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  • WJTV 12 (general)
  • WJTV 12 News (newscasts)
  • Mississippi's CW (on DT2)
First air date
January 20, 1953 (71 years ago) (1953-01-20)
Former call signs
WSLI-TV (on channel 12, 1954–1955)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog: 25 (UHF, 1953–1955), 12 (VHF, 1955–2009)
  • Digital: 52 (UHF, 1999–2009)
  • DuMont (secondary, 1953–1956)
  • ABC (secondary 1953–1970, primary 1954–1955 on WSLI)
Call sign meaning
"Jackson Television"
Technical information[1]
Licensing authority
Facility ID48667
ERP49.2 kW
HAAT491 m (1,611 ft)
Transmitter coordinates32°14′26″N 90°24′15″W / 32.24056°N 90.40417°W / 32.24056; -90.40417
Public license information

WJTV (channel 12) is a television station in Jackson, Mississippi, United States, affiliated with CBS and The CW. Owned by Nexstar Media Group, the station has studios on TV Road in southwest Jackson, and its transmitter is located in Raymond, Mississippi.

WHLT (channel 22) in Hattiesburg operates as a semi-satellite of WJTV extending the CBS signal into the Pine Belt region of Mississippi. As such, it clears all network programming as provided through its parent and simulcasts most of WJTV's newscasts, but airs a separate offering of syndicated programming; there are also separate station identifications and local commercial inserts. Although WHLT maintains its own studios on US 49 in Hattiesburg, master control and some internal operations are based at WJTV's facilities.


WJTV signed-on January 20, 1953, as Mississippi's first television station, airing an analog signal on UHF channel 25. It was founded by Jackson's morning and afternoon newspapers—The Clarion-Ledger and the Jackson Daily News, respectively—and was a primary CBS affiliate and secondary DuMont Television Network affiliate.[2]

One year later, on March 27, 1954, the Standard Life Insurance Company started WSLI-TV on VHF channel 12.[3] That station was a primary ABC affiliate, owing to WSLI-AM's affiliation with that network, and provided Jackson residents with network coverage from the three major broadcast networks, since NBC affiliate WLBT (channel 3) had begun operation three months earlier. WSLI shared tower space with WJTV.

In 1955, the Hederman family and Standard Life Insurance Company opted to combine both stations' operations. On June 1, 1955, the two stations merged under WJTV's license, but using WSLI-TV's license on channel 12.[4] WSLI radio remained on the air and became a sister to WJTV. The combined station was a primary CBS affiliate with secondary affiliations with ABC and DuMont.[5] The new channel 12 also shared ABC programming with WLBT until 1970, when WAPT started operations on channel 16. WJTV was also affiliated with NBC and broadcast The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson until September 1966 when it was carried by NBC affiliate WLBT. (Carson had attended Millsaps College in Jackson.)

From 1977 until 1983, WJTV was owned by the Capitol Broadcasting Company (the same company which owned KNAZ-TV in Flagstaff, Arizona, and KKTV in Colorado Springs, Colorado, but unrelated to the Capitol Broadcasting Company of Raleigh, North Carolina). In 1983, it was sold to the News-Press & Gazette Company. Four years later, the station launched a semi-satellite for the Hattiesburg–Laurel area, WHLT. In 1993, NPG sold several of its stations, including WJTV and WHLT, to the first incarnation of New Vision Television. In turn, New Vision sold its entire stations group to Ellis Communications in 1995. Ellis was folded into Raycom Media the following year after it was bought out by a media group led by the Retirement Systems of Alabama (who bought AFLAC's broadcasting group a few months earlier).

WJTV's logo from 2005 to 2015

In 1997, Raycom bought out Federal Broadcasting, owner of WHLT's rival station, WDAM-TV. Due to the presence of WHLT, this acquisition put Raycom in violation of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) duopoly rules in the Hattiesburg–Laurel market. As a result, Raycom opted to keep the higher-rated WDAM and trade WJTV and WHLT (along with WSAV-TV in Savannah, Georgia, that also had to be divested by Raycom due to its ownership of that station's rival WTOC-TV) to Media General in exchange for WTVR-TV in Richmond, Virginia (which had to be divested by Media General due to FCC same-market cross-ownership restrictions).

The trade left Raycom without a station in the Jackson market until 2006 when it acquired WLBT as part of its purchase of The Liberty Corporation. Its original digital transmitter was located at its studios on TV Road.

On October 1, 2013, WJTV returned programming from The CW to the Jackson market after a five-month absence due to former affiliate WRBJ-TV (channel 34)'s sale to the religious Trinity Broadcasting Network. WJTV placed the network on its second digital subchannel, replacing a still of the station's weather radar.

After an aborted merger plan with Meredith Corporation, Media General announced on January 27, 2016, that it was being acquired by Nexstar Broadcasting Group with the new company named "Nexstar Media Group".[6][7] Because WNTZ-TV (owned by Nexstar) is considered part of the Alexandria DMA by the FCC[8][9] (despite being licensed to Natchez, located in the Jackson market), Nexstar was not forced to sell either WNTZ or WJTV to comply with the ownership rules. The sale was completed on January 17, 2017.[10]

News operation[edit]

WHLT simulcasts its parent's weekday morning show and, beginning in December 2013, airs a full 30-minute 10 p.m. newscast produced within the WJTV studio that features stories submitted by WHLT reporters. The 10 p.m. newscast is anchored by WJTV personalities Melanie Christopher, Byron Brown, and chief meteorologist Ken South, and is specially produced for the Hattiesburg market.

The Hattiesburg station will sometimes share video footage with its parent when providing relevant, regional coverage of Mississippi. In this role, WHLT essentially acts as a bureau for WJTV. At some point in spring 2012, WJTV upgraded local news production to 16:9 enhanced definition widescreen.

Technical information[edit]


The station's signal is multiplexed:

Subchannels of WJTV[11]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
12.1 1080i 16:9 WJTV-HD CBS
12.2 720p The CW The CW Plus
12.3 480i 4:3 ION TV Ion Television
12.4 16:9 CourtTV Court TV

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WJTV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 12, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television.[12] The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 52, which was among the high band UHF channels (52–69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to its analog-era VHF channel 12.


  1. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WJTV". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  2. ^ "Third TV Station in Jackson Favored". The Clarion-Ledger. August 18, 1953. p. 4.
  3. ^ "WSLI-TV Starts Its Operations Saturday". The Clarion-Ledger. March 27, 1954. p. 1.
  4. ^ FCC History Cards for WJTV
  5. ^ "WJTV Asks FCC Permit for Move to Channel 12". The Clarion-Ledger. April 15, 1955. p. 1.
  6. ^ "Nexstar-Media General: It's A Done Deal". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  7. ^ Picker, Leslie (January 27, 2016). "Nexstar Clinches Deal to Acquire Media General". The New York Times. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  8. ^ "Reverse Auction Opening Prices" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission.
  9. ^ "Facility Details « Licensing and Management System Admin « FCC". Federal Communications Commission.
  10. ^ "Nexstar Broadcasting Group Completes Acquisition of Media General Creating Nexstar Media Group, The Nation's Second Largest Television Broadcaster". Nexstar Media Group. January 17, 2017. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  11. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WJTV".
  12. ^ "Attached Article" (PDF). August 29, 2013. Archived from the original on August 29, 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)

External links[edit]