WLTX: Wikis


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WLTX hdtv.png
Columbia, South Carolina
Branding News 19
Slogan On Your Side
Channel Digital: 17 (UHF)
Virtual: 19 (PSIP)
Subchannels 19.1 CBS-HD
19.3 Weather
Affiliations CBS
Owner Gannett Company, Inc.
(Pacific and Southern Company, Inc.)
First air date September 1, 1953
Callsign meaning Lewis Television
(former owner, used same callsign format for other stations, such as WLTZ)
Former callsigns WNOK-TV (1953-1977)
Former channels Analog:
67 (1953-1961)
19 (1961-2009)
Former affiliations Both secondary:
DuMont (1953-1955)
UPN (1995-1998)
Effective power 1000 kW (digital)
Height 499.8 m (digital)
Facility ID 37176
Antenna coordinates 34°5′49″N 80°45′51″W / 34.09694°N 80.76417°W / 34.09694; -80.76417
Website www.wltx.com

WLTX, is the CBS television affiliate based in Columbia, South Carolina, broadcasting on Digital channel 17. Its broadcast transmitter tower is located in Lugoff, South Carolina.



WLTX is the second oldest continuously operating TV station in South Carolina, having begun on September 1, 1953 as WNOK-TV. It signed on two months ahead of Columbia's WIS-TV, and originally broadcast on channel 67. It has always been a CBS affiliate, but carried a secondary DuMont affiliation until that network's demise in 1955. Its studios were located in the Jefferson Hotel in downtown Columbia, along with WNOK radio (1230 AM and 104.7 FM). It moved to the much stronger channel 19 on June 30, 1961.

In June 1967, WNOK-AM-FM-TV moved to a new studio on Garners Ferry Road, 5 miles east of downtown Columbia and one mile from Interstate 77 and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. In 1977, WNOK-TV was sold to Lewis Broadcasting and became the present WLTX.

Historically, channel 19 has been a very distant second to long-dominant WIS, especially in news programming. Part of the problem was a weak signal. The Columbia market is a fairly large market geographically, and at first UHF stations were not strong enough to cover large areas. Although channel 19 decently covered Columbia itself as well as Lexington and Sumter counties, it was practically unviewable in the outlying areas of the market. Until cable television arrived in the Columbia area in the 1970s, viewers in the outlying portions of the market had to rely on grade B signals from WRDW-TV in Augusta or WBTV in Charlotte. However, in 1985, WLTX activated a new tall tower in Lugoff that nearly doubled the station's signal and expanded its over-the-air coverage to 24 counties.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, WLTX (later followed by Columbia's ABC affiliate, WOLO-TV) aired reruns of old sitcoms instead of local news at 11 PM. Management at the time felt that it could not hope to compete with WIS, even with a taller tower. WLTX began a five-minute late newscast in 1993 and expanded to a full 35-minute newscast in 1995.

The loss of NFL broadcast rights to Fox in 1994 cost CBS and WLTX major revenue sources as advertising rates suffered because of the loss of ratings. From 1995 until 1998, WLTX was a secondary UPN affiliate, airing that network's programming on weekend afternoons when CBS had only limited sports programming.

In 1998, the current owner, Gannett, purchased WLTX from Lewis. Gannett invested heavily in making WLTX competitive against the traditionally dominant WIS, building a new set and hiring new station management and news talent. Soon after taking control, Gannett hired Jim Gandy, long-time meteorologist at WIS. While Gandy initially could not appear on the air in Columbia until the expiration of a one-year non-compete agreement, Gannett used him as a consultant in Columbia and substitute weathercaster at the company's other stations, including WXIA-TV in Atlanta and WUSA-TV in Washington, D. C..

Gannett also created new segments such as "On Your Side", "Restaurant Report Card", and "Big Money Monday." In 2001, WLTX added a 7:00 PM newscast to its lineup, competing head-on against WIS' flagship news program. In 2002, WLTX became the flagship broadcaster of the South Carolina Education Lottery. J.R. Berry and Darci Strickland, the popular morning news duo at WLTX, also became the evening news anchors that year. Also in the early 1990s WLTX launched a weekly program titled "News 19: Player of the Week". This program recognized high school student athletes accomplishments in the classroom and on the fields. Ray Allen, now of the Boston Celtics, won the award several times while playing at Hillcrest High School (now Middle School) in Dalzell.

News Operation

Currently, WLTX is the ratings leader at noon, having CBS' strong daytime lineup as a lead-in. It regularly trades the lead in the early-morning timeslot with WIS. In the May 2007 books, WLTX continued to win its newscast at noon as well as winning the first half-hour of the morning news program.

In May 2002, WLTX was the first commercial station in Columbia to broadcast in digital. It has been able to take advantage of the multi-casting and High Definition broadcasting technology to air various special events, including the Super Bowl and the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. It broadcasts its own 24/7 Local Weather channel on digital channel 19-3 and on Time Warner Cable channel 812. However, its newscasts are not yet broadcast in High Definition.

WLTX launched a new 5pm newscast on August 20, 2007 titled "News 19: Friends @ Five". The new newscast features Darci Strickland, Andrea Mock, and Chief Meteorologist Jim Gandy. On June 23 2008 "Friends @ Five" won the Southeast Regional Emmy Award for its innovative approach to connecting with viewers. Their 11pm newscast also won an Emmy Award for "Best Newscast" for the second year in a row.

Their website "wltx.com" is currently the #1 local website in that area.[citation needed]

WLTX runs syndicated programs such as The Andy Griffith Show, The Doctors, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and The Dr. Oz Show.




Current on-air talent


  • J.R. Berry - Evening Anchor @ 6, 7 & 11 PM, since 1990
  • Sharie Harvin - Noon Anchor, Reporter/Fill in Anchor, since April 2007
  • Andrea Mock - Evening Anchor for "Friends @ Five" & 11 PM, since 2007
  • Nat Roers - Morning Anchor @ 5 AM, since January 2005
  • Darci Strickland - Evening Anchor for "Friends @ Five", 6 & 7 PM, since 1997
  • Curtis Wilson - Morning Anchor @ 5 AM, since 2002


  • Michael Benning - Reporter, since June 2008
  • Jerome Collins - On Your Side Reporter, since October 2007
  • Sydney Cummins- Reporter, since November 2007
  • Carrie Powell - Reporter, since February 2009
  • Shawn Skillman - Reporter, since February 2010
  • Nate Stewart - Reporter, since February 2010
  • Lauren Talarico - Reporter, since January 2009
  • Alexis Taylor - Education Reporter, since 2009
  • Ashleigh Walters - Reporter, since March 2008
  • Ashley Yore - Reporter, since July 2008

TrueView Weather

  • Daniel Bonds - Meteorologist/Fill in/Reporter since 2007
  • Jim Gandy - AMS Certified Broadcast Chief Meteorologist for "Friends @ Five", 6, 7 & 11 PM, since December 1999
  • Scott Ryan - AMS Sealed Morning Meteorologist @ 5 AM & Noon, since April 2002
  • Lewis Turner - Fill in Weather Anchor/Reporter, rejoined 2008


  • Reggie Anderson - Weekend Sports Anchor, since 1993
  • Van Lott - Sports Photographer/Editor/Producer
  • Bob Shields - Sports Director/Weekday Sports Anchor @ 6 & 11 PM, since 1981

Past Personalities

  • Matt Barrie (now at KXAS, Dallas, TX)
  • Brandy Bell
  • Camille Bradford-Hugg
  • Addie Bradshaw (now at WGRZ, Buffalo, New York)
  • Terry Brooks (now at WEWS, Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Michael Chisholm
  • Johnny Chappell (now at News 14 Carolina)
  • Joel Connable (now at WTVJ, Miami, Florida)
  • Chris Connor (Surridge)(Former Deputy Communications Mgr. Hillary2000, now Director of Major Gifts, Miami City Ballet)
  • Jack Cook (News Director - deceased)
  • Natasha Curry (now at Headline News)
  • Ainsley Earhardt (now at Fox News Channel)
  • Don Ferguson (News, sales, Jumptown and Tomahawk)
  • Will Frampton (now at KXTV, Sacramento, California)
  • Andy Gary (News and FM - deceased)
  • Kerri Hartsfield (now at WFMY, Greensboro, North Carolina)
  • Gwen Hebert (Robbie of Robbie's Roundup - deceased)
  • Jonathan Jamison
  • Deloris Keith
  • Tabitha Kitchens
  • Jennifer Lindgren (now at WTLV, Jacksonville, Florida)
  • Jocelyn Maner
  • Bryan Mims
  • Trinell Moore
  • Kenneth Moton (now at WFTV, Orlando, Florida)
  • Adam Murphy (now at WGCL, Atlanta, Georgia)
  • James Payne (Jivetown)
  • Lois Quattlebaum (Community news - deceased)
  • Ronda Robinson (now at WBRC, Birmingham/Anniston/Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
  • Ros Runner (now Chief Meteorologist at WSLS, Roanoke, Virginia)
  • Todd Santos (now at The Weather Channel)
  • Lisa Sigell (now at KCAL/KCBS, Los Angeles, California)
  • Sharon Smith (now at WBTV, Charlotte, North Carolina)
  • Stanley the Clown (several)
  • Fred Steppe (now at WLTZ, Columbus, Georgia)
  • Jennifer Tomazic (now at WDJT, Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
  • Bob Truer (News - deceased)
  • Gene Upright
  • Diana Watson (now at Fox Carolina WHNS)
  • Bridgett Williams
  • Todd Wilson (now at WESH, Orlando, FL)
  • Ashley Yarchin
  • Matt Zidle (now at WMTW, Portland, ME)
  • Dr. Zot (J.T. Frierson)

News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • News 19 (1990s-present)

Station Slogans

  • On Your Side (1996-present)

News Music Packages

  • Wall to Wall News (1996 until 2001)
  • Overture (2001 until 2006)
  • Alive (2006 until 2008)
  • Gannett News Music Package (2008 until present)
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Digital television

The station's digital channel, UHF 17, is multiplexed:

Digital channels

Video Aspect Programming
19.1 1080i 16:9 Main WLTX programming / CBS HD
19.2 480i 4:3 News 19 Double Doppler
19.3 480i 4:3 News 19 Weather Now

In 2009, WLTX left channel 19 and moved to channel 17 when the analog to digital conversion completed.[1]


External links


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