|Branding||CBS 47 (general)
Action News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Only CBS 47 (general)
Your Questions. Answered. (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 19 (UHF)
Virtual: 47 (PSIP)
47.2 Live Well Network
|Owner||Bayshore Television, LLC
(operated through JSA and SSA by Cox Media Group)
|First air date||August 1, 1980|
|Call letters' meaning||TEleVision|
|Former callsigns||WXAO-TV (1980-1983)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
47 (UHF, 1980-2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1980-1993)
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WTEV-TV is the CBS-affiliated television station for Florida's First Coast that is licensed to Jacksonville. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 19 (virtual channel 47.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter on Hogan Road in the city's Southside section. The station can also be seen on Comcast channel 6 and in high definition on digital channel 433. Owned by Bayshore Television, LLC, WTEV is operated by Cox Media Group through joint sales and shared services agreements. This makes it sister to Fox affiliate WAWS and the two stations share studios on Central Parkway in Jacksonville's Southside section. Syndicated programming on WTEV includes Two and a Half Men, Judge Judy, Judge Joe Brown and Rachael Ray.
The station was the brainchild of John Stone Thigpenn who, while working as an announcer at Christian radio station WBIX (1010 AM, now WJXL) during May 1977, read Pat Robertson's "Shout it From the Housetops". This was Robertson's personal account of how he founded the Christian Broadcasting Network. Thigpenn, who gained faith to create a similar venture in Jacksonville, mentioned on-the-air that he wanted to start a Christian television station for the Jacksonville market.
Within minutes of this announcement, listener Janice Paulk from Fernandina called to ask who she should make a check out to in support of the effort. Thigpenn suggested the name "Christian Television of Jacksonville" knowing he could later formally create a business license and banking account under that name. Three days later, a check for $1,000 was received from Paulk.
Further inspired by such a generous donation, Thigpenn contacted his friend Russell Linenkohl, President of the local Full Gospel Businessmen's Association. Linenkohl suggested teaming up with other Christian business leaders to jointly discuss how best to proceed. Included in that group were physicians already known by Thigpenn, Stephen Gyland and Douglas Fowler. Other businessmen being recommended were local bankers Richard Martin, Rufus Kite Powell, and Thomas McGehee. The group agreed to hold a public meeting to invite citizen comments regarding the endeavor. At the end of this public meeting, the attendees voted to appoint the head table to form a selection committee tasked with appointing and forming a Board of Directors for Christian Television of Jacksonville.
Before the public meeting, Thigpenn had already contacted the Broadcast Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to discover that two analog television frequencies (channels 30 and 47) were available for broadcast in Jacksonville. He also discovered that two entities were already competing for the channel 30 frequency. The group decided to avoid the time and expense of litigating a challenge for that allotment and opted to file for 47. Thigpenn, who did not share the same community prominence as the other appointing members, agreed to act as a silent partner to the newly appointed Board of Directors for Christian Television of Jacksonville. He subsequently headed up the Community Ascertainment requirement as one of several exhibits needed by the FCC as part of the license application process.
While Christian Television of Jacksonville received the construction permit and eventual broadcast license from the FCC, it did not garner the expected financial donations from the community to sustain its operating costs. The board then decided to transfer the ownership to Thomas McGehee who was serving as the board's President. McGehee and his brother Frank McGehee formed North Florida Television Incorporated which was awarded the license transfer by the FCC. Thigpenn was appointed to the new board and was listed as a principal on the newly granted license.
After all the planning and financing, the station officially signed-on as WXAO-TV on August 1, 1980. Thigpenn served as the station's first news director from 1980 through 1984. "XAO" stood for "Christ, the Alpha and the Omega" in Greek letters. Its intent was to be an alternative to commercial television's sex and violence by broadcasting religious programs from The PTL Club, Christian Television Network, and Trinity Broadcast Network. The station also aired secular shows including cartoons, westerns, and a few classic sitcoms. WXAO Incorporated was Jacksonville's first 24-hour station but never generated a large viewership. Gradually, it abandoned most of the religious programming. In 1983, the station changed its call letters to WNFT. At that point, it began running more movies and drama shows. By 1989, it were airing a blend of cartoons, recent off-network sitcoms, movies, and drama shows. The outlet was sold in 1990 for approximately $3 million to Krypton Broadcasting who also owned two other stations with similar formats, WTVX in West Palm Beach and WABM in Birmingham, Alabama.
Krypton filed for bankruptcy in 1993 and sold each station to a separate owner within the following year. WNFT was sold to RDS Broadcasting which in turn entered into a local marketing agreement (LMA) with Clear Channel Communications who owned Fox affiliate WAWS. WNFT moved into that station's facility and the two stations pooled resources and programming. WAWS then began to run more popular cartoons and sitcoms along with Fox programming and talk/reality shows. Meanwhile, WNFT's new schedule focused largely on older cartoons, movies, sitcoms, and drama shows. On January 16, 1995, it became one of the charter affiliates of UPN and adopted the call letters WTEV-TV later that year. This call-sign had previously been used on ABC affiliate WLNE-TV in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In the late-1990s, WTEV moved away from most classic sitcoms, cut back on cartoons, and began to focus more on talk and reality shows. Clear Channel would buy the station outright in 2001.
On April 23, 2002, CBS signed an affiliation agreement with Clear Channel for WTEV-TV to become the new CBS affiliate for the Jacksonville television market. The former outlet for the network, WJXT, moved to a news-intensive independent after 53 years of being the area's CBS affiliate. The change was the result of not being able to come to a new affiliation agreement with the network. WTEV officially became a CBS affiliate on July 15, 2002. At that time, UPN programming (including cartoons) and most syndicated sitcoms moved to WAWS. That station became a secondary UPN affiliate and aired that network's programming in a secondary delayed nature from 11 at night until 1 in the morning. Both CBS and UPN were owned by Viacom at the time. WTEV also gained most Jacksonville Jaguars games, as part of the NFL on CBS package that covered the American Football Conference of the National Football League, along with many of the higher profile college football games of the Southeastern Conference via the SEC on CBS contract, including the annual Florida–Georgia football rivalry game held at Everbank Field on the first Saturday of November.
With WTEV obtaining the CBS affiliation, the situation resulted in two broadcasting companies controlling each of Jacksonville's Big Four network affiliates (Gannett Company owns both ABC affiliate WJXX and NBC affiliate WTLV), as well as making Jacksonville one of the only United States television markets with all six major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and at the time, UPN and The WB) having affiliations with only five stations in a six station-market (which remains true in the present day with UPN and WB successors The CW and MyNetworkTV) and one of the few where an analog-era VHF station has no network affiliation while all the other stations in the market do.
On April 20, 2007, Clear Channel entered into an agreement to sell its entire television station group to Newport Television, a holding company majority-owned by Providence Equity Partners.  Since WAWS was also included in the deal, this would violate FCC rules preventing common ownership of two of the four largest stations in a single market. Clear Channel acquired WTEV when it was a low-rated UPN affiliate, but by this point, passed WJXT and WCWJ in the sign-on to sign-off ratings. As a result, the FCC granted Newport Television a temporary waiver for the acquisition of WTEV and WAWS. With that, the company was able to complete its purchase of the station group on March 14, 2008.
Newport originally planned to keep WTEV and sell WAWS to another owner. However in May 2008, it agreed to sell this outlet and five other stations to High Plains Broadcasting Incorporated with the purchase being closed September 15.  This arrangement placed WTEV in the unusual position of being the junior partner in a virtual duopoly with a Fox-affiliated station, even though WTEV is affiliated with CBS; most virtual or legal duopolies involving a Big Three affiliate and a Fox affiliate have stations affiliated with the latter network as the junior partner. Until the sale to Cox, Newport continued operating WTEV through joint sales and shared services agreements. In 2009, the station discontinued regular programming on its analog transmission and became digital-exclusive after the transition.
On July 19, 2012, Newport Television announced the sale of WAWS and WTEV-TV (along with Tulsa sister duopoly of KOKI-TV and KMYT-TV) to Cox Media Group. The sale to Cox Media places WAWS and WTEV under common ownership with Cox's radio station cluster in Jacksonville (WOKV-AM/FM, WFYV-FM, WJGL, WXXJ and WAPE-FM). Due to the very same duopoly rule that forced the license of one of the stations to be transferred to a separate licensee back in 2008, Cox would acquire WAWS outright and transfer the license for WTEV to Bayshore Television, LLC who then entered into a management agreement with Cox. The FCC approved the transaction on October 23 and it was finalized on December 3. This put WTEV and WAWS under common ownership with Cox's Orlando duopoly, ABC affiliate WFTV and independent WRDQ.
|47.1||WTEV-DT||1080i||16:9||Main WTEV-TV programming / CBS|
|47.2||N/A||480i||4:3||Live Well Network|
In the late-1990s, the station added a newscast on weeknights known as UPN 47 News at 6:30 which was produced by WAWS. After WTEV's switch from UPN to CBS in 2002, this station expanded local news offerings from WAWS's existing news department essentially taking over primary newscast production from that station. Initially, WTEV maintained certain primary personnel (such as news anchors) that would only appear on this station. In addition, there was separate branding, graphics packages, and news sets used to distinguish the two outlets and retain separate on-air identities.
On WTEV, the 6:30 broadcast was canceled (it had been off-the-air for a couple of weeks before the affiliation switch) and replaced by a full slate of weekday morning (effectively "moved" over from WAWS), weekday noon, and weeknight newscasts as well as weekend broadcasts. The station hired First Coast News weekday morning traffic reporter Michelle Jacobs but she would eventually return to WTLV and WJXX in October 2008. Shortly after she left, WTEV hired Julie Watkins (who previously worked at First Coast News before moving on to WFTV in Orlando) as a weekend meteorologist.
On April 13, 2009, WTEV and WAWS completely revamped the two separate news departments. The outlets merged the operations into one entity and adopted the popular Action News branding presumably to compete with the First Coast News title used on rivals WTLV and WJXX (owned by the Gannett Company). The transition to new branding also introduced entirely new sets (WAWS still featured a separate one for its nightly prime time broadcast at 10), on-air graphics, weather department, and website. On January 31, 2010, WTEV and WAWS became the second local news operation in Jacksonville that upgraded to high definition (the first was WJXT back on January 14, 2009). This was followed on February 1 by WTLV and WJXX after that shared operation completed an HD upgrade.
At some point in time, WTEV's weekday morning show began to be simulcasted on WAWS. Corresponding with the change, Action News This Morning was expanded to a full two-hours (from 5 until 7) as seen on other big three network affiliates. A two-hour extension of the show (from 7 until 9) would eventually be added to WAWS while WTEV airs The Early Show. Following a national trend, the former debuted an extra thirty minute segment of the weekday morning show at 4:30. This portion (known as Action News Early Morning) is not simulcasted on WTEV since it offers the CBS Morning News in the time slot (even though CBS Morning News is produced LIVE at 4:00 a.m. and not at 4:30 a.m.). WAWS received updated branding and introduced new graphics, music, and logos on September 19, 2010 in an effort to be separate from WTEV. When it comes to national coverage, WAWS usually carries Fox News while WTEV provides CBS News. During weather forecast segments, the stations use a live NOAA National Weather Service Doppler weather radar based at the agency's Local Forecast Office near Jacksonville International Airport.
- Mike Barz - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 on WTEV and WAWS + 7:00-9:00 a.m. on WAWS)
- Tera Barz - weeknights at 5:30 and 10:00 p.m. (WAWS); also Jacksonville's Original Restaurant Report
- Lynnsey Gardner - weekday mornings (4:30-5:00 on WAWS, 5:00-7:00 on WTEV and WAWS + 7:00-9:00 a.m. on WAWS)
- Paige Kelton - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Dawn Lopez - weekday mornings (4:30-5:00 on WAWS and 5:00-7:00 a.m. on WTEV and WAWS + 7:00-9:00 a.m. on WAWS) and weekdays at noon; also "Jacksonville's Children" segment producer
- Mark Spain - weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, 10:00 (WAWS) and 11:00 p.m.; also "Kid Care Report" segment producer
- Jamie Smith - Sundays at 6:30, 10:00 (WAWS) and 11:00 p.m.
CBS 47 First Alert Weather
- Mike Buresh (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, 10:00 (WAWS) and 11:00 p.m.
- Tom Johnston (AMS Seal of Approval) - weekday mornings (4:30-5:00 on WAWS, 5:00-7:00 on WTEV and WAWS + 7:00-9:00 a.m. on WAWS) and weekdays at noon
- Julie Watkins (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 6:30 and weekends at 10:00 (WAWS) and 11:00 p.m.; also "Going Green" segment producer
- Arielle Nixon - Meteorologist;Fill in various shifts
Sports team (also seen on Action Sports 360)
- Brent Martineau - sports director
- Dan Hicken - Sports Reporter -formerly of WTLV/WJXX
- Stuart Webber - sports reporter
- Dave DeCandis - sports reporter
First Alert Traffic (utilizing staff from Total Traffic)
- Derrick Odom - weekday morning traffic reporter (4:30-5:00 on WAWS, 5:00-7:00 on WTEV and WAWS + 7:00-9:00 a.m. on WAWS) and weeknights at 5:00 p.m.
- Leslie Coursey - general assignment reporter
- Deanna Bettineschi - general assignment reporter
- Brittany Jones - general assignment reporter
- Alyana Gomez - general assignment reporter
- Sam King - general assignment reporter
- Catherine Varnum - general assignment reporter
- Amanda Warford - general assignment reporter
- Justin Gray - Washington D.C. Correspondent
- Kyla Campbell - Washington D.C. Correspondent
- Jacqueline Fell - Washington D.C. Correspondent
- Newstrac 47
- WNFT Newsbreak (1980s)
- UPN 47 News (1997–2001)
- WTEV 47 News (2001–2002)
- CBS 47 News (2002-2009)
- Action News (2009–present)
- New CBS affiliate has garage-studio roots, The Florida Times-Union, June 17, 2002.
- Kerr, Jessie-Lynne:  Florida Times-Union, July 14, 2006, "Mac Papers co-founder was civic, religious leader"
- TV-47 to become new CBS affiliate, The Florida Times-Union, April 23, 2002.
- CBS dumped by local affiliate, The Florida Times-Union, April 4, 2002.
- Stations confirm changes, The Florida Times-Union, May 10, 2002.
- "CBS Announces 3:30 p.m. Kickoff for Florida-Georgia Game on November 2". GatorZone. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- "Clear Channel Agrees to Sell Television Station Group to Providence Equity Partners". Clear Channel Communications. Retrieved 2007-11-21.
- "Newport stations drift to High Plains". Television Business Report. 2008-05-21. Retrieved 2008-09-28.
- "Application Search Details". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2008-09-28.
- Newport Sells 22 Stations For $1 Billion, TVNewsCheck, July 19, 2012.
- New CBS affiliate sets its news anchor lineup, The Florida Times-Union, June 25, 2002.
- Action News Team
- WTEV-TV "CBS 47"
- WTEV-TV mobile
- WAWS "Fox 30"
- WAWS-DT2 "My TV Jax"
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WTEV-TV