TV Technical Profile: WKRG

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5.1 - CBS
5.2 - ION television
5.3 - Memorable Entertainment Television
5.4 - Court TV
55.1 - The CW
Transmitter Location:
[map] Northeast of Spanish Fort. North of the intersections of Coleman Lane and Jessie Road with US-31 in Baldwin County. Co-located with several FMs: WMXC, WABD, WHIL and WRKH.
Power (ERP):
961 kW
Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT):
1,896 feet (CP)
Other Information:
41 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC. (OSM Link)
Owned by Nexstar Media Group, Inc.
[Screenshot] Image of the notice regarding the discontinuation of the weather radar on the -.2 subchannel, from 29 October 2015.
[Studio] Street View imagery of the WKRG TV (and iHeart Radio) studios on Broadcast Drive.
[Image] Street View imagery of the iconic WKRG sign on the microwave tower behind the studios.
[Image] Image of the WKRG TV towers in Spanish Fort.  The old one is on the right, in red and white; the newer and taller one is visible on the left.
[Photo Sphere] Google 360 imagery of the studio as it looked as of September 2015.
[Article] WKRG News article on the demolition of the station's 70 year old, 1,000 foot old broadcast tower in Spanish Fort in January 2022.
WKRG was put on the air September 5, 1955 by WKRG AM 710. WKRG has been a CBS affiliate since day one and still has the same calls. The station was originally owned by Mobile Press Register and Kenneth R. Giddens (hence the calls). The Giddens family kept ownership until 1998. By that time, it was the only VHF station in the top 60 markets still locally owned and not part of a large group ownership. The original broadcast site was in the Cottage Hill area of southwest Mobile. Later the station moved to 1,000 ft. transmitter in Spanish Fort. In the late 80's, WKRG went from the 1,000 foot tower to a 2,000 foot one at the same site. The WKRG AM, FM and TV combo was grandfathered in the 70's after FCC rules eliminated any such future combinations. It remained as such until the radio was sold off in the mid-90's.
The old tower in Spanish Fort is still in use by WHIL-FM.
The studios were once on St. Louis Street in downtown Mobile, but at one point moved to their current location on Broadcast Drive near Bel Aire Mall.
In late 2008 WKRG added Retro Television Network to a digital subchannel.
This station elected to keep analog broadcasts on until the new June 12th deadline.
The station announced in the summer of 2011 the intent to pick up METV (Memorable Entertainment TV) in late September; it replaced Retro TV on 5.3 on 26 September 2011.  The station announced plans to drop its long-running weather radar/forecast subchannel on 5.2 in late October for the ION television network; the change was expected to occur over the Halloween weekend, but it happened early on 2 November 2015 instead.  The station added Laff TV to the -.4 subchannel in October 2017, despite it already being carried on WALA-DT.

The station received a permit in July 2017 to relocate from RF channel 27 to 20 as part of the FCC repacking process.

The station was slated to pick up the newly-relaunched Court TV in May 2019, replacing Laff on the .4 subchannel.

The station was granted a Special Temporary Authority in August 2019 to operate with a lower-than-normal antenna height while work is done on the tower in relation to the TV repacking process.  It moved to its post-repack RF channel 20 allocation on 6 September 2019. 
The station announced in the summer of 2020 the need to re-scan for over-the-air viewers, first a date in August, then 22 September 2020.  It was pushed back again, due to Hurricane Sally, to 21 October 2020.  On that date, the station a subchannel from sister station WFNA, while that channel began broadcasting in ATSC 3.0.