TV Technical Profile: WVUA


Channel:
6
Programming:
23.1 - Th!s TV
23.2 - Light TV
23.3 - WUAL-FM 91.5 audio (public radio) / weather radar
Transmitter Location:
[map] Atop Red Mountain, Birmingham, on the old WIAT-TV tower.
Power (ERP):
26 kW
Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT):
1,296 feet
Antenna:
Omnidirectional
Other Information:
28 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
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// WVUA-CD Tuscaloosa, AL
// WJMY-CD Demopolis, AL
// WDVZ-CD Greensboro, AL
History:
This station was originally supposed to be a simulcast of WABM-TV out of Birmingham, carrying UPN programming. The calls were WBJH, changed to WLDM a month later; it may have been on the air with a Shop-at-Home programming feed at one point. The University of Alabama, which from 2002 has owned WVUA-CD, a low power VHF station in Tuscaloosa, acquired this channel through a donation. In March 2005, the calls changed to WUOA, which were the original calls of Alabama Public Radio station WUAL, also owned by the University. After acquisition, the station has simulcast WVUA-CD programming, which features Tuscaloosa's only local newscasts on television.  Early on, the station carried the America One network, but that was dropped for This TV in 2008. 
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On the analog shutdown date of June 12th, this station made the flash-cut switch from their analog channel 23 to digital 6 from atop Red Mountain.  The station picked up the "University wide" WVUA-DT calls in May 2015.  The parent station to this repeater is WVUA-CD; there's also a WVUA-FM radio station run by the students at the University.  In the late spring of 2017 the station picked up the fledgling Light TV network on the -.2 subchannel.  The -.3 subchannel carries weather radar along with WUAL-FM's public radio audio format.  There had also been a -.4 subchannel with color bars and the eXponential brand music format, but it appears it was dropped in the fall of 2017.

One of the benefits of this station taking WBRC's old VHF channel 6 allocation atop Red Mountain was that they could use that station's old analog VHF antenna.  Today, the station uses a re-purposed 16-bay ERI FM antenna that's located near the top of the old WIAT-TV tower.