WJTV is the CBS-affiliated television station for Jackson, Mississippi. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 12 from a transmitter in Raymond. The station can also be seen on Comcast channel 13 and in high definition on digital channel 433. Owned by Media General, WJTV has studios on TV Road in Jackson. Syndicated programming on the channel includes: The Andy Griffith Show, Oprah and Dr. Phil.
WHLT in Hattiesburg operates as a semi-satellite of this station and has its own facilities on U.S. 49 in that city. It airs some of WJTV's syndicated programming and there are also shows that only air on WHLT while some are only seen on this station. WHLT also airs separate station identifications and commercials. It clears all CBS programming but pre-empts CBS News Sunday Morning in favor of paid religious programming and delays Face the Nation until 1:05 Monday mornings. This is unlike WJTV which shows both programs as fed by CBS from 8 to 10 on Sunday mornings.
|Slogan||To The Point|
|Channels||Digital: 12 (VHF)|
12.2 local weather 12.3 RTV
(Media General Communications Holdings, LLC)
|First air date||January 20, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||We're Jackson, Mississippi TeleVision|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
25 (UHF, 1953–1955) 12 (VHF, 1955-2009) Digital: 52 (UHF)
|Former affiliations||NBC (1953)|
|Transmitter power||49.2 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||32°14′26″N 90°24′15″W / 32.24056°N 90.40417°W / 32.24056; -90.40417 (digital)|
WJTV airs a 24-hour local weather channel on their second digital subchannel. Known on-air as the "Storm Team 12 VIPIR Weather Channel", programming consists of a loop of VIPIR weather sources (futurecast, radar, and temperatures) and a pre-recorded "Local on the 8's" segment with a meteorologist being seen every ten minutes. The weather channel can also be seen on Comcast digital channel 212. The Retro Television Network (RTV) is on WJTV-DT3 and Comcast digital channel 213.
|12.1||WJTV-DT||main WJTV programming/CBS HD|
|12.2||WJTV-DT2||"Storm Team 12 VIPIR Weather Channel"|
They began broadcasting on January 20, 1953 and was Mississippi's first television station. Broadcasting on UHF channel 25 as a NBC affiliate, it was founded by The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson's morning daily newspaper) and its co-owned afternoon daily, Jackson Daily News. The two newspapers also started another station, WSLI. That channel was a CBS affiliate while WJTV aired NBC and DuMont programming. At that time, broadcasters could own more than one station in a single market.
Later in 1953, WJTV lost NBC when WJBT (now WLBT) signed-on. However, they shared ABC programming with that station while it continued to air DuMont. In 1955 after DuMont folded, the two stations merged into one. WJTV became a CBS affiliate and moved to the more-desirable channel 12 on the VHF dial, a move similar to the merger between KPTV and KLOR in Portland, Oregon which occurred two years later. In this case, the present-day WJTV broadcasts under the original WJBT license and call sign using WSLI's channel 12 assignment. The new channel 12 also shared ABC programming with WLBT until 1970 when WAPT started operations.
From 1977 to 1983, WJTV was owned by the Capitol Broadcasting Company (the same company which owned KNAZ-TV in Flagstaff, Arizona but unrelated to the Capitol Broadcasting Company of Raleigh, North Carolina). In 1983, it was sold to the News-Press & Gazette Company. Four years later, the station launched a semi-satellite for the Hattiesburg/Laurel area, WHLT. In 1993, NPG sold several of its stations (including WJTV and WHLT) to the first incarnation of New Vision Television. In turn, New Vision sold its entire stations group to Ellis Communications in 1995. Ellis was folded into Raycom Media the following year after it was bought out by a media group led by the Retirement Systems of Alabama (who bought Aflac's broadcasting group a few months earlier).
In 1997, Raycom bought out Federal Broadcasting (owner of WHLT's rival station, WDAM-TV). That placed Raycom in violation of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) duopoly rules in the Hattiesburg/Laurel market. As a result, Raycom opted to keep WDAM and trade WJTV and WHLT (along with WSAV-TV in Savannah, Georgia that also had to be divested by Raycom due to its ownership of that station's rival WTOC-TV) to Media General in exchange for WTVR-TV in Richmond, Virginia (which had to be divested by Media General due to FCC same-market cross-ownership restrictions). This trade left Raycom without a station in the Jackson market until 2006 when it acquired WLBT as part of its purchase of The Liberty Corporation. After the analog television shutdown on June 12, 2009, WJTV returned to channel 12. Its original digital transmitter was located at its studios on TV Road.
News open seen every night at 10.WHLT's news gathering efforts are simulcasts of WJTV's local broadcasts with contributions by a reporter based at its studios in Hattiesburg. There is also a weeknight news update that airs on WHLT and weather forecasts targeted toward the Pine Belt region. All newscasts from this station are simulated on WHLT except weeknights at 5 and 6. WJTV recently revived its sports department with the addition of two sports annnouncers. Its previous sports anchors, Dave Hotard and Rick Whitlow, resigned and were fired respectively.
- WJTV NewsCenter 12 (early-mid 1980s)
- The NewsCenter (mid 1980s-1994)
- News 12 (1994-1996)
- NewsChannel 12 (1996-present)
- "The News Leader in Central Mississippi" (early 1980s-1994)
- "We've Got the Touch, You and Channel 12" (1983-1984, localized version of CBS ad campaign)
- "Coverage You Can Count On"' (1994-2005)
- "To The Point" (2005-present)
- Erin Pickens - weekday mornings and noon
- Linda Allen - weeknights
- Byron Brown - weeknights
- Melissa Faith Payne - weekends and reporter
Storm Team 12 Meteorologists
- Tony Mastro (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief seen weeknights and "Junior Weathercaster" segment producer
- Ken South - weekday mornings and noon
- Jason Ellis - weekends and weekday news reporter
- Jason Hurst - weeknights at 6 and 10
- Jeff Platt - weekends and sports reporter
- Chris Williams - based at WHLT
- Kip Smith - Chief Videographer
- Jerry Brooks - photojournalist
- Heather Burke
- Ross Adams
- Matt Kozar