C.J. LeMaster

C.J. LeMaster

Chief Investigative Reporter

Jackson, MS

C.J. LeMaster has served as WLBT’s Chief Investigative Reporter since April 2016.

Since then, he’s exposed problems with the Hinds County criminal justice system, highlighted potential secrecy regarding unethical conduct among Mississippi educators, revealed a prison extortion scheme that stretched across the state and investigated municipalities which violated state law by keeping documents from the public.

In one case, the Mississippi Ethics Commission ruled the city of Jackson violated the state's public records act by denying WLBT settlement agreements executed by the city as part of a 3 On Your Side investigation into the spending of taxpayer dollars.

Most recently, exclusive information uncovered during a 3 On Your Side investigation into recent deadly officer-involved shootings and a lack of transparency by the Jackson Police Department helped lead to a reversal in a decades-old city policy that once prevented the release of the names of officers responsible in those shootings.

You can check out C.J.'s latest investigative pieces here.

Before coming to the Capital City as a reporter and weekend anchor in December 2013, C.J. worked at WTVA/WLOV in Tupelo, Mississippi, for nearly a decade in several roles, some of that while pursuing a broadcast journalism degree from Mississippi State.

After graduation, he got hired as a reporter there and then went on to anchor some of the station’s top-rated newscasts.

C.J. was raised in Booneville, where he began his journalism career at Northeast Mississippi Community College. He worked in both print and television during his time in college.

Over the years, C.J. has received more than a dozen Mississippi Associated Press awards ranging from photography to public affairs reporting and achievement. In 2018, C.J.'s investigative piece, 3 On Your Side Investigates: Access Denied won Best Investigative Report in the Southeast Regional Emmy's Excellence in my Market Awards, where journalists from television markets across five states compete. That same year, judges with the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recognized his investigative work on that story with an Emmy nomination.

In addition, several of C.J.’s stories warranted national coverage: among them, the active shooter situation at Delta State University, the historic April 2011 tornado outbreak and a 2013 ricin investigation that implicated a Mississippi man in a plot to poison President Barack Obama.

When he’s not working, C.J. enjoys finding new restaurants in central Mississippi and exploring the area with a camera to support his photography habit.

If you have something you want C.J. to look into, call the 3 On Your Side Investigates Line at 769-2300-TIP.


  • 2018 Emmy Nomination, Best Investigative Report
  • 2018 Excellence in my Market Award, Best Investigative Report
  • 2017 AP Award, Best Investigative Report (Third Place)
  • 2014 AP Award, Best Spot News
  • 2013 AP Award, Best Feature Photography
  • 2013 AP Award, Achievement
  • 2013 AP Award, Franchise Reporting
  • 2012 AP Award, Achievement
  • 2012 AP Award, Franchise Reporting
  • 2012 AP Award, Best News Photography
  • 2012 AP Award, Best News Photography
  • 2012 AP Award, Spot News Story
  • 2011 AP Award, Best Feature Photography
  • 2010 AP Award, Best Feature Story
  • 2004 Emmy Nomination, First Down on FOX – WLOV-TV


  • Mississippi State University, Broadcasting/Public Relations

Recent Articles by C.J.

Analysis: COVID-19 vaccinations in Miss. plunge more than 60 percent over last five weeks

  Fondren restaurant owners say protesters keep harassing their customers without fear of arrest

  With weekly COVID cases increasing slightly in Miss., vaccine hesitancy remains a concern

Reeves to Biden: Trust governors to govern their states

  MSDH issues last-minute guidelines for worship services ahead of Easter Sunday

  Capital City homicides surge 70% over last year, the deadliest in Jackson history

  Reeves: ‘Vaccine hesitancy’ making it harder to get more shots in Mississippians’ arms

  Expert: State’s health care system starting to ‘crumble’ from pandemic, other factors

Analysis: Percentage of COVID-19 vaccinations in Issaquena County ranks lowest in Mississippi

  ‘We’re... on the front lines every day’: Restaurant workers frustrated by not being included for vaccine

After multiple robberies, Jackson ministry claims city has a ‘Godless spirit of evil’ over it

  Reeves: Rollback of some COVID-19 restrictions in Mississippi will begin over next seven days

MDOT’s limited resources likely worsened winter storm’s impact on central Mississippi

  COVID-19 hospitalizations in Mississippi drop 55% over five weeks

  ‘We don’t want barriers:’ As thousands travel into Miss. for vaccine, MSDH says ID checks aren’t the answer

  AG’s ‘last-minute’ opinion on candidate residency requirements leaves election officials puzzled

  COVID-19 patients describe lingering effects weeks after virus

In just hours, 20,000 Mississippians sign up for coronavirus vaccine

  Thousands of vaccine doses intended for state’s most vulnerable still waiting to be administered

  Debate intensifies over free speech rights of conservatives on social media

  Pandemic pushes long wait times even higher for some ambulances transferring patients in Mississippi

  Dobbs: COVID-19 vaccine timeline hard to determine due to uncertainty of supply

  Audit requested by MDOC commissioner finds hundreds of thousands in misspent funds by previous administration

  Conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccine gain traction among Mississippians on social media

  Rep. Palazzo: Election fraud fight not over despite SCOTUS rejecting Texas lawsuit he supported

  Health care workers will get COVID-19 vaccine first in Miss., but not all will be required to take it

COVID-19 cases, daily hospitalizations surge to all-time highs despite warnings from state health experts

  As transition to Biden presidency officially begins, Miss. congressional delegation remains silent

  DeSoto County tops state in COVID-19 cases as some officials there downplay pandemic

  Demand for new Mississippi flag soars despite limited local supply