But it also has had problems in the outlying counties of Georgia and Alabama with established NBC stations WSB-TV in Atlanta (later WXIA-TV, after an affiliation change in that market), WALB in Albany, Georgia, and Montgomery, Alabama's WSFA, whose signals often turned up quite clearly (in pre-cable days) in many of those areas, constituting an encroachment of sorts. In fact, the original owners of WYEA, Gala Broadcasting, attempted unsuccessfully to legally block WSFA's plans to build a new tower in southeastern Alabama, fearing that it would cut into channel 38's proposed market share.
The new station went on the air anyway, on October 29, 1970, taking the NBC affiliation from WTVM, which became a full affiliate of ABC. Later in the 1970s, WYEA became the flagship station of locally-based insurance company Aflac's broadcast operations. In 1981, Aflac sold WYEA to J. Curtis Lewis, owner of WJCL-TV, WTGS, and WJCL-FM in Savannah, WLTX, WNOK FM in Columbia, South Carolina, and WSTZ-FM and AM in Jackson, Mississippi. On August 31, 1981, channel 38 changed its callsign to WLTZ.
In May 2007, Lewis sold WLTZ, his last remaining station, to SagamoreHill Broadcasting
Channel 38's newscasts were never competitive against WTVM and WRBL, despite a credible effort to make a dent in the ratings. Al Fleming, Columbus broadcast veteran and former nightclub owner, was once anchor of these newscasts, as was Richard Elliot, later of WRBL and WSB-TV. However, WLTZ had almost no success against WTVM and WRBL, and finally canceled its newscasts in 1993. For the next 14 years, while news ran on the other Columbus stations, channel 38 broadcasts syndicated shows instead, with taped news updates that ran only three minutes.
In November 2007, after a 14-year hiatus, the station relaunched news operations, utilizing local reporters and anchors from Independent News Network. The station partners with the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer for resources and coverage.
On May 29, 2008, WLTZ became the first in Columbus and the third in the state of Georgia to broadcast news in high definition.