TV Technical Profile: WTVY


Channel:
36
Programming:
4.1 - CBS
4.2 - My Network TV / MeTV
4.3 - CW+
4.4 - NBC
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] Just south of the intersection of FL-177 and Pinestraw Alley/FL-160 in the Bethlehem community of Holmes County, Florida. Co-located with WRGX-LD.
Power (ERP):
1 MW
Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT):
1,851 feet
Antenna:
Omni
Other Information:
41 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
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[Studio] Street View imagery of the station's studios on Foster Street in downtown Dothan.
History:
WTVY (TeleVision for You, or Wonderful To Visit You) came on the air in February 1955 on channel 9, from a 400 foot tower. It was originally owned by Charles Woods. Around 1960 the FCC re-did the allocation table and moved it to channel 4. (WRBL in Columbus, GA went from 4 to 3 and 9 ended up in Columbus as well.) They upgraded to a 1,209 foot tower, then the tallest in the state at that time. WTVY has always had the same calls and network affiliation (CBS), but didn't end up as a full time affiliate until 1970 when WDHN signed on with ABC.  In 1974 it became one of the first stations in the US to be on the air 24 hours a day. In 1978 they moved to a different tower some 28 miles southwest of Dothan, just across the Florida state line. This tower is 1,909 feet above ground level and 2,049 feet above sea level! At the time it went up, it was the tallest structure in all of Florida. It gives the station very good coverage in places such as Panama City and Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.  In 1993, the studios moved to downtown Dothan, into the historic Hotel building. In 1995, the station was sold to Benedek Broadcasting for $29 million.
 
Tim in Dothan also adds this interesting bit: "In 1983 some jackass climbed the tower and parachuted off, luckily missing the guy wires. I say jackass because the tower has an elevator!"
 
It's also worth noting that in the early days of television, most TV stations were spawned from AM stations. This station was the exception, having come on the air independently and then later putting on an FM station in the 60's.
 
This station elected to keep analog broadcasts on until the new June 12th deadline.
 
In July 2009 it was announced that this station would be picking up the ESPN-created "SEC Network" for collegiate sporting events.  In the spring of 2013 Gray Television put on a low power digital station called WRGX-LD as Dothan's first NBC outlet.  The coverage from the translator is limited, so it is being rebroadcast on WTVY's 4.4 subchannel.  In late 2014 the CW Plus feed on 4.3 was discontinued and Grit TV was put in its place, but that was apparently short-lived as Grit was moved to WDFX and CW+ was returned.  With Gray's low power NBC affiliate active, the need for cable companies to bring in WSFA from Montgomery and WJHG from Panama City is no longer needed, although both can still be picked up with a sufficiently massive antenna in the area.  Gray television has also bought two LDTV stations in the Enterprise area, which are being moved to Dothan, as well as two LDTV stations in Panama City, which should bring even more choice to local off the air viewers.