Television WYMT (general)
WYMT Mountain News (newscasts)
WKYT (during news simulcasts)
|Channels||Digital: 12 (VHF)
Virtual: 57 (PSIP)
57.2 This TV
|Affiliations||CBS (since 1985)|
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||October 20, 1969|
|Call letters' meaning||We're Your Mountain Television|
|Former callsigns||WKYH-TV (1969-1985)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog: 57 (1969-2009)|
|Former affiliations||NBC (1969-1985)|
|Transmitter power||50 kW|
|Public license information:||
(semi-satellite of WKYT-TV
Lexington, Kentucky) Profile
(semi-satellite of WKYT-TV
Lexington, Kentucky) CDBS
WYMT-TV, channel 57, is the CBS-affiliated television station for the Eastern Mountain Coal Fields region of Kentucky, licensed to Hazard. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 12 from a transmitter south of the city in Perry County. Owned by Gray Television, the station is sister to Lexington's CBS affiliate WKYT-TV. Although it identifies as a station in its own right, WYMT is considered a semi-satellite of WKYT. It has its own studios on Black Gold Boulevard in Hazard, but some internal operations are based at WKYT's studios on Winchester Road (U.S. 60) near the Brighton section of Lexington.
Beginning February 26, 2010, the station stretched non-HD programming from 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9 aspect ratio, a process called "Stretch-o-Vision".
Beginning April 15, 2014, the station began broadcasting its newscasts in HD, using robotic HD cameras, and introducing new graphics and music.
It began broadcasting on analog UHF channel 57 as WKYH-TV (meaning KentuckY Hazard) on October 20, 1969, as an NBC affiliate. Prior to its inception, some counties in southeastern Kentucky were among the last remaining parts of the country unable to clearly receive a commercial television signal over the air. Kentucky Educational Television had set up a transmitter there the year before. Although this area is considered part of the Lexington market, none of that city's television signals covered the area at the time. Lexington was an all-UHF market, and UHF stations don't get good reception in rugged terrain. This area has long been one of the poorest in the nation, and many people still couldn't afford to buy a television set. Such conditions made the Lexington stations unwilling to set up even low-powered satellites in this area. Instead, WKYH was founded by local businessman Bill Gorman, who served as mayor of Hazard from 1978 until his death in 2010.
In keeping with the region's strong musical traditions, country, bluegrass, and Southern Gospel music constituted a good part of WKYH's early local programs. These shows lasted well into the 1980s (in the case of the Goins Brothers, as late as 1994) after country-music programs had fallen out of favor even on other Southern stations.
Throughout its entire run as WKYH, the station's on-air look was very primitive, even by small-market standards. Much of its equipment had been bought as surplus from other stations, and was usually in a poor state of repair after as much as two decades of use. This was especially true of the transmitter; by the early 1980s the station's signal had deteriorated to the point of unacceptability. Matters weren't helped by the fact that the station's coverage area is very mountainous; UHF stations don't get much penetration in rugged terrain even under the best conditions. It didn't even have a character generator for newscasts. The station was unable to get a network feed, forcing station engineers to rely on microwave links from WLEX-TV in Lexington and WCYB-TV in Bristol, Virginia for network programming. WCYB was used as a backup in case WLEX preempted an NBC show to show local programming. Whenever the microwave system failed, WKYH was forced to switch to and from WLEX or WCYB's signal, usually with less-than-satisfactory results. When this happened, WKYH sometimes aired WLEX or WCYB's commercials or station IDs when it was unable to cover them up in time. As such, the station never thrived, even when cable arrived in the area in the early 1980s.
In 1985, Gorman sold the station to Kentucky Central Insurance Company, then owner of WKYT. The new owner changed the calls to the current WYMT (meaning We're Your Mountain Television). It also changed channel 57's affiliation to CBS to match that of WKYT. With wealthier ownership, WYMT was able to build a much more modern studio and a stronger transmitter. The station also got a significant on-air facelift, making it look much more modern. When Kentucky Central went bankrupt in 1993, WYMT and WKYT were bought by Gray Communications (now Gray Television). WYMT was assigned VHF channel 12 as its final transmission frequency as part of the Federal Communications Commission-mandated transition to digital broadcasting. One benefit to viewers in the area is that VHF signals "bend" over mountainous terrain better than UHF. This not only greatly improved WYMT's signal, but making reception available over a larger area than was previously available. As of February 17, 2009, WYMT broadcasts exclusively in digital. Even with the switch to digital, the great majority of WYMT's viewers still watch the station on cable, which is all but essential for acceptable television in this part of Kentucky. Satellite does not get as much penetration in the area. Due to contracts with satellite providers, sister station WKYT is the only CBS station uplinked for the Lexington market.
To this day, WYMT is the only full-power commercial station in Hazard; cable or satellite is necessary to receive any other commercial network affiliates. Currently, this station, two Christian television stations–WLJC-TV in Beattyville and WAGV in Harlan (a satellite of WLFG in Grundy, Virginia)–along with KET satellites WKHA in Hazard and WKPI in Pikeville are the only full-power stations that can be received over-the-air in much of this region. In addition, WOBZ-LD (which is partially owned by former WKYH weatherman/sportscaster Joey Kesler) is a low-power station serving the London area. There are also several public access channels that serve the region.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|57.1||1080i||16:9||WYMT-TV||Main WYMT-TV programming / CBS|
WYMT-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 57, on February 17, 2009, the original target date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 12. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 57, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.
Out of Market Coverage
WYMT serves 20 counties in the eastern part of Kentucky. It also serves several counties in southwest Virginia and western West Virginia, and appears on cable television in Claiborne County, Tennessee. It primarily serves the eight easternmost counties of the Lexington market (including Perry County, home to Hazard itself). However, its claimed coverage area includes portions of three additional DMAs. The easternmost counties (Pike, Floyd, Martin, Johnson, and Lawrence) are in the Huntington/Charleston, West Virginia market (home territory for sister station and NBC affiliate WSAZ-TV). Letcher and Leslie Counties in Kentucky, Wise County including the Independent City of Norton, Dickenson County including Clintwood in Virginia are in the Tri-Cities DMA. Bell, Harlan, and McCreary Counties are part of the Knoxville market (home territory for sister station and fellow CBS affiliate WVLT-TV).
All of the CBS programming schedule has been run on WYMT since 1985, when the station affiliated with CBS. Even though the station is a semi-satellite of WKYT, WYMT airs its own identifications, commercials, and syndicated programming. Syndicated programs on WYMT include The King of Queens, The Andy Griffith Show, and Family Feud. One noticeable difference in the schedules of WYMT and WKYT is that The Young and the Restless airs on WYMT at the same time as most other affiliates in the Eastern Time Zone at 12:30 pm, while WKYT airs it at 1 p.m. because it has an hour-long noon newscast. WYMT-DT2 was a standard definition simulcast of WKYT from 2009 until August 1, 2014, when that simulcast was replaced by This TV programming.
WYMT regularly broadcast programming from the UK Sports Network. WYMT-TV and WKYT had broadcast Southeastern Conference football and men's basketball broadcasts via Raycom Sports (formerly Jefferson Pilot, later Lincoln Financial Sports) from 1987 until 2009. The two stations began carrying games from ESPN Plus-oriented SEC TV (formerly SEC Network) from 2009 until its cancellation at the end of the 2013-14 season. SEC TV went defunct because of the inception of the then-new pay-TV-exclusive SEC Network in August 2014. Early-season basketball games from the UK Sports Network were also discontinued because of the new SEC Network being launched. The only sports programming on WYMT is all sports programming that is broadcast on the network through CBS Sports.
Locally produced programs
- Appalachian Wireless Sports Overtime
- Issues & Answers: The Mountain Edition
- Sports Overtime Saturday Night
In the 1970s as WKYH, the newscasts were known as 57 NewsService. Currently during the week, WYMT produces separate morning, 4, 6, and 11 o'clock newscasts on weekdays. It simulcasts WKYT's weekday noon (though only the first half hour), 5, and 5:30 broadcasts. WYMT dropped weekend newscasts in October 2008, instead simulcasting WKYT's newscasts, but began airing their own again starting in 2013. Although WKYT has been airing newscasts in high definition since April 11, 2007, WYMT simulcasts them in standard definition. In addition to its main studios, it operates two news bureaus and shares one with WKYT. Indeed, WKYT is the only Lexington station with any presence at all in the eastern portion of the market. This includes the Cumberland Valley Bureau on North 12th Street in Middlesboro and the Big Sandy Bureau on Church Road in Harold. The shared Southern Kentucky Bureau is in Somerset. There are additional WKYT reporters seen on this station.
In WYMT weather segments, it uses regional National Weather Service radar data presented on-screen in a system called "Live Pinpoint Doppler". WKYT operates its own weather radar called "Live First Alert Defender". Sports Overtime is WYMT's weekly sports show that airs on Friday nights from August to April which covers high school athletics. A Saturday edition focusing on college sports aired from 2006 to 2008, and returned in 2013 with the return of weekend news. On April 15, 2014, WYMT finally launched its own newscasts in high definition.
Notable former on-air staff
- Jay Crawford (Creator of "Sports Overtime" on WYMT) - went on to become host of ESPN2's "Cold Pizza" (later changed to "First Take"). Now anchor ESPN's SportsCenter
- "Longtime Hazard Mayor Bill Gorman dies at 86". WYMT-TV. 9 October 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WYMT
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "WYMT Market Information". WYMT-TV. 14 September 2006. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
- SECslick.pdf Raycom Sports. Retrieced January 6, 2015.
- "First Alert Defender". WKYT-TV. Retrieved 2009-10-02.