|Huntington - Charleston, West Virginia
|City||Huntington, West Virginia|
|Branding||WOWK 13 (general)
13 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Working for you|
|Channels||Digital: 13 (VHF/PSIP)|
Weather Radar → Bounce TV (DT2; TBD)
Escape (DT3; TBD)
Laff (DT4; TBD)
|Owner||West Virginia Media Holdings|
|Operator||Nexstar Broadcasting Group
(Full acquisition of station pending)
|First air date||October 2, 1955|
|Call letters' meaning||Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky
(states served by the station's signal)
|Former callsigns||WHTN-TV (1955–1975)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
47 (until 2009)
|Former affiliations||ABC (1955–1958 & 1962–1986)
|Transmitter power||12.5 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WOWK-TV, channel 13, is a television station licensed to Huntington, West Virginia, USA. Owned by West Virginia Media Holdings and operated by future owner Nexstar Broadcasting Group, WOWK is the CBS affiliate for the Huntington-Charleston television market, which also covers portions of southeastern Ohio and northeastern Kentucky. The station's studios are located on Quarrier Street near the Charleston Town Center in Charleston, and its transmitter is based in Milton, West Virginia.
WOWK-TV is one of four West Virginia television stations owned by West Virginia Media Holdings; the other outlets are fellow CBS affiliates WVNS-TV in Lewisburg and WTRF-TV in Wheeling; and NBC-affiliated WBOY-TV in Clarksburg.
The station went on-air October 2, 1955 as WHTN-TV (for HunTingtoN) an ABC affiliate owned by the Greater Huntington Theater Corporation. After only a year, the station was bought by Cowles Communications (unrelated to the Spokane, Washington-based Cowles Publishing Company). WHTN swapped affiliations with WCHS-TV and became a CBS station for the first time in 1958. In 1960, Cowles sold Channel 13 to Reeves Telecom. It went back to ABC in 1962 and stayed with that network for 24 years. Reeves Telecom sold the station to Gateway Communications in 1974. A year later, it changed its call letters to the current WOWK-TV to reflect the three states it serves (Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky). In 1986, it changed affiliations again returning to CBS.
The station was headquartered at the Radio Center Building in Huntington from its inception until 1984 when WOWK moved to a location on Fifth Avenue. Gateway merged with SJL Broadcasting in 2000. SJL sold it to West Virginia Media Holdings in 2002. After the sale to West Virginia Media, it sold its Huntington building to regional radio conglomerate Kindred Communications and moved its studio and offices to Charleston. WOWK does retain a newsroom in their former building (now known as the Kindred Capital Building) in Huntington and its transmitter is still located at the Milton location, closer to Huntington.
On November 17, 2015, Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced that it would purchase the West Virginia Media Holdings stations, including WOWK-TV, for $130 million. Under the terms of the deal, Nexstar will assume control of the stations through a time brokerage agreement in December 2015, with the sale of the license assets expected to be completed in late 2016. Nexstar CEO Perry A. Sook was a former employee of WOWK.
On June 15, 2016, Nexstar announced that it has entered into an affiliation agreement with Katz Broadcasting for the Escape, Laff, Grit, and Bounce TV networks (the last one of which is owned by Bounce Media LLC, whose COO Jonathan Katz is president/CEO of Katz Broadcasting), bringing one or more of the four networks to 81 stations owned and/or operated by Nexstar, including WOWK-TV. (Grit is already available in Charleston on WCHS-DT3.)
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|13.1||1080i||16:9||WOWK-CBS||Main WOWK-TV programming / CBS|
|13.2||WOWKDT2||Weather Radar → Bounce TV (Launch date TBD)|
|13.3||480i||4:3||Escape (Launch date TBD)|
|13.4||Laff (Launch date TBD)|
WOWK-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 13, in early 2009. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 47 to VHF channel 13. On January 25, 2009, an ice storm destroyed the temporary UHF channel 47 digital transmitter. Rather than repair it for two more months of service, the station shut down its analog transmission early and brought its digital 13 transmitter on-line.
On May 29, 2011, WTAP in the Parkersburg market launched the first HD newscast in the state. On June 26, 2011, WTAP sister-station WSAZ launched the first HD broadcast in the Huntington-Charleston market. WOWK has moved into their new facilities, and on Saturday May 5, 2012 WOWK launched high definition newscasts. Sister station WTRF on December 29, 2011 at 12 PM Launched the first true High Definition newscast in the Wheeling/Steubenville market. WTRF was the first station in the West Virginia Media Holdings Group to have a local High Definition newscast.
On May 16, 2011, WOWK expanded its morning newscast to a 4:30 A.M. start time. It is the first station in the market, as well as in the state, to do so. The morning news expansion is a growing trend across the United States.
Station operator Nexstar Broadcasting produces a half-hour evening newscast that airs at 5:30pm. The newscast, titled West Virginia Tonight, formerly (West Virginia Tonight Live) is broadcast live from the Charleston studios in high definition on all 4 stations, and new Nexstar sister station WHAG-TV.
- Hohmann, George (2011-08-23). "TV station moving to Charleston building". Charleston Daily mail. p. 2. Retrieved 2011-08-25.
- "Nexstar Buys 4 W.Va. TVs For $130M". TVNewsCheck. November 17, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
- "Bounce TV, Grit, Escape, Laff Multicast Deal Covers 81 Stations, 54 Markets". Broadcasting & Cable. June 15, 2016. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WOWK
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- CDBS Print