TV Technical Profile: WAFF
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- 48.1 - NBC
- 48.2 - Bounce
48.3 - Circle
48.4 - Laff
48.5 - Grit TV
1 | view
2] Just off (US-431) Governors Drive atop Monte Santo
- Power (ERP):
- 137 kW
- Height Above
Average Terrain (HAAT):
- 1,890 feet
- 41 dBu protected
map, from the FCC. (Coverage
map from FCCdata.org) (CP)
Street View imagery of the station's studios off Lee Highway in
Owned by Gray Television
information has been skimmed from the WAAY-TV
page. Additional info has been taken from the Huntsville Times
TV listings. Special thanks to Tom Alger for contributing to this
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. Additionally,
Florence's WOWL also had NBC and it had overlapping coverage with
much of the Huntsville TV market. 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
- On March 24,
1982, the WAFF-TV studios and transmitter building burned to the
ground in an early evening fire. The station returns the air,
amazingly, in less than a month 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.
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. (They finally moved in December
- 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 cement base.
- 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. 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. In the summer of 2014 the station added the
male-oriented Grit TV to 48.3.
- The station received a
permit to change channels from 48 to 15, albeit with a drop in power
from 48 kW to 24.5 kW. That was raised to 137 kW in a May 2018
update to the permit.
The station added Laff to the —.4 subchannel in August 2018.
Raycom Media and Gray Television Inc. agreed to a merger in June 2016,
for $3.6 billion. The merger was approved in December 2016.
The station moved Grit TV to the —.5 subchannel in December 2019,
while imposing a graphic on the old Grit TV channel (—.3) announcing
that a new channel called Circle would be coming soon.
In mid-March 2020, the station signed on their RF channel 15 facility
while also still transmitting on RF channel 48. After a few
days' testing, the signal on RF channel 48 was switched off.