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WGXA
Macon, Georgia
Branding Fox 24 (general)

NewsCentral (newscasts) ABC 16 (on DT2)

Slogan Your Source For

Local News

Channels Digital: 16 (UHF)

Virtual: 24 (PSIP)

Subchannels 24.1 Fox

24.2 ABC

Owner Frontier Radio Management, Inc.

(Fox 24 of Macon License, LLC)

First air date April 21, 1982
Call letters' meaning exploits G and A from Georgia's postal code along with X from Fox
Former channel number(s) 24 (UHF analog, 1982-2009)
Former affiliations ABC (1982-1996)

MyNetworkTV (secondary, 2006-2009)

Transmitter power 1,000 kW
Height 216 m
Facility ID 58262
Transmitter coordinates 32°44′58.4″N 83°33′34.5″W / 32.749556°N 83.559583°W / 32.749556; -83.559583
Website newscentralga.com

It operates the area's ABC affiliate on a second digital subchannel. Known on-air as ABC 16, this can also be seen on Cox channel 15 and in high definition on digital channel 715. Syndicated programming on WGXA-DT2 includes: Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, Judge Hatchett, Divorce Court, and Matlock. The channel space for WGXA is split into two 720p high definition signals for the original service and the second digital subchannel. 720p is the native broadcasting format for both networks.[2]

Contents

[hide]*1 History

  • 2 Digital television
    • 2.1 Analog-to-digital conversion
  • 3 Programming
  • 4 News operation
    • 4.1 News/Station presentation
      • 4.1.1 Newscast titles
      • 4.1.2 Station slogans
    • 4.2 News team
      • 4.2.1 Current news staff
      • 4.2.2 Former staff
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

[edit] History

WGXA began broadcasting on April 21, 1982 as an ABC affiliate. It was the last of the big three stations in Middle Georgia after CBS affiliate WMAZ-TV and NBC affiliate WCWB-TV (now WMGT-TV). Prior to that time, ABC programming was only available to area residents either during the off-network hours (via tape delay) on WMAZ or on affiliates from nearby markets such as Atlanta's WXIA (later WSB-TV) or Columbus' WTVM. This made Macon one of the last markets in the country to get full network service.

During its years as an ABC affiliate, WGXA preempted various network news programs such as the Saturday and Sunday editions of World News Tonight (instead showing syndicated reruns of various shows), ABC World News This Morning (instead showing cartoons), Nightline (instead showing The Arsenio Hall Show) and This Week with David Brinkley. When NFL broadcasts moved from CBS to Fox in the early 1990s, WGXA aired them on Sunday afternoons until WPGA-TV signed-on as the area's first Fox affiliate in 1995. The station was purchased in July of that year by GOCOM Communications.

On January 1, 1996, WGXA and WPGA swapped affiliations resulting in this station becoming a full Fox affiliate and WPGA joining ABC. On September 5, 2006, the station added a secondary affiliation with Fox's new sister network MyNetworkTV. On July 6, 2009 it dropped MyNetworkTV which was then picked up by WMGT on a new second digital subchannel. On October 29, 2009 WPGA's owner, Register Communications, announced it would drop ABC and go independent on New Year's Day 2010. The company cited current network programming that is not "family-friendly", specifically homosexual content, as its reason for dropping ABC.[3] Shortly afterward, WGXA entered a long-term agreement with ABC and once again picked up the network as an affiliate on a new second digital subchannel. In effect, it regained the ABC affiliation given up fourteen years earlier.[4][5] The new channel is known on-air as "ABC 16" based on WGXA's physical digital broadcast channel.[6][7]

Cox had intended to remove WPGA from its lineup and place WGXA-DT2 on channel 6 and in high definition on digital channel 706. However on December 22, WPGA was granted a temporary restraining order requiring Cox to continue to carry that station on those channels. As a result, WGXA-DT2 will instead be seen on channel 15 pre-empting what is usually the channel space for The Inspiration Network until the settlement of WPGA's issues.[8] On April 30, 2010, the court dismissed WPGA's case, which would allow WGXA to be seen on Cox channels 6 and 706, while WPGA is moved to another channel. Register, however, will file an appeal; in light of this, the judge ordered Cox to leave WPGA at channels 6 and 706 until an appeals court hears the case. In addition, Register also filed a petition with an FCC over the status of WPGA.[9]

[edit] Digital television

[edit] Analog-to-digital conversion

On February 17, 2009, WGXA turned-off its analog transmitter at Noon and continued to broadcast its digital signal on channel 16 using PSIP to be displayed digital television as virtual channel 24.

[edit] Programming

In April 2010, WGXA-DT2 picked up Ellen from WPGA, which either dropped the show due to the aforementioned reasons for dropping ABC programming (DeGeneres is openly lesbian), or Warner Bros. Television's chagrin that one of its most popular series was airing on a now lower-tier independent station.[10]

[edit] News operation

Its news logo.Within a few months of signing-on, WGXA surged to second place behind WMAZ because its news product was far more modern than that of WCWB. For a brief time in the 1990s as an ABC affiliate, its weeknight 6 o'clock broadcast was repeated at 10 on WGNM. On January 5, 2008, it began airing a weekend edition of its 10 o'clock show. Starting March 1, 2010, there were new weeknight 7 and 11 o'clock broadcasts (along with weekday morning Good Morning America local cut-ins) added to WGXA-DT2 which required an expansion of the news department and personnel.[11] Those newscasts have a separate anchor team but utilize the same reporting, weather, and sports personnel. On that same day, the main channel also launched a weeknight newscast at 5:30.

In a report in the May 28, 2010 edition of The Macon Telegraph, it was announced that The Telegraph’s talk show hosts Kenny Burgamy and Charles Richardson, as well as veteran news anchor Liz Fabian, will no longer be airing its morning show on WPGA-TV and WPGA-FM (100.9 MHz) after July 20. [12] The morning news, talk, information and entertainment show moved to WGXA on July 26, 2010; the show airs weekdays from 6-7 a.m. on WGXA-DT2 and from 6-9 a.m. on the main WGXA-DT 24.1 and WMAC-AM (940 kHz).

[edit] News/Station presentation

[edit] Newscast titles

  • News 24 (1980s-1996)
  • Fox 24 News (1996–2010)
  • NewsCentral (2010–present)

[edit] Station slogans

  • "Middle Georgia's Best Local News Coverage" (early 1990s)
  • "Where Your News Comes First" (1999–2010)
  • "Your Source For Local News" (2010–present)

[edit] News team

[edit] Current news staff

Anchors/Hosts

  • Kenny Burgamy - weekday mornings "NewsTalk Central", radio host
  • Liz Fabian - weekday mornings "NewsTalk Central"
  • Adam Hammond - weeknights at 5:30 and 10 p.m.
  • Portia Lake - weeknights at 5:30 and 10 p.m.
  • Michelle Quesada - weekends at 10 p.m., also weeknight reporter
  • Charles Richardson - weekday mornings "NewsTalk Central", radio host

StormTrack Central

  • Jeff Cox - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 5:30 and 10 p.m.
  • Michelle Apon - Meteorologist; weekday mornings, also reporter
  • Tyler Southard - Meteorologist; weekends at 10 p.m., also science and environmental reporter
  • Kimberly Newman - Meteorologist; fill-in, also reporter

Sports Team

  • Damon Jones - Sports Director; weeknights at 5:30 and 10 p.m., also Midnight Blitz host
  • Rick Devens - Sports Anchor; weekends at 10 p.m., also sports reporter

Reporters

[edit] Former staff

  • Jaclyn Asztalos, General Assignment Reporter (now at WNCN)
  • David Bailey, Weekend Anchor/Reporter (1999–2000, was at WOFL Orlando, now at WWMT, Grand Rapids, MI)
  • Heather 'Barry' McCroan, Production Assistant, Fill-in Producer, General Assignment Reporter, Creative Services Director (May 2001-Sept 2002)
  • Whitney Casey, General Assignment Reporter (now at KHOU-TV as Host of "Great Day Houston")
  • Pete Cataldo, Sports Director (2002–05, now at WTLV/WJXX)
  • Kelly Cox, Weathercaster (?, now at WTVF-TV)
  • Bob Drury, General Assignment Reporter (?)
  • Charles Ewing, Meteorologist (?, now at WGHP-TV)
  • Liz Fabian, Anchor/Reporter (?, now at The Macon Telegraph and co hosting NewsTalkCentral on ABC 16 and Fox 24, where she is giving updates from macon.com)
  • Mike Fuori, Chief Meteorologist (2003–2005)
  • Courtney George, Reporter, (Network Sports Anchor for CNN, SPEED and Fox Sports NASCAR Reporter, currently Network anchor for the mtn, COMCAST SPORTSNET, Denver, CO)
  • Kevin Goff, Meteorologist (?, now at WJRT-TV)
  • Andrea Griffith, Anchor/Reporter (now CEO of AGP Omnimedia & host of 'Georgia Life & Style' TV)
  • Howard Handsel, General Assignment Reporter (now New Media Producer & Talent on YouTube & CEO of a Marketing/Promotions, LLC)
  • Beth Haynes, General Assignment Reporter (?, now at WBIR-TV)
  • Adrianna Hopkins, General Assignment Reporter (?, now at WHAS-TV)
  • Sherri Jackson, Anchor/Reporter (?, now at WIAT-TV)
  • George Jobin, Sports Reporter Assignment Editor 1992-1999, 5/2010-present Interim News Director
  • Rob Jones, Sports Director (? - 2002, now at WVTM-TV)
  • Juan Kincaid, Sports Director (?, now at WWL-TV)
  • Dan Kilday, Sports Director/"Midnight Blitz" Host (2005–2006)
  • Danita Kirkpatrick, Anchor/Reporter (?)
  • Doug Long, News Director/Anchor/Reporter (?)
  • Kristine Lopez, Weekend Anchor/General Assignment Reporter (?-2003)
  • Michael Lopez, General Assignment Reporter (2007–2008)
  • Alison Morrow, General Assignment Reporter (2007–2008)
  • Zeb Mellett, Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter (?)
  • Matt Miller, News Director/10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter (2001–05, now at WCPO-TV)
  • Rebecca Miller, Weathercaster (?, now at KXAS-TV)
  • Jeremy Moss, Sports Anchor/Reporter (?
  • Jim Noble, News/Sports Reporter, now TNT/PRN NASCAR reporter
  • Simon Perez, Weekend Anchor/Reporter (?, now at KPIX-TV)
  • Holly Roehl, General Assignment Reporter (?)
  • Danyelle Sargent, Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter (?, now at Fox Sports Network)
  • Bill Shanks, Sports Director 1995-98 (Now a columnist for the Macon Telegraph and sports talk radio host on WFSM Fox Sports 1670 in Macon)
  • Eddie Sheerr, Chief Meteorologist (2007–2009)
  • Chris Simmons, Weekend Meteorologist (2007–2008)
  • Anjula Singh, General Assignment Reporter (?)
  • Larry Spruill Jr., General Assignment Reporter
  • Perry Swanson, Fox 24 News at 10PM Anchor/Reporter (8/2002-07) President of Peach County Chamber of Commerace in Fort Valley, GA
  • Cheryl Tan, Anchor/Reporter (1996-99, now at WAVY-TV)
  • Jason Terzis, Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter (now at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan)
  • Mark Thibodeau, Chief Meteorologist (now at The Weather Channel Radio Network)
  • Doug Wieder, General Assignment Reporter (?, married to Cheryl Tan, now executive producer at wife's crosstown rival, WVEC-TV in Norfolk, VA)
  • Ron Wildman, News Director/Anchor/Reporter (former Media Relations manager for Macon Mayor C. Jack Ellis, ending Dec '07)

Jim Brown, Anchor/Reporter (1983 -86) Now (KMPH-TV - Central California)

  • Angela Williams, General Assignment Reporter (?-2006, now at WTLV/WJXX-TV)
  • Secily Wilson, Anchor/Reporter (?, now at WKMG-TV)
  • Julie Wunder, Weathercaster (?, now at WLOS-TV)
  • Bob Young, Anchor/Reporter (?)
  • Alexia Ridley, News Director, and host of the FOXFiles (?-5/2010)

[edit] References

  1. ^ http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6460234.html
  2. ^ January 4, 2009 aircheck of Macon television signals provided by SilliconDust
  3. ^ http://www.macon.com/local/story/943521.html
  4. ^ http://www.fox24.com/news/local/67337237.html
  5. ^ http://www.macon.com/149/story/897611.html#Comments_Container
  6. ^ http://www.fox24.com/inside/employment
  7. ^ Ramati, Phillip (December 7, 2009). "Cox, WPGA at odds over channel placement". The Telegraph. http://www.macon.com/local/story/943521.html. Retrieved December 23, 2009.
  8. ^ Ramati, Phillip (December 23, 2009). "http://www.macon.com/local/story/962889.html". The Telegraph. http://www.macon.com/197/story/962889.html. Retrieved December 23, 2009.
  9. ^ Macon Telegraph: "Judge dismisses WPGA lawsuit against Cox", April 4, 2010.
  10. ^ http://www.macon.com/2010/04/06/1084161/cox-wpga-attorneys-argue-lawsuit.html
  11. ^ http://www.fox24.com/inside/employment/78242897.html
  12. ^ http://www.macon.com/2010/05/28/1143258/telegraph-fox-abc-940-am-to-partner.html#ixzz0pIoURlcA

[edit] External links

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