TV Technical Profile: WHDF
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- 15.1 - CW (HD)
view] Just over the Tennessee line, northeast of the town of
Lester. Just west of Salem Road.
- Power (ERP):
- 21 kW
- Height Above
Average Terrain (HAAT):
- 1,414 feet
- 28 dBu protected
map, from the FCC. (OSM
Street View of the station's former studio facility on Cypress Mill
Road in Florence.
Street View imagery of the station's studio on Memorial Parkway,
co-located with WZDX.
Owned by Nexstar Broadcasting
- Channel 15 in
Florence started broadcasting on October 27, 1957 with the call
letters WOWL. WOWL was originally affiliated with the NBC and
CBS networks. In the 1960's, WOWL was primarily an NBC
affiliate. The station did continue to air CBS (and even a few ABC)
programs in the non-prime time hours. By 1974 NBC was the only
network carried by the station.
- By the
early 1970's, the Huntsville TV stations were now broadcasting into
the Florence area. WOWL found itself having to compete with the NBC
affiliate from Huntsville. (Even though Florence could receive the
Huntsville stations, most of Huntsville could not receive WOWL. Only
a very weak signal from WOWL reached Huntsville.)
- In the
late 1990's, channel 15 started its move into the Huntsville-Decatur
TV market. The Galleria Media Group purchased the station in
November 1996. In 1998, the new owners filed an application with the
FCC to move the transmitter closer to Huntsville. A site was
chosen in Minor Hill, Tennessee at the Tennessee-Alabama state line
and a 1,347-foot tower was constructed. Around September 1999 the
call letters were changed from WOWL to WHDF (for "Huntsville Decatur
Florence"). Sometime in the Fall of 1999, WOWL switched from NBC to
the UPN network. The new transmitter was put into service on
December 30, 1999.
thanks to Tom in Huntsville
book, "Alabama's First Broadcast
Stations", by Harry Butler says the WOWL came about because
the station founder's mother collected owls!
The station was sold by Galleria Media Group to Lockwood
Broadcasting in the spring of 2004. In September 2006 the
station switched to the CW Network.
station elected to keep analog broadcasts on until the new June 12th
During the TV spectrum repacking process in 2018, the station was
assigned VHF channel 2 as a post-transition home for the station.
That same year, Lockwood sold the station to Nexstar Broadcasting,
who moved the station's studio to Huntsville, where it was
co-located with now-sister station WZDX. At the end of 2018,
it was announced that Nexstar would be merging with Tribune.
In March 2019 the station filed for a Special Temporary Authority to
operate at lower power from a side-mounted antenna on RF channel 14
while the new antenna is being installed. The RF channel 2
facility appears to have come on the air in the second week of April
2019, albeit at a lower reported power level than what is shown on
the license data.
After the expected completion of the Nexstar/Tribune merger in
August 2019, the WHDF studios are slated to move again, this time to
be co-located with WHNT broadcast plant.