WABM (Channel 68, called My 68) is the Birmingham/Anniston/Tuscaloosa affliate for MyNetwork TV. The station is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting Group. The station's offices are located at 651 Beacon Parkway West.
WABM started in 1986 as an independent television station known with the call letters WCAJ, first carrying religious programming, some of which were Catholic shows from the nearby Eternal Word Television Network, as well as programming from the Southern Baptist Convention's ACTS Network. The original studios were located on the campus of Samford University. Due to poor ratings, the station began airing home shopping programming and infomericals while keeping religious shows for part of the day.
In 1990 the station was sold to Krypton Broadcasting, who changed the call letters to WABM and switched the station to a general entertainment format with old movies, dramas, and westerns. After former independents WTTO, WDBB and WNAL joined forces they sold off some of their unused sitcom and cartoon properties to WABM. WTTO also became the FOX network affiliate and aired a stronger grade A signal throughout the listening area while WABM got by on a grade B signal which was limited to Birmingham.
Meanwhile, WABM's owner had its own financial difficulties. Krypton sold WABM's sister stations in West Palm Beach (WTVX-34) and Jacksonville, Florida (WNFT-47). In 1993 WABM itself was sold to a small ownership group which would begin a local marketing agreement with WTTO, which was then owned by Abry. Under the agreement, WTTO and WABM pooled shows, the stations ran separate schedules, and WTTO sold ad time on WABM.
In early 1995, WABM became one of the charter affiliates of the UPN television network. By that time, the Sinclair Broadcast Group had bought out Abry, but continued the stations' agreement. WABM remained a UPN affiliate even through the Big Switch of '96, which saw longtime ABC affiliate WBRC 6 switch over to Fox. In March 1998, Sinclair and UPN had a fallout, and as a result, WABM dropped UPN for nearly 6 months, airing syndicated movies instead. Sinclair and UPN would eventually come to an agreement, and WABM once again became a UPN affiliate. Sinclair bought WABM outright in 2001.
Over the years, the station moved away from classic sitcoms, movies, and syndicated cartoons and aired more recent sitcoms as well as talk shows, reality shows, and court shows. They still continued to air cartoons on weekday mornings until the fall of 2003 when UPN ended its cartoon block nationally.
On March 1, 2006, Sinclair and Fox announced that WABM would become an affiliate of Fox's second network, MyNetwork TV, beginning that fall as UPN and the WB merged to form the CW Television Network, which is seen on WTTO. WABM is also considering taking Fox's 4Kids TV Saturday Morning kids block. WTTO had aired Fox Kids after losing the main Fox affiliation from 1996 until 2000, after that, it did not even air on WBRC, a situation that continues with 4Kids TV. This took effect on September 5, 2006.