About WJHL 11WJHL-TV began broadcasting on October 26, 1953. It was owned by Hanes Lancaster, Sr. his son Hanes, Jr. and Jesse W. "Jay" Birdwell along with WJHL radio (910 AM, now WJCW; and FM 101.5, now WQUT).
The call letters stood for John H. Lancaster, Hanes, Sr.'s father and Hanes, Jr.'s grandfather, who had founded the AM station in 1938. Hanes, Jr., who was the radio station's sales manager, was intrigued by the potential of television, and pushed hard for building a television counterpart to WJHL radio. Hanes, Sr. was skeptical, but Hanes, Jr. lined up enough potential investors to persuade his father to take the project under his wing.