WHNT-TV is the CBS-affiliated television station for the Tennessee Valley area of North Alabama that is licensed to Huntsville. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHFchannel 19 from a transmitter on Monte Sano. Owned by Local TV, the station has studios on Holmes Avenue Northwest in downtown Huntsville. It also has three bureaus: Decatur, Sand Mountain (Albertville), and Shoals (Florence). Syndicated programming on WHNT includes: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Ellen, and The Dr. Oz Show.
|Branding||WHNT News 19
WHNT 2 (on DT2)
|Slogan||Taking Action. Getting Results.|
|Channels||Digital: 19 (UHF)|
19.2 Antenna TV
(Local TV Alabama License, LLC)
|First air date||November 28, 1963|
|Call letters' meaning||HuNTsville |
|Former channel number(s)||19 (UHF analog, 1963-2009)
59, (UHF digital, 2002-2009)
|Former affiliations||RTV (on DT2)|
|Transmitter power||50 kW|
|19.1||main WHNT programming / CBS HD|
|19.2||Antenna TV "WHNT 2"|
The station became a charter affiliate of Tribune Broadcasting's digital multicast channel Antenna TV upon its launch on January 1, 2011, it now is carried on digital subchannel 19.2, replacing RTV programming on that subchannel. The network, whose programming consists of classic sitcoms from the 1950s to the 1990s during the afternoon and evening, and movies during the morning and late night hours, debuted on Local TV, LLC-owned stations in other markets as well as stations owned by Antenna TV's parent company Tribune Company on the same date.
It is noted that unlike most Antenna TV subchannels, WHNT2 is transmitted in 16:9 standard-definition widescreen. However, with the exception of the WHNT newscasts (which are presented on WHNT2 in standard-definition widescreen that's been downconverted from the original high definition production) and some of the local commercials, programming on this subchannel is entirely in pillarboxed 4:3 standard definition.
WHNT-TV ended programming on its analog signal, on UHF channel 19, on June 12, 2009, as part of DTV transition in the United States. The station then moved back to channel 19 for its post-transition operations. The station was originally going to move to channel 46 but received late permission from the FCC to move digital broadcasts to channel 19, following the closure and license cancellation earlier in the year ofFlorence station WYLE, which was to have broadcasted on digital channel 20. WHNT is now the only station in the market operating on its original channel.
WHNT began operations on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1963 (the first new station to be launched after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated), and has always been an affiliate of CBS. The FCC originally licensed the frequency for WHNT to the city of Fort Payne some forty miles to the southeast. The station was founded by a local businessman, Charles Grisham, now deceased. In 1980, he sold WHNT to The New York Times Company which operated it for over a quarter century. In September 2006, The New York Timesannounced that the company would put its entire broadcast group up for sale with eight other stations affected in addition to WHNT. On May 7, 2007, WHNT became a property of Oak Hill Capital Partnerswhich operates the station as part of Local TV.
WHNT's facilities are in downtown Huntsville where the station moved in 1987 from their original location on Monte Sano Mountain. The move was prompted by a fire that destroyed rival WAFF-TV's studios, then on Governors Drive, five years earlier. For use during an emergency, backup broadcast capabilities for news remains at the Monte Sano site. The transmitter and tower remain on Monte Sano because the mountain provides the highest elevation in the immediate area. WHNT is the only station in Huntsville to operate from a facility actually constructed specifically for broadcasting purposes.WAAY-TV operates from a former gas station, WAFF from a former jewelry store, and WZDX from an office building.
In 2003, WHNT allowed competing stations WAAY and WZDX to use space on its tower after both station's towers used on WAAY's property collapsed, killing three men. This station first used sixteen millimeter film for most of its commercial and news gathering. In 1979, it switched to the 3/4 inch video tape format. WHNT used this system until 1998 when new Panasonic DVC machines and cameras were purchased (DVC is still being used). However in Spring 2006, new cameras were purchased for the station's two bureaus. The cameras are Panasonic P2 cameras which record on 4gig cards. WHNT's archives, the most extensive in Huntsville television, go back to 1973 and include a mix of film and video. The film library had been stored at the University of North Alabama, but has recently been returned to Huntsville. For security reasons, parts of the archives are stored at one of its bureaus. In May 2002, WHNT became the first station in the Huntsville market to broadcast a digital signal and begin broadcasting in high definition on UHF channel 59.
Until November 25, 2008 at 5 p.m., the station offered a 24-hour local weather channel on its second digital subchannel. It then switched to RTV. WHNT is the only station in the Hunstville market area that has never changed its network affiliation. WHNT clears the entire CBS schedule. However, the Saturday edition of The Early Show airs on WHNT-DT2.
WHNT has been noted for live coverage of breaking news such as the shooting death of a Huntsville police officer, the 2006 Huntsville Bus Accident , and the solving of a thirty year-old murder case in September 2007. Generally speaking, over the years, WHNT has always been competitive in terms of ratings with rivals WAAY and WAFF. In fact, this station is the only one among the three major network affiliates in Huntsville to have never finished in last place in the Nielsen ratings. Since Fall 2004, WHNT has used the ARMOR Doppler Weather Radar system in weather forecasting along with its own weather radar at its transmitter site.
On August 18, 2008, WHNT became the first television station in Huntsville to begin broadcasting all of its news programs in digital 16:9widescreen. Although not truly high definition when launched, the broadcasts match the ratio of HD television screens. On April 13, 2009 starting with the weeknight 5 o'clock show, the station stopped using the NewsChannel 19 name and became WHNT News 19. Beginning on February 1, 2010, WHNT added a weeknight prime time newscast at 9 on WHNT-DT2 (referenced on-air as WHNT2). It competes with Foxaffiliate WZDX, which also airs a 9 p.m. newscast which is produced by WAAY. WHNT also previously aired an hour-long newscast at 7 a.m. on WHNT2, but discontinued it in September 2010. In November 2010, WHNT added a Sunday evening prime time newscast at 9 p.m. on WHNT2. Following the major tornado outbreak of April 27, 2011, WHNT introduced a 6:30pm newscast.
On August 18, 2010 during the 10pm newscast, WHNT became the first station in Huntsville to begin airing news segments in full high definition. The first segment was a sunset scene in Huntsville's Big Spring Park. 
On February 2, 2011, WHNT upgraded its newscast productions to full high-definition. During the two month transition to HD, the station's newcast originated from another part of the building while the studio was completely renovated for the first time since 1987. Unlike WAFF, WHNT's newscasts are in high definition from both the studio and field like many of WHNT's Local TV stablemates. Also, all of the station's file video since October of 2010 is in high definition. 
- WHNT-TV News (1963–1970)
- News 19 (1970–1975)
- Action News 19 (1975–1984)
- WHNT News 19 (1984–1987)
- NewsCenter 19 (1987–1995)
- NewsChannel 19 (1996–2009)
- WHNT News 19 (2009-present)
- "Keep Your Eye On Us" (1976–1978)
- "The News People" (1978–1981)
- "You and Channel 19, You're Looking Good" (1980-1981; local version of CBS ad campaign)
- "Reach for the Stars on Channel 19" (1981–1982; local version of CBS ad campaign, also used to open newscasts)
- "The Valley's Leading News Station" (1987–1990)
- "The New 19 and You" (1987–1990; used in image campaign by Frank Gari)
- "The News Leader in the Tennessee Valley" (1990–1993)
- "We're Here For You" (1993–1995)
- "Where Local News Comes First" (1995–1998)
- "First. Live. Local." (1996–2007)
- "Taking Action. Getting Results." (2007–present)
- Jerry Hayes - weeknights at 6, 6:30 and 10
- "Good Question" segment producer
- Elise Morgan - weeknights at 6 and 10
- Greg Screws - weeknights at 5 and 9 (on WHNT2)
- "Deal or Dud" segment producer
- Clarissa Stephens - weeknights at 5 and 9 (on WHNT2)
- Lee Marshall - weeknights at 6:30
- Steve Johnson - weekday mornings 5-7 a.m.
- "Driving You Crazy" segment producer
- Michelle Stark - weekday mornings 5-7 a.m. & technology reporter
- Robert Reeves - weekday mornings 4:30-5:00 a.m., "Robert on the Road" and "Pay It Forward" segment producer
- Carson Clark - weekend evenings
- "Carson's Classics" segment producer
- Carrie Marchese - weekdays at noon & investigative/consumer reporter
- Beth Jett - Sunday evenings at 9 (on WHNT2), and 10
- Dan Satterfield (Certified Broadcast Meteorologist) - Chief seen weeknights
- Ben Smith - weekday mornings & noon
- Alan Raymond - weekend evenings
- Christina Meeks - weekend mornings
- Edward Egros
- Christine Killimayer
- Nick Banaszak- Huntsville Reporter/Fill-In Anchor
- Carson Clark - Sand Mountain Bureau Chief
- Venton Blandin - Huntsville Reporter
- Rikki Klaus - Huntsville Reporter
- Beth Jett - Decatur reporter
- Robert Richardson - Sand Mountain videojournalist
- Jerrita Patterson - Shoals Reporter
- Nate Adams - weekday morning traffic reporter(also on WRSA-FM 96.9)
- Jeff Gray - weekday morning videojournalist (also on WRSA-FM 96.9)
- David Wood - Huntsville videojournalist
- Kelly Druley - Huntsville videojournalist
- Gregg Stone - Chief Photographer
- Shane Hays - Assistant Chief Photographer
- Carter Watkins - Shoals Bureau Chief Photographer
- Dave Schmidt - Morning Photographer
- Brian Covington - Decatur Photographer
- Andrew Wilkins - Evening Huntsville Photographer
- Alex Lynch - Evening Huntsville Photographer
- Dion Hose - Dayside Photographer
Past on-air staff
- Amy George - Now serves in a development position with Huntsville Hospital Foundation. The Foundation manages a fund named in memory of her daughter, Melissa, who was born premature. The fund purchases life-saving equipment for Huntsville Hospital's Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit. Amy retains a connection with WHNT through her photo on the station's website, under the section "Working Wonders"; George also hosts a monthly webchat arranged by the station, where she was named special correspondent with features of the same name, "Working Wonders"
- Rudy Koski - Former morning-noon anchor WHNT and WAFF reporter (now at KTBC in Austin, TX)
- Amy Witte - former WHNT, WAAY, WAFF anchor. Currently Library Media Specialist, Austin, TX. Married, Rudy Koski, Two daughters.
- H.D. Bagley - WHNT's first Meteorologist, 1963–1979, deceased.
- Dan Maly - Meteorologist, retired WIS, Columbia, SC
- Bill Markham - News Anchor, retired from WRCB-TV, Chattanooga
- Cindy Sexton - News Anchor, now at WRCB-TV, Chattanooga
- Gene Hocutt - Meteorologist, retired from private business
- Darlene Perriconi - Meteorologist
- George Ryan - Public Relations for Exxon Mobil
- Trace Trylko - Sand Mountain Bureau Chief, marketing in Orlando.
- Jason Miles - now at WMC-TV, Memphis, Tennessee
- Sherea Harris - now at WBRC-TV, Birmingham, Alabama.
- LaTonya Norton - now at WDSU-TV, New Orleans.
- Kym Richardson-Thurman - now at WPMI-TV, Mobile, Alabama.
- Jason Marks - now at WAVY-TV, Portsmouth, Virginia.
- Jamey Tucker - now at WKRN-TV, Nashville, Tennessee.
- Christie del Amo - formerly at WBRC-TV, Birmingham, Alabama.
- James-Paul Dice - now at WBRC-TV, Birmingham, Alabama.
- Greg Privett - Anchor and reporter now at WWAY, Wilmington, NC Anchors 5pm, 6pm and 11pm Weeknights
- Barry Hiett - now at WAAY, Huntsville.
- Ellis Eskew - now at WZDX, Huntsville.
- Chris Davis - Meteorologist
- Grady Reeves - Anchor, 1963-1991. Co-host of Mornin' Folks with his son (Robert Reeves) from 1980-1991.
- Jamie McGriff - Reporter
- Spencer Denton - Meteorologist
- John Pearson - Sports Anchor
- ^ Nelson, Bob (2008-10-18). "Call Letter Origins". The Broadcast Archive. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
- ^ NY Times CO. Sell TV Group to Equity Firm for $530M; Second equity group to buy a media business in two weeks., NewsInc. (via HighBeam Research), January 8, 2007.
- ^ http://whnt.com/Global/category.asp?C=89237
- ^ http://www.al.com/entertainment/huntsvilletimes/index.ssf?/base/entertainment/12637233505390.xml&coll=1
- ^ http://www.whnt.com/news/sandmountain/whnt-whnt-launches-another-huntsville-first-high-definition,0,6361573.story
- ^ http://www.whnt.com/news/huntsvilleandmadisoncounty/whnt-whnt-goes-hd-whnt-news-19-to-go-high-definition-on-february-2-2011-20110127,0,3383694.story