KWHB, virtual channel 47 (UHF digital channel 48), is a LeSEA owned-and-operated television station located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States. The station is owned by the LeSEA Broadcasting Corporation. KWHB maintains studio facilities located on South Memorial Drive (just east of the Chimney Hills addition) in southeastern Tulsa, and its transmitter is located near South 273rd Avenue East and the Muskogee Turnpike (near Broken Arrow) in southeastern Tulsa County. On cable, the station is available on Cox Communications channel 7.
The station first signed on the air in 1985 as KTCT (the callsign is believed to stand for "Tulsa Christian Television"); originally operating as a religious independent station, it was founded by Coit Drapery and Cleaners, Inc. Channel 47's initial schedule consisted of Christian programming from the PTL Satellite Network, including shows such as The PTL Club, Heritage Village USA and 100 Huntley Street, as well as programs from televangelists such as Kenneth Copeland, Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggart and Richard Roberts.
KTCT suffered from financial problems early on, and reduced its programming schedule to approximately six hours a day by that winter; the station was put up for sale thereafter. Coit Drapery and Cleaners wanted to sell the station to a Christian religious broadcast ministry. Soon after, South Bend, Indiana-based LeSEA Evangelistic Ministries (also known as World Harvest Ministries), headed by the late Lester Sumrall and his sons, announced that it would purchase the station. After the LeSEA acquisition was finalized in 1986, the station changed its callsign to KWHB; it initially retained some PTL programming and added shows such as The 700 Club, LeSEA Alive, Lester Sumerall Teaches and televangelism programs from pastors such as Dwight Thompson. By 1987, KWHB also added secular family-oriented entertainment programming on weekday afternoons between 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. and from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and began accepting traditional commercial advertising during secular programming hours.
After KGCT (channel 41, now KMYT-TV) went dark in 1987 after an ice storm caused the collapse of its transmission tower (its owners were unable to construct a new tower due to a lack of funds), KWHB acquired select cartoons that were previously aired on that station. Over the years, KWHB has carried various syndicated reruns from the 1950s to the 2000s such as The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, Mister Ed, The Little Rascals, Dennis The Menace (both the live-action sitcom and the animated series), The Brady Bunch, I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, Bonanza, The Cosby Show, The Jetsons, Yogi's Gang, DuckTales and Everybody Loves Raymond. Although the station ran a decent amount of general entertainment programming, the Tulsa edition of TV Guide never included KWHB in its listings for undisclosed reasons, an unusual situation given that the magazine had provided listings for full-time Christian television stations in its other regional editions.
When that network launched on January 11, 1995, KWHB became an charter affiliate of The WB; that September, it began carrying the network's newly launched children's program lineup Kids' WB. The WB affiliation on KWHB was rather informal, as it only carried the network's family-oriented primetime shows (such as The Parent 'Hood, Sister, Sister and 7th Heaven); because of KWHB's ownership by a religious broadcaster, the station declined to clear network programs whose content that the station deemed inappropriate for it to broadcast under LeSEA's strict content standards. As a result, The WB did not have a full-time affiliate in the Tulsa market during the first four years of the network's existence; WB programs that were preempted by KWHB during this timeframe were available in the market on cable and satellite through Chicago-based superstation WGN, which carried WB programming nationally from the network's January 1995 launch until October 1999. In September 1999, the Cascade Broadcasting Group launched KWBT (channel 19, now CW affiliate KQCW-DT); that station chose to carry The WB's entire programming schedule; at that point, the Kids' WB blocks and the few WB primetime shows that KWHB carried moved to channel 19.
KWHB has since reduced its secular programming slightly (consisting of sitcoms, drama series and lifestyle programs) to 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. each weekday and a scattered amount for a few hours a day on Saturdays and an hour on Sundays, along with carrying children's programs complying with the Federal Communications Commission's educational programming guidelines for three hours on Saturday mornings.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|47.1||480i||4:3||KWHB-D1||Main KWHB-TV programming / LeSEA|
KWHB shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 47, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 48 to channel 47.
Syndicated religious programs broadcast by KWHB include the Believer's Voice of Victory, Life Today, The Gospel Truth with Andrew Wommack, Jack Van Impe Presents and In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley. Syndicated secular programs seen on the station include The Andy Griffith Show, Little House on the Prairie, AgDay, America Now and Everybody Loves Raymond.