WTVA is the NBC-affiliated television station for northeastern Mississippi and northwesternAlabama that is licensed to Tupelo. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 8 from a transmitter in Woodland. The station can also be seen on Comcast channel 6 and in high definition on digital channel 432. Locally owned, the station operates Fox affiliate WLOV-TV(owned by Lingard Broadcasting Corporation) and ABC affiliate WKDH (owned by Southern Broadcasting, Inc.) through local marketing agreements (LMAs). All three share studios on County Road 681 in the Beech Springs section of Saltillo. Syndicated programming on WTVA includes: Wheel of Fortune, Dr. Phil, and Inside Edition.

Tupelo/Columbus, Mississippi
Branding WTVA (general)


Slogan Live, Local, Latebreaking.
Channels Digital: 8 (VHF)
Subchannels 9.1 NBC

9.2 FamilyNet

Owner Allen Media Broadcasting
First air date March 18, 1957
Call letters' meaning Tennessee ValleyAuthority (Tupelo was

first city in corporation)

Sister station(s) WKDH, WLOV-TV
Former callsigns WTWV (1957-1979)
Former channel number(s) 9 (VHF analog, 1957-2009)
Former affiliations ABC (secondary, 1957-1983)
Transmitter power 16 kW
Height 540.1 m
Facility ID 74148
Transmitter coordinates 33°47′40″N 89°5′16″W
Website wtva.com

Digital programming

On WTVA-DT2 is FamilyNet which is currently not offered on Comcast digital cable.

Channel Video Aspect Programming
9.1 1080i 16:9 main WTVA programming/NBC HD
9.2 480i 4:3 WTVA-DT2 FamilyNet


Its logo prior to April 2009 with the "9" similar in style to WTVC.

WTVA was the brainchild of Frank K. Spain, an engineering graduate of Mississippi State University, who had helped build WRC-TV in Washington D.C.. While serving as technical director at WHEN-TV in Syracuse, New York (nowWTVH), he dreamed of bringing a television station to Tupelo, where he had spent most of his childhood. Spain applied for a license in 1953 which was granted in 1956. The station first signed-on March 18, 1957 with the call letters WTWV. Its equipment (antenna, transmitter, cameras, etc.) were all hand-built in Spain's garage, backyard, and basement in Syracuse.

Spain hoped to parlay his good relations with NBC officials into getting his new station an affiliation with the network. However, several NBC executives believed Tupelo was not a desirable place for a local station because of its rural location dozens of miles away from cities such asMemphis, Tennessee and Birmingham, Alabama that already had affiliates. Nonetheless, they told Spain that if he could figure out a way to obtain a network signal, he could carry it. Spain allegedly negotiated under-the-table deals with WMC-TV in Memphis and set up a network of microwave relays and repeater systems to carry the WMC-TV signal to Tupelo. Station engineers then switched to and from the WMC-TV signal when network programming aired. This setup, necessary in the days before satellites, enabled WTWV to bring NBC programming to Northeastern Mississippi. The station also carried a secondary affiliation with ABC.

In the mid-1960s, channel 9 was approached about becoming a full ABC affiliate. Spain, who was still receiving "bootleg" NBC programming, told NBC executives that ABC was willing to pay him. This prompted NBC to negotiate a formal deal with Spain, and WTWV formally became an NBC affiliate. It still carried some ABC programming in off-hours until WVSB (now WLOV) in nearby West Point began operating on May 29, 1983.

Between 1972 and 1980, WTWV's signal was rebroadcast for viewers in east central Mississippi on a translator in Meridian (WHTV), that is now known as WMDN. After becoming a separate entity, that station has operated primarily as a CBS affiliate and was sold to Meridian Media in January 2008. WTWV built a brand-new tower in 1970s that not only brought a city-grade signal to Columbus for the first time, but gave the station one of the largest coverage areas in the country. In 1979, it changed its call letters to WTVA in honor of Tupelo's recognition as the first Tennessee Valley Authority city in the Southeast. The WTWV call sign was later used on WFRQ, a radio station in Mashpee, Massachusetts, unrelated to the current WTVA.

The station is still locally-owned by the Spain family today. Frank Spain served as CEO of WTVA, Inc. until his death on April 25, 2006. He continued to visit the station regularly well into his 70s. His wife Jane has assumed the CEO position, continuing the Spain family ownership.

Channel 9 was the first commercial television station in Mississippi to devote the entire morning broadcast schedule to educational, or children's, programming. The station also made history as the first television station in Mississippi to broadcast a live basketball game.

Although WTVA operates WLOV and WKDH through local marketing agreements, each station has its own station manager and owner in accordance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policy. WTVA, Inc. also previously owned and operated KTFL in Flagstaff, Arizona. During the majority of the time KTFL was broadcasting, it carried programing from FamilyNet which is currently seen on WTVA's second digital subchannel. KTFL's transmitter was licensed as the most powerful television station its own market. On July 24, 2008, WTVA began its digital service on VHF channel 8 but is mapped via PSIP to virtual channel 9. Shortly after, it began multicasting FamilyNet on DT2. By comparison, sister station WLOV broadcasts network programming in high definition over a low-power digital transmitter. Its actual maximum range is unknown. It is likely that the allowable power levels on channel 8, WTVA's post-transition digital channel, will be severely limited due to potential interference to other stations. [1]


In March 2000, WTVA began producing a Sunday through Friday night prime time newscast on WLOV-TV. Currently known as WLOV Fox News at Nine, this broadcast can be seen for thirty minutes. That newscast was expanded to seven nights a week on July 1, 2017. There has not been any plans made announced to launch a weekday morning show at 7 a.m. on WLOV (produced by WTVA) that would compete with a sixty-minute show seen on MyNetworkTV affiliate WCBI-DT2. On April 20, 2009, WTVA became the first station in the market and second in the state to upgrade local news to high definition level (WLOV's show was included). Compared nationwide, it was the smallest market outlet that made the change. With the addition of ABC network programming on WTVA-DT2, the subchannel also airs local news programming as per the terms of its affiliation agreement, featuring simulcasts of most local newscasts seen on the primary channel. More specifically, WTVA's half-hour weekday newscasts at noon and 6 p.m. and its one-hour news and talk program Kay Bain's Saturday Mornin' Show is not seen on WTVA-DT2.[3][5] WTVA-DT2 does, however, air an exclusive newscast weeknights at 6:30 p.m. The station operates a weather radar at its facilities that is known on-air as "StormTrack Doppler". WTVA's Weather Authority made national news on April 28, 2014 when chief meteorologist Matt Laubhan escorted the station's crew to the basement when an EF3 tornado struck nearby. After calling the National Weather Service in Memphis and operating without any radar data for three hours, he later won an Emmy in 2015 for his efforts.

Newscast titles

  • TV-9 News
  • 9 Alive News
  • WTVA News (1980s–2017)
  • WTVA News 9 (?–2009)
  • WTVA 9 News (2017–present)

Station slogans

  • "The Way Mississippi Sees It"
  • "The Spirit of Mississippi" (1980s-2004)
  • "We're Channel 9, Just Watch Us Now!" (1982-1983; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Channel 9 There, Be There!" (1983-1984; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Channel 9, Let's All Be There!" (1984-1986; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Come Home to Channel 9!" (1986-1987; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Come on Home to Channel 9!" (1987-1988; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Come Home to the Best, Only on Channel 9" (1988-1990; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "WTVA, The Place to Be!" (1990-1992; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Mississippi's News Channel" (1994–2004)
  • "Your Digital Information Center" (2004–2006)
  • "Live, Local, Latebreaking." (2006–2015)
  • "North Mississippi's Own" (2015–present)

News "team"


  • Robert Byers - weekday mornings and reporter
  • Keegan Foxx - weekdays mornings and noon
  • Terry Smith - Managing Editor seen weekdays at noon and 6
    • Focus host
  • Sunya Walls - weeknights at 5 and 10
    • reporter
  • Craig Ford - weeknights at 6 and 10
    • reporter
  • Julee Brown - weeknights at 9 and reporter
  • C.J. LeMaster - weekends on WTVA and reporter
  • Kalisha Whitman - weekends at 10 on WTVA and reporter
  • Kay Bain - Kay Bain's Saturday Mornin' Show host
  • Stan Allen - West Point of View host

WTVA News Weather Authority Meteorologists

  • Matt Laubhan - Chief Meteorologist, weeknights
  • Dick Rice - Chief meteorologist emeritus, fill-in meteorologist
  • Jennifer Watson - mornings and noon
  • John Dolusic - weekends and noon

Sports (all seen on Friday Night Fever)

  • Jim Holder - weeknights at 6 and 10
  • Drew Goldfarb - weekends
  • Justin Lewis - sports and news reporter


  • Jeff Bryant - photographer and associate producer
  • Wayne Hereford - fill-in news anchor
  • David Chimahusky - photographer
  • Alvin Ivy - photographer
  • Susan Parker

Past on-air staff


  1. ^ FCC third-round DTV allocations, DA-06-1675a1, allocate 9000 watts to WTVA.

External links

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