TV Technical Profile: WABM
- 68.1 - My
Network TV HD
68.2 - ABC 33/40 (WBMA-LD) ABC HD
68.3 - James Spann 24/7 Weather
- [map] [street
eye] Red Mountain on the newer American
General multi-pronged tower.
- Power (ERP):
- 885 kW
- Height Above
Average Terrain (HAAT):
- 1,332 feet
- 41 dBu protected
map, from the FCC.
map, from the FCC. (FCCdata
Legal ID snapshot showing the various channels that ABC 33/40 is
available on as of May, 2015.
Street View of the station's studio as well as that for sister
Owned by Deerfield Media, LMA via Sinclair
- Originally a
religious station that went by the calls WCAJ and was owned and
operated by Samford University. Some of the programming
originated from cross-town Catholic network EWTN, as well as the
Southern Baptists' ACTS Network. Struggled along as
Birmingham's second independent, against WTTO and the new Fox
network, who served the area from WNAL in Gadsden and WDBB in
Tuscasloosa. After WTTO picked up the Fox affiliation for
Birmingham (and began simulcasting on WDBB and WNAL) they began
selling shows to the station, who by this time was bought by Krypton
Broadcasting. Krypton changed the calls to WABM in January
1991. Due to financial troubles, the parent company put WABM
into a LMA (local marketing agreement) with WTTO, who began selling
ad time on channel 68. In the 90's, they picked up affiliation
with PTEN - Prime Time Entertainment Television, a short lived
attempt at a fifth broadcasting network. The station picked up
the fledgling UPN network in 1995 as a charter affiliate, and later
started broadcasting in stereo around May 20th 2000. The
station ran as an independent until UPN came along. After they
merged with WB, they picked up Fox's My Network TV. This
means the station was affiliated with two now-defunct networks!
February 17th 2009 the station discontinued analog
broadcasts. The analog transmission site was on a shorter
tower on the western side of Red Mountain near Ishkooda Road,
overlooking the Elmwood Cemetery area. The digital
transmissions have been co-located with WTTO and others on the new
American General tower overlooking downtown.
- In July
2009 it was announced that this station would be picking up the
ESPN-created "SEC Network" for collegiate sporting events. When the
SEC Network debuted, however, it wound up on WTTO instead.
- In late
September 2010 the My Network TV SD subchannel was replaced with The
Cool TV, a music video network. Station owner Sinclair
Television Group signed a deal to put the new upstart on 34 of its
35 stations' subchannels. This marks the return of music
videos to Sinclair stations, as they had previously carried The Tube
music video channel before its demise. That lasted until the
end of August 2012 when The Cool TV was taken off all the Sinclair
stations without warning.
- In mid-September 2014, as
part of a massive purchase agreement with Allbritton Communications,
Sinclair added a simulcast of WBMA-LD,
Birmingham's official ABC affiliate, to subchannel 68.2, as part of a
plan to shut down and turn in licenses for WCFT (Tuscaloosa) and WJSU
(Anniston), the two stations that made up the "ABC 33/40" pair of
stations. A long term plan is to eventually swap subchannels
between ABC and My Network Television. The station added the
James Spann weather loop channel to 68.3 shortly after adding ABC.
As part of the FCC
spectrum repacking process, the station received a permit to move from
RF channel 36 to 20 in mid-July 2017.