TV History Profile: WTVY

WTVY 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. 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. Wow.
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.