WMDN

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For the radio station in Midland, Michigan that previously used this call sign, see WMPX (AM).
WMDN
Wmdn 2010.png
Meridian, Mississippi
United States
Branding CBS 24
Slogan Your Sports and Entertainment Leader
Channels Digital: 24 (UHF)
Virtual: 24 (PSIP)
Subchannels 24.1 CBS
24.2 Bounce TV
24.3 Cozi TV
Owner Meridian Media
(WMDN-TV, LLC)
First air date June 10, 1968 (1968-06-10)
(original incarnation)
March 23, 1972 (1972-03-23)
(second incarnation)
February 2, 1994; 23 years ago (1994-02-02)
(third incarnation)
Call letters' meaning MeriDiaN
Sister station(s) WGBC, WHPM-LD
Former callsigns WHTV (1968–1970, 1972–1986)
WTZH (1986–1991)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
24 (UHF, 1968–1972, 1980–1991, 1994–2009)
Digital:
26 (UHF, until 2009)
Former affiliations Primary:
NBC (1972–1980, as satellite of WTVA)
Dark (1991–1994)
Secondary:
ABC (1968–1970, 1972–1980)
Fox (1994–1997, NFL only)
Transmitter power 616 kW
Height 182.1 m
Facility ID 73255
Transmitter coordinates 32°19′40″N 88°41′31.3″W / 32.32778°N 88.692028°W / 32.32778; -88.692028
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website http://www.wgbctv.com

WMDN is the CBS-affiliated television station for Meridian, Mississippi. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 24 from a transmitter at its studios on Crestview Circle south of downtown. The station can also be seen on Comcast channel 5 and in high definition on digital channel 433. Owned by Meridian Media, WMDN is sister to NBC/Fox affiliate WGBC and the two share studios. Together, WMDN and WGBC have become known as The Meridian Family of Stations. Syndicated programming on WMDN includes: The Doctors, Dr. Phil Show, Hot in Cleveland, and Big Bang Theory.

History[edit]

The station started operations on channel 24 on June 10, 1968 under the call sign WHTV. It was originally owned by local businessmen Weyman Walker and James Britton. WHTV aired programs from CBS and ABC in a secondary manner.[1] Unfortunately, like many UHF start-ups in a previously VHF market, this channel could not gain a significant foothold in ratings or local advertising and had to go dark on October 13, 1970. [2]

On March 23, 1972, Frank K. Spain bought WHTV and made it a full-time satellite of WTWV (now WTVA) in Tupelo which was affiliated with NBC with some ABC programs such as college football carried at other times. [3] Television guides during this time instructed viewers to consult WTWV's listings for WHTV's program schedule. This changed in 1980 when Spain opted to convert WHTV into a stand-alone station, making it the primary CBS affiliate for Meridian after WTOK changed its affiliation to ABC; NBC, then the lowest-rated network, was not seen for about two years by residents of the area, except those who could receive, either over-the-air or by cable, either Jackson's WLBT or Hattiesburg's WDAM. In 1982, NBC returned to the market on WLBM (now WGBC) as a semi-satellite of WLBT. Meanwhile, in 1986, WHTV changed call letters to WTZH.

WTZH, unfortunately, had to leave the air because of financial troubles in 1991, leaving eastern Mississippi and portions of western Alabama without a CBS affiliate. During the gap, Hattiesburg's WHLT and occasionally Selma, Alabama's WAKA were carried by Comcast to provide CBS programming to cable subscribers; still others may have received Jackson's WJTV over the air. Finally, the Spain family returned channel 24 to the air as WMDN on February 2, 1994. From that year until 1997, the station aired National Football League games from Fox (which had actually acquired these games from CBS).

In 1995, WMDN entered into a local marketing agreement (LMA) with WGBC. The Spains owned WMDN until January 2008, when Austin, Texas businessman Wade Threadgill purchased the station and LMA'd the station to WGBC TV's Michael Reed of Waypoint Media. Then on January 5, 2009, FOX moved its affiliation from WTOK to WGBC as the primary affiliation in full HD. Both FOX and NBC programming were then offered in HD on WGBC. Thus providing WMDN and WGBC the full complement of 3 of the Big 4 network affiliates.

In 2014, WMDN switched its AccuWeather service on the digital sub-channel to entertainment programming Bounce TV on 24.2, and adding NBC-owned COZI TV on 24.3.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[4]
24.1 1080i 16:9 WMDN-HD Main WMDN programming / CBS
24.2 480i Bounce Bounce TV
24.3 4:3 COZI Cozi TV

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WMDN shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 24, 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 relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 26 to channel 24 for post-transition operations.[5]

Sports programming[edit]

WMDN, WGBC and WGBC-DT2 are often branded as the market's "Sports & Entertainment Leader" since the three stations offer almost every major sports program on television today through WMDN's CBS affiliation and WGBC's NBC and Fox affiliations. Through CBS, WMDN itself airs NFL games from the AFC and select Thursday night games, SEC football, the Masters golf tournament, and NCAA basketball including its annual tournament. WGBC's main channel, through Fox, airs NFL games from the NFC, along with Major League Baseball, NASCAR, FIFA soccer, and golf events sanctioned by the USGA, including the U.S. Open. Finally, WGBC-DT2 offers the Olympic Games, NFL Sunday and select Thursday night games, and many other events through NBC. Through their networks' NFL rights, the Super Bowl also airs on one of the three stations every year. Locally, WMDN and WGBC pre-record local high school football games every Friday night during football season, for broadcast by either station on Sunday evenings.

News operation[edit]

In 1994, local newscasts on weeknights at 6 and 10 were added to the schedule of WMDN and WGBC. From 1991 until 1994, WGBC aired news during the week under the branding WGBC News 30. Those broadcasts ended after local businessman Alex Shields bought majority control of the station. With the introduction of a news department, WMDN simulcasted all of its shows on WGBC as a result of the LMA. Therefore, the newscasts were branded as 24/30 News. The title changed to WMDN News when the broadcasts were dropped from WGBC's lineup. WMDN also aired an hour-long weekday morning show at 6 for a short time. Despite winning the award for the state's best newscast two years in a row, management decided to cease the production of local news on June 30, 2005. In 2008, under new ownership, the stations began producing and airing five-minute local news, community affairs and weather cut-ins during, the CBS and NBC morning programming like Today Show and CBS Early Show.[citation needed]

References[edit]

External links[edit]