|Channels||Digital: 21 (UHF)|
|Branding||Fox 16 Jackson|
News Channel 3 (during newscast simulcasts)
|Owner||Nexstar Media Group |
First air date
|April 10, 1985|
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
Call sign meaning
|We're in JacKson, Tennessee|
|HAAT||319 m (1,047 ft)|
Public license information
WJKT, virtual channel 16 (UHF digital channel 21), is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Jackson, Tennessee, United States. The station is owned by Nexstar Media Group. WJKT's advertising sales office is located on Oil Well Road in Jackson, and its transmitter is located in Alamo, Tennessee.
WJKT station signed on April 10, 1985, as WJWT and was Jackson's third television station (after WDXI-TV now WBBJ-TV and WLJT). It was owned by MT Communications and aired on UHF analog channel 16. It was the area's first independent station and joined Fox for the first time in April 1987. After MT Broadcasting bought WCAY in Nashville (renaming it WXMT) and WMKW in Memphis (now WLMT), WMTU began mostly simulcasting WMKW/WLMT.
WJWT became WMTU on January 8, 1990, and during that year Fox pulled its affiliation from WLMT and gave it to WPTY-TV (now WATN-TV). However, WMTU retained its Fox affiliation, though outside of network programming the two stations continued to simulcast. When Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia) began programming WLMT in 1992, the LMA included WMTU as well.
The two stations became charter UPN affiliates on January 16, 1995. However, WMTU remained a primary Fox affiliate until the network's acquisition of WHBQ-TV in Memphis that November, at which point the station reverted to being a semi-satellite of WLMT; following that acquisition (which resulted in the loss of the station's Fox affiliation), WHBQ-TV began serving as the default Fox affiliate for the portion of western Tennessee that WMTU served. To reflect its status as a Jackson station, channel 16 changed its calls to WJKT on September 17, 2001; around the same time, Clear Channel bought it and WLMT outright.
In 2003, programming from The WB moved from WPTY (where it was airing in a secondary nature during late night time slots) to WLMT/WJKT where it also aired out of pattern. The station's Jackson office, shared with local production company TotalReach Television, was damaged that May after a tornado struck the downtown Jackson area. Owned by Clear Channel Television, the local office was moved to a facility on Radio Road in Jackson shared with Jackson's Clear Channel Radio cluster (which were later sold to Forever Communications).
On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN announced the two networks would cease broadcasting and merge to form The CW. WJKT declined to affiliate with The CW or MyNetworkTV, choosing instead to rejoin Fox on August 21. Meanwhile, WLMT began broadcasting The CW on September 18; it serves as the default over-the-air affiliate for Jackson, since cable-only The WB 100+ outlet "WBJK" joined The CW Plus. Clear Channel's television group, including WJKT, was purchased by Newport Television in 2008, local offices were relocated to Oil Well Road. Newport announced on July 19, 2012, that it would sell 12 of its stations, including WJKT, to Nexstar Broadcasting Group. The sale was finalized on December 3.
From August 2011 until September 2012, the station carried TheCoolTV on its DT2 subchannel. After the expiration of Newport's deal to carry the network, a new deal was made to carry the Live Well Network, which was carried on WJKT-DT2 until mid-March 2013, when it was pulled due to Nexstar's common policy of not carrying any subchannel networks unless the need for a CW or MyNetworkTV subchannel is needed in the market. On June 1, 2013, WPTY, WLMT, and WJKT relocated to a new facility at Shelby Oaks Corporate Park in the northeast section of Memphis.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming|
|16.1||720p||16:9||WJKT-DT||Main WJKT programming / Fox|
|16.2||480i||Escape||Court TV Mystery|
Sports programming: past and present
Sports programming on WJKT includes all sports programming from Fox Sports, including the NFL on Fox (featuring the National Football Conference (NFC) road package). That includes any instance during the NFL regular season where the Tennessee Titans (who play in the American Football Conference (AFC)) host an NFC opponent. In addition to Fox’s NFL coverage, WJKT also broadcasts Titans preseason games from the Titans Preseason Television Network, operated by Nashville area ABC affiliate and Nexstar sister station WKRN.
From 1995 until 2009, WJKT broadcast syndicated Southeastern Conference college football and basketball games from Jefferson-Pilot/Lincoln Financial Sports (now Raycom Sports). WJKT continued carrying SEC basketball, which was produced by ESPN Plus-operated SEC Network (later SEC TV) branding from 2009 until the end of the 2013-2014 season. ESPN's pay-TV-exclusive SEC Network, which launched on August 14, 2014, was responsible for the cancellation of that syndicated sports package.
WJKT airs all national breaking news coverage from Fox News when conditions warrant as well as the network's weekly public affairs show. However, unlike most other Fox affiliates, it does not operate a local news department of its own. Although most news coverage is presented focused on the greater Memphis area, WATN will cover the Jackson area during severe weather events such as tornado warnings. Despite being a Fox outlet, WJKT used to feature national headlines coverage as provided through ABC News One since it simulcasted an ABC-affiliated produced local news show from WLMT until the sale to Tegna Inc.. From 2013 until October 2019, WJKT used to simulcast WLMT's 45-minute newscast produced by WATN, a 1-hour morning newscast produced by WATN, as well as the fifteen-minute sports highlight program, all three have been replaced by syndicated programming.
- "Newport Sells 22 Station For $1 Billion". TVNewsCheck. July 19, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
- “JPsports.com”. Archived from the original January 14, 2006 via the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 13, 2014. Editor’s note: Click on the Affiliates tab for the list of stations.