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However, like most major network affiliates in the early 1980s, WREG-TV began cutting back on the large number of movies that occupied much of its off-network schedule, a move prompted by the presence of cable, VCRs, and the emergence of then-independent competitors WPTY (channel 24, now ABC affiliate WATN-TV) in 1978 and WMKW (channel 30, now CW affiliate WLMT) in 1983.
The station presently broadcasts 40½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 6½ hours on weekdays, 4½ hours on Saturdays and 3½ hours on Sundays).
Since the February 2014 sweeps period, the station's newscasts have placed first in all time slots. newscast, WREG-TV became the third station in the Memphis market (behind WMC-TV and WHBQ-TV) to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition.
The switch came with a refresh of the newsroom set and new graphics, however major technical glitches occurred during the week following the conversion.
The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 28, using PSIP to display WREG-TV's virtual channel as 3 on digital television receivers.
Four years later, the Times Company built new studio facilities for WREC on one of the highest points on Chickasaw Bluff, overlooking the Mississippi River.
For more than two decades, WREG has been in a Nielsen ratings war for first place with longtime powerhouse WMC-TV.
WREG did not actually win a ratings period, however, until February 2006 after it paired former WHBQ anchor Claudia Barr and former WMC morning anchor Richard Ransom as its main evening anchors.
The station is owned by the Tribune Broadcasting subsidiary of the Tribune Media Company.
WREG maintains studios located at Channel 3 Drive (off of I-55) near the Mississippi River on the west side of Memphis, and its transmitter is located between I-40 and Whitten Road, approximately 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Bartlett.
Throughout the early 1960s into the late 1980s, WREC/WREG claimed to possess the largest feature film library of any television station in the United States, which was evidenced in its daily (late afternoons and late nights) and weekend programming lineup at the time.