WVVA, virtual channel 6 (UHF digital channel 17), is a duel NBC/CW+ affiliated television station licensed to Bluefield, West Virginia, United States and serving the Bluefield-Beckley-Oak Hill television market, which also covers portions of southwestern Virginia. The station is owned by Quincy Media. WVVA's studios are located on U.S. Route 460 in Bluefield, and its transmitter is located atop East River Mountain, near the West Virginia-Virginia border.
|Bluefield, West Virginia|
WVVA News (newscasts)
Two Virginias' CW (on DT2)
MeTV Two Virginias' (on DT3)
|Slogan||Here For You!|
Dare to Defy (on DT2)
Memorable Entertainment Television (on DT3)
|Channels||Digital: 17 (UHF)
6.4: Court TV
6.5: Start TV
|Owner||Quincy Media (sale to Gray Television pending; to be resold to Allen Media Group thereafter)
(WVVA License, LLC)
|First air date||July 31, 1955|
|Call letters' meaning||USPS abbreviations for West Virginia and VirginiA|
|Former call signs||WHIS-TV (1955–1979)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
6 (VHF, 1955–2009)
46 (UHF, 2009–2019)
|Transmitter power||545 kW|
|Height||370 m (1,214 ft)|
The station went on the air on July 31, 1955, under the special commitment of a VHF allotment to Bluefield after the release of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s Sixth Report and Order in 1952. Because of its proposed antenna height and location on East River Mountain, the channel 6 allocation in Bluefield was short-spaced to WATE-TV (also on channel 6) in Knoxville, Tennessee and side-spaced to WCYB-TV (on adjacent channel 5) in Bristol, Virginia. As a result, the proposed station on the channel 6 frequency would therefore be limited to one-half of the visual maximum effective radiated power, or 50,000 watts.
The station's original call letters were WHIS-TV, named for West Virginia politician Hugh Ike Shott. Shott died in 1953, two years before the station made it to air, and his heirs were channel 6's original owners. The Shotts were forced to construct a privately owned microwave relay system to receive NBC programming from WSLS-TV in Roanoke, Virginia, the closest and most accessible city receiving network signals via the A.T. & T. Long Lines system. When it was completed in September WHIS-TV began carrying NBC programs, the first being The Pinky Lee Show. The station's operations were originally housed in the Bluefield Municipal Building; on January 1, 1967, the WHIS stations moved into new facilities on Big Laurel Highway (U.S. Routes 19 and 460), known as "Broadcast Center," and channel 6 began full color operations.
The Shott family, through what was known as the Daily Telegraph Publishing Company, controlled not only WHIS-TV but also the city's only radio stations—WHIS-AM-FM—and the city's only daily newspaper, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Although their media holdings in Bluefield were considered a monopoly by some (as highlighted in a July 1974 Wall Street Journal article), only the newspaper was a vehicle for their conservative political views. But in 1975, the FCC decreed that a single company could not own all of the media outlets in one area, and required several small-market broadcast-print combinations to be broken up. The ruling forced the Shott family to sell their Bluefield television station. In 1979, after four years of appeals, the Shotts sold WHIS-TV to Quincy, Illinois-based Quincy Newspapers. After the sale was completed, the new owners changed the station's call letters to WVVA (so as to comply with an FCC rule in effect at the time that required TV and radio stations in the same market, but with different ownership to use different callsigns) on May 1, 1979; the call sign refers to the states which channel 6 serves, West Virginia and Virginia.
On February 17, 2009, WVVA switched to "Digital Nightlight" service on its analog signal showing information on the transition to exclusive digital television and its nightly 6 o'clock newscast. Post-transition digital operations continued on channel 46, remapping to channel 6 using PSIP. The station's analog service was terminated altogether in late-April 2009.
WVVA currently has a construction permit for a digital fill-in translator on channel 43 from a transmitter near Layland. This will have the same call sign as the main signal and primarily serve the northern portion of the market.
On February 1, 2021, Gray Television announced it had purchased Quincy Media for $925 million. The deal is expected to be completed later in 2021. If the deal is approved by the FCC, WVVA will gain several sister stations in nearby markets, including CBS affiliates WDBJ in Roanoke and WDTV in Clarksburg, ABC affiliate WHSV-TV in Harrisonburg and fellow NBC affiliates WSAZ-TV in Huntington–Charleston, WTAP-TV in Parkersburg and WVIR-TV in Charlottesville. This would also leave the Wheeling–Steubenville market and the portions of the Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh markets that extend into West Virginia as the only parts of the state not covered by a Gray station (though Washington houses a national political bureau for Gray).
WVVA remains one of the strongest NBC affiliates in the country and continually averages high Nielsen rating shares in the mountainous nine county market. In recent years, however, personnel moves have allowed CBS affiliate WVNS-TV to challenge, and in some cases tie, WVVA. WVVA News began broadcasting in High Definition from a totally renovated studio with new sets as well as a new control room in June, 2012. In addition to its main studios, WVVA operates a Beckley Bureau (on Main Street along North Kanawha Street/WV 210) and a "virtual" Greenbrier Valley Bureau (covering Summers, Monroe, and Greenbrier counties in West Virginia as well as Giles County, Virginia).
- Assignment Six (1970s)
- News 6
- NewsCenter 6
- NewsChannel 6
- NBC 6 News (?–2008)
- WVVA News (2008–present)
- Come Home to the Best, Only on Channel 6 (19??-19??; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- WVVA, The Place to Be (199?-199?; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- Here For You!