WLTZ began broadcasting on October 29, 1970, as WYEA-TV, an NBC affiliate owned by Eagle Broadcasting Company, with its studio and transmitter off Buena Vista Road in Columbus, Georgia. Eagle had been granted the license by the Federal Communications Commission in August of 1967 and a building permit in December of 1969. Ground was broken in May of 1970. Construction setbacks due to a strike at antenna manufacturer RCA, delayed the completion of the transmitter. Once on-air, the station’s first newscast was 1st Edition News, weeknights at 5:30pm.
Columbus based American Family Corporation, the parent company of Aflac, announced its purchase of Eagle Broadcasting in July 1977, making WYEA-TV its first broadcasting property with the intentions to add more. Under the subsidiary American Eagle Broadcasting, American Family took ownership on March 1, 1978. During the American Family era, WYEA-TV revamped its news department adopting the name NewsCenter for its broadcasts. In 1979 the station’s first 11pm newscast debuted.
In 1981 American Family sold WYEA-TV to Savannah based Lewis Broadcasting. The station call letters were changed to WLTZ. Under Lewis’s ownership, in 1982 the station had the first African American anchor on Columbus Television, future state senator Ed Harbison.
Lewis sold WLTZ to SagamoreHill Broadcasting, headquartered in Augusta, Georgia, in May 2007. One year later, WLTZ became the first station in Columbus to televise a newscast in High Definition. On April 27, 2009, WLTZ added The CW to their second digital channel, 38.2. This was followed a few years later by adding Antenna TV, a network whose programming consists of classic television series, to their third digital channel, 38.3. Weeknights from 8 to 10pm, 38.3 also carries MyNetworkTV programming, more recent series than the classics on Antenna TV. WLTZ added CourtTV to the family and broadcasts on its programming on 38.4.
In September 2020, SagamoreHill entered into a Shared Services Agreement with Gray Television, owners of WTVM News Leader 9, to provide services for NBC 38 WLTZ’s such as news, production, engineering, and creative services. The transmitter remains at the Buena Vista Road location with the building serving as NBC 38 WLTZ’s sales office. NBC 38 WLTZ’s serves the West Georgia, East Alabama viewing area.
Contact Local NBC 38 (WLTZ)
General Sales Manager Bill Evans
6140 Buena Vista Rd. Columbus, GA 31907