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|Branding||WCTV Eyewitness News
WCTV 2 (on DT2)
Can Count On
|Channels||Digital: 46 (UHF)
Virtual: 6 (PSIP)
6.2 MyNetworkTV (primary)
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||September 15, 1955|
|Call letters' meaning||We're Capital TeleVision|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
6 (VHF, 1955-2009)
|Former affiliations||NBC (1955-1956)
ABC (secondary, 1955-1976)
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
|Height||566 m (1,857 ft)|
WCTV is the CBS-affiliated television station for Southwestern Georgia and Tallahassee, Florida that is licensed to Thomasville, Georgia. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 46 (or virtual channel 6.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter in unincorporated Thomas County, Georgia, southeast of Metcalf, along the Florida state line. Owned by Gray Television, WCTV has studios in Tallahassee on Halstead Boulevard along I-10. WCTV can be seen on Comcast Tallahassee Channel 9 and HD Channel 433
|Channel||PSIP short name||Video||Aspect||Programming|
|6.1||WCTV-DT||1080i||16:9||Main WCTV programming / CBS|
|6.2||WCTVDT2||480i||4:3||WCTV PinPoint MegaWatt Doppler Feed|
The station first signed-on September 15, 1955 from studios on North Monroe Street in Tallahassee. WCTV was originally owned by John H. Phipps. Although it has always considered itself a Tallahassee station, it was licensed to Thomasville because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had allocated only one VHF channel to Tallahassee, channel 11. Florida State University had managed to have the FCC designate that channel for noncommercial use so it could put WFSU-TV on-the-air. UHF was not considered viable at the time. Until the FCC required all sets to have all-channel capability in 1964, UHF stations were un-viewable without a converter. Even with one, the picture quality was marginal at best. Hoyt Wimpy, owner and founder of WPAX radio in Thomasville, persuaded the FCC to grant the Phipps family a license for channel 6 in Thomasville, the nearest city to Tallahassee that had a VHF allocation available. This could provide city-grade coverage of Tallahassee and north central Florida as well as southwestern Georgia. WCTV operated a live studio in Thomasville for many years and still has a bureau there.
The station originally carried programming from all three networks but was a primary NBC affiliate. After only a year on-the-air, it switched to CBS and has been affiliated with that network ever since. However, it carried a secondary ABC affiliation until WECA signed-on. It is still the only commercial VHF station in the market (the only other VHF stations are PBS members WFSU-TV, still on channel 11, and Georgia Public Broadcasting's WXGA-TV on channel 8). It was the only commercial station in the area until WECA-TV (now WTXL-TV) began operations in 1976.
It was owned by the Phipps family until being sold to Gray Communications, now Gray Television, in 1996. Gray's purchase of WCTV forced the company to sell WALB-TV, its flagship station in Albany, because WALB's signal has city-grade quality in most of the Georgia side of the market (including Thomasville and Valdosta). WALB had doubled as the NBC affiliate for Tallahassee until WTWC signed-on in 1983. However in 2004, Gray purchased WSWG in Valdosta, a UPN affiliate for the Albany market. The station dropped UPN in September of that year and is now its own CBS Affiliate, broadcasting only WCTV's newscasts. The acquisition created a strong combined signal with just under 50% overlap. WCTV had been the default CBS affiliate for Albany for many years.
In March 2006, WCTV moved from its longtime studios on County Road 12 in northern Leon County to new facilities on Halstead Boulevard in Tallahassee. The Halstead Boulevard location used to house the now-defunct Florida's News Channel, a cable-only operation. On February 17, 2009, WCTV shut off its analog signal on channel 6, even after the analog television shutdown deadline was extended to June 12, and remained on channel 46 using PSIP to display its virtual channel as 6 on digital television receivers.
Sister CBS station WSWG currently simulcasts all local newscasts from WCTV (except weeknights at 5:00 and 5:30 p.m.; they show Dr. Oz instead). WCTV operates a news bureau in Valdosta on East Central Avenue (US 84) in order to cover the area. The reporters assigned to Southwestern Georgia do not use any localized WSWG branding and/or identification. The News broadcasts on WSWG are promoted as WCTV Eyewitness News on WSWG. WCTV operates its own weather radar at the studios that is known on-air as "Megawatt Pinpoint Doppler".
Through a news share agreement, WCTV produces a weeknight prime time newscast on Fox affiliate WTLH (owned by New Age Media, LLC). Known as Fox 49 News at 10, the broadcast can be seen for thirty minutes and originates from a secondary set at this station's studios. WCTV dropped The Good Morning Show at 7pm on ECTV to broadcast an hour of morning news on Fox 49 using their morning team and content. Also, they started a weekend 10pm news on Fox. This is currently the area's only prime time news but second attempt in the time slot. From January 15, 2000 until September 2003, WTXL produced a half-hour weeknight show on cable-only WB affiliate "WBXT" (station is now defunct).
On January 7, 2008, CBS began to require all affiliates to show its entire national weekday morning show so that it could better compete with rivals Good Morning America and Today. As a result, the third hour of The Good Morning Show (until this point seen on WCTV/WSWG until 8) moved to both of their MyNetworkTV-affiliated subchannels until May 25, 2012. On August 3, 2009, WCTV became the second station in the Tallahassee market to upgrade its newscasts to high definition and the simulcasts on WSWG were included in the change, making WSWG the first station in the Albany market to do HD. It is unknown if WCTV's production seen on WTLH was included, however.