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WLTZ
WLTZ 2007.png
Columbus, Georgia
Branding NBC 38
Slogan The Look of a Champion
Channels Digital: 35 (UHF)
Affiliations NBC
The CW (on DT2)
Owner SagamoreHill Broadcasting, LLC
(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) Analog:
38 (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
Website www.wltz.com

WLTZ is the NBC television affiliate in Columbus, Georgia, serving western Georgia and eastern Alabama. Its transmitter is located in Columbus. It broadcasts on digital channel 35 and formerly broadcast on analog channel 38. Syndicated shows on WLTZ include The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil, Judge Mathis, People's Court, Everybody Loves Raymond and The Insider.

Contents

History

The station began with several handicaps. First, like almost all other U.S. television markets with one or two dominant VHF stations, the Columbus area had strong-established preferences for either CBS station WRBL-TV or then-NBC affiliate WTVM. This meant that the station, which started with the callsign WYEA-TV, has had, as a UHF frequency, to struggle to make an impact on local viewers.

But it also has had problems in the outlying counties of Georgia and Alabama 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, whose signals often turned up quite clearly (in pre-cable days) in many of those areas, constituting an encroachment of sorts. In fact, the original owners of WYEA, Gala Broadcasting (led by Huntsville, Alabama broadcaster Charles Grisham), attempted unsuccessfully to legally block WSFA's plans to build a new tower in southeastern Alabama, fearing that it would cut into channel 38's proposed market share.

The new station went on the air anyway, on October 29, 1970, taking the NBC affiliation from WTVM, which became a full affiliate of ABC. Later in the 1970s, WYEA became the flagship station of locally-based insurance company Aflac's broadcast operations. In 1981, Aflac sold WYEA to J. Curtis Lewis, owner of WJCL-TV, WTGS, and WJCL-FM in Savannah, WLTX, WNOK FM in Columbia, South Carolina, and WSTZ-FM and AM in Jackson, Mississippi. On August 31, 1981, channel 38 changed its callsign to WLTZ.

In May 2007, Lewis sold WLTZ, his last remaining station, to SagamoreHill Broadcasting[1].

Channel 38's newscasts were never competitive against WTVM and WRBL, despite a credible effort to make a dent in the ratings. Al Fleming, Columbus broadcast veteran and former nightclub owner, was once anchor of these newscasts, as was Richard Elliot, later of WRBL and WSB-TV. However, WLTZ had almost no success against WTVM and WRBL, and finally canceled its newscasts in 1993. For the next 14 years, while news ran on the other Columbus stations, channel 38 broadcast syndicated shows instead, with taped news updates that ran only three minutes.

In November 2007, after a 14-year hiatus, the station relaunched news operations, utilizing local reporters and anchors from Independent News Network. The station partners with the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer for resources and coverage.[2]

Previous logo for WLTZ, used until November 2007.

On May 29, 2008, WLTZ became the first (and only so far) in Columbus and the third in the state of Georgia to broadcast news in high definition.

In a report in the Macon, Georgia Telegraph, it was announced that Independent News Network filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on December 31, 2008, and would end all news productions, including those for WLTZ, by January 9, 2009. [1] However, a report in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer on January 6 indicates that WLTZ's newscast will not affected by the bankruptcy filing.[2]

All-Digital as of February 17th, 2009

Although the official U.S. television analog-to-digital switch date was moved from February 17, 2009 to June 12, 2009, WLTZ ceased its analog transmission signal at 12 Noon Eastern Time on February 17th.[3]

On April 27, 2009, WLTZ became the new Columbus-area affiliate of The CW, airing on sub-channel 35.2/38.2 under the CW Ga-Bama branding. [4]

News Team

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Current Personalities

Anchors

Reporters

Weather

Sports

Past Personalities

  • Libby Allison, Anchor (now at WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, VA)
  • Julie Bercik, General Assignment Reporter (2007-2009, now at WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, VA)
  • Ed Harbison, Anchor (now Georgia State Senator)
  • Al Fleming, Anchor
  • Richard Elliot, Anchor (now at WSB-TV)
  • Suzanne Hudson, Anchor/Reporter
  • Shep Koster, Sports Director (now, Actor based in Los Angeles)
  • Penny Leigh, Meteorologist
  • Kathleen Kennedy, Reporter/Anchor (now anchor at CNN Headline News)
  • John Lyles, Reporter (now with the Clayton County (GA) school system)
  • Denise Kaigler, Reporter (now with Nintendo of America)
  • Borden Black, Anchor/Reporter/News Director
  • Joy Bland, Meteorologist

News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • NBC 38 News (2007-present)

Station slogans

  • The Look of a Champion (2007-present)
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References

External links


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