TV Technical Profile: WPXH

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Channel:
33 (CP)
Programming:
44.1 - ION
44.2 - Court TV Mystery
44.3 - Court TV
44.4 - Grit
44.5 - Laff
44.6 - Home Shopping Network (Defy TV: soon)
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] Near Highland Lake area, north of Springville, south of Oneonta.
Power (ERP):
75 kW (STA)
1000 kW
(CP)
Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT):
925 feet (STA)
1,138 feet
(CP)
Antenna:
Directional
Other Information:
41 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC. (FCCdata Link) (CP)
[FCC]
[FCCdata]
[RabbitEars]
[Wikipedia]
Owned by Inyo Broadcast Holdings, LLC.
Station History:
At one point this station was a repeater of WTTO channel 21 in Birmingham back when it was a Fox affiliate. The calls were WNAL at the time. At one point the station was a CBS affiliate and had it's own newscast as "44 News". That didn't last long, and the station moved to the then fledgling PAX network of family friendly programming. They repeated WVTM-13's Birmingham-based newscast for a while. This station became one of the Birmingham market's first digital television stations, signing on in November 2002 on channel 45. Changed to the new "i" Independent Television Network in July 2005, which is now known as ION.  As with most ION station, the digital broadcast is heavily multiplexed, with the kids-oriented qubo and lifestyle ION Life network, as well as the Worship religious channel.  qubo is one of the few channels that heavily uses SAP, or second audio program, for Spanish-language audio.  They also do a lot of Spanish language captioning on the CC3 track.
 
This station elected to keep analog broadcasts on until the new June 12th deadline, and to provide emergency analog "nitelite" programming until June 26th 2009.
 
It has been reported that the station dropped the religious-themed "Worship" network as of February 1st.  The subchannel is now blank.  In November 2012 it was observed that the station had added a fourth subchannel, dubbed "iShop" but showing regular programming.  It eventually morphed into infomercials 24/7.  In August 2013 the station added QVC Plus to the -.5 subchannel, part of a nationwide rollout with ION network channels across the United States.  At some later point, HSN (Home Shopping Network) was also added to the lineup, on -.6.

The station received a permit in July 2017 to relocate from RF channel 45 to 33 as part of the FCC repacking process.  In February 2019, the station petitioned the FCC to stay on RF channel 45, and re-license to the city of Hoover and that city's first licensed television station.  Under FCC rules, stations applying to re-license to a city with no other licensed television stations gets preferential consideration, assuming that whatever area they are licensing away from still has at least one licensed TV station.  As the change from Gadsden to Hoover satisfied that requirement (and WPXH will continue to serve Gadsden from the existing tower site), the application was granted by the FCC in late March 2019.  After the station transitions to its post-realignment facility, it will have higher power and cover the entirety of Hoover, which it currently does not do. 

In late August 2019, as part of the TV repacking process and work on the tower, the station began operating with a Special Temporary Authority on their post-repack RF 33 channel, with 75 kW from lower on their existing tower.

The station's license was transferred from Ion Television Networks, LLC to Inyo Broadcast Holdings, LCC in October 2020.

Qubo, ION Life and the iShop channels were discontinued in February 2021, and replaced with Court TV, Court TV Mystery and Grit TV at the end of the month. All three channels are already carried by other Birmingham market stations, but will eventually be exclusively seen on this station.  The station will also add Scripps' Defy TV at some point, replacing HSN.