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WJKT, virtual channel 16 (UHF digital channel 21), is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Jackson, Tennessee, United States. Owned by Nexstar Media Group, WJKT maintains a local advertising sales office on Oil Well Road in Jackson, and its transmitter is located in Alamo. Master control and most internal operations for WJKT are based at the studios of sister stations ABC affiliate WATN-TV and CW outlet WLMT at the Shelby Oaks Corporate Park in northeastern Memphis.

Memphis Fox affiliate WHBQ-TV's over-the-air signal reaches areas just short of Jackson proper. However, that station is also carried on Jackson Energy Authority Broadband on cable channel 13.

HistoryEdit

WJKT station signed-on April 10, 1985, as WJWT and was Jackson's third television station (after WDXI-TV now WBBJ-TV and WLJT). It was owned by MT Communications and aired on UHF analog channel 16. It was the area's first independent station and joined Fox for the first time in April 1987. After MT Broadcasting bought WCAY in Nashville (renaming it WXMT) and WMKW in Memphis (now WLMT), WMTU began mostly simulcasting WMKW/WLMT.

WJWT became WMTU on January 8, 1990, and during that year Fox pulled its affiliation from WLMT and gave it to WPTY-TV (now WATN-TV). However, WMTU retained its Fox affiliation, though outside of network programming the two stations continued to simulcast. When Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia) began programming WLMT in 1992, the LMA included WMTU as well.

The two stations became charter UPN affiliates on January 16, 1995. However, WMTU remained a primary Fox affiliate until the network's acquisition of WHBQ-TV in Memphis that November, at which point the station reverted to being a semi-satellite of WLMT; following that acquisition (which resulted in the loss of the station's Fox affiliation), WHBQ-TV began serving as the default Fox affiliate for the portion of western Tennessee that WMTU served. To reflect its status as a Jackson station, channel 16 changed its calls to WJKT on September 17, 2001; around the same time, Clear Channel bought it and WLMT outright.

In 2003, programming from The WB moved from WPTY (where it was airing in a secondary nature during late night time slots) to WLMT/WJKT where it also aired out of pattern. The station's Jackson office, shared with local production company TotalReach Television, was damaged that May after a tornado struck the downtown Jackson area. Owned by Clear Channel Television, the local office was moved to a facility on Radio Road in Jackson shared with Jackson's Clear Channel Radio cluster (which were later sold to Forever Communications).

On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN announced the two networks would cease broadcasting and merge to form The CW. WJKT declined to affiliate with The CW or MyNetworkTV, choosing instead to rejoin Fox on August 21. Meanwhile, WLMT began broadcasting The CW on September 18; it serves as the default over-the-air affiliate for Jackson, since cable-only The WB 100+ outlet "WBJK" joined The CW Plus. Clear Channel's television group, including WJKT, was purchased by Newport Television in 2008, local offices were relocated to Oil Well Road. Newport announced on July 19, 2012, that it would sell 12 of its stations, including WJKT, to Nexstar Broadcasting Group. The sale was finalized on December 3.

From August 2011 until September 2012, the station carried TheCoolTV on its DT2 subchannel. After the expiration of Newport's deal to carry the network, a new deal was made to carry the Live Well Network, which was carried on WJKT-DT2 until mid-March 2013, when it was pulled due to Nexstar's common policy of not carrying any subchannel networks unless the need for a CW or MyNetworkTV subchannel is needed in the market. On June 1, 2013, WPTY, WLMT, and WJKT relocated to a new facility at Shelby Oaks Corporate Park in the northeast section of Memphis.


TV stations in Tennessee
WZTV, Nashville

WHBQ, Memphis
WTVC-DT2, Chattanooga
WEMT, Greeneville/Johnson City/Kingsport/Bristol
WTNZ, Knoxville
WJKT, Jackson

TV stations in serving central West Tennessee, including Jackson, Lexington and Martin
WBBJ 7 (ABC)
WLJT 11 (PBS)
WJKT 16 (Fox)
W18BL-D 18 (Ind.)
WHJK-LD 20 (Escape)
WYJJ-LD 27 (COURT TV/MNTV)
WNBJ-LD 39 (NBC)
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