WLTX, is the CBS-affiliated television station in Columbia, South Carolina. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 17 from a transmitter located in Lugoff, South Carolina.Syndicated programming on the station includes: The Andy Griffith Show, The Doctors, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and The Dr. Oz Show.

WLTX hdtv
Columbia, South Carolina
Branding News 19
Slogan On Your Side
Channels 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
Call letters' meaning Lewis Television

(former owner, used same callsign format for other stations, such as WLTZ)

Former callsigns WNOK-TV (1953-1977)
Former channel number(s) Analog:

67 (1953-1961) 19 (1961-2009)

Former affiliations Both secondary:

DuMont (1953-1955) UPN (1995-1998)

Transmitter power 1000 kW (digital)
Height 499.8 m (digital)
Facility ID 37176
Transmitter coordinates 34°5′49″N 80°45′51″W


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 secondaryDuMont 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, now WOIC, 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 Sumtercounties, 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.


WLTX's logo before 1999.

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..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 theBoston Celtics, won the award several times while playing at Hillcrest High School (now Middle School) in Dalzell. 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 to 1998, WLTX was a secondary UPN affiliate, airing that network's programming on weekend afternoons when CBS had only limited sports programming.

In 2002, WLTX became the flagship broadcaster of the South Carolina Education Lottery. 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. The station's broadcasts its own 24-hour local weather channel on digital channel 19.3 and on Time Warner Cable channel 812. On January 24, 2011, WLTX became the third television station in Columbia to regularly broadcast their newscasts in High Definition and the fourth in any widescreen format.

Their website "" was ranked as the #1 local website in that area.[when?][citation needed]

Digital programming

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

Digital channels

Virtual Channel Digital Channel Video Aspect Programming
19.1 17.1 1080i 16:9 main WLTX programming / CBS HD
19.2 17.2 480i 4:3 News 19 Double Doppler
19.3 17.3 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]

News operation

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 p.m. 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. After coming under Gannett ownership, the station also created new segments such as "On Your Side", "Restaurant Report Card", and "Big Money Monday."

In 2001, WLTX added a 7 p.m. newscast to its lineup (coinciding with its flagship station status with the state lottery), competing head-on against WIS' flagship news program. J.R. Berry and Darci Strickland, the popular morning news duo at WLTX, also became the evening news anchors that year. In the May 2007 ratings books, WLTX continued to win its newscast at noon (traditionally having the same lead-in sine 1979) as well as winning the first half-hour of the morning news program.

WLTX launched a new 5 p.m. 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 11 p.m. newscast also won an Emmy Award for "Best Newscast" for the second year in a row. On June 26, 2010, "News 19 @ 6," the stations 6 p.m. newscast took home the Emmy Award for "Best Newscast." 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.

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • Dateline News (1970s-1980s)
  • News 19 (1980s-2011)
  • News 19 HD (2011–present)

Station slogans

  • On Your Side (1996–present)

News music packages

  • Production Music: Victory Run by Network Music (?-1996)
  • Wall to Wall News by Stephen Arnold (1996–2001)
  • Overture by Stephen Arnold (2001–2006)
  • Alive by 615 Music (2006–2008)
  • Gannett News Music Package by Rampage Music New York (2008–present)

On-air staff

(Year personality joined WLTX in parentheses)

Current on-air staff


  • J.R. Berry - weeknights at 6, 7 and 11 p.m. (1990)
  • Andrea Mock - weeknights Friends @ Five (5 p.m.) and 11 p.m. (2007)
  • Nat Roers - weekday mornings and noon(2005)
  • DeeDee Sharpe - weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.; also weeknight reporter (2010)
  • Darci Strickland - weeknights Friends @ Five (5 p.m.), 6 and 7 p.m. (1997)
  • Curtis Wilson - weekday mornings (2002)

TrueView Weather

  • Jim Gandy (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights Friends @ Five (5 p.m.), 6, 7 and 11 p.m. (1999)
  • Daniel Bonds - Meteorologist and reporter (2007)
  • Scott Ryan (AMS Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekday mornings and noon (2002)

Sports Team

  • Ari Bergeron - Sports Director (2010)
  • Reggie Anderson - Sports Anchor; weekends at 6 and 11 p.m. (1993)
  • Van Lott - sports photographer, editor and producer


  • Jennifer Bellamy - reporter (2011)
  • Michael Benning - general assignment reporter (2008)
  • Jerome Collins - "On Your Side" consumer reporter (2007)
  • Sydney Cummins - general assignment reporter (2007)
  • Ashleigh Messervy - reporter (2010)
  • Shawn Skillman - general assignment reporter (2010)
  • Nate Stewart - general assignment reporter (2010)
  • Lauren Talarico - general assignment reporter (2009)
  • Alexis Taylor - general assignment education reporter (2009)
  • Ashleigh Walters - general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor (2008)
  • Ashley Yore - general assignment reporter (2008)

Former on-air staff

  • Ainsley Earhardt (now at FOX News) New York
  • Matt Barrie (now at KXAS in Dallas-Fort Worth)
  • Brandy Bell
  • Camille Bradford-Hugg (retired)
  • Rebecca Clark (now on air at WCCB in Charlotte, NC)
  • Addie Bradshaw (now at WGRZ in Buffalo, NY)
  • Terry Brooks (now at WEWS in Cleveland)
  • Michael Chisholm
  • Johnny Chappell (now at News 14 Carolina)
  • Joel Connable (now at WTVJ in Miami)
  • 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)
  • Phil Dematteis
  • Don Ferguson - news anchor, sales and host of Jumptown and Tomahawk
  • Will Frampton (now at KXTV in Sacramento)
  • Andy Gary - news anchor and FM - deceased)
  • Kerri Hartsfield (now at WFMY in Greensboro, NC)
  • Sharie Harvin (now at KLAS in Las Vegas, NV)
  • Gwen Hebert - Robbie of Robbie's Roundup (deceased)
  • Cheryl Irwin (now spokeswoman at US Department of Defense)
  • Jonathan Jamison
  • Deloris (Washington) Keith
  • Tabitha Kitchens
  • Jennifer Lindgren (now at WTLV in Jacksonville, FL)
  • Jocelyn Maner
  • Bryan Mims
  • Trinell Moore (Janssen Pharmaceutica Executive Sales Rep)
  • Kenneth Moton (now at WFTV in Orlando)
  • Adam Murphy (now at WGCL in Atlanta)
  • Kellie Patterson (now at WCNC-TV in Charlotte, NC)
  • James Payne - host of Jivetown
  • Lois Quattlebaum - community news (deceased)
  • Ronda Robinson (now at WBRC in Birmingham, AL)
  • Ros Runner (now Chief Meteorologist at WSLS in Roanoke, VA)
  • Todd Santos (now at The Weather Channel)
  • Bob Shields (now at WNKT-FM in Columbia, South Carolina)
  • Lisa Sigell (now at KCAL/KCBS in Los Angeles)
  • Sharon Smith (now at WBTV in Charlotte, North Carolina)
  • Stanley the Clown (several)
  • Fred Steppe (now at WLTZ in Columbus, GA)
  • Jennifer Tomazic (now at WDJT in Milwaukee, WI)
  • Bob Truer (News - deceased)
  • Lewis Turner (now at WTLV in Jacksonville, FL)
  • Gene Upright (retired)
  • Diana Watson (now at WHNS)
  • Bridgett Williams
  • Todd Wilson (now at WESH in Orlando, FL)
  • Ashley Yarchin (now at KSDK-TV) in St. Louis, MO
  • Matt Zidle (now at WMTW in Portland, ME)
  • Dr. Zot (J.T. Frierson)
  • John Wrisley (News Anchor)

Dick Hall (former news director, retired)


  1. ^

External links

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+