Television arrived in Jacksonville in 1949, 28 years after Philo Farnsworth invented the first TV. WMBR-TV signed on channel 4 from a post-war Quonset hut building at the southern end of Main Street Bridge (Alsop Bridge). It was a CBS and DuMont network affiliate. It was also the state's second TV station. In 1958 the station changed its call letters to WJXT.
A second Jacksonville TV station, WJHP-TV, followed in 1953 on UHF channel 36 with NBC and ABC affiliations. It was owned by the Jacksonville Journal, the city's afternoon newspaper. The station went dark four years later unable to overcome the difficulties of UHF technology.
In 1957 WFGA-TV launched channel 12 as an NBC network affiliate and became known as the first TV station in the U.S. to be built from the ground-up as a color broadcasting station. In 1974 new owners changed the call letters to WTLV. At one point it swapped networks to ABC and then back to NBC.
A community-owned TV station signed on WJCT-TV, channel 7, in 1958. It began as an educational station with N.E.T. as its primary network. Later it transitioned into a public station member of PBS.
An ABC Network station, WJKS, began transmitting on channel 17 in 1966. Today it is a CW Network affiliate under the call letters WCWJ.
From monochrome to color, VHF to UHF, analogue to digital, Jacksonville TV stations gained national recognition for proactive community involvement leading to social and political change.