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WWL-TV/DT logo
New Orleans, Louisiana
Branding "Channel 4,WWL"
Slogan The Spirit of Louisiana, Louisiana's News Leader
Analog channel 4 (VHF)
Digital channel 36 (UHF)
Affiliations CBS
Owner Belo Corp.
Founded 1957
Call letters meaning World Wide Loyola (after Loyola University of New Orleans, former owner)
Former affiliations None
Website WWLTV.com

WWL-TV, "Channel 4 WWL", is the CBS television affiliate serving New Orleans, Louisiana. It broadcasts on Channel 4. Its Primary Studios and offices are located at 1024 N. Rampart Street in the historic French Quarter. Its transmitter is located at 4 Cooper Road in Gretna, Louisiana.



WWL-TV signed on the air in September of 1957 as the third television station in New Orleans. It was owned by Loyola University of New Orleans along with WWL radio. WWL-AM had been a CBS affiliate since 1935, so WWL-TV naturally joined CBS. It competed head to head with NBC affiliate WDSU in the 1960s and '70s. However, by the early 1980s, WWL had emerged as the market's ratings leader. The station has been the strongest CBS affiliate in the country for the past 20 years and more, aided by a strong programming lineup (with popular syndicated shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, and Live with Regis and Kelly), and the fact that it was unaffected by the market's affiliation switch in the mid-1990s. When Viacom, which owned UPN affiliate WUPL, merged with CBS in 2000, CBS did not even consider moving its affiliation from WWL to WUPL.

In 1989, Loyola sold its media properties to different owners. WWL-TV's employees formed a group called Rampart Broadcasting (named after the station's studios on Rampart Street in the French Quarter, led by general manager J. Michael Early, and bought the station. It was the first (and thus far, only) time an employee-investor group acquired a local television station. Belo Corporation bought the station in 1994.

Despite having been owned by a Roman Catholic organization, WWL-TV had always been a commercial television station, and showed almost no connection to its religious background (other than broadcasting the Sunday Mass, which the station had done for many years until recently).

In 2005, Viacom sold WUPL to Belo. If federal regulators approve, this will create a duopoly with WWL and WUPL.


WWL-TV dropped "CBS News This Morning" from its schedule many years ago due to low ratings. The station replaced it with more local news. The Early Show is also absent from WWL's schedule (and has been for more than 15 years). However, WWL carries all other programs from CBS. (The Early Show was added to WUPL's schedule in April 2005.)

The station has used the Eyewitness News format for many years, and according to local AC Nielsen ratings, has had the leading newscast in New Orleans for at least 20 years. The station's morning newscast now runs from 5–9am.

As aforementioned, WWL-TV has a strong syndicated programming lineup. However, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! moved to WVUE once the contract with WWL-TV expired.

Hurricane Katrina

WWL began 24-hour continuous coverage on Saturday August 27th, from its New Orleans Studio. At 10:45pm CDT Sunday, operations moved to the journalism school at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. LSU students and staff helped produce the telecast, with WWL-TV staff, in a 'bare bones' fashion.

The station returned to its Rampart Street studios in New Orleans Monday afternoon at 4pm for a time. Flooding forced the station to again move operations back to LSU, as well as a makeshift studio at the transmitter site in Gretna. The station is relaying its signal via fiber optics, and the use of a satellite truck from sister station KHOU in Houston.

Beginning Thursday September 1, the station again moved operations to the studios of Louisiana Public Broadcasting -- with a simulcast on LPB's statewide network. Some late-night programming has consisted of repeat broadcasts - and simulcast of CNN's live overnight coverage.

As of 5AM CDT, Monday October 3rd, WWL-TV resumed full operations at the North Rampart studio facilities.


The station's online presence has continued throughout the storm, with text, video and photo coverage.

On Monday, traffic jumped to more than 6 million page views, 17 times higher than the previous Monday.

Online streaming had been provided by the Belo network, CBSNews.com throughout the last few days on and off. Belo on Friday made an agreement with Yahoo for continued exclusive hosting of WWL's webstream over their video services.

The most current link to online coverage can be found at WWLTV.com.

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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