WRDW-TV

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WRDW-TV
Wrdw tv logo.PNG
Wrdw dt2 2011.png
Augusta, Georgia
United States
Branding News 12
My 12 (on DT2)
Slogan On your side
Your news leader
Channels Digital: 12 (VHF)
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
Subchannels 12.1 CBS
12.2 MyNetworkTV
12.3 Antenna TV
Affiliations CBS
Owner Gray Television
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
First air date February 8, 1954 (1954-02-08)
Call letters' meaning derived from former sister station WRDW radio (now WCHZ)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
12 (VHF, 1954–2009)
Digital:
31 (UHF, until 2009)
Former affiliations All secondary:
ABC (1954–1967)
NBC (1967–1974)
Transmitter power 20.2 kW
Height 485 m (1,591 ft)
Facility ID 73931
Transmitter coordinates 33°24′36″N 81°50′36″W / 33.41000°N 81.84333°W / 33.41000; -81.84333Coordinates: 33°24′36″N 81°50′36″W / 33.41000°N 81.84333°W / 33.41000; -81.84333
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.wrdw.com

WRDW-TV, channel 12, is a CBS-affiliated television station located in Augusta, Georgia, USA, owned by Atlanta-based Gray Television. While the station is licensed to Augusta, its studio/office and transmitter facilities are located across the Savannah River in South Carolina, respectively in North Augusta and Beech Island.

WRDW-TV shares call letters with WRDW (AM) in Augusta and WRDW-FM in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, both owned by Beasley Broadcast Group and unrelated to the television station.

History[edit]

WRDW-TV commenced operations in February 1954; it is the second-oldest television station in Augusta.[1] The station was originally owned by Radio Augusta, the parent company of the original WRDW radio (1480 AM).[2] WRDW-TV has been Augusta's CBS affiliate for its entire history, owing to its radio sister's long affiliation with the CBS Radio Network. However, it shared ABC with then-NBC affiliate WJBF (channel 6).

In 1956 Radio Augusta was sold to the Morris family and their company, Southeastern Newspapers, publishers of the Augusta Chronicle.[3]

On September 1, 1967, WJBF switched its primary affiliation to ABC, and began splitting NBC with WRDW-TV.[4] This was unusual, but WJBF's namesake owner J.B. Fuqua wanted to get that station in line with two ABC affiliates he had just purchased, located in Evansville, Indiana and Fargo, North Dakota.

When WATU (channel 26, now WAGT) appeared as the market's third station in late 1968, NBC allowed WRDW-TV and WJBF to keep their secondary NBC affiliations. This situation mostly shut WATU out of access to network programming, thereby forcing it to go dark in 1970. Channel 12 continued to split NBC with WJBF until WATU resumed broadcasting in 1974 with a primary NBC affiliation. At that time, channel 12 finally became a full-time CBS station.

In 1960 the Morrises exited Augusta broadcasting, with channel 12 being sold to what would eventually become Rust Craft Broadcasting.[5] (Channel 12 and 1480 AM continued to share the WRDW call letters until the early 1980s, when the radio station was sold by entertainer and Augusta native James Brown;[6] it is now WCHZ). Magazine publisher Ziff-Davis purchased Rust Craft in 1979.[7] Channel 12 was sold along with then sister stations in Saginaw, Michigan, Rochester, New York, Chattanooga, Tennessee and Steubenville, Ohio to Television Station Partners in 1983.[8] Television Station Partners sold off all of its stations in early January 1996, with WRDW going to Gray Communications Systems (now Gray Television).

Ever since CBS began broadcasting the Masters Tournament in 1956, WRDW has been the unofficial home station of the annual golf tournament played at Augusta National Golf Club.

Digital Television[edit]

Channel Aspect Video Name Programming
12.1 16:9 1080i WRDW-HD Main WRDW-TV programming / CBS
12.2 4:3 480i WRDW-DT WRDW-DT2 / MyNetworkTV
12.3 WRDW-WX Antenna TV

The station's digital signal is multiplexed. WRDW-TV previously carried weather information on 12.3. In January 2011, it was replaced with The Country Network, which in turn was replaced with Antenna TV in late May 2013.

News operation[edit]

Former News open seen weeknights at 6.

Until Gray Television, Inc. purchased WRDW, the station had been a solid runner-up to longtime leader WJBF. In the mid-90's, WRDW began a steady ratings growth to overcome WJBF in several newscasts. The two stations remain the market's fiercest competitors with WAGT and WFXG trailing far behind the two leaders.

WRDW has been recognized numerous times for its journalism, particularly in the areas of investigative, documentary, and breaking news. Over the past 16 years, WRDW has received 15 Regional Murrow Awards, 2 National Murrow Awards, a National Sigma Delta Chi Award, and dozens of honors from the Georgia Associated Press and Georgia Association of Broadcasters.

On January 24, 2011, WRDW launched local newscasts in high definition with the midday newscast. It is the first station in the area to do so. With the launch came a brand new logo and brand new high definition graphics, similar in style to the previous 16:9 enhanced definition widescreen graphics that debuted just 4 months before, but fully animated.

WRDW-TV had the longest-running news anchor team in the market with Richard Rogers and Laurie Ott seen weeknights at 6 and 11. The two were together on-air from the mid-1990s until September 2007 when Laurie Ott left to pursue other career opportunities. Unlike most CBS affiliates in the Eastern Time Zone, WRDW does not offer news weeknights at 5:30 but instead has carried Inside Edition which generally wins the time period.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TV starter pace seems sluggish so far in '54." Broadcasting - Telecasting, February 8, 1954, pg. 52. [1]
  2. ^ "Seven TVs win FCC approval; Augusta gets its first grants." Broadcasting - Telecasting, September 21, 1953, pg. 48. [2]
  3. ^ "WRDW-AM-TV sold Friday to newspaper for $1 Million." Broadcasting - Telecasting, December 5, 1955, pg. 7 [3]
  4. ^ "WJBF (TV) goes primary ABC." Broadcasting, August 14, 1967, pg. 52. [4]
  5. ^ "Changing Hands." Broadcasting, February 8, 1960, pg. 77. [5]
  6. ^ "Brown gets 2d station." Broadcasting, February 17, 1969, pg. 10 [6]
  7. ^ "In Brief." Broadcasting, July 4, 1977, pg. 21. [7]
  8. ^ "Ziff spins off four TV's to Pompadur." Broadcasting, July 26, 1982, pg. 31. [8]

External links[edit]