Originally Posted by 75ohms
One would think there would be a replacement for that station with the full power allotment in this market, which magically switched markets when no one was looking...
When no one was looking? The newspaper stories through the 19760s, '70s, 80s, and 90s sounded a constant theme - operation of a second television station in Johnstown was a huge challenge, made larger because of being a UHF station.
Channel 19 (and earlier when it was ch 56) was never financially successful in the Johnstown market. The station was beginning to develop some possibility of earning some return on investment when the FCC dropped in a short-spaced channel 8 into the market in the mid-1980s. That was the end, and not too many years later ch 19 went dark. Only by moving into the much larger Pittsburgh market could the station have any chance of remaining on the air to serve anybody.
Fast forward to today. There's a low powered Class A station licensed to Johnstown, WBYD-CA (analog ch 35, proposed digital RF 24). Even they cannot make a go of it here. They have actually done a stealth move to Pittsburgh. The transmitter is located in the WQED tower complex and serves Pittsburgh, not Johnstown. The coverage map shows the WBYD signal never comes within 50 miles of Johnstown. How the FCC has allowed this to continue without changing the COL is a mystery.
WPCW has been up front about their move into Pittsburgh. When they were allocated RF 49, the transmitter was to have been located near Monroeville. When they were given RF 11, it made sense from financial, technical, and market coverage reasons to co-locate on the KDKA tower. None of this was done in secret.