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Promising news for WAAY-TV 31 serving Huntsville and the Tennessee Valley region. Allen Media recently launched the station’s private network of three radars, and now appears they are getting ready for an “impending facility relocation.”  This is according to a Chief Engineer job ad linked below.

 

This thread may be a good place for anyone to document any developments over the coming months as more information pops up.

Channel 31 was once a ratings powerhouse, but fell sharply in the mid to late 90’s, as their competitors made major investments in news and weather. The local ownership sold out and the station has largely remained in last place, likely due to frequent ownership changes and prior management that was mostly super cheap.

From around 2015 or 2016 through the present, the quality and depth of the news presentation has drastically improved. The recent addition of voice talents Jim Cutler, and wife Dawn, seem to make a night and day difference with his dramatic and over-the-top reads. Maybe, WAAY-TV's only missing ingredients needed to get attention and ultimately win are a modern, properly lit studio/set, and a facility that isn’t known to be crumbling apart. It’s nice to see Allen Media providing the station with some much needed improvements. Time will tell if this is simply a relocation or a new build-out.

 

 

 


Chief Engineer listing:
https://tvnewscheck.com/job/waay-tv-huntsville-al-36888-chief-engineer/


 

facility.jpeg

Edited by promoguy98
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I wonder if they will join their counterparts down in the Valley.  WAFF was across the street until the fire of 82 destroyed their facility.   I believe that prompted a fire station in the vicinity as well.

 

With the impending Meredith sale, Allen Media could be a suitor, so they could get some sister stations in Mobile, Atlanta, Tupelo & Nashville as well.

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51 minutes ago, tyrannical bastard said:

I wonder if they will join their counterparts down in the Valley.  WAFF was across the street until the fire of 82 destroyed their facility.   I believe that prompted a fire station in the vicinity as well.

 

With the impending Meredith sale, Allen Media could be a suitor, so they could get some sister stations in Mobile, Atlanta, Tupelo & Nashville as well.

 

I heard or read somewhere that if it weren't for the close-by fire department, their old building wouldn't have survived the multiple fires that have broke out over the years. Most or all of them occurred after the Channel 48 blaze. 

 

Somewhere downtown seems likely..... unless there is a possibility of leasing any space near the U.S. Space and Rocket Center somewhere. Wherever they ultimately go, their home aWAAY from home activities will never be the same. I would guess it would feel like working in a grand resort when compared to where they are now. All in all, this is something they should be extremely proud of!

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Say what you want about Allen's scripted programming but they've definitely been busy upgrading its stations and the fact that Allen is investing in WAAY heavily says a lot right there that Allen is willing to go and improve its stations quality and doing it the right way.

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Perhaps more details will be forthcoming in the coming weeks or months, but I don't understand why they couldn't build a new building on the same property.

 

Just a quick glance at Google maps and it would seem they could take the parking lot and build a new modern building there, similar to what happened at WEAR and KFOR.  Obviously, parking would need to be figured out until the new building is built.   Perhaps they could lease adjacent land to temporarily serve as a parking area for station staff. 

 

But if they end up relocating to a whole new site, it should be interesting on how they choose to deal with the transmitter.  Would they keep the current property for the main transmitter?  Or if they sell the property, what would happen to the transmitter?

Edited by TheRyan
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1 hour ago, TheRyan said:

Perhaps more details will be forthcoming in the coming weeks or months, but I don't understand why they couldn't build a new building on the same property.

 

Just a quick glance at Google maps and it would seem they could take the parking lot and build a new modern building there, similar to what happened at WEAR and KFOR.  Obviously, parking would need to be figured out until the new building is built.   Perhaps they could lease adjacent land to temporarily serve as a parking area for station staff. 

 

But if they end up relocating to a whole new site, it should be interesting on how they choose to deal with the transmitter.  Would they keep the current property for the main transmitter?  Or if they sell the property, what would happen to the transmitter?

They've been wanting to get off the mountain for quite sometime.

So it would not surprise me if they moved in-town, and in some aspect it would be cheaper than building on the mountain.

It just all depends on how much they want to shell out for property, versus cost of blasting, drilling, and construction on the mountain.

Both WAFF, and WHNT's  transmitters are at their former locations on Monte Sano. 

 

WAFF's Tower is on Governors Drive/U.S. 431, while WHNT's tower is near WAAY on Monte Sano Boulevard.

Ironically, after the fire at 48, a fire station was built across the street from WAAY.

A fire hydrant was placed at the entrance of WAFF's property on Governors. 

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Here's a documentary about the WAFF fire and their return to broadcasting in the weeks that followed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwO1cCY3xKQ

 

They were owned by AFLAC (long before the duck) and their sale to Raycom years later. Seing all that had to go into rebuilding WAFF's facility so many years ago, we can only hope that Allen Media brings them up to par and gives them the edge to do their jobs and do them well.

 

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