WMAZ-TV

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WMAZ-TV
13WMAZlogo.png
Macon, Georgia
United States
Branding 13WMAZ (general)
13WMAZ Eyewitness News (newscasts)
Slogan Straight from the Heart
Channels Digital: 13 (VHF)
Virtual: 13 (PSIP)
Subchannels 13.1 CBS
13.2 The CW
13.3 13WMAZ Forecast First
Affiliations CBS
Owner Gannett Company
(Pacific and Southern Company, Inc.)
First air date September 27, 1953; 60 years ago (1953-09-27)
Call letters' meaning Watch
Mercer
Attain
Zenith
Former channel number(s) Analog:
13 (VHF, 1953–2009)
Digital:
4 (VHF, 2003–2009)
Former affiliations Secondary:
DuMont (1953–1955)
NBC (1953–1968)
ABC (1953–1982)
Transmitter power 52.6 kW
Height 238 m
Facility ID 46991
Transmitter coordinates 32°45′11.7″N 83°33′32″W / 32.753250°N 83.55889°W / 32.753250; -83.55889
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.13wmaz.com

WMAZ-TV, virtual and VHF channel 13, is a CBS-affiliated television station located in Macon, Georgia, United States. The station is owned by the Gannett Company. WMAZ-TV maintains studio facilities located on Gray Highway on the northeast side of Macon, and its transmitter is located on GA 87/U.S. 23/U.S. 129 Alternate (Golden Isles Highway) along the Twiggs-Bibb County line. Syndicated programs broadcast on WMAZ include Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, Live! with Kelly and Michael, Dr. Phil and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

History[edit]

The station first signed on the air on September 27, 1953. It was originally owned by Southeastern Broadcasting Company, owners of WMAZ radio (940 AM, now WMAC; and 99.1 FM, frequency now occupied by WDEN). WMAZ-TV is the fourth-oldest television station in the state of Georgia and the oldest located outside of Atlanta, beating WDAK-TV (now WTVM) in Columbus to the air by only one day. The Federal Communications Commission awarded Southeastern Broadcasting a license to operate a television station on its second try; it had previously made an unsuccessful bid for the VHF channel 7 allocation one year earlier in 1952. The new station was one of the most powerful VHF stations in the country, providing at least secondary signal coverage from the southern Atlanta suburbs to the western suburbs of Savannah. The WMAZ call letters are derived from its former AM sister station, which traces its roots as a physics project at Mercer University (the call letters stand for "Watch Mercer Attain Zenith").

The station has been a primary CBS affiliate from its launch, owing to WMAZ-AM's longtime affiliation with the CBS Radio Network; however, WMAZ originally carried secondary affiliations with ABC, NBC and the DuMont Television Network; the station lost its DuMont affiliation in 1955, one year before the network ceased operations. Southeastern Broadcasting sold WMAZ-AM-FM-TV to Southern Broadcasting Corporation in 1963, earning a healthy return on its 1935 purchase of WMAZ-AM. Southern Broadcasting merged with the Greenville, South Carolina-based News-Piedmont Company to form Multimedia, Inc. in 1967.

WMAZ was the only television station in the Macon market until September 1968, when WCWB-TV (channel 41, now WMGT-TV) signed on, taking the NBC affiliation. The station continued to carry select ABC programs until WGXA (channel 24, now a Fox affiliate) signed on in April 1982. In 1974, WMAZ-AM-FM-TV moved to a new studio facility on Gray Highway in Macon. Multimedia merged with the Gannett Company in 1995; as a result, WMAZ-TV became a sister station to Georgia's third-oldest television station, WXIA-TV in Atlanta. WMAZ remains the only VHF station allocated to the market, due partly to the fact that Macon is sandwiched between the much larger Atlanta market to the north, Columbus to the west, and the respective Augusta and Savannah markets to the east. Partly because of this, the station has dominated the ratings in central Georgia for most of its history.

The station's longtime slogan, "Straight from the Heart," dates back to 1983, when WMAZ debuted an image campaign based on Bryan Adams' song of the same name. Its NBC-affiliated sister station in Knoxville, Tennessee, WBIR-TV, also uses the slogan and image campaign.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1]
13.1 1080i 16:9 WMAZ-TV Main WMAZ programming / CBS
13.2 720p WMAZTV2 Central Georgia CW
13.3 480i 4:3 WMAZTV3 "13WMAZ Forecast First" / Weather Radar

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WMAZ-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 13, 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 relocated from its pre-transition VHF channel 4 to former VHF analog channel 13.[2]

News operation[edit]

WMAZ-TV presently broadcasts 26½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with four hours on weekdays and three hours each on Saturdays and Sundays); in addition, the station produces five hours of newscasts each week (with one hour each on weekdays) for WMAZ-DT2. Unlike most CBS affiliates in the Eastern Time Zone, WMAZ does not broadcast a local newscast in the 5:30 p.m. half-hour on weeknights, opting to air syndicated reruns of The Andy Griffith Show during that timeslot.

On November 4, 2011, WMAZ moved production of its newscasts to the set used by its legal advice program Law Call, with the normal red and black newsroom/control room backdrop. Three days later, on November 7, the station (via the Facebook page of then-morning anchor Stephanie Susskind) announced during its 5:00 p.m. newscast that it would be upgrading its news production to HD in the coming weeks. Ten days later, on November 17, 2011, WMAZ-TV became the second television station (after Warner Robins-based WRWR-LD (channel 38), which had debuted its newscasts on September 17, 2010 in the format) and the first full power station in the Macon market to began broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. With the launch of WMAZ-DT2 on October 14, 2013, the station began producing an half-hour weekday morning newscast (airing at 7:00 a.m.) and a half-hour primetime newscast at 10:00 p.m. for the subchannel.

News/station presentation[edit]

Newscast titles[edit]

  • Your Esso Reporter (1953–1957)
  • WMAZ-TV News (1957–1969)
  • The 11th Hour Report (1966–1969)
  • Pulse News (1969–1971)
  • Channel 13 News (1971–1974)
  • News 13 (1974–1978)
  • Eyewitness NewsCenter (1978–1979)
  • (13 WMAZ) Eyewitness News (1979–present)

Station slogans[edit]

  • "Channel 13, Georgia's Color Station" (1960s)
  • "Channel 13 is The Place To Be" (early 1970s)
  • "Middle Georgia's First Choice in News"
  • "Straight From The Heart" (1983–present)

News team[edit]

Current on-air staff[3][edit]

Anchors
  • Sheera Poelman - weekday mornings on Eyewitness News Mornin' (5:00-7:00 on WMAZ and 7:00-7:30 a.m. on WMAZ-DT2) and weekdays at noon
  • Katelyn Heck - weekday mornings on Eyewitness News Mornin' (5:00-7:00 on WMAZ and 7:00-7:30 a.m. on WMAZ-DT2) and weekdays at noon
  • Portia Lake - weeknights at 6:00, 10:00 (WMAZ-DT2) and 11:00 p.m.
  • Suzanne Lawler - weekend mornings on Eyewitness News Mornin' (7:00-9:00 a.m.); also fill-in sports anchor
  • Lorra Lynch-Jones - weeknights at 5:00 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
  • Frank Malloy - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00, 10:00 (WMAZ-DT2) and 11:00 p.m.
  • Tom George - weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
Weather team
  • Ben Jones (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) – chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00, 6:00, 10:00 (WMAZ-DT2) and 11:00 p.m.; also sports reporter
  • Olivia James - meteorologist; weekend mornings on Eyewitness News Mornin' (7:00-9:00 a.m.) and weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. (Moving to Weekday Mornings July 28)
  • David Enrst (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings on Eyewitness News Mornin' (5:00-7:00 on WMAZ and 7:00-7:30 a.m. on WMAZ-DT2) and weekdays at noon (Leaving July 25)
  • Mike Fuller - meteorologist; fill-in
Sports team
All serve as co-hosts of HighSchoolSports.net Football Friday Night and HighSchoolSports.net Full Court Press
  • Marvin James - sports anchor; weeknights at 6:00, 10:00 (WMAZ-DT2) and 11:00 p.m.
  • Wes Blankenship - sports anchor; weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m., also sports reporter
Reporters
  • Elise Brown - multimedia journalist
  • Sitarah Coote - multimedia journalist
  • Sophia Danner-Okotie - multimedia journalist
  • Anita Oh - multimedia journalist
  • Kristen Swilley - multimedia journalist
  • Karli Barnett - multimedia journalist
  • Paula Rotondo - multimedia journalist
  • Randall Savage - "Close Up" host; also special assignment editor
Local program hosts
  • Brooke Hawkins - Scene 13 co-host
  • Del Ward - "Personal Profile" interviewer

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]