WTAP-TV is the NBC-affiliated television station for Parkersburg, West Virginia and Marietta, Ohio. Licensed to Parkersburg, the station broadcasts an analog signal on UHF channel 15 and a digital signal on UHF channel 49. WTAP's transmitter is located in Ohio near Constitution. The station is owned by Gray Television and has studios that are located at Television Plaza in Parkersburg.
The station also operates the area's MyNetworkTV affiliate on its DT3 digital subchannel. Known on-air as "My5", it is also offered on Suddenlink and CAS cable channel 5. WTAP-DT3 gets its on-air branding from the cable channel location.
Original plans called for WTAP to join with WDTV and WBOY in Clarksburg (located 70 miles to the east) and turn north-central West Virginia into a single television market. If this were to happen, it would have been one of the largest geographic markets in the country. However, Northern West Virginia is a very rugged dissected plateau and WTAP's UHF signal was not strong enough to make it across the terrain. As a result, WTAP is the only commercial station based in Parkersburg. The only other stations licensed to the city are outlying translators of West Virginia Public Broadcasting and TBN.
As WTAP is the only commercial station in the market, cable systems in Washington County, Ohio (home to Marietta) supplement the area with stations from Columbus. Cable systems in Wood and Pleasants counties in West Virginia supplement coverage with stations from the Huntington - Charleston market.
In late-2005, Gray Television purchased Huntington's NBC affiliate WSAZ-TV. There were rumors that WTAP would scrap its news operation and simulcast those from WSAZ. That station has long been available on cable in Parkersburg and its newscasts, among the highest-rated in the country, have always covered Parkersburg events. However, Gray has never considered shuttering WTAP's news department. In fact, A.C. Nielsen recently named WTAP as the highest-rated NBC affiliate in the country (even ahead of WSAZ). WTAP's newscasts pull in revenue almost as large as WSAZ's newscasts. WTAP's programming and newscasts have more viewers than many stations in medium to large markets in the country that must share their audience with up to three other affiliates.
To make these stations possible, WTAP underwent a technical transformation. It carved two new control rooms about of space that was previously used for storage and installed entirely digital production and master control rooms.
also weeknights at 5 PM and 10 PM (on WTAP-DT2) Fox News
WSAZ general manager taking on new duties: Ray will continue role at station but assumes operational responsibility at three others in addition
Feb 01, 2006; DAILY MAIL STAFF WSAZ General Manager Don Ray has been named regional vice- president for Gray Television Group. Ray's new job...