WYMT-TV

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WYMT-TV
(semi-satellite of WKYT-TV
Lexington, Kentucky)
WYMT-TV logo.png
Hazard, Kentucky
United States
Branding Your Mountain
Television WYMT (general)
WYMT Mountain News (newscasts)
WKYT (during news simulcasts)
Channels Digital: 12 (VHF)
Virtual: 57 (PSIP)
Subchannels 57.1 CBS
57.2 This TV
Affiliations CBS (since 1985)
Owner Gray Television
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
First air date October 20, 1969; 44 years ago (1969-10-20)
Call letters' meaning We're Your Mountain Television
Sister station(s) WKYT-TV
Former callsigns WKYH-TV (1969-1985)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
57 (UHF, 1969-2009)
Former affiliations NBC (1969-1985)
Transmitter power 50 kW
Height 397.6 m
Facility ID 24915
Transmitter coordinates 37°11′36.4″N 83°10′52.8″W / 37.193444°N 83.181333°W / 37.193444; -83.181333
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information:
(
semi-satellite of WKYT-TV
Lexington, Kentucky) Profile

(
semi-satellite of WKYT-TV
Lexington, Kentucky) CDBS
Website wymt.com

WYMT-TV is the CBS-affiliated television station for the Eastern Mountain Coal Fields region of Kentucky, licensed to Hazard. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 12 from a transmitter south of the city in Perry County. Owned by Gray Television, the station is sister to Lexington's CBS affiliate WKYT-TV. Although it identifies as a station in its own right, WYMT is considered a semi-satellite of WKYT. It has its own studios on Black Gold Boulevard in Hazard, but some internal operations are based at WKYT's studios on Winchester Road (U.S. 60) near the Brighton section of Lexington.

WYMT airs its own identifications, commercials, and syndicated programming such as The King of Queens, The Andy Griffith Show, and Family Feud. One noticeable difference in the stations' schedules is that The Young and the Restless airs on WYMT at the same time as most other affiliates in the Eastern Time Zone at 12:30 pm. WKYT airs it at 1 p.m. because it has an hour-long noon newscast.

Beginning February 26, 2010 the station stretched non-HD programming from 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9 aspect ratio, a process called "Stretch-o-Vision".

Beginning April 15, 2014, the station began broadcasting its newscasts in HD, using robotic HD cameras, and introducing new graphics and music.

Starting on August 1, 2014, the station began broadcasting a second channel on 57.2 affiliated with This TV. Prior to this date, the subchannel aired a simulcast of sister station WKYT.

History[edit]

It began broadcasting on analog UHF channel 57 as WKYH-TV (meaning KentuckY Hazard) on October 20, 1969 as an NBC affiliate. Prior to its inception, some counties in southeastern Kentucky were among the last remaining parts of the country unable to clearly receive a commercial television signal over the air. Kentucky Educational Television had set up a transmitter there the year before. Although this area is considered part of the Lexington market, none of that city's television signals covered the area at the time. Lexington was an all-UHF market, and UHF stations don't get good reception in rugged terrain. This area has long been one of the poorest in the nation, and many people still couldn't afford to buy a television set. Such conditions made the Lexington stations unwilling to set up even low-powered satellites in this area. Instead, WKYH was founded by local businessman Bill Gorman, who served as mayor of Hazard from 1978 until his death in 2010.[1]

In keeping with the region's strong musical traditions, country, bluegrass, and Southern Gospel music constituted a good part of WKYH's early local programs. These shows lasted well into the 1980s (in the case of the Goins Brothers, as late as 1994) after country-music programs had fallen out of favor even on other Southern stations.

Throughout its entire run as WKYH, the station's on-air look was very primitive, even by small-market standards. Much of its equipment had been bought as surplus from other stations, and was usually in a poor state of repair after as much as two decades of use. This was especially true of the transmitter; by the early 1980s the station's signal had deteriorated to the point of unacceptability. Matters weren't helped by the fact that the station's coverage area is very mountainous; UHF stations don't get much penetration in rugged terrain even under the best conditions. It didn't even have a character generator for newscasts. The station was unable to get a network feed, forcing station engineers to rely on microwave links from WLEX-TV in Lexington and WCYB-TV in Bristol, Virginia for network programming. WCYB was used as a backup in case WLEX preempted an NBC show to show local programming. Whenever the microwave system failed, WKYH was forced to switch to and from WLEX or WCYB's signal, usually with less-than-satisfactory results. When this happened, WKYH sometimes aired WLEX or WCYB's commercials or station IDs when it was unable to cover them up in time. As such, the station never thrived, even when cable arrived in the area in the early 1980s.

In 1985, Gorman sold the station to Kentucky Central Insurance Company, then owner of WKYT. The new owner changed the calls to the current WYMT (meaning We're Your Mountain Television). It also changed channel 57's affiliation to CBS to match that of WKYT. With wealthier ownership, WYMT was able to build a much more modern studio and a stronger transmitter. The station also got a significant on-air facelift, making it look much more modern. When Kentucky Central went bankrupt in 1993, WYMT and WKYT were bought by Gray Communications (now Gray Television). WYMT was assigned VHF channel 12 as its final transmission frequency as part of the Federal Communications Commission-mandated transition to digital broadcasting. One benefit to viewers in the area is that VHF signals "bend" over mountainous terrain better than UHF. This not only greatly improved WYMT's signal, but making reception available over a larger area than was previously available. As of February 17, 2009, WYMT broadcasts exclusively in digital. Even with the switch to digital, the great majority of WYMT's viewers still watch the station on cable, which is all but essential for acceptable television in this part of Kentucky. Satellite does not get as much penetration in the area. Due to contracts with satellite providers, sister station WKYT is the only CBS station uplinked for the Lexington market.

To this day, WYMT is the only full-power commercial station in Hazard; cable or satellite is necessary to receive any other commercial network affiliates. Currently, this station, two Christian television stations–WLJC-TV in Beattyville and WAGV in Harlan (a satellite of WLFG in Grundy, Virginia)–along with KET satellites WKHA in Hazard and WKPI in Pikeville are the only full-power stations that can be received over-the-air in much of this region. In addition, WOBZ-LD (which is partially owned by former WKYH weatherman/sportscaster Joey Kesler) is a low-power station serving the London area. There are also several public access channels that serve the region.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[2]
57.1 1080i 16:9 WYMT-TV Main WYMT-TV programming / CBS
57.2 480i 4:3 Alternate WYMT-TV programming / This TV

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WYMT-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 57, on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 12.[3] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 57, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.

Out of Market Coverage[edit]

WYMT serves 20 counties[4] in the eastern part of Kentucky. It also serves several counties in southwest Virginia and western West Virginia, and appears on cable television in Claiborne County, Tennessee. It primarily serves the eight easternmost counties of the Lexington market (including Perry County, home to Hazard itself); indeed, it is the only Lexington station with any presence at all in the eastern part of the market. However, its claimed coverage area includes portions of three additional DMAs. The easternmost counties (Pike, Floyd, Martin, Johnson, and Lawrence) are in the Huntington/Charleston, West Virginia market (home territory for sister station and NBC affiliate WSAZ-TV). Letcher and Leslie Counties in Kentucky, Wise County including the Independent City of Norton, Dickenson County including Clintwood in Virginia are in the Tri-Cities DMA. Bell, Harlan, and McCreary Counties are part of the Knoxville market (home territory for sister station and fellow CBS affiliate WVLT-TV).

Locally produced programs[edit]

  • Appalachian Wireless Sports Overtime
  • Issues & Answers: The Mountain Edition
  • Sports Overtime Saturday Night

Newscasts[edit]

WYMT's weeknight 6 o'clock news open.

In the 1970s as WKYH, the newscasts were known as 57 NewsService. Currently during the week, WYMT produces separate morning, 4, 6, and 11 o'clock newscasts on weekdays. It simulcasts WKYT's weekday noon (though only the first half hour), 5, and 5:30 broadcasts. WYMT dropped weekend newscasts in October 2008, instead simulcasting WKYT's newscasts, but began airing their own again starting in 2013. Although WKYT has been airing newscasts in high definition since April 11, 2007, WYMT simulcasts them in standard definition. In addition to its main studios, it operates two news bureaus and shares one with WKYT. This includes the Cumberland Valley Bureau on North 12th Street in Middlesboro and the Big Sandy Bureau on Church Road in Harold. The shared Southern Kentucky Bureau is in Somerset. There are additional WKYT reporters seen on this station.

In WYMT weather segments, it uses regional National Weather Service radar data presented on-screen in a system called "Live Pinpoint Doppler". WKYT operates its own weather radar called "Live First Alert Defender".[5] Sports Overtime is WYMT's weekly sports show that airs on Friday nights from August to April which covers high school athletics. A Saturday edition focusing on college sports aired from 2006 to 2008, and returned in 2013 with the return of weekend news. On April 15, 2014, WYMT finally launched its own newscasts in high definition.[6]

WYMT's current newscast titles are 57 Mountain News This Morning (5:00-7:00 a.m.), 57 Mountain News, First at Four (4:00), 57 Mountain News at Six (6:00), 57 Mountain News at Eleven (11:00 p.m.), 57 Mountain News This Morning Weekend Edition (Sat. 7:00-8:00 a.m. and Sun. 8:00-8:30 a.m.) and 57 Mountain News Weekend Edition (6:00 and 11:00 p.m.)

Current on-air staff[edit]

Anchors[7]

  • Erika Glover - weeknights at 11:00 p.m.; also reporter
  • Mitchell Grogg - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 a.m.); also reporter
  • Steve Hensley - weekdays at 4:00 and weeknights at 6:00 p.m.; also news director
  • Tanner Hesterberg - weeknights at 11:00 p.m.; also reporter
  • Morgan Lentes - weeknights at 6:00 p.m.; also reporter
  • Neil Middleton - weekdays at 4:00 p.m.; also general manager
  • Brittany Nauta - weekday mornings Mon-Wed (5:00-7:00 a.m.) and weekend mornings (7:00-8:00 Saturdays and 8:00-8:30 a.m. Sundays); also reporter
  • Matthew Rand - weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also reporter

WYMT Sky Alert Weather Team

  • Shane Smith - Chief Meteorologist; weekdays at 4:00 and weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Brandon Robinson - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 a.m.); also producer
  • Brandon Orr - weekend mornings (7:00-8:00 Saturdays and 8:00-8:30 a.m. Sundays) and weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.

Sports

  • Josh McKinney - sports director; weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Lauren Cash - sports reporter
  • Jamie McCracken - sports anchor; weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.

Reporters

  • Hillary Thornton - Big Sandy Bureau Reporter
  • Phil Pendleton - Southern Kentucky Bureau Chief
  • Laura Beranek - general assignment reporter
  • Angela Sparkman - Cumberland Valley Bureau Chief
  • Eric Eckstrom - general assignment reporter

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

  • Jay Crawford (Creator of "Sports Overtime" on WYMT) - went on to become host of ESPN2's "Cold Pizza" (later changed to "First Take"). Now anchor ESPN's SportsCenter

News/station presentation[edit]

Newscast titles[edit]

  • 57 News Service (1970s)
  • (WYMT) 57 Mountain News (1985–present)

Station slogans[edit]

  • First in Hazard (late 1970s)
  • WKYH-TV, Hazard's Very Own NBC Station (1980s)
  • WYMT-TV, Hazard's New CBS Station (1985; used after the switch to CBS and call letter change)
  • Sharing the News at Home (1991–2001)
  • Eastern and Southern Kentucky's #1 Source for News (2006–present)
  • Dedicated to Eastern and Southern Kentucky (2014-present)
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References[edit]

  1. ^ "Longtime Hazard Mayor Bill Gorman dies at 86". WYMT-TV. 9 October 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  2. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WYMT
  3. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  4. ^ "WYMT Market Information". WYMT-TV. 14 September 2006. Retrieved 25 February 2010. 
  5. ^ "First Alert Defender". WKYT-TV. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  6. ^ http://www.wkyt.com/wymt/home/headlines/WYMT-Mountain-News-High-Definition--255225371.html
  7. ^ "WYMT News Team". Retrieved 8 May 2014. 

External links[edit]