This Day in History Kalamazoo’s Only TV Station Launched
Did you know WWMT Channel 3 turns 72-years-old today?
Many of us have grown up with channel 3 and the many talented anchors, reporters, and meteorologists along the way. Keith Thompson, for example, has been forecasting weather for West Michigan at WWMT for over 33 years and counting. WWMT, originally WKZO-TV, was only the second television station in West Michigan as it launched just a year after WLAV-TV in Grand Rapids, now known as WOOD-TV. John Earl Fetzer made his dream come true by launching the 5th television station in the state of Michigan according to WWMT,
With a group of engineers and a room at the Burdick Hotel in downtown Kalamazoo, Mr. Fetzer's dream was soon a reality and WKZO-TV 3 debuted as West Michigan's CBS affiliate on June 1, 1950.
At one time Fetzer Broadcasting owned both WKZO-AM and WKZO-TV. After some FCC nonsense I won't bore you with and a change of ownership, WKZO-TV became WWMT-TV in 1985. WWMT apparently was meant to stand for "We're West Michigan Television," according to Wikipedia.
My memories of WWMT begin in the late '80s and early '90s. Let's see if these former channel 3 personalities ring a bell:
Shanley was a news anchor for WWMT Channel 3 through some of the 80s and 90s for a total of 11 years.
Koch was Channel 3's Sports Director for at least 10 years. He left the station at the end of 2004.
Markee was one of WWMT's longest-running personalities with 22 years under her belt. Judy Markee was an anchor in different time slots on Channel 3 from 1989 through 2011.
Anchored the station's first-morning show beginning in 1989.
We can't forget Keith Thompson who is the TV station's longest-running talent who joined WWMT in April of 1989.