Station History - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Station History

WMBB signed on the air on October 4, 1973 as WDTB-TV, an NBC affiliate. On February 28, 1977, WDTB was sold to Octagon Broadcasting of Atlanta, Georgia and the call letters were changed to WMBB-TV, home of the World's Most Beautiful Beaches.

On January 4, 1982, WMBB-TV changed its network affiliation from NBC to ABC. Buford Television of Tyler, Texas bought the station on December 5, 1986, and invested major capital for both technical and on-air improvements.

Then on May 18, 1989 at 2:03 p.m. an Air Force F-15 clipped a guide wire at the Frink, Florida transmitter site - causing the tower, antenna and transmitter to be completely destroyed. Spartan Communications, Inc. out of Spartanburg, South Carolina purchased the station on April 12, 1990 as the construction stages of a complete new tower, transmitter and antenna installation had just begun.

On August 6, 1990 WMBB-TV began broadcasting from a new 1,500-foot state-of-the-art tower and transmitter one mile south of Youngstown, Florida. This new transmission facility gives the station the best coverage available in the Panama City market.

In March 2000, WMBB became one of 13 stations in a package acquired by Media General from Spartan Communications, Inc. WMBB was sold to Hoak Media, Inc. in the first half of 2008. WMBB was sold to Nexstar by Hoak Media in June of 2014.

WMBB-TV currently serves nine counties in the panhandle representing over 139,700 homes and a viewing audience in excess of 320,000. Panama City is currently ranked 154th in market size and is considered by many to be located in one of the fastest growing areas in the state of Florida.



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