TV Technical Profile: WEAR

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Channel:
17
Programming:
3.1 - ABC HD
3.2 - TBD
3.3 - Charge!
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] Just off I-10 in Baldwin County, south of county road 64 and east of county road 83. Co-located with WHBR-DT, WFGX-DT; FM stations WKSJ, WJTQ, WDLT and WBLX.
Power (ERP):
1 MW
Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT):
1,861 feet
Antenna:
Omni
Other Information:
41 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
[FCC]
[FCCdata]
[RabbitEars]
[Wikipedia]
[Pensapedia]
[Facebook] for WEAR
[Florida TV History] For more information on Florida's earliest TV stations, including WEAR and WPFA.
[Studio] Street View imagery of the station's Mobile Highway studios, shared with WFGX.
[Studio] Street View imagery of the station's Fort Walton Beach satellite offices, shared with WFGX.
mDTV - future launch scheduled
History:
Surprisingly, this was not Pensacola's first TV station.  That honor belongs to the short-lived UHF WPFA on channel 15, which came on in October of 1953 as a DuMont channel.  WEAR was put on the air in January 1954 by WEAR AM 1230. Original tower was in Pensacola and served only that area. Around 1960, the station went on a taller tower halfway between Mobile and Pensacola. The station still has its original calls and has been an ABC affiliate since 1955; before that it aired some CBS programming, but shared some ABC programs with WALA in Mobile.  The station was locally owned in the beginning, then was owned by Rollins/Orkin (later merging with Heritage Broadcasting) for the better part of its 45 year history.  Sinclar bought the station in 1997 according to Pensapedia.
 
WEAR-DT signed on in November 2002 with lower power and a directional antenna pointed towards Pensacola. In mid-2004 the analog channel moved to a new tower, abandoning the old one that had been in use since 1960. The digital and analog are on the same new tower in Baldwin County.  WEAR carried the now-defunct music video network called "The Tube" for a while on a digital subchannel.
 
This station elected to keep analog broadcasts on until the new June 12th deadline.
 
It was reported that in early November 2009 the station dropped the ABC SD simulcast on 3.2 that it carried after dropping The Tube.
 
At the first of March 2011 WEAR took The Country (music) Channel off sister station WFGX and put it on 3.2.  In May 2013 the network rebranded as ZUUS Country, but later went back to the TCN branding.  In the winter of 2017 it was announced that Sinclair Broadcast Group would be launching two new digital networks in the spring on WEAR.  The Country Channel will give way to "TBD", a network aimed at millennials, and a third subchannel is scheduled to be launched with the action-oriented "Charge!" network.  That move happened sooner than expected, in late February 2017.