History of WVGV/WVSX/WVNS-TV, Lewisburg

An earlier station, WVGV, “West Virginia’s Greenbrier Valley,” began broadcasting on Chanel 59 on Aug. 12, 1995. The station was founded by Sid Shumate. The original transmitter site was Cross Mountain and studios were located in Lewisburg.

In May 1996 the FCC approved the sale of the station, and the call letters were changed to WVSX, “West Virginia’s Super Fox.”

The station was dark for a considerable time, until the transmitter site was relocated to Keeney’s Knob, near Alderson.

According to its web site, WVSX signed on the air on January 3, 1997, as a Fox Television Network affiliate.

On Sept. 28, 2001, WVSX became an affiliate of the CBS Television Network.

On Dec. 9, 2002, Broadcasting & Cable reported the announcement of the sale of the station for $6.4 million from John B. Tupper to Cary Communications (Albert B. Cary Jr., CEO). The station was a CBS affiliate.

In Feb. 2003 the web site indicated that WVSX was owned and operated by High Mountain Broadcasting Corporation, a Delaware Corporation, with Gary O'Halloran the general manager.

On June 7, 2003, the call letters were changed to WVNS-TV. In 2003 the station was sold to West Virginia Media Holdings.

In August 2004 the station’s web site indicated the station was owned and operated by West Virginia Media Holdings, LLC. Corporate officers are Bray Cary, President/CEO, Marty Becker, Chairman, and Charlie Dusic, CFO. The general manger was Frank Barnes.

In 2004 FCC records show WVNS-TV licensed to Lewisburg with 1910 kilowatts and an antenna height 1863 feet above average terrain. The studio was located at 121 Old Cline Rd. in Ghent. The transmitter site was located at Keeney Knob in northeast Summers County. The coordinates of the transmitter site were 37° 46' 22" N, 80° 42' 25" W.

According to the Wikipedia article, WVNS shut down its analog signal on UHF channel 59 at 12:30 P.M. on February 17, 2009. It currently transmits a digital signal on Channel 8 but with PSIP Channel 59.

In November 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting announced an agreement to purchase WVNS-TV and several other West Virginia television stations.

The station’s web site is at http://www.wvnstv.com/ or http://cbs59.com/.


New TV Station to Open in Area

This article appeared in the Register-Herald in 1996.

By DAWN C. WOLFE

By late fall, Southern West Virginia residents could have a new television station to watch.

WVSX, Channel 59, could be on the air by November, said John Tupper, chairman and president of High Mountain Broadcasting Corp. in Ridgefield, Conn. The station will be a Fox network affiliate and will air 24 hours a day.

The company obtained the license and assets of the defunct WVGV, Channel 59, in Lewisburg. The commercial station, which didn't operate very long, primarily served the Lewisburg area.

High Mountain Broadcasting will have a stronger signal and will serve a larger area, including Fayette, Greenbrier, Mercer, Raleigh and Summers counties, Tupper said.

The company will build a transmission tower about 25 miles east of Beckley on Keeney Knob in Summers County, he said. The station’s studio will be located in the Beckley area. Tupper is in the process of looking for a site.

Local cable companies that already carry Hurricane-based Fox affiliate WVAH, Channel 11, will also have to carry WVSX under Federal Communications Commission regulations, Tupper said.

Non-cable viewers will also be able to pick up the new station.

Because WVSX will air local advertising and public service announcements, the station will likely end up with more Fox viewers than WVAH, he said.

Both Fox channels will provide similar programming, though there will be some differences, Tupper said.

High Mountain Broadcasting opened a Fox affiliate in a similar size market in Mississippi in 1991, and the project was successful, Tupper said. He hopes his company will do as well in Southern West Virginia.

WVSX studios will initially employ 20 to 25 people, Tupper said. He plans to hire locally for production, engineering, sales and administrative positions. The station may eventually offer a local newscast.

Tupper owns a 53 percent share in High Mountain Broadcasting. He also is president of Kepper, Tupper and Co., an investment banking firm that specializes in the sale and financing of media properties.


New Television Station to Debut Dec. 21

This article appeared in the Register-Herald in December 1996.

By JILL ZEGEER

A new Fox television station in Southern West Virginia will emphasize family programming when it debuts Dec. 21.

Paul Brewer, general manager of WVSX, or Fox 59, said the Ghent station will carry the entire Fox prime-time programming lineup, Fox sports and Fox news. This will include shows more appropriate for adults, such as "Melrose Place.”

Family shows will air when children are more likely to be watching, he said. For example, many latchkey kids are home weekdays at 5 p.m. when Fox 59 will air "Little House on the Prairie.”

"One thing we're proud of is we're not going to air talk shows," Brewer said. "It’s time to draw a line in the sand and stand up for family viewing.”

Local news broadcasts will be added, possibly in 1998. This will add $500,000 in startup costs to the already $1.5 million project. The station presently has 20 employees.

Brenda McNutt, general manager of TCI of Beckley, said the cable company’s Raleigh and Mercer county subscriber area will receive Fox 59 on Channel 11. Those without cable will receive it on Channel 59.

Brewer said Fox 59 will also broadcast in Fayette, Summers, Greenbrier, Monroe, Wyoming and McDowell counties in West Virginia and Tazewell County, Va. After Fox 59 debuts at 6 a.m. Dec. 21, most viewers will stop receiving Fox 11, or WVAH of Hurricane.

Program listings will appear in local newspapers and will start in TV Guide on Dec. 28, he said.

One reason Fox chose to locate in the area is economic growth. Brewer noted new hotel construction and the growth of area adventure vacations, such as whitewater rafting.


Nobody’s Saying if Cary Bought 4th TV Station

This article appeared in the Register-Herald on Nov. 7, 2002.

By JIM BALOW

If you believe rumors, Bray Cary has added a fourth television station to his empire at West Virginia Media Holdings.

Cary, however, had little to say about those rumors Wednesday.

"We don't comment on that kind of stuff," he said, in effect neither confirming nor denying he’s made a deal to buy WVSX, the CBS affiliate in the greater Bluefield area.

"We continue to have an interest in that market but have nothing to announce at this point," Cary said. "We think it’s a wonderful market and think it would continue to build our statewide market.”

Likewise, WVSX general manager Gary O'Halloran would not say whether a deal has been struck. "I'm not at liberty to say," he said Wednesday when asked whether the station has been sold. The station is owned by High Mountain Broadcasting Corp. of Ridgefield, Conn., he said.

"I really can't tell you anything about it," High Mountain President John Tupper said in a phone interview Wednesday. "I really don't have anything to say.”

WVSX went on the air in January 1996, Tupper said. Although licensed in Lewisburg, it has studios in Ghent and serves the greater Bluefield market, he said. That market, the nation’s 149th largest, reaches about 141,000 television homes in Bluefield, Princeton, Beckley, Oak Hill, Lewisburg and surrounding areas, he said.

Cary, a state native and former NASCAR executive, has bought three TV stations and a weekly business newspaper since forming West Virginia Media Holdings last year.

With the help of private financial backers, he paid $20 million for WBOY in Clarksburg, $18.5 million for WTRF in Wheeling and Steubenville, Ohio, and $40.5 million for WOWK in Charleston and Huntington. Terms of the deal to buy The State Journal last year were not disclosed.

Cary also has expressed an interest in buying daily newspapers in the state, possibly in Charleston. Current Federal Communications Commission regulations forbid cross ownership of newspapers and TV stations in the same markets, but the FCC is considering changes that would relax those rules.

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