From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from WHKY-TV)

CityHickory, North Carolina
OwnerFamily Worship Center Church, Inc.[1]
First air date
February 14, 1968 (56 years ago) (1968-02-14)
Former call signs
WHKY-TV (1968–2023)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog: 14 (UHF, 1968–2009)
  • Digital: 40 (UHF, until 2019)
Independent (1968–2023)
Call sign meaning
Jimmy Swaggart
Technical information[2]
Licensing authority
Facility ID65919
  • DTS1: 1,000 kW
  • DTS2: 260 kW
  • DTS1: 256 m (840 ft)
  • DTS2: 161 m (528 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
Public license information

WWJS (channel 14) is a religious television station licensed to Hickory, North Carolina, United States, owned and operated by the Sonlife Broadcasting Network. It serves the northwestern corner of the Charlotte media market, a region locally referred to as "The Unifour". WWJS' primary transmitter is located on Bakers Mountain in southwestern Catawba County, with a secondary transmitter in the unincorporated area of Newell in northeastern Mecklenburg County (just northeast of the Charlotte city limits).


The station first signed on the air on February 14, 1968, as WHKY-TV, a sister station to WHKY radio (1290 AM), owned by Long Communications of Hickory. During the 1980s, WHKY-TV aired Major League Baseball games from the Cincinnati Reds; it also had a secondary affiliation with NBC, carrying some programs that were preempted by the Charlotte market's primary NBC affiliate, WPCQ-TV (channel 36, now WCNC-TV).[3]

For most of its first quarter-century on the air, WHKY-TV primarily targeted the Unifour. In 2002, WHKY-TV installed two new antennas: one for its digital signal and one which replaced its older analog antenna. The latter antenna's installation helped to increase WHKY-TV's analog signal coverage into the far northern corner of Mecklenburg County. As a result, the station was granted a must-carry claim, allowing it to be added to Time Warner Cable's systems in the Charlotte area; the station also began identifying as "Hickory–Charlotte" in its on-air legal identifications.

In 2004, WHKY-TV boosted its analog transmitter's power to 2 million watts. In June 2006, the station began to be carried on Dish Network and DirecTV's Charlotte area local station lineups, expanding its reach to cover two million people in North and South Carolina. The station's digital transmitter was relocated to Bakers Mountain in the fall of 2011, with its effective radiated power increasing to 950,000 watts (equivalent to 4.75 million watts in analog); the station also launched a fill-in translator, whose transmitter is located just north of Charlotte (near the Charlotte Motor Speedway).

On February 15, 2023, it was announced that WHKY-TV would be sold to Baton Rouge, Louisiana–based Family Worship Center Church, led by pastor Jimmy Swaggart, for $12 million.[1][4] The sale was completed on April 25;[5] the station changed its call sign to WWJS on June 7, 2023.[6] Long Communications retained WHKY radio and its FM translator, as well as the WHKY call sign.

The deal resulted in main-channel coverage of Swaggart's Sonlife Broadcasting Network throughout the Charlotte market, which is a hub of major televangelism organizations, including Swaggart's longtime rivals, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Jim Bakker's PTL, now INSP; it was previously carried as a subchannel of both WJZY and WMYT-TV before their 2020 sale to Nexstar Media Group.


Prior to the sale to Sonlife, WHKY-TV's schedule consisted primarily of locally-produced religious and entertainment shows, as well as paid programming. In addition, a weekday local newscast aired twice a day at 5:30 and 10 p.m. and was known for its rundown of crime news and wanted fugitive notices within Hickory and Catawba County. The station featured only one syndicated show, MGM Television's Personal Injury Court.[7]

Technical information[edit]


The station's signal is multiplexed:

Subchannels of WWJS[8]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
14.1 720p 16:9 WWJSTV Sonlife
14.2 480i This This TV
14.3 Comet Comet
14.4 SCRIPPS Scripps News
14.5 Defy Defy TV
14.6 RevFt Infomercials
14.7 TBD. TBD

Previously, the second and fourth digital subchannels have been affiliated with Jewelry Television, which is shown at various times on the main channel. The network was used as a placeholder until the additions of RTV and My Family TV on those respective subchannels. On September 28, 2012, My Family TV was replaced with PBJ. In November 2012, WHKY-TV began transmitting its main channel in 720p high definition, and in 2014 the main channel began airing Jewelry Television in HD for portions of the day. On March 1, 2014, PBJ was replaced on digital subchannel 14.4 by Heartland (which originated as the broadcast incarnation of The Nashville Network in 2012). On July 1, 2014, This TV was added to the second subchannel, making WHKY the fourth station in the Charlotte market to carry it. On that same date, Retro TV was moved to the third subchannel, replacing Tuff TV. On January 5, 2021, SonLife began broadcast on subchannel 14.7, while Charge! was replaced by TBD. On July 1, 2021, Jewelry Television and Shop LC on 14.5 and 14.6 respectively were replaced with Defy TV and TrueReal.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WWJS (as WHKY-TV) shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 14, on February 14, 2009, three days before the original date on which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 40,[9][10] using virtual channel 14.


  1. ^ a b "WHKY TV Station to be Sold to Louisiana Ministry". WHKY.com. February 15, 2023. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  2. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WWJS". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  3. ^ The Charlotte Observer TV Week, December 18, 1983.
  4. ^ "Assignments". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. February 15, 2023. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  5. ^ "Notification of Consummation". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. April 25, 2023. Retrieved April 25, 2023.
  6. ^ "Form 380 - Transfer/Assignment Request". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. April 25, 2023. Retrieved April 25, 2023.
  7. ^ "WHKY TV Charlotte Main Channel Program Schedule June 2022" (PDF). WHKY.com. Retrieved May 4, 2022.
  8. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WWJS
  9. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  10. ^ Svensson, Peter (February 17, 2009). "Hundreds of television stations cut analog signals". Google News. Associated Press.