WDCO-CD
Channels
BrandingTBD Washington D.C.
Programming
AffiliationsTBD
Ownership
Owner
History
FoundedApril 30, 1985
First air date
September 30, 1985 (38 years ago) (1985-09-30)
Former call signs
  • W10AZ (1985–1994)
  • WAZT-LP (1994–2002)
  • WAZT-CA (2002–2015)
  • WAZT-LD (2015)
  • WAZT-CD (2015–2017)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog: 10 (VHF, 1985–2015)
  • Digital: 45 (UHF, 2015–2019)
Religious Independent (1985–2018)
Jewelry TV (2018–2020)
Technical information[1]
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID57905
ClassCD
ERP15 kW
HAAT151.2 m (496 ft)
Transmitter coordinates38°56′24.2″N 77°4′52.5″W / 38.940056°N 77.081250°W / 38.940056; -77.081250 (WDCO-CD)
Links
Public license information
Translator
WIAV-CD
Channels
History
FoundedAugust 23, 1989
First air date
September 26, 1994 (29 years ago) (1994-09-26)
Former call signs
  • W58BR (1989–1996)
  • WIAV-CA (1996–2008)[2]
  • WIAV-LD (2008–2015)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog: 58 (UHF, 1994–2010), 4 (VHF, 2010–2011)
  • Digital: 44 (UHF, 2008–2017)
Call sign meaning
AsiaVision (former owner)
Technical information[3]
Facility ID168063
ClassCD
ERP48 kW
HAAT151.2 m (496 ft)
Transmitter coordinates38°56′24.2″N 77°4′52.5″W / 38.940056°N 77.081250°W / 38.940056; -77.081250
Links
Public license information

WDCO-CD (channel 10) is a low-power, Class A television station licensed to Woodstock, Virginia, United States, serving the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area with programming from the digital multicast network TBD. Owned and operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group, it is sister to ABC affiliate WJLA-TV (channel 7) and local cable channel WJLA 24/7 News. WDCO-CD's transmitter is located in Ward Circle in Washington's northwest quadrant.

Co-owned and co-located WIAV-CD (channel 58), licensed to Washington, relays WDCO-CD's TBD programming in the new ATSC 3.0 broadcasting standard.

History

Shenandoah Valley religious broadcaster

Logo used until October 2008.

The station has operated since September 30, 1985, when it was put on the air as a religious independent station by Ruarch Associates, LLC (its original calls were W10AZ, with the WAZT calls, introduced in 1994, apparently being derived from it), and once had a radio sister station, WAZR in nearby Harrisonburg.

The WAZT network offered some programming from Cornerstone and other religious networks, but it generally did not show them in-pattern with those networks, and it also broadcast some secular syndicated programming and classic television shows.

WAZT once broadcast a local newscast at 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (entitled News 10), but this was discontinued on December 26, 2005. In January 2006, WAZT began airing CBN's NewsWatch program.

Ruarch sold WAZT to JLA Media & Publications (no relation to WJLA-TV) in 2006. Jones Broadcasting acquired the station out of Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2011.[4]

In 2012, Jones Broadcasting reached a deal to buy the struggling and bankrupt Danville-based independent WEFC-TV, located in the larger RoanokeLynchburg market, with plans to move operations to Roanoke and make it the new group flagship.[5] The sale fell through in the spring of 2013, with Liberty University buying the station instead;[6] Jones then sold the WAZT group of stations to Venture Technologies Group that December.

Venture immediately began moving WAZT and its sister stations to the far larger Washington, D.C., television market. At the time, WAZT transmitted from a hill near Toms Brook, Virginia. After agreeing to purchase the WAZT network, Venture obtained a construction permit to move the station's analog signal to the WZRV tower near Front Royal, Virginia. Later in 2014, it filed for a digital signal at a new transmitter site near The Plains, Virginia, which signed on in March 2015.[7] Venture also purchased Washington-based WIAV-CD in 2014, which expanded the network's footprint into the city proper.[8]

After spending most of its time as a religious broadcaster branded as simply "WAZT", the station and its relays changed to the branding "Faith Television Network" under Venture's ownership.

WAZT-CD's callsign was changed to WDCO-CD on October 11, 2017. On the same day, Winchester repeater WAZW-CD became WAZT-CD.[9] On January 24, 2018, Faith Television Network announced it would cease broadcasting. All four remaining stations in the network became full-time affiliates of Jewelry Television on January 31.[10]

Move-in to Washington

As a result of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s 2016–17 spectrum reallocation incentive auction, channels 24 and 30 – occupied by WNVC and WNVT, respectively – became available in the Washington market in 2018. WDCO-CD applied to take over WNVC's channel 24 facilities at its tower in Merrifield, Virginia, which would place it firmly in the Washington market, while WIAV-CD applied to move to channel 30. After WNVC was unable to find a channel-sharing partner and went off the air, it sold the tower and transmitter building. Left without a transmission site, WDCO-CD moved to temporary low-powered facilities shared with WIAV-CD at the WRC-TV (channel 4) tower in northwest Washington, and reapplied to permanently build there.[7]

The new WAZT-CD later relocated from Winchester to Blue Ridge Mountain in extreme southern Jefferson County, West Virginia, near the Virginia–West Virginia state line but also within the Washington market. After an additional "hop" to a tower in Leesburg, Virginia, this license was also moved into Washington proper and sold to Weigel Broadcasting, who operates it as WDME-CD.[11]

On June 25, 2020, Venture Technologies Group filed an agreement with the FCC to sell WDCO-CD and WIAV-CD to Sinclair Broadcast Group for $8.5 million.[12][13] The sale was completed on October 15,[14] making them Sinclair's second and third properties in the Washington market, alongside WJLA-TV. On the same day, WDCO-CD and WIAV-CD flipped to Sinclair's TBD multicast network, simulcasting WJLA-TV's fourth digital subchannel in 1080i full high definition. WAZT-CD was not included in the sale and continued to air Jewelry TV programming; it was later sold to Weigel Broadcasting and is now WDME-CD.

Sinclair's express intention for the purchase of the two stations was to convert WIAV-CD to Washington's first ATSC 3.0 broadcaster. WDCO-CD is to continue ATSC 1.0 service and honor the existing channel-sharing agreement with UniMás affiliate WMDO-CD (channel 47).[15][16] To clear the way for ATSC 3.0 conversion work, WMDO-CD switched its channel-share from WIAV-CD to WDCO-CD at the end of 2020.[17]

Sinclair subsequently commenced ATSC 3.0 operation over WIAV-CD on March 25, 2021.[18]

Former translators

WDCO-CD formerly operated five other relays:

WAZT-CD

Main article: WDME-CD

WAZC-LP

WAZC-LP went on the air on March 29, 1988, as W16AA, a translator for Charlottesville's NBC affiliate, WVIR-TV owned by Rockingham County with a transmitter on Massanutten Peak. In 1998, it was sold to Ruarch and moved to Luray. On November 5, 2004, WJAL in Hagerstown, Maryland, received the allocation for its digital signal, resulting in WAZC-LP being forced to move to channel 35 on March 31, 2006. A construction permit for WAZC-LD on channel 35 expired in June 2010 without being built. This station was not included in the 2013 sale to Venture and later went off the air. Its license was cancelled by the FCC on October 2, 2020.[19]

WAZM-CA

WAZM-CA signed on for the first time on December 26, 1996 (as W25CC, later W25AZ) and was a relay for Staunton and Waynesboro. In April 2012, Jones Broadcasting sold this station to Gray Television, who converted it to digital CBS/Fox affiliate WSVF-CD in October of that year.

WAZF-CD

WAZF-CD signed on for the first time on June 7, 1994, as W28AZ, becoming WFAZ-CA on October 19, 2000, and WAZF-CA on January 5, 2001. This station was licensed to Front Royal, Virginia, and in the analog era broadcast on channel 28 from the same Winchester tower as then-WAZW-CA; WAZF-CA's signal was pointed toward Front Royal while WAZW-CA's was pointed toward Charles Town, West Virginia. On March 13, 2014, this station signed on a digital signal on UHF channel 20 (virtual channel 28.1) from a transmitter on Short Hill Mountain southeast of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. WAZF-CD's license was sold for $513,526 in the spectrum reallocation auction, and was taken off the air on August 3, 2017.[20][21]

WAZH-CD

WAZH-CD which was founded on January 4, 1989, as W24AZ, signed on for the first time on April 16, 1992, and on October 5, 2000, it briefly took the callsign WWAZ-CA before becoming WAZH-CA on January 5, 2001. Although its callsign implied it was to be the relay for Harrisonburg, in the analog era it broadcast from a ridge above Basye with a directional signal pointed at Mount Jackson. After the digital transition, the new WAZH-CD moved to Signal Knob near Strasburg, which was the same location as then-WAZW-CD.[22] The station operated on UHF channel 14 and virtual channel 24.1. Venture sold WAZH-CD's channel 14 allocation for $12,042,490 in the spectrum reallocation auction, missed the subsequent deadline to reach a channel-sharing agreement with another Harrisonburg station, and elected to surrender the license on April 23, 2018.[23][20][24]

Subchannels

Subchannel of WDCO-CD[25]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
10.1 1080i 16:9 WDCO Simulcast of WJLA-DT4 / TBD
Subchannels of WIAV-CD (ATSC 3.0)[26]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
58.1 1080p 16:9 WIAV ATSC 3.0 simulcast of WJLA-DT4 / TBD
58.4 WJLA247 WJLA 24/7 News

References

  1. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WDCO-CD". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  2. ^ "Engineering STA". Federal Communications Commission.
  3. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WIAV-CD". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  4. ^ Seyler, Dave (October 28, 2011). "Transactions: 10-31-11". Television Business Report. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
  5. ^ Seyler, Dave (March 15, 2012). "Court approves sale of Roanoke-Lynchburg indy". Television Business Report. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  6. ^ "Notification of Non-consummation". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. April 15, 2013. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Facility No. 57905 Record". FCCData.
  8. ^ "WIAV-CD Facility Data". FCCData.
  9. ^ "Facility No. 168449 Record". FCCData.
  10. ^ "Celebrating 32 years and saying goodbye". Faith Television Network. January 24, 2018.
  11. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WAZT-CD".
  12. ^ "Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. June 25, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  13. ^ Jacobson, Adam (June 26, 2020). "A Major Broadcast Player Snags D.C. LPTV Duo". Radio & Television Business Report.
  14. ^ Consummation Notice
  15. ^ "Sinclair Acquires two Class A TV stations in Washington, DC". www.prnewswire.com. Sinclair Broadcast Group. October 15, 2020.
  16. ^ Kurz, Phil (January 7, 2021). "Broadcasters Eye ATSC 3.0 Rollout in 16 Additional Cities by End-of-Summer, Says Pearl TV". TVTechnology.
  17. ^ "Modification of a License for Digital Class A TV Station Application". FCC LMS. December 24, 2020.
  18. ^ "Modification of a License for Digital Class A TV Station Application (LMS File No. 119221)".
  19. ^ "WAZC-LP Facility Data".
  20. ^ a b FCC Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction — Auction 1001 Winning Bids
  21. ^ "DWAZF-CD Facility Data". FCCData.
  22. ^ "DWAZH-CD Facility Data". FCCData.
  23. ^ "Legal STA".
  24. ^ "Cancellation Application". FCC LMS.
  25. ^ "Digital TV Listing for WDCO-CD". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  26. ^ "Digital TV Listing for WIAV-CD". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved April 17, 2020.