TV History Profile: WHDF
Channel 15 in Florence
started broadcasting on October 27, 1957 with the call letters WOWL.
WOWL was originally affiliated with the NBC and CBS networks. In
the 1960's, WOWL was primarily an NBC affiliate. The station did continue
to air CBS (and even a few ABC) programs in the non-prime time hours. By
1974 NBC was the only network carried by the station.
By the early 1970's, the Huntsville TV stations were now broadcasting into
the Florence area. WOWL now found itself having to compete with the NBC
affiliate from Huntsville. (Even though Florence could receive the Huntsville
stations, most of Huntsville could not receive WOWL. Only a very weak signal
from WOWL reached Huntsville.)
In the late 1990's, channel 15 started its move into the Huntsville-Decatur
TV market. The Galleria Media Group purchased the station in November 1996.
In 1998, the new owners filed an application with the FCC to move the transmitter
closer to Huntsville. A site was chosen in Minor Hill, Tennessee
at the Tennessee-Alabama state line and a 1,347-foot tower was constructed.
Around September 1999 the call letters were changed from WOWL to WHDF (for
"Huntsville Decatur Florence"). Sometime in the Fall of 1999, WOWL switched
from NBC to the UPN network. The new transmitter was put into service on
December 30, 1999.
to Tom in Huntsville