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WOWK-TV logo
HuntingtonCharleston, West Virginia
United States
City Huntington, West Virginia
Branding WOWK 13 (general)
13 News (newscasts)
Slogan Working for You
Channels Digital: 13 (VHF)
(to move to 10 (VHF))
Virtual: 13 (PSIP)
Owner Nexstar Media Group
(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
First air date October 2, 1955 (62 years ago) (1955-10-02)
Call letters' meaning W Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky
(states served by the station's signal)
Former callsigns WHTN-TV (1955–1975)
Former channel number(s)
Former affiliations
  • ABC (1955–1958, 1962–1986)
  • CBS (1958–1962)
Transmitter power 12.5 kW
13 kW (CP)
Height 414 m (1,358 ft)
412.3 m (1,353 ft) (CP)
Class DT
Facility ID 23342
Transmitter coordinates 38°30′21.1″N 82°12′32.3″W / 38.505861°N 82.208972°W / 38.505861; -82.208972
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile

WOWK-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 13, is a television station licensed to Huntington, West Virginia, United States. Owned by Nexstar Media Group, it serves as 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,[2][3] and its transmitter is based in Milton, West Virginia.


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. The following March, it changed its call letters to the current WOWK-TV to reflect the three states it serves (Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky). On June 1, 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 assumed control of the stations through a time brokerage agreement in December 2015, with the sale of the license assets completed on January 31, 2017.[4] Nexstar CEO Perry A. Sook was a former employee of WOWK.[5] This made WOWK a sister station to former Gateway-owned Altoona, Pennsylvania station WTAJ-TV which Nexstar has owned since 2006.

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. (At the time, Grit was available in Charleston on WCHS-DT3.)[6]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1]
13.1 1080i 16:9 WOWK-CBS Main WOWK-TV programming / CBS
13.2 ESCAPE Escape
13.3 480i 4:3 LAFF Laff
13.4 BOUNCE Bounce TV

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

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.[7][8] On January 25, 2009, an ice storm damaged the primary analog VHF channel 13 transmitter. Rather than repair it for two more months of service, the station shut down its analog transmission early and brought its digital channel 13 transmitter on-line.

Local HD[edit]

On May 29, 2011, WTAP in the Parkersburg market launched the first high definition newscast in the state. On June 26, 2011, WTAP sister-station WSAZ launched the first HD broadcast in the Huntington–Charleston market. WOWK moved into their new facilities, and on May 5, 2012, WOWK launched high definition newscasts. Sister station WTRF-TV on December 29, 2011, launched the first true HD newscast in the WheelingSteubenville market. WTRF was the first station in the West Virginia Media Holdings Group to have a local HD newscast.

News operation[edit]

WOWK-TV airs the market's only 7 p.m. newscast. The station also airs a 5 p.m. newscast. It provides weather forecasts for WVNS-TV in the BeckleyBluefield market as well as WBOY-TV in Clarksburg and WTRF-TV in Wheeling.

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 produces a half-hour evening newscast that airs at 5:30 p.m. The newscast, titled West Virginia Tonight (formerly West Virginia Tonight Live), is broadcast live from the Charleston studios in high definition on all four stations, and new Nexstar sister station WDVM-TV in Hagerstown, Maryland (in the Washington, D.C. market).


  1. ^ a b c "Digital TV Market Listing for WOWK". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved January 26, 2017. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Hohmann, George (2011-08-23). "TV station moving to Charleston building". Charleston Daily mail. p. 2. Retrieved 2011-08-25. 
  4. ^ Consummation Notice, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Nexstar Buys 4 W.Va. TVs For $130M". TVNewsCheck. November 17, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Bounce TV, Grit, Escape, Laff Multicast Deal Covers 81 Stations, 54 Markets". Broadcasting & Cable. June 15, 2016. Retrieved June 21, 2016. 
  7. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  8. ^ CDBS Print

External links[edit]