WMDN

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For the radio station in Midland, Michigan that previously used these calls see WMPX-AM.
WMDN
Wmdn 2010.png
Meridian, Mississippi
United States
Branding CBS 24
Slogan Your Sports and Entertainment Leader
Channels Digital: 24 (UHF)
Virtual: 24 (PSIP)
Subchannels 24.1 CBS
24.2 Bounce TV
24.3 Cozi TV
Owner Waypoint Media
(WMDN-TV, LLC)
First air date June 10, 1968 (1968-06-10)
(original incarnation)
March 23, 1972 (1972-03-23)
(second incarnation)
February 2, 1994 (1994-02-02)
(third incarnation)
Call letters' meaning MeriDiaN
Sister station(s) WGBC, WHPM-LD
Former callsigns WHTV (1968-1970, 1972-1986)
WTZH (1986-1991)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
24 (UHF, 1968-1972, 1980-1991, and 1994-2009)
Digital:
26 (UHF, ?-2009)
Former affiliations CBS (secondary, 1968-1970; primary, 1980-1991)
ABC (secondary, 1968-1970 and 1972-1980)
NBC (1972-1980, as satellite of WTVA)
silent (1991-1994)
Fox (1994-1997, NFL only)
Transmitter power 616 kW
Height 182.1 m
Facility ID 73255
Transmitter coordinates 32°19′40″N 88°41′31.3″W / 32.32778°N 88.692028°W / 32.32778; -88.692028
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS

WMDN is the CBS-affiliated television station for Meridian, Mississippi. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 24 from a transmitter at its studios on Crestview Circle south of downtown. The station can also be seen on Comcast channel 5 and in high definition on digital channel 433. Owned by Waypoint Media, WMDN is sister to NBC/Fox affiliate WGBC and the two share studios. Syndicated programming on WMDN includes: Inside Edition, The Dr. Oz Show, Entertainment Tonight, and Ellen.

History[edit]

The station started operations on channel 24 on June 10, 1968 under the call sign WHTV. It was originally owned by local businessmen Weyman Walker and James Britton. WHTV aired programs from CBS and ABC in a secondary manner that longtime CBS affiliate WTOK-TV presumably turned down. [1] Unfortunately, like many UHF start-ups in a previously VHF market, this channel could not gain a significant foothold in ratings or local advertising and had to go dark on October 13, 1970. [2]

On March 23, 1972, Frank K. Spain bought WHTV and made it a full-time satellite of WTWV (now WTVA) in Tupelo which was affiliated with NBC with some ABC programs such as college football carried at other times. [3] Television guides during this time instructed viewers to consult WTWV's listings for WHTV's program schedule. This changed in 1980 when Spain opted to convert WHTV into a stand-alone station, making it the primary CBS affiliate for Meridian after WTOK changed its affiliation to ABC; NBC, then the lowest-rated network, was not seen for about two years by residents of the area, except those who could receive, either over-the-air or by cable, either Jackson's WLBT or Hattiesburg's WDAM. In 1982, NBC returned to the market on WLBM (now WGBC) as a semi-satellite of WLBT. Meanwhile, in 1986, WHTV changed call letters to WTZH.

WTZH, unfortunately, had to leave the air because of financial troubles in 1991, leaving eastern Mississippi and portions of western Alabama without a CBS affiliate. During the gap, Hattiesburg's WHLT and occasionally Selma, Alabama's WAKA were carried by Comcast to provide CBS programming to cable subscribers; still others may have received Jackson's WJTV over the air. Finally, the Spain family returned channel 24 to the air as WMDN on February 2, 1994. From that year until 1997, the station aired National Football League games from Fox (which had actually acquired these games from CBS).

The Fox affiliation was shared with WTOK, which also aired some additional programming from the network in late night time slots as a secondary affiliate. In 1995, WMDN entered into a local marketing agreement (LMA) with WGBC. The Spains owned WMDN until January 2008, when Meridian businessman Michael Reed purchased the station along with WGBC, making them full sisters. Reed had to get a "failed station" waiver to buy WGBC because the Meridian market has only four full-power stations--not enough to legally permit a duopoly under normal circumstances.

In 2014, WMDN discontinued its AccuWeather service, replacing it with Bounce TV on 24.2 (one of the few non-Raycom stations to do so), and adding NBC-owned COZI TV on 24.3.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[4]
24.1 1080i 16:9 WMDN-HD Main WMDN programming / CBS
24.2 480i Bounce Bounce TV
24.3 4:3 COZI Cozi TV

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WMDN shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 24, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 26 to former UHF analog channel 24 for post-transition operations.[5]

News operation[edit]

With WMDN's third launch in 1994, local newscasts on weeknights at 6 and 10 were added to the schedule. This was the second attempt to take on longtime dominant WTOK in the ratings. From 1991 until 1994, WGBC aired news during the week under the branding WGBC News 30. Those broadcasts ended after local businessman Alex Shields bought majority control of the station. WTOK's continual status as the most watched station in Eastern Mississippi has been a result of being the only VHF station in the area, and having had a 15-year chronological lead over channel 24 (29 years, in WGBC's case).[citation needed]

With the introduction of a news department, WMDN simulcasted all of its shows on WGBC as a result of the LMA. Therefore, the newscasts were branded as 24/30 News. The title changed to WMDN News when the broadcasts were dropped from WGBC's lineup. WMDN also aired an hour-long weekday morning show at 6 for a short time. All newscasts ended on June 30, 2005 as a result of being unable to gain consistent ratings and viewership. A few years later, WMDN and WGBC began airing five-minute local weather cut-ins during, respectively, CBS' and NBC's weekday morning shows.[citation needed]

References[edit]

External links[edit]