TV Technical Profile: WVUA-CD


Channel:
23
Programming:
7.1 - This TV, Local (HD)
7.2 - Light TV
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] [bird's eye] On the old WDBB-TV tower on Jug Factory Road, behind Walmart.
Power (ERP):
15 kW
Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT):
590 feet
Antenna:
Directional
Other Information:
51 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
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// WVUA-DT Tuscaloosa, AL
// WJMY-CD Demopolis, AL
// WDVZ-CD Greensboro, AL
History:
This station dates back to an analog low power authorization known as W49BO, which signed on in 1996.  One year later ownership passed from VJN LPTV Corporation to TTI, Inc., and the calls changed to WJRD-LP, as a companion to AM 1150 WJRD.  This change brought local news back to Tuscaloosa, filling a void left when WDBB and WCFT stopped serving the area to focus on the Birmingham market.  The station operated and transmitted from the WDBB facility on Jug Factory Road.  The station picked up the fledgling PAX network's affiliation in 1998, and kept it until 2002, when the market's affiliation was passed on to the much more powerful but distant WNAL-TV in Gadsden.  After losing PAX, the station picked up the LPTV-oriented America One network. 
The station was purchased by the University of Alabama in August of 2001.  The University moved the studios and production to an on-campus location and changed to call sign to match the college's student-run radio station, WVUA, in 2002.  With this change, the station was also granted Class A status, giving it the full call sign of WVUA-CA.  Class A status gives certain extra protections to low powered television stations in exchange for certain more stringent requirements on programming.
The station dropped American One for a part-time pickup of the This TV network in 2008.  The station began broadcasting digitally in the summer of 2012, on RF channel 23.
WVUA-CD's programming is also repeated on several area stations.  It is relayed via WMJY-CD in Demopolis and WDVZ-CD in Greensboro.  It's also fed to WVUA-DT, broadcasting from Red Mountain in Birmingham.  In this sense, it mirrors the way ABC 33/40 is set up in Birmingham a low power parent station feeding a full power repeater in another region. The station is (as of summer 2015) branding as "WVUA 23" and is no longer identifying as channel 7.