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WAZT to make return to cable

By Sally Voth svoth@nvdaily.com

Woodstock TV station WAZT could be ready to return to Shentel Cable as early as this week, its owner said Monday.

Currently, the Weather Channel is airing on WAZT's normal station, Channel 10, said Greg Jones, who has owned the station for about 18 months.

Jones attributed technical difficulties to the derecho that roared through the region on June 30.

"The storm knocked out some of our microwave equipment up on the mountain at the transmitter site itself," he said in a Monday afternoon phone interview.

While broadcasting has continued at WAZT, the signal quality was so weak that Shentel determined the quality was too poor to air, Jones said. The Weather Channel has been broadcast on Channel 10 in the interim, he said.

"They're moving us to another channel and we're in the process now of getting everything repaired between the link that they were picking up at Shentel and the actual site," Jones said.

Viewers who don't have cable, but have a set-top box with analog pass-through can still pick up WAZT, as can those with antennas, according to Jones.

He said it took a while for the equipment damage to actually manifest itself, and said the station has been working on insurance matters as well.

Jones stressed that the family friendly channel that features a religion-heavy lineup would continue.

"We're not going anywhere," he said. "They're working on [getting it back up] as we speak. It could very well be back at the regular power level on Wednesday. Once it's there, Shentel will put it back in the cable system, but I'm not sure if it's going to be on Channel 10. I hope it is, but I'm not sure."

A representative for Shentel couldn't immediately be reached for comment Monday.


Does WAZT even have any employees now? Reason I ask sometime a go it was reported in the Roanoke press where not only was Greg Jones planning on buying a TV station in Danville and moving the operation to a shopping center in Roanoke but was planning on doing the same thing with WAZT as well. In other words what you see on WAZT will be coming to you from Roanoke, not Woodstock..well the tower will be "local" anyway.

Sounds like radio. Much of the programming on Strasburg's country Z104.9 and Front Royal's 95.3 The River ( sans Randy Woodward ) is actually out of DENVER ( say Dial-Global ). Guess if radio can make Denver, Colorado "local", not a surprise that WAZT can do it too in Roanoke.

Steve: The only city channel we have in Danville is Comcast 10, which is River City TV (www.rivercitytv.org).. I'm sure they're not going to give up that space as it has too much local propoganda) police reports, local weather, who's doing what and who, etc.. Comcast has enough "losing local channels" to add another one.. Wonder what their format would be? Reggie Arno Danville VA..

For 25 years Dr. Art Stamler owned & operated WAZT as a Christian T.V. station. They employed 15-20 employees, paid their bills and made it through the ups & downs of broadcasting. Then in 2005 Dr. Stamler retired & sold WAZT to Jay Ahlemann (we all remember that fiasco). In a very short period of time WAZT was a beg-a-thon for $$$$ by Ahlemann daily. Alomost all of the staff was let go, etc. Debts & bankruptcy soon followed. Since Ahlemann, there have been numerous owners (wannabes). Now WAZT is off channel 10, moved out of the building & is now owned by a guy who has a history in communications but knows NOTHING about operating a radio or t.v. station. I think we all have probably seen the last of what we used to enjoy on WAZT durng the Dr. Stamler years. Unless some company that has the funds to pay their bills and update all the equipment buys it, it will just be more of the same. Sadly, Dr. Stamler never saw the proceeds from his retirement & sale of WAZT after his 25 years of dedication to US, the viewers.

WEFC-TV channel 24 is licensed for Danville though the station itself had long moved from there for Roanoke. At one time the channel was a part of the old UPN Network for Southwestern Virginia. At the time the calls were WDRL for Danville-Roanoke-Lynchburg.

You do realize it is much harder now to run a tv station then it was 10 years ago? Cable tv will be dead soon, what is the point when you have computers and the internet?

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