WNAB, virtual channel 58 (UHF digital channel 23), is a CW-affiliated television station located in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. The station is owned by Tennessee Broadcasting, and is operated by the Sinclair Broadcast Group under an outsourcing agreement. This makes WNAB a sister station to Fox affiliate WZTV (channel 17) and MyNetworkTV affiliate WUXP-TV (channel 30). All three share studios on Mainstream Drive along the Cumberland River, WNAB's transmitter is located in Whites Creek, Tennessee.

History

As a WB affiliate

The station first signed on the air on November 29, 1995 as The WB affiliate for the Nashville market. Prior to WNAB's debut, WB programming was only available on Nashville area cable and satellite providers either through Chicago-based national superstation WGN, or by Cookeville outlet WKZX (now WNPX-TV), which served the eastern part of the market. By mere coincidence, the call letters were chosen in 1987 (as a construction permit) as WNAB; something that would be exploited when the station became affiliated with The WB. Original owner Speer Communications, a company founded by Home Shopping Network co-founder Roy Speer, launched the station from studios on Dickerson Road in Nashville, in a former Sam's Club building.

Offering five hours of live, locally produced programming each weekday, WNAB was quickly a hit among Nashville viewers, although the station lacked cable carriage in many of the suburbs. Controversial former Nashville mayor and U.S. congressman Bill Boner hosted an hour-long interview/call-in show, Prime Talk each weeknight. Its follow-up, Sports Talk, featured Nashville Banner sportswriter Greg Pogue and popular radio personality George Plaster showing highlights and taking calls about the day's sports action. On Friday nights in the fall, Sports Talk was extended by an hour and became Nashville's first television show entirely devoted to high school football scores. Since the 1996 season at least one of Nashville's television stations has continued this tradition.

Within two years, all live programming except Sports Talk had been cancelled (partly due to budget constraints, and also due to The WB expanding its primetime lineup to additional nights outside of the initial Sunday and Wednesday slots). Plaster left Sports Talk and it was rebranded as Sports Plus and featured news and weather segments in addition to its sports content; it was also cancelled in 1998. WNAB also aired several Nashville Predators games when the team made its debut during the 1998-1999 NHL season, and split time as the television flagship alongside regional cable sports network Fox Sports South until the end of the 1999–2000 NHL season.

Speer Communications had planned to use WNAB as a base of operations for a small network of television stations in each of Tennessee's six television markets. A statewide newscast was planned as part of the network. However, the company went bankrupt before any of the plans could come to fruition. The station was later sold to Lambert Broadcasting (now Tennessee Broadcasting) who operated the station for a short while, and later outsourced its advertising sales and operations to the Sinclair Broadcast Group via an outsourcing agreement.

On August 3, 2002, WNAB’s transmitting facilities were relocated from its original Nolensville tower to its present transmitter near Whites Creek near the Interstate 24 interchange with Old Hickory Boulevard (State Highway 45). [3]

As a CW affiliate

On January 24, 2006, Time Warner and CBS Corporation announced that they would partner to launch The CW Television Network, as a replacement for The WB and UPN, initially featuring a mix of programs carried over from those two networks and newer series.[4][5] Sinclair later signed WNAB as the market's affiliate of the network, as part of a wider deal to affiliate its WB affiliates and independent stations with The CW. The CW launched, with WNAB as its Nashville station, on September 18, 2006.

Digital television

Digital channels

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[6]
58.1720p16:9WNAB-CWMain WNAB programming / The CW
58.2480i4:3WNAB-TCASN Channel
58.3WNAB-GRGrit

As a part of a deal involving several Sinclair Broadcast Group owned stations similar to the earlier deal between Sinclair and theCoolTV, WNAB added a subchannel for The Country Network on DT2 on September 18, 2010. The Country Network changed its name and was rebranded to ZUUS Country on June 1, 2013. ZUUS Country was replaced with a full time feed of American Sports Network on January 11, 2016.

WNAB added Grit to a third subchannel on January 1, 2015.

Analog-to-digital conversion

WNAB shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 58, on February 17, 2009, which was intended to be the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The deadline was moved to June 12, 2009, but the station decided to convert on the original deadline. [7] The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 23.[8][9] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 58, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.

Programming

Syndicated programs featured on WNAB include TMZ on TV, The Real, Family Guy, 30 Rock, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns. It also broadcasts the horror movie showcase Dr. Gangrene's Creature Feature.

WNAB, in some occasions, broadcasts some Conference USA men's basketball games from the American Sports Network in the event that WUXP is scheduled to air either Raycom Sports' ACC Network or any special local sports programming at any time as any given situation may warrant. This changed in January 2016, when the ASN's 24/7 subchannel version launched on WNAB-DT2.