WAPI-TV (formerly WABT-TV) was a television station which was broadcast across Central Alabama from Red Mountain on Channel 13 from 1954 to 1980.
WAPI was the successor to Alabama's first television station, WAFM-TV, which went on the air on July 1, 1949 with a mix of programs from the ABC and CBS networks. In 1953 the station was sold to the Birmingham News along with WAPI-AM and WAPI-FM and, a year later, it swapped networks with WBRC 6 to become the city's NBC affiliate. The new owners first changed the call letters to WABT (for Alabama's Best in Television), before switching to WAPI-TV in 1958, after the News was purchased by Newhouse. In 1961 the station became Birmingham's home for CBS programming. Later it resumed broadcasting the NBC network.
The new call letters, which originally referred to the Alabama Polytechnic Institute, were adopted to reflect the station's relationship with the long-established WAPI-AM and newly-created WAPI-FM. The three stations had been sold to the Birmingham News in 1953.
In 1954 WAFM swapped networks with WBRC 6 to become an NBC affiliate. The new owners first changed the call letters to WABT, before switching to WAPI-TV in 1958, after the News was purchased by Newhouse. In 1961 the station became Birmingham's home for CBS programming. Later it resumed broadcasting the NBC network.
WAPI began airing a kid's magazine news program, "Kidsworld 13" in 1979.
The ownership and name remained the same through the late 1970s, but in 1980 Newhouse's Advance Publications group left the broadcasting business and sold the station to Times-Mirror Broadcasting, from whom it took its current name. News director Wendell Harris was promoted to vice-president for Times-Mirror and reassigned to Austin, Texas.
|Birmingham NBC affiliate
|Birmingham CBS affiliate
- Pam Huff (1977–)
- Rosemary Lucas ( - 1980)
- "Radio & TV" at Birmingham Rewound
- "A Bit on 13..." at Birmingham TV News