It signed on March 9, 1987 as an independent station, the first new full-power station in the Charlotte area since WCTU-TV (now WCNC-TV) signed on in 1967. The station was originally licensed as WMHU in 1986, changing its calls to WJZY in November because no Charlotte-area station had ever used a "J" or a "Z" in its callsign before. Former Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt was part of the group that owned the station. It ran a format of cartoons, westerns, old movies and drama shows. Almost immediately, it displaced Washington, D.C.'s WDCA from Charlotte-area cable systems; WDCA had been available in the Charlotte area since cable television arrived in Charlotte in the early 1970s.
Less than a year later, Capitol Broadcasting, owners of WRAL-TV in Raleigh, bought the station. At that time classic sitcoms, more recent off-network sitcoms, and more recent movies were mixed in. When WFVT (channel 55, later WWWB and now WMYT) signed on, WJZY operated the station under a local marketing agreement until Capitol bought the station outright in 2001.
It became a charter UPN affiliate on January 16, 1995. Starting in the mid 1990's, the station added more talk and reality shows and moved away from classic sitcoms and movies. In 2003 the kids shows were dropped after UPN ended its Disney kids block. At one point, it was tied with WUPA, the UPN O&O in Atlanta, as the network's fifth-strongest station. It was the over-the-air home of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets from 1992 until the team left for New Orleans in 2002, and was the over-the-air home of the Charlotte Bobcats from 2004 until 2006 when WMYT gained the rights.
On March 1, 2006; Capitol Broadcasting officials confirmed that WJZY would affiliate with The CW Television Network in the fall. This made WJZY the first UPN affiliate not owned and operated outside The CW's core group of WB stations owned by Tribune Broadcasting and UPN stations owned by CBS Corporation to join the new network In addition, sister station WMYT affiliated with MyNetworkTV, which made Capitol Broadcasting the first company to own both a CW affiliate and a MyNetworkTV affiliate in the same market. While most experts believed WJZY would get the CW affiliation, it would not have been an upset had WMYT gained the affiliation instead. CW officials were on record as preferring the "strongest" WB and UPN affiliates, and Charlotte was one of the few markets where the UPN and WB affiliates were both relatively strong.
Originally, WJZY was to be rebranded as 'CW 8' once the CW affiliation took place, which would have reflected its cable channel. However, it later scrapped these plans and now brands itself as 'CW 46.'
|Channel||Programming||Digital Cable Channel|
|46.1 / 47.1||WJZY-HD (main WJZY/CW programming)||TWC 250|
|46.2 / 47.2||WJZY-SD||TWC 251|