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Image:Wdsu nbc6 neworleans.jpg
New Orleans, Louisiana
Branding NewsChannel 6
Slogan Local. Live. Latebreaking.
Analog channel 6 (VHF) (currently off-air, backup on UHF 49)
Digital channel 43 (UHF), 6.2 (WeatherPlus)
Affiliations NBC
Owner Hearst-Argyle Television
Founded 1948
Call letters meaning DeSoto Hotel (station's original location)
Joseph Uhalt (founder)
Former affiliations ABC / CBS / DuMont (1948-1951)
Website TheNewOrleansChannel.com

WDSU is the NBC affiliate for the New Orleans, Louisiana television market. It is owned by Hearst-Argyle Television. It broadcasts its analog signal on VHF channel 6, and its digital signal on UHF channel 43. Its transmitter is located in Chalmette, Louisiana.


WDSU signed on the air in December 1948 as the first television station in Louisiana. The station initially carried programming from NBC, CBS, ABC and DuMont; by 1951, it became solely affiliated to NBC.

The station was originally located at the DeSoto Hotel with its sister radio station. It moved into the historic Brulatour Mansion on Royal Street in the French Quarter in April 1950.

WDSU was the leading local television station in the 1960s and much of the 1970s. However, by the 1980s, rival WWL-TV had taken WDSU's place as the ratings leader.

WDSU was owned by Royal Street Corporation until 1972, when it was bought by Cosmos Broadcasting. The station was sold to Pulitzer in 1989. Hearst-Argyle Television bought the station in the late 1990s as part of a group deal. The station moved into a new facility on Howard Avenue and Baronne Street in March 1996.

WDSU became the first TV station in the market to provide color telecasts in 1955, and the first New Orleans station with its own doppler radar in the 1990s.

Hurricane Katrina

WDSU stated on-air shortly after 5pm Sunday, August 28 their plans for broadcast due to the hurricane. They went off the air from their New Orleans studios around 9:30pm Sunday evening, letting their staff at the station take as much cover in the studios or elsewhere as they can muster. After that point, broadcasts started to originate from WAPT Channel 16 (ABC) in Jackson, Mississippi (a Hearst-Argyle sister station), out of harm's way and with some WDSU anchors and the station's chief meteorologist coming up north from New Orleans. All switching and coordination for WDSU's live coverage has come out of Jackson and Orlando instead of New Orleans since this point.

The station aired coverage in cooperation with the weather department of Orlando's Hearst-Argyle NBC affiliate WESH (Channel 2) from 9:30pm CDT after WDSU shut down operations until 11pm CDT Sunday evening; currently the locally-based coverage is coming from WAPT with a combined team of Channel 16's and WDSU's meteorologists and anchors and is being simulcast in Jackson and New Orleans.

Anchors, reporters, and photographers from other stations in the Hearst-Argyle family have been called in to help, including KMBC in Kansas City, Missouri and KOCO in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The coverage on WDSU has been alternating between WAPT in Jackson and WESH in Orlando because of technical difficulties with some failing equipment at WAPT and staff exhaustion. Overnight, WESH has take over the coverage fully over for WDSU/WAPT.

In addition to webcasting, the station is using i Network (formerly Pax) station WPXL (Channel 49) to show coverage in the terrestrial New Orleans area; WDSU's transmitter is thought to be flooded out.

The station is now free-to-air on the Intelsat Americas 8 satellite at 89°W [1] and is also airing their live coverage of Katrina through their website.

Official Link

Broadcast television in the New Orleans market

WWL 4 (CBS) - WDSU 6 (NBC) - WVUE 8 (Fox) - WYES 12 (PBS) - WHNO 20 (LeSea) - WGNO 26 (ABC) - WLAE 32 (PBS) - WNOL 38 (WB) - WPXL 49 (i) - WUPL 54 (UPN)

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