Radio-TV Broadcast History

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WOAY is a broadcast television station in southern West Virginia that is locally owned by Thomas Broadcasting. It is licensed to the town of Oak Hill and is affiliated with ABC.

Oak Hill/Beckley/Bluefield, West Virginia
Branding WOAY Television (general)

NewsWatch (newscasts)

Channels Digital: 50 (UHF)
Subchannels 50.1/50.2 ABC HD/SD
Affiliations American Broadcasting Company
Owner Thomas Broadcasting Company
First air date December 14, 1954
Call letters' meaning WOAK, standing for OAK Hill was intended, but handwritten application was misread by FCC
Former channel number(s) Analog:

4 (1954-2009)

Former affiliations DuMont


UPN (secondary)

Transmitter power 600 kW
Height 200.1 m
Facility ID 66804
Transmitter coordinates 37°57′26.7″N 81°9′2″W / 37.957417°N 81.15056°W / 37.957417; -81.15056


WOAY took to the airwaves on December 14, 1954 on channel 4. The station was originally affiliated with ABC, CBS, and DuMont. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[1]

In previous decades, the station was known throughout the area for a very theatrical professional wrestling show that it produced itself with local "talent". However, this ended shortly after Thomas Broadcasting took over ownership in 1979, when the station's main studio, control room, office and transmitter building burned to the ground. The station's studio, control room and transmitter were relocated and rebuilt in the adjacent wrestling arena, where they remain today.

[2][3]Logo used until October 2009. As for programming, WOAY clears the entire ABC schedule, with the exception of World News Now, which is available on cable systems throughout the area when WOAY signs off; and ABC World News Sunday, which WOAY has long since pre-empted.

WOAY still signs off every night, resuming at 6:00 a.m., making it one of a few major network affiliates in the country to still sign off every night.

As of the June 12, 2009 DTV transition, WOAY no longer identifies as TV-4. Unlike most stations, it opted not to use PSIP to remap its signal to channel 4, but instead shows as its physical digital channel, 50. It verbally identifies as "WOAY Television," though its logo identifies it as TV50.

The digital transition left WOAY with one of the weakest signals in the market, as it is more or less unviewable over-the-air in the market's southern portion (Bluefield and points south).

DirecTV carries this station on Channel 4 in the Bluefield/Beckley area.

[edit] News/station presentation[]

[edit] Newscast titles[]

  • News Picture (1954-1958)
  • News Final (1958-1963)
  • The Johnson/Grayson Report (1963-1970)
  • Channel 4 News Report (1970-1974)
  • WOAY-TV Newservice (1974-1979)
  • NewsWatch 4 (1979-2009)
  • NewsWatch (2009-present)

[edit] Station slogans[]

  • The Heart of West Virginia (1980s-1990s)

[4] This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.==[edit] On-air staff==

[edit] Current on-air staff[]

[edit] Anchors[]

  • Bob Brunner: News Director/Reporter
  • Sara Machi: Weekend Anchor/Reporter
  • Shelley Orman: Noon Anchor/Reporter
  • Emily Dishnow: Weeknight Anchor

[edit] Reporters[]

  • Mike Pickett: Assignment Editor
  • Herbie Smith: Daytime Reporter

[edit] Weather[]

  • Jason Nappi:Chief Meteorologist
  • Shane Smith: Morning Meteorologist
  • Mike Lichniak:Weekend Meteorologist/Reporter

[edit] Sports[]

  • Marty Longhi: Sports Anchor
  • Dan Toth: Sports Director

[edit] Former on-air staff[]

  • Craig Minervini: Former sports director in the 1980s, now works for Fox Sports Florida
  • Shirley Love: Former news anchor, recently retired as a senator in the West Virginia Senate
  • George Strange
  • David Venable: anchor/reporter, joined QVC as a host in 1993
  • Phil Larsen Former Chief Meteorologist 1999-2002

[edit] Digital television[]

The station's digital signal, UHF 50, is multiplexed:

Channel Programming
50.1 main WOAY-TV programming / ABC HD
50.2 main WOAY-TV programming / ABC SD

WOAY-TV ceased broadcasting on analog channel 4 at 11:35 PM June 12, 2009 and will remain on digital channel 50.

[edit] References[]

  1. ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films", Boxoffice: 13, November 10, 1956,

[edit] External links[]