WVAW-LD is a low-powered ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Charlottesville, Virginia, United States. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on virtual and UHF channel 16 from a transmitter on Carters Mountain south of Charlottesville. The station can also be seen on Comcast Xfinity channel 3 and in high definition on digital channel 803. Owned by Gray Television, WVAW is a sister station to CBS affiliate WCAV (channel 19) and Class A Fox affiliate WAHU-CD (channel 27). All three stations share studios, known as the "Charlottesville Newsplex", on 2nd Street Southeast in downtown Charlottesville.
The Newsplex stations have a resource sharing alliance with sister station WHSV-TV in Harrisonburg, and some behind-the-scenes operations are shared between them.
What is now WVAW-LD originally debuted on June 12, 1979 on analog UHF channel 64 with the call sign W64AO. The station was a low-powered translator of WHSV-TV, which was the area's default ABC affiliate. At the time, WHSV-TV was owned by Worrell Newspapers along with the Charlottesville Daily Progress.
On April 9, 2004, W64AO moved to UHF channel 16, changed call letters to WVAW-LP, upgraded power, and separated from WHSV-TV. WVAW-LP was the market's third local station after WVIR-TV and WCAV.
In early 2005, after the launch of WCAV and WVAW, Gray Television launched a third station in the area, Fox affiliate WAHU-CA. WVAW was temporarily taken off-the-air by a fire on its transmitter tower at the top of Carters Mountain on November 9, 2006. The signal was restored on November 13. On December 28, WVAW moved to Comcast channel 3.
The new set of stations replaced out-of-market stations from Richmond and Washington, D.C. on local cable. On Comcast's system in Charlottesville, the only remaining out-of-market channel on the basic tier is WTTG, although WRIC-TV, WWBT and WTVR-TV remain on the digital tier.
On October 27, 2009, WVAW's digital transmitter had a glitch over-the-air. The signal was put on WAHU-CD2 for a short time and the problem was fixed a day later.
|TV stations in Commonwealth of Virginia|
|WVEC, Hampton Roads/Norfolk|
|TV stations in Charlottesville area|
|WVAW-LD 16 (ABC) |
WCAV 19 (CBS)
WAHU-CD 27 (Silent)
WVIR 29 (NBC)
WHTJ 41 (PBS)
WVPY 51 (PBS)