A member of the Peoria group has confirmed through the station switchboard operator that WAOE-59 in Peoria, a MNTV affiliate, will move from a tower near Peoria to WWTO-TV's old tower just southeast of Starved Rock State park near Utica, IL on January 17, 2020. The old channel 10 antenna on top of that tower will come alive again!
Right now, the station is broadcasting at 26 kw at 567.5' near Peoria, making it difficult to pick up. Having said that, at its new home, it will put a grade "A" signal just barely into Bloomington and Peoria at 1325' above the ground, and 24 kilowatts on channel 10.
So, what does that have to do with this market? At that power level, people from Rochelle to DeKalb to Naperville to Joliet with VHF antennas pointed towards the tower got WWTO. Granted, I suspect that a literal handful of people will want to see this in our market, along with those who get it accidentally on a rescan or via tropospheric ducting. But because of the location and height, the signal punches into parts of 5 markets: Peoria-Bloomington, a small part of Champaign-Springfield, Rockford, Quad Cities, and a fair chunk of the Chicago market, by using the FCC predicted 36 dBu contour (and all the forecast imperfections it implies).
I was thinking of taking down my attic antenna which points south, but this changes that plan.
Anyway, see if you can get it when it signs on. I think I might have caught them testing last week, as I got a fair signal from a channel 10 with my antenna pointed to Chicago. I thought it was tropo, and I couldn't lock it, and in a few hours, it was gone despite no weather change. Anyway, FWIW, something to keep an eye out for. This market will soon have two MNTV stations!
Edit: One has to wonder if they would simulcast their ABC affiliate, WHOI-TV, on a subchannel. I will guess that they purchased new encoders for the station (the old one that WWTO had there broke, and they dumped all their subchannels and went standard def on TBN before moving to the College of DuPage's WDCB tower at low power). THAT would be even more interesting, and with modern encoders, they could have excellent picture quality, even with a 720p humming along on their main channel.