Chronology data should be put on the appropriate chronology page ("Chronology of call letters WGCL") .
Other material must be reorganized into appropriate categories of articles.
WGCL-TV, virtual channel 46.1 (digital channel 19) is the CBS television station serving the Atlanta, Georgia area. Its city of license is Atlanta, and the station is owned by Meredith Corporation, making it the largest-market CBS station not owned by the network. It was the largest affiliate of any of the original "Big Three" networks (ABC, CBS or NBC) on analog UHF prior to the digital TV transition, and remains the largest such station to identify via PSIP with a channel number above the traditional 2-13 VHF range.
The station transmits from the "Richland" site near North Druid Hills from the east tower, along with several other stations. The station's digital TV signal on channel 19 formerly datacasted TV Guide On Screen for the area.
|Branding||CBS Atlanta (general)
CBS Atlanta News (newscasts)
|Slogan||We Ask the Tough Questions|
|Channels||Digital: 19 (UHF)Virtual: 46 (PSIP),809/108.1 (Comcast)|
|Subchannels||46.1 - CBS (1080i)46.2 - March Madness (480i)|
|First air date||June 6, 1971|
|Call letters' meaning||Georgia's CLear News(former slogan)|
|Former callsigns||WHAE-TV (1971-1977)
WANX-TV (1977-1984) WGNX (1984-2000)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
|Former affiliations||independent (1971-1994)|
|Transmitter power||1000 kW (digital)|
|Height||329 m (digital)|
|Transmitter coordinates||33°48′26.3″N 84°20′21.5″W / 33.807306°N 84.339306°W / 33.807306; -84.339306|
Channel 46 first went on the air on June 6, 1971. It was originally owned by the Continental Broadcasting Network, an arm of Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network. Its original broadcast callsign was WHAE-TV, which stood for "Heaven And Earth." It originally was programmed for an eight-hour broadcast day. It also had a low-budget lineup consisting of a few hours of general entertainment and another few hours of religious shows per day. It ran only religious programming on Sundays.
By 1976, the station had expanded to a 20-hour broadcast day, airing cartoons, classic sitcoms, family dramas, westerns, and religious programming (including The 700 Club twice a day) on weekdays. Children's programming, westerns and movies were shown on Saturdays and the station continued to air strictly religious programming on Sundays until the fall of 1980. At that time, it began to run general entertainment programming during the afternoon. In 1977, it changed calls to WANX-TV, which stood for "Atlanta IN Christ (X)." It also began offering more mainstream programming. However, it didn't air any programming that would offend fundamentalist/Pentecostal sensibilities.
The station was bought by Chicago-based Tribune Broadcasting in 1984. Tribune changed its call letters once again, this time to WGNX, named after then-sister station in Chicago WGN-TV: it took WGN, and added an X from the previous callsign (essentially WGN + WANX). The 700 Club was now only broadcast once a day, before being dropped altogether until 2007, when WGCL once again broadcast the show. The station continued to air a similar entertainment lineup, but began airing shows that it would not have aired under CBN ownership.
In 1989, WGNX started its first ever newscast, Channel 46 News at Ten, a seven-night-a-week, 10–11 p.m. newscast. When Tribune partnered with Time Warner to form the new WB Network, WGNX was slated to become the new network's Atlanta affiliate when that network launched in January 1995.
Those plans came to a halt on May 22, 1994, however. On that day, New World Communications announced an affiliation agreement with the Fox Broadcasting Company, months after Fox won the broadcast rights to NFC football games. This resulted in most of its stations set to become Fox affiliates. One of the stations due to switch was Atlanta's longtime CBS affiliate, WAGA-TV. CBS needed to find a new affiliate, but neither WGNX nor Atlanta's original Fox affiliate, WATL, were interested at first. Fearing it would have no affiliate in Atlanta, CBS made a deal to buy WVEU, a low-rated station on channel 69 with the weakest signal of Atlanta's full-power stations in October 1994. Around the same time that the WB launched, another new network, the United Paramount Network (UPN), co-owned by Paramount Pictures/Viacom and Chris-Craft Industries, was set to launch, and with all the other events going on, WATL would have most likely become the UPN affiliate for Atlanta. However, CBS still wanted to affiliate with a station that people were more familiar with (and that had a functioning news department). For several months, it continued to negotiate with Tribune, who finally relented in November and allowed WGNX to become a CBS affiliate.
This move left WGNX with cartoons and sitcoms that it would no longer have time to air as a CBS affiliate, so it sold some of its syndicated programming to WVEU, which became the UPN affiliate (while WATL joined the WB), and was later sold to Viacom, which changed its calls to WUPA. As a CBS station, WGNX moved the 10 p.m. newscast to 11 p.m. and added newscasts at Noon (12 p.m.) and 6 p.m., as well as a short-lived 7:30 p.m. newscast, and more syndicated talk and reality shows. It would add on a short-lived 5 p.m. newscast, a morning newscast, and a 4 p.m. newscast as well. It also began calling itself "CBS46," though these references were mostly verbal; graphics continued to refer to "channel 46."
Tribune began to manage the station in tandem with WATL in 1996 under a local marketing agreement. In 1998, Tribune swapped WGNX to Meredith Corporation in a three-way deal which saw Tribune acquire KCPQ in Seattle from Kelly Broadcasting; that deal allowed Tribune to buy WATL outright the next year. Also around the same time, WGNX began branding as "CBS Atlanta."
The station changed its calls to WGCL-TV in 2000 to reflect its new branding tagline, We're Georgia's CLear TV, along with "Clear News", a soft news concept. A few months later, WGCL was "CBS Atlanta" again, then two years later readopted the "CBS 46" moniker.
On June 20, 2007, WGCL's website underwent a redesign as part of a partnership between Meredith Corporation and Internet Broadcasting, following the successful testing of the websites of five of its sister stations, which had joined Internet Broadcasting the year before. WGCL's website was the sixth Meredith station website to switch from WorldNow to Internet Broadcasting.
In March 2009, Meredith announced that WGCL would begin handling the master control operations of WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tennessee and WHNS in Greenville, South Carolina. The new hub operation is scheduled to begin operations by the end of 2009. Three other stations—KCTV in Kansas City, Missouri, WFSB in Hartford, Connecticut and WNEM-TV in Saginaw, Michigan—were later added to the WGCL hub; those three stations are slated to go online at the hub sometime in 2010. A similar hub is planned at sister station KPHO-TV in Phoenix, Arizona to handle stations in Portland, Oregon (KPTV and KPDX) and Las Vegas, Nevada (KVVU). 
As a CBS affiliate, WGCL has struggled in the local viewership ratings, usually ranking fourth behind WSB-TV, WAGA and WXIA-TV. As such, WGCL has been one of CBS' weaker affiliates. In contrast, WAGA was one of CBS' strongest affiliates. However, in the last three Nielsen ratings periods, it has traded third and fourth place with WXIA-TV.
Although the DTV Delay Act extended the mandatory shutdown of analog television until June 12, WGCL-TV applied to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to end its transmissions on February 17, the original deadline. However, the station did not appear on the FCC list of such stations, which was released on February 11. (WATC TV 57 and WGTV TV 8 were the other local stations on this list.) Since then, the station ran crawls that indicated that it would switch on June 12. The station applied to be an "analog nightlight" station, ending its regular programming on June 12 as required by law, but continuing to broadcast information regarding the DTV transition for an additional two weeks until June 26. (This is the same bilingual subtitled loop, alternating in English and Spanish, as was seen on several other nightlight stations across the country.)
After this, WYGA-CA may be allowed to increase its analog LPTV signal on adjacent channel 45, as it was forced from channel 55 by MediaFLO, and has been operating on special temporary authority (STA) at very low power to protect adjacent-channel WGCL from RF interference. WSB-TV 39 (2.x) may be also allowed to begin transmitting a co-channel digital TV fill-in translator from south of Gainesville. Both are pending FCC approval of their applications, and WSB also filed for an STA to begin as soon as possible after WGCL ended analog transmissions.
High-definition and multi-channel
On Sunday January 11, 2009, WGCL became the third station (behind WSB-TV 2.1 and WXIA-TV 11.1) to broadcast TV news in high definition. With the switch to HD, WGCL has rebranded back to CBS Atlanta, which it used in 1999 and 2002. Like most CBS stations, it transmits in 1080i mode.
Current news staff
Former on-air staff
News Music Packages