TV Technical Profile: WCFT
- 33.1 -
- 33.2 -
- 33.3 -
eye] Approx 3 miles east of Alabama 69, off CR-38 (Blue Creek
Road) in Tuscaloosa County. Near the Tuscaloosa tall tower.
- Power (ERP):
- 300 kW
- Height Above
Average Terrain (HAAT):
- 2,162 feet
- 41 dBu protected
map, from the FCC.
- Station History:
- WCFT began
broadcasting on October 27, 1965. Originally, Tuscaloosa was part of
the Birmingham market and WCFT was the first from Tuscaloosa to
broadcast. The station began with no affiliation, but after years of
little return for their investment, the station was sold to Service
Broadcasters of Hattisburg in 1967. After the purchase WCFT was
granted permission to air CBS programming even though Birmingham's
channel 42 was the DMA affiliate. In 1970, the station became a full
network affiliate. In the early 80's the station began doing better
in the news area and by 1987 Arbitron made Tuscaloosa it's own
market. WCFT was sold to Albritton Communications in 1995 to become
part of Birmingham's unique new ABC affiliate. In the summer of 2014 the
FCC approved the merger of Allbritton with Sinclair Television
Group, who will shut the station down as part of a merger agreement
with the FCC. The station was supposed to shut down, according
to FCC documentation, on 30 September 2014 but it remained on the
air past that date by at least a day; later it was reported on air
but with no picture on any of the subchannels. Various media
publications are reporting a last minute deal between Sinclair and
minority-backed Howard Stirk Holdings to buy WCFT for just $50,000.
- WBMA, a
low power station is official Birmingham's ABC affiliate. WCFT,
along with Anniston station WJSU
serve as "satellites" to rebroadcast ABC all over central Alabama.
WBMA began digital broadcasts in the winter or spring of 2011.
- For a
long time after the station "moved" to Birmingham, the original WCFT
tower continued to stand just off I-20/59 near the Skyland Blvd.
exit, and was used for ABC 33/40's Tuscaloosa tower camera until the
tower was sold off for scrap in late 2012 or early 2013.
elected to keep analog broadcasts on until the new June 12th
deadline. Due to reception issues in the Birmingham area, the
station moved back to RF channel 33 in late October, 2009. At
the start of November 2012 the station began carrying the new
Nashville Network on their .3 digital subchannel.