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Savannah, Georgia
Branding WJCL (general)


Slogan The Coastal Source
Channels Digital: 22 (UHF)
Subchannels 22.1 ABC
Affiliations American Broadcasting Company
Owner New Vision Television

(NVT Savannah Licensee, LLC)

Founded July 18, 1970
Call letters' meaning J. Curtis Lewis
Sister station(s) WTGS
Former callsigns WJCL-TV (1970-1981)
Former channel number(s) 22 (UHF analog, 1970-2009)

23 (UHF digital)

Former affiliations ABC (1970-1982)

NBC (1982-1986)

Transmitter power 350 kW
Height 436 m
Facility ID 37174
Transmitter coordinates 32°3′29.0″N 81°20′19.0″W / 32.05806°N 81.33861°W / 32.05806; -81.33861 (WJCL)


[hide]*1 History

  • 2 News operation
    • 2.1 Newscast titles
    • 2.2 Station slogans
  • 3 News team
  • 4 Former news staff
    • 4.1 References
  • 5 External links

[edit] History

WJCL began broadcasting on July 18, 1970 as an ABC affiliate. Owned by former Savannah mayor Julius Curtis Lewis, Jr. (whose initials provided the station's call sign), WJCL marked many "firsts". At that time, it built the tallest tower in the market rising some 46 m (one hundred fifty feet) above sea level. Color film and videotape were introduced to the Savannah market by WJCL. It claims to have been the first station in the area to televise a live event (President Richard Nixon's Savannah visit and ride in a parade on Skidaway Road) and broadcasting in stereo. WJCL-TV and radio were both run by Lewis Broadcasting's Executive Vice President, J. Fred Pierce, from 1972 until WJCL's first sale in 1999.

In 1982, WJCL swapped affiliations with WSAV-TV (due to the latter's action) and became an NBC affiliate. However, a mere four years later they returned to ABC in 1986. When Lewis purchased WNOK television and radio stations in Columbia, South Carolina in 1977, he quickly sold off WNOK radio (undisclosed price) and immediately changed the television call sign to WLTX. In 1982, he purchased WYEA television in Columbus, Georgia from Aflac and changed its calls to WLTZ to follow a similar call letter format used for his station in South Carolina's capitol, Columbia (LT meaning Lewis Television).

In the early 1990s, Lewis sold two of his radio stations, WSTZ-FM and WSTZ-AM in Jackson, Mississippi for an undisclosed price. In 1999, Lewis Broadcasting sold WJCL-TV to Grapevine Communications which has since merged with Piedmont Television. In the mid-to-late 1990s, Lewis decided to divest an even larger portion of his media interests and sold four of his combined eight owned and/or previously owned radio and television stations: WJCL-TV, WTGS, WJCL-FM, and WLTX.

On May 1, 2007, Lewis broadcasting entered into an agreement with SagamoreHill Broadcasting to sell off its last remaining television station, WLTZ. [1] In 2001, WJCL partnered with Carleton Public Relations, Inc. to produce the show ABC 22 LawCall. Radio on-air personality Lexie Kaye was hired by Carleton PR as producer of the weekly live, legal call-in show. The show featured Mike Avery as host along with attorneys from the Carter & Tate fir with a weekly guest and various topics. This was the first legal call-in show in the nation to use the "LawCall" name. The show aired until June 2006 on Sunday nights from 11 to 11:30.

Since Lewis' sale of the station in 1999, it has been bought twice. WJCL and WTGS were most recently sold to New Vision Television and Parkin Broadcasting respectively. [2] The station unveiled a new blog-based website in June 2007. On November 2, 2007, the station announced on its website that, with the recent acquisition of WJCL by New Vision Broadcasting, a brand new website was on the way. The revamped website (operated largely in-house with technology borrowed from Broadcast Interactive Media) featured the usual news, weather, and sports along with streaming video. In January 2009, the websites of WJCL and several of its sister stations migrated to the Inergize Digital Network platform (with KOIN in Portland, Oregon being the first station in the New Vision group to use). The station is the setting of the second season of the TV Guide Network show Making News which began airing on June 4, 2008. WJCL's broadcasts have been digital-only since February 17, 2009.

[edit] News operation

WJCL has never enjoyed as much success as it did under their founding owners. From its start in the early 1970s even through the 1990s, the station lagged behind the others in news ratings (typical at the time for a UHF competing against two VHF stations in a single market) but was known as the market leader in commercial video production and in local television advertisement sales. It also frequently beat out the market's news leader, WTOC-TV, in afternoon and prime time programming such as Dr. Phil, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy!. Those syndicated television series now air on WSAV. WJCL produces a nightly 10 o'clock newscast for WTGS through a news partnership agreement that has been in place since the late 1990s. In October 2007, longtime Savannah radio (currently heard on WRHQ-FM 105.3) and television personality Lyndy Brannen switched stations. A longtime anchor at Savannah's WSAV, Lyndy now anchors WJCL's weekday morning show from 5 to 7. This is simulcasted on WTGS. On March 16, 2009, WJCL and WTGS became the first two stations in Savannah to launch local news in high definition.

Newscast titles

  • Eyewitness News 22 (1970s)
  • JCL News (1970s-1980s)
  • JCL Newswatch 22 (1980s-1993)
  • TV-22 Action News (1993-1997)
  • ABC 22 News (1997-2005)
  • WJCL, Your Local News Source (2005-2008)
  • WJCL News (2008present)

Station slogans

  • "Live, Local, Latebreaking"
  • "Real People, Real News"
  • "Your Local News Source" (2001-2008)
  • "The Coastal Source" (2008–2013)
  • "Working For You" (2013-present)

[edit] News team


  • Lyndy Brannen - weekday mornings
  • Jessica Kiss - weekday mornings
  • Casey Jones - Sunday through Thursday at 6 and 11
  • Jenifer Andrews - Sunday through Thursday at 6 and 11
  • Jesse Blanco - Sunday through Thursday at 10
  • Kelly Foster - Friday through Saturday at 6 and 11
    • city government reporter
  • Jennifer Beale - Friday through Saturday at 10 and entertainment reporter
    • "Idol Chatter" segment producer and heard on WAEV-FM (97-3 KISS FM)

Future Trak Meteorologists

  • Jeff Kirk (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief seen weeknights
  • Jonathan Myers - weekday mornings
  • Chris Justus - weekends and consumer reporter


  • Frank Sulkowski - Director seen weeknights
  • Allen Kinzly - weekends and reporter
  • Dave Williams - reporter and photographer


  • Ashley Jacobs - South Carolina Bureau Chief and military correspondent
  • Nikki Gaskins - crime and safety


  • William Hammargren - Chief
  • Amanda Crane
  • Herman McCain
  • Nate Nauert

[edit] Former news staff

  • Matthew Seyden
  • Alice Massimi, reporter/producer (now at WSAV)
  • Stephanie Simoni, reporter
  • Aisha Greer, anchor
  • Wendy McNew, education/military reporter (now at WNEP)
  • Trish Hartman, morning anchor/reporter (now at WNEP)
  • Greg Pallone, anchor
  • Rich Edson, political beat reporter
  • Brady Poscik, sports director (?-2005)
  • Eric Connor, Executive Producer
  • John O'Neil, anchor
  • Bill Edwards, sports anchor
  • Brent Solomom, reporter
  • Kathy Walters, anchor
  • Pete Preston, weatherman
  • Joe Cox, weatherman
  • Nancy Newman, anchor
  • Marvin Vawter, anchor
  • Doug Weathers, anchor
  • Nelson Lewis, kids reporter (1995-1999)
  • Kristin Williams, anchor
  • Natalie Hendrix, anchor
  • Mark Taylor, reporter
  • Laurie Rapp, reporter
  • Kelly Wright, reporter
  • Buck Belue, sports anchor
  • Al Jennings, sports anchor
  • Jordan Siegel, sports anchor
  • Betsy Nolen, anchor
  • Michanda Anthony, anchor
  • Beth Eckard, weather anchor
  • Julie Martin, weather anchor, reporter
  • Tom Stringfellow, anchor
  • Scott Pierce, news anchor, weather
  • Kim Gusby, anchor, reporter (now at WSAV)
  • Pamela Kister, weather anchor
  • Ken Griner, sports anchor
  • Ramona Parks, reporter
  • Danielle Powell, producer
  • Kim Grossman, reporter
  • Andy Behrend, reporter
  • Richard Lantz, anchor
  • Erina McCoy, reporter
  • Joey Gangi, reporter
  • Michelle Paynter, reporter
  • Shawnette Wilson, anchor (now at WTXF, Philadelphia)
  • Mary Kay Kleist, meteorologist (now at WBBM-TV, Chicago)
  • Jason Davis, crime reporter

[edit] References

  1. ^
  2. ^ Deals - 5/7/2007 - Broadcasting & Cable
  • "Channel 22 On The Air Tomorrow," The Savannah Morning News Friday July 17, 1970, p. B1
  • "Welcome, WJCL-TV," The Savannah Morning News Saturday, July 18, 1970, p. A4
  • "WJCL Makes Debut," The Savannah Morning News Sunday, July 19, 1970, p. C1

[edit] External links

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