WJZY

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WJZY
WJZY 2013 Logo.png
Belmont/Charlotte, North Carolina
United States
City of license Belmont, 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)
Subchannels 46.1 Fox
46.2 Antenna TV
Affiliations Fox (O&O; 2013–present)
Owner Fox Television Stations
(Fox Television Stations, Inc.)
First air date March 9, 1987; 27 years ago (1987-03-09)
Sister station(s) WMYT-TV
Fox Sports Carolinas
Former channel number(s) Analog:
46 (UHF, 1987–2009)
Former affiliations Independent (1987–1995)
UPN (1995–2006)
CW (2006–2013)
Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 554 m (1,818 ft)
Facility ID 73152
Transmitter coordinates 35°21′44.5″N 81°9′18.4″W / 35.362361°N 81.155111°W / 35.362361; -81.155111
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.myfoxcarolinas.com

WJZY, virtual channel 46 (UHF digital channel 47), is a Fox owned-and-operated television station serving Charlotte, North Carolina, United States that is licensed to Belmont. The station is owned by the Fox Television Stations subidiary of 21st Century Fox, as part of a duopoly with Rock Hill, South Carolina-licensed MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station WMYT-TV (channel 55). The two stations share studio facilities located on Performance Road (along I-85) in unincorporated western Mecklenberg County; WJZY's transmitter is located in Dallas, North Carolina, along the Catawba River.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

The station first signed on the air on March 9, 1987, originally operating as an independent station. It was the first full-power station to sign on in the Charlotte area since WCTU-TV (channel 36, now WCNC-TV) launched in July 1967.[1] Former Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt was part of the original ownership company, Metro-Crescent Communications.[2] 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 call letters at the time.[3]

The station spent most of the spring testing its transmitter by airing movies that were presented without commercial interruption. It began full-time 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 market 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 did not have nearly enough time in its broadcast day to air all of it. A solution came with the sign-on of WFVT (channel 55, later WWWB and now WMYT-TV) in September 1994. Capitol Broadcasting entered into 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.

UPN affiliation[edit]

The station became a charter affiliate of the United Paramount Network (UPN) when the network launched on January 16, 1995. 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 shifted away from incorporating classic sitcoms and movies on its schedule. 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).

WJZY served as 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 were not carried by CBS affiliate WBTV (channel 3). The station began transmitting its network programming in high definition with the launch of its digital signal in September 2002.

CW affiliation[edit]

The logo used by WJZY as a CW affiliate from 2011 to May 2013, when a temporary logo reading "WJZY 46" (with the "46" from this logo) replaced this one.

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 The CW, a new network combining the most popular programs from both UPN and The WB with new series produced specifically for the network.[4] On March 1, the 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 debut on September 18, 2006.[5] 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 ratings-wise.

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 packing strong winds blew down trees causing damage to its transmission building (which houses a 2,000 feet (610 m) tall tower that is used by WJZY and three FM radio outlets (WNKS 95.1; WIBT 96.1, now WHQC; and WPEG 97.9) that is owned by CBC Real Estate, Incorporated.[6] On September 12, 2011, the station's branding reverted to "CW 46".

Sale to Fox Television Stations and switch to Fox[edit]

On January 14, 2013, Fox Television Stations entered into an agreement to acquire WJZY and WMYT from the Capitol Broadcasting Company for $18 million (the sale was formally announced on January 28).[7][8][9] Although Charlotte's longtime Fox affiliate, WCCB (channel 18), 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 (as of the 2012-13 television season, Charlotte ranks as the 25th-largest television market according to Nielsen Media Research). 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.[10]

The acquisition marked a re-entry into North Carolina for Fox, which owned High Point's WGHP from 1996 to 2008 (an acquisition that was related to Fox's 1994 affiliation deal with New World Communications, which sold the station to Fox as multiple ongoing station acquisitions put New World over FCC ownership limits).[11] 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.[12] The FCC granted its approval of the sale on March 11, and the deal was consummated on April 17.[13][14] This made WJZY and WMYT the first commercial outlets in the Charlotte television 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 did not 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.[15] 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 for the Charlotte market on July 1.[16] On May 6, WJZY began airing a promo announcing that it would switch to Fox itself on July 1, 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 brand "Fox 46 Carolinas" at that time.[17][18][19] 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. It also unveiled 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. 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 2013. 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 of the logo was only used during The Daily Buzz, and remained in use on public service announcements placed in the station's control system before Fox took ownership of the station. The station's Capitol Broadcasting-era website became a non-updated, bare-bones "ghost site" in early June, and was not redirected until July 3 to the station's new website. Fox launched new Facebook and Pinterest accounts for the station in early June. A new "myfoxcarolinas.com" website launched in beta 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 on June 29, and the first Fox program was a repeat of Raising Hope on July 1.

With the switch to Fox, WJZY became the network's third-smallest O&O (ahead of only KTBC in Austin, Texas and WHBQ-TV in Memphis, Tennessee) and the smallest in the Eastern Time Zone. WOGX in Ocala, Florida is based in a smaller market, but operates as a semi-satellite of WOFL in Orlando and is counted as part of that station for regulatory purposes. WJZY also became the unofficial "home" station of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. Fox owns the television rights to most games from 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.[10] 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. in June 2013 and spun-off its publishing company that now carries the News Corp. name.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP short name Programming[20]
46.1 720p 16:9 WJZY-HD Main WJZY programming / Fox
46.2 480i 4:3 Ant-TV Antenna TV

Prior to April 2011, WJZY had broadcast a standard-definition simulcast of the station's 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).[21][22] On December 7, 2011, a third subchannel was added with programming from the SonLife Broadcasting Network, which duplicated WMYT's third subchannel.[23] 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 on the station until January 31.[24] On September 6, 2012, WJZY announced it was adding This TV on digital channel 46.3 on September 17, moving The Country Network to a new subchannel.[25] On September 10, 2012, it launched digital subchannel 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 the 46.3 and 46.4 subchannels until September 16, when This TV launched on 46.3, a day earlier than originally reported.[26] On June 23, 2013, This TV was dropped from the third subchannel and moved to WMYT's second subchannel.[27] When WJZY switched to Fox on July 1, ZUUS Country was also dropped, and the third and fourth subchannels were completely removed.[28] Currently, WJZY is the only Fox owned-and-operated station that carries digital subchannels affiliated with networks other than Movies! (not counting those that carry a simulcast of a co-owned MyNetworkTV station).

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

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.[29][30] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 46.

As part of the SAFER Act,[31] WJZY kept its analog signal on the air until July 6 to inform viewers of the digital television transition through a loop of public service announcements from the National Association of Broadcasters. Since July 2012, WJZY began to transmit its main channel in the 720p resolution format to accommodate its 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[edit]

In recent years, WJZY has been carried on cable in several areas outside of the Charlotte media market. That includes cable systems within the adjacent Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point market, the Asheville market in North Carolina and South Carolina, the Columbia market in South Carolina, and the Tri-Cities market in Tennessee.[32] Fox's strict contractual policies against network signal duplication from out-of-market signals in other markets will likely mean the discontinuation of out-of-market distribution of the station in the near future; all of the communities listed have their own Fox affiliates.

News operation[edit]

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.

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.[33]

From May 1994 to June 1995, and again from September 2003 to April 8, 2012, CBS affiliate WBTV produced a nightly 10:00 p.m. newscast for WJZY through separate news share agreements. During the February 2012 ratings sweeps period, the program placed a distant third behind WCCB's in-house newscast and the newscast on WAXN-TV (channel 64) that is produced by ABC affiliate WSOC-TV (channel 9); the low ratings for the program on WJZY were cited as the reason for its move to WMYT.[34] On April 9, 2012, WBTV moved its 10:00 p.m. newscast to WJZY's duopoly partner WMYT-TV. It was simulcast by both stations for one week, before syndicated reruns of Law & Order: Criminal Intent replaced the simulcast on WJZY on April 16, 2012.[35][36] However, WBTV 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 create an in-house news operation for WJZY – the fifth full-fledged news department in the market. In the meantime, WBTV's 10:00 p.m. production returned to WJZY from WMYT when channel 46 became a Fox owned-and-operated station on July 1, 2013.[37] 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 housed the studios of the defunct Fox-owned cable channel Speed and currently serves as the Charlotte facilities for Fox Sports 1, since the Performance Road facility was presumably too small to house a news department.[9][38][39] However on June 28, news director Geoff Roth, recently arrived from new sister station KRIV in Houston, Texas; said that Fox would heavily renovate and expand the Performance Road studio to accommodate the news department.[33] 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 10:00 p.m. news on channel 46.[40][41] The news department formally launched on WJZY on January 1, 2014 with the debut of a nightly hour-long 10:00 p.m. newscast titled My Fox Carolinas Primetime.[42]

The newscast is produced in a somewhat non-traditional fashion designed to target younger viewers, carrying characteristics of the similarly unconventional public affairs program Chasing New Jersey from Secaucus, New Jersey sister station WWOR-TV; however, while Chasing was patterned off the format of 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 (similar to the news format previously used by City flagship station CITY-DT in Toronto), 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."[42] WJZY also operates five bureaus in Charlotte's outer suburbs staffed by reporters living in those communities to bolster its regional emphasis.[43]

In addition to the 10:00 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 6:00 p.m. newscast is also slated to be added to the schedule by July; a 7:00 p.m. newscast (the first newscast in that timeslot on a Fox-owned station and the second such program in the Charlotte market, after an existing half-hour newscast on WBTV) will be launched as well in the summer of 2014. These expansions will require the hiring of additional newsroom staff.[43][44]

News team[edit]

Current on-air staff[45][edit]

Anchors (senior digital journalists)
  • Cheryl Brayboy - weekends at 10:00 p.m.
  • Barbara Pinson Lash - weeknights at 10:00 p.m.
Weather team
Sports team
  • Anthony Flores - sports anchor; weeknights at 10:00 p.m.
  • Mike Lesile - sports anchor; weekends at 10:00 p.m.
Digital journalists
  • Neima Abdulahi - general assignment reporter
  • Martin Amsler - general assignment reporter
  • Jenna Caiazzo - general assignment reporter
  • Jon Dick - general assignment reporter
  • Caroline Fountain - general assignment reporter
  • Robin Kanady - general assignment reporter
  • Alex Miller - general assignment reporter; also photojournalist
  • Mary Quinn O'Connor - general assignment reporter
  • Amanda O'Hara - general assignment reporter
  • Lauren Radcliffe - general assignment reporter
  • David Sentendrey - general assignment reporter
  • Archith Seshadri - general assignment reporter
  • Logan Sherrill - general assignment reporter
  • Billie Jean Shaw - general assignment reporter

References[edit]

  1. ^ UPN Awaits More Change
  2. ^ "Others have questioned station sale". The Charlotte Observer. October 20, 1987. Retrieved 22 April 2013.   – via NewsBank (subscription required)
  3. ^ "New station ready to test transmitter". The Charlotte Observer. March 6, 1987. Retrieved 4 July 2013.   – via NewsBank (subscription required)
  4. ^ UPN and WB to Combine, Forming New TV Network, The New York Times, January 24, 2006.
  5. ^ CBC Charlotte Stations Begin New Affiliate Programming
  6. ^ Gaston Co. tornado confirmed, WXIX (via WBTV), March 28, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  7. ^ "Fox Buying Charlotte Duo Of WJZY-WMYT". January 28, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  8. ^ Charlotte TV deal should be windfall for Fox; 'a lot of extra value', The Charlotte Observer, January 29, 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Will Fox Charlotte drop its news shows? No.". Charlotte Observer. February 1, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Charlotte Move Puts Fox Affiliates On Edge". January 29, 2013. Retrieved October 24, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Shakeup in Charlotte TV: Fox buying two local stations". January 29, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Price revealed for Fox Charlotte TV buy". Radio & Television Business Report. January 29, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2013. 
  13. ^ http://licensing.fcc.gov/prod/cdbs/pubacc/Auth_Files/1537401.pdf
  14. ^ https://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/cdbsmenu.hts?context=25&appn=101551157&formid=905&fac_num=73152
  15. ^ James, Meg (January 25, 2006). "CBS, Warner to Shut Down 2 Networks and Form Hybrid". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  16. ^ Malone, Michael (April 18, 2013). "Fox Affiliate WCCB Charlotte Shifts to CW". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  17. ^ Halonen, Doug (January 28, 2013). "WCCB Charlotte To Lose Fox Affiliation". TVNewsCheck.com. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  18. ^ Malone, Michael (January 29, 2013). "Fox Affiliate Switch in Works for Charlotte". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved January 30, 2013. 
  19. ^ Washburn, Mark. Charlotte stations revealing branding strategies, The Charlotte Observer, 2013-05-11.
  20. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WJZY
  21. ^ WJZY Signs On As Antenna TV Affiliate, TVNewsCheck, July 20, 2011.
  22. ^ Charlotte, NC - OTA - Page 120
  23. ^ Charlotte, NC - OTA - Page 138
  24. ^ Charlotte, NC - OTA - Page 143
  25. ^ CBC Adds THIS TV to Charlotte Station Line Up
  26. ^ Charlotte, NC - OTA - Page 170
  27. ^ Charlotte, NC - OTA - Page 199
  28. ^ Charlotte, NC - OTA - Page 201
  29. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  30. ^ CDBS Print
  31. ^ "UPDATED List of Participants in the Analog Nightlight Program" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. June 12, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
  32. ^ Cable & Phone Network TV
  33. ^ a b Washburn, Mark (June 28, 2013). "Fox and CW networks switch stations in Charlotte starting Monday". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved June 29, 2013. 
  34. ^ Nielsen ratings: Charlotte TV newscasts, Charlotte Observer, March 9, 2012.
  35. ^ ‘Kiss’ hopes new show helps station rebound, Charlotte Observer, March 30, 2012.
  36. ^ WJZY’s 10 p.m. Newscast Moving to WMYT, TVSpy, April 9, 2012.
  37. ^ A new radio generation at CBS, Charlotte Observer, June 14, 2013.
  38. ^ Fox switch likely to be costly to WCCB, Charlotte Observer, February 8, 2013.
  39. ^ Facebook
  40. ^ Twitter
  41. ^ Join Us for Our Live Newscast, WJZY, December 18, 2013.
  42. ^ a b "Fox Takes Different Tack To Local News In NC". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  43. ^ a b Marszaleck, Diana (February 11, 2014). "WJZY News Takes Local To A New Level". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  44. ^ Washburn, Mark (February 7, 2014). "WJZY takes radical shift in developing local newscast". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved February 7, 2014. 
  45. ^ Fox 46 News Team
  46. ^ Channel 3 to add newscasts to Bounce channel, Charlotte Observer, January 3, 2014.

External links[edit]