The History of WHIS-TV/ WVVA in pictures - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

The History of WHIS-TV/ WVVA in pictures


WVVA, formally known as WHIS-TV(Channel 6), debuted on July 31, 1955. 

The WHIS call letters (the initials of Senator Hugh Ike Shott) were carried over from WHIS Radio. The first NBC network program to air on the new channel was the "Pinky Lee Show" at 4:00 p.m. on September 26, 1955. By February of the following year, the telecast schedule was expanded to 16-hour viewing days. Some popular shows back then were "The Cisco Kid," "Mr. District Attorney," "Life Worth Living," "Highway Patrol," "The Ford Theatre," and "Dragnet." The 50,000 watt facility was located in the Bluefield City Municipal Building  on Bland Street. It is now known at the Bluefield Area Arts Center.

On January 1, 1967, WHIS moved into a new facility, named "Broadcast Center" at the foothills of East River Mountain and began full color operation. Construction on the new facility began in the Spring of 1965. The construction contract was awarded to Corte Construction Company Due to the combination of rock and shale, excavation was difficult and costly. Once complete, there were 13,500 square feet of floor space and miles of cable and wiring. Do you remember popular local broadcasts like  "Scoop and Snoop and local "March of Dimes Telerama?"

In 1975, the Federal Communications Commission issued a Divestiture Order; a media company could not own or operate an AM/FM station, newspaper, and television station in the same market. The decision was made to sell WHIS-TV. The station was sold to Quincy Newspapers in 1979. The call letters were changed to WVVA to create a bond between the West Virginia and Virginia viewers of Channel 6. WVVA remains a leader in local news, sports, and weather coverage. We now operate The Two Virginias CW and MeTV from our facilities in Bluefield and we can be reached online at

Read:The life of Bluefield broadcaster "Tiny" Thompson

View:SLIDESHOW: WVVA talent late 1980's- early 1990's

Read: Remembering WVVA icon Stan Sweet 

View: WVVA's digital transition

*A special thank you goes out to the following individuals for getting us these wonderful pictures and videos in celebration of WVVA's 60 Anniversary: Kenneth Dick, Matt Irvin, Alan Johnston, Tom Moses, James Riffe, Mike Thompson, 

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