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WAVE 3

WAVE 3 - Louisville, Kentucky
Address: Louisville, KY
Website: http://www.wave3.com/
Published: 75 stories by 27 authors

About

WAVE aka "WAVE 3" is the NBC television station in Louisville, Kentucky. Owned by Raycom Media, the station broadcasts from its main studio in downtown Louisville. Their digital transmitter and antenna (over the air channel 47) are co-located with the digital antenna and transmitter of WLKY near Floyds Knobs in New Albany, Indiana.

WAVE referred to its coverage area as WAVE Country in the past, echoing a popular jingle and image campaign the station launched in the early 1970s. In fact, that very jingle was the image campaign of the news music theme Home Country composed by Al Ham. WAVE currently uses the Working for You slogan for promotion. It currently operates its digital signal on digital channel 3 (UHF 47). WAVE also carries This TV on digital subchannel 3.2.

WAVE began broadcasting on November 24, 1948, originally on channel 5 using 24,100 watts of power. It was Kentucky's first television station, the 41st in the United States, and was owned by the Norton family, who had begun WAVE (970 kHz, now WGTK) in 1932. At first, it carried programming from all four networks, but was a primary NBC affiliate. WAVE-TV lost CBS in 1950 when WHAS-TV signed on, and lost DuMont programming in 1956 when that network folded, but shared ABC with WHAS-TV until 1961 (when WLKY-TV signed on). It is the only commercial station in Louisville that has never changed its affiliation.

In 1949, it was the first in the nation to present a live telecast of the Kentucky Derby. The station shipped a canned newsreel to NBC for national broadcast.

In 1953, WAVE-TV moved to channel 3 due to interference from WLWT in Cincinnati and was beginning to outgrow its first studio at 334 E. Broadway (the current home for Metro United Way). WAVE made history again in 1954 as it became the first local station to broadcast in color. Viewers were treated to a vivid image of the new NBC Peacock.

In 1956, WAVE-TV moved into its current studio at 725 S. Floyd in Louisville. Three years later it became the first station to transmit live local color in the region and by 1966, it was the only Kentucky station processing its own news film on color. In 1969, WAVE-TV was first to employ a certified meteorologist and operate its own weather-forecasting system.

Over the years, the Nortons acquired three other television stations and two other radio stations, including WFRV-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin (and satellite WJMN-TV in Marquette, Michigan); WMT-AM-FM-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and WFIE in Evansville, Indiana. Eventually, the Norton holdings became known as Orion Broadcasting, headquartered in Louisville with WAVE-AM-TV as the flagship station.

Orion merged with The Liberty Corporation in 1981. WAVE-TV became part of Liberty's broadcast arm, Cosmos Broadcasting, while WAVE-AM was sold off. In 1991, the station unveiled a new broadcast tower in Oldham County, KY. Costing $5 million and standing at 1,739 ft, the tower is the tallest structure in the state. Its height, which is 70% taller than average TV towers, increased WAVE?s coverage area and improved the broadcast signal.

When Liberty bowed out of the insurance business in 2000, WAVE came directly under the Liberty banner and in August 2005, Liberty announced that it was being purchased by Raycom Media of Montgomery, Alabama. This sale was completed January 31, 2006.

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