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Columbus, Georgia
Branding WTVM News Leader 9
Slogan Coverage You
Can Count On
Channels Digital: 11 (VHF)
Subchannels 9.1 ABC
9.2 AccuWX TV
Owner Raycom Media
(WTVM License Subsidiary, LLC)
First air date October 6, 1953
Call letters’ meaning TeleVision Martin (Theaters), former owner
Sister station(s) WXTX
Former callsigns WDAK-TV (1953-1956)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
28 (1953-1960)
9 (1960-2009)
Former affiliations NBC/ABC (1953-1970)
Transmitter Power 50 kW
Height 507 m
Facility ID 595
Transmitter Coordinates 32°19′25.1″N 84°46′45.5″W / 32.323639°N 84.779306°W / 32.323639; -84.779306

WTVM, channel 9, is the ABC-affiliated television station in Columbus, Georgia. Its signal covers the Chattahoochee Valley area including east-central Alabama. The station's transmitter is located in Cusseta, Georgia. Owned by Raycom Media, WTVM is sister to primary Fox and secondary MyNetworkTV affiliate WXTX. The two stations share studios on Wynnton Road in the Dinglewood section of Columbus. Syndicated programming on WTVM includes: Inside Edition, Live with Regis and Kelly, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Entertainment Tonight, and The Doctors.



The station signed on for the first time on October 6, 1953 as WDAK-TV on channel 28. It was a primary NBC station with a secondary ABC affiliation. It was the first television station in the Columbus market, and is the fifth-oldest in the state and second-oldest outside Atlanta. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[1] The station was originally owned by Allen Woodall, Sr., owner of WDAK radio, and Martin Theaters of Georgia.

Woodall sold his interest in the station to Martin Theaters in 1956 and the call letters were changed to the current WTVM. It moved to channel 9 in 1960 in a three-way FCC-approved switch-and-move that saw WRBL-TV move from channel 4 to channel 3, and WTVY-TV in Dothan, Alabama give up its channel 9 and move to channel 4. The moves were permitted because, two years earlier, co-channel WROM-TV (channel 9 in Rome, Georgia) had moved 70 miles (115 km) north to Chattanooga, Tennessee to alleviate interference if the FCC granted a new channel 9 frequency in Columbus. Martin Theaters of Georgia had already purchased WROM-TV and renamed it WTVC-TV. Meanwhile, channel 28 (WTVM's old channel) is now occupied by Georgia Public Broadcasting's WJSP-TV.

In 1970, WTVM moved from its 1st Avenue facilities in downtown Columbus (where the current Carmike building is located) to its current studios on Wynnton Road. Shortly afterward, it became a sole ABC affiliate after WYEA-TV (now WLTZ) started broadcasting and took the market's NBC affiliation. Western Broadcasting bought the station in 1980 and SFN Publishing became the owner in 1984. A group of SFN managers formed Pegasus Broadcasting and purchased WTVM in 1986. Aflac (which had owned WYEA at one point during the 1970s) bought the station in 1989 and then sold it to current owner Raycom Media of Montgomery, Alabama on April 15, 1997.

News operation

WTVM's news open.

WTVM operates the Chattahoochee Valley's only live regional doppler weather radar, called "TrueView Doppler 9". WTVM also has access to four different level 2 NEXRAD radars, called "TrueView Tracker," which includes the capability to use 3-D graphics to track storms during newscasts. Also, "Storm Team 9" operates five skycams (all are sponsored by ALFA Insurance) throughout the WTVM viewing area (2 in Columbus (Columbus Park Crossing and St. Francis Hospital), 1 in Pine Mountain, GA (Callaway Gardens), 1 in Auburn, AL (Tiger Suites) and 1 in Opelika, AL (East Alabama Medical Center)). The skycams are called "Storm Team 9 ALFA Skycams" during newscasts. In addition to their main studios, the station operates an East Alabama Bureau on Executive Park Drive in Opelika. It also produces newscasts for sister station WXTX. This used to include an hour long broadcast weekday mornings at 7, but since have been cancelled. There is also a nightly half hour 10 o'clock newscast. WTVM operates a 24-hour weather channel known as Weather Now on its second digital subchannel. It features a live stream of the station's "TrueView Doppler 9" radar, current conditions, and updated forecasts by WTVM meteorologists. It is also an affiliate of The AccuWeather Channel and offers national weather updates by AccuWeather. Weather Now can be seen on two digital cable systems. It can be found on Knology channel 170 and Mediacom channel 803. There is a live stream of the weather channel on the WTVM and WXTX websites. WTVM simulcasts severe weather coverage on sister station WXTX as well as "WTVM Weather Now". Also, the coverage is broadcast on WTVM's and WXTX's websites as well as several Columbus-area radio stations.


News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • News Scope (1964-1977)
  • Action 9 News (1977-1989)
  • First News (1989-1990)
  • News Leader 9 (1990-present)

Station Slogans

  • Coverage You Can Count On (2002-present)
Television.svg This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.
The station's former anchors, Dee Armstrong and Wayne Bennett.
WTVM Storm Team 9's Chief Meteorologist meteorologist, Kurt Schmitz.


Current On-Air Talent


  • Jason Dennis, WXTX FOX 54 News at Ten Anchor (Weeknights)/ Reporter
  • Semone Doughton, WXTX FOX 54 News at Ten Anchor (Weeknights)/Education and Health Watch Reporter
  • Barbara Gauthier, News Leader 9 at 5, 6, and 11 Anchor
  • Chuck Leonard, News Leader 9 Morning & Noon Anchor,Reporter
  • Zaneta Lowe, News Leader 9 at 5:30 Anchor/Consumer Watch Reporter
  • Cheryl Renee, News Leader 9 Morning Anchor/Reporter,Fill-In News Leader 9 at Noon Anchor
  • James Valles, "Wild Wild Web" on News Leader 9 Mornings, Weekends, and at 5:30pm, "Nowcast" Anchor, Internet/Tech Reporter, WXTX FOX-54 Entertainment Reporter ("American Idol")
  • Andrew Wittenberg, News Leader 9 at 6 and 11 Weekend & WXTX FOX 54 News at Ten Weekend Anchor/Reporter/Co-Host of "Sports Overtime", Friday nights during High-School Football Season, "Sunday Sports Overtime" on News Leader 9 at 11 and "Hometown Spirit", Fridays during High-School Football Season on News Leader 9 at 5:30


Storm Team 9 Meteorologists

  • Kurt Schmitz, Chief Meteorologist, Seen weekdays on News Leader 9 at 5, 5:30, 6 & 11 and FOX 54 News at 10
  • Bruce Lee,Meteorologist, Seen weekdays on News Leader 9 Morning & Noon
  • Derek Kinkade,Meteorologist, Seen on weekends on News Leader 9 at 6 & 11 and FOX 54 News at 10/ Co-Host of "Sunday Sports Overtime" on News Leader 9 at 11 and "Hometown Spirit", Fridays during High-School Football Season on News Leader 9 at 5:30


  • Dave Platta, Sports Director/ Co-Host of "Sports Overtime" (Friday Nights during High-School Football Season)

Past News Personalities

  • Wayne Bennett, anchor (retired)[2]
  • Dick McMichael, anchor (retired)
  • Al Fleming, anchor
  • Penny Leigh, meteorologist
  • Jim Koger, sports anchor
  • Dan Greene', sports anchor
  • Tom O'Neal, announcer
  • Deborah Singer, anchor
  • Roszell Gadson, anchor
  • Jon Kalahar, reporter
  • Jo Giles, reporter
  • Chris Treston, sports anchor
  • Mac Carmack, anchor
  • Andy Still, anchor (recently retired WYFF-TV)
  • Kathy Pepino, anchor (mother of American Idol runner-up Justin Guarini)
  • Mark Haggard, sports anchor (now at WPDE-TV)
  • Mitzi Oxford, meteorologist
  • Cindy Sardo, anchor
  • Suzanne Lawrence, anchor
  • Staci Walker, anchor/reporter
  • Lydia Esparra, reporter (now at WKYC-TV)
  • Shannon Walshe, anchor
  • David Chandley, meteorologist (now at WSB-TV)
  • Maria LaRosa, meteorologist (now at KYW-TV)
  • Bruce Snyder, weekend sports anchor (now at WCCB-TV)
  • Justin Cazana, sports reporter
  • Jeff Chardos, weekend sports anchor
  • Robbie Watson, weekend sports anchor
  • Kirsten Olesen, weekend sports anchor
  • Matt Musil, Sports Director (now at KHOU-TV)
  • Kathleen Kennedy, reporter
  • Lisa Moscarelli, reporter
  • Terry Silliman, reporter
  • Sam Bishop, reporter
  • Michelle Aguayo, reporter
  • Robbie Cotney, reporter
  • Chris Capra, reporter
  • Alison Welch, reporter
  • Regina Terrell, reporter
  • Keryn Shipman, anchor
  • Denise Schwab (Dillon), anchor/reporter (now at WAGA-TV)
  • Cheryl Morgan, anchor/reporter
  • John Lyles, anchor/reporter
  • Aimee Davis, anchor/reporter
  • Tim Savoy, reporter
  • Alicia Smith, anchor/reporter (now at WXYZ-TV)
  • Deborah Roberts, reporter (now at ABC's 20/20)
  • Dave Spahr, meteorologist (now at KESQ-TV)
  • Rebecca Todd, anchor
  • Brian McClure, meteorologist (now at Bay News 9 in Tampa, FL)
  • Joshua McKinney, meteorologist (now at News 14 Carolina in Raleigh, NC)
  • Gretchen Bartelt, reporter
  • Casey Jones, anchor/ reporter (now at WJCL-TV)
  • Jade Hindmon, reporter (now at WHNS-TV)
  • Ashley Nix, reporter (now at WBRC in Birmingham, AL)
  • Amanda Iler, reporter
  • Tracy Flanagan,reporter (WAGA-TV in Atlanta 2000-2005, now media consultant/producer)
  • Layla Chapman, reporter
  • Brock Parker, reporter
  • Angie Hanshaw, reporter
  • Dee Armstrong, anchor (terminated)
  • Priya Aujla, reporter
  • Chris HudgisonSports Reporter
  • Laurie Bernstein, Reporter
  • Chauncy Glover, Reporter

Past Staff

  • Rick Bartlett, Photog (now Program Director/Morning Show Host in Iowa)


External links


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