The station's call letters were named for its founder, Atlanta entrepreneur r.The station's original studio and transmitter facility was located at 1018 West Peachtree Street Northwest, which had formerly served as the studios of then-CBS affiliate WAGA-TV (channel 5, now a Fox owned-and-operated station).But due to network commitments, the three major affiliates could only keep programs for a few years at a time.Turner would then buy the rights to the shows that the major affiliates did not renew for nearly half the price of the original purchase.Channel 17 was launched on a shoestring budget, with an afternoon and evening schedule (running from to p.m.) filled with older movies and a few off-network reruns (such as Father Knows Best, The Danny Thomas Show, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and The Rifleman), as well as a 15-minute news program.In addition to placing daily ads in the Atlanta Journal-Constitutions television listings page, WJRJ-TV ran exactly one TV Guide advertisement: a half-page ad in a September 1967 issue of the magazine's Georgia edition with the headline, "Yes, Atlanta, there is a channel 17." Despite the fact that WJRJ had billed itself as "Good-looking Channel 17," technical snafus were the norm during the station's early months: film broke down, ID, advertising and program promotion slides frequently appeared backwards, and there were often long pauses when nothing appeared on screen.
By 1974, the station had a conventional general entertainment format, with religious programs mixed in among its secular shows during morning and primetime slots (such as CBN's flagship program, The 700 Club).
Concurrently, WTBS was re-launched as WPCH, Peachtree TV, a traditional independent station serving the Atlanta market only.
Time Warner later relinquished day-to-day operations of WPCH to Meredith Corporation (owner of CBS affiliate WGCL), but retained ownership of the station's license until 2017, when it was sold to Meredith outright in order to expedite the acquisition of Time Warner by AT&T, as it was one of the few FCC-licensed properties owned by the company.
The channel broadcast a variety of programming during this era, including films, syndicated series, Atlanta Braves baseball, and professional wrestling (including Georgia Championship Wrestling, and later World Championship Wrestling [WCW]).
It was carried on cable and satellite television providers throughout the United States and Canada.