|Branding||ABC 16 (general)|
CBS 19 News (newscasts)
Where Charlottesville News Comes First
|Channels||Digital: 16 (UHF)|
Virtual: 16 (PSIP)
(sale to Lockwood Broadcast Group pending)
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||June 12, 1979|
(as translator of WHSV-TV)
April 9, 2004
(as separate station)
|Call letters' meaning||VA (Virginia postal abbreviation)|
|Sister station(s)||WCAV, WAHU-CD, WHSV-TV, WSVF-CD|
|Former callsigns||W64AO (1979–2004)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
64 (UHF, 1979–2004)
16 (UHF, 2004–2009)
|Transmitter power||15 kW|
|Height||320 m (1,050 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile|
WVAW-LD is a low-powered ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Charlottesville, Virginia, United States. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on virtual and UHF channel 16 from a transmitter on Carters Mountain south of Charlottesville. The station can also be seen on Comcast Xfinity channel 3 and in high definition on digital channel 803. Owned by Gray Television, WVAW is a sister station to CBS affiliate WCAV (channel 19) and Class A Fox affiliate WAHU-CD (channel 27). All three stations share studios, known as the "Charlottesville Newsplex", on 2nd Street Southeast in downtown Charlottesville.
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.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|16.1||720p||16:9||ABC16||Main WVAW-LD programming / ABC|
|16.3||19NOW||The Local AccuWeather Channel|
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. It also changed its calls to the current WVAW-LD with "LD" standing for low-powered digital.
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 "Charlottesville Newsplex" operation, WCAV airs the most newscasts. WVAW simulcasts the second hour of Good Morning Charlottesville on weekday mornings (6:00-7:00 a.m.), CBS19 News weeknights at 5:00, 5:30 and 6:00, and 19News Nightcast weeknights at 11:00 p.m.
- Aycock, Jason (March 4, 2019). "Gray Television changing stations in Virginia". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
- "Gray Television to acquire NBC 29 from Waterman Broadcasting". The Daily Progress. March 4, 2019.
- "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.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WVAW
- "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.