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1973–1975

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WHFV was an attempt at bringing a full-powered TV station to Fredericksburg, Virginia. Signing on in the evening of October 8, 1973, the station was affiliated with NBC. They were almost immediately faced with multiple issues. First, they were a UHF station when at the time most TV viewers in the area did not have antennas to tune up to channel 69; As a result, WFMV took out ads in local newspapers instructing viewers on how to tune in to their station. Secondly, it could not secure a license for the local cable company, diminishing its viewership outside of Fredericksburg. Finally, the station was located between two already established NBC affiliates: WRC-TV in Washington and WWBT in Richmond. This, along with the fact they could not secure any syndicated programming, led to it immediately becoming unprofitable. By fall of 1974, the station was deeply in debt and had extremely low rating, not helped by the fact all of its syndicated programming was dropped from the schedule. The schedule in question also had an unusual 7 pm newscast. The owners, one Television Fredericksburg, Inc. were not financially stable enough to keep the station running, and by December of 1974 did not have enough money to pay its staff. WHFV began renting out half of their studio building and took out multiple short-term loans. After multiple deals to sell the station fell through, they seemed to have secured a buyer with a Texas-based religious organization. This deal, however, did not go though as WHFV and its owners ran out of money and abruptly ended operations on May 29th, 1975. They were so in debt that they could not afford paper to receive news via teleprinter. The transmitter was later moved to Allentown, PA to launch the more successful WFMZ-TV.


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