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|Slogan||Your Sports and Entertainment Leader (general)|
Twin States News (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 24 (UHF)|
Virtual: 24 (PSIP)
24.2: Bounce TV
|Owner||Waypoint Media, LLC|
|First air date||June 10, 1968|
March 23, 1972
February 2, 1994
|Last air date||October 13, 1970|
|Call letters' meaning||MeriDiaN|
|Sister station(s)||WGBC, WHPM-LD|
|Former callsigns||WHTV (1968–1970, 1972–1986)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
24 (UHF, 1968–1972, 1980–1991, 1994–2009)
26 (UHF, until 2009)
NBC (1972–1980, as satellite of WTVA)
ABC (1968–1970, 1972–1980)
Fox (1994–1997, NFL only)
|Transmitter power||616 kW|
|Height||182.1 m (597 ft)|
|Public license information||Profile|
WMDN, virtual and UHF digital channel 24, is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Meridian, Mississippi, United States. It is one of two flagship television properties of the locally based Waypoint Media, LLC, alongside duopoly partner and dual Fox/NBC affiliate WGBC (channel 30). The two stations share studios and transmitter facilities on Crestview Circle, in unincorporated Lauderdale County, south of Meridian. Together, WMDN and WGBC are known as "The Meridian Family of Stations."
The station started operations on channel 24 on June 10, 1968, under the call sign WHTV. It was originally owned by the Delta Communications Corporation, which was presided over by local businessmen Weyman Walker and James Britton. WHTV aired programs from CBS and ABC in a secondary manner. 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.[dead link]
On March 23, 1972, Frank K. Spain bought WHTV and made it a full-time satellite of WTWV (now WTVA) in Tupelo, Mississippi, which was affiliated with NBC. It also rebroadcast some ABC programs such as college football. 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 area residents except those who could receive, whether 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.
The station had to leave the air for a second time because of financial troubles in 1991, leaving eastern Mississippi and portions of western Alabama without a locally-based 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. 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, in time for the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. 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. In January 2008, Austin, Texas businessman Wade Threadgill purchased the station and its LMA with WGBC, ending 36 years of Spain family ownership. 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. This move provided WMDN and WGBC the full complement of three of the Big Four network affiliates.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|24.1||1080i||16:9||WMDN-HD||Main WMDN programming / CBS|
WMDN shut down its analog signal, broadcast over UHF channel 24, on June 12, 2009, the official date when 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.
WMDN, WGBC and WGBC-DT2 offer almost every major sports program on television today through WMDN's CBS affiliation and WGBC's NBC and Fox affiliations. Sports programming includes NFL games, SEC football, college basketball, Major League Baseball, NASCAR races, major golf tournaments, the FIFA World Cup, and the Olympics. 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.
In 1994, local newscasts on weeknights at 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm were added to the schedules 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 6:00 am 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, The Early Show and CBS This Morning. On September 25, 2017, local newscasts returned to WMDN when the station commissioned the Independent News Network in Little Rock, Arkansas to produce 6&00 pm and 10:00 pm newscasts on both WMDN and sister station WGBC's DT2 subchannel, collectively named Twin States News.
- NewsSource 24 (1980s, as WHTV)
- Action News (1980s, as WTZH)
- "TV Factbook No. 40" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1969[permanent dead link]
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1973
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1975[permanent dead link]
- RabbitEars TV Query for WMDN
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
- More newscasts have been added… one in Nebraska and two in Mississippi.