|Huntington–Charleston, West Virginia|
|City||Huntington, West Virginia|
|Branding||WOWK 13 (general)|
13 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Working for You (general)|
Local News That Matters (secondary)
|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|
|Call letters' meaning||W|
(states served by the station's signal)
|Sister station(s)||WVNS, WTRF, WBOY, WCMH, WDVM|
|Former callsigns||WHTN-TV (1955–1975)|
|Former channel number(s)|
|Transmitter power||12.5 kW|
13 kW (CP)
|Height||414 m (1,358 ft)|
412.3 m (1,353 ft) (CP)
|Public license information||Profile|
WOWK-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 13, is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Huntington, West Virginia, United States and serving the Charleston–Huntington television market. The station is owned by Nexstar Media Group. WOWK-TV's studios are located on Quarrier Street near the Charleston Town Center in Charleston, and its transmitter is located 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. 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 was available in Charleston on WCHS-DT3 until February 28, 2017 when it was replaced by TBD. It moved to WOWK in October 2017.)
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|
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 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.
On May 16, 2011, WOWK expanded its morning newscast to a 4:30 a.m. start time. It was 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.
WOWK produces a state-wide evening newscast, West Virginia Tonight (formerly West Virginia Tonight Live), which is simulcast across all of the former West Virginia Media Holdings stations, as well as Nexstar's existing WDVM-TV in Hagerstown, Maryland (in the Washington, D.C. market).
- "Digital TV Market Listing for WOWK". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
- Hohmann, George (2011-08-23). "TV station moving to Charleston building". Charleston Daily mail. p. 2. Retrieved 2011-08-25.
- Consummation Notice, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 1 February 2017.
- "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.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-10-17. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- CDBS Print