Originally Posted by hjriver
WRVA-TV was a problem to receive for some reason for certain areas. I lived in Chesterfield so it was never a problem for us. In the very early days WTVR 6 was the only station. They aired NBC, CBS and ABC. WXEX I don't think was ever a "Petersburg" station. They had to license it as that. They had dual studios in Richmond and Petersburg and their transmitter and tower was on Bermuda Hundred Road near Allied Chemical's Fibers plant closer to Hopewell than Petersburg.
I hope we're not boring the young 'uns here with our trip down memory lane. At the time, WRVA-TV and WXEX came on, most of my relatives were up around White Stone and Kilmarnock.
They had been ingrained for so long that television was defined to them as WTVR. Likewise, radio to them was WRVA and little else. Yet their affinity for the 1140 radio side never translated over to channel 12 when it came on in 1956.
In hindsight, I think the perception of WXEX as being "that Petersburg station" perhaps came from seeing the city of license on the ID slide, then shown every hour and half hour. Plus, as I mentioned, the reception challenges were such back then that neither WRVA-TV nor WXEX had the coverage into that part of the Northern Neck as did channel 6, with a nice low-band signal from the heart of Richmond.
To bring this back to something in this century, WRVA-TV fought signal problems when it arrived in the mid-50's (as cited in the historical piece mentioned a few posts back). Similar problems emerged 53 years later back on June 12, 2009 when, as the only post-transition VHF and then saddled with only 6 kW, channel 12 faced problems with those not equipped to receive it. The power increase certainly helped and, unlike the world I recall my younger days, OTA viewing is today but a tiny fragment of the total audience.