WFFP-TV

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WFFP-TV
Danville / Roanoke / Lynchburg, Virginia
United States
City Danville, Virginia
Branding WFFP 24
Slogan Family-Friendly Programming
Channels Digital: 24 (UHF)
Virtual: 24 (PSIP)
Subchannels 24.1 Cozi TV
24.2 H&I
24.3 HopeNow.TV
Affiliations Cozi TV (2015–present)
Owner Morning Star Broadcasting LLC
First air date August 18, 1994; 22 years ago (1994-08-18)
Call letters' meaning Family-Friendly Programing
Sister station(s) WLHG-CD
Former callsigns WDRG (1994–1997)
WDRL-TV (1997–2011)
WEFC-TV (2011–2014)
WTLU (2014–2015)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
24 (UHF, 1994–2008)
Digital:
41 (UHF, 2001–2008)
Former affiliations Independent (1994–1995, 2006–2013, 2014–2015)
The WB (1995–1997)
UPN (1997–2006)
Dark (2013–2014)
Transmitter power 63 kW
Height 378 m (1,240 ft)
Facility ID 15507
Transmitter coordinates 37°0′37.5″N 79°34′16.2″W / 37.010417°N 79.571167°W / 37.010417; -79.571167
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.wffp24.com

WFFP-TV is an independent television station licensed to Danville, Virginia and serving the Roanoke/Lynchburg, Virginia market.

WFFP-TV broadcasts its digital signal on channel 24 from a tower on Smith Mountain, giving predicted city grade coverage of Lynchburg and Roanoke, the New River Valley and all of the south side of Virginia. Digital coverage is predicted to extend into the north-central North Carolina counties of Caswell, Rockingham, Person, and Stokes. The station moved its digital signal from channel 41 in December 2008.

From 1994 until 2008, WDRL-TV's analog broadcast was originated from a transmitter near Pelham, North Carolina, within 2 miles of the border with Virginia. Coverage in Danville was limited due to the location of its tower.

History[edit]

The channel 24 dial position was once occupied by WBTM-TV, which operated in the mid-to-late 1950s. The station only lasted a few years before attempting to become a hybrid commercial and educational station. This request to the FCC was denied, and the station went off the air not long after.

Signed on the air August 18, 1994 as WDRG, (for Danville-Roanoke-Greensboro, and gained the WB affiliation for Roanoke DMA in November 1994.

When the FCC switched from using Arbitron's ADI to Nielsen's DMA system of determining which remained to the market of Roanoke-Lynchburg (market #67). In 1997, WDRG changed its call letters to WDRL-TV (for Danville-Roanoke-Lynchburg) and became the UPN affiliate for southwestern Virginia. Shortly after this change, WDRL put a translator on the air in Roanoke, W54BT on channel 54, to bring WDRL's signal and UPN programming into Roanoke, Lynchburg, and the New River Valley.

On March 31, 2005, the FCC ordered the Roanoke translator off the air to make way for cellular phones. The transmitter was soon returned to broadcast on channel 24 with the same amount of power, but with a more directional antenna to protect WDRL's primary analog transmitter in Pelham.

On May 1, 2006, it was announced that WDRL would become an independent station as a result of UPN's pending merger with The CW.

On March 11, 2007, Jerry Falwell's Liberty University agreed to purchase WDRL; the station would initially continue to operate out its current studios with Eleazer serving as general manager, but would eventually move to Lynchburg, where it would be based along with WTLU-CA. In May 2008, Liberty University and MNE Broadcasting dissolved the agreement, for unknown reasons.

It was announced on October 30, 2008 that Living Faith Television, whose flagship station is WLFG, would buy WDRL, pending FCC approval, for $5.25 million.[1] On August 7, 2009 Living Faith Television failed to close due to the expiration date of it contract between the parties.[2]

On July 28, 2010, a United States district court placed the station into the receivership of Charter Communications. Millard S. Younts, representing Charter, shut down the station's over-the-air transmitter on Smith Mountain. The transmitter closedown was in response to a six-year copyright and financial dispute with Charter, which serves portions of the Roanoke/Lynchburg market. The station's owner is appealing the decision. The station is still broadcasting on selected cable systems in the market, such as in Wytheville, New River Valley and areas north of Lynchburg, but is currently no longer available on Cox or Comcast in the core cities of Roanoke and Lynchburg.[3]

On December 1, 2011 WDRL-TV changed its call letters to WEFC-TV. The WEFC call letters were previously used by channel 38 in Roanoke (now WPXR-TV) from 1986 until 1998. In March 2012, the bankruptcy court approved the sale of WEFC to Jones Broadcasting, owner of WAZT-CA in Woodstock, Virginia and its repeaters.[4] Jones intended to return the station to the air in August 2012; WEFC was to serve as the company's flagship station, as all of its properties were to be operated from facilities at the Crossroads Mall in Roanoke.[5] Jones had planned to replace the station's low-power transmitter (which is being operated through special temporary authority) with a transmitter acquired from the Maine Public Broadcasting Network;[6] however, its purchase of the station was called off in April 2013,[7] forcing WEFC to again suspend operations.[6] The receiver continued to find a buyer for the station;[6] in June 2013, a deal was reached to sell WEFC to Morning Star Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Liberty University (marking its second attempt to purchase the station).[8] The new owners changed the station's call letters to WTLU on April 11, 2014.[9][10]

The call sign was changed to the current WFFP-TV on March 6, 2015.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[11]
24.1 1080i 16:9 Cozi TV Cozi TV
24.2 480i 4:3 H&I Heroes & Icons
24.3 1080i 16:9 WLHG WLHG-CD programming / HopeNow.tv

WDRL-DT began broadcasting digital in 2001 at its Pelham site, at low power. In 2004, the station won permission to move the digital transmitter to Smith Mountain. This location was chosen as it is the highest point east of Poor Mountain, where most of Roanoke's other television stations transmit from. WDRL-DT's Smith Mountain transmitter went on the air in May 2006.[12]

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WFFP-TV (as WDRL-TV) discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 24, in December 2008. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 41 to channel 24.[13]

References[edit]

External links[edit]