WVAH-TV is a Charleston, West Virginia based Fox affiliate owned by Cunningham Broadcasting. It is operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group under an LMA. Established since Oct 1981, the channel is located on Piedmont Road in Charleston with transmitter maintained atop Coal Mountain, south of Scott Depot, West Virginia. WCHS-TV owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group is the sister of the service.
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WVAH first signed on air on Sep 19, 1982 under the ownership of Meridian Communication. It outbid West Virginia Public broadcasting to take the license and was launched as first non-affiliated independent service in West Virginia. WVAH was also market’s maiden commercial TV in the market since the launch of WOWK in 1955 on Ch 13 which became the first commercial UHF outlet in the area since the shutdown of Charleston-based WKNA in 1955. The original studios of the channel were located on Mount Vernon Road in Teays Valley. WVAH signed as Charter Fox affiliate on Oct 6, 1986 and was acquired by Act III Broadcasting in 1987.
Act III straight after the acquisition applied for the transition to VHF band. Despite having a transmitter at a height of 1,500 ft, the channel faced a lot of difficulty in reaching the all sides of market that covers 61 counties in Central West Virginia, Southern Ohio and Eastern Kentucky. The non-availability of cable service in some parts of the market also played out as a factor for the move. Eventually, the station was allowed to make a switch to VHF Ch 11 slot in 1989. It however, was short-spaced to WJHL and WPXI in Johnson City and Pittsburgh.
Act III and Abry communications merged together only to be acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group later in that year (1994). Sinclair then made a move to acquire Heritage Media assets including WCHS. However, it couldn’t keep bother WVAH and WCHS due to FCC regulations on duopolies. It then retained WCHS but decided to sell WVAH to Glencairn, Ltd. Sinclair showed its cards to purchase Glencairn outright, but failed in its plans once again due to Federal Communications Commission rules which would not allow it to have two of the four highest-rated channels in the single market. Glencairn changed its name to Cunningham Broadcasting.
Programming and Notable Personalities
WVAH gets three of its newscasts sourced by WCHS under Eyewitness News branding. Until 10:00pm news-bulletin debuted on WSAZ on March 31, 2014, WVAH’ news broadcast was the only late evening bulletin in the market. Mark Martin, Mark E. Hyman and Armstrong Williams are among the notable staff of the service. Local, national and international news, weather and sports updates, high school football and basketball coverage, Friday Night Rivals, offbeat, investigations, entertainment stuff and more is available on the official site. Follow the station on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Here is the website: https://wvah.com/