WVUA-CD

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WVUA-CD / WVUA
WVUA logo.png
WVUA-CD: NorthportTuscaloosa, Alabama
WVUA: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
United States
City Both stations:
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Branding WVUA 23 (general)
WVUA 23 News (newscasts)
This is WVUA (imaging)
Slogan Your Home Team
Alabama's Home Team
(both used interchangeably)
Channels Digital: WVUA-CD: 23 (UHF)
WVUA: 6 (VHF)
Virtual: WVUA-CD: 7 (PSIP)
WVUA: 23 (PSIP)
Subchannels WVUA-CD:
7.1/.2: This TV
WVUA:
23.1/.2 This TV
23.3 Alabama Public Radio
23.4 Exponential Radio
Translators WDVZ-CD 3 Greensboro
WJMY-CD 25 Demopolis
Affiliations This TV
Owner University of Alabama
(The Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama)
Founded 1998 (1998)
First air date WVUA-CD: 1998 (1998)
WVUA: 2004 (2004)
[specify]
Call letters' meaning Voice of the
University of
Alabama
(in reference to university-owned radio station WVUA-FM)
Former callsigns WVUA-CD: W49BO (1994–1997)
WJRD-LP (1998–2002)
WVUA-CA (2002–2015)
WVUA: WBJH (1999)
WLDM (1999–2005)
WUOA (2005–2015)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
WVUA-CD:
49 (UHF, 1996–2000)
7 (2000–2015)
WVUA:
23 (UHF, 2001–2009)
Former affiliations Pax TV (1998–2002)
America One (2002–2008)
Transmitter power WVUA-CD: 15 kW
WVUA: 26 kW
Height WVUA-CD: 174 m
WVUA: 395 m
Class WVUA-CD:' Class A
WVUA: Full-power digital
Facility ID WVUA-CD: 70429
WVUA: 77496
Transmitter coordinates WVUA-CD:
33°9′35.5″N 87°30′53.9″W / 33.159861°N 87.514972°W / 33.159861; -87.514972
WVUA:
33°29′2″N 86°48′20.7″W / 33.48389°N 86.805750°W / 33.48389; -86.805750 (WVUA)
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: / WVUA Profile
/ WVUA CDBS
Website www.wvuatv.com

WVUA-CD, virtual channel 7 (UHF digital channel 23), is a This TV-affiliated television station serving Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States that is licensed to Northport. The station is owned by the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama. WVUA-CD maintains studio and transmitter facilities located within the Digital Media Center at Bryant-Denny Stadium on the University of Alabama campus.

As WVUA-CD's low-powered broadcasting radius does not reach the entire Birmingham–Tuscaloosa–Anniston market, the station's programming is simulcast to the remainder of the area on full-power satellite station WVUA, virtual channel 23 (VHF digital channel 6), which is licensed to Tuscaloosa. WVUA maintains transmitter facilities located atop Red Mountain, near the southern edge of Birmingham.

In addition to WVUA, WVUA-CD's signal is relayed on low-power repeaters WDVZ-CD (channel 3) in Greensboro and WJMY-CD (channel 25) in Demopolis. WVUA-CA is available on most cable providers within the Birmingham–Tuscaloosa–Anniston market.

Overview[edit]

Despite being owned by the University of Alabama System, the station is financially independent from the University of Alabama.[1] WVUA-CD is licensed and operates as a commercial television station, and as such, most of its funding is generated from advertising revenue; WVUA-CD is one of only three commercial television stations in the United States that is owned by a public institution, alongside University of Missouri-owned NBC affiliate KOMU-TV in Columbia, Missouri and Tougaloo College-owned MyNetworkTV affiliate WLOO in Jackson, Mississippi. The station has a full-time paid staff including station and advertising sales executives, production and news department staff (including anchors, reporters and a news director), and relies heavily on University of Alabama students who act as on-air and production staff, and sales assistants.

History[edit]

The station first signed on the air in 1998 as WJRD-LP, broadcasting on UHF channel 49. It originally operated out of studio facilities located on Jug Factory Road in Tuscaloosa, that formerly housed the operations of WDBB (channel 17) until the shutdown of its news department in December 1995. The station became a charter affiliate of Pax TV (now Ion Television) when the network launched on August 31 of that year; in August 1999, WJRD-LP became the secondary Pax TV outlet for the Birmingham–Tuscaloosa–Anniston market, when the network's parent company Paxson Communications (now Ion Media Networks) converted its CBS affiliate in Gadsden, WNAL-TV (channel 44), into a Pax owned-and-operated station under the callsign WPXH-TV.

The University of Alabama acquired WJRD-LP in 2001, as part of the donation of a $1 million gift from the family of Alabama Crimson Tide football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. Once the donation was finalized, the station moved its operations to the University of Alabama campus. In January 2002, its call letters were changed to WVUA-CA (named after the call letters of the university-owned radio station WVUA-FM (90.7)), after its license was upgraded to Class A status; the station subsequently became an affiliate of America One at that time.

In November 2004, Channel 23 LLC filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to donate full-power station, WLDM (channel 23), to the university. Shortly after that donation was finalized in March 2005, the station's call letters were changed to WUOA (for the University Of Alabama), taken from the original call letters of the university-owned Alabama Public Radio station WUAL-FM (91.5); the University of Alabama then converted WUOA into a full-power satellite station of WVUA-CA in order to extend its signal deeper into most of the Birmingham market.

That station first received a construction permit by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1994, under the call letters W49BO, which was awarded to Krypton Broadcasting; Krypton intended to operate the station as a repeater of Birmingham independent station WABM (channel 68). In 2006, satellite providers Dish Network and DirecTV both began carrying WVUA-CA as part of their respective lineups of Birmingham area broadcast television stations.

In November 2008, WVUA-CA became a part-time affiliate of This TV, while continuing to carry syndicated programming and local newscasts to fill certain time slots during which the station does not air the network's programs (this results in periodic scheduling issues due to the network's movie-dominant schedule, as some films run into time slots where WVUA-CD runs syndicated programs depending on their length or scheduled airtime). Since the station does not carry all of This TV's programming on its main channel nor on one of its subchannels, WVUA-CD is the largest part-time affiliate by market size that does not carry the network's full schedule.

On May 8, 2015, the call sign of the full-power satellite station was changed from WUOA to WVUA. On June 3, 2015, WVUA-CA was granted a license to operate a digital signal on UHF channel 23, and amended its call letters to WVUA-CD.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[2][3]
7.1 / 23.1 1080i 16:9 WVUA-DT Main WVUA-CD programming / This TV
7.2 / 23.2 480i 4:3
23.3 N/A N/A APR Audio simulcast of Alabama Public Radio
23.4 Xpon Audio simulcast of WXPN ("XPoNential Radio")

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

Because it was granted an original construction permit after the FCC finalized the DTV channel allotment plan on April 21, 1997 [1], the then-WUOA did not receive a companion channel for a digital television station. Instead, on June 12, 2009, the end of the conversion period from analog to digital transmissions for full-power television stations in the United States, WUOA was required to turn off its analog signal and flash-cut its digital signal into operation. The University was granted a construction permit for WUOA to move to channel 6; through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 23.

Programming[edit]

WVUA carries the This TV part-time on its main channel as well as that channel's simulcast feed on digital subchannels 7.2 and 23.2, running only the network's overnight films and classic television programs, and daytime and early prime time films, with a more limited schedule on Saturdays and Sundays due to its carriage of syndicated and university-related sports programs. Syndicated programming broadcast by WVUA (as of September 2015) includes The King of Queens, Bones, Leverage, Forensic Files, OK!TV and Community.[4]

Through its ownership by the University of Alabama, the station also carries most team-related magazine programs focused on the Alabama Crimson Tide (which are mainly produced by the university's television production unit, Tide TV), including the team's football coaches' show The Nick Saban Show and the sports talk shows Tide TV This Week and Tider Insider. WVUA also serves as the carrier of the Xploration Station educational programming block for central Alabama, in lieu of Birmingham-based Fox affiliate WBRC (channel 6), one of several Fox stations that does not currently clear the block; the station carries the block on Saturday mornings, as part of an extended E/I block.

News operation[edit]

Unlike most low-power or Class A television stations, WVUA-CD produces its own local newscasts, consisting solely of early-evening newscasts on Monday through Friday nights and a late-evening 10:00 p.m. newscast seven nights a week. The station presently broadcasts 8½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 1½ hours on weekdays, and a half-hour each on Saturdays and Sundays).

The station's news department began operations at WVUA-CD's sign-on in 1998, providing local news coverage to west-central Alabama for the first time since WDBB and WCFT-TV (channel 33, now WSES) shifted focus to the Birmingham area during the mid-1990s (the latter being a byproduct of WBRC's conversion into a Fox owned-and-operated station, which resulted in WCFT taking over the market's ABC affiliation as part of the "ABC 33/40" trimulcast arrangement involving Birmingham-based W58CK (channel 58, now WBMA-LD) and Anniston-based WJSU-TV (channel 40, now WGWW) in September 1996).

Approximately 80% of the staff employed with station is made up of University of Alabama students, working in either paid and non-paid positions, with its operations drawing on the resources of the Department of Telecommunication and Film of the University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences;[5] the remainder consists of non-student staff hired by the university. Students are involved in all aspects of the newsgathering and production process, with much of its reporting and most behind-the-scenes staff consisting of students attending the Department of Telecommunication and Film.

From its inception in 2002 until 2014, the station's operations were originally housed in the basement area of Reese-Phifer Hall. On June 12, 2012, WVUA began broadcasting portions of its local newscasts, particularly weather segments, in high definition.[6] In April 2014, WVUA/WUOA migrated its operations into the newly completed Digital Media Center at Bryant-Denny Stadium.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "UA's WVUA-7 Takes Top Honors from Associated Press". UA News. University of Alabama. May 2003. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 
  2. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WVUA-CD". RabbitEars. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  3. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WVOA". RabbitEars. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  4. ^ "WVUACD - TV Listings". Zap2It. Tribune Digital Ventures. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Telecommunication and Film". University of Alabama. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  6. ^ "WVUA Weather Graphics in SD from HD program feed". 
  7. ^ "UA Facilities: Design and Construction Projects Report". University of Alabama. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 

External links[edit]