TV Technical Profile: WUOA-LD


Channel:
17
Programming:
46.1 - Laff
46.2 - Buzzr
46.3 - Escape
46.4 - getTV
46.5 - QVC
46.7 - Shop LC
46.8 - QVC Plus
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] [bird's eye] On Red Mountain. Looking at Vulcan from downtown, their tower is the third down with the multiple "tines" at the top. This tower also houses WTTO and several other TV and FM properties.
Power (ERP):
15 kW
Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT):
1,325 feet
Antenna:
Directional
Other Information:
51 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
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Owned By:
DTV Holding Inc
History:
This facility dates back to an original construction permit for a low power analog TV station on channel 53, owned by the now-defunct All American Network in January of 1988.  Before actually coming on the air, the station went through a number of technical changes, including a move from channel 53 to 51; a license to cover was filed in August of 1991 with the call sign of W51BY.  The programming was a simulcast of Trinity Broadcasting Network's WTJP-TV in Gadsden, a mix of Christian programming from the All American Network and TBN itself.  During this period, the station broadcast from the old channel 68 tower on Ishkooda Mountain, near the intersection of Montevallo Road and Oxmoor Road near Homewood.  The All American Network eventually folded into TBN itself, around the year 2000.
In the Spring of 2003 the station moved to the WTTO-TV tower on Golden Crest Drive, atop Red Mountain, while increasing their power and moving to channel 46, where the call sign became W46DK.  During this era, full power television stations began converting to digital operations, eating up a lot of spare channels and displacing many low power UHF broadcasts like this one.  With the impending sign-on of WMCF in Montgomery on RF channel 46, this station applied for a move to channel 31, but it's unknown if it ever moved here or just went completely silent.  The station filed a Silent STA for a short period in 2010, citing lack of support for a low powered analog signal in the market. 
After resuming operations a few months after going silent, the station — presumably now on channel 31 but still in analog — chugged along until it was sold off by TBN to a company called Regal Media, Inc. in 2012, who filed their own displacement application to operate on RF channel 17 as a digital station.  It's unclear whether the station operated during this period, as there was a small parade of changes filed, as well as ownership changes as the station fell into the hands of King Forward, Inc., in 2014.  Less than a year later, King Forward transferred the license to DTV America, whose filings with the FCC indicate the station was on and off a few times through 2015.  It also changed calls from W46DK to WUOA-LP (later WUOA-LD after going digital.)  They got a permit to tweak the coverage of the station and it was finally confirmed to be on the air, from RF channel 17, with a digital signal in late June 2016, carrying three networks on three subchannels: comedy-themed Laff on the -.1, the game show-centric Buzzr on -.2 and the female-oriented Escape network on -.3.  Roughly a week after these stations debuted, the subchannel count rocketed up to eight as the station added two QVC feeds plus the Liquidation Channel, along with two channels showing only colors bars, which will presumably be filled at some point by other networks that the DTV America company puts on its many owned low power TV stations across the US.  In June 2017 it was discovered that The Country Network on the -.4 subchannel had been replaced by getTV, which was taken off WTTO around the same time.