|Branding||ABC 6 (general)
WJBF NewsChannel 6 (newscasts)
|Slogan||Coverage you can count on|
|Channels||Digital: 42 (UHF)
Virtual: 6 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||ABC (secondary until 1967)|
(Media General Communications Holdings, LLC)
|First air date||November 23, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||J.B. Fuqua
(founder of the station)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
6 (VHF, 1953–2009)
|Former affiliations||NBC (1953–1974; secondary from 1967)
CBS (secondary, 1953–1954)
DuMont (secondary, 1953–1956)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Height||507 m (1,663 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
WJBF, channel 6, is an ABC-affiliated television station in Augusta, Georgia, USA. WJBF is owned by the broadcast division of Media General, and has its studios in Television Park, near the Augusta Mall in Augusta. The station's transmitter is located in Beech Island, South Carolina.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|6.1||720p||16:9||WJBF-HD||Main WJBF programming / ABC|
WJBF replaced RTV with Me-TV on digital subchannel 6.2 on September 26, 2011, as part of a groupwide affiliation agreement with Media General; the channel replaced RTV on some Media General-owned stations in other markets.
Augusta's first television station, WJBF-TV began operations on November 23, 1953. The station was founded by local entrepreneur J. B. Fuqua, who also owned NBC Radio Network affiliate WJBF (1230 AM). WJBF-TV was a primary NBC affiliate, but picked up programs from ABC and DuMont on a secondary basis. Sister station WJBF radio was sold by Fuqua in 1954 (it is now WEZO).
Channel 6 began sharing ABC programming with CBS affiliate WRDW-TV (channel 12) around 1959, but on September 1, 1967 WJBF became a primary ABC affiliate. The move relegated NBC to a shared secondary affiliation with WRDW-TV. This was an unusual situation for a then two-station market, especially one as small as Augusta. But in 1966 Fuqua had purchased two primary ABC affiliates, WTVW in Evansville, Indiana and KTHI-TV (now KVLY-TV) in Fargo, North Dakota, and apparently wanted to get his other stations—WJBF and KTVE in El Dorado, Arkansas—in line with the new acquisitions. Additionally, no full-time ABC affiliate provided even a grade B signal to the Augusta area at the time. By contrast, fellow NBC affiliate WIS-TV in Columbia provided at least grade B coverage to the South Carolina side of the market. Fuqua reasoned that if channel 6 took a primary ABC affiliation, it wouldn't have significant out-of-market competition. In 1969, Fuqua branched out into the movie theater business when he purchased Martin Theaters of Georgia, also the owner of WTVM in Columbus, Georgia, and WTVC in Chattanooga, Tennessee, also ABC affiliates.
When WATU (channel 26, now WAGT) began operations in December 1968, conventional wisdom suggested that it would become a full NBC affiliate. However, since many Augusta viewers still didn't have UHF-capable sets, NBC allowed WJBF and WRDW-TV to continue to cherry-pick most of its programs (WJBF kept airing both the Today Show and The Tonight Show, among others). The failure of WATU to secure a full-time network affiliation caused that station to go dark in 1970. Channel 6 became a full-time ABC affiliate when WATU returned to the air in 1974, this time with a primary NBC affiliation.
J.B. Fuqua sold off his stations in 1980, with WJBF and WTVM going to Missoula, Montana-based Western Broadcasting Company. In 1984 all of Western's broadcast holdings were bought by SFN Companies Inc., then-parent of educational publisher Scott, Foresman and Company. SFN was acquired two years later by Commacq Inc., a new firm formed by members of SFN's management. Spartan Radiocasting of Spartanburg, South Carolina purchased the station in 1992. Spartan was renamed Spartan Communications in 1995, and merged into Media General in 2000.
Merger with WAGT
In October 2009, the parent companies of WJBF and WAGT announced that they would enter into joint sales and shared services agreements in January 2010. This resulted in the two combining their sales and other operational services. It was later announced that WJBF would control all of WAGT's news and advertising operations while that station handles programming and the maintaining of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations. Most of WAGT's managerial staff was dismissed, and other employees were reassigned to different positions.
Media General had initially intended to move WAGT into an expanded wing of the WJBF building in downtown Augusta. Both WJBF and WAGT have had a longstanding presence in the downtown area. Channel 6's facility on Reynolds Street was built around 1956, and channel 26 moved into its Broad Street building, a converted theatre, in 1981. However, it soon became apparent that WJBF's facility could not sustain the expansion necessary to house both stations. Media General instead chose to construct a new building for the stations. The new facility, located at the Augusta West Shopping Center in a former Barnes & Noble retail location, was opened in October 2011.
Since 1954 WJBF has produced and aired the Sunday morning gospel music program Parade of Quartets, one of the longest-running local programs of any kind on American television. The program has been a showcase for regionally- and nationally-known African-American gospel performers, and has also featured appearances from political and social figures. Augusta native James Brown, Shirley Caesar, Al Green, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Dorothy Norwood and Jesse Jackson are among those who have appeared on the program.
Appropriately for being the first television station in the area, WJBF was the ratings leader for most of its history, with rival WRDW-TV usually the runner-up. In recent years, WRDW-TV and WJBF usually traded first and second place, while WAGT almost always placed third.
In the 1980s, its newscasts were branded NewsWatch 6. After being acquired by Spartan Radiocasting in 1992, WJBF and some other stations acquired by the company changed their branding to NewsChannel. This station and most of its sister affiliates still use this branding today after being acquired by Media General. In the 1990s, WJBF reached an agreement with the Augusta Mall to run a closed-circuit "Mall TV" feed on television screens throughout the mall featuring the day's news and coverage of some local special events. WJBF operated this service until the late-1990s. They also had a local agreement with Comcast to air a rebroadcast of the 6 p.m. show on the cable provider's channel 66. This arrangement ended in 2004 with the launch of a nightly 10 o'clock newscast on Fox affiliate WFXG (channel 54). The production uses different graphics and duratrans concealing the WJBF logos. The launch came after its studios were renovated.
In December 2009, WAGT and WJBF partnered under a shared services agreement, with WJBF producing WAGT's news, sales, and other programming. Schurz Communications still owns WAGT in part. Current WJBF reporter Paige Tucker is the face of WAGT's 6, 7, and 11pm newscasts.
On Monday, October 17, 2011, WJBF launched local newscasts in high definition starting with the morning newscast. It is the third station in the area to do so behind WFXG and WRDW-TV.
- WJBF-TV News (1953-1964)
- Newscope (1964-1971)
- Eyewitness News (1971-1977)
- Action 6 News (1977-1982)
- NewsWatch 6 (1982-1990)
- Channel 6 News (1990-1994)
- WJBF NewsChannel 6 (1994–present)
|Ashley Bridges||Weekend evenings
|John Hart||Weeknights at 5:30
Weeknights at 10pm on WAGT-DT2
|Chris Kane||Weekday mornings on Good Morning Augusta
Weekdays at noon
|Brad Means||Weeknights at 5, 6, and 11
The Means Report on Sundays
|Jennie Montgomery||Weeknights at 5, 6, and 11
Giving Your Best segment producer
|Mary Morrison||Weekday mornings on Good Morning Augusta
Weekdays at noon
|Archith Seshadri||Weekend mornings on Good Morning Augusta Weekend
|Kimberely Scott||Weeknights at 5:30
Weeknights at 10pm on WAGT-DT2
|Live VIPIR 6 Weather Team|
Mornings on Good Morning Augusta and noon
|George Myers||Chief Meteorologist
Weeknights at 5, 5:30, 6, 10 on WAGT-DT2, and 11
AMS CBM #627
Mornings on Good Morning Augusta Weekend
|Matt Zahn||Sports Director
Weeknights at 6, 10, and 11
Rotating weekday mornings (pre-recorded)
Football Friday Night host
|Tom Wylie||Sports Anchor/Reporter
|Barclay Bishop||Digital Journalist
Good Morning Augusta
|George Eskola||Senior Reporter
"Out There Somewhere" feature reporter
|Dee Griffin||Special Assignment Reporter
|Mike Miller||Digital Journalist|
|Nicole Snyder||Digital Journalist|
Notable former on-air staff
- Renita Crawford - Anchor/Reporter (1995-2009)
- Patricia Crosby - anchor/reporter (1993-1995, now at WTLV/WJXX in Jacksonville, FL)
- Bob Young - Anchor (1985-1998), became mayor of Augusta (1999-2005)
- WJBF website TV listings
- Me-TV Beefs Up Roster With 10 New Stations, TVNewsCheck, September 15, 2011.
- "Seven new TV outlets go on the air." Broadcasting - Telecasting, November 30, 1953, pg. 68. 
- "Fountain firm buys WJBF for $125,000." Broadcasting - Telecasting, July 5, 1954, pg. 66. 
- "WJBF (TV) goes primary ABC." Broadcasting, August 14, 1967, pg. 52. 
- "One (network) to a customer." Broadcasting, March 29, 1971, pg. 67. 
- "Changing Hands." Broadcasting, July 28, 1980, pp. 82-83
- "Western sale." Broadcasting, January 16, 1984, pg. 41
- "Changing hands." Broadcasting, July 14, 1986, pg. 66
- Emerson, LaTina (December 30, 2009). "WJBF, WAGT still negotiating with on-air personnel". The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved December 5, 2010.
- Emerson, LaTina (December 2, 2010). "WBBQ, other stations to move to new locations". The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved December 5, 2010.
- DeMao, Alisa (September 13, 2001). "Radio personalities add camera to mike". The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved December 5, 2010.
- News Team
- WJBF website
- WJBF mobile
- Parade of Quartets website
- WAGT "NBC Augusta 26"
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WJBF