Radio-TV Broadcast History

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WLTZ is an NBC-affiliated television station for Columbus, Georgia owned by SagamoreHill Broadcasting. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 35 from its studios on NBC 38 Drive (street address says Buena Vista Road) in the Vista Terrace section of South Columbus. Syndicated programming on WLTZ includes: The Insider, Oprah, Dr. Phil, and Judge Mathis.



Columbus, Georgia /

Opelika, Alabama

Branding WLTZ NBC 38

NBC 38 News CW Ga-Bama (on DT2)

Slogan The Look of a Champion
Channels Digital: 35 (UHF)
Subchannels 38.1 NBC

38.2 The CW

Owner SagamoreHill Broadcasting

(SagamoreHill Broadcasting of Georgia, LLC)

First air date October 29, 1970
Call letters' meaning Lewis Television / Zenith
Former callsigns WYEA-TV (1970–1981)
Former channel number(s) 38 (UHF analog, 1970-2009)
Transmitter power 50 kW
Height 377.2 m
Facility ID 37179
Transmitter coordinates 32°27′28.4″N 84°53′8.2″W / 32.457889°N 84.885611°W / 32.457889; -84.885611


[hide]*1 Digital programming

[edit] Digital programming[]

Its signal is multiplexed. It operates the area's CW on a second digital subchannel. Known on-air as CW Ga-Bama, it can also be seen on Knology channel 9, Mediacom channel 12, and Charter digital channel 109. WLTZ-DT2 gets all of its programming from The CW Plus.

Channel Label Programming
38.1 WLTZ-DT main WLTZ programming / NBC HD
38.2 WLTZ-DT2 "CW Ga-Bama"

[edit] History[]

[3][4]Previous logo used until November 2007.The station originally signed on for the first time on October 29, 1970 as WYEA-TV, owned by Huntsville, Alabama broadcaster Charles Grisham and his company, Gala Broadcasting. It brought a full NBC affiliate to Columbus after a full decade in which CBS station WRBL and ABC affiliate WTVM had shared NBC programming.

Like most UHF startups in this time, WYEA began with several handicaps. First like almost all other United States television markets with one or two dominant VHF stations, the Columbus area had strong-established preferences for either WRBL or WTVM. But it also had to deal with established NBC stations WSB-TV in Atlanta (later WXIA-TV after an affiliation change in that market), WALB in Albany, Georgia, and Montgomery, Alabama's WSFA, all of whom provided at least grade B coverage of the outlying areas of the market. In fact, Grisham attempted unsuccessfully to legally block WSFA's plans to build a new tower, fearing it would cut into this WYEA's market share.

Later in the 1970s, WYEA became the flagship station of locally-based insurance company Aflac's broadcast operations. In 1981, Aflac sold the station to J. Curtis Lewis (owner of WJCL-TV and WJCL-FM in Savannah, Georgia; WLTX and WNOK-FM in Columbia, South Carolina and WSTZ-FM-AM in Jackson, Mississippi). That August 31, channel 38 changed its call sign to the current "WLTZ" "z 38."

In May 2007, Lewis sold this channel (his last remaining station) to SagamoreHill Broadcasting. [1] Although the official DTV transition in the United States was moved from February 17, 2009 to June 12, WLTZ ceased analog transmission at noon February 17. [2] On April 2, 2009, it was announced that The CW would discontinue its relationship with Pappas Telecasting-owned WLGA; WLTZ joined the network on April 27.[3] WLGA then became an Independent and replaced The CW with syndicated shows; that station ceased operations in June 2010.

[edit] News operation[]

[5][6]Their weeknight news open.Channel 38's first attempt at a news department lasted from the station's inception until 1993. Despite a credible effort, its newscasts were never competitive against WTVM and WRBL. Columbus broadcast veteran and former nightclub owner Al Fleming was once anchor of these newscasts as was Richard Elliot (later of WRBL and WSB). WLTZ shut down its news department in 1993. For the next fourteen years while news ran on the other Columbus stations, WLTZ aired syndicated shows instead with taped news updates that ran only three minutes. In November 2007, WLTZ relaunched news operations with local reporters and Independent News Network personnel. The weeknight 6, 7, and 11 p.m. broadcasts originate from facilities on Tremont Avenue in Davenport, Iowa. To assist in news gathering purposes, the station partners with the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer for resources and coverage. [4]

On May 29, 2008, it became the first and only station in Columbus and the third in the state of Georgia to broadcast its local news in high definition. This upgrade came after the Independent News Network added HD capabilities to its studios. In a report in the Macon, Georgia Telegraph, it was announced that the syndicated news service filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on December 31, 2008 and would end all productions (including those for WLTZ) by January 9, 2009. [5] However, a report in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer on January 6 indicated that this channel's newscasts would not affected by the bankruptcy filing. [6]

In April 2010, it replaced the 7 O'Clock Report with Alabama First News which is co-produced with the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Unlike the other weeknight broadcasts, this show focuses on the East Alabama region of the viewing area because Alabama, which is in the Central Time Zone, is an hour behind Georgia. Therefore, this is the only local newscast that caters to viewers on the Alabama side of the market that airs at 6 p.m. However, viewers in outlying areas of the market have access to stations from Dothan and Montgomery that originate broadcasts geared for Central Time Zone viewers.

Beginning April 16, sister station WNCF in Montgomery, Alabama began to air a weeknight 10 p.m. broadcast in high definition and established a news share agreement with WLTZ. Since the Columbus and Montgomery areas border each other, WNCF features WLTZ local and Independent News Network personnel on its broadcast. Like all CW Plus affiliates in the Eastern Time Zone, WLTZ-DT2 airs the nationally syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz on weekdays from 6 to 9.

[edit] News team[]





[edit] Newscasts[]

  • WYEA Nightly News (1970s)
  • NewsCenter 38 (late 1970s-1993)
  • WLTZ 38 News (November 2007-present)

[edit] Former staff[]

  • Borden Black - News Director, anchor, and reporter
  • Ed Harbison - anchor (now Georgia state senator)
  • Richard Elliot - anchor (now at WSB-TV)
  • Libby Allison - anchor (now at WVIR-TV)
  • Jim Devitt - anchor
  • Al Fleming - anchor
  • Suzanne Hudson - anchor and reporter
  • Kathleen Kennedy - anchor and reporter (now anchor at CNN Headline News)
  • Penny Leigh - meteorologist (deceased)
  • Evan Hutchinson - meteorologist
  • Joy Bland - meteorologist
  • Shep Koster - Sports Director (now actor based in Los Angeles)
  • Julie Bercik - reporter 2007-2009 (now at WVIR)
  • John Lyles - reporter (now with the Clayton County, Georgia school system)
  • Denise Kaigler - reporter (now with Nintendo of America)
  • Maria Jones - reporter
  • Richard Elliot

[edit] References[]

  1. ^
  2. ^ WLTZ-38: "Turning Off Analog. WLTZ Goes Digital." (February 17, 2009)
  3. ^ Retrieved Apr. 3, 2009.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Macon Telegraph: "Future of Macon TV station’s nightly newscast uncertain", 1/5/2009.
  6. ^ Columbus Ledger-Enquirer: "Bankruptcy filing doesn’t impact Columbus’ WLTZ", 1/6/2009.

[edit] External links[]