|Branding||Fox 49 (general)
Fox 49 News
The CW Tally (on DT2)
|Slogan||Your Home For Local
News, Weather, and Sports
TV Now (on DT2)
|Channels||Digital: 50 (UHF)
Virtual: 49 (PSIP)
49.2 The CW
|Translators||13 (VHF) WBFL-CA Valdosta, GA
35 (UHF) WBVJ-LP Valdosta, GA
|Owner||New Age Media, LLC
(operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group under a master service agreement)
(New Age Media of Tallahassee License, LLC)
|First air date||November 25, 1989|
|Call letters' meaning||TaLlaHassee (also IATA airport code for Tallahassee Regional Airport)|
|Sister station(s)||WTLF, WTWC-TV|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
49 (UHF, 1989-2009)
|Transmitter power||665 kW|
|Height||597 m (1,959 ft)|
WTLH is the Fox-affiliated television station for Southwestern Georgia and Tallahassee, Florida that is licensed to Bainbridge, Georgia. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 50 (or virtual channel 49.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter southeast of Metcalf in unincorporated Thomas County, Georgia along the Florida state line. Owned by New Age Media, WTLH operates CW affiliate WTLF (owned by MPS Media, LLC) through a local marketing agreement (LMA); both stations, in turn, are operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group (owner of NBC affiliate WTWC-TV) under a master service agreement.
WTLH and WTLF share studios on Commerce Boulevard in Midway, Florida. Syndicated programming on this station includes Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Family Guy among others. WTLH can also be seen on two low-powered analog repeaters serving Valdosta, Georgia: Class A WBFL-CA on VHF channel 13 and WBJV-LP on UHF channel 35. The former has a transmitter on Madison Highway/GA 31 between unincorporated Clyattville, Georgia and the Florida state line. The latter has a transmitter in unincorporated northern Lowndes County, Georgia between Hahira and Moody Air Force Base.
WTLH signed-on November 25, 1989 airing an analog signal on UHF channel 49. Originally owned by Pegasus Broadcasting, the station has always been Tallahassee's Fox affiliate. On June 15, 1998, WFXU in Live Oak, Florida was established as a full-time satellite of WTLH in order to improve its coverage on the eastern side of the market. Since Tallahassee did not have enough stations to legally permit a duopoly, WFXU was technically owned by L.O. Telecast but operated by Pegasus through a local marketing agreement. That station was sold to KB Prime Media in 1999 and became wholly owned by Pegasus in 2002. The sale was ultimately approved because the company helped fund WFXU's construction. In April of that year, WFXU became a separate station after becoming the area's first UPN affiliate. Since it also suffered from reception issues on the eastern side of the market, WTLF in Tallahassee was established as a full-time satellite. That station was one of the first in the United States to sign-on as a digital-only outlet with no analog counterpart.
On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN announced the networks would end broadcasting and merge. The new combined service would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initial of corporate parents "C"BS (the parent company of UPN) and the "W"arner Bros. unit of Time Warner. It was made public April 24 that WTLH would create a new second digital subchannel to become Tallahassee's CW affiliate. The plan was later modified in August to make WFXU/WTLF the primary CW affiliates and have a simulcast on WTLH-DT2. This took effect when the network premiered on September 18, 2006.
Pegasus declared bankruptcy in June 2004 over a dispute with DirecTV (then co-owned with Fox by News Corporation) over marketing of the direct broadcast satellite service in rural areas. The station group was sold in August 2006 to private investment firm CP Media, LLC of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania for $55.5 million. Eventually, CP Media formed a new broadcasting company known as New Age Media. The company purchased WTLH at the end of March 2007 but sold WFXU separately to Budd Broadcasting. The latter dropped CW programming soon afterward leaving WTLF as Tallahassee's sole CW affiliate. There continues to be a simulcast of that station on WTLH-DT2. On February 17, 2009, WTLH shut-off its analog signal on UHF channel 49 and became digital-exclusive on UHF channel 50.
On September 25, 2013, New Age Media announced that it would sell most of its stations to the Sinclair Broadcast Group. To comply with Federal Communications Commission ownership restrictions (Sinclair already owns WTWC-TV in Tallahassee), Cunningham Broadcasting planned to acquire the WTLH license, though Sinclair was slated to operate the station (as well as WTLF, which would have been acquired by Deerfield Media) through a shared services agreement. On October 31, 2014, New Age Media requested the dismissal of its application to sell WTLH; the next day, Sinclair purchased the non-license assets of the stations it planned to buy from New Age Media and began operating them through a master service agreement.
|Channels||PSIP short name||Video||Aspect||Programming|
|49.1||WTLH-DT||720p||16:9||Main WTLH programming / Fox|
|49.2||WTLH-CW||480i||4:3||Simulcast of WTLF|
Through a news share agreement, CBS affiliate WCTV (owned by Gray Television) produces local newscasts for WTLH. This specifically includes an hour-long weekday show known as Fox 49 Morning News (seen from 7 until 8) that offers a local alternative to the national broadcasts airing on the big three networks. There is also a nightly half-hour prime time newscast known as Fox 49 News at 10. All WTLH news shows feature a separate graphics package and music theme from WCTV.
The broadcasts originate from the CBS affiliate's primary set at its studios on Halstead Boulevard (along I-10) except with unique duratrans indicating the Fox-branded news. In addition its main facilities, WCTV operates two Southwestern Georgia newsrooms covering Thomasville (on North Broad Street) and Valdosta (on East Central Avenue). The CBS outlet also contracts with the Capitol News Service to provide coverage of the Florida State Capitol from two reporters based at a nearby bureau.
Although Fox 49 News at 10 is the only prime time newscast seen in the market, it is the second attempt in the time slot. From January 15, 2000 until September 2003, ABC affiliate WTXL-TV produced a half-hour weeknight show on cable-only WB affiliate "WBXT" (this station is now defunct). WTLH's Fox 49 Morning News is currently the only local broadcast seen at 7. The sixty minute program launched on January 7, 2008 as a third hour of WCTV's The Good Morning Show but aired on its second digital subchannel affiliated with MyNetworkTV and This TV.
WTLH's prime time newscast originally aired solely on weeknights until June 4, 2012 when it was expanded to weekends. That date was also when WCTV began producing the Fox outlet's weekday morning show through an expanded news share arrangement. Even though WCTV became the market's second television station to upgrade its local newscasts to high definition level back on August 3, 2009, the format on WTLH remained in pillarboxed 4:3 standard definition until June 4, 2012. That was because until this point in time, the Fox affiliate lacked an HD-capable master control at its separate studios in order to offer local and syndicated programming in high definition.
- "Application Search Details (1)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- McConnell, Bill (April 2, 2002). "Pegasus wins OK for Tallahassee TV pair". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- "WDSI FOX61 Bought By CP Media, LLC.". The Chattanoogan. August 9, 2006. Retrieved July 24, 2010.
- "WFXU, this Budd's for you". Television Business Report. November 28, 2006. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- Haber, Gary (September 25, 2013). "Sinclair Broadcast Group to pay $90M for eight New Age Media TV stations". Baltimore Business Journal. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
- "Sinclair To Buy 8 New Age Stations for $90M". TVNewsCheck. September 25, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
- Kirkpatrick, Daniel A. (October 31, 2014). "Re: New Age Media of Tallahassee License, LLC…" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
- "Sinclair Reports Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results" (PDF) (Press release). Baltimore: Sinclair Broadcast Group. November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
- "Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. Form 10-Q". sbgi.edgarpro.com. November 10, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
- MyFoxTallahasee.com - Official WTLH-TV Website
- MeTVTallahassee.com - Official Me-TV Tallahassee Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WTLH
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WBVJ-LP
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WBFL-CA
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WTLH-TV