About WDEF 12The station, which has always been a primary CBS affiliate, signed on the air on April 25, 1954, carrying programming from all four networks. It was owned by Joe Engel, who also owned the Chattanooga Lookouts minor league baseball team, as well as WDEF radio (AM 1370, now WXCT) and WDEF-FM (92.3 MHz). The station took the CBS affiliation from WROM-TV (now WTVC, channel 9). In 1956, it lost the NBC affiliation to WRGP-TV (now WRCB-TV), and in 1958 it lost the ABC affiliation to WTVC (the former WROM). During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.
Throughout its history, the station has consistently been affiliated with CBS, but has also carried programming from other networks at various points in time. Its current focus on CBS programming is a result of its long-standing affiliation with the network and its continued success in the market.