|Branding||WLOX ABC (general)
WLOX News Now (newscasts)
WLOX CBS (on DT2)
Bounce South Mississippi
|Slogan||The Stations For
|Channels||Digital: 39 (UHF)
Virtual: 13 (PSIP)
|First air date||September 15, 1962|
|Call letters' meaning||BiLOXi|
|Sister station(s)||WDAM-TV, WLBT, WVUE|
|Former callsigns||WLOX-TV (1979–2003)|
|Former channel number(s)||13 (VHF analog, 1962–2009)|
|Former affiliations||The Tube, This TV
(both on DT3)
|Transmitter power||715 kW|
WLOX is the combined ABC and CBS-affiliated television station for the Mississippi Gulf Coast that is licensed to Biloxi. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 39 (or virtual channel 13.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter in unincorporated southern Stone County near McHenry. The station can also be seen on Cable ONE channel 13 as ABC and channel 10 as CBS and in high definition on digital channel 1013 as ABC and high definition on digital channel 1010 as CBS. Owned by Raycom Media, WLOX has studios on DeBuys Road in Biloxi.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming |
|13.1||720p||16:9||WLOX-DT||Main WLOX programming / ABC|
|13.2||720p → 1080i||WLOX-CBS||WLOX-DT2 / CBS|
WLOX was the first television station on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, having begun operations September 15, 1962. It was owned by the Love family along with WLOX radio (AM 1490, now WXBD). The station immediately aligned with ABC, an unusual move at the time for what, then as now, was a very small market. ABC was not nearly on par with CBS and NBC in terms of size and ratings until the 1970s.
In addition to bringing television to South Mississippi, WLOX also brought ABC programming to the western portion of the Mobile, Alabama/Pensacola, Florida market. That market's ABC affiliate, WEAR-TV in Pensacola, didn't cover areas west of Mobile very well until cable arrived in the region in the 1970s. WLOX also filled a void in New Orleans; it provides at least grade B coverage to most of that market. New Orleans' ABC affiliate, WVUE, preempted moderate amounts of ABC programming until 1978, including most of ABC's daytime soap operas.
For most of the analog era, WLOX was the only "Big Three" station in the region. However, cable systems in Biloxi and Gulfport have long supplemented the area with stations from New Orleans. On the other hand, this outlet was the default ABC affiliate for the Hattiesburg/Laurel, Mississippi market which did not have its own ABC station until June 11, 2012, when sister station WDAM added ABC programming to its second subchannel, replacing This TV. From May 18, 1979 until July 3, 2003 the station employed the use of the -TV suffix in its call sign.
In 1993 along with all other ABC affiliates in Mississippi, WLOX refused to air NYPD Blue due to decency concerns. However, unlike the other stations, the station never aired the show during its entire twelve-year run, opting to air reruns of Home Improvement and other sitcoms instead in the time slot. Rival Fox affiliate WXXV-TV picked up the show in 1994. The Love family sold WLOX to the Liberty Corporation in March 1995. Originally part of its Cosmos Broadcasting division, it came directly under the Liberty banner following the company's exit from the insurance business in 2000. Liberty would eventually merge with Raycom Media in 2006.
WLOX's original TV studios on the ground floor of the beachfront Buena Vista Hotel were completely ruined in 1969 by the storm surge of Hurricane Camille, which was 8 feet (2.4 m) higher than any previous known storm. The Weather Channel series Storm Stories featured this during an August 2009 episode.
In 2005, WLOX remained on the air during Hurricane Katrina, even though its studios were heavily damaged in the storm. During the event, the station continued to broadcast non-stop for more than twelve days afterward. WLOX created an award-winning two-disc DVD set about the storm entitled "Katrina: South Mississippi's Story". Footage of its building being damaged and the move to a temporary studio were part of Storm Stories on June 5, 2010. Anchor Rebbecca Power's survival after returning home from the station was the main focus of the show. The station received a Peabody Award in 2005 "for the courageous efforts of all these staff members." In 2006, WLOX received the Edward R. Murrow National Award in the category of continuing coverage for its around-the-clock broadcasting of Hurricane Katrina and the storm's aftermath. WLOX also received a Southern Regional Emmy Humanitarian award in June 2006. It was added to DirecTV and Dish Network systems in the Biloxi/Gulfport market on June 16, 2010.
In March 2012 during the station's 50th anniversary celebration, WLOX began airing a vague promotional advertisement alluding to having an "eye" on the future with the CBS "eyemark" logo in the background of the spot. The station's front website banner also incorporated a "CBS - coming soon" link to the advertisement on YouTube suggesting a future digital subchannel with a schedule from the network for the market would be offered through WLOX. The station formally announced the CBS affiliation on March 28, 2012 with carriage on WLOX-DT2 replacing a 24-hour local weather channel. It was also made public that Cable ONE will carry WLOX's CBS channel in addition to its existing carriage of New Orleans' WWL-TV and Mobile's WKRG-TV, which have been on Cable ONE and its predecessors for decades.
During instances of severe weather, updates will broadcast on all WLOX digital services when warnings are issued by the National Weather Service. The addition of CBS to WLOX-DT2 is similar to a launch made by sister station WALB in Albany, Georgia. In that outlet's case, however, it added ABC to its second digital subchannel to compliment its primary NBC service. This station went live with CBS programming on April 8 starting with The Masters.
Among former WLOX employees is Chuck Scarborough who is currently the main co-anchor for WNBC in New York City and ABC's Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts. Both are Mississippi Gulf Coast natives. Roberts' sister, Sally-Ann, remains close to the area working at WWL-TV in New Orleans. WLOX upgraded its local newscasts to high definition level on May 25, 2011 complete with a new set and updated corporate graphics from Raycom. With the launch of CBS on WLOX-DT2, simulcasts of some local newscasts from the main channel are included in its schedule.
More specifically, WLOX's thirty-minute weekday afternoon show at 4, weeknight broadcast at 6, and weekend morning news are not seen on that second subchannel. The weekday morning program, Good Morning Mississippi, is only seen from 5 until 6:30 on the CBS channel. There is also a new program aired weeknights at 6:30 seen exclusively on WLOX-DT2. WLOX operates its own weather radar at its facility that is known on-air as "Mississippi Power Doppler". In addition to its main studios, the station operates a Jackson County Bureau in Pascagoula. WLOX shares resources (such as video footage) with sister outlet NBC affiliate WDAM-TV in Laurel.
Notable former on-air staff
- Mark Mullen - anchor/reporter (1985-1987; currently at KNSD in San Diego)
- Robin Roberts (1984-1986; now at ABC's Good Morning America)
- Chuck Scarborough (now at WNBC)
- 65th Annual Peabody Awards, May 2006.
- http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_km4471/is_200606/ai_n16587210. Missing or empty
- Nelson, Karen (March 23, 2012). "Cable One vows not to drop channels". Sun Herald. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- Knox, Merrill (March 28, 2012). "WLOX to Air CBS Programming on Digital Subchannel". TVSpy. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- "Mark Mullen Biography". KNSD-TV. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2013.