WYMT-TV

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WYMT-TV
(semi-satellite of WKYT-TV,
Lexington, Kentucky)
WYMT-TV logo.png
Hazard, Kentucky
United States
Branding Your Mountain Television WYMT
(general)
WYMT Mountain News
Slogan Dedicated to Eastern Kentucky
Channels Digital: 12 (VHF)
Virtual: 57 (PSIP)
Subchannels 57.1 CBS
57.2 Heroes & Icons
Affiliations CBS (since 1985)
Owner Gray Television
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
First air date October 20, 1969 (48 years ago) (1969-10-20)
Call letters' meaning We're Your Mountain Television
Sister station(s) WKYT-TV
Former callsigns WKYH-TV (1969–1985)
Former channel number(s) 57 (UHF analog, 1969–2009)
Former affiliations NBC (1969–1985)
Transmitter power 50 kW
Height 397.6 m (1,304 ft)
Facility ID 24915
Transmitter coordinates 37°11′38″N 83°10′52″W / 37.19389°N 83.18111°W / 37.19389; -83.18111
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information:
(
semi-satellite of WKYT-TV,
Lexington, Kentucky) Profile

(
semi-satellite of WKYT-TV,
Lexington, Kentucky) CDBS
Website www.wymt.com

WYMT-TV is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Hazard, Kentucky, United States and serving the Eastern Kentucky Coalfield region. Owned by Gray Television, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 12 (or virtual channel 57 via PSIP) from a transmitter south of the city in Perry County.

Although identifying as a separate station in its own right, WYMT is actually considered a semi-satellite of WKYT-TV (channel 27) in Lexington. As such, it clears all network programming as provided through its parent station but airs a separate offering of syndicated programming, albeit with separate local commercials and legal station identifications. WYMT maintains studios on Black Gold Boulevard off the KY 15 bypass in Hazard. Master control and some internal operations are based at WKYT's studios on Winchester Road in Lexington.

History[edit]

The station began broadcasting on analog UHF channel 57 as WKYH-TV (meaning Kentucky, Hazard) on October 20, 1969, as an NBC affiliate.[1] 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.[2] V. Martin Ogrosky served as News Director and in other posltions along with William "Bill" Helton, William "Bill" Gorman, Jr, and others.

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, and this situation allowed WKYH to relate to its original affiliate NBC during the period in which that network was presided over by Fred Silverman.

In 1985, Gorman sold the station to Kentucky Central Insurance Company, then owner of WKYT. The new owner changed the calls on July 7 of that year to the current WYMT, meaning We're Your Mountain Television. (The WKYH callsign now exists on an AM radio station in Kentucky which, incidentally, launched in 1985.) 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 made 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. WYMT is not carried on satellite. As Hazard is in the Lexington market, WYMT is not seen on satellite since WKYT must be provided to the area, and satellite providers have a right not to carry a duplicate network affiliate in the same market due to bandwidth limitations. Gray Television applied to the FCC to carve out a unique satellite carriage area for WYMT alone, including the easternmost portion of the Lexington market and Kentucky counties assigned to the Tri-Cities, Knoxville, and Charleston-Huntington markets. DirecTV and Dish Network argued it would be technically and economically infeasible, as they would be required to create a new spot beam for this particular area, and cited their right to refuse carriage. The FCC ruled in the satellite companies' favor on May 16, 2018.[3]

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.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[4]
57.1 1080i 16:9 WYMT-TV Main WYMT-TV programming / CBS
57.2 720p H&I Heroes & Icons
WYMT-DT2's former logo.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

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.[5] 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[edit]

WYMT serves 20 counties[6] 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).

Programming[edit]

General programming[edit]

All of the CBS programming schedule has been run on WYMT since 1985, when the station affiliated with CBS. 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 p.m., while WKYT airs it at 1 p.m. because it has an hour-long noon newscast.[7][8]

Sports programming[edit]

WYMT regularly broadcasts 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.[9] 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 provided by the network through CBS Sports.

Beginning with the 2015–2016 season, WYMT-DT2 serves as an affiliate of ad-hoc programming service ACC Network, which is operated by Raycom Sports. That service provides Atlantic Coast Conference football and men's basketball events.[10]

Locally produced programs[edit]

  • Appalachian Wireless Sports Overtime
  • Issues & Answers: The Mountain Edition
  • Sports Overtime Saturday Night

WYMT-DT2[edit]

WYMT-DT2 was a standard definition simulcast of WKYT from 2009 until August 1, 2014, when that simulcast was replaced by This TV programming. In early 2017, This TV was replaced with the Heroes & Icons network.

Newscasts[edit]

In the 1970s as WKYH, the newscasts were known as 57 NewsService. Currently during the week, WYMT produces separate morning, 4, 5:30, 6, and 11 o'clock newscasts on weekdays. It simulcasts WKYT's weekday noon (though only the first half-hour) and 5 o'clock 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".[11] 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, the station began broadcasting its newscasts in HD, using robotic HD cameras, and introducing new graphics and music.[12]

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]