|Branding||WTLV NBC 12 (general)
First Coast News (newscasts)
|Slogan||First For You (newscasts)
NBC 12, More Colorful (general)
|Channels||Digital: 13 (VHF)
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
|Owner||Gannett Company, Inc.
(Multimedia Holdings Corporation)
|First air date||September 1, 1957|
|Call letters' meaning||TeLeVision or TweLVe (former analog channel)|
|Former callsigns||WFGA-TV (1957–1972)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
12 (VHF; 1957–2009)
NBC Weather Plus (2006–2008)
|Transmitter power||53.3 kW|
WTLV is the NBC-affiliated television station serving Florida's First Coast and Georgia's Colonial Coast that is licensed to Jacksonville, Florida. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 13 (virtual channel 12.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter in the city's Kilarney Shores section. Owned by Gannett Company, WTLV is part of a duopoly with ABC affiliate WJXX and both stations share studios on East Adams Street (near EverBank Field) in downtown Jacksonville. Syndicated programming on this station includes The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Wheel of Fortune, Extra, Anderson and Jeopardy!.
- 1 History
- 2 Digital television
- 3 News operation
- 4 References
- 5 External links
The station began broadcasting on September 1, 1957 as WFGA-TV (which stood for "We're Florida and GeorgiA"), owned by the Florida-Georgia Television Company. It was originally a primary NBC affiliate with a secondary affiliation with ABC. It was the first television station in the United States designed for color broadcasting. Two years later, WFGA donated tower space, money and transmitting facilities to the market's educational station and present-day PBS member station WJCT. In 1958, WFGA was selected "Newsfilm Station of the Year" by the National Press Photographers Association. WFGA-TV was the first television station to air a live launch from Cape Canaveral on October 11, 1958 – a Thor-Able’s successful launch of the Pioneer I lunar probe. The station also provided the remote facilities and supplied video and audio for all three major networks. This earned WFGA-TV the exclusive spot for NBC's space coverage. When WJKS (now WCWJ) signed on as an ABC affiliate, WFGA became a sole NBC affiliate.
In 1972, WFGA-TV changed call letters to the current WTLV. Later that year, Harte-Hanks Communications bought the station and began producing the market's first hour-long evening newscast, branded as Action News; channel 12 began producing Jacksonville's first midday newscast at noon soon afterwards. On March 31, 1980, WTLV switched its network affiliation with WJKS (now WCWJ) to ABC, which at the time was #1 among the then-three major U.S. broadcast networks. WTLV's Action News launched the city's first morning newscast, Good Morning Jacksonville, in the early 1980s. Some of the first shows featured Pamela Rittenhouse and current First Coast News chief meteorologist Tim Deegan.
Gannett bought WTLV and Greensboro, North Carolina sister station WFMY-TV from Harte-Hanks in 1988. On April 3 of that year, WTLV then swapped affiliations with WJKS, again returning to NBC in what the network called one of its most successful affiliation switches ever. By this time, NBC had once again become the highest-rated broadcast network. WTLV became the de facto official station of the Jacksonville Jaguars when the team joined the NFL in 1995, by virtue of NBC owning the rights to the American Football Conference. It aired most Jaguars games until 1998, when the AFC season games moved to WJXT after CBS acquired the broadcast rights to the conference's season and playoff games (most Jaguars games are now televised on WTEV, which obtained the CBS affiliation in 2002). WTLV also aired a weekly television show called Monday Night Live, which aired at 7 p.m. every Monday evening during the NFL football season, and was hosted by sports director Dan Hicken and John Jurkovic.
Duopoly with WJXX
After the Federal Communications Commission legalized television station duopolies on November 15, 1999, Allbritton Communications Company announced the following day that it would sell the area's current ABC affiliate WJXX to Gannett Company, creating a duopoly with WTLV. As part of the purchase, the company moved WJXX into WTLV's facilities and combined the news personnel of both stations, thus creating a joint news operation known as First Coast News. The combined news department then adopted the "Global Village" theme by Stephen Arnold Music in 2000 (the package used previously was "The NBC Collection: Speed of Life" by Gari Communications). This package stayed until December 2006 when the station switched to "Seize The Day" by 615 Music. Earlier that same year, First Coast News renovated its studios and changed their graphics after longtime anchor Alan Gionet departed.
On May 21, 2008, WTLV and WJXX launched a new combined website for both station. It was announced by online manager Linda Mock that the new site was to have a new forum system known as "Pluck", which would require users to sign up for an account, unlike their existing Topix system. A new banner that changes with the weather conditions replaced the old banner that showed the current on-air anchors. Ads also began for every newscast at the top of the screen, which cycles through with previous ads. The new website was also announced via a breaking news alert at the top of the existing website.
On February 1, 2010, WTLV and WJXX began broadcasting their First Coast News programs in high definition, becoming the final two television stations in Jacksonville to make the upgrade. Coincidentally, WTEV and WAWS upgraded its Action News newscasts to high definition the day before. The entire on-air appearance was revamped, with differently stylized versions of Gannett's standardized graphics being introduced, as well as a brand new set being unveiled, designed by FX Group.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|12.1||1080i||16:9||WTLV-DT||Main WTLV programming / NBC|
|12.2||480i||4:3||WTLV 2||ZUUS Country|
WTLV aired NBC Weather Plus on digital subchannel 12.2 until it ceased operations in November 2008, which was then replaced by local weather channel First Coast News Weather Plus as part of the NBC Plus automated weather service. In April 2009, WTLV moved First Coast News Weather Plus over to a newly created second digital subchannel of sister station WJXX. This was to make room to allow digital subchannel 12.2 to affiliate with Universal Sports, which was subsequently replaced with The Country Network (now ZUUS Country) in January 2012, after Universal Sports ended operations as a digital multicast network and transitioned to a digital cable and satellite network.
On June 12, 2009, WTLV turned off its analog transmitter and converted its broadcasts to digital television-only, remaining on its pre-transition channel 13. However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display WTLV's virtual channel as its former analog channel 12.
WJXX is the only television station in Jacksonville to have a weeknight 7 p.m. newscast known as First Coast News at 7 and airs Good Morning Jacksonville Sunday as well. In addition to their main studios, WTLV and WJXX operate a "Southern Bureau" that covers St. Johns, Clay, and Putnam Counties. WJXX and WTLV operate their own weather radar. It is located next to WTLV's transmitter. They also broadcast a weather radar that is operated by the National Weather Service and is located at its Local Forecast Office near Jacksonville International Airport.
WTLV's newscasts, which were known as 12 News until the merger with WJXX in 1999, have always had tough competition with rival station WJXT in the ratings. As a CBS affiliate, WJXT had a strong lead in the number of households viewing its newscasts. However, once WTLV and WJXX merged, the gap slowly closed to create tough competition in the Jacksonville market. However, the gap closed after WJXT dropped CBS in 2002. In the May 2007 Nielsen ratings, WTLV and WJXX had a powerful lead. They won the weekday morning, noon, 5:30, 6, and 11 p.m. slots. During the 11 p.m. slot, more people watched WTLV and WJXX than any other local station combined. The 5 p.m. slot went to WJXT because of the powerful lead-in, The Oprah Winfrey Show However, six months later during the November 2007 Nielsen Ratings, WTLV and WJXX only won the weekday morning, noon, and 11 p.m. news slot. The 5, 5:30, and 6 p.m. slots went to WJXT.
Early 2006 marked a significant transition period for First Coast News. Alan Gionet, the 5, 6, and 11 p.m. anchor for eight years, announced in October 2005 that he was leaving the station in 2006 In November 2005, he was hired by his previous employer, KCNC-TV in Denver; he left in March 2006. Ken Tonning, general manager of First Coast News, said he received hundreds of applications for the position and had also considered current on-air anchors and reporters. Seven potential applicants were brought in and filmed with Jeannie Blaylock (anchor of the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts) and Donna Hicken (anchor of the 11 p.m. newscast). Focus groups were then brought in to critique each one. On March 28, 2006, the station announced that Shannon Ogden, anchor of Good Morning Live on New England Cable News (NECN) in Boston, would replace Gionet. During the tenure between Gionet's departure and Ogden's arrival, First Coast News reporter Kyle Meenan anchored with Blaylock and Hicken. Ogden started on April 10, 2006.
On September 10, 2007, First Coast News discontinued its simulcast of the 5 and 5:30 p.m. weekday broadcasts on WJXX. The Ellen DeGeneres Show replaced the broadcasts at 5 p.m. on WJXX instead. Since NBC's Today expanded to four hours, the station moved Live with Regis and Kelly, which had previously aired at 10 a.m. on WTLV, to WJXX at 9 a.m. Divorce Court was also moved from WJXX (where it had aired at noon) to 2 p.m. on WTLV. Joy Purdy (who previously worked at WFOR-TV, the CBS affiliate in Miami) also debuted as the new anchor of First Coast News at 7. Weeks later, on October 29, 2007, First Coast News again debuted new graphics in time for the November sweeps. Along with new graphics, Donna Hicken officially identified herself on-air as Donna Deegan. The NBC 12 logo also had changed for the first time since the 1980s. The older logo, a bold-italic, retro 12, was replaced with a non-italic staggered version of the 12 logo.
The May 2008 Nielsen Ratings did not bring the former glory First Coast News had seen before. The weekday morning, noon, 5, 5:30, and 6 p.m. slots went to WJXT, making it the number-one station in the Jacksonville market. WTLV and WJXX won only won slot: 11 p.m. First Coast News remains the second-most-watched television news organization in Jacksonville, behind WJXT but ahead of both WAWS and WTEV-TV.
In mid-2008, First Coast News began a "Weather Call" service that, by default, informs viewers via telephone of severe weather in their area. The service, which utilizes National Weather Service data to place the call, requires a paid subscription. On October 23, 2008, First Coast News debuted new graphics and music, the same standardized packages as on every other Gannett television station. The new uniformed graphics were created by G3 (or the Gannett Graphics Group) based near sister station KUSA-TV in Denver; the music was composed by Rampage Music New York.
In January 2009, First Coast News fired weekend meteorologist Dave Vanore. Michelle Jacobs returned to First Coast News to anchor weather and traffic in the mornings. The entire weather team shifted, with Steve Smith moving from mornings to 7 p.m. weekdays, and Mark Collins moving to weekend newscasts. In July 2009, First Coast News yet again shuffled anchors around. Joy Purdy and Deanna Fene departed First Coast News at 7, with Purdy switching places with Patty Crosby and joining Phil Amato on Good Morning Jacksonville, and Fene replacing departing Victor Blackwell on weekend evenings. Crosby moved to 7 p.m. broadcasts anchoring news, with Steve Smith anchoring weather, and Dan Hicken anchoring sports. Corrine Hautala was hired to anchor weekend morning newscasts.
- The News on 12 (1957–1971)
- TeLeVision 12 News (1971–1973)
- Action News (1973–1986)
- TV-12 News (1986)
- The News on 12/Tonight's News on 12 (1986–1993)
- 12 News (1993–2000)
- First Coast News (2000–present; with WJXX)
- "The Ones to Watch" (1968-?)
- "12 Belongs" (1979–1982)
- "Now More than Ever" (1982-1986)
- "The Team to Watch" (1986–1988)
- "TLV-12 Cares" (1988-1993)
- "Your 24-Hour News Source" (1991-1996)
- "Your First Coast News Leader" (1996–2002)
- "Your News Leader" (2002–2011)
- "First For You" (2011–present)
- Phil Amato - weekday mornings on Good Morning Jacksonville (4:30–7:00 a.m.)
- Patty Crosby - weekday mornings on Good Morning Jacksonville (4:30–7:00 a.m.)
- Jeannie Blaylock - weeknights at 5:30 and 6:00 p.m.
- Lewis Turner - weeknights at 5:30 p.m.
- Shannon Ogden - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- TBD - Saturday mornings on Good Morning Jacksonville (8:00-10:00 a.m.)
- Jessica Clark - weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
First Coast Weather Team
- Tim Deegan (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Mike Prangley - meteorologist; Saturday mornings on Good Morning Jacksonville (8:00-10:00 a.m.) and weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Steve Smith (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings on Good Morning Jacksonville (4:30–7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
- Lewis Turner - meteorologist; fill-in
- Chris Porter - sports anchor; Saturdays at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Ken Amaro - weeknight 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. consumer reporter
- David Williams - consumer reporter
- Kathyrn Jeffries - general assignment reporter
- Michelle Quesada - general assignment reporter
- Kaitlyn Ross - general assignment reporter
- Lindsey Boetsch - general assignment reporter
- Heather Crawford - general assignment reporter
- Mike Lyons - general assignment reporter; also Assignment Editor
- Jacob Long - weekday morning reporter (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Roger Weeder - weekday morning reporter (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
Notable former on-air staff
- Donna Deegan (anchor) 1988-2012
- Alan Gionet (now at KCNC in Denver) 1998-2006
- Curt Menefee (now anchoring FOX NFL Sunday and UFC on Fox)1991-1992
- Lee Webb (now anchoring The 700 club) 1986-1994
- "GMJ: The City's First Morning Newscast". First Coast News. Retrieved October 29, 2007.
- The Big Switch Is Upon Us, The Florida Times-Union, March 27, 1980.
- Patton, Charlie (December 13, 1999). "Changing the channel". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved May 20, 2011.
- "News Music Search Archive". SouthernMedia. Retrieved October 29, 2007.
- "ONLINE EXTRA: Preview the all-new firstcoastnews.com". First Coast News. Retrieved May 15, 2008.
- CDBS Print
- Rausch, Paula (June 17, 1996). "Channel 4 beats 12 in May 1996 Nielsens". The Jacksonville Business Journal. Retrieved October 5, 2007.
- "Nielsen ratings show WTLV gain". The Jacksonville Business Journal. June 19, 1998. Retrieved October 5, 2007.
- "Verdict's still out on WJXT's move". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved October 5, 2007.
- McManus, Sean (June 9, 2003). "TV news in transition". The Jacksonville Business Journal. Retrieved October 5, 2007.
- "Gionet's October Departure". Florida News Center. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
- "Gionet's October Departure". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
- "Ogden's April Arrival". Florida News Center. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
- "Ogden's April Arrival". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
- "Gannett Graphics to Revolve Around AXIS". TVNEWSDAY. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- WTLV 1999 Anchor Open
- WTLV First Coast News at 11 open 2003 (Global Village) (NBC 12, Jacksonville, FL)
- WTLV 1994 Open
- Anchor and Reporter Biographies
- Station Website (shared with WJXX)
- First Coast News Wireless
- WTLV and WJXX History
- Photos of WTLV's/WJXX's news set
- WFGA-TV Original Sign-On
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WTLV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WTLV-TV
- A WTLV transmitter is at coordinates