At the end of the 2nd World War - America was entering one of the most prosperous times in history. WDOD published a brochure to share their optimism, specific to the Southeast, and WDOD.
You'll note TV is featured as an exciting technology to come. By the early 1950s - WDOD's management was pursuing an application with the FCC, and had every reason to believe it would be granted a license.
But fate would take another direction - and instead, the owners of WAPO were awarded the license. This became WRPG - later WRCB TV-3.
The FCC examiner J.D. Bond's choice of WAPO over WDOD was reported in the trades.
"...as his belief that WAPO proposed superior programs, was more likely to carry out proposals. He also said WAPO's operating principals (R. G. Patterson and Will Cummings) have superior radio experience, will engage in "meaningful operating participation." SOURCE: Television Digest Jul 10, 1954
Obviously, there were other reasons than those stated, as Will Cummings, a well-known retired Hamilton County Judge, had no previous broadcast experience. Ramon G. Patterson had worked with his father at WAPO since 1936. After his father, and later his mother's death - he purchased controlling share in WAPO from his sister in 1952 - just two years before the application with the FCC. Note: WAPO-AM later became WGOW-AM.
Considering Mr. Winger & Mr. Thomas', quarter of a century in broadcast ownership, I can only imagine the crushing emotional loss they endured.
Winger & Thomas filed a petition to reopen the record of the FCC's decision - resulting in multiple hearings and over 60 witnesses. But the decision of the Examiner was sustained and awarded Channel 3 to Mountain City Television, Inc.
Two FCC commissioners dissented with the majority, including Chairman George McConnaughey. Commissioner Lee dissented with comments…
I dissent. I am convinced that we should approve the application of WDOD Broadcasting Corporation to operate a new television station on Channel 3 at Chattanooga, Tenn. The first ground on which I would prefer WDOD over its opponent, Mountain City, is the superior broadcast experience of its principals. The partners of WDOD, Mr. Earl A. Winger and Mr. Norman A. Thomas, have spent a lifetime in radio. SOURCE: FCCWDOD Broadcasting Corporation et al. Jul 8, 1956