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WKRN-TV, virtual channel 2 (UHF digital channel 27), is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Nashville, Tennessee, United States. The station is owned by the Nexstar Media Group. WKRN's studios are located on Murfreesboro Road (U.S. Routes 41 and 70S) on Nashville's southeast side, and its transmitter is located in Forest Hills, Tennessee.

HistoryEdit

The station first signed on the air on November 29, 1953, as WSIX-TV, broadcasting on VHF channel 8; it was the second television station in Nashville. The station was originally licensed to WSIX, Inc., which was owned by Louis and Jack Draughon, along with WSIX radio (980 AM, now WYFN). The call letters came from the 638 Tire Company in nearby Springfield, where the Draughon brothers had started WSIX in 1930; neither the radio nor the television stations have ever had the number six in their frequencies, which would explain it otherwise. Originally a CBS affiliate that shared the ABC affiliation with WSM-TV (channel 4, now WSMV), it became a full-time ABC affiliate after only one year when WLAC-TV (channel 5, now WTVF) signed on and took the CBS affiliation due to WLAC radio's long history as a CBS radio affiliate. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.

The station's original studio facilities were located on Old Hickory Boulevard, south of Nashville at the station's transmitter site. In 1961, WSIX-AM-FM-TV moved to a new studio located at 441 Murfreesboro Road, where the television station remains located today. The current WKRN studio facility is where the Wilburn Brothers' television program was produced during the 1960s and 1970s (however, WSM-TV had the rights to air the show in the Nashville market).

WSIX-TV, however, did not have much luck against WSM-TV and WLAC-TV. Part of the problem was a weak signal, as its transmitter was short-spaced to channel 8 in Atlanta – occupied first by WSB-TV (currently occupied by WGTV). WSIX-TV was also hampered by a weaker network affiliation (ABC was not truly competitive with CBS and NBC until well into the 1970s).

The Draughons sold the WSIX stations to General Electric in 1966. In 1973, GE agreed to a deal with Nashville's PBS member station, WDCN-TV (now WNPT), then on channel 2, to swap frequencies. GE participated in the channel trade because the analog channel 2 facility was better suited for a network affiliate as opposed to a non-commercial educational station. The swap occurred on December 11, 1973, at 9 p.m., in the middle of evening prime-time programming, between the Movie of the Week, The Cat Creature, and Marcus Welby, M.D.. At the same time, even though General Electric still owned WSIX-AM-FM, WSIX-TV's call letters were changed to WNGE-TV (for Nashville General Electric). This was only the third facility swap in American television history.

General Electric pared down its broadcasting holdings during the early 1980s (possibly in preparation for its purchase of then-NBC parent company RCA in early 1986), selling WNGE-TV to Knight Ridder Newspapers in 1983. The new owners changed the calls on November 29 to the current WKRN-TV. Knight Ridder sold off all of its television stations in 1989, at which point Young Broadcasting bought the station (along with its sibling WTEN in Albany, New York). Merely by coincidence, the call letters reflect the former Young Broadcasting's flagship outlet, KRON-TV in San Francisco.

On June 6, 2013, Media General announced that it would acquire Young Broadcasting in an all-stock deal. The merger was completed on November 12, 2013, resulting in WKRN and its Knoxville sister station WATE-TV becoming sister stations of Johnson City-based WJHL-TV.

However, less than two years after that merger was finalized, the station's ownership appeared as though it was once again put into flux, as on September 8, 2015, Media General announced that it would acquire the Meredith Corporation for $2.4 billion, with the combined group to be renamed Meredith Media General once the sale was finalized. Because Meredith already owned WSMV, and the two stations rank among the four highest-rated stations in the Nashville market in total day viewership, the companies would have been required to sell either WSMV or WKRN to comply with FCC ownership rules as well as recent changes to those rules regarding same-market television stations that restrict sharing agreements.

The overlap issue was later rendered moot as the deal collapsed, and on January 27, 2016, it was announced that the Nexstar Broadcasting Group would buy Media General for $4.6 billion. WKRN became part of "Nexstar Media Group", and along with its Tennessee siblings, became stablemates to fellow ABC affiliate WATN-TV and CW affiliate WLMT in Memphis. The sale was completed on January 17, 2017.

On October 31, 2016, WKRN introduced a refreshed news graphics and music package and station logo, retiring the "Circle 2", which the station had been using in some capacity since 1981.


TV stations in Tennessee
WKRN, Nashville

WATN, Memphis
WTVC, Chattanooga
WJHL-DT2, Johnson City/Kingsport/Bristol
WATE, Knoxville
WBBJ, Jackson

TV stations in Middle Tennessee, including Nashville, Murfreesboro and Clarksville
WKRN 2 (ABC)
WSMV 4 (NBC)
WTVF 5 (CBS)
WRTN-LP 6 (Daystar)
WNPT 8 (PBS)
WETV-LP 11 (Ind)
WIIW-LP 14 (Silent → Ind)
WZTV 17 (Fox)
WCKV-LD 21 (The Walk TV)
WCTE 22 (PBS)
WNPX-LP 24 (Silent → Daystar)
WNTU-LP 26 (Daystar)
WNPX 28 (Ion)
WUXP 30 (MNTV)
WJDE-LD 31 (H&I)
WJNK-LD 34 (3ABN)
WHTN 39 (CTN)
WKUW-LD 40 (Buzzr)
WLLC-LP 42 (UNI)
WJFB 44 (TCT)
WPGD 50 (TBN)
WNAB 58 (CW)
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