TV History

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The Huntsville had no "local" TV in the DMA (Designated Market Area) until 1954. In fact the area was not even recognized

as an independent DMA until the 1960's. WMSL-TV23 went on the air in Decatur AL in 1954, but never was even on some of

the Huntsville cable systems (Huntsville had 3 cable systems in the 1960's/Decatur was larger than Huntsville in 1954) The

Huntsville market was assigned no VHF channels so they had to watch TV from other markets with antennas or Cable TV

(after 1957,when the first system started).

By 1963 the Huntsville area finally had full-time network stations. (BEFORE Birmingham) Many people enjoyed the people

and personalities of these other cities via cable and antenna. (Huntsville had one of the highest cable penetration rates of any

city in the US in the 1960's/'70's/'80s) As Cable channels started rolling with HBO in 1976 the Chattanooga, Nashville and

Birmingham stations gradually vanished. Huntsville Cable TV started in 1957 with just 4 channels. Take a look at history and

ads/logos from these eras. These fantastic pictures are from my personal collection along with the below sources and other

submissions. Please feel free to submit more pictures at lance@huntsvillerewound.com Chattanooga stations are still

watched in Jackson and DeKalb counties, but they were on in Madison and Marshall counties on cable up until the Mid 1970's

Birmingham stations remain on a few systems around Hartselle. South Tennessee still gets a mixture of Huntsville and Nashville.

Up until around 2000 WHNT was the only CBS station on the Iuka MS cable system. (As WCBI in Columbus MS in analog had

interference from WSM/WSMV) This site focuses on the local AND distant channels (The distant channels vanished as national

cable channels were added, The distant channels duplicated the locals 70% of the time anyway by the '80's)

The Huntsville/Decatur/Florence market by sign on date--WMSL(23) in Decatur-1954
WOWL(15) in Florence-1957, WAFG(31) in Huntsville-1959, WHNT(19) in Huntsville-1963
WHIQ(25) in Huntsville-1965, WFIQ(36)in Florence-1967, WZDX(54)in Huntsville-1985
and WTRT(26)in Florence in 1985

 

interesting fact: Huntsville Metro had 3 NBC stations for about 6 months in 1967/1968 (15/23/31) (no ABC)

 

enjoy!!!

 

some Birmingham pictures- some Huntsville pictures-

some Nashville pictures-Huntsville was considered a triple-TV market until the mid-80s Huntsville/Birmingham/Nashville

 

some Chattanooga pictures-

 

Check your favorite bookstore for these great books!

 

 

1949 WAFM/13 Birmingham sign ontest pattern

WBRC/4 Birmingham sign on

first TV setup in business in Huntsville-Wone's Barbeque in Lincoln Village A 16" Admiral set

1950 WSM/4 Nashville TN sign on

FCC holds TV construction permits

1952 UHF startsconverters are required as ALL TVs are VHF-only(2-13)

Huntsville is all-UHF TV market. Lexington KY was only other market like this in the Southeast USA

1953 WSIX/8 Nashville sign on

WROM/9 Rome GA sign on

WBRC moves from 4 to 6 to avoid interference in North Alabama from WSM

 

1954 WMSL/23 Decatur sign on

WLAC/5 Nashville sign on

WDEF/12 Chattanooga sign on

 

1955 WBIQ/10/Birmingham and WTIQ/Talladega sign onAPT is first public TV network in country

1950's pictures

 

WBRC/6

WAFG/31WMSL/23

WMSL/23

 

ALABAMA EDITION TV GUIDE 3/21/59

 4 WRBL-TV (CBS, ABC) .................... 1350 13th Ave., Columbus, Ga.
 6 WBRC-TV (CBS) ............................. Atop Red Mtn., Birmingham
 9 WTVY    (CBS, ABC) ........................... Cottonwood Rd., Dothan
12 WSFA-TV (NBC, ABC) ..................... 10 E. Delano St., Montgomery
13 WAPI-TV (NBC, ABC) ........................ P.O. Box 2553, Birmingham
15 WOWL-TV (NBC, CBS) ........................... P.O. Box 634, Florence
20 WCOV-TV (CBS, ABC) ........................ P.O. Box 2111, Montgomery
23 WMSL-TV (NBC, CBS) .................. Mutual Life Ins. Bldg., Decatur
28 WTVM    (NBC, ABC) ................... 1307 First Ave., Columbus, Ga.

Alabama Educational Network .......... Protective Life Bldg., Birmingham
      2 WAIQ (Andalusia)    7 WTIQ (Munford)    10 WBIQ (Birmingham)
 

WBRC has been a NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX station over the years in Birmingham

 

Huntsville's Sesquicentennial on WMSL/WAPI (Thanks Donald Derrick/Bryson Studios)

 

 

 

1956 WRGP/3 Chattanooga sign on

Dumont TV network ends File:Dumont.jpg

WCBI/4 Columbus MS sign on

1957WOWL/15 Florence sign on

WTWV/9 Tupelo MS sign on

Huntsville cable starts carrying channels 6-BHM,13-BHM,4-NSV,8-NSV

1958 WROM/9 Rome GA becomes WTVC/9 Chattanoogaallowing channel swap in Columbus GA

1959 WAFG/31 Huntsville sign on

1962 WDCN/2 Nashville sign on

FCC requires UHF on all new TV sets

FCC issues a construction permit for WAAY/25

1963 WHNT/19 Huntsville signs on

WAFG becomes WAAY 25 CP goes to APT as Smith Broadcasting buys WAFG

1960's picturesAPTN WSM/4

WAPI-13WSIX/8WSM/4

 

Bozo- on Birmingham's WBRC/6 and Nashville's WSIX/8 Romper Room WSIX/8 in Nashville with a very young Brenda Lee

1965 and 1967 ads (Huntsville TV Cable headend* was near Montview) *antenna site

1965 Huntsville TV Cable lineup from "The Huntsville News" 1/65
3 WAAY/31 ABC Huntsville
4 WSM/4 NBC Nashville
5 WLAC/5 CBS Nashville
6 WBRC/6 ABC Birmingham
7 WMSL/23 NBC Decatur
8 WSIX/8 ABC Nashville
9 WHNT/19 CBS Huntsville
10 WBIQ/10 NET Birmingham

(13 in Birmingham was probably avoided because of their NBC/CBS affiliation)

WAAY/31

Interactive Huntsville Rewound TV facebook sites Check out all 4! (all posted on home page)

 

1965 WHIQ/25 Huntsville sign on

WBMG/42 Birmingham sign on gets channel 13's leftovers from WAPI/13 (leftovers of CBS/NBC programming)

1966 Huntsville ETV Center begins operation(4 channels)KHU-75 (later on Huntsville cable systems as )

1967 WFIQ/36 Florence signs on

WAAY gets taller tower, and goes NBC

Alabama Cablevision/Reeves Broadcasting buys and merges all 3 Huntsville cable systems-Huntsville TV Cable ,

TV Distibution(WBHP) ,and T&G Cable

The Huntsville CATV antennas (Alabama Cablevision/TelePrompTer/Group W/Comcast) for Birmingham(6,10,13,42)

were behind Burritt Museum and eventually moved to Brindlee Mtn (near WRSA/WTAK tower) Nashville(2/4/5/8/17) were on Drake Mountain

(near WAHR/WRTT/WDRM/WYFD/WWFF/WDRM/WQRV towers) Chattanooga(3/12)/Atlanta(17) were on top of Lookout Mtn in Ft. Payne.

Cable Alabama's Birmingham antennas were on a mountain in Redstone Arsenal. Athens CATV antennas were near I-65/AL251.

Decatur's Nashville Antennas were on Capshaw Mountain (near WZYP tower)

 

1968 WMSL goes ABC1957 (NBC was on 23 and 31 for several months)

1969 WMSL moves to Huntsville on 48. Ends Decatur broadcasting on 23

(local color programs too)

WHNT installs taller tower

 

1970 NET becomes PBSFile:NET1966.pngFile:PBS 1971 id.png

WBMG goes CBS/WAPI goes NBC

1971 Alabama Cablevision becomes Teleprompter

Teleprompter begins local channel (later CHRM-17 on Cable Alabama )

1971 Huntsville/Decatur cable lineup

1973 WTCG/17 added in Huntsville (from Chattanooga headend in Fort Payne. WTCG went on satellite in 1976)

WDCN/2 and WSIX/8 become WNGE/2 and WDCN/8 Nashville

Teleprompter headend flooded on Traylor Island

 

1974 WMSL becomes WYUR

WAAY gets weather radar

1970's pictures

WBRC/6WBMG/42WAPI/13

 

WSM/4 1971

 

 

WHNT/19 (WLAC/5 rolled out TV radar in 1959!)

 

John Tesh is next to Dan Miller

WDEF/12WLAC/5

 

WTVC/9

CATV/9(HSV) WSMV/4

WAAY/31's "Dialing for Dollars"(Hank Price) The Captain and Bobby

Grady and Linda from "Mornin Folks" on WHNT/19

WNGE/2

(Click to play above)

 

 

 

1975WAAY gets COLOR weather radar

1976 HBO starts in Huntsville (lineup change) Chattanooga Stations dropped off HSV cable

KIH-20(weather radio) starts from WYUR/48 tower

1977 WAAY installs tall tower

WAAY/WYUR swap networks again

WOWL boosts power trying to serve Huntsville

1978 WYUR becomes WAFF

CBN added to cable (lineup change) Showtime added/HBO dropped

1979 WZTV/17 Nashville added to HSV

 

ESPN starts (Nashville/Birmingham pulled as new channels launch gradually)

1980 HBO added back in HSV

1981 WAFF new tall tower completed

WGN/9 added,CNN and 3 other channels start(HSV cable) KIH-20 moved to WHIQ tower

1982 WAFF studio/transmitter destroyed in fire (back up in 2 1/2 weeks!) Studio moved to North Parkway

longterm (temporarily uses ETV studio)

WOR/9 added in HSV

1983 WTCG HSV feed changes to national feed

1983 Teleprompter becomes Group W

1985 WZDX signs on-Studio on Mastin Lake Road

Group W issues after they announce door-to-door cable audit/Cable Alabama comes to HSV from Madison as

customers are outraged.

1986WTRT/26 Florence sign-on

FOX signs on nationally

Cable Alabama launches in Huntsville with 70 channels (Group W has 36) Cable Alabama adds

WTTO21/Birmingham KTVT/11Dallas WTVS/56 Detroit

1980's pictures

 

1987 WHNT moves studio to downtown

Group W becomes Comcast HSV cable wars begin (rates got about cut in half for about 2 years)

1990 WZDX goes FOX

1995 WZDX moves to North Parkway

UPN and WB launch nationallyFile:Upn1995.png File:TheWBlogo.png

1998 WTZT-CA signs on in Athens AL in channel 28,later 11

 

 

2000 WOWL/15 NBC becomes WHDF/15 File:Upn1995.png and moves transmitter to Minor Hill TN

Cable Alabama becomes Knology(rolls phone)

2002 WHIQ-TV/DT transmitter/ETV fireWHIQ-TV/DT/KIH20 transmitters destroyed ETV studio

 destroyed

WAWB starts as Knology cable channel (later on 54.2)

2003 WAAY tower collapses (temporarily on WHNT tower in analog)

Comcast rolls phone

WHNT launches Weather 24/7 on 19.2

2004 WAAY tower rebuilt. WAAY and WZDX move to new tower(share)

WAFF begins "Weatherplus" on 48.2 "The Tube" on 48.3

2006 WHNT and UAH launch the world's first Dual Pol TV Radar "Armor"

2007 UPN/WB merge resources-new network goes to WHDF/15.

Valley's WB becomes My8(My Network TV)Image:Wamy 2009.pngon 54.2

WZDX adds outsourced local news

WAFF's "The Tube" goes dark nationally

2008 WHNT/19 begins 16x9(widescreen) news and RTN/later RTV on 19.2

2009 WYLE/26 Florence license cancelled

CP for ch.56 never used for Arab

Analog TV ends

WAFF launches THIS TV and drops the local version of WeatherPlus

2010WZDX begins WAAY local news partnership

WAFF begins HD local news

2011WHNT begins Antenna TV on 19.2

WHNT and WAAY begin HD local news

WAFF radar is destroyed by F-4 tornado. Replaced by new 1 million watt radar

2012WAFF Swaps THIS TV for BOUNCE TV 1/1/2012

WZDX adds MeTV on 54.3 4/15/12

WFIQ/WHIQ Swaps APT-IQ for APT-World on 25.2/36.2

2013Knology becomes WOW!

2014Weather Nation comes to 32.2

Grit launches on 48.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

other Birmingham/Nashville/Chattanooga/Columbus-Tupelo/Atlanta stations did not affect the Huntsville market

today's websites for Huntsville and surrounding markets:

 

 

 

                                      

                                                                           10/10/2014 11:44:53 PM

 

Home HSV downtown HSV mill HSV space HSV mountains MADISON DECATUR ATHENS FLORENCE SAND MOUNTAIN SOUTH TN RADIO History TV History TV Ads Children's TV BENNY CARLE GRUNCHESandGRINS G&G Facebook PHONE History HSV Phone Books FOOD places MOVIES/AFTER HRS SCHOOL RETAIL SIGNS/MAPS/TRAVEL GAS Stations TIME MACHINE SESQUICENTENNIAL WEATHER FACEBOOK KELLER CAR Keller Car FB FIRSTNATIONALBANK SAFETY CITY Safety City FB SPACE CITY USA Space City FB SPACE&ROCKET CTR PRESIDENTIAL VISIT DEC KELLER BRIDGE THE PARKWAY FAMOUS CAT US BICENTENNIAL CANYONLAND QMRacing '72 AL car tags "The Train" "The Train" FB BOOK CLUB CHRISTMAS ABOUT/CREDITS HR on facebook

also check these sites out:

               

DISCLAIMER: This page is NOT sanctioned by, nor is it produced under the auspices of any city or company.  All graphics are self-produced; photos and other memorabilia found on this page originate from the private collection of the Webmaster and local citizens, and from the high generosity of other, history-loving people (credited throughout the Website/facebook site).  All logos, past and present, are the property of their respective owners.  They're featured for historical purposes, and the Webmaster does not challenge any ownership rights. Please also get permission before posting any item from an existing website onto the facebook site. When permission is given you will probably need to link to that site in your description. Seeing picture content on a public website such as this does NOT translate to their being in the public domain. Please do NOT post any of these photos into any local retro or historical webpage or facebook page without WRITTEN authorization of the webmaster. Please contact the webmaster with any of these concerns.  Thank You

email-lance@huntsvillerewound.com

 

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