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WLBT-TV, channel 3, is the NBC affiliate television station in Jackson, Mississippi, USA. WLBT transmits its signal from an antenna, 624 meters in height, located near Raymond.

WLBT-TV
WLBT06
Jackson, Mississippi
Branding WLBT 3 (general)

WLBT News (newscasts)

Slogan On Your Side
Channels Digital: 30 (UHF)Virtual: 3 (PSIP)
Subchannels

3.1 NBC

3.2 Bounce TV


3.3 This TV

Owner Raycom Media

(WLBT License Subsidiary, LLC)

First air date December 19, 1953

(current license dates from June 14, 1971)

Call letters' meaning 'W'LamarBroadcast

Television (former owner)

Sister station(s) WDBD-TV
Former callsigns WJBT (1953-1954)
Former channel number(s) Analog:

3 (1953-2009) Digital: 9 (-2009) 7 (2009-2010)

Former affiliations Secondary:ABC (1953-1970)
Transmitter power 535 kW
Height 624 m
Facility ID 68542
Transmitter coordinates 32°12′49.4″N90°22′57.4″W
Website www.msnewsnow.com

HistoryEdit

The station was founded on December 19, 1953 as WJBT by Lamar Life Insurance Company. It is Jackson's second-oldest television station, following WJTV (channel 12), which debuted in January 1953. Channel 3 is also Mississippi's third-oldest television station (WTOK-TV inMeridian went on the air three months earlier). A few weeks after its debut, the station was renamed WLBT - which stands for Lamar Broadcasting Television - because the original call letters sounded similar to WJTV.

It has always been an NBC affiliate, though it shared ABC with WJTV until WAPT-TV (channel 16) started broadcasting in 1970. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[1]

Opposition to civil rightsEdit

The station attained significant notoriety for its aggressive support of racial segregation in Mississippi in the 1950s and 1960s. Lamar had close ties to the state's white political and business elite and with segregationist groups, such as the White Citizens' Council. It even went as far as to coordinate opposition to civil rights with these groups.[2] It was rumored that the station even displayed segregationist literature in the lobby of its studios in downtown Jackson. The station manager even went as far as to editorialize on the air against the admission ofJames Meredith to the University of Mississippi in 1962, arguing that states should determine who should and should not be allowed to attend their schools.

For the most part, the station ignored the Civil Rights movement, cutting out coverage of it from the NBC News feed (largely by pretending that technical problems were the cause of interruptions). It also pre-empted NBC programs that even mildly referred to racial justice or featured African American actors prominently. At the same time, it provided a platform on its local newscasts and public affairs programs for individuals advocating resistance to efforts by the federal government to enable African Americans to vote and gain access to basic amenities such as non-segregated public schools. Allegedly, the station even sold airtime to the Ku Klux Klan. In all truth, WLBT generally did not acknowledge that African Americans even existed.

Many television stations in the South often felt chagrin at network coverage of the Civil Rights movement. For instance, WBRC-TV inBirmingham, Alabama switched its affiliation from CBS to ABC in 1961, in part because CBS News had become increasingly supportive of the civil rights movement. Also, Raleigh, North Carolina's WRAL-TV during most of the 1960s ended the ABC Evening News ten minutes early in order for future U.S. Senator Jesse Helms to give commentaries opposing the movement, precluding local broadcast of the network's commentaries in favor. However, WLBT went farther than any other Southern station to oppose civil rights. Channel 3 kept its affiliation with NBC, even though that network historically had an extremely low tolerance towards local pre-emptions at the time. Indeed, many NBC stars, like Bonanza's Pernell Roberts, were speaking out on behalf of civil rights. This was largely because WLBT's only competition was CBS affiliate WJTV, a situation that lasted until 1970, when the market picked up a full-time ABC affiliate in WAPT.

Over the years, NBC, civil rights groups and the United Church of Christ (represented locally by the Woodworth Chapel at nearby Tougaloo College) sent numerous petitions to the Federal Communications Commission to complain of WLBT's flagrant bias.[3] The FCC issued several warnings to Lamar, but these went unheeded. The issue was contested in court, with the U.S. Court of Appeals forcing the FCC to revoke the station's license in 1969.[4] Lamar appealed, but lost in 1971. That June, control of the station was given to a bi-racial, non-profit foundation called "Communications Improvement, Inc." The group promised to make the station a beacon of tolerance. While most WLBT employees were retained, a new group of managers, including some of the first African American television executives in the South, recreated the station as a far more neutral news source.

To this day, WLBT remains one of only two television stations that has ever lost its license for violating FCC regulations on fairness. The other station, WJIM-TV (now WLNS-TV) in Lansing, Michigan, had its license reinstated on appeal. The case is widely noted in communications textbooks and is itself the primary subject of at least two books: Changing Channels: The Civil Rights Case that Transformed Television (ISBN 978-1578065196) and Watching Jim Crow: The Struggles Over Mississippi TV, 1955-1969 (ISBN 9780822333418).

WLBT todayEdit

WLBT was one of the first television stations in the South to devote a significant block of airtime and dedicated personnel to the production of local investigative, documentary style news. Probe was a 30 minute program that aired weekly. It garnered numerous awards, including a George Foster Peabody award in 1976 for a segment called "Power Politics in Mississippi." [5]

On January 9, 1980, Communications Improvement sold WLBT to TV-3, Inc., a group of five companies who had competed for the license. In 1984, Frank Melton (who later became mayor of Jackson) formed Civic Communications and bought WLBT.

From 1982 to 1991, the station operated a low-powered satellite in Meridian, Mississippi, WLBM; that station is now a stand-alone station,WGBC.

In 2002, Melton sold the station to Liberty Corporation, who in turn merged with Raycom Media in 2006.

In late-2010, WLBT began airing all news broadcasts in High Definition, launched a new graphics package, and remodeled their news and interview sets. Their weather set was demolished and rebuilt.

WLBT 3 On Your Side continues to be the leader in news, weather, sports, and traffic reporting.

Tower tragedyEdit

On Thursday, October 23, 1997, three Canadian men from Canada's LeBlanc & Royal were preparing to replace the guy wires of WLBT's 1,999-foot (609 m) transmission tower near Raymond when the tower collapsed, killing them all. The workers were at the 1,500-foot (460 m) level and held on to the tower as it fell.[6]

The tower's collapse knocked WLBT and the local PBS/Mississippi ETV Network affiliate WMPN off the air for several hours. WLBT was able to resume broadcasting on a 100-foot (30 m) secondary tower, which only reached about half of its normal viewing area until a new 2,000-foot (610 m) tower was completed in 1999.

The 1,999-foot (609 m) tower was actually the second WLBT transmission tower to fall at their Raymond site. WLBT's original transmission tower collapsed on March 3, 1966 when the Candlestick Park Tornado, one of only two F5 tornadoes in Mississippi's history struck the tower and transmitter building.[7] WLBT engineers salvaged what they could of the transmitter and operated on the same stand by tower as it would operate with later after the second tower collapse. When the 1,999-foot (609 m) replacement tower was completed later in 1966, the new tower was one of the tallest structures east of the Mississippi River and was in service until the second collapse in 1997.

Digital TelevisionEdit

The station's digital signal is multiplexed. WLBT broadcasts on digital channel 30.

Digital Channels

Channel  Name Programming
3.1 WLBT-DT1 Main WLBT-TV Programming / NBC (HD)
3.2 WLBT-DT2 Bounce TV
3.3 WLBT-DT3 This TV

Post-analog shutdownEdit

WLBT shut down its analog signal on June 12, 2009, as part of the DTV transition in the United States. [8] The station moved its digital broadcasts to channel 7 [9] using PSIP to display WLBT's virtual channel as 3.

On January 14, 2010, WLBT moved to UHF channel 30, because of viewers having difficulty receiving their signal on VHF Channel 7.[10][11]Some stations solved the problem with a power increase, but WLBT could not due to potential interference to another station.[12]

[edit]News operationEdit

Since the 1970s, WLBT's news department has been quite aggressive. It exposed the activities of the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, the arm of 1960s governor Ross Barnett to suppress civil rights activity in the state. For most of the last 30 years, WLBT has been the dominant news station in Jackson.

As its prime time ratings dropped in 2008, WLBT announced that it would begin a 4 o'clock newscast on weekdays. This will be[when?] the first of its kind in the Jackson, Mississippi television market.[13]

WLBT is one of ten television stations that air consumer reports from John Matarese of ABC affiliate WCPO in Cincinnati.

As of October 2010, WLBT is now broadcasting local news in HD. They are the second station in the Jackson market to make the transition to HD news; WDBD, the FOX affiliate, was the first in HD local news for Jackson, in early to mid 2009.

News team + denotes personnel seen exclusively on WDBD

Anchors


  • Brandon Artiles - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 on WLBT and 7:00-9:00 a.m. on WDBD); also reporter
  • Cheryl Lasseter - weekday mornings (7:00-9:00 a.m. on WDBD); also reporter
  • Katina Rankin - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at 12:30 p.m. (Midday Mississippi)
  • Stephanie Bell Flynt - weekdays at noon; also health reporter
  • Maggie Wade - weekdays at 4:00 and 4:30 and weeknights at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m.; also reporter
  • + Joy Redmond - weeknights at 5:30 and 9:00 p.m. (BOTH on WDBD)
  • Marsha Thompson - weeknights at 6:00 p.m.; also chief investigative reporter
  • Howard Ballou - weeknights at 6:00, 9:00 (WDBD) and 10:00 p.m.; also reporter
  • Jewell Hillery - weekend mornings (6:00-7:00 a.m.); also weekday morning reporter
  • Roslyn Anderson - Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:00 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.; also reporter
  • C.J. LeMaster - Saturdays at 10:00, Sundays at 5:00 and at 10:00 p.m.; reporter

First Alert Weather 

  • Julia Weiden - meteorologist; weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 on WLBT and 7:00-9:00 a.m. on WDBD) and weekdays at noon
  • Barbie Bassett (AMS Seal of Approval) - meterologist; weekdays at 4:00 and 4:30 and weeknights at 5:00, 5:30 (WDBD) and 6:00 p.m.
  • Dave Roberts (AMS Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 9:00 and 10:00 p.m.
  • Michael Haynes - meteorologist; weekend mornings (6:00-7:00 a.m.), Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:00 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.

Sports

  • Rob Jay - sports director; weeknights at 6:00, 9:00 (WDBD) and 10:00 p.m.;
  • Francesca Weems - Sports Anchor; Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:00 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.

Reporters 

  • Walt Grayson - "Look Around Mississippi" segment producer and seen on WMPN-TV
  • David Kenney
  • Jessica Bowman
  • Courtney Ann Jackson
  • Mary Wieden - weekday morning traffic (5:00-7:00 on WLBT and 7:00-9:00 a.m. on WDBD)

News teamEdit

+ denotes personnel seen exclusively on WDBD

Anchors


  • Brandon Artiles - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 on WLBT and 7:00-9:00 a.m. on WDBD); also reporter
  • Cheryl Lasseter - weekday mornings (7:00-9:00 a.m. on WDBD); also reporter
  • Katina Rankin - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at 12:30 p.m. (Midday Mississippi)
  • Stephanie Bell Flynt - weekdays at noon; also health reporter
  • Maggie Wade - weekdays at 4:00 and 4:30 and weeknights at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m.; also reporter
  • + Joy Redmond - weeknights at 5:30 and 9:00 p.m. (BOTH on WDBD)
  • Marsha Thompson - weeknights at 6:00 p.m.; also chief investigative reporter
  • Howard Ballou - weeknights at 6:00, 9:00 (WDBD) and 10:00 p.m.; also reporter
  • Jewell Hillery - weekend mornings (6:00-7:00 a.m.); also weekday morning reporter
  • Roslyn Anderson - Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:00 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.; also reporter
  • C.J. LeMaster - Saturdays at 10:00, Sundays at 5:00 and at 10:00 p.m.; reporter

First Alert Weather 

  • Julia Weiden - meteorologist; weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 on WLBT and 7:00-9:00 a.m. on WDBD) and weekdays at noon
  • Barbie Bassett (AMS Seal of Approval) - meterologist; weekdays at 4:00 and 4:30 and weeknights at 5:00, 5:30 (WDBD) and 6:00 p.m.
  • Dave Roberts (AMS Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 9:00 and 10:00 p.m.
  • Michael Haynes - meteorologist; weekend mornings (6:00-7:00 a.m.), Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:00 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.

Sports

  • Rob Jay - sports director; weeknights at 6:00, 9:00 (WDBD) and 10:00 p.m.;
  • Francesca Weems - Sports Anchor; Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:00 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.

Reporters 

  • Walt Grayson - "Look Around Mississippi" segment producer and seen on WMPN-TV
  • David Kenney
  • Jessica Bowman
  • Courtney Ann Jackson
  • Mary Wieden - weekday morning traffic (5:00-7:00 on WLBT and 7:00-9:00 a.m. on WDBD)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films". Boxoffice: 13. November 10, 1956.
  2. ^ Television News and the Civil Rights Struggle: The Views in Virginia and Mississippi, William G. Thomas III, University of Virginia
  3. ^ Changing Channels: The Civil Rights Case That Transformed Television, Kay Mills, Prologue Magazine, US National Archives, Fall 2004 Vol. 36 No. 3
  4. ^ The FCC & Censorship: Legendary Media Activist Everett Parker on the Revocation of WLBT’s TV License in the 1960s for Shutting Out Voices of the Civil Rights Movement, Democracy Now, March 06, 2008
  5. ^ archives Peabody UGA
  6. ^ WLBT TOWER COLLAPSE THE CGC COMMUNICATOR CGC #201, Thursday, October 30, 1997, Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR, Editor
  7. ^ Monday: Candlestick Park Tornado Overview NWS Forecast Office - Jackson, MS - NOAA
  8. ^ http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20090206/BIZ/902060338/-1/frontpagetabmodule-1V
  9. ^ CDBS Print
  10. ^ http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/prefill_and_display.pl?Application_id=1337134&Service=DT&Form_id=301&Facility_id=68542
  11. ^ http://www.wlbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=11655796
  12. ^ Dickson, Glen (2009-11-02). "KUAC Makes Unusual Digital Switch". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2009-11-05.
  13. ^ a dead link clarion ledger

External linksEdit

LogosEdit

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