TV Technical Profile: WJHG


Channel:
18
16 (CP)
Programming:
7.1 - NBC
7.2 - CW+
7.3 - CBS (SD Only // WECP-LD Panama City, FL)
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] Just east of Youngstown, north of the intersection of Scotts Ferry and Waller Roads.
Power (ERP):
  1 MW
Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT):
1,348 feet
Antenna:
Directional 
Other Information:
41 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
AUX: 82 kW @ 760 feet HAAT. 41 dBu protected contour map and data, from FCCdata.

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[Studio] Gray's combined studio space for this and several other Panama City TV stations on Front Beach Road in Panama City.
Owned by Gray Television
History:
Local businessman J. D. Manley put this station on the air at the start of December, 1953, with the WJDM calls.  Early on it became affiliated with NBC, ABC and DuMont.  James H. Gray (founder of Gray Television) purchased the station in 1960 and changed the calls to WJHG.  Dothan's WTVY came on the air in 1955, and in the mid-60's started broadcasting from an upgraded, taller tower in Florida to cover both Panama City and Dothan.  This station dropped CBS due to the duplication, but still shared ABC affiliation for the are with WTVY.  ABC affiliates would eventually launch in both markets, rendering the shared status of the network obsolete.  For years WJHG was a significantly viewed station in the Dothan TV market and included on cable lineups, but that ended in 2010 when Gray launched low powered WRGX-LD in Dothan to become that city's default NBC affiliate.  Post-consolidation, WTVY and WJHG are now a part of the same company and occasionally news reports from one or the other will appear on each other's newscasts.

In July 2009 it was announced that this station would be picking up the ESPN-created "SEC Network" for collegiate sporting events.  Before the digital switchover, was broadcasting in analog on RF channel 7.  Moved to 8 for the switchover and shortly thereafter acquired a permit to return to RF channel 7 with a significant increase in power, which theoretically brought Dothan into the station's primary coverage area.  That facility was built out; it has been confirmed on air in the summer of 2011.  In June of 2014 the station was granted a move to RF channel 18, with the maximum 1,000 kW and a very slightly directional antenna away from the Gulf of Mexico.  This facility, if built, would be located on another nearby tower that provides greater height than the RF channel 7 assignment.  Coverage would be about the same, but with less strength in the Dothan area than before.  That facility was on the air in June of 2015.  In more recent years the station had carried a mix of programming its subchannels, supplying the generic "CW+" feed of that network to the area on 7.2, while hosting MyNetwork TV on 7.3 and VIPIR Weather Radar on the 7.4 subchannel.  However, after Gray put a low power digital station on the air to carry the market's first CBS affiliation (WECP-LD, virtual channel 18, RF 29), the channels were later switched around so that CBS was carried on the 7.3 subchannel, while MyNetwork TV and the weather radar were shuffled off to the low power digital CBS station.  In 2013, Dothan picked up a local broadcast for NBC, negating the need for cable companies to carry WJHG that far outside of Panama City.  In July 2017 the station received a permit to relocate from RF channel 18 to 16 as part of the large repacking effort undertaken by the FCC to free up more spectrum for wireless users.

The station went off the air on 10 October 2018 due to damage from Hurricane Michael, although is still live streaming and posting damage updates on Facebook.