TV Technical Profile: WVTM
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- 13.1 - NBC
- 13.2 -
Memorable Entertainment Television
eye] "Atop Red Mountain" right next to Vulcan.
- Power (ERP):
- 20 kW
- Height Above
Average Terrain (HAAT):
- 1,332 feet
- 36 dBu protected
map, from the FCC.
map, from the FCC. (FCCdata.org
Information for the station from the WAFM era
Information for the station from the WABT, WAPI and WVTM eras
Street View of the station's studios atop Red Mountain.
- mDTV - active
- Owned by Hearst
- This is
Birmingham's oldest TV station, signing on in April 1949 as WABT
(Alabama's Best Television), a month before WBRC. Around 1956
the calls changed briefly to WAFM-TV, then to WAPI-TV in 1959. The
station had always been affiliated with WAPI-AM and WAFM-FM.
- Like WAPI-AM,
was a CBS affiliate to begin with, but then moved to NBC when
channel 6 took the CBS affilation. The station carried some
ABC programming along with WBRC-TV 6 when ABC was still a new
network. After channel 6 moved to full ABC affiliation, channel 13
took on CBS and NBC.
- Even after
WBMG-TV 42 signed on the air as a CBS affiliate in 1965, WAPI kept
carrying some of the higher-rated CBS programming! This kept WBMG
carrying some of the lower-rated CBS programming as well as some
leftover NBC shows. In the late 60's both WAPI and WBHG had
"CBS/NBC" as their affiliation.
This came to an end
around 1970, with channel 13 going NBC and channel 42 going
CBS. In 1980, Newhouse Broadcasting sold WAPI radio to Dittman
and WAPI TV to Times-Mirror. It was then the calls of channel 13
became WVTM (Vulcan Times Mirror).
- In 1993
the station was bought by Argyle Television. A year later, it was to
be purchased by New World Communications, but issues with owning
both WVTM and WBRC prevented that from happening until 1995, when New
World began operating the stations for Argyle under a time brokerage
agreement. In 1996, the station was sold to NBC, making Birmingham one
of the smaller markets to have an Owned & Operated (O&O)
In November 2002
this station became one of Birmingham's first digital television
stations to hit the airwaves. It will transition from UHF back
to channel 13 post analog shutdown. NBC
sold WVTM and some other small market O&O stations to Media
General in 2006.
- In 2008 the
station announced it was adding the Retro Television Network to one
of its digital subchannels. It apparently didn't show up until
sometime in the spring of 2009, around the first of May, according
to reports. Originally to be on a third subchannel, it
apparently replaced the NBC 13 Weather Radar/forecasts that had been
station elected to keep analog broadcasts on until the new June 12th
deadline. The station operated under a Special
Temporary Authority for RF channel
52, 360 kW @ 1,309 feet. WVTM switched to RF channel 13 on
June 12th 2009.
replaced RTV on 26 September 2011. In March 2014, LIN TV and
Media General agreed to a merger, which required the divestiture of
one of the two stations that the combined company would own.
(The other station was WIAT.) Media General agreed to
spin off WVTM to Hearst Television and the FCC approved the transfer
in December 2014.
part of the FCC spectrum repacking efforts, this station received a
permit to relocate from RF channel 13 to channel 7 in July, 2017.