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WOWK-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 13, is a television station licensed to Huntington, West Virginia, United States. Owned by Nexstar Media Group, it serves as the CBS affiliate for the Charleston–Huntington television market, which also covers portions of southeastern Ohio and northeastern Kentucky. The station's studios are located on Quarrier Street near the Charleston Town Center in Charleston, and its transmitter is based near Milton, West Virginia.

HistoryEdit

The station went on-air October 2, 1955 as WHTN-TV (for HunTingtoN), an ABC affiliate owned by the Greater Huntington Theater Corporation. After only a year, the station was bought by Cowles Communications (unrelated to the Spokane, Washington-based Cowles Publishing Company). WHTN swapped affiliations with WCHS-TV and became a CBS station for the first time in 1958. In 1960, Cowles sold Channel 13 to Reeves Telecom. It went back to ABC in 1962 and stayed with that network for 24 years. Reeves Telecom sold the station to Gateway Communications in 1974. The following March, it changed its call letters to the current WOWK-TV to reflect the three states it serves (Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky). On June 1, 1986, it changed affiliations again, returning to CBS.

The station was headquartered at the Radio Center Building in Huntington from its inception until 1984 when WOWK moved to a location on Fifth Avenue. Gateway merged with SJL Broadcasting in 2000. SJL sold it to West Virginia Media Holdings in 2002. After the sale to West Virginia Media, it sold its Huntington building to regional radio conglomerate Kindred Communications and moved its studio and offices to Charleston. WOWK does retain a newsroom in their former building (now known as the Kindred Capital Building) in Huntington and its transmitter is still located at the Milton location, closer to Huntington.

On November 17, 2015, Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced that it would purchase the West Virginia Media Holdings stations, including WOWK-TV, for $130 million. Under the terms of the deal, Nexstar assumed control of the stations through a time brokerage agreement in December 2015, with the sale of the license assets completed on January 31, 2017. Nexstar CEO Perry A. Sook was a former employee of WOWK.

On June 15, 2016, Nexstar announced that it has entered into an affiliation agreement with Katz Broadcasting for the Escape, Laff, Grit, and Bounce TV networks (the last one of which is owned by Bounce Media LLC, whose COO Jonathan Katz is president/CEO of Katz Broadcasting), bringing one or more of the four networks to 81 stations owned and/or operated by Nexstar, including WOWK-TV. (Grit was available in Charleston on WCHS-DT3 until February 28, 2017 when it was replaced by TBD. It moved to WOWK in October 2017.)


TV stations in West Virginia
WOWK, Huntington

WDTV, Weston
WIYE-LD, Parkersburg
WTRF, Wheeling
WVNS, Lewisburg

TV stations in Southeast Ohio, Western West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky, including Huntington and Charleston
WSAZ 3 (NBC)
WCHS 8 (ABC)
WVAH 11 (Fox)
WOWK 13 (CBS)
WKPI 22 (PBS)
WKAS 25 (PBS)
WHJC-LP 27 (RTV)
WLPX 29 (Ion)
W30DG-D 30 (HSN)
WQCW 30 (CW)
WVPB 33 (PBS)
WTSF 44 (Daystar)
WJOS-LD 45 (Walk)
WTZP-LP 50 (Cozi)
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