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WHKY TV Logo.jpg
Hickory/Charlotte, North Carolina
United States
CityHickory, North Carolina
ChannelsDigital: 14 (UHF)
Virtual: 14
BrandingWHKY-TV 14 (general)
WHKY News (newscasts)
OwnerLong Communications, LLC
First air date
February 14, 1968 (53 years ago) (1968-02-14)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 14 (UHF, 1968–2009)
  • Digital:
  • 40 (UHF, until 2019)
Call sign meaning
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID65919
42 kW (STA)
1000 kW (CP)
12 kW (STA)
260 kW (CP)
188.3 m (618 ft) (STA)
256 m (840 ft) (CP)
384.4 m (1,261 ft) (STA)
161 m (528 ft) (CP)
Transmitter coordinatesDTS1:
35°43′57″N 81°19′52″W / 35.73250°N 81.33111°W / 35.73250; -81.33111 (STA)
35°39′28.4″N 81°24′23.3″W / 35.657889°N 81.406472°W / 35.657889; -81.406472 (CP)
35°17′15″N 80°41′44″W / 35.28750°N 80.69556°W / 35.28750; -80.69556
Public license information

WHKY-TV, virtual and UHF digital channel 14, is an independent television station licensed to Hickory, North Carolina, United States and serving the northwestern corner of the Charlotte media market, a region locally referred to as "The Unifour". Owned by Long Communications, LLC, it is sister to radio station WHKY (1290 AM and translator 102.3 FM). The two stations share studios on Main Avenue SE in Hickory. WHKY-TV's 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).

On cable, the station is available on Charter Spectrum channel 7 in the Hickory area and channel 18 in the Charlotte area in both standard and high definition (CW affiliate WCCB, which broadcasts over the air on virtual channel 18, is carried by Spectrum on cable channel 5 in Hickory and channel 11 in Charlotte). On the South Carolina side of the market, it is seen on Comporium channels 124 (SD) and 1124 (HD).[1] It is not presently carried by AT&T U-verse in the Charlotte market. Google Fiber carried the station until July 1, 2017. WHKY-TV is also available on cable in Mountain City, Tennessee, which is part of the Tri-Cities television market.

There is no separate website for WHKY-TV; instead, it is integrated with that of the co-owned radio station.


The station first signed on the air on February 14, 1968; WHKY-TV is 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. Also during the 1980s, the station had a secondary affiliation with NBC, carrying some programs that were pre-empted by the Charlotte market's primary NBC affiliate, WPCQ-TV.[2] 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).

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[3]
14.1 720p 16:9 WHKYDT Main WHKY-TV programming
14.2 480i This This TV
14.3 Comet Comet
14.4 TBD. TBD
14.5 Defy Defy TV
14.6 True TrueReal
14.7 SonLife SBN

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]

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.[4][5] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 14.


WHKY-TV's current schedule consists primarily of locally-produced religious and entertainment shows, as well as paid programming, in addition to weekday local newscasts, airing at 5:30 and 10:00 p.m. The station also airs its only acquired syndicated show, MGM Television's Personal Injury Court.[6]


  1. ^ https://d3n9vq79a11zds.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Local_Channel_Lineups_0521.pdf
  2. ^ The Charlotte Observer TV Week, Dec. 18, 1983.
  3. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WHKY
  4. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  5. ^ Hundreds of television stations cut analog signals, PETER SVENSSON, Associated Press, February 17, 2009
  6. ^ "WHKY TV Charlotte Main Channel Program Schedule June 2021" (PDF). WHKY.com. Retrieved 8 June 2021.

External links[edit]