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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

CityVirginia Beach, Virginia
BrandingFox 43
FoundedJune 13, 1985
First air date
March 22, 1993 (31 years ago) (1993-03-22)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog: 43 (UHF, 1993–2009)
  • Digital: 29 (UHF, 2001–2020)
Call sign meaning
Virginia Beach Television
Technical information[2]
Licensing authority
Facility ID65387
ERP850 kW
HAAT300 m (980 ft)
Transmitter coordinates36°49′15″N 76°30′40″W / 36.82083°N 76.51111°W / 36.82083; -76.51111
Public license information

WVBT (channel 43) is a television station licensed to Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States, serving the Hampton Roads area as an affiliate of the Fox network. It is owned by Nexstar Media Group alongside Portsmouth-licensed NBC affiliate WAVY-TV (channel 10). The two stations share studios on Wavy Street in downtown Portsmouth; WVBT's transmitter is located in Suffolk, Virginia.

WVBT's programming is also seen on Class A repeaters WNLO-CD (channel 14) in Norfolk and WPMC-CD (channel 36) in Mappsville.


WVBT began operation on March 22, 1993, with Home Shopping Network programming along with infomercials and religious shows. It became a charter affiliate of The WB starting on January 11, 1995. Shortly thereafter, the station's original local owners signed a local marketing agreement (LMA) with LIN TV. Under that agreement, WAVY took over the station's operations, and WVBT moved to WAVY's studios in Portsmouth. In May 1996, WVBT began broadcasting from a new transmitter, giving it a coverage area comparable to the other major Hampton Roads stations. Before then, its over-the-air signal was effectively limited to Virginia Beach and parts of Norfolk.

LIN TV reached an affiliation agreement with Fox in November 1995, and outright purchased the station in 2002. Due to an affiliation deal between The WB and WTVZ's (channel 33) owner, Sinclair Broadcast Group, WTVZ swapped affiliations with WVBT in August 1998.[3][4]

Until January 2007, WAVY operated a 24-hour local weather channel called "WAVY Weather Station" on WVBT's second digital subchannel taking advantage of its 720p signal to present the service without interfering with video quality on either WAVY or WVBT. It was made cable-only in 2007 for unknown reasons, and eventually went dark in 2011. It was seen on Mediacom channel 9, Charter channel 22, and Cox digital channel 227.[5] There were live current conditions, updated forecasts, and a live feed of "Super Doppler 10".

On March 21, 2014, Richmond-based Media General announced that it would buy LIN Media for $1.6 billion in cash and stock.[6] The merger was completed on December 19, at which point WAVY and WVBT came under common ownership with ABC affiliate WRIC-TV in Petersburg (serving the Richmond market).[7]

On January 27, 2016, Media General signed an agreement to have its assets acquired by Irving, Texas–based Nexstar Broadcasting Group for $4.6 billion, plus the assumption of $2.3 billion in Media General-held debt. The agreement followed Media General's termination of an earlier sale agreement with Des Moines–based Meredith Corporation, which received the right of first refusal to acquire any broadcast or digital properties that may be divested (a clause that Meredith did not exercise) in exchange for terminating its agreement with Media General for $60 million.[8][9][10][11] The transaction was approved by the FCC on January 11, 2017; the sale was completed on January 17, at which point the existing Nexstar stations and the former Media General outlets that neither group had to sell in order to rectify ownership conflicts in certain markets became part of the renamed Nexstar Media Group; this brought WAVY-TV and WVBT under common ownership with the Roanoke duopoly of Fox affiliate WFXR and CW affiliate WWCW (which necessitated Media General to sell its NBC-affiliated station in that market, WSLS-TV, to Graham Media Group in order to alleviate said ownership conflict with the two existing Nexstar-owned stations).[12][13][14]

On December 3, 2018, Nexstar announced it would acquire the assets of Chicago-based Tribune Media—which has operated CBS affiliate WTKR (channel 3) and CW affiliate WGNT (channel 27) through a shared services agreement with partner company Dreamcatcher Broadcasting since December 2013—for $6.4 billion in cash and debt. Nexstar was precluded from acquiring WTKR/WGNT directly or indirectly while owning WAVY/WVBT, as FCC regulations prohibit common ownership of more than two stations in the same media market, or two or more of the four highest-rated stations in the market. (WAVY and WTKR consistently rank among the top four in terms of total-day viewership in the Norfolk–Virginia Beach–Hampton Roads market, while WVBT and WGNT have occasionally rotated between fourth and fifth place, a situation that allowed for Media General and, later, Nexstar to acquire WVBT directly in their respective group acquisitions involving the WAVY/WVBT duopoly. Furthermore, any attempt by Nexstar to assume the operations of WTKR/WGNT through local marketing or shared services agreements would have been subject to regulatory hurdles that could have delayed completion of the FCC and Justice Department's review and approval process for the acquisition.) As such, on January 31, 2019, Nexstar announced it would retain the WAVY/WVBT duopoly and sell WTKR and WGNT to a different buyer; it was announced on March 20, 2019, that the WTKR/WGNT duopoly would be sold to the E. W. Scripps Company.[15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27]

On May 1, 2024, it was announced that WVBT would join The CW in September; the network would replace Cozi TV on subchannel 43.2.[1][28]


When WVBT made the switch to Fox in 1998, WAVY started producing a nightly prime time newscast on this station called Fox 43 News at 10. It was not the market's first broadcast in the time slot as WTKR produced a short-lived show on WGNT from 1995 until 1997.[29] ABC affiliate WVEC-TV aired its own prime time broadcast on low-powered WPEN-LP from 1995 until it started cable-only LNC 4 (eventually renamed LNC 5) in 1997.[30] WVEC continued to produce a 10 o'clock show on the cable channel until January 30, 2009.

WVBT's news has been very successful over the years with consistent viewership and ratings and is the only offering of late, local news an hour earlier. The nightly 45 minute broadcast is followed by the Fox 43 Sports Wrap that airs for fifteen minutes featuring sports news and highlights. It is similar in format to a highlight program currently seen weeknights on sister station WNAC-TV. On July 21, 2008, the station's newscast and sports show started to be produced in high definition after WAVY made the upgrade.

On February 2, 2009, WVBT added Fox 43 News at 7 on weekday mornings with local news, weather, and traffic updates along with various entertainment/lifestyle features. This morning show (which was essentially an hour-long extension of WAVY's morning broadcast) ended January 8, 2010. The program was then replaced by The Hampton Roads Show which launched January 18, 2010, from a new secondary set complete with a fully functional kitchen.[31] The Hampton Roads Show moved to WAVY at 11 in the morning on September 12, 2011.[32] It is a similar broadcast to one currently seen on sister station WPRI-TV called The Rhode Show.

In 2012, WVBT aired The Daily Buzz on weekdays from 6 to 7 a.m. and again from 8 to 9 a.m. Sandwiched in between those two hours is the revised program of WAVY News 10 at 7:00 on Fox 43, which was originally canceled back in 2010. As of 2013, The Daily Buzz no longer airs on WVBT and the morning newscast became a two-hour show. On October 28, 2013, WVBT's 10 p.m. newscast was renamed WAVY News 10 at 10 on Fox 43.[33]

Technical information


The station's signal is multiplexed:

Subchannels of WVBT[34]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
43.1 720p 16:9 WVBT Fox
43.2 480i 4:3 COZI Cozi TVThe CW (eff. 9/1/2024)[1]
43.3 16:9 Rewind Rewind TV

On March 5, 2018, WVBT added Cozi TV on digital subchannel 43.2. Previously, WVBT was the only station in Hampton Roads that did not have a digital subchannel.

Analog-to-digital conversion

WVBT discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 43, at 9 a.m. on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television.[35][36] The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 29, using virtual channel 43.

What is now WNLO-CD began as W45BG (call sign assigned November 1993) becoming WNLO-LP in November 2000 and WNLO-CA in January 2002. It went all-digital in January 2005 making it one of the first low-power stations in the country to begin digital broadcasting. Its calls became the current WNLO-CD ("CD" for "Class A Digital") in July 2009. This should not be confused with its CW sister station in Buffalo, New York, that uses the same call letters in full-power form. The station could have used the calls WVBT-CA for the repeater (as most of these situations in other markets do) but likely decided against it to avert any confusion to viewers, due to the mere two-channel separation between channels 43 and 45. The confusion was made moot in the digital age when the PSIP standard allowed WNLO-CD to utilize WVBT's virtual channel 43 instead, and WNLO-CD moved to physical channel 14 at the same time WVBT moved their physical channel in 2020 as part of the FCC's spectrum re-allocation.

ATSC 3.0 lighthouse

Subchannels of WNLO-CD (ATSC 3.0)[37]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
10.1 1080p 16:9 WAVY NBC (WAVY-TV)
33.1 720p WTVZ MyNetworkTV (WTVZ-TV)
43.1 WVBT Fox (WVBT)
45.1 WNLO-CD

On November 20, 2020, WNLO-CD switched over to ATSC 3.0, simulcasts from WAVY, WTVZ and WVBT.


WVBT is rebroadcast on two low-powered class A translators.[38][39][40][41] While one translator (WNLO-CD) is licensed in Norfolk with its digital transmitter located in Driver, Virginia the other one (WPMC-CD) is licensed in Mappsville with its transmitter located in Bloxom, Virginia in Accomack County, which is in the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Both class A translators are owned and operated by Nexstar.


  1. ^ a b c Lafayette, Jon (May 1, 2024). "Nexstar Will Move The CW Affiliation to WGN Chicago". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved May 1, 2024.
  2. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WVBT". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  3. ^ Bonko, Larry (November 30, 1995). "Fox to Change Affiliation in September 1998, Fox Plans to Move Fron WTVZ in Norfolk to WVBT in Virginia Beach". The Virginian-Pilot. p. D1.
  4. ^ Bonko, Larry (December 6, 1995). "Locals Still Buzzing About Fox Switch". The Virginian-Pilot. p. E2.
  5. ^ "Scattered…. | Blogs". Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  6. ^ Ramakrishnan, Sruthi (March 21, 2014). "Media General to buy LIN Media for $1.6 billion". Reuters. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  7. ^ "Media General Completes Merger With LIN Media". Media General (Press release). December 19, 2014. Archived from the original on December 19, 2014.
  8. ^ "Nexstar-Media General: It's A Done Deal". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. January 27, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  9. ^ Picker, Leslie (January 27, 2016). "Nexstar Clinches Deal to Acquire Media General". The New York Times. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  10. ^ "NEXSTAR BROADCASTING GROUP ENTERS INTO DEFINITIVE AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE MEDIA GENERAL FOR $4.6 BILLION IN ACCRETIVE CASH AND STOCK TRANSACTION". Media General (Press release). January 27, 2016. Archived from the original on January 30, 2016.
  11. ^ "Prather Buys 5 TVs From Nexstar-Media Gen". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. June 13, 2016. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  12. ^ "Nexstar Broadcasting Group Completes Acquisition of Media General Creating Nexstar Media Group, The Nation's Second Largest Television Broadcaster". Nexstar Media Group (Press release). January 17, 2017. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  13. ^ Jessell, Harry A. (January 11, 2017). "FCC OKs $4.6B Nexstar-Media General Merger". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  14. ^ Jessell, Harry A. (January 17, 2017). "Nexstar Closes On Media General Purchase". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  15. ^ Allabaugh, Denise. "Nexstar plans to sell WNEP-TV". Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  16. ^ "Acquisition of Tribune Media Company" (PDF). Nexstar Media Group. December 3, 2018.
  17. ^ Miller, Mark K. (December 3, 2018). "Nexstar Buying Tribune Media For $6.4 Billion". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media.
  18. ^ White, Peter; Hayes, Dade (December 3, 2018). "Nexstar Confirms $4.1B Tribune Media Acquisition To Become Leading Local TV Station Owner". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation.
  19. ^ Smith, Gerry; Ahmed, Nabila; Newcomer, Eric (December 3, 2018). "Nexstar to buy WGN owner Tribune Media for $4.1 billion". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Bloomberg News.
  20. ^ Panchadar, Arjun; Rai, Sonam (December 3, 2018). "Nexstar to buy Tribune Media for $4.1 billion". Reuters.
  21. ^ Lafayette, Jon (December 3, 2018). "Nexstar Announces Deal to Buy Tribune for $6.4B". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media.
  22. ^ Jacobson, Adam (December 3, 2018). "It's Official: Nexstar Takes Tribune In Billion-Dollar Stock Deal". Radio-Television Business Report. Streamline-RBR, Inc.
  23. ^ Jessell, Harry A.; Miller, Mark K. (December 3, 2018). "Nexstar To Spin Off $1B In Stations". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media.
  24. ^ "Nexstar Media Group Enters into Definitive Agreement to Acquire Tribune Media Company for $6.4 Billion in Accretive Transaction Creating the Nation's Largest Local Television Broadcaster and Local Media Company". Nexstar Media Group. December 3, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  25. ^ "Nexstar Media Group Enters Into Definitive Agreement To Acquire Tribune Media Company". Tribune Media. December 3, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  26. ^ "Nexstar Selling 19 TVs In 15 Markets For $1.32B". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. March 20, 2019. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  27. ^ Ahmed, Nabila; Sakoui, Anousha (March 20, 2019). "Nexstar to Sell Stations to Tegna, Scripps for $1.32 Billion". Bloomberg News. Bloomberg, L.P.
  28. ^ "Nexstar Stations In Chicago, Norfolk, Lafayette, La., To Become CW Affils". TVNewsCheck Home. Retrieved May 1, 2024.
  29. ^ Same Stuff On Wtkr News And Wgnt
  30. ^ Wvec, Wpen Team Up On Prime-Time Programming
  31. ^ "FOX43 News at 7am says 'goodbye' | | Portsmouth". Archived from the original on January 12, 2010. Retrieved January 8, 2010.
  32. ^ "Arts & Entertainment News - the Virginian-Pilot".
  33. ^ Corbin, Robert [@VARTV] (October 29, 2013). "Last night, LIN Media renamed "FOX 43 News at 10" on WVBT to "WAVY News 10 at 10 on FOX 43," similar to the 7–9 newscast on 43. #hrva #VARTV" (Tweet). Retrieved January 7, 2021 – via Twitter.
  34. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WVBT
  35. ^ "WAVY/FOX 43 to continue analog signal". Archived from the original on October 4, 2010. Retrieved February 10, 2009.
  36. ^ List of Digital Full-Power Stations
  37. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WNLO-CD". RabbitEars. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  38. ^ "RabbitEars.Info".
  39. ^ " | Virginia's Eastern Shore". Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
  40. ^ "RabbitEars.Info".
  41. ^ "Hampton Roads". Retrieved September 11, 2023.

External links

This page was last edited on 14 May 2024, at 00:24
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