|City of license||Albany, Georgia|
|Branding||Fox 31 (general)
Fox 31 News (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 12 (VHF)
Virtual: 31 (PSIP)
31.2 Bounce TV
|Owner||Sinclair Broadcast Group
(WFXL Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||February 14, 1982|
|Call letters' meaning||FoX ALbany|
|Former callsigns||WTSG-TV (1982–1989)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
31 (UHF, 1982–2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1982–1986)|
|Transmitter power||60 kW|
WFXL is the Fox-affiliated television station for Southwestern Georgia that is licensed to Albany. It broadcasts a standard definition digital signal on VHF channel 12 from a transmitter in Doerun near the Colquitt and Worth County line. Owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, the station has studios on Stuart Avenue in Albany. Syndicated programming on WFXL includes: TMZ on TV, Two and a Half Men, and Dr. Phil.
The station signed-on February 14, 1982 as WTSG-TV and was Southwestern Georgia’s first independent station. It became a charter Fox affiliate on October 6, 1986, and changed its call letters to the current WFXL in 1989. Raycom Media acquired WFXL in December 2003 through its purchase of most of Waitt Media's stations. In March 2006, Raycom announced the sale of WFXL and eleven other stations to Barrington Broadcasting in order to meet Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules regarding station ownership. The company had just acquired The Liberty Corporation, owner of NBC affiliate WALB, which it decided to keep.
On June 1, 2006, a MH-47 Chinook military chopper traveling from Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia to Fort Rucker in Alabama for a training mission hit a guy wire connected to WFXL's 1,000-foot-tall (300 m) tower, resulting in a crash. While the tower and the nearby tower for WALB remained standing other than some guy wires, the stations were forced to temporarily cease over-the-air signals; broadcasts on cable were not affected. If the WFXL tower had collapsed, this could have also caused the tower of WALB to topple as both were only 150 feet (45 m) apart. As a result, Raycom (which at that time still operated WFXL while the sale to Barrington awaited FCC approval) acquired auxiliary transmitters and antennas for both WFXL and WALB, which were installed at a backup tower at WALB's studios in Albany.
On June 7, the WFXL tower was demolished, but in doing so one of the tower's guy wires wrapped around one for WALB's tower, as feared. As a result, that station's tower collapsed in an incident shown on live television. Since both stations were already transmitting their signals from the tower at the WALB studios, they were still on the air at low-power. Thirteen months later, a new tower for both WFXL and WALB was constructed, and began broadcasting on July 3 at 11:35 p.m.
As a typical Fox affiliate with a weekday morning newscast and nightly prime time newscast, WFXL currently airs 5 hours of local newscasts on weekdays and an hour on weekends. In order to offer comprehensive severe weather coverage, the station purchased the most technologically advanced and powerful computerized weather system available in 2007. This included live weather radar capabilities from the National Weather Service site at Moody Air Force Base and an automated severe weather warning system.
In September 2008, WFXL gave its newscasts a new look by means of updated graphics and the construction of a new set. At the same time, it added a half hour to its weeknight prime time show at 10. It airs a weeknight newscast at 6:30 that competes with the national news shows on the big three stations. However, on September 19th, 2011, WFXL replaced this newscast with a 3-hour comedy block. On October 24, 2011, it added a fourth hour to its weekday morning show which now airs from 5 until 9 a.m.
On April 1, 2013, WFXL changed the format of its 10pm newscast by switching to a co-anchor format. Newscasts on Mondays through Wednesdays are anchored by both Stefanie Martinez and Franklin White. Newscasts on Thursdays and Fridays maintain a single anchor format.
- Stefanie Martinez - weeknights at 10 p.m.
- Franklin White - Saturdays-Wednesdays at 10 p.m.; also reporter
- Kelly D'Ambrosio - weekday mornings (5-9 a.m.)
- Mike Morrison (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 10 p.m.
- Chris Nisinger - meteorologist; weekday mornings (5-9 a.m.)
- Kerri Copello - meteorologist; weekends at 10 p.m.
- Pat Moroney - sports anchor; weeknights at 10:00 p.m.
- Jon Benson - sports anchor; weekends at 10:00 p.m.
Reporters & Producers
- Jessica Fairley - general assignment reporter
- Courtney Highfield - general assignment reporter
- Sasha Lenninger - general assignment reporter; also producer
- Doug Reardon - weekday morning reporter (5-9 a.m.); also co-producer
- Rheya Spigner - general assignment reporter
- Cody Long - general assignment reporter
- Kyle Proctor - managing editor
- Malone, Michael (February 28, 2013). "Sinclair's Chesapeake TV Acquires Barrington Stations". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved March 1, 2013.