|Huntington/Charleston, West Virginia
|Branding||WOWK 13 (general)
13 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Working For You|
|Channels||Digital: 13 (VHF)
Virtual: 13 (PSIP)
|Owner||West Virginia Media Holdings|
|First air date||October 2, 1955|
|Call letters' meaning||Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky
(states served by the station's signal)
|Sister station(s)||WTRF, WVNS, WBOY|
|Former callsigns||WHTN-TV (1955-1975)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
13 (VHF, 1955-2009)
47 (UHF, until 2009)
|Former affiliations||ABC (1955-1958 & 1962-1986)
|Transmitter power||12.5 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WOWK-TV, channel 13, is a television station licensed to Charleston, West Virginia, USA. Owned by West Virginia Media Holdings, WOWK is the CBS affiliate for the Huntington-Charleston television market, which also covers portions of southeastern Ohio and northeastern Kentucky. The station's studios are located in Charleston next to the Charleston Town Center, on the first floor of the former Montgomery Ward location and its transmitter is based in Milton, West Virginia.
WOWK-TV is one of four West Virginia television stations owned by West Virginia Media Holdings; the other outlets are fellow CBS affiliates WVNS-TV in Lewisburg and WTRF-TV in Wheeling; and NBC-affiliated WBOY-TV in Clarksburg.
The station went on-air October 2, 1955 as WHTN-TV (for HunTingtoN) an ABC affiliate owned by the Greater Huntington Theater Corporation. After only a year, the station was bought by Cowles Communications (unrelated to the Spokane, Washington-based Cowles Publishing Company). WHTN swapped affiliations with WCHS-TV and became a CBS station for the first time in 1958. In 1960, Cowles sold Channel 13 to Reeves Telecom. It went back to ABC in 1962 and stayed with that network for 24 years. Reeves Telecom sold the station to Gateway Communications in 1974. A year later, it changed its call letters to the current WOWK-TV to reflect the three states it serves (Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky). In 1986, it changed affiliations again returning to CBS.
The station was headquartered at the Radio Center Building in Huntington from its inception until 1984 when WOWK moved to a location on Fifth Avenue. Gateway merged with SJL Broadcasting in 2000. SJL sold it to West Virginia Media Holdings in 2002. After the sale to West Virginia Media, it sold its Huntington building and moved to Charleston. However its transmitter is still located at the Milton location, closer to Huntington.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|13.1||1080i||16:9||WOWK-CBS||Main WOWK-TV programming / CBS|
WOWK-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 13, in early 2009. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 47 to VHF channel 13. On January 25, 2009, an ice storm destroyed the temporary UHF channel 47 digital transmitter. Rather than repair it for two more months of service, the station shut down its analog transmission early and brought its digital 13 transmitter on-line.
On May 29, 2011, WTAP in the Parkersburg market launched the first HD newscast in the state. On June 26, 2011, WTAP sister-station WSAZ launched the first HD broadcast in the Huntington-Charleston market. WOWK has moved into their new facilities, and on Saturday May 5, 2012 WOWK launched high definition newscasts. Sister station WTRF on December 29, 2011 at 12 PM Launched the first true High Definition newscast in the Wheeling/Steubenville market. WTRF was the first station in the West Virginia Media Holdings Group to have a local High Definition newscast.
On May 16, 2011, WOWK expanded its morning newscast to a 4:30 A.M. start time. It is the first station in the market, as well as in the state, to do so. The morning news expansion is a growing trend across the United States.
The station announced on August 5, 2011 that 17 year veteran evening anchor Sandra Cole had decided not to renew her contract. Cole ended her tenure at the station on September 30, 2011. From October, 2011 until January, 2012, the station did not have an evening anchor. Kelly Brennan, Stacy Moniot, Dana Arquilla, and Scott Roberts filled the evening slots during the interim period. The station has since placed April Kaull, former WOWK news director, and Don Hammond into the evening news slots.
West Virginia Media produces a half-hour evening newscast that airs at 5:30pm. The newscast, titled Tonight Live, formerly (West Virginia Tonight Live) is broadcast live from the Charleston studios in high definition on all 4 stations and is anchored by April Kaull.
Notable current on-air staff
- Hohmann, George (2011-08-23). "TV station moving to Charleston building". Charleston Daily mail. p. 2. Retrieved 2011-08-25.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WOWK
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- CDBS Print