Alabama – WSFA 12

About WSFA 12

The station's call letters—SFA—are an acronym for South's Finest Airport. They can be traced back to 1930, when Gordon Persons (years before becoming Governor of Alabama) opened a radio station at the Montgomery Regional Airport (now Gunter Annex of Maxwell Air Force Base). The new station was the state's fourth station but the city's first. WSFA radio quickly became a landmark in Montgomery and was most famous in its early days for launching the career of country music legend Hank Williams, a native of nearby Georgiana, in the 1940s.

By the mid-1950s, the new medium of television was sweeping the nation and Persons won the construction permit for Montgomery's second television station on VHF channel 12. This allocation was supposed to be occupied by Montgomery's first television station, CBS affiliate WCOV-TV. However, due to a delay in getting a transmitter for channel 12, WCOV was forced to move to UHF channel 20. Persons built a state-of-the-art facility on Delano Avenue to house both the television and radio stations in 1954, and WSFA-TV aired its first broadcast on December 25, 1954—a Christmas present to Alabama. Owing to WSFA radio's long affiliation with NBC, channel 12 has been Montgomery's NBC affiliate for its entire existence.

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