WSKY-TV, which was launched in October 2001, is a full-power/full-market television independent station serving the Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, VA television market (DMA) and the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

The station, which is part of the Hampton Roads market, broadcasts on digital channel 9 and is licensed to Manteo, North Carolina. Its analog transmitter was located in Powells Point, North Carolina on the WCXL tower. WSKY-TV was the last station in the US to be licensed as an analog, VHF low-band channel.

The history of WSKY-TV can be traced as early as 1995, when the FCC invited filings for a license to operate a television station in Manteo on channel 4. Six groups applied for the license.[2]

WSKY-TV is carried on Cox Communications Hampton Roads, Hampton Roads' on channel 4, as well as 2 Charter systems in the DMA, Adelphia and Time Warner Cable services and Dish Network. On January 1, 2009, DirecTV removed the channel from its lineup following a failure to reapply for "must-carry" status.[3] It was added back to the Directv lineup on January 1, 2012. Before its fall 2001 launch, channel 4 on Cox Cable housed LNC or Local News on Cable, WVEC-TV's 24-hour cable news television station. When WSKY launched, LNC moved up to channel 5 on Cox Cable lineups.

Despite the callsign and branding of "SKY 4", it is not affiliated in any way with British Sky Broadcasting of the United Kingdom, nor its parent company, 21st Century Fox (which also owns the Fox network).

During the 2009 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, WSKY-TV aired two weeknight 11 o'clock newscasts from CBS affiliate WTKR during that station's coverage of the basketball tournament. WTKR did broadcast late newscasts at Midnight when the coverage concluded.[4]

On July 15, 2013, Lockwood Broadcast Group announced it would be acquiring 51% of WSKY-TV pending FCC approval.[5] The sale was finalized on November 25.[6]

Digital signal and tower collapse

The station's analog signal signed-off in late November 2006, as its digital signal was to sign-on from a new tower in Camden County, NC. WSKY had some challenges covering the Northern most area of the metro (Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton) on its analog signal; which was to be remedied with its new digital tower.

Between 6 and 7 a.m. on the morning of March 2, 2007, in high winds during storms moving through the area, WSKY-DT's tower collapsed, also destroying the transmitter building. The tower was three weeks away from completion. [7][8]

The tower was rebuilt and finished in November 2007. WSKY-DT started broadcasting a test pattern on November 24, 2007.[9] WSKY-DT started regular broadcasts on November 27, 2007.

In mid-May 2010, WSKY-TV moved from channel 4 to channel 9 to improve signal strength. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers continue to display the station's virtual channel as its former channel 4.

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[10]
4.11080i16:9WSKY-DTMain WSKY-TV programming