TV Technical Profile: WHNT


Channel:
19
Programming:
19.1 - CBS
19.2 - Independent (HD)
19.3 - Antenna TV (SD)
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] Atop Monte Santo Mountain, west of Monte Santo Boulevard SE and near Rowe Drive SE.
Power (ERP):
250 kW
Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT):
1,742 feet
Antenna:
Omnidirectional
Other Information:
41 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
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[Studio] Street View imagery of the Holmes Avenue studios for the station in Huntsville.
Owned by Tribune Broadcasting Company
Pictures:
[satellite dishes] a view of the iconic WHNT satellite dishes in front of the tower
[tower] a view of the WHNT tower
History:
Much of this information has been skimmed from the WAAY-TV history page.
 
This station came on the air on November 28, 1963, broadcasting from a 250 foot tower with 600 kW of power. Apparently the station has always been WHNT and always been affiliated with CBS. It seems the only change at this station has been ownership - original owner Charles Grisham sold it to New York Times Broadcasting in the late 70's.
 
WHNT added closed captioning to their newscasts in 1993.
 
After the analog shutdown in February 2009, the station had planned to return to its original RF channel, 19.  They even had a construction permit for that channel at one time, but in March 2009 it was altered to channel 46, with a big increase in power.  That was due to WYLE in Florence having been assigned channel 20 for the post digital transition.  With WYLE's record now deleted (they went bankrupt and off the air some time ago) WHNT has proposed to return to channel 19 permanently.
 
As of the new shutdown date in June 2009, WHNT was operating on a Special Temporary Authority (STA) on low power, channel 19, until the FCC sorted everything out. The permit for channel 46 stayed valid but was later replaced with a full power permit for them to remain on RF channel 19.
 
In January 2011 the station replaced Retro TV with the Tribune-sourced Antenna TV.  Although advertised as a home for classic TV, it also carries modern syndicated talk show programming, all in 720p, making this one of the few stations in the US (at launch time) that broadcast more than one high definition signal on its signal.  That same month, the FCC approved the station's request to permanently move back to RF channel 19.  The information listed under the construction permit on this page reflect the FCC's approved facility for the "new" allocation.  At the start of the new year, 2016, the station added a weather radar loop to the -.3 subchannel, but it was taken down a few weeks later, only to show up again towards the end of January.  It was gone again shortly thereafter and has not been back as of April 2016.  The testing was apparently in preparation for kicking Antenna TV to 19.3 in standard definition, and using 19.2 to launch a second programming channel with no network affiliation, carrying various syndicated shows, ACC sports and WHNT newscasts.