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About WLJT - History

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WLJT originally signed on the air in March 1968 as a repeater site in Lexington, Tennessee for the PBS station in Memphis. All public television entities in Tennessee were owned and operated by the state through the department of Education. In 1981 studios were activated, staffing was initiated, and administrative offices were established on the campus of the University Of Tennessee at Martin.

In 1984 the state divested itself of ownership of all public television stations. Consequently, the West Tennessee Public Television Council was established to take over ownership of WLJT.

On-air operations (Master Control) were handled at the Lexington transmitter site until 1993. A grant was obtained to construct a master control facility in the Communications Building on the UTM campus. A new, remote controlled microwave link between the UTM campus and the transmitter was also established.

Over the years, the staff and services of WLJT have grown. Local programs are produced from the Martin studios and from all over West Tennessee with mobile production truck facilities.  Programs serving West Tennessee communities include local and regional high school and college sports, community events, festivals, parades, music and arts, public affairs, and politics. Educational services to enhance the literacy skills of young children were also introduced.

WLJT-DT officially signed on the air February 20, 2004.  Through local support, federal grants, and sound fiscal management WLJT-DT now transmits three (3) high power digital programming channels. 11-1 presents 1080i high definition programming, 11-2 presents the PBS World programming schedule and 11-3 presents PBS Create programming. Local HD productions from our production truck began in April, 2008.

WLJT continues as a fully invested PBS member station. Operating budgets are a mix of federal and state grants and local fundraising.

March 2018
April 2018
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731.881.7561 wljt@wljt.org P.O. Box 966, Martin, TN 38237. @2010. All rights reserved. West Tennessee pictures provided courtesy of Paul Glover, the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce, the Tennessee Department of Tourism, the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce, the Weakley County Chamber of Commerce, and Martin Community Development.