the program had aired on channel 13; this continued until Early Today moved to 3:30 a.m. in July 2017. Occasionally as time permits, WALV-CD may air other NBC network programs whenever WTHR is unable to in the event of extended breaking news or severe weather coverage.
As a MeTV affiliate
By May 26, 2017, WALV-CD began simulcasting MeTV along with WTHR 13.3, dropping Cozi TV programming. However, Cozi was retained by 13.2. With the 2018 Winter Olympics, WTHR again shifted programming to different times or channels, with Wheel of Fortune moving to WALV.
On June 11, 2019, Dispatch announced it would sell its broadcasting assets, including WALV-CD and WTHR, to Tegna Inc. for $535 million in cash. It would make WALV-CD and WTHR sister stations to ABC affiliate WHAS-TV in adjacent Louisville and would also mark a reentry into the state of Indiana for Tegna; its predecessor company, Gannett, owned WPTA in Fort Wayne from 1979 to 1983. The sale was approved by the FCC on July 29, and was completed on August 8.
SkyTrak Weather Network
Under its format as the "SkyTrak Weather Network," the station aired local and regional weather information for much of the day, along with replays of WTHR's noon and 6:00 p.m. newscasts and five-minute news updates that aired throughout the day; WALV also aired the second hour of the Saturday edition of Today in lieu of WTHR (which that station preempted in order to run an expanded morning newscast), as well as a variety of programs (most of which were aimed at children) that are designed to meet the FCC's educational programming guidelines, including replays of WTHR's long-running quizbowl program Brain Game. After ending its news share agreement with WNDY-TV (channel 23) in 2005 upon that station's purchase by LIN TV Corporation—owners of then CBS affiliate WISH-TV (channel 8, which assumed production responsibilities for WNDY's 10:00 p.m. newscast after the sale was announced)—WTHR began producing First Forecast for WALV, a nightly eight-minute weather segment that aired at 10:00 p.m. seven nights a week.
WALV simulcasts the 4-5 a.m. hour of WTHR's weekday morning and 6–7 a.m. hour weekend morning news.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|46.2||This TV||This TV|
|46.3||Shop LC||Shop LC|
|46.6||Heroes & Icons||H&I (June 1,2022)|
- 27 - (W27AR/WALV-LP)- repeater of WTHR (1988-
- 27 - 27 Alive/National Empowerment Television (-1994)
- 27 - SkyTrak Weather Network (2000-2002)
- 50 - (WALV-CA) SkyTrak Weather Network (2002-2013)
- 50 - COZI TV (2013-2017)
- 50 - MeTV (2017-)
- Miller, Mark K. (February 22, 2022). "Tegna Selling To Standard General For $5.4 Billion". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved February 22, 2022.
- "Digital TV Market Listing for WALV". www.rabbitears.info. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- Channel 27 has polish, rough edges, Indianapolis Star, January 6, 1994. Retrieved July 28, 2019 from newspapers.com.
- Channel 13 to launch weather network, Indianapolis Business Journal, October 25, 1999. Retrieved June 19, 2014 from HighBeam Research.
- Knox, Merrill (January 31, 2014). "WTHR Expands Morning Newscast - TVSpy". TV Spy. Media Bistro. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- WTHR Expands Morning Newscast, TVSpy, January 31, 2014.
- WTHR Adds 30 Min. To Early News, To Start At 4, TVNewsCheck, February 3, 2014.
- "WTHR programming changes announced for 2016 Olympics". 13 WTHR Indianapolis. August 3, 2016. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- "How to find MeTV on cable". 13 WTHR Indianapolis. May 26, 2017. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- "Programming changes due to NBC Winter Olympics coverage". 13 WTHR Indianapolis. February 18, 2018. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- Miller, Mark K. (June 11, 2019). "Tegna Buying Dispatch's WTHR, WBNS For $535M". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
- "Notice of Consent to Transfer" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. July 29, 2019. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
- "TEGNA Completes Acquisition of Dispatch Broadcast Group's Leading, Top Ranked Stations in Indianapolis, IN and Columbus, OH". Tegna Inc. August 8, 2019. Retrieved August 8, 2019.