WFGX

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WFGX
Wfgx 2011.png

Wfgx thistv.png
Fort Walton Beach-Pensacola, Florida/
Mobile, Alabama
United States
City of license Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Branding My TV 35 (general)
Channel 3 News (newscasts)
Slogan First. LIVE. Local.
Channels Digital: 50 (UHF)
Virtual: 35 (PSIP)
Subchannels 35.1 MyNetworkTV/This TV
Affiliations MyNetworkTV (2006-present)
Jewelry Television (overnights)
Owner Sinclair Broadcast Group
(WFGX Licensee, LLC)
First air date April 7, 1987; 27 years ago (1987-04-07)
Sister station(s) WEAR-TV, WPMI-TV, WJTC
Former channel number(s) Analog:
35 (UHF, 1987–2009)
Former affiliations Independent (1987–1996 and 2001–2006)
The WB (1996–2001)
DT2:
TheCoolTV (2010–2012)
DT3:
The Country Network (2010–2011)
Transmitter power 1,000 kW
Height 582.2 m
Class DT
Facility ID 6554
Transmitter coordinates 30°36′45.4″N 87°38′41.6″W / 30.612611°N 87.644889°W / 30.612611; -87.644889
Website wfgxtv.com

WFGX, virtual channel 35 (UHF digital channel 50), is a MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station serving Pensacola, Florida and Mobile, Alabama, United States, that is licensed to Fort Walton Beach. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, as part of a duopoly with ABC affiliate WEAR-TV (channel 3); Sinclair also operates Mobile-based NBC affiliate WPMI-TV (channel 15) and independent station WJTC (channel 44) under a local marketing agreement with owner Deerfield Media.

WFGX and WEAR share studios on Mobile Highway/U.S. 90 in unincorporated Escambia County, Florida (with a Pensacola postal address), WFGX's transmitter is located in unincorporated Baldwin County, Alabama east of Rosinton. Syndicated programming on WFGX includes The Jerry Springer Show, Maury, Rules of Engagement, Community and Inside Edition. Overnights, it airs paid programming from Jewelry Television, while select timeslots are filled primarily by programming from This TV. The station can also be seen in standard definition on Mediacom channel 7, Comcast channel 19, and Cox channel 20, and in high definition on Mediacom digital channel 807, Comcast digital channel 1019, and Cox digital channel 1020.

History[edit]

The station signed on the air on April 7, 1987 as an independent station; it was the second independent station on the Florida side of the market, after Pensacola-based WJTC.

In 1995, WFGX's original local owners entered into a local marketing agreement (LMA) with WEAR. This enabled WFGX to become the area's WB affiliate on September 29, 1996. The station's former analog signal on UHF channel 35 was very weak (509,000 watts), resulting in marginal (at best) reception outside Okaloosa County. It was barely viewable even in Pensacola, and could not be seen at all over the air on the Alabama side of the market. Despite the shortfall in coverage, WFGX has long identified as "Pensacola/Fort Walton Beach," which is unusual since the city of license is normally listed first when a station references another city in its legal on-air identification. It had to rely on cable carriage in order to reach the entire market.

When the stronger WBPG (channel 55, now WFNA) signed on from Gulf Shores, Alabama on September 2, 2001, it replaced WFGX as the area's WB affiliate. WFGX then became an independent station, airing home shopping programming from Jewelry Television, syndicated shows and infomercials. Sinclair Broadcast Group purchased WFGX outright in 2004.

On February 22, 2006, News Corporation announced that it would launch a new network called MyNetworkTV, which would be operated by Fox Television Stations and its syndication division Twentieth Television.[1][2] Sinclair opted to affiliate several of its stations (including WFGX) with the new programming service, which launched on September 5, 2006.

At the same time, WFGX increased its digital signal to one million watts (equivalent to five million watts in analog), which was enough to provide a good signal to viewers in Pensacola. However, it was still practically unviewable on the Alabama side of the market. In July 2010, WFGX's digital transmitter was moved from Gulf Breeze, Florida to WEAR's tower east of Rosinton. With the same power output at the new location, it is now able to offer a signal similar to that of the other full-powered stations in the market. Within two months, the station began offering a high definition signal over-the-air for the first time.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[3]
35.1 720p 16:9 WFGX DT Main WFGX-TV programming / MyNetworkTV

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WFGX discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 35, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 50.[4] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 35.

Cable and satellite coverage[edit]

For most of its history, WFGX was unavailable to cable customers on the Alabama side of the market, largely because its analog signal could not be seen at all in that area. Comcast's Mobile system did not carry WFGX until October 2010, and only carries the station on its digital tier on channel 19. It is still not carried on Mediacom's systems in Baldwin and Mobile counties, even though it has been carried on Mediacom's cable systems on the Florida side of the market (including Santa Rosa County and Pensacola Beach) for many years.

It is very likely, however, that WFGX will be available on cable throughout the market in the near future. The Federal Communications Commission's must-carry rules give full-power stations the option of "retransmission consent." This option gives such stations the right to request compensation from cable providers as a condition of carrying them. In this case, Sinclair has the right to require cable providers to carry WFGX as a condition of carrying WEAR.

Due to its new status as a full-power station for most of the market, WFGX and WEAR are encouraging viewers to call their cable provider if they are not carrying WFGX. WFGX is also available on AT&T U-verse in the Mobile-Pensacola market, in high definition on channel 1035 and in standard definition on channel 35. Dish Network and DirecTV both carry WFGX on channel 35, but only in standard definition. WFGX disappeared from Mediacom's cable systems on the Florida side of the market at midnight on January 6, 2007 due to a dispute with Sinclair over transmission rights. Since no agreement could be reached in time, Mediacom pulled all of Sinclair's stations, including WFGX. Due to it not being carried at all in Alabama and (at the time) on satellite, this left most of the market without MyNetworkTV programming. The dispute ended on February 2, when the two sides reached an agreement that restored WFGX on Mediacom.

Newscasts[edit]

Weeknight news open.

In 1996, WFGX began producing nightly newscasts at 6:30 and 9:00 p.m. called Emerald Coast News originating from its original studios on Beach Drive in Fort Walton Beach. Each broadcast aired for 30 minutes and stories on the newscasts specifically focused on Okaloosa County, Florida helping to provide better coverage for WEAR. On December 11, 1998, Emerald Coast News was cancelled by WFGX.

On August 12, 2013, sister station WEAR-TV began producing a weeknight-only, half-hour primetime newscast at 9:00 p.m. for WFGX. The newscast competes with Fox affiliate WALA-TV (channel 10)'s long established, dominant and hour-long 9:00 p.m. newscast.

News team[edit]

Current on-air staff[5][edit]

Anchors
  • Mollye Barrows - weeknights at 9:00 p.m.; also reporter
  • Allen Strum (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 9:00 p.m.
Reporters
  • Joe Douglass - general assignment reporter
  • Jenice Fernandez - Okaloosa County reporter
  • Laura Hussey - Okaloosa County reporter
  • Anthony Pura - general assignment reporter
  • Kavontae Smalls - general assignment reporter
  • Amber Southard - general assignment reporter

References[edit]

External links[edit]