History

WTVA History

While working as the technical director of WHEN-TV in Syracuse, New York, Frank K. Spain envisioned a television station for his boyhood hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi. An electrical engineer, Spain had been a member of the engineering and development team for NBC in New York and Washington.

Upon petitioning the Federal Communications Commission for assignment of Channel 9 to Tupelo, the formidable task of making his dream reality began in 1953.

At this early stage in television, the best commercial television equipment was extremely expensive and constructing your own television station was unheard of. But Spain faced this formidable task with determination and dedication. Throughout the construction period, his garage, backyard, and home basement in Syracuse literally became an electronics assembly facility. The antenna, transmitter and cameras were designed and built from scratch.

In December 1956, the Federal Communications Commission officially approved and assigned Channel 9 to Tupelo, Mississippi, followed by the grant of a construction permit for the then-named WTWV. All the equipment constructed over the previous three years was gathered and shipped to Tupelo and the job of assembling and building a workable television station began. The equipment's new home was an abandoned school located just north of Tupelo, which remains the station's operations headquarters to this day.

On March 18, 1957, WTWV radiated its first live pictures to viewers in Northern Mississippi.

WTWV produced numerous firsts. WTWV was the first commercial television station in the state to devote its entire daily morning schedule to "educational programming" coordinated with the area's public school system. WTWV was the first television station in Mississippi to broadcast a live basketball game and it was the first station to broadcast a live telethon for an entire broadcasting day—raising money for cerebral palsy.

As the industry progressed and improved, so did WTWV. The change from black and white to color television was easily accomplished due to Spain's involvement with the development of color television for NBC several years earlier.

Along with an expanding and successful business came the public demand for an expanded coverage area. A new site was chosen for the transmitter and tower which not only put Columbus, Mississippi, within the city grade coverage but also resulted in one of the largest geographic coverage areas in the country.

A new 1590 foot tower and a new transmitter building were constructed near Woodland, Mississippi, some 40 miles away from the studio.

Having established this large regional influence and because Tupelo was the first city to purchase power from Tennessee Valley Authority, WTWV requested and was granted the new call letters of WTVA.

In 2009, WTVA became the smallest market in the United States to offer high-definition (HD) programming and was the first station in Mississippi to offer both local news coverage and commercial production in HD. WTVA continues to lead the way in bringing you the highest quality entertainment.

Today, WTVA has an operation undreamed of in the 1950s with an expanded news department featuring some of the finest journalists in the nation and electronic newsgathering for a multi-platform world.

It's a tradition of excellence that will continue year-after-year.

WLOV History

WLOV began its life as WVSB, an ABC affiliate. Owned by Venture Systems, Inc., the station first began broadcasting on Sunday, May 29, 1983. The station had been scheduled to begin on the first of May, but delays in the delivery of studio equipment pushed the date back. Wet weather prevented workers from completing work on the studio towers in West Point and Woodland, pushing the date back even further. On that first evening, President/General Manager David Hopper welcomed northeast Mississippi to the station's viewing audience in a special message aired before the start of prime-time programming. In the welcome, Hopper said the station looked forward to "long and prosperous affiliation with the northeast Mississippi people" and promised that the station was "here to serve you with something good every day."

As Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) channel 27, viewers were required to use the U channel on their televisions and use that not-so-familiar second knob to access the UHF channels. The station ran advertisements in local newspapers instructing viewers how to connect UHF antennas and tune in. In 1991, Love Communications took an interest in the fledgling station and purchased it. As part of the purchase agreement, the station name was changed to WLOV, a play on the Love Communications’ name.

As the only UHF station in the market, WLOV suffered early financial difficulties. Most viewers weren't familiar with UHF stations and finding them on their televisions, despite the station's early efforts at educating people. While the station was steadily gaining viewers, competition from the NBC and CBS affiliates on "regular" channels was fierce.

It was clear that the station needed help. In May 1992, WLOV entered into a Program Service Agreement with Tupelo's WTVA. On Nov. 25 of that year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorized the station to move to Tupelo. At first, WLOV moved into offices in the Tupelo Community Antenna building (now Comcast Cable) but then moved into the WTVA building.

The move was wise, and reduced costs for rent, utilities, taxes and fees, maintenance of studio equipment, programming and staffing. Employees were given the opportunity to move with the station to Tupelo and many did. Of those employees, many are still employed by the station. In February 1994, new general manager Jennifer Dennington was brought on board. New changes came fast. Lingard Broadcasting bought the station in August 1994 after seeing the potential for WLOV to become a market leader.

Around this time, WLOV also began to include programming from a new network that was making waves in the entertainment industry. News Corporation's new "mini-network" was still young, but it was picking up viewers at an astonishing rate. WLOV embraced the new network early on, and for a while operated as a dual-affiliate station. But the new network was clearly going places, and WLOV decided it wanted to become a part of its success. So in November 1995, WLOV ceased being an ABC affiliate. Instead, WLOV now proudly became FOX 27, the area's premiere FOX affiliate.

With the popular FOX network now drawing in record viewers and the station now available on easier-to-find cable channels, WLOV began to grow rapidly. "West Point of View," the station's community issues program, began airing in January 1995. In March 2000, "WLOV News At Nine" hit the air and began a streak of Associated Press award wins.

"First Down on FOX," a locally-produced sports show, was even more successful after its launch, becoming WLOV's first program to earn an Emmy® nomination from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2005. And another first for WLOV was providing digital broadcasting on Aug. 22, 2004. The new high-definition digital channel, DT16, upgraded to full-power digital in April 2007, bringing high-definition television to viewers all over north Mississippi.

In 2009, WLOV discontinued its analog service in accordance with FCC regulations and switched to full digital service. Viewers who received WLOV by cable, dish, or satellite were still able to enjoy the benefits of HD, with new entertainment features of digital still to come.

One of the benefits of digital service has already reached viewers. WLOV began airing "This West Point" on its secondary digital stream on April 1, 2009. "This West Point" is a 24-hour digital network. At the heart of its programming are blockbuster and Academy Award® winning movies from the MGM film libraries.

On Sept. 1, 2012, Me-TV West Point was added to a third digital stream. Me-TV West Point's library includes nearly 100 classic and much-loved television series.

And WLOV News At Nine began airing in high definition on June 22, 2009, bringing better quality to the local newscast.

WLOV was purchased by Tupelo Broadcasting, Inc. in September 2013. But our most recent highlight is our acquisition by Coastal Television Broadcasting Company LLC in February 2015. We're excited about the possibilities this new ownership creates, and look forward to remaining your favorite television station in northeast Mississippi and northwestern Alabama.

WLOV continues to work hard to bring viewers the newest and best in entertainment, and we're very excited about what the future will bring.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 93556

Reported Deaths: 2810
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6974155
DeSoto541155
Harrison373272
Jackson338867
Madison320886
Rankin319075
Lee260667
Jones242078
Forrest239070
Washington217971
Lafayette208439
Lauderdale1999124
Bolivar179465
Oktibbeha175050
Lamar163134
Neshoba1536103
Panola144027
Sunflower141744
Lowndes139957
Warren138150
Leflore136980
Pontotoc123416
Pike121248
Monroe118865
Scott116425
Copiah116233
Coahoma112327
Holmes109258
Marshall107615
Lincoln106753
Grenada106135
Yazoo103829
Simpson101143
Union97824
Tate95137
Leake93937
Adams91936
Wayne87721
Pearl River86550
Marion84133
Prentiss81117
Covington80522
Alcorn77311
Itawamba76221
Newton75723
Tallahatchie75418
George74913
Winston72419
Tishomingo65837
Chickasaw65524
Tippah64216
Attala64125
Walthall59325
Clay57817
Hancock56121
Jasper55415
Noxubee54315
Clarke53539
Smith52314
Calhoun50612
Tunica47913
Montgomery45520
Claiborne45216
Lawrence42512
Yalobusha41714
Perry40718
Quitman3745
Humphreys37315
Stone35511
Greene34517
Webster33113
Jefferson Davis32511
Carroll31212
Amite31110
Wilkinson30217
Kemper28615
Sharkey26312
Jefferson2429
Benton2191
Franklin1893
Choctaw1795
Issaquena1033
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 131405

Reported Deaths: 2292
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19015337
Mobile13066289
Montgomery8674173
Madison758375
Tuscaloosa7240114
Lee571359
Shelby568450
Baldwin506149
Marshall383543
Etowah335547
Calhoun333839
Morgan319726
Houston270822
Elmore254947
DeKalb235519
St. Clair223435
Walker222680
Talladega206926
Limestone199519
Cullman184517
Dallas174826
Franklin174328
Russell17132
Autauga169024
Lauderdale164633
Colbert160626
Escambia156225
Blount155114
Jackson150611
Chilton148527
Dale133043
Covington130927
Coffee12778
Pike11559
Tallapoosa113683
Chambers113042
Clarke104917
Marion94228
Butler90938
Barbour8357
Winston70912
Marengo69919
Lowndes64827
Pickens63514
Bibb63210
Hale61528
Randolph60812
Bullock58714
Lawrence58520
Monroe5758
Geneva5724
Cherokee56516
Washington54613
Clay5427
Perry5376
Wilcox53111
Conecuh52311
Crenshaw52331
Macon47720
Henry4724
Fayette4219
Sumter41819
Lamar3462
Choctaw34512
Cleburne3236
Greene30015
Coosa1643
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Columbus
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Oxford
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Starkville
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