WJTV News 12 (newscasts)
|Slogan||"Mississippi's leading source for news, sports, weather & answer. We are WJTV 12 - Getting you answers."
"Dare To Defy" (on DT2)
|Channels||Digital: 12 (VHF)
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
12.2 The CW
12.3 Ion Television
|Translators||22 (UHF) WHLT Hattiesburg|
(sale to Nexstar Broadcasting Group pending)
(Media General Communications Holdings, LLC)
|First air date||January 20, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||We're Jackson TeleVision|
|Sister station(s)||WHLT, WIAT, WKRG-TV|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
25 (UHF, 1953–1955)
12 (VHF, 1955–2009)
52 (UHF, until 2009)
|Former affiliations||All secondary:
RTV (until 2012)
Antenna TV (2012–2016)
|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, Edgemont, 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.
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, Becky Barnes, Todd Wallace, Stephanie Strickland, Dot Lambert, Anita Vannetti, Greg Flynn, Dave Barber, Walter Sadler, Gwen Belton, Kevin D. Janison, Bob Beard, Linda Rush, Linda Allen, Sean McLaughlin, Beverly Youngblood, Bob Bassford, Lee Owens, Lisa Yung, Matt Mosler, Tony Mastro, Dave Elliott, Regina Blackley, Cliff Farrier, Ed Bishop, Anne DeMitt, Micki Mohan, Dave Roberts, Leslie Laboue, Ann O'Cain Rushing, Christie Eagleton, Morgan Miller, Brad Soroka, Lisa Vaughn, Rick Whitlow, Steve Jerve, Barbara Horner, Keith Jefferson, Beverly Thomas, Cindy Carter, Kevin D. Jannison, and Augie File. Hank Price later became vice president and general manager of WBBM-TV, the CBS owned station 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. Ann O'Cain Rushing was later a candidate for Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture. 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. 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 a full line-up of syndicated programming, including Everybody Loves Raymond, Tyler Perry's House of Payne, Seinfeld and more. Currently the station can be seen on pay television via Comcast digital channel 212 in standard definition and channel 435 in high definition, as well as over-the-air on channel 12.2.
After an aborted merger plan with Meredith Corporation, Media General announced on January 27, 2016 that it was being acquired by Nexstar Broadcasting Group with the new company named "Nexstar Media Group". Because WNTZ-TV (owned by Nexstar) is considered part of the Alexandria DMA by the FCC (despite it is licensed to Natchez, located in the Jackson market), Nexstar or Media General will not be forced to sell WNTZ or WJTV to comply the Ownership Rules.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|12.1||1080i||16:9||WJTV-HD||Main WJTV programming / CBS|
|12.2||The CW||Mississippi's CW|
WJTV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 12, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 52, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to its analog-era VHF channel 12.
WJTV presently broadcasts 29 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (5 hours on weekdays and 2 hours on weekends).
WHLT simulcasts its parent's weekday morning show and, beginning in December 2013, airs a full 30-minute 10pm newscast produced within the WJTV studio that features stories submitted by WHLT reporters. The 10pm newscast is anchored by WJTV personalities Melanie Christopher, Byron Brown, and chief meteorologist Ken South, and is specially produced for the Hattiesburg market.
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.
- "Nexstar-Media General: It's A Done Deal". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- "Nexstar Clinches Deal to Acquire Media General". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Reverse Auction Opening Prices - Federal Communications Commission
- WNTZ-TV - Licensing and Management System - Federal Communications Commission
- RabbitEars TV Query for WJTV
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations[permanent dead link]