Radio-TV Broadcast History
File:WLKY-TV Logo.png
Louisville, Kentucky
BrandingWLKY News
SloganLive. Local. Late Breaking.
Channels Analog: 32 (UHF)

Digital: 26 (UHF)

ABC Family (DT2)
Wealth TV (DT3)
Owner Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc.
(WLKY Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc.)
First air dateSeptember 16, 1961
Call letters’ meaningWe're in Louisville, KentuckY
Former callsignsWLKY-TV (1961-1994)
WLKY (1994-1997)
Former affiliationsABC (1961-1990)
Transmitter Power4270 kW (analog)
600 kW (digital)
Height384 m (analog)
392 m (digital)
Facility ID53939
Transmitter CoordinatesTemplate:Coord (analog)
Template:Coord (digital)

WLKY-TV is a television station located in Louisville, Kentucky, USA which is an affiliate of the CBS television network and serves the Louisville area and southeastern Indiana. The station is owned by Hearst-Argyle Television, and WLKY's transmitter is located north of Louisville in Floyds Knobs, Indiana.


The station signed on September 16, 1961 as a full-time ABC affiliate. Previously, the ABC affiliation in Louisville was shared between NBC affiliate WAVE-TV and then-CBS affiliate WHAS-TV.

WLKY was founded by a local group, Kentuckiana Television, who in 1967 sold it to Sonderling Broadcasting (which would acquire several medium-market radio and television stations such as WAST-TV in Albany, New York until that company merged with Viacom in 1979). In 1973, Sonderling sold the station to Combined Communications. In 1979, Combined Communications merged with the Gannett Company.

In 1983, Gannett sold WLKY, along with WPTA in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Pulitzer after it purchased WLVI-TV in Boston (currently owned by Sunbeam Television) from Field Communications. Pulitzer kept WLKY but sold WPTA to Granite Broadcasting in 1989.

Under the ownership of Pulitzer, WLKY made a switch: In 1990, it swapped network affiliations with WHAS (by then owned by the Providence Journal Company, now owned by Belo), with WLKY taking the CBS affiliation and WHAS becoming the ABC affiliate - much to that station's chagrin. This came after then-second-place ABC became dissatisfied with the viewership ratings at some of its affiliates (while CBS was in decline during this time), and ABC wanted a stronger affiliation. Ironically, WLKY has been far more successful as a CBS affiliate than it ever had been as an ABC affiliate. Combined with the recent strength of CBS's prime-time programming lineup, WLKY is a very competitive station today even though it doesn't always lead every time slot in every ratings period.

Hearst-Argyle Television bought all of Pulitzer's stations, including WLKY, in 1999.

From 1977 to 1986, WLKY was known as "32 Alive." At the time, Combined Communications was using the "Alive" moniker on four of its stations; in addition to WLKY, there were KOCO "5 Alive" in Oklahoma City, WXIA "11 Alive" in Atlanta, and WPTA "21 Alive" in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Gannett-owned WXIA still uses the "Alive" moniker, as does WPTA, although that station is no longer owned by Gannett.

WLKY is one of the few CBS affiliates to show The Young and the Restless 4-5 PM, leading into the 5 PM local news. In 1993, after losing Oprah to WHAS, WLKY tried The Bertice Berry Show (which was cancelled nationally after one season) in the timeslot, which was a disaster and eventually moved The Young and the Restless to 4pm where it remains today. Other CBS affiliates WAFB in Baton Rouge, LA; WRAL in Raleigh, NC; and KMOV in St. Louis also run The Young and the Restless in the 4pm timeslot. The game show duo of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune have also aired on channel 32 in national syndication for many years.

In 2008, WLKY changed its branding from WLKY NewsChannel 32 to WLKY News. NewsChopper 32 was renamed WLKY NewsChopper. A new graphics package debuted as well.

Notable WLKY alumni[]

  • Diane Sawyer, co-host of ABC's "Good Morning America", who got her start at this station, working there from 1967 to 1970.
  • Tom Mintier, reporter (moved to CNN)
  • Mark Giangreco, Sports Anchor (WLS-TV Chicago)

Analog-to-digital conversion[]

After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion, which is tentatively scheduled to take place on February 17, 2009, WLKY-TV will remain on its current pre-transition channel number, 26. However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display WLKY-TV's virtual channel as 32.

External links[]

BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WLKY-TV


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