TV Technical Profile: WDBB


Channel:
18
14 (CP)
Programming:
17.1 - CW HD
17.2 - ABC (simulcast of ABC 33/40)
17.3 - James Spann 24/7 Weather
Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] On the "Tuscaloosa tall tower" with some amateur radio repeaters, located between Tuscaloosa and Jasper, a few miles east of Alabama 69.
Power (ERP):
350 kW
675 kW
(CP)
Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT):
2,213 feet
2,192 feet
(CP)
Antenna:
Directional
Other Information:
41 dBu protected service contour, from the FCC.
41 dBu protected service contour, from the FCC. (FCCdata.org Link) (CP)
[FCC]
[FCCdata]
[RabbitEars]
[Wikipedia]
[Picture] Legal ID snapshot showing the various channels that ABC 33/40 is available on as of May, 2015.
Owned by WDBB-TV, Inc. (Michael Anderson)
Station History:
Originally a Tuscaloosa station, WDBB (DuBose Broadcasting, named for the owner, David DuBose) originally was a small independent station with a tower off Jug Factory Road on the hill behind the Food World Plaza (now where the Wal-Mart Supercenter is.)  WDBB built the now-famous tall tower that houses a few amateur radio repeaters and once held WDXB-FM, which served practically every square inch of central Alabama. The TV station achieved good coverage of Tuscaloosa and Birmingham.  The station broadcast a news program twice in its history, first in the mid 80s and then again later in the early 90s, competing with WCFT, Tuscaloosa's CBS affiliate and dominant news station. 
 
At one point (date unknown) WDBB went back off the tall tower and went to a much lower power on a tower practically all the way to Moundville, south of Tuscaloosa. The off the air coverage of the station in Tuscaloosa was poor at this location. The station's file now says "Bessemer" for the city of license; in early 2000, the station was back on the tall tower, serving Birmingham again. With the move, the station carried The WB and Fox Kids through a local marketing agreement (LMA) with the WTTO-TV Homewood (Birmingham). In fact, the WB21 logo appeared on screen regularly.  The WB later morphed into The CW in September 2006, which WDBB still carries today in simulcast form with WTTO.
 
The original WDBB tower is still standing. It currently handles a low power TV station and at least one low power FM translator; it also appears to have a few public safety band antennas on it.
On February 17th 2009 the station discontinued standard analog broadcasts and aired"nite lite" programming consisting of information on how to acquire and setup a digital converter box.  That ceased after the new digital transition date in June 2009.  This station may have operated under an Special Temporary Authority on RF channel 17 for a long time after the digital transition. It's unknown exactly if or how long it was on 17, or when it moved to its permanent home on RF channel 18.
The station added The Country Network at some point between about 2010 and 2013.  It became ZUUS Country in late 2013, with much of the same programming.  In July 2014 the station dropped the ZUUS Country simulcast on 17.2 for Sony Picture Television's new upstart getTV channel.  In late September 2014 the station dropped getTV to start simulcasting ABC programming from ABC 33/40 as part of a deal to move the programming off WCFT (33) and WJSU (40) by new owners Sinclair.  WDBB now carries the ABC programming along with WABM (via WBMA-LD)after the other two stations shut down around the end of September 2014.

The station received a permit in August 2017 to relocate from RF channel 18 to 14 as part of the FCC repacking process.