|Slogan||Getting You Answers
TV Now (on DT2)
|Channels||Digital: 12 (VHF)
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
12.2 The CW
12.3 Antenna TV
|Translators||22 (UHF) WHLT Hattiesburg|
(Media General Communications Holdings, LLC)
|First air date||January 20, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||We're Jackson TeleVision|
|Sister station(s)||WHLT, WKRG-TV, WVTM-TV|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
25 (UHF, 1953–1955)
12 (VHF, 1955-2009)
Digital: 52 (UHF)
|Former affiliations||NBC (1953)
RTV (on DT3)
|Transmitter power||49.2 kW|
WJTV is the CBS-affiliated television station for Jackson, Mississippi. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 12 from a transmitter in Raymond. The station can also be seen on Cable ONE channel 8 and Comcast channel 13 with an HD feed on Comcast digital channel 433 and Cable ONE digital channel 460. Owned by Media General, WJTV has studios on TV Road in Jackson. Syndicated programming on this outlet includes The Andy Griffith Show, The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Phil, and The Rachael Ray Show among others.
WHLT in Hattiesburg operates as a semi-satellite of WJTV extending the CBS signal into the Pine Belt region of Mississippi. As such, it clears all network programming as provided by its parent (except for preempting CBS News Sunday Morning and airing Face the Nation in its entirety). WHLT airs some of the same syndicated shows as WJTV but also offers a separate lineup of non-network fare. In addition, the Hattiesburg station airs its own local commercials during all programming and legal identifications.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|12.1||1080i||16:9||WJTV-HD||Main WJTV programming / CBS|
WJTV signed-on January 20, 1953 as Mississippi's first television station. Airing an analog signal on UHF channel 25, it was founded by The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson's morning newspaper. A few weeks later, the afternoon Jackson Daily News started WSLI on channel 12. WJTV was a primary NBC affiliate, with a secondary affiliation with the DuMont Television Network. WSLI was a CBS affiliate.
The Hederman family, owners of The Clarion-Ledger, bought the Daily News in 1954. Since the FCC did not allow one person to own two stations in the same market at the time, WJTV and WSLI merged in 1955. The merged station retained WJTV's license and call sign, but moved to the more-desirable channel 12 and became a CBS affiliate. This move was similar to the merger between KPTV and KLOR in Portland, Oregon which occurred two years later. The new channel 12 also shared ABC programming with WLBT until 1970 when WAPT started operations on channel 16. WJTV was also affiliated with NBC and broadcast "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" for a number of years. (Carson had attended Millsaps College in Jackson.)
Over the years, some of the announcers/personalities on WJTV included Bob Neblett, Mike Riley, Dick Miller, Ken Parks, Vassar DuBard, Burt Case, Jack Hobbs, Charles Allen, Lanny James, Wilda Farber, Joanne Van Fleet Haines, Carol Mitchell, Glenn Dear, Wayne Dowdy, Dennis Smith, John Matthews, "Farmer" Jim Neal, Hank Price, Walt Grayson, Melanie Christopher, Todd Wallace, Stephanie Strickland, Dot Lambert, Anita Vannetti, Greg Flynn, Walter Sadler, Gwen Belton, Kevin D. Janison, Bob Beard, Linda Rush, Linda Allen, Sean McLaughlin, Beverly Youngblood, Bob Bassford, Lee Owens, Lisa Yung, Morgan Miller, Tony Mastro, Dave Elliott, Regina Blackley, Cliff Farrier, Ed Bishop, Dave Roberts, Ann O'Cain Rushing, Christie Eagleton, and Augie File. Hank Price later became a broadcasting executive in Chicago. Wayne Dowdy later became a United States Congressman, a candidate for Governor, and the chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party. Gwen Belton became a reporter for CBS News and for the CBS affiliate in Miami. Christie Eagleton is the daughter of the late Senator and onetime Vice Presidential nominee Thomas Eagleton.
From 1977 until 1983, WJTV was owned by the Capitol Broadcasting Company (the same company which owned KNAZ-TV in Flagstaff, Arizona but unrelated to the Capitol Broadcasting Company of Raleigh, North Carolina). In 1983, it was sold to the News-Press & Gazette Company. Four years later, the station launched a semi-satellite for the Hattiesburg/Laurel area, WHLT. In 1993, NPG sold several of its stations, including WJTV and WHLT, to the first incarnation of New Vision Television. In turn, New Vision sold its entire stations group to Ellis Communications in 1995. Ellis was folded into Raycom Media the following year after it was bought out by a media group led by the Retirement Systems of Alabama (who bought Aflac's broadcasting group a few months earlier).
In 1997, Raycom bought out Federal Broadcasting, owner of WHLT's rival station, WDAM-TV. That placed Raycom in violation of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) duopoly rules in the Hattiesburg/Laurel market. As a result, Raycom opted to keep the higher-rated WDAM and trade WJTV and WHLT (along with WSAV-TV in Savannah, Georgia that also had to be divested by Raycom due to its ownership of that station's rival WTOC-TV) to Media General in exchange for WTVR-TV in Richmond, Virginia (which had to be divested by Media General due to FCC same-market cross-ownership restrictions).
The trade left Raycom without a station in the Jackson market until 2006 when it acquired WLBT as part of its purchase of The Liberty Corporation. WJTV shut down its analog signal on June 12, 2009, as part of the DTV transition in the United States. The station had been broadcasting its pre-transition digital signal on UHF channel 52, but returned to channel 12 for its post-transition operations. Its original digital transmitter was located at its studios on TV Road.
On October 1, 2013, WJTV returned programming from The CW to the Jackson market after a five-month absence due to former affiliate WRBJ-TV's sale to the religious Trinity Broadcasting Network. WJTV placed the network on their DT2 digital subchannel, replacing a still of the station's weather radar, with the network's programming mixed in with low-profile and low-cost syndicated programming, along with some hours from the station's Antenna TV subchannel on 12.3. Currently the station is seen solely on pay television via Comcast digital channel 212 in standard definition, with other carriage currently undetermined.
WHLT only simulcasts its parent's weekday morning show and does not air any other local news shows from WJTV. The weeknight edition of the CBS Evening News is shown taped-delayed at 6 on the Hattiesburg station as opposed to the regular time slot like other CBS affiliates in the Central Time Zone. Usually, most semi-satellites of another station provide some coverage of their home territory (in this case, the Pine Belt of Mississippi).
On May 8, 2012, WHLT began offering a twenty minute abbreviated newscast seen weeknights at 10. This program (taking up the first and second blocks) features three personalities based out of WHLT's Hattiesburg studios that share multimedia journalist responsibilities. During the second block, there is a taped weather segment (branded as "Storm Team 22") focusing on the Pine Belt that originates from WJTV's Jackson studios. After the conclusion of WHLT's own program, it then simulcasts the third block of WJTV's 10 o'clock newscast that contains national/world news and sports headlines until 10:35.
The Hattiesburg station will sometimes share video footage with its parent when providing relevant, regional coverage of Mississippi. In this role, WHLT essentially acts as a bureau for WJTV. At some point in spring 2012, WJTV upgraded local news production to 16:9 enhanced definition widescreen. It is unknown if the news simulcast airing on WHLT and its abbreviated newscast was included in the change.
- WJTV NewsCenter 12 (early 1970s-mid 1987)
- WJTV, The NewsCenter" (mid 1987-1994)
- News 12 (1994-1996)
- JTV 12 News (1996-?)
- NewsChannel 12 (?-present)
- "The News Leader in Central Mississippi" (early 1980s-1994)
- "Coverage You Can Count On"' (1994-2005)
- "To The Point" (2005-2012)
- "Getting You Answers" (2012–present)
- Erin Pickens - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
- Byron Brown - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Melanie Christopher - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Jacob Kittilstad - weekend mornings (6:00-7:00 a.m.); also reporter
- Brad Soroka - Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.; also reporter
Storm Team 12
- Ken South - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Brad Maushart -meteorologist; weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
- Lisa Vaughn - meteorologist; weekend mornings (6:00-7:00 a.m.)
- Efren Afante - meteorologist; Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.
- TJ Werre - weeknights at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.; also sports reporter
- Mike Alzamora - Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.; also sports reporter
- Jeff Haeger - WHLT sports digital journalist
- Donesha Aldridge - WHLT digital journalist
- Cassidi Hankins - WHLT digital journalist
- Tracy Armbruster
- Perrise Thomas
- Beth Alexander
- Malary Pullen
- Ross Adams
- WJTV.com - Official WJTV Website
- TheCWMS.com - WJTV-DT2 The CW
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WJTV