Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Wintersville Ohio
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ABC FOR THE OHIO VALLEY: The Wheeling/Steubenville market is about to get what it has never, ever had - a full-time, in-market ABC affiliate station.
The folks at TVNewsday report that West Virginia Media CBS affiliate WTRF/7 Wheeling will launch a new ABC affiliate for the Ohio Valley on August 1, with a digital subchannel on WTRF-DT. That'd have to be, as the story indicates, WTRF-DT 7.3, as 7.2 is already taken by "FOX Ohio Valley".
The trade site quotes West Virginia Media president Bray Cary:
"Our new affiliations with the ABC Television Network in Clarksburg-Weston and Wheeling-Steubenville will expand the programming choice for our viewers, enabling them to enjoy the entire ABC Network schedule along with local news broadcasts produced specifically for these markets. This expansion of service with the Aug. 1 launch of WBOY-TV/D2 and WTRF-TV/D3 also creates important new advertising opportunities for our local station clients."
WBOY-TV is the company's NBC affiliate in the Clarksburg-Weston WV market, which is also adding a new ABC subchannel.
Until now, those living in the Ohio Valley have relied upon out of market ABC affiliates, like WTAE/4 Pittsburgh and WSYX/6 Columbus.
It won't be the first relatively new ABC affiliate serving Ohio viewers, as Metro Video's WLQP-LP/18 Lima switched from UPN to ABC, when the former network faded into the TV history books a couple of years ago.
But WTRF's effort will be on its main digital signal, which will put "ABC Ohio Valley" (or whatever they end up calling it) right next to the mothership CBS and existing FOX affiliate for digital viewers - a good spot to be over-the-air after the analog-to-digital transition kicks in next February...