Oak Hill, West Virginia
|Channels||Digital: 17 (UHF)|
Virtual: 6 (PSIP)
WVVA News (newscasts)
Two Virginias' CW (on DT2)
MeTV Two Virginias' (on DT3)
|Slogan||Here For You!|
Dare to Defy (on DT2)
Memorable Entertainment Television (on DT3)
|Owner||Quincy Media |
(WVVA License, LLC)
|Founded||October 29, 1954|
|First air date||July 31, 1955|
|Former call signs||WHIS-TV (1955–1979)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
6 (VHF, 1955–2009)
|Call sign meaning||USPS abbreviations for West Virginia and VirginiA|
|HAAT||370 m (1,214 ft)|
|Public license information||Profile|
WVVA, virtual channel 6 (UHF digital channel 17), is a dual NBC/CW+-affiliated television station licensed to Bluefield, West Virginia, United States and serving the Bluefield–Beckley–Oak Hill television market, which also covers portions of southwestern Virginia. The station is owned by Quincy Media. WVVA's studios are located on U.S. Route 460 in Bluefield, and its transmitter is located atop East River Mountain, near the West Virginia–Virginia border.
The station went on the air on July 31, 1955, under the special commitment of a VHF allotment to Bluefield after the release of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s Sixth Report and Order in 1952. Because of its proposed antenna height and location on East River Mountain, the channel 6 allocation in Bluefield was short-spaced to WATE-TV (also on channel 6) in Knoxville, Tennessee and side-spaced to WCYB-TV (on adjacent channel 5) in Bristol, Virginia. As a result, the proposed station on the channel 6 frequency would therefore be limited to one-half of the visual maximum effective radiated power, or 50,000 watts.
The station's original call letters were WHIS-TV, named for West Virginia politician Hugh Ike Shott. Shott died in 1953, two years before the station made it to air, and his heirs were channel 6's original owners. The Shotts were forced to construct a privately owned microwave relay system to receive NBC programming from WSLS-TV in Roanoke, Virginia, the closest and most accessible city receiving network signals via the A.T. & T. Long Lines system. When it was completed in September WHIS-TV began carrying NBC programs, the first being The Pinky Lee Show. The station's operations were originally housed in the Bluefield Municipal Building; on January 1, 1967, the WHIS stations moved into new facilities on Big Laurel Highway (U.S. Routes 19 and 460), known as "Broadcast Center," and channel 6 began full color operations.
The Shott family, through what was known as the Daily Telegraph Publishing Company, controlled not only WHIS-TV but also the city's only radio stations—WHIS-AM-FM—and the city's only daily newspaper, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Although their media holdings in Bluefield were considered a monopoly by some (as highlighted in a July 1974 Wall Street Journal article), only the newspaper was a vehicle for their conservative political views. But in 1975, the FCC decreed that a single company could not own all of the media outlets in one area, and required several small-market broadcast-print combinations to be broken up. The ruling forced the Shott family to sell their Bluefield television station. In 1979, after four years of appeals, the Shotts sold WHIS-TV to Quincy, Illinois-based Quincy Newspapers. After the sale was completed, the new owners changed the station's call letters to WVVA (so as to comply with an FCC rule in effect at the time that required TV and radio stations in the same market, but with different ownership to use different callsigns) on May 1, 1979; the call sign refers to the states which channel 6 serves, West Virginia and Virginia.
On February 17, 2009, WVVA switched to "Digital Nightlight" service on its analog signal showing information on the transition to exclusive digital television and its nightly 6 o'clock newscast. Post-transition digital operations continued on channel 46, remapping to channel 6 using PSIP. The station's analog service was terminated altogether in late-April 2009.
WVVA currently has a construction permit for a digital fill-in translator on channel 43 from a transmitter near Layland. This will have the same call sign as the main signal and primarily serve the northern portion of the market.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming |
|6.1||1080i||16:9||WVVANBC||Main WVVA programming / NBC|
|6.2||720p||WVVACW||Two Virginias' CW|
|6.3||480i||4:3||WWVAME||MeTV Two Virginias'|
From 1995 until late 1998, The WB's programming was available in the Beckley/Bluefield/Oak Hill, West Virginia market via WGN-TV's national feed. The station launched in late-1998 as a cable-only station with the fictional call sign "WBB". It was a WB affiliate through The WB 100+ which was a similar operation to the current CW Plus service. "WBB" was identified on-air as "West Virginia's WB 18" (based on its channel location on cable). WVVA provided promotional and advertising services for this station. On January 24, 2006, it was announced that The WB and UPN would end broadcasting and merge to form a new combined service, which would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initial of corporate parents "C"BS (the parent company of UPN) and the "W"arner Bros. unit of Time Warner.
When The CW launched on September 18, "WBB" was added to a new second digital subchannel of WVVA to offer non-cable subscribers access to the network. At this point, it began using the WVVA-DT2 calls in an official manner. For a few weeks during the summer of 2007, WVVA produced a weeknight prime time newscast at 10 on WVVA-DT2. Airing for thirty minutes, the show featured news anchor Erica Greenway (no longer with station), Chief Meteorologist Corey Henderson, and Sports Director P. J. Zeiggler. It is unknown why the program was dropped after such a short run.
Out-of-market cable carriage
In the 1970s and 1980s, WVVA's analog signal was carried as far south as Boone, North Carolina and as far east as Hillsville, Virginia. Digitally, WVVA NBC (6.1 on Ch. 6) and WVVA CW (6.2 on Ch. 8) are presently carried on Seneca Rocks Spruce Knob Telephone Inc. (cable) throughout Pendleton County, West Virginia. Pendleton County is in West Virginia's eastern panhandle, and this county is the most distant reception area for WVVA. Pendleton County is in the Harrisonburg, Virginia media market.
WVVA remains one of the strongest NBC affiliates in the country and continually averages high Nielsen rating shares in the mountainous nine county market. In recent years, however, personnel moves have allowed CBS affiliate WVNS-TV to challenge, and in some cases tie, WVVA. WVVA News began broadcasting in High Definition from a totally renovated studio with new sets as well as a new control room in June, 2012. In addition to its main studios, WVVA operates a Beckley Bureau (on Main Street along North Kanawha Street/WV 210) and a "virtual" Greenbrier Valley Bureau (covering Summers, Monroe, and Greenbrier counties in West Virginia as well as Giles County, Virginia).
- Channel 6 virtual TV stations in the United States
- Channel 17 digital TV stations in the United States
- "For the record: Actions of the FCC–New TV stations–Actions of FCC" (PDF). Broadcasting – Telecasting. November 8, 1954. p. 113.
- "FCC grants two TVs, one satellite" (PDF). Broadcasting – Telecasting. November 8, 1954. p. 54.
- "WHIS-TV gets new relay" (PDF). Broadcasting – Telecasting. November 8, 1954. p. 55.
- Elliott, Karen J. "Media monopoly." The Wall Street Journal, July 23, 1974.
- "FCC at last defines policy on newspaper-broadcast crossownership." Broadcasting, February 3, 1975, pp. 23-24.  "Under the new rule, newspaper-television acquisitions will be barred if the television station puts a Grade A signal over the community in which the newspaper is published. And the rule requires divestiture by Jan. 1, 1980, if the only daily newspaper and only television station placing a city-grade signal over the community are commonly owned. The stations affected are WHMA-TV Anniston, Ala.; WALB-TV Albany, Ga.; KGLO-TV Mason City, Iowa; WTOK-TV Meridian, Miss.; WWNY-TV Watertown, N.Y.; KTAL-TV Texarkana, Tex.; and WHIS-TV Bluefield, W. Va."
- "Changing hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. April 23, 1979. p. 43.