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ABC Virginia logo 2021.jpg
MeTV - color.png
BrandingABC Virginia (general)
CBS 19 News (newscasts)
MeTV Charlottesville (27.2)
  • 16.1: ABC
  • 19.2: CBS19 Weather Authority
  • 27.2: MeTV
First air date
June 12, 1979 (43 years ago) (1979-06-12)
(as translator of WHSV-TV)
April 9, 2004 (2004-04-09)
(as separate station)
Former call signs
W64AO (1979–2004)
WVAW-LP (2004–2009)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 64 (UHF, 1979–2004)
  • 16 (UHF, 2004–2009)
Call sign meaning
VA (Virginia postal abbreviation)
Technical information
Facility ID4687
ERP15 kW
HAAT320 m (1,050 ft)
Transmitter coordinates37°59′3″N 78°28′52″W / 37.98417°N 78.48111°W / 37.98417; -78.48111

WVAW-LD (channel 16) is a low-power television station in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, affiliated with ABC. It is owned by Lockwood Broadcast Group alongside dual CBS/Fox affiliate WCAV (channel 19). Both stations share studios on Rio East Court in Charlottesville, while WVAW-LD's transmitter is located on Carters Mountain south of the city.

Due to WVAW-LD's low-power status, its broadcast radius only covers the immediate Charlottesville area. Therefore, it must rely on cable and satellite to reach the entire market.


Former logo until 2021.

What is now WVAW-LD originally debuted on June 12, 1979 on analog UHF channel 64 with the call sign W64AO. The station was a low-powered translator of WHSV-TV, which was the area's default ABC affiliate. At the time, WHSV-TV was owned by Worrell Newspapers along with the Charlottesville Daily Progress.

On April 9, 2004, W64AO moved to UHF channel 16, changed call letters to WVAW-LP, upgraded power, and separated from WHSV-TV. WVAW-LP was the market's third local station after WVIR-TV (channel 29) and WCAV.

In early 2005, after the launch of WCAV and WVAW, Gray Television launched a third station in the area, Fox affiliate WAHU-CA. WVAW was temporarily taken off-the-air by a fire on its transmitter tower at the top of Carters Mountain on November 9, 2006. The signal was restored on November 13. On December 28, WVAW moved to Comcast channel 3.

The new set of stations replaced out-of-market stations from Richmond and Washington, D.C. on local cable. On Comcast's system in Charlottesville, the only remaining out-of-market channel on the basic tier is WTTG, although WRIC-TV, WWBT and WTVR-TV remain on the digital tier.

On October 27, 2009, WVAW's digital transmitter had a glitch over-the-air. The signal was put on WAHU-CD2 for a short time and the problem was fixed a day later.

Gray announced the sale of WVAW-LD and WCAV to Lockwood Broadcast Group on March 4, 2019. The sale is concurrent with Gray's purchase of rival WVIR-TV from Waterman Broadcasting. WAHU-CD was not included in the sale and would be retained by Gray as a sister station to WVIR-TV.[1][2][3] The transaction was completed on October 1.[4]


Syndicated programming[edit]

Syndicated programming on the station includes Inside Edition and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.


WVAW presently broadcasts 17½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 3½ hours each weekday and 30 minutes each on Saturdays and Sundays).

WVAW and its sister stations employ the largest television news team dedicated exclusively to the Charlottesville market. While WVIR dedicates some staff to adjacent areas, WVAW focuses its coverage solely on the counties that comprise the Charlottesville viewing area. As the primary station in the CBS19 News operation, WCAV airs the most newscasts. WVAW simulcasts the 2½ hours of Good Morning Charlottesville on weekday mornings from 4:30–7:00am, as well as simulcasting CBS19 News at 6 and CBS19 News at 11.

Technical information[edit]


The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect Short name Programming[5]
16.1 720p 16:9 ABC16 Main WVAW-LD programming / ABC
19.2 480i 19NOW CBS 19 Weather Authority
27.2 Me-TV MeTV

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WVAW shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 16, on February 16, 2009, and "flash-cut" its digital signal into operation UHF channel 16.[6] It also changed its calls to the current WVAW-LD with "LD" standing for low-power digital.


  1. ^ Aycock, Jason (March 4, 2019). "Gray Television changing stations in Virginia". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  2. ^ "Gray Television to acquire NBC 29 from Waterman Broadcasting". The Daily Progress. March 4, 2019.
  3. ^ "Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. March 4, 2019. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  4. ^ "Consummation Notice", CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, 2 October 2019, Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  5. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WVAW
  6. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.

External links[edit]