WAVE aka "WAVE 3" is the NBC television station in Louisville, Kentucky. Owned by Raycom Media, the station broadcasts from its main studio in downtown Louisville. Their digital transmitter and antenna (over the air channel 47) are co-located with the digital antenna and transmitter of WLKY near Floyds Knobs in New Albany, Indiana.

180px-WAVE3-2008 logo.png
Louisville, Kentucky/Jeffersonville, Indiana
Branding WAVE 3 (general)

WAVE 3 News (newscasts)

Slogan Working For You
Channels Digital: 47 (UHF)

Virtual: 3 (PSIP)

Subchannels 3.1 NBC

3.2 This TV 3.3 WAVE 3 Weather

Owner Raycom Media, Inc.

(WAVE License Subsidiary, LLC)

First air date November 24, 1948
Call letters' meaning WAVE = The word wave (as in a radio wave, not a wave like in water)
Former callsigns WAVE-TV (1948-1987)
Former channel number(s) Analog:

5 (1948-1953) 3 (1953-2009)

Former affiliations All secondary:

CBS (1948-1950) DuMont (1948-1955)[1] ABC (1948-1961)

Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 392 m
Facility ID 13989
Transmitter coordinates 38°22′8.3532″N85°49′47.5716″W (digital)
Website www.wave3.com/

WAVE referred to its coverage area as WAVE Country in the past, echoing a popular jingle and image campaign the station launched in the early 1970s. In fact, that very jingle was the image campaign of the news music theme Home Country composed by Al Ham. WAVE currently uses the Working for You slogan for promotion. It currently operates its digital signal on digital channel 3 (UHF 47). WAVE also carries This TV on digital subchannel 3.2.


WAVE began broadcasting on November 24, 1948, originally on channel 5 using 24,100 watts of power. It was Kentucky's first television station, the 41st in the United States, and was owned by the Norton family, who had begun WAVE (970 kHz, now WGTK) in 1932. At first, it carried programming from all four networks, but was a primary NBC affiliate. WAVE-TV lost CBS in 1950 when WHAS-TV signed on, and lost DuMont programming in 1956 when that network folded, but shared ABC with WHAS-TV until 1961 (when WLKY-TV signed on). It is the only commercial station in Louisville that has never changed its affiliation.[2]

In 1949, it was the first in the nation to present a live telecast of the Kentucky Derby. The station shipped a canned newsreel to NBC for national broadcast.

In 1953, WAVE-TV moved to channel 3 due to interference from WLWT in Cincinnati and was beginning to outgrow its first studio at 334 E. Broadway (the current home for Metro United Way). WAVE made history again in 1954 as it became the first local station to broadcast in color. Viewers were treated to a vivid image of the new NBC Peacock.

In 1956, WAVE-TV moved into its current studio at 725 S. Floyd in Louisville. Three years later it became the first station to transmit live local color in the region and by 1966, it was the only Kentucky station processing its own news film on color. In 1969, WAVE-TV was first to employ a certified meteorologist and operate its own weather-forecasting system.

Over the years, the Nortons acquired three other television stations and two other radio stations, including WFRV-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin (and semi-satellite WJMN-TV in Marquette, Michigan); WMT-AM-FM-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and WFIE in Evansville, Indiana. Eventually, the Norton holdings became known as Orion Broadcasting, headquartered in Louisville with WAVE-AM-TV as the flagship station.

Orion merged with The Liberty Corporation in 1981. WAVE-TV became part of Liberty's broadcast arm, Cosmos Broadcasting, while WAVE-AM was sold off. In 1991, the station unveiled a new broadcast tower in Oldham County, KY. Costing $5 million and standing at 1,739 ft, the tower is the tallest structure in the state. Its height, which is 70% taller than average TV towers, increased WAVE’s coverage area and improved the broadcast signal.

When Liberty bowed out of the insurance business in 2000, WAVE came directly under the Liberty banner and in August 2005, Liberty announced that it was being purchased by Raycom Media of Montgomery, Alabama. This sale was completed January 31, 2006.

Digital television

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Subchannel Programming
3.1 main WAVE-TV programming / NBC HD
3.2 This TV
3.3 WAVE 3 Weather 24/7 (Formerly NBC Weather Plus), debuted June 8, 2009

Analog-to-digital conversion

WAVE-TV shut down analog transmissions on June 12, 2009. The station remained on its pre-transition channel 47. Through the use ofPSIP, digital television receivers display WAVE-TV's virtual channel as 3.

News operation

WAVE broadcasts five hours of news over seven newscasts each weekday. On weekends, the station presents an additional two hours of news.

On July 9, 1990, WAVE debuted the first local 5:00 PM newscast. Titled "FirstNews", the newscast was anchored by veteran broadcaster Jackie Hays, the longest-serving female anchor ever at WAVE. She and co-anchor Don Shroeder were voted "Best TV news Anchor Team" and the station was chosen as "Best Source for Local News" by readers of Louisville Magazine.

As of 2008, Chief Meteorologist Tom Wills holds the record as the station's longest-tenured on-air personality, having forecast the weather at WAVE since 1969. Wills retired in July 2009 after 40 years. Wills said he would be a vacation fill-in and may return to the University of Louisville to teach meteorology as he did for several years. The station honored him by having a special two-hour edition of its local talk show "WAVE 3 Listens Live". His family and co-workers were the guests.

Meteorologist John Belski, who left the station in September 2010, received numerous awards during his 20+ years at WAVE, including being named named "Best Of Louisville" by the readers of Louisville Magazine for a number of years and was named "Best of Kentucky" by the readers of Kentucky Monthly magazine. Belski also received LEO's Readers' Choice Award. He received a "Best of the Best" award from Louisville Magazine. This award is given to people and organizations that have won the "Best of Louisville" award more than 10 times. He anchored Emmy Award-winning severe weather coverage. John was also presented the Mark Trail Award for public awareness of NOAA weather radios. This prestigious national award was presented on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.

Sports Director Kent Taylor was voted Kentucky TV Sportscaster of the Year by the Associated Press in both 2008 and 2009.

On June 30, 2008, WAVE became the first television station in the Louisville market to broadcast its local news in high definition. Currently, although all of Louisville's major news stations broadcast local news in 16:9 widescreen, WAVE is one of the two (along with WDRB) to broadcast local news at least partially in HD. WAVE's live local field video, however, is still in widescreen standard definition.


In the February 2007 ratings period, WAVE overtook former leader WHAS for second place in the mornings, and came in second in a very tight three-way race at 6 pm. It continued to finish second at 11 pm.[3]

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • Daily News (1950s)
  • World Today/World Tonight (1960s)
  • WAVE News Report (1960s–1970s)
  • World Today News/World Tonight News (1970s-1975)
  • WAVE Newswatch (1975–1980)
  • NewsWatch 3 (1980–1983)
  • WAVE-TV News (1983–1987)
  • WAVE 3 News (1987–present)

Station slogans

  • WAVE...part of it all (early 1970s)
  • WAVE Country and you (mid 1970s-early 1980s)
  • We`re WAVE-TV, Just Watch Us Now (1982-1983; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • WAVE-TV There, Be There (1983-1984; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • The Spirit of WAVE Country (1987–2000; Variation Working in the Spirit of WAVE Country)
  • Come Home To The Best, Only on WAVE-TV(1988-1990; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • WAVE 3, Part of Your Life! (1990)
  • Dedicated. Determined. Dependable. (1991-1992; news slogan, also used by WAGA-TV in Atlanta)
  • Where Coverage Comes First (1992–1997)
  • The Stars Are Back on WAVE-TV (1993-1994)
  • WAVE Country's News Leader (1997–2000)
  • Coverage. Community. Commitment. (2000–2006)
  • Investigating the Problem. Getting Results. (2006–2010)
  • Working For You. (2010–present)

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

Current on-air staff


  • Maira Ansari[4] - weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
  • Dawne Gee[5] - weeknights at 5, 5:30 and 11 p.m.
  • Connie Leonard[6] - weeknights at 7 p.m.; also 11 p.m. investigative reporter
  • Lori Lyle[7] - weekdays at noon; also health reporter
  • Janelle MacDonald[8] - weeknights at 5 and 6 p.m.
  • Scott Reynolds[9] - weeknights at 5:30, 6, 7, and 11 p.m.
  • Cindi Sullivan[10] - host of "WAVE 3 Listens"; also "Garden Talk" feature reporter
  • Jean West[11] - weekday mornings "WAVE 3 Sunrise"

WAVE 3 Storm Center Weather Team

  • Kevin Harned (AMS Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Christie Dutton (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval - meteorologist; weekday mornings "WAVE 3 Sunrise"
  • Brian Goode - meteorologist; weekdays at noon and 7 p.m.
  • Andy Weingarten (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.

Sports team

  • Kent Taylor - sports director; weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Mike Hartnett - sports anchor; Sundays at 6 and 11 p.m.; also sports reporter
  • Mike Olmstead - sports anchor; Saturdays at 6 and 11 p.m.


  • Katie Bauer - general assignment reporter
  • Marisela Burgos - general assignment reporter
  • Jon Chrisos - general assignment reporter
  • Elizabeth Donatelli - general assignment reporter
  • Eric Flack - "Troubleshooter" investigative reporter
  • Matt McCutcheon - general assignment reporter
  • Chris McGill - traffic and general assignment reporter
  • Shayla Reaves - general assignment reporter
  • David Williams - general assignment reporter

Notable former on-air staff

  • John Belski - meteorologist (1988-2010; now retired)
  • Melanie Bullard - anchor
  • Cheryl Case - anchor
  • Andy Culpepper - anchor
  • Pia Cummings - anchor
  • Ray D'Alessio - morning anchor (2009-2010; now sports anchor at HLN)
  • Domenica Davis - meteorologist
  • Allen Denton - anchor (later with KNTV in San Jose, now with KUSI-TV in San Diego)
  • Craig Edwards - meteorologist
  • Hugh Finn - anchor
  • Carol Grady - anchor
  • Lauretta Harris - anchor
  • Jackie Hays - anchor
  • Eldora Jackson - reporter
  • Derek Jones - anchor
  • Steve Kmetko - anchor
  • Angela Martinez - anchor
  • Jim Mitchell - anchor
  • Jane Norris - talk show host
  • Roger O'Neill - NBC correspondent
  • Chris Parente - anchor (guest-hosted on Live with Regis and Kelly on August 5, 2009)
  • Rick Redman - sports anchor
  • Lisa Robinson - anchor
  • Don Schroeder - anchor
  • Nel Taylor - "TroubleShooter" investigative reporter
  • Rick Van Hoose - sports anchor (now news anchor at rival WLKY)
  • Carrie Sharp[12] - WAVE 3 Sunrise anchor (2002-2010; now at WNEM in Saginaw, MI)
  • Tom Wills - one of the first sealed television meteorologists in the country (70's-00's) [13]
  • Melissa Forsythe- News Anchor (early 70s)
  • Livingston Gilbert - News Anchor(1948-1980)
  • Norm Lewis Weather (early 70s)
  • Bob Domine -Sports (70s - 90s) known for "Domine does it"
  • Ann Wade -News Anchor (70s)
  • Dave Whitman- News Anchor (70s) "Whitman and Wade on Wavenews at 6 & 11"
  • Dick Irby - First Troubleshooter (70s)
  • Dave Nakkdimen - Reporter 60s-90s (later known for the "Nakkers" report opinion skits
  • Bob Kay - Reporter/Anchor 30s-70s
  • Ferrell Wellman - Frankfort Reporter 18 yrs/70s-80s Multiple Awards (now at EKU & KET)




  1. ^ The DuMont Television Network: Appendix Nine
  2. ^ Kleber, John E. Encyclopedia of Louisville. (University Press of Kentucky). pg.872.
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ Maira Ansari
  5. ^ Dawne Gee
  6. ^ Connie Leonard
  7. ^ Lori Lyle
  8. ^ Janelle MacDonald
  9. ^ Scott Reynolds
  10. ^ Cindi Sullivan
  11. ^ Jean West
  12. ^ Carrie (Weil) Sharp
  13. ^ Muhammad, Larry (2009-04-25). "WAVE-3 meteorologist Tom Wills to retire on June 5". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved 2009-04-27.

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