|Branding||WGXA ABC 16 (general)
WGXA News (newscasts)
Works For You
|Channels||Digital: WGXA-DT 16.2 (UHF)
Virtual: 24.2 (PSIP)
|Owner||Frontier Radio Management, Inc.
(sale pending to Sinclair Broadcast Group)
(Fox 24 of Macon License, LLC)
|First air date||January 1, 2010|
|Call letters' meaning||see WGXA|
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WGXA-DT2 is an ABC-affiliated television station located in Macon, Georgia, United States. It operates as a second digital subchannel of Fox affiliate WGXA (channel 24), which is owned by Frontier Radio Management. Over-the-air, it broadcasts a digital signal on UHF channel 16.2 (virtual channel 24.2). WGXA maintains studio facilities located on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (GA 11/GA 22/GA 49/U.S. 80/U.S. 129) in Downtown Macon, and its transmitter facilities located on GA 87/U.S. 23/U.S. 129 Alternate, along the Bibb-Twiggs County line.
On cable, the subchannel is also available on Cox Communications channel 15 and in high definition on digital channel 715. Syndicated programs broadcast on WGXA-DT2 include Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, The Middle, Rachael Ray and Extra. The subchannel is branded as "ABC 16", a reference to WGXA's physical digital channel allocation.
On October 29, 2009, Register Communications announced that WPGA-TV (channel 58) – which been serving as the market's ABC affiliate – would terminate its affiliation contract with the network and become an independent station on January 1, 2010. The company cited concerns that ABC's programming did not meet the station's family-oriented focus as the reason behind the decision to drop the network. Shortly afterward, WGXA signed a long-term agreement with the network and to carry it over its second digital subchannel. WGXA's main channel had served as Macon's original ABC affiliate from its sign-on in April 1982 until it switched to Fox in January 1996. WGXA transmits the subchannel and its primary channel in the 720p resolution format that is used as the native high definition format for both ABC and Fox.
Cox Communications had intended to remove WPGA from its lineup and place WGXA-DT2 on channel 6 and transmit a high definition feed of the subchannel on digital channel 706. However on December 22, WPGA was granted a temporary restraining order requiring Cox to continue to carry that station on its designated channel slots. As a result, WGXA-DT2 ended up being carried on channel 15 instead, over the channel space previously occupied by The Inspiration Network, where it was intended to remain until the channel placement issue with WPGA was settled. On April 30, 2010, the court dismissed WPGA's case; while this would have allowed WGXA-DT2 to move to channels 6 and 706 with WPGA being moved to another channel, Register filed an appeal to the dismissal; a judge ordered Cox to keep WPGA on channels 6 and 706 until the case is heard by an appeals court. In addition, Register also filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over the status of WPGA's channel placement on Cox.
On June 23, 2011, the Georgia Court of Appeals upheld the ruling that would enable Cox to drop WPGA from its line-up, effective July 28. On that date, WGXA-DT2 would begin to be carried on channel 6, in addition to its existing position on channel 15, with the subchannel being carried exclusively on channel 6 effective August 28 (Cox would then reserve channel 15 for use to carry a high definition feed of another channel). On July 12, Register filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, seeking an injunction to prevent Cox from not only dropping WPGA, but from giving the channel 6 slot to WGXA-DT2. However, Cox announced that it would go forward with the channel shuffle despite the complaint, as the previous court case authorized the provider to make the changes. The FCC ruled on December 5, 2011 that WPGA's contract with Cox rendered it a station that elected retransmission consent.
WGXA presently produces 15 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with three hours on weekdays); the station does not produce newscasts for WGXA-DT2 on Saturdays and Sundays, nor does the subchannel carry newscasts in the noon and 5:00 p.m. timeslots on weekdays (WGXA carries a newscast in the latter timeslot on its main channel instead).
WGXA began producing half-hour evening newscasts at 7:00 and 11:00 p.m. each weeknight (the former of which competes with a newscast in the same timeslot on the MyNetworkTV-affiliated second digital subchannel of WMGT (channel 41)), along with weekday morning weather cut-ins during Good Morning America (which air concurrently with WGXA's two-hour morning newscast from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m.), on March 1, 2010; this resulted in an expansion of the station's news department personnel. With the launch of the broadcasts, WGXA rebranded its newscasts under the umbrella NewsCentral brand. These newscasts originally used anchor teams separate from those seen on the main channel's newscasts, but utilize the same reporting staff, weather and sports personnel; eventually, the evening newscasts began using the same anchors that appear on WGXA's 5:00 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts.
On May 28, 2010, The Macon Telegraph reported that WPGA-TV would drop its weekday morning news/talk/information/entertainment program, which was simulcast on WPGA-FM (100.9) after the July 20 broadcast; the program, which was retitled NewsTalk Central upon the move and hosted by Kenny Burgamy, Charles Richardson and Liz Fabian, began airing on WGXA through a simulcast partnership with WMAC (940 AM) on July 26, airing weekdays from 6:00 to 7:00 a.m. on WGXA-DT2 and from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. (airing in simulcast with WGXA-DT2 during the first hour) on the station's main channel. In the summer of 2012, WGXA began producing a half-hour 6:00 p.m. newscast for WGXA-DT2. On October 1, 2012, WGXA launched a new weekday morning newscast (replacing NewsTalk Central, which ended on September 29, 2012); the first 90 minutes of the program airs on WGXA-DT2 from 5:30 to 7:00 a.m. with the final two hours airing afterward on the main channel. On September 18, 2013, WGXA rebranded its local newscasts as WGXA News, although it had been used by WGXA's anchor and reporter staff vocally on-air as well as the opening of the station's newscasts alongside the previous NewsCentral title until September 18.
- Lenneia Batiste - weekday mornings on WGXA Morning News (5:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Rick Devens - weekday mornings on WGXA Morning News (5:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Amyre Makupson - weeknights at 6:00 and 7:00 p.m.
- Raymond Tubb - weeknights at 6:00, 7:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- StormTrack Central
- Jeff Cox - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 6:00, 7:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Angie Ragle - meteorologist; fill-in; also multimedia journalist
- Stephen Shiveley (member, AMS) - meteorologist; weekday mornings on WGXA Morning News (5:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Chance Ambrose - senior reporter
- Malcolm Johnson - general assignment reporter
- Cristen Drummond - general assignment reporter
- Shonti Tager - general assignment reporter
- January 4, 2009 aircheck of Macon television signals provided by SilliconDust
- Ramati, Phillip (December 7, 2009). "Cox, WPGA at odds over channel placement". The Telegraph. Retrieved December 23, 2009.
- Ramati, Phillip (December 23, 2009). "http://www.macon.com/local/story/962889.html". The Telegraph. Retrieved December 23, 2009.
- Macon Telegraph: "Judge dismisses WPGA lawsuit against Cox", April 4, 2010.
- Macon Telegraph: "Cox to drop WPGA in July", June 23, 2011.
- Macon Telegraph: "WPGA takes cable company fight to federal court", July 12, 2011.
- Ramati, Philip (December 8, 2011). "FCC clears way for Cox to drop WPGA from cable lineup". The Telegraph. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
- "Application For Consent To Assignment Of Broadcast Station Construction Permit Or License". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. April 23, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
- Station Trading Roundup: 1 Deal, $33 Million, TVNewsCheck, April 29, 2014.
- Meet the Team