About WATNThe station, WPTY-TV, first signed on the air on September 10, 1978. It was the first station on the UHF band, the first independent station in the market, and the first new commercial station to sign on in Memphis since WREG-TV (channel 3) debuted 23 years earlier. At the time, Memphis had a population of almost 650,000 people, making it a medium-sized market due to the surrounding suburban and rural areas being similarly sized to the city itself.
WPTY-TV originally operated from studios located at 2225 Union Avenue in Memphis. The station's debut marked a significant milestone in the city, as it had a longer wait for an independent station than other cities of similar size.