|Belmont/Charlotte, North Carolina
|Branding||Fox 46 Carolinas (general)
My Fox Carolinas Primetime (newscasts)
|Slogan||The Carolinas' Home for Fox|
|Channels||Digital: 47 (UHF)
Virtual: 46 (PSIP)
46.2 Antenna TV
|Owner||Fox Television Stations
(Fox Television Stations, Inc.)
|First air date||March 9, 1987|
Fox Sports Carolinas
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
46 (UHF, 1987–2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1987–1995)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Height||554 m (1,818 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
WJZY, channel 46, digital channel 47, is an owned-and-operated television station of the Fox Broadcasting Company, licensed to Belmont, North Carolina, USA and serving the Charlotte, North Carolina television market. WJZY is owned by the Fox Television Stations division of 21st Century Fox and operates as one-half of a duopoly with Rock Hill, South Carolina-licensed, MyNetworkTV station WMYT-TV (channel 55). The two stations share studios in unincorporated western Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and a transmitter location in Dallas, North Carolina, along the Catawba River.
- 1 History
- 2 Digital television
- 3 Out-of-market cable carriage
- 4 News operation
- 5 References
- 6 External links
The station signed on March 9, 1987 as an independent station on analog channel 46. It was the first full-power station to sign on in the Charlotte area since WCTU-TV (now WCNC-TV) launched in 1967. Former Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt was part of the original ownership company, Metro-Crescent Communications. The station was originally licensed with the callsign WMHU, but prior to the station's official debut, the calls were changed to WJZY in November 1986. According to station officials, the change was made because no other Charlotte station had a "J" or "Z" in its calls at the time.
The station spent most of the spring testing its transmitter by airing commercial-free movies. It began full operations that summer, running a format of cartoons, westerns, older movies and syndicated drama series. Almost immediately, WJZY displaced Washington, D.C.'s WDCA – which had been available in the Charlotte area as a regional superstation since cable television arrived in the early 1970s – on area cable systems, taking WDCA's old location on cable channel 8. Less than a year later, the Capitol Broadcasting Company, owner of WRAL-TV in Raleigh, bought WJZY. At that time, classic sitcoms, and more recent off-network sitcoms and movies were added to channel 46's schedule.
WJZY owned a large amount of syndicated programming, but didn't have nearly enough time in its broadcast day to air it all. A solution came with the sign-on of WFVT (channel 55, later WWWB and now WMYT) in September 1994. Capitol Broadcasting signed a local marketing agreement with WFVT's Indiana-based owner, Family 55. Under this LMA, WJZY bought WFVT's entire broadcast day, and placed much of this extra programming on WFVT.
The station became a charter UPN affiliate upon the network's January 16, 1995 launch. WFVT joined The WB Television Network at the same time, creating one of the first UPN/WB partnerships in the country. For most of UPN's run, WJZY was one of the network's strongest affiliates. At one point, it was tied with UPN's Atlanta owned-and-operated station WUPA as the network's fifth highest-rated station.
Starting in the mid-1990s, the station added more talk and reality shows, and moved away from classic sitcoms and movies. In 2003, network-supplied children's programs were dropped from the station after UPN discontinued the network's Disney's One Too block (network children's shows eventually returned to WJZY when the station became a CW affiliate in 2006).
It was the over-the-air home of NBA's Charlotte Hornets from 1992 until the team relocated to New Orleans in 2002, and of the Charlotte Bobcats from 2004 until the team's telecasts moved to WMYT in 2006. WJZY also occasionally aired Atlantic Coast Conference football and basketball games that CBS affiliate WBTV did not carry. The station began transmitting its network programming with a high definition digital signal in September 2002.
On January 24, 2006, Time Warner and CBS Corporation announced that they would shut down The WB and UPN that fall. In place of these networks, the two companies would form a new network called The CW Television Network, combining the most popular programming from both UPN and The WB with new series produced specifically for the network. On March 1, Capitol Broadcasting Company announced that WJZY would become the Charlotte area affiliate of The CW, making it the first station outside of the core Tribune Company and CBS Television Stations groups (the latter being a sister company to The CW through CBS Corporation's stake in the network) to agree to carry the new network. WJZY affiliated with The CW upon the network's September 18, 2006 debut. The station changed its branding to "WJZY CW 46," although an earlier plan was to change the branding to "CW 8," in reference to its cable channel position on most Charlotte systems. In addition, sister station WMYT affiliated with MyNetworkTV two weeks earlier on September 5, making Capitol the first company to own a duopoly of CW and MyNetworkTV affiliates in the same market. It would not have been an upset had WMYT been chosen as Charlotte's CW affiliate, however. Network officials were on record as wanting the "strongest" WB and UPN affiliates, and Charlotte was one of the few markets where the WB and UPN affiliates were both relatively strong.
In 2009, the station changed its branding to "Charlotte's WJZY" in an effort to brand itself as a more local station. Late in the afternoon on March 28, 2010, a severe thunderstorm with strong winds blew trees down causing damage to its transmission building owned by CBC Real Estate, Incorporated. The tower is 2,000 feet tall and hosts this station and three FM radio outlets (WNKS 95.1, WIBT 96.1, and WPEG 97.9). On September 12, 2011, its branding reverted to "CW 46".
Sale to Fox Television Stations and switch to Fox
On January 14, 2013, Fox Television Stations entered into an agreement to acquire WJZY and WMYT from Capitol Broadcasting Company for $18 million (the sale was formally announced on January 28). Although Charlotte's longtime Fox affiliate, WCCB, had been one of the network's strongest performers, Fox had been interested in buying a station in a market that had recently ascended to major status (Charlotte is the 25th-largest market). Another likely reason was an option by Fox to purchase Raleigh-Durham's WLFL and WRDC from Sinclair Broadcast Group, which would have resulted in then-sister station WRAZ losing its Fox affiliation.
This marked a re-entry into North Carolina for Fox, who owned High Point's WGHP from 1996 to 2008. The deal included a time brokerage agreement clause that would have had Fox take over the operations of WJZY and WMYT, and acquire the duopoly's non-license assets for $8.24 million, if the deal was not closed by June 1. The FCC granted its approval of the sale on March 11, and the deal was consummated on April 17. This made WJZY and WMYT the first commercial outlets in the Charlotte media market to be owned by a major broadcast network, with WMYT becoming the first owned-and-operated station in Charlotte due to its affiliation with MyNetworkTV. However, WCCB's affiliation contract with Fox didn't run out until July 1. Until then, Fox Television stations ran WJZY as a CW affiliate, an irony considering that The CW passed over Fox's UPN affiliates – which later served as MyNetworkTV's core station group – for charter affiliations in key markets (in favor of stations owned by CBS and Tribune), when the network's launch was announced in January 2006. In another irony, WJZY had signed on in part to fill the void left by WCCB joining Fox.
On April 18, WCCB announced that it would become the new CW affiliate in Charlotte on July 1. On May 6, WJZY began airing a promo announcing that it would switch to Fox on that same date, which made WJZY the first station in Charlotte to be an owned-and-operated station of one of the "Big Four" networks. Fox also announced that the station would adopt the on-air name "Fox 46 Carolinas" at that time. It also revealed the station's future logo, which incorporated the "46" used in the station's last CW-era logo into the universal Fox O&O logo. Under normal Fox branding standards, WJZY should have rebranded as "Fox 46 Charlotte." However, Fox opted for a regional brand in order to reflect the station's primary coverage area of 22 counties in North and South Carolina. However, it had been presumed before the official announcement that WJZY would join Fox. Not only is WJZY the senior partner in the duopoly, but WMYT is already affiliated with MyNetworkTV.
The transition from The CW to Fox began soon after Fox took control of the station in April. Capitol Broadcasting employees stopped updating the station's Twitter and Facebook accounts at the end of April. Starting in May, WJZY stopped promoting CW shows outside of network programming hours. The branding switched from "CW 46" to "WJZY 46" on May 9; the CW version was only used during The Daily Buzz, and remained on public service announcements placed in the station's control system before Fox took over ownership of the station. The station's Capitol Broadcasting-era Website became a non-updated, bare-bones "ghost site" after the end of the television season in early June, and was not redirected until July 3 to the station's new site. Fox launched new Facebook and Pinterest accounts for the station in early June. A new "myfoxcarolinas.com" site launched in a basic form on June 17, with the full site being rolled out in September. The last CW program to air on WJZY was Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, and the first Fox program was a repeat of Raising Hope.
With the switch to Fox, WJZY became the network's third-smallest O&O (ahead of only KTBC in Austin and WHBQ-TV in Memphis) and the smallest in the Eastern Time Zone. WOGX in Ocala, Florida is based in a smaller market, but is a semi-satellite of WOFL in Orlando and is counted as part of that station for regulatory purposes. It also became the unofficial "home" station of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. Fox owns the rights to most games of the National Football Conference, where the Panthers play. Charlotte had been the third-largest NFC market, and the only one in the Eastern Time Zone, where the local Fox station was only an affiliate. Indeed, Fox Television Stations president Jack Abernathy said that Fox set its sights on buying a station in Charlotte specifically because it was an NFC market. However, Panthers preseason games will continue to air on WCCB for the duration of the current rights contract. WJZY is the first Fox O&O not to have the News Corporation as a parent company, given that the News Corporation changed its name to 21st Century Fox, Inc. and spun-off its publishing company that now carries the News Corp name.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming|
|46.1||720p||16:9||WJZY-HD||Main WJZY programming / Fox|
Prior to April 2011, WJZY had broadcast a standard-definition simulcast of the main channel on its second digital subchannel. No programming was seen on that subchannel until Antenna TV was added on July 22, 2011 (three days before the originally-announced launch date). On December 7, 2011, a third subchannel was added with programming from the SonLife Broadcasting Network, which duplicated WMYT's third subchannel. On January 24, 2012, WJZY replaced SBN with The Country Network (now ZUUS Country), but technical issues kept The Country Network from broadcasting full-time until January 31. On September 6, 2012, WJZY announced it was adding This TV on 46.3 on September 17, moving The Country Network to a new subchannel. On September 10, 2012, it launched 46.4, and changed the PSIP short name of 46.3 to THISTV, and moved the TCN PSIP name to 46.4. The Country Network was broadcast on both 46.3 and 46.4 until September 16, when This TV launched on 46.3, a day earlier than originally reported. On June 23, 2013, This TV was dropped from the third subchannel and moved to WMYT's second subchannel. When WJZY switched to Fox on July 1, ZUUS Country was also dropped, and the third and fourth subchannels were completely removed.
WJZY shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 46, 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 47. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 46. On that date, the station ended regular analog broadcasting, switching to "nightlight" service on channel 46, acting as the official "nightlight" station for the Charlotte market until July 6. Since July 2012, WJZY began to transmit their main signal in in the 720p resolution format to accommodate their subchannels. This meant that no technical work had to be done upon the purchase by Fox, which transmits network programming in the 720p format, though it was under The CW's 1080i preference.
Out-of-market cable carriage
In recent years, WJZY has been carried on cable in multiple areas outside of the Charlotte media market. That includes cable systems within the Greensboro market in North Carolina, the Asheville market in North Carolina and South Carolina, the Columbia market in South Carolina, and the Tri-Cities market in Tennessee. Fox's strict contractual policies against network signal duplication from out-of-market signals in other markets will likely mean discontinuation of out-of-market distribution in the near future; all of the communities listed have their own Fox affiliates.
WJZY is the only big four network station that airs the syndicated morning program The Daily Buzz, a remnant of its time as a CW affiliate; it currently airs the second two hours of The Daily Buzz at 7 a.m., and also airs its own local version of the program in the form of news inserts called The Charlotte Buzz. WJZY also previously aired the statewide-syndicated weekly public affairs program NC Spin, which moved to WMYT after the switch to Fox. The station formerly produced a local public affairs show called Charlotte Now with Mike Collins, which was discontinued following its June 30, 2013 edition, one day before the official switch to Fox.
From May 1994 to June 1995, and again from September 2003 to April 8, 2012, CBS affiliate WBTV produced a nightly 10 p.m. newscast on WJZY. In the February 2012 ratings sweeps period, this broadcast was a distant third behind WCCB and the WAXN-TV newscast produced by WSOC-TV. On April 9, 2012, WBTV moved its 10 p.m. newscast to WJZY's sister station WMYT-TV. It was simulcast by both stations for one week, then on April 16, 2012, Law & Order: Criminal Intent replaced the simulcast on WJZY. WBTV, however, continued to produce local weather inserts for WJZY during The Daily Buzz.
With Fox's purchase of the WJZY/WMYT duopoly, Fox Television Stations announced that it would develop an in-house news operation for WJZY--the fifth full-fledged news department in the market. In the meantime, WBTV's 10 p.m. production returned to WJZY from WMYT on the day of the affiliation change (July 1, 2013). It had been presumed even before then that Fox would build a standalone news department for the station, since the network's other owned-and-operated stations have news departments as well.
Initial reports suggested that Fox would move WJZY/WMYT to a facility in Charlotte's University City section that also houses the studios of the defunct Fox-owned cable channel Speed and current Charlotte facilities for Fox Sports 1, since the Performance Road facility was presumably too small to house a news department. However, on June 28, news director Geoff Roth, recently arrived from KRIV in Houston, Texas; said that Fox would heavily renovate and expand the Performance Road studio to accommodate the news department. WJZY soft-launched its news operation on December 18, 2013, in the form of an online-only rehearsal newscast that was streamed on the station's website nightly (except on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) through December 31 and airing concurrently with the WBTV-produced 10 p.m. news on channel 46. A nightly hour-long 10 p.m. newscast titled My Fox Carolinas Primetime formally debuted on WJZY on January 1, 2014.
WJZY presently broadcasts seven hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with one hour each on weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays); WJZY is currently the only Fox owned-and-operated station that does not produce any newscasts outside of primetime and effectively, one of only two that currently does not produce a late afternoon newscast (along with Chicago sister station WFLD). While most of its stablemates maintain news-intensive schedules, when WJZY launched its news department, it utilized the standard mode for Fox stations to run only a late evening newscast initially before adding newscasts in other time periods.
The newscast is produced in a somewhat non-traditional fashion designed to target younger viewers, carrying characteristics of the similarly unconventional WWOR-TV public affairs program Chasing New Jersey; however, while Chasing was patterned off TMZ, WJZY's newscast still contains some conventional traits. Abernethy felt that "when you’re not being held by an existing show, it’s much easier to do things differently." WJZY's newscast does not use a traditional set or main anchor desk, taking place within the newsroom itself. Stories are introduced by anchor Cheryl Brayboy from reporters' desks or elsewhere in the newsroom, and weather reports are done from a large display near the center of the room. The newscast is conducted in a more "casual" style than its competitors, but still contains an emphasis on traditional storytelling. The station also employs newer technologies as part of its operation, such as cellular and Wi-Fi-based equipment for outside broadcasting instead of microwave transmission (the station initially planned to obtain a microwave truck as a backup, but has since dropped those plans). The differences in its operation are also reflected in differing job titles. News director Roth's formal title is "vice president of local content." The reporters are called "digital journalists," with lead anchor Brayboy referred to as a "senior digital journalist." WJZY also operates five bureaus in Charlotte's outer suburbs staffed by reporters living in those communities to bolster its regional emphasis.
In addition to the 10 p.m. newscast, WJZY intends to launch a four-hour morning newscast in May 2014; this program's format will have a format described as "more of a sofa-and-coffee-table production." An hour-long 6 p.m. newscast is also slated to be added to the schedule by July; a 7 p.m. newscast will be launched as well in the summer of 2014. These expansions will require the hiring of additional newsroom staff.
Current on-air staff
- Anchors (senior digital journalists)
- Cheryl Brayboy - weeknights at 10:00 p.m.
- Barbara Pinson - weekends at 10:00 p.m.
- Weather team
- Rob Eicher (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 10:00 p.m.
- Melissa LeFerve - meteorologist; weekends at 10:00 p.m.
- Sports team
- Anthony Flores - sports anchor; weeknights at 10:00 p.m.
- Mike Lesile - sports anchor; weekends at 10:00 p.m.
- Reporters (digital journalists)
- Neima Abdulahi
- Caroline Fountain
- Kyle McCurry (Hickory Bureau)
- Jessica Milicevic
- Alex Miller
- Amanda O'Hara
- Mary Quinn O'Connor
- David Sentendrey
- Archith Seshadri
- UPN Awaits More Change
- "Others have questioned station sale". The Charlotte Observer. October 20, 1987. Retrieved 22 April 2013. – via NewsBank (subscription required)
- "New station ready to test transmitter". The Charlotte Observer. March 6, 1987. Retrieved 4 July 2013. – via NewsBank (subscription required)
- UPN and WB to Combine, Forming New TV Network, The New York Times, January 24, 2006.
- CBC Charlotte Stations Begin New Affiliate Programming
- Gaston Co. tornado confirmed, WXIX (via WBTV), March 28, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- "Fox Buying Charlotte Duo Of WJZY-WMYT". January 28, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
- Charlotte TV deal should be windfall for Fox; 'a lot of extra value', The Charlotte Observer, January 29, 2013.
- "Will Fox Charlotte drop its news shows? No.". Charlotte Observer. February 1, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- "Charlotte Move Puts Fox Affiliates On Edge". January 29, 2013. Retrieved October 24, 2013.
- "Shakeup in Charlotte TV: Fox buying two local stations". January 29, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- "Price revealed for Fox Charlotte TV buy". Radio & Television Business Report. January 29, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- James, Meg (January 25, 2006). "CBS, Warner to Shut Down 2 Networks and Form Hybrid". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- Malone, Michael (April 18, 2013). "Fox Affiliate WCCB Charlotte Shifts to CW". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- Halonen, Doug (January 28, 2013). "WCCB Charlotte To Lose Fox Affiliation". TVNewsCheck.com. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
- Malone, Michael (January 29, 2013). "Fox Affiliate Switch in Works for Charlotte". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
- Washburn, Mark. Charlotte stations revealing branding strategies. The Charlotte Observer, 2013-05-11.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WJZY
- WJZY Signs On As Antenna TV Affiliate, TVNewsCheck, July 20, 2011.
- CBC Adds THIS TV to Charlotte Station Line Up
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- CDBS Print
- Cable & Phone Network TV
- Washburn, Mark (June 28, 2013). "Fox and CW networks switch stations in Charlotte starting Monday". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
- Nielsen ratings: Charlotte TV newscasts, Charlotte Observer, March 9, 2012.
- ‘Kiss’ hopes new show helps station rebound, Charlotte Observer, March 30, 2012.
- WJZY’s 10 p.m. Newscast Moving to WMYT, TVSpy, April 9, 2012.
- A new radio generation at CBS, Charlotte Observer, June 14, 2013.
- Fox switch likely to be costly to WCCB, Charlotte Observer, February 8, 2013.
- Join Us for Our Live Newscast, WJZY, December 18, 2013.
- "Fox Takes Different Tack To Local News In NC". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- Marszaleck, Diana (February 11, 2014). "WJZY News Takes Local To A New Level". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- Washburn, Mark (February 7, 2014). "WJZY takes radical shift in developing local newscast". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
- Channel 3 to add newscasts to Bounce channel, Charlotte Observer, January 3, 2014.
- MyFoxCarolinas.com - Official Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WJZY
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WJZY-TV