WAFB is the CBS-affiliated television station for Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 9 from a transmitter southwest of Arlington. Owned by Raycom Media, WAFB is sister to Class A MyNetworkTV affiliate WBXH-CA. The two share studios on Government Street in downtown Baton Rouge. Syndicated programming on WAFB includes: Access Hollywood, Friends, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, and The Dr. Oz Show. The station is seen via satellite through DirecTV and Dish Network and on cable Cox Communications and AT&T U-verse.


The station began broadcasting on April 19, 1953 as the second television station in the state of Louisiana. Originally broadcasting an analog signal on UHF channel 28, WAFB moved to VHF channel 9 in 1960. WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg, Mississippi moved to channel 7 to accommodate this switch. The station has always been a CBS affiliate but carried some NBC programming until WBRZ-TV signed-on in 1955. WAFB also carried some ABC programming until WRBT (now WVLA) signed-on in 1971 and some programming from DuMont until that network folded. Louis S. Prejean and associates were the first owners of the station, and they sold it to Royal Street Corporation in 1956. Modern Broadcasting Corporation of Baton Rouge (a proxy of Royal Street Corporation of New Orleans, which owned WDSU until 1972) owned the station until 1964, when it sold the station to Guaranty Corporation.[1] In 1965, the station moved its transmission tower from Zachary to south of LSU's campus, allowing viewers in a 90 mile radius to receive its signal.

In 1988, AFLAC purchased the station from the local-based Guaranty Corp. and invested $2 million in redesigning the studio. In the same year, the station dropped the -TV suffix from its call letters and began calling itself as "Louisiana's News Channel," a slogan the station continues to use today. The station underwent controversy in 1988, as well, when AFLAC cancelled its beloved 33-year old half-hour local weekday program "Storyland," then the longest-running children's program, hosted by Buckskin Bill Black and rechristened it as "Buckskin and Friends," an hour-long show that aired on Saturday mornings.

WAFB began broadcasting 24 hours a day on September 12, 1990.

In 1997, AFLAC sold the station to Raycom, which owns the station today. It originally aired a digital signal on UHF channel 46 from a transmitter at its studios. WAFB shut down analog transmissions on June 12, 2009 [2], and moved its digital broadcasts back to its previous analog channel number, 9. [3]

Digital television

The station's signal is multiplexed. WAFB-DT2 broadcasts a 24-hour local weather channel known as "WAFB 24/7 Weather" that can also be seen on Cox channel 121. On WAFB-DT4 is a full power standard definition digital signal of MyNetworkTV affiliate WBXH-CA. Due to its Class A status, that station does not broadcast a digital signal of its own. Overnight, WBXH simulcasts WAFB-DT2.

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Digital channels

Channel Name Programming
9.1 WAFB-DT Main WAFB Programming / CBS HD 1080i
9.2 WAFB-DT2 WAFB-DT2 "WAFB 24/7 Weather" 480i
9.4 WAFB-DT4 WBXH-CA "MyBRTV" 480i

[edit] Programming

WAFB is one of a handful of stations that shifts the air times of various CBS programming. The Price Is Right airs at 11 in the morning instead of 10 when Family Feud can bee seen and The Young and The Restless airs at 4 in the afternoon instead of 11. The station made this change in the early 1990s to give its noon and 5 p.m. newscasts a strong lead-in.[4] The station aired Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune until 1995 when the shows moved to WBRZ. Live with Regis and Kelly and The Oprah Winfrey Show was seen until the late 1990s. Oprah moved to WBRZ but since then has aired on WVLA while Regis & Kelly was the other way around. It used to also air The Phil Donahue Show, Hard Copy, and Sally Jesse Raphael among other syndicated fare. One locally produced show that brought years of enjoyment to children was hosted by Buckskin Bill Black ("William Black") that ran from 1955 until 1990. There were several characters that were regulars on the show including "Senor Puppet" (a marionette voiced by Sid Crocker) and "Whatsyourname" (another puppet voiced by Mary Hillen).

The show had a way of educating young children while making it fun to learn. Two games many adults can remember Buckskin playing were called "Hully Gully" which helped to teach counting numbers and the "Monday Morning March". The two shows he hosted were called Storyland (for younger children during a.m. broadcasting) and The Buckskin Bill Show (for older children during the afternoons). Buckskin was also one of the first shows in the United States to have a sign-language interpreter for hearing-impaired viewers prior to closed-captioning. Through two gracious campaigns from his show, Buckskin Bill helped to start the Baton Rouge Zoo. During this campaign, he asked children to bring in their pennies to buy an elephant. The penny campaign was successful enough to purchase two. He is now involved with the East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools Board. WAFB also airs the Sunday services from the First United Methodist Church in the city.

WAFB currently airs all of CBS network programming in High Definition and most of its syndicated programming such as The Dr. Oz Show in HD.

[edit] News operation

Its newscasts have had the second-highest ratings at 10 p.m. in any of the country's biggest television markets according to The Des Moines Register in Iowa. Nielsen Media Research ratings showed that 16.2% of all households in the Baton Rouge area watched the show. The only station to get a bigger share of the local audience was KCCI, the CBS affiliate in Des Moines, which was watched by 17.9% of area households.

Currently, WAFB is the top-rated station in the Baton Rouge viewing area and has been so since 1994. In the recent ratings period, it beat the others stations' combined weeknights at 5, 6, and 10. In total, the station's news department produces 25 hours of news programming each week. This includes two newscasts on sister station WBXH-CA (weeknights at 9, which began on January 8, 2007, and Saturday mornings). WAFB's weekday morning news is repeated on that station.

On March 3, 2008, WAFB became the first in Baton Rouge and the third in Louisiana to broadcast its local broadcasts in high definition. The WBXH broadcasts were included in the upgrade. Since 1990, the station has used many versions of Frank Gari's "Newschannel" music package. From 1986 until 1990, it used versions of Tuesday Productions "The News Image" theme.

Despite becoming rarer among other television news stations, WAFB occasionally broadcasts an editorial that is usually delivered by the station manager.

[edit] News/station presentation

[edit] Newscast titles

  • News Scene (early 1970s-1976)
  • NewsLine 9 (1976-1991)
  • WAFB News (1991-1999)
  • 9 News (1999–present)

[edit] Station slogans

  • Your Guaranty Income Life Station (mid 1960s-1988)
  • Tiger in the Sky (1965-early 1970s)
  • Dial 9: WAFB-TV (early 1970s)
  • Stay on Top of it All (mid 1970s)
  • NewsLine 9: Always Looking Out For You (early 1980s)
  • At Newsline 9, when it concerns you, it concerns us (mid 1980s)
  • Louisiana's News Channel (1988–present)
  • Here when you need us, WAFB Channel 9, Your 24-Hour News Channel (1990-1991)
  • Welcome Home to WAFB Channel 9 (1996-1997; localized version of CBS's image campaign)
  • The Power of 9 (2006-2008)

[1] This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.===[edit] News staff===

[edit] Current on-air staff


  • Johnny Ahysen - "9News Traffic Center" anchor; weekday mornings "9 News This Morning" (5-7 a.m.)
  • Donna Britt - weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Jeanne Burns - weekday mornings "9 News This Morning" (5-7 a.m.)
  • Kiran Chawla - weekend evenings; also weeknight reporter
  • Paul Gates - Weeknights at 5 p.m.; also investigative reporter
  • Cheryl Mercedes - Weeknights at 5 p.m.; Street Beat reporter, 9News at 10 p.m.
  • Greg Meriwether - Weekdays at noon; also weekday morning and "Street Beat" reporter
  • André Moreau - Weeknights at 9 (on WBXH) and 10 p.m.
  • George Sells - Weeknights at 6 p.m.
  • Matt Williams - Weekday mornings "9 News This Morning" (5-7 a.m.)

First Alert Weather

  • Jay Grymes (AMS Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Steve Caparotta (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weeknights at 5 and (on WBXH) 9 p.m.
  • Diane Deaton - Meteorologist; weekday mornings "9News This Morning" and noon
  • Jeff Morrow - Meteorologist; weekend mornings and evenings

Sports team

  • Steve Schneider - Sports director; weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Jacques Doucet - Sports anchor; weekend evenings
  • Sharief Ishaq - Sports reporter/fill-in anchor


  • Phil Rainier - "Healthline" feature reporter
  • Jim Shannon - State Capitol correspondent
  • David Spunt - General assignment reporter
  • Allen Tumey - "Tumey's Travels" feature reporter
  • Graham Ulkins - "What's Clickin'" feature reporter and traffic reporter ("9News Traffic Center")
  • Tyana Williams - General assignment reporter

Former on-air staff

  • Julie Baxter (now practicing law at the Rhorer Law Firm in Baton Rouge, LA and adjunct media law professor at LSU's School of Mass Communication. Appears occasionally on WAFB as an political or legal analyst)
  • Jodie Bell (now Jodie Bell Sinclair; reporter who interviewed Billy Sinclair and later married him[5])
  • Tim Brando - sports (now broadcasts for various sports outlets including CBS Sports and Jefferson Pilot Sports)
  • Isiah Carey (now at KRIV in Houston)

Station personnel


  • Sandy Breland - vice president and general manager
  • Robert Chandler - operations manager
  • Monica Craig - assignment editor
  • Robb Hays - news director
  • Jolene Reilly - assistant news director


  • Angelle Dupre - 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts
  • Mike Fahey - Weekday mornings
  • Brett Glover - 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. newscasts
  • Megan Howard - Weekend mornings
  • Heather Mason - Weekend evenings


  • Derron Daquano
  • James DeGraauw
  • Leah Ellsworth
  • Robert Hollins
  • Charles Holmes
  • Randy LeDuff
  • Tinisha Lewis
  • Josh Meeks
  • Rick Portier
  • Brandon Shackelford


  1. ^ 1967 Radio and Television Yearbook
  2. ^
  3. ^ CDBS Print
  4. ^
  5. ^ Johnson, Allen Jr. "Shared Fate." Gambit Weekly. March 20, 2001. Retrieved on October 2, 2010.

External links

[2] Louisiana portal
[3] Television portal
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