TV Technical Profile: WBMA-LD
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- 58.1 - ABC HD
58.2 - James Spann's 24/7 WeatherNow
58.3 - Stadium4
58.4 - Charge!
view] Atop Ishkooda Mountain in the western part of Birmingham,
about 1/4 mile east of where Venice Road crosses the mountain near the
Tarpley City community.
- Power (ERP):
- 15 kW
- Height Above
Average Terrain (HAAT):
- 791 feet
- 51 dBu protected
contour map, from the FCC.
Legal ID snapshot showing the various channels that ABC 33/40 is
available on as of May, 2015.
Legal ID snapshot that presumably shows on 58.3, showing the current
ident under Howard Stirk Holdings' ownership of WGWW and WSES,
- This station received
its initial construction permit in November of 1994, as W58CK.
It did not sign on until June of 1997, after a round of modifications
were made to the permit and during which time the ownership passed
from Shirley James to Allbritton Communications. Allbritton
purchased this station to serve as the 'official' ABC affiliate for
the Birmingham market. At the time, Allbritton had reached an
agreement to pick up the ABC affiliation on WCFT out of Tuscaloosa,
and to relay it on WJSU out of Anniston. Because each station
was outside the Birmingham market at the time, the stations would not
show up in Birmingham ratings. Acquiring this low power station
to act as the official affiliate was to get around that
limitation. It also later paved the way for Tuscaloosa and
Anniston to be folded back into the Birmingham market. More
about that can be found through the Wikipedia link provided above. The
station used the WBMA (BirMingham Alabama) branding from the
beginning, and the calls were officially changed to WBMA-LP in August
- Because the low power
analog signal was transmitted on UHF channel 58, which was removed
from the roster of channels for TV stations after the digital
conversion, WBMA was forced to move to a new channel. Although
they were granted an interim permit to move to channel 11, they chose
not to use that because of interference concerns with stations outside
the market still using that channel, and it expired in 2015.
Instead, they were eventually granted to move to channel 40, now
vacated by WJSU's analog broadcast. With the move, the station
voluntarily switched to digital broadcasting on May of 2011.
In 2013, Allbritton reached a deal to sell several of its stations to
Sinclair Broadcasting, owners of WTTO and WABM in the Birmingham market. Because
of market ownership restrictions (best explained the aforementioned
Wikipedia article), the official ABC affiliation went to WABM's 68.2
subchannel and WBMA-LD became a repeater
to that, while also carrying the James Spann 24/7 weather channel and
Heartland on other subchannels. The station dropped Heartland at some
point in the summer of 2016 for the American Sports Network. The
station picked up the men-oriented action network Charge! in June 2017
on the -.4 subchannel. In 2018, American Sports Network went
under and was replaced with Stadium, a similar sports-themed channel.
As part of the DTV repacking scheme, this station is applying to move
to RF channel 32.