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Hickory/Charlotte, North Carolina
United States
City Hickory, North Carolina
Branding WHKY-TV 14 (general)
WHKY News (newscasts)
Channels Digital: 40 (UHF)
Virtual: 14 (PSIP)
Owner Long Communications, LLC
First air date February 14, 1968; 48 years ago (1968-02-14)
Call letters' meaning HicKorY
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 14 (UHF, 1968–2009)
Transmitter power 950 kW
Height 182 m
Facility ID 65919
Transmitter coordinates 35°43′59″N 81°19′51″W / 35.73306°N 81.33083°W / 35.73306; -81.33083Coordinates: 35°43′59″N 81°19′51″W / 35.73306°N 81.33083°W / 35.73306; -81.33083
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website www.whky.com

WHKY-TV, virtual channel 14 (UHF digital channel 40), is an independent television station located in Hickory, North Carolina, United States serving the northwestern corner of the Charlotte media market, a region locally referred to as "The Unifour"). The station is owned by Long Communications, LLC, and is sister to radio station WHKY (1290 AM). WHKY maintains studio facilities located on Main Avenue SE in Hickory, and its transmitter is located on Baker Mountain in southwestern Catawba County.

On cable, the station is available on Charter Communications cable channel 7 in the Hickory area, and Time Warner Cable channel 18 in the Charlotte area (CW affiliate WCCB, which broadcasts on virtual channel 18, is carried by Time Warner Cable on cable channel 11). WHKY is also carried on cable in Mountain City, Tennessee, which is part of the Tri-Cities television market.


The station first signed on the air on February 14, 1968; WHKY holds the distinction of being the oldest independent station in the state of North Carolina. (Charlotte's WCTU-TV channel 36, now NBC affiliate WCNC-TV, was the first independent station in North Carolina, signing on eight months before WHKY-TV.) During the 1980s, WHKY-TV aired Major League Baseball games from the Cincinnati Reds. 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 tiers, expanding the station’s reach to cover two million people in North and South Carolina. The station's digital transmitter was relocated to Baker Mountain in the fall of 2011, with its effective radiated power increasing to 950,000 (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).

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1]
14.1 720p 16:9 WHKYDT Main WHKY-TV programming
14.2 480i WHKYDT2 This TV
14.3 WHKYDT3 Comet TV
14.4 WHKYDT4 Heartland
14.5 WHKYDT5 Infomercials

An audio simulcast of WHKY (AM) can be heard over the station's main channel through the Second Audio Program function on most television sets. 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, making WHKY-TV the first full power station to carry the multicast network (PBJ is mainly carried on low-power television stations). 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.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WHKY-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 14, on February 14, 2009, three days before the original date in 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.[2][3] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 14.


The station's current schedule consists primarily of locally-produced religious and entertainment shows; and paid programming; as well as weekday local newscasts, airing at 5:30 and 10:00 p.m.


External links[edit]