|Branding||WHMB TV 40|
|Slogan||WHMB 40 is Life Affirming|
|Channels||Digital: 20 (UHF)
Virtual: 40 (PSIP)
|Owner||LeSEA Broadcasting Corporation
(LeSEA Broadcasting of Indianapolis, Inc.)
|First air date||1971 as WURD;
1972 as WHMB
|Call letters' meaning||World
|Former callsigns||WURD (1971)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
|Transmitter power||163 kW|
WHMB-TV is a predominantly Christian television station serving the Indianapolis, Indiana market on digital channel 20. They also run some secular general entertainment a few hours daily (except on Sundays). The station is owned by LeSEA Broadcasting, also known as World Harvest Broadcasting.
The organization was founded by Assembly of God Minister Lester Sumrall (1913–1996). His sons are active with the ministry. LeSEA also owns stations in South Bend, Honolulu, Tulsa, New Orleans, Denver, and Colorado Springs as well as a few Christian radio stations.
Channel 40 originally existed for a few months in 1971 as WURD, owned by local minister Dr. Wendell Hansen. One of the earliest religious TV stations to sign on, it was run cheaply, on the air only in evenings and featuring a modest selection of local and syndicated religious programs. Its most crowning achievement was the installation of a microwave receiver, so they could carry live telecasts of Chicago White Sox baseball; Dr. Hansen was so proud of this, he broadcast its installation live. The success was short-lived—a few days later, WURD closed down. Shortly afterward, Sumrall acquired the station, rebranding it WHMB-TV.
The present-day WHMB signed on in 1972, operating from early afternoon to midnight, and running mostly religious shows. In 1974, the station began signing on late in the morning after adding a couple runs a day of The 700 Club. By then the station offered children's programs and some westerns from about 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. The station was on the air 18 hours a day in 1975, after adding PTL Club a couple times per day. By 1977, the station was on the air 24 hours a day running Christian programs until 7 a.m. They ran cartoons from 7-9 a.m., Christian programs until 2 p.m., classic sitcoms until 3 p.m., cartoons until 5 p.m., more sitcoms and sometimes westerns until 7 p.m., and Christian shows thereafter. On Saturdays, they ran child and family-friendly programming until 6 p.m., and religious programming after that. On Sunday, they ran Christian programs the entire day.
They also featured a local children's program titled Captain Hook, in which the host and his pirates used music and object lessons to teach children about Jesus Christ. Refer to link below to read more about "Captain Hook". This show disappeared when the episodes were returned to the now-deceased actor who played the title role. The station twice a day ran a daily weekday locally produced teaching program with Lester Sumrall as host. They also ran a music and variety locally produced Christian program hosted by the Sumrall family three times a day. They ran the 90 minute edition of The 700 Club live at 10 a.m. along with repeating twice a day the hour edition. They also ran the two hour PTL Club (until it was trimmed to an hour in 1982) once a day and repeated the hour editions two other times a day. Other Christian shows included Jimmy Swaggart, Richard Roberts, among others.
Secular shows included Bozo, The Little Rascals, My Three Sons, Dennis the Menace (the sitcom), Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., The Lone Ranger, and other shows. From about 1976 to 1984, they ran some cartoons as well including Tom and Jerry (until 1981), Bullwinkle, Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales, Underdog, The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Jonny Quest, The Flintstones (1981–1984), Bugs Bunny (until 1982), among others.
By 1984, they were running Christian programming the entire day except for the 3-6 p.m. weekday period and Saturdays 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Today, they run secular shows from about 2-7 p.m. weekdays. The secular shows included the sitcoms mentioned above, westerns, public domain movies. By the 1990s the sitcoms became slightly more recent. They included The Brady Bunch, Happy Days, Family Ties, The Odd Couple, and others.
In 1997, WHMB picked up the TV rights to the Indiana high school football and girls' and boys' basketball championships. The station chose not to renew those rights in 2004, but continues to air high school games on Friday nights. They also currently air a handful of games every year of the Indianapolis Indians triple-A baseball club, including some away games, (in which case they pick up the home team's broadcast feed).
For period in the mid-'90s, WHMB would broadcast the 6 p.m. edition of WISH's news at 7 p.m.
Digital TV 
On January 16, 2009, WHMB-TV channel 40's analog signal ended. Subsequently, digital channel 16 was the only way to receive the station's programming. An application exists in the FCC database to relocate WHMB-TV to digital channel 20, but in May 2012, WHMB moved from digital channel 16 to digital channel 20.
The station's channel is multiplexed:
|40.1||480i||4:3||WHMB-DT||Main WHMB programming|
|40.2||480i||4:3||WHT||World Harvest Television|
See also 
- WHMB website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WHMB-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WHMB-TV
- Tribute to Captain Hook