TV Technical Profile: WAFF
48.1 - NBC
48.2 - Bounce TV
Just off (US-431) Governors Drive atop Monte Santo Mountain.
Height Above Average
41 dBu protected
contour map, from the FCC.
This information has
been skimmed from the WAAY-TV
history page. Additional info has been taken from the Huntsville Times
TV listings. Special thanks to Tom Alger for contributing to this page.
WAFF-TV 48's history
actually begins in Decatur, and on channel 23! July 4, 1954 is when this
station came on (originally). The station's first transmitter was
located atop Decatur's
Mutual Life Building. The station's original call letters, WMSL, referred
to "Mutual Savings Life." (Surprisingly, The Huntsville Times did
not begin listing WMSL's program schedule until December 29, 1957. Prior
to this date, the Huntsville newspaper only listed TV schedules for distant
Birmingham, Chattanooga and Nashville stations.)
For its first nine years,
WMSL carried both NBC and CBS programs. By November 1963, WMSL was affiliated
with only the NBC network. Then, on September 2, 1967, Huntsville's WAAY-31
became an NBC affiliate. Oddly enough, WMSL remained affiliated with the
NBC network through August 31, 1968. The Huntsville-Decatur area had two
NBC affiliates, and no ABC affiliate, during the 1967-68 season.
On September 1, 1968, WMSL finally became an ABC affiliate. Also in 1968,
the station moved to channel 48 and re-located to the Huntsville area,
erecting a 900 foot tower. The calls are changed to WYUR ("YoUR" television
station) in 1974. Many years later the station is bought by American Family
Life Insurance, when the calls are changed to WAFF (American Family's Finest).
On March 24, 1982, the
WAFF-TV studios and transmitter building burn to the ground in an early
evening fire. The station returns the air, amazingly, in less than amonth
from a new location on the Parkway. In an odd anti-competition move, WAAY-TV
puts a letter in the newspaper welcoming back to the air.
With the demise of the
NBC Weather Plus network, WAFF has replaced the weather forecasts on their
digital subchannel with the new, movie-oriented and MGM-backed This TV.
The station held a third subchannel for a long time, which was nothing
but a digital clock. It was removed in mid May 2010.
This station elected
to keep analog broadcasts on until the new June 12th deadline.
Although WAFF has a permit to move back to RF channel 48, as of Juny 13th
2009 they have not announced plans to actually do so.
WAFF was adversely affected
by the 27 April 2011 tornado outbreak that devastated the state of Alabama.
The station lost their doppler radar unit in East Limestone County to a
tornado. Reports say the entire structure is gone except for the
A May 2011 announcement
by WAFF parent Raycom announced the station will be picking up the new
Bounce TV network that's aimed at black American audiences. It's
unclear if this will supplement or replace This TV on 48.2. The new
feed launched 26 September 2011 on 48.3. In December 2011 the station
moved back to RF channel 48 from 49, with a small bump in antenna height
and power. In early January 2012 the station deleted This TV and
moved Bounce to 48.2.