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WLOS-13, Asheville, NC logo from 2013.png

Wmya 2008.png
CityAsheville, North Carolina
BrandingABC 13; News 13
My 40 (on DT2)
Affiliations13.1: ABC
13.2: MyNetworkTV
13.3: Antenna TV
13.4: Stadium
Broadcast: WMYA-TV
Cable: Bally Sports South, Bally Sports Southeast[1]
First air date
September 18, 1954 (67 years ago) (1954-09-18)
Former call signs
WLOS-TV (1954–1984)
Former channel number(s)
13 (VHF, 1954–2009)
56 (UHF, 2000–2009)
NTA (secondary, 1956–1961)
SD simulcast of DT1 (until 2015)
Grit (2015−2016)
Call sign meaning
"Wonderful Land of the Sky"
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID56537
ERP50 kW
HAAT849.4 m (2,787 ft)
Transmitter coordinates35°25′32″N 82°45′25″W / 35.42556°N 82.75694°W / 35.42556; -82.75694
Translator(s)See below
Public license information (DT1) (DT2)

WLOS (channel 13) is a television station licensed to Asheville, North Carolina, United States, broadcasting ABC and MyNetworkTV programming to Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina. It is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, which provides certain services to Anderson, South Carolina–licensed Dabl affiliate WMYA-TV (channel 40) under a local marketing agreement (LMA) with Cunningham Broadcasting. However, Sinclair effectively owns WMYA as the majority of Cunningham's stock is owned by the family of deceased group founder Julian Smith.[2][3] Both stations share studios on Technology Drive (near I-26/US 74) in Asheville, while WLOS' transmitter is located on Mount Pisgah in Haywood County, North Carolina.


Early years

The station first signed on the air on September 18, 1954, originally broadcasting at 316,000 watts. It was founded by the Skyway Broadcasting Company, owners of WLOS radio 1380 AM (now WKJV) and WLOS-FM 99.9 FM {now WKSF). Having been with the ABC network since its sign-on, WLOS is the second-longest tenured primary ABC affiliate located south of Washington, D.C. (behind Lynchburg, Virginia's WSET-TV, also on virtual channel 13 and also owned by Sinclair). During the late-1950s, WLOS was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.

WLOS' original studios and transmitter facilities were alongside its co-owned radio stations in West Asheville. The station's original 300-foot (91 m) self-supporting tower with an analog batwing antenna atop remains standing to this day. A few months after the station signed on, the television station relocated its studios to Battle House (a restored mansion on Macon Avenue, northeast of downtown Asheville, next to the historic Grove Park Inn).

WLOS logo used from 2007 until 2013.
WLOS logo used from 2007 until 2013.

Increased signal

At that same time, the transmitter was moved to the much-higher Mount Pisgah, 35 miles (56 km) away. Due to the higher elevation, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules required channel 13 to reduce its transmitter power by half. But even with its power reduced to 178,000 watts, the station still more than doubled its coverage area to include most of Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina. Soon afterward, the FCC collapsed the western Carolinas into one large market. With its move to Mount Pisgah, WLOS could now boast the second highest transmitter location east of the Mississippi River at 2,804 feet (855 m) above average terrain (the valley floor) and 6,056 feet (1,846 m) above sea level. At the time, the highest transmitter elevation belonged to WMTW atop Mount Washington, New Hampshire at 3,871 feet (1,180 m) above average terrain (the valley floor), and 6,374 feet (1,943 m) above sea level.

The new tower location gave WLOS one of the largest coverage areas in the nation. In addition to its primary coverage area of the Western Carolinas, the station also had significant viewership in several other nearby markets. WLOS also enjoyed at least secondary coverage in portions of eastern Tennessee, southwestern Virginia and southeastern Kentucky. It provided city-grade coverage to nearly all of the Tri-Cities market and Grade B coverage of most of the Knoxville market. Channel 13 could also be seen in portions of Georgia under certain atmospheric conditions. Before the mid to late-1960s, no other full-time ABC affiliate put a clear signal into much of these areas. Before WKPT-TV signed on as the Tri-Cities' ABC affiliate, WLOS claimed the Tennessee-Virginia border area as part of its primary coverage area. Even after WKPT signed on, WLOS was available on cable in that market well into the 1980s and is still available in some communities. Indeed, many viewers in the Tri-Cities and the eastern part of the Knoxville market received a better over-the-air signal from WLOS than Knoxville's WTVK (now CBS affiliate WVLT-TV) and WKPT. Both of those stations were on UHF and did not get much signal penetration in their largely mountainous coverage areas. UHF stations did not provide adequate reception in rugged terrain. Until the 1990s, WLOS relayed its programming on several separately-owned municipal translator stations in Eastern Kentucky. As mentioned above, WLOS now owns and operates ten analog translators that rebroadcast its digital signal.

The station has also had significant and long-standing viewership in the Charlotte area, particularly in Hickory and points west. Its grade B signal can be seen as far east as Charlotte itself. Until WSOC-TV switched to ABC in 1978, WLOS was the default ABC affiliate for much of the western portion of the Charlotte market. The market's first full-time ABC affiliate, WCCB (channel 18), had marginal coverage at best in this part of the market. WLOS appeared in the Charlotte Observer's television listings for many years (though it was dropped from the weekly listings in the mid-1990s), and advertised its programs in Charlotte-area newspapers well into the 1970s. It is still available on some cable systems in the western portion of the Charlotte market.

WLOS' only competition for ABC programming came from WAIM-TV (channel 40, now sister station WMYA) in Anderson, South Carolina, which also carried select CBS programs. WAIM had been the default ABC affiliate for the Upstate until WLOS' massive power boost. WAIM-TV only provided a reliable signal to Anderson itself and nearby Pickens County. However, it still continued to air some ABC programming. Although WLOS was never seriously threatened by WAIM, it pressured ABC to drop its programming from WAIM from the 1960s onward finally succeeding in 1979.

Ownership changes

In 1958, Skyway Broadcasting merged with Wometco Enterprises of Miami (a movie theater company and former owner of the Blue Circle hamburger chain). Wometco promptly sold the AM station, but operated WLOS-FM-TV as Wometco-Skyway Broadcasting until 1984, when channel 13 was sold to investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. The FM station was also sold at this time and its antenna remained co-located on the Mount Pisgah tower. Channel 13 was later sold to Anchor Media in 1987, which in turn was later sold to River City Broadcasting in 1993. WLOS signed off on weeknights until the debut of World News Now in January 1992, when its sign-offs were scaled back to late Friday and Saturday overnights before being reduced further to Saturday mornings from 5:00 to 6:00 a.m., after the station's weekend overnight movie presentations, in the early 2000s. The channel began broadcasting a 24-hour daily schedule between late-2005 and early 2006 (the station still displays color bars for a few minutes in instances where the movie ends early, but otherwise fills overnight hours on Fridays and Saturdays with paid programming). River City merged with the Sinclair Broadcast Group in 1996.

In 2000, the station moved its operations to new studio facilities on Technology Drive, about 10 miles (16 km) south of Downtown Asheville. This gave station personnel shorter driving distance for sales calls and news team coverage to Greenville and Spartanburg, South Carolina.


Syndicated programs broadcast on WLOS (as of September 2020) include The Drew Barrymore Show, Rachael Ray, Dr. Phil, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune (the latter two of which moved to the station from WYFF in September 1985). Syndicated programs broadcast on WLOS-DT2 include Daily Mail TV, Steve Wilkos, Nick Cannon, Family Feud, Paternity Court, and TMZ on TV. WLOS-DT2 carries Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin from the ABC-syndicated programming block Weekend Adventure on a one-day delay, as the station's primary channel preempts the first half-hour of the block; WLOS-DT1 carries the remaining 2½ hours.

WLOS also produced a local children's show called Mr. Bill and Bumbo, featuring now-retired weathermen Bill Norwood and Bob Caldwell (who celebrated his 40th anniversary on the air at WLOS in June 2006). Another popular program on WLOS was Shock Theater, a Saturday afternoon showcase of 1950s black-and-white science fiction films from the Warner Bros., Columbia and Universal libraries. This show was also hosted by Bill Norwood dressed as a Dracula-type character similar to the "Doctor Shock" character of the same era at WTVC-TV in Chattanooga (now also owned by Sinclair).

Past programming preemptions and deferrals

WLOS has preempted a fair amount of ABC network programming over the years: the station originally aired Dark Shadows on a one-day delay until it dropped the cult soap opera in 1967 (the program returned to WLOS on April 1, 1968, and aired until it ended in 1971); it also pre-empted fellow soaps The Edge of Night (throughout its 1975–1984 run), One Life to Live (during its early years, replacing it with reruns of The Flintstones; the station began clearing the program in 1973 and remained until it ended on January 13, 2012; Peabo Bryson, who sang the theme song used from 1985 to 1991, is a native of Greenville) and Ryan's Hope (during the later years of the show). From the late 1960s until the newscast was cleared in 1970, the station aired I Love Lucy reruns in place of the ABC Evening News.

By the 1990s, network preemptions were largely limited to select episodes of certain programs (such as Full House, America's Funniest Home Videos, Dinosaurs and The Critic, the latter of which was replaced with syndicated reruns of Murphy Brown), primarily to air local programs; however the station declined to air the daytime talk show Mike and Maty (replaced by Jerry Springer), the children's comedy Fudge, the sitcoms All American Girl and Thunder Alley as well as the first season of The Drew Carey Show (which was also replaced with Murphy Brown reruns). It also aired Jerry Springer in place of The View from its debut in September 1997 until its addition to the schedule in September 2000. It was one of several Sinclair-owned ABC affiliates that preempted a Nightline broadcast that paid tribute to soldiers killed in the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq (which aired instead on Fox affiliate WHNS (channel 21)) and a telecast of the film Saving Private Ryan in 2004; due to WLOS' commitment to airing the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon, WHNS aired ABC Sports' coverage of the final day of the PGA Tour's 2004 Deutsche Bank Championship (with ABC's consent; ironically, Bill Haas, who finished in third place in that event, is a Greenville resident).

Today, the station carries the majority of the ABC network schedule; however from 2011 to 2013, WLOS was one of a few ABC affiliates that preempted the network-syndicated Saturday morning block Weekend Adventure, marking the first regular ABC program preemption on the station since the early 2000s.

Friends Across the Mountains Telethon

WLOS co-produces a yearly telethon with Tegna-owned Knoxville, Tennessee NBC affiliate WBIR-TV, benefiting Friends of the Smokies and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The proceeds from the telethon help support critical programs and projects in the park. It is co-hosted by WBIR Anchor Emeritus Bill Williams and WLOS anchor Larry Blunt.

News operation

WLOS presently broadcasts 33½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 5½ hours each weekday and three hours each on Saturdays and Sundays), which is the highest amount of news programming in the Greenville–Spartanburg–Asheville market. WLOS also produces 6 hours of locally produced newscasts each week for WLOS-DT2 (with one hour each weekday and a half-hour each on Saturdays and Sundays). WLOS produces local newscasts for WLOS-DT2, which includes a half-hour newscast each weeknight at 6:30 p.m. and nightly half-hour broadcast at 10:00 p.m. (branded as News 13 on My 40). The earlier program competes against the national evening news programs aired by WYFF, WSPA-TV and sister station WLOS, while the primetime broadcast competes with an hour-long newscast on CW affiliate WYCW that is produced by its duopoly partner WSPA and an hour-long in-house newscast on Fox affiliate WHNS. In addition to WLOS, the station broadcasts the regionally syndicated public affairs program NC Spin on Sunday mornings at 5:00 a.m. In addition to its main studios, WLOS operates news bureaus in Spindale (at Isothermal Community College), Waynesville (on South Main Street/US 23), and Greenville, South Carolina (on Verdae Boulevard).

Traditionally, WLOS' newscasts have focused more on the North Carolina side of the sprawling Greenville–Spartanburg–Asheville market, as evidenced by its longtime slogan, "Western North Carolina's News Leader." While WYFF has long been the market's highest-rated station overall, WLOS has consistently trounced WYFF and WSPA on the North Carolina side of the market.

On April 7, 2008, WLOS began to incorporate traffic reports for the entire market during the station's weekday morning and 5:00 p.m. newscasts, which were originally led by South Florida veteran radio traffic reporter George Sheldon (formerly of WQAM, WIOD, WINZ and WXDJ in Miami) until his retirement on January 30, 2013. On September 17, 2008, WLOS began broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition becoming the second pair of stations in the area to upgrade after WSPA and WYCW. On March 28, 2011, WLOS expanded its weekday morning newscast to 2½ hours, with the addition of a half-hour broadcast at 4:30 a.m.

Notable former on-air staff

Technical information


The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect Short name Programming[5]
13.1 720p 16:9 ABC Main WLOS programming / ABC
13.2 MyTV MyNetworkTV
13.3 480i Antenna Antenna TV
13.4 Stadium Stadium

Until January 2, 2015, WLOS carried a standard-definition simulcast of its main channel on digital subchannel 13.3. On that date, it was replaced with the Grit network. On January 1, 2016, Grit was moved to WMYA-TV's DT4 subchannel and Antenna TV replaced Grit on 13.3 as the result of an affiliation agreement between Antenna TV and Sinclair Broadcast Group.[6]

Analog-to-digital conversion

On February 2, 2009, Sinclair told cable and satellite television providers via e-mail that regardless of the exact mandatory switchover date to digital-only broadcasting for full-power stations (which Congress rescheduled for June 12 days later), the station would shut down its analog signal on the original transition date of February 17,[7] making Greensboro's WXLV-TV and WMYV the first stations in the market to convert to digital-only broadcast transmissions. After the DTV Delay Act postponed the federal transition date to June 12, WLOS intended to convert to digital-only broadcast on February 17; but on February 12, the FCC said that stations must justify using the early cutoff date. On February 13, WLOS general manager Jack Connors announced that the FCC would also require WLOS to discontinue the analog signals of its translators, which would leave many residents in mountainous areas of the region without a signal.

WLOS discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 13, on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which Congress had moved the previous month to June 12). The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 56, which was among the high band UHF channels (52–69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to its analog-era VHF channel 13 (as a result of this, as of November 5, 2010, WLOS is the only Sinclair-owned television station owned at the digital transition that broadcast on the VHF band post-transition).[8]


WLOS operates 11 translators across the mountains of western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina. These translators serve as low-power, limited-area repeaters that bring the network's signal to towns in deep mountain valleys where the parent signal is blocked by the surrounding terrain. All digital translators use virtual channel 13.

Station City of license Channel ERP
m (ft)
Facility ID Transmitter coordinates Notes
W11AJ-D Franklin 11 (VHF) 0.08 653 m (2,142 ft) 56539 35°10′12″N 83°34′53″W / 35.17000°N 83.58139°W / 35.17000; -83.58139 (W11AJ-D) Former callsign W11AJ.
W12AQ-D Black Mountain 12 (VHF) 0.01 70 m (230 ft) 56545 35°37′19″N 82°20′21″W / 35.62194°N 82.33917°W / 35.62194; -82.33917 (W12AQ-D) Former callsign W12AQ.
W12AR-D Waynesville 12 (VHF) 0.02 145 m (476 ft) 56532 35°25′08″N 83°02′10″W / 35.41889°N 83.03611°W / 35.41889; -83.03611 (W12AR-D) Former callsign W12AR.
W12CI-D Hot Springs 12 (VHF) 0.01 454 m (1,490 ft) 56541 35°55′36″N 82°48′21″W / 35.92667°N 82.80583°W / 35.92667; -82.80583 (W12CI-D) Former callsign W12CI.
W14EG-D Robbinsville 14 (UHF) 1.0 597 m (1,959 ft) 190613 35°15′27″N 83°47′48″W / 35.25750°N 83.79667°W / 35.25750; -83.79667 (W14EG-D) Replaced W11AQ.
W15DR-D Maggie Valley 15 (UHF) 0.1 100 m (330 ft) 190686 35°31′04″N 83°06′56″W / 35.51778°N 83.11556°W / 35.51778; -83.11556 (W15DR-D) Replaced W06AP.
W15DY-D Marion 15 (UHF) 0.25 139 m (456 ft) 56542 35°40′16″N 82°00′19″W / 35.67111°N 82.00528°W / 35.67111; -82.00528 (W15DY-D) Former callsign W10AP.
W30DX-D Bryson City 30 (UHF) 0.1 227 m (745 ft) 198135 35°24′47″N 83°30′02″W / 35.41306°N 83.50056°W / 35.41306; -83.50056 (W30DX-D) Replaced W08AN.
W31DY-D Pickens 31 (UHF) 0.25 335 m (1,099 ft) 190612 34°56′28″N 82°24′40″W / 34.94111°N 82.41111°W / 34.94111; -82.41111 (W31DY-D) Replaced W05AO.
W32EO-D Tryon, etc. 32 (UHF) 0.5 24 m (79 ft) 56538 35°15′58″N 82°14′39.4″W / 35.26611°N 82.244278°W / 35.26611; -82.244278 (W32EO-D) Former callsign W05AC.
W34EP-D Sapphire Valley, etc. 34 (UHF) 2.5 27 m (89 ft) 56547 35°6′28.4″N 82°37′0.4″W / 35.107889°N 82.616778°W / 35.107889; -82.616778 (W34EP-D) Former callsign W06AN.

Carriage disputes

On January 5, 2007, cable provider Mediacom (which serves much of Western North Carolina, with the exception of Asheville itself) dropped all Sinclair-controlled stations, including WLOS and WMYA, from its systems due to a retransmission consent compensation dispute.[9] As a result, much of WLOS' viewing area was left without ABC programming until the dispute was resolved a month later. Additionally, Charter also briefly dropped WLOS' high definition feed due to a compensation dispute.[10]

Out-of-market cable carriage

In recent years, WLOS has been carried on cable systems in areas of North Carolina within the Charlotte and Chattanooga, Tennessee markets, as well as the Augusta and Columbia markets in South Carolina, the Atlanta market in Georgia, the Knoxville market in Tennessee, and the Tri-Cities market in Tennessee and Virginia.[11]


  1. ^ Miller, Mark K. (August 23, 2019). "Sinclair Closes $10.6B Disney RSN Purchase". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  2. ^ PUSH pushing FCC over Sinclair/Glencairn, Broadcasting & Cable, July 13, 1998. Retrieved December 13, 2013 from HighBeam Research.
  3. ^ Glencairn's dicey LMAs, Broadcasting & Cable, March 29, 1999. Retrieved December 13, 2013 from HighBeam Research.
  4. ^ "Orlando Magic's David Steele Named NSSA Florida Sportscaster of the Year". 28 April 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  5. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WLOS
  6. ^ Antenna TV Adds 26 New Stations
  7. ^ Hearn, Ted (February 2, 2009). "Sinclair Sticks To Feb. 17 Analog Cutoff". Digital Video Report. Retrieved February 24, 2009.
  8. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  9. ^ "Asheville Citizen Times". Retrieved 2012-09-09.
  10. ^ "Sinclair Media Watch". Retrieved 2012-09-09.
  11. ^ "SVTV Stations - The things you care that others won't". Archived from the original on 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2012-09-09.

External links

This page was last edited on 18 May 2022, at 22:11
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