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|Branding||LEX 18 (general)
LEX 18 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Count on LEX 18|
|Channels||Digital: 39 (UHF)
Virtual: 18 (PSIP)
18.3 Bounce TV
|Affiliations||NBC (Secondary through 1968)|
(WLEX Communications, LLC)
|First air date||March 15, 1955|
|Call letters' meaning||LEXington|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
18 (UHF, 1955–2009)
|Former affiliations||All secondary:
CBS (1955–1957, 1958–1968)
Wazoo Sports Network (2009–2011)
|Transmitter power||475 kW (digital)|
|Height||286 metres (938 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
WLEX-TV, channel 18, is the NBC-affiliated television station for Lexington, Kentucky and the East-Central Kentucky region. Its transmitter is located in Southern Lexington near Hamburg Pavilion on WTVQ-DT's tower. WLEX's studios are located on Russell Cave Road (KY 353) in Lexington.
The station can also be viewed within the Lexington area on Time Warner Cable channels 8 and 906 (channel numbers will vary throughout the market). It is also available on Frankfort Plant Board channels 7 and 507.
Channel 18 signed on March 15, 1955 as Lexington's first television station and the third in Kentucky (following Louisville's WAVE-TV and WHAS-TV). It was co-owned with WLEX radio (1300 AM, now WLXG) and carried programming from all four networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, and DuMont). The DuMont network went out of business later that year. On February 18, 1956, WLEX broadcast the first-ever telecast of a Kentucky Wildcats basketball game. In 1957, CBS programming moved to WKXP-TV (channel 27, now WKYT-TV). After only one year, however, new owners switched channel 27 to primary ABC affiliation, leaving WLEX to pick up a secondary CBS affiliation once again.
In 1968 CBS moved to WKYT when WBLG-TV (now WTVQ-TV) signed on and took the ABC affiliation, making WLEX a full-time NBC affiliate. For many years, the station was owned by the Gay & Bell families until they sold WLEX to the Evening Post in 1999.
In November 2009, WLEX added the Wazoo Sports Network, which was dedicated to Kentucky sports, on a digital subchannel as part of a service branded as WZLEX. Wazoo Sports filed for bankruptcy in December 2011; WLEX pulled the network at that time, with the station's general manager stating that Wazoo was "[not] strong enough to make a second commitment to it." Wazoo Sports would be replaced by MeTV.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||PSIP Short Name||Video||Aspect||Programming|
|18.1||WLEX-TV||1080i||16:9||Main WLEX-TV programming / NBC|
|18.3||Bounce TV||480i||Bounce TV|
WLEX-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 18, at 7 a.m. 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 remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 39. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 18. The digital signal originates from the tower that also transmits the WTVQ-TV signal.
|This section needs expansion with: further information on the history of WLEX's news operation. You can help by adding to it. (October 2011)|
In the Spring of 2007, WLEX-TV became the second station in Lexington and the entire state of Kentucky to broadcast local newscasts in high definition, and it debuted a new set in preparation for the transition. In September 2010, WLEX became the first station in Lexington to have an on-the-air 4:00 p.m. newscast.
In the fall of 2013, the station's 6 p.m. newscast began to be simulcasted on a half-hour delay on Louisville's Ion Television station, WBNA (Channel 21); that station also airs the midday newscast of fellow NBC affiliate WAVE in Louisville.
Notable current on-air staff
- Nancy Cox-Kenny – anchor
Notable former on-air staff
In Tennessee, Lexington television stations WLEX and WKYT are carried in Jellico. WLEX is also available in Ashland, which is in the Charleston/Huntington, West Virginia market. In addition, some providers in portions of the easternmost portions of the Louisville market carry WLEX, including Campbellsville and Bardstown.
- Time Warner Cable - Channel Lineup for Lexington, Kentucky
- Frankfort Plant Board - Preferred Cable Lineup
- "WLEX, Wazoo Sports Debut Channel". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
- Sloan, Scott (January 9, 2012). "Kentucky broadcaster Wazoo Sports files for bankruptcy". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
- "Media Notebook: WTVQ, WLEX add subchannels of retro TV". Kentucky Herald-Leader. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WLEX
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "LEX 18 To Turn Off Analog Broadcast Signal On Friday". WLEX-TV. 2009-06-11. Archived from the original on June 16, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
- "WLEX to add 4 p.m. newscast". Lexington Herald-Leader. 6 August 2010. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
- "LEX 18 Coverage Map". WLEX-TV. Archived from the original on September 29, 2003 via Wayback Machine. Retrieved May 14, 2015.