WLOV-TV - History

History

The station signed on as WVSB-TV on May 29, 1983 as the third commercial station in the market. It was supposed to launch on May 1, but equipment and weather delays pushed the date back. Originally owned by Venture Systems and airing an analog signal on UHF channel 27, WVSB immediately took the ABC affiliation from WTVA, which carried ABC programming on a secondary basis. From its start, the station had the disadvantage of being a UHF-band television station competing with two well-established VHF stations.

Love Communications would buy WVSB in 1991 and changed the call sign to WLOV-TV. Despite efforts to educate viewers about obtaining the station, competition from WCBI-TV and WTVA was fierce. In May 1992, it entered into a program service agreement (predecessor to local marketing agreement) with WTVA. On November 25 of that year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cleared the deal allowing WLOV to move its facilities from West Point to Tupelo. At first, WLOV moved into offices in the Tupelo Community Antenna (now Comcast) building, but it was eventually integrated into WTVA's studios in Saltillo.

Lingard Broadcasting Corporation purchased the station in August 1994, continuing the partnership with WTVA. At the same time, WLOV became a secondary Fox affiliate. On October 10, 1995, WLOV dropped ABC completely, and became a full Fox affiliate, leaving Northeast Mississippi and the part of West Alabama the station served without a local affiliate until the launch of WKDH on June 18, 2001. During that period, cable systems in the area piped in WPTY-TV from Memphis, Tennessee or WCFT-TV from Birmingham, Alabama.

WLOV's digital signal on UHF channel 16 signed-on August 22, 2004 and upgraded to full-powered high definition level in April 2007. The station ceased analog transmission in 2009 and remained on its pre-transitional digital channel allotment. On April 1 of that year, WLOV launched a new second digital subchannel to be the market's This TV affiliate. Although not initially carried on digital cable systems, WLOV-DT2 was eventually picked up by carriage agreements.

On September 1, 2012, WLOV added Me-TV to digital subchannel 27.2; the network relocated from WTVA, which switched the affiliation of its second digital subchannel from Me-TV to ABC on that date, due to the August 31 shutdown of WKDH (which WTVA-DT2 effectively replaced the affiliate for the Columbus/Tupelo/West Point market). This TV was relocated to a new third digital subchannel to make room for Me-TV. Linguard Broadcasting filed to sell WLOV to Tupelo Broadcasting on December 21, 2012; the new owners intend to continue the station's agreements with WTVA.

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