|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2012)|
|Branding||11 Alive (general)
11 Alive News (newscasts)
|Slogan||News That Actually Helps You. (news)
Atlanta's HD News Leader (station)
|Channels||Digital: 10 (VHF)
Virtual: 11 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||11.1 - NBC HD (1080i)
11.2 - Weather Info Zone (480i)
(Pacific and Southern Company, Inc.)
|First air date||September 30, 1951|
|Call letters' meaning||XI (11 in Roman numerals, former analog channel)
|Former callsigns||WLTV (1951–1953)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog: 8 (1951-1953), 11 (1953–2009)|
|Former affiliations||ABC (1951–1980)|
|Transmitter power||80 kW|
|Height||303 m (994 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
WXIA-TV, virtual channel 11.1 (digital RF channel 10), is the NBC-affiliated television station in Atlanta, Georgia. Popularly known by its "11 Alive" brand, WXIA is owned by the Gannett Company in a duopoly with MyNetworkTV affiliate WATL (channel 36.1). The station's studios and offices are located at One Monroe Place on the north end of midtown Atlanta, and its transmitter located in the city's east section near Kirkwood. The station is seen on Comcast cable channel 6 and HD channel 806 in the Atlanta area.
The station signed on the air on September 30, 1951 as WLTV, an ABC affiliate on VHF channel 8 (the second Atlanta station on this channel after WSB-TV moved to channel 2 a year before), and was originally owned by a group of Atlanta businessmen. In 1953, the station was bought by Cincinnati-based Crosley Broadcasting Corporation, who changed its call letters to WLWA (often rendered as "WLW-A"). This aligned their Atlanta property with Crosley's other television stations, who took their call letters from its flagship radio station, WLW. Crosley then moved the station's over-the-air frequency to channel 11 in order to alleviate RF interference with WROM-TV (channel 9) in nearby Rome (later moved north to Chattanooga as WTVC), with channel 8 being reallocated for non-commercial educational use by the Federal Communications Commission in May 1960 (WGTV was started by the University of Georgia on channel 8 in 1960).
In 1962, WLWA was purchased by Indianapolis businessman Richard Fairbanks as part of a settlement between Crosley and Fairbanks. Crosley had started WLWI (now WTHR) in Indianapolis in 1957, but Fairbanks insisted that the last VHF allocation in Indianapolis should go to a local owner. Eventually, the two companies agreed to what amounted to a trade, in which Crosley kept WLWI while Fairbanks bought WLWA. The Atlanta station's callsign then became WAII-TV, using the slogan "The Eyes of Atlanta" and the calls standing for "Atlanta's 11" (II). The station was sold to Pacific & Southern Broadcasting in 1968 and became known as WQXI-TV, aligning it with WQXI-AM and FM (the calls originally used on channel 36, currently WATL, from 1954 to 1955). Pacific & Southern later merged with Combined Communications. The station assumed the WXIA-TV call letters on December 25, 1973. In September 1976, WXIA first adopted "11 Alive" as its on-air branding, as part of Combined's practice of using the word "Alive" as part of the brand of most of their stations (two stations not owned by Combined also adopted the "Alive" branding that same year, New York City's WPIX until 1986 and Pittsburgh's NBC affiliate WIIC, now WPXI, until 1979 – both also branding as "11 Alive"). In 1979, Combined merged with Gannett in what became the biggest media merger in history up to that time. Following the acquisition, most of the former Combined stations stopped using the "Alive" brand, though WXIA continued to call itself "11 Alive".
On September 1, 1980, WXIA became an NBC affiliate, due to market leader WSB-TV's affiliation deal with ABC. This could be traced to ratings: NBC slid to a very poor third place; meanwhile, ABC was in first place for most of the late 1970s and was seeking out affiliates with higher viewership in many markets, including Atlanta. During the summer of 1980, the two stations conducted an experiment unusual for a large market: WXIA aired NBC daytime shows in the morning and ABC daytime shows in the afternoon, while WSB aired ABC shows in the morning and NBC shows in the afternoons. When the experiment was over, on that same day, both stations swapped affiliations full-time. In August 1994, Gannett dropped the "11 Alive" moniker as part of the introduction of new on-air graphics for its newscasts and promos; however, the brand was so well established in Atlanta that viewer outcry forced Gannett to restore it after only a month.
On June 5, 2006, Gannett entered into an agreement to purchase WATL from the Tribune Company for $180 million, creating Atlanta's first television duopoly; the sale was finalized on August 7, 2006. WATL occasionally airs NBC programs when WXIA is not able to due to extended breaking news and severe weather coverage, or special programming. As a result of the WATL acquisition, WXIA management decided to move the station's operations into WATL's facility at One Monroe Place, leaving WXIA's longtime studios at 1611 West Peachtree Street; WXIA and WATL began broadcasting from the new studios on July 27, 2008.
|Channel||PSIP Short Name||Video||Aspect||Programming|
|11.1||WXIA-TV||1080i||16:9||Main WXIA-TV programming / NBC|
|11.2||WXIA-WX||480i||16:9||Weather Information Zone (WIZ)|
The NBC Weather Plus service was discontinued on December 1, 2008; however some stations, including WXIA, continued to air national and local radar with Weather Plus branding, supplied by The Weather Channel through the end of December. In January, WXIA rebranded the channel "11Alive Weather" and kept the "L-Bar" with weather information from The Weather Channel, but shifted the remainder of the content to a local radar loop, and eliminated the background music that aired with it. It was later rebranded as the "11Alive Weather Information Zone" or "WIZ" in 2010, along with the weather segments during newscasts on the main channel. This service was also carried on digital cable in the Atlanta area through Charter Communications and Comcast.
In early December 2010, the WIZ was moved to WATL, and aired on channel 36.2, while 11.2 continued to air a static message graphic directing over-the-air viewers to tune there and re-scan if necessary. One month later, on January 10, the channel was removed completely from WXIA, and 11.3 became 11.2, before being reversed the following day. In 2011, Atlanta-based Bounce TV launched on September 26 with WATL 36.2 as its de facto flagship affiliate, with the WIZ channel being restored two weeks later on 36.3. In early October, 11.2 again became Universal Sports and 11.3 was deleted, and was reversed again a week later, with WIZ bounced back to its original channel 11.2. In November 2011, 11.3 was deleted leaving 36.3 as the sole channel for Universal Sports until it became a cable channel in 2012. Eventually, WIZ was converted from being presented using internal station weather computers to presentation and programming from The Local AccuWeather Channel.
The station added Universal Sports at the beginning of May 2009 on channel 11.3, added it to 36.3 in October 2011, and then deleted it from 11.3 in November 2011. However, it used severe video data compression, which left very obvious blurriness and pixelation during high-motion scenes common in sports. This low-bitrate sacrifice protects the quality of the main HD channel, and is unavoidable because Universal Sports transmits its programming via satellite in this highly compressed form (4.48Mbit/s). It was therefore not originally transmitted on sister station WATL (virtual channel 36.3, digital channel 25) because it would look the same there, and that station's bandwidth is being used for mobile television (ATSC-M/H), including WXIA's mobile channels. Additionally, mobile communications work better on higher UHF TV channels than on low VHF ones.
The station originally had the only VHF allotment for digital television in the area, until WGTV (channel 8) was moved from UHF 22 to VHF 12 (now 8). WXIA-TV shut down its analog signal, on June 12, 2009, as part of the digital television transition. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition channel 10, using PSIP to display WXIA-TV's virtual channel as 11.
The station previously aired a program called Noonday for many years, beginning with the news at noon and at 12:30 continuing on for the rest of the hour with features, akin somewhat to the Today show. This program was cancelled in 1997, but the half-hour noon newscast is now preceded by the hour-long Atlanta & Company at 11 a.m., a program which has some similar features, but is partly paid for by the companies featured on it.
WXIA presently broadcasts 27 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 4½ hours on weekdays, two hours on Saturdays and 2½ hours on Sundays). Unlike most NBC affiliates, the station does not carry local newscasts in the weeknight 5 p.m. timeslot; nor does it air one prior to the Sunday edition of Today. It also produces a half-hour primetime newscast at 10 p.m. for sister station WATL, which competes with the longer-running hour-long 10 p.m. newscast on Fox-owned WAGA-TV (channel 5). The station's Doppler weather radar site is located west of Atlanta in far southern Cobb County, south-southwest of Mableton, on the south side of Interstate 20 not far west of Six Flags Over Georgia.
The station began calling its newscasts News Watch in 1963 and began broadcasting news in color for the first time on March 20, 1967. From the early 1970s onward, channel 11's newscasts waged a spirited battle with WAGA for second place behind long-dominant WSB-TV. Since WAGA switched to Fox in 1994, WXIA has been a solid runner-up, usually finishing well ahead of perennial third-place finisher WGCL-TV; however, by May 2009, WXIA's ratings had been surpassed by WGCL at noon and 11 p.m. The morning news program Today in Atlanta had experienced a 40% ratings drop, leaving them a very distant third behind the local morning shows on WSB and WAGA, and sometimes fourth behind WGCL.
WXIA formerly had a partnership with The Weather Channel to use their weather forecasters and provide local weather forecasts; ironically, NBCUniversal (part-owner of NBC) holds a majority ownership stake in The Weather Channel. WXIA became the first Atlanta station to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition on February 2, 2006. As part of the conversion to HD, a new HD-ready news set from Production Design Group, Ltd. was built and the station began using a new graphics package from Giant Octopus.
In February 2010, WXIA began a nightly news segment, "Bull Fighters", which consists of eight reporters/anchors; the segment is usually provided by former WAGA sports reporter Jeff Hullinger. On April 28, 2010, a new 4:30 a.m. newscast called Wake Up with Chesley debuted, featuring meteorologist Chesley McNeil and travel producer Matt Holmes; in addition to news updates throughout the show, McNeil primarily gives weather updates while Holmes gives travel delays and information. On January 29, 2013 on the noon broadcast, WXIA debuted the new Gannett standardized graphics and music ("This is Home" by Gari Media Group); their renovated studio debuted on February 12, 2013.
- "Atlanta's Proud New Tradition" (1980; based on NBC image campaign1982)
- "Hello Atlanta, It's All Right Here on 11 Alive" (1980–1985; used during period station used Frank Gari's "Hello News")
- "Let's All Be There on 11 Alive"/"WXIA, Let's All Be There" (1984–1986; based on NBC image campaign)
- "Hello Atlanta, We're with You on 11 Alive" (1985–1990; used during period station used Frank Gari's "Hello News")
- "We're With You on 11 Alive" (1980s)
- "Come Home to the Best, Only on 11 Alive" (1988–1990; based on NBC image campaign)
- "11 Alive, The Place to Be"/"WXIA, The Place to Be" (1990–1992; based on NBC image campaign)
- "Hello Atlanta, 11 Alive and You" (1990–1993; used during period station used Frank Gari's "Hello News")
- "It's A Whole New 11 Alive" (1992–1993; based on NBC image campaign)
- "The Stars Are Back on 11 Alive" (1993–1994; based on NBC image campaign)
- "Atlanta's NewsChannel" (1993–1995)
- "News at the Speed of Life" (1995–1997)
- "Home of the Eleven-Minute Advantage" (1997–2006)
- "The News You Expect. The Balance You Deserve." (2006–2009)
- "Atlanta's HD News Leader" (2006–present)
- "News That Actually Helps You" (2009–present)
- "This is Home" (2013–present)
Notable former on-air staff
- Roz Abrams - anchor/reporter (1972–1980, last seen at WCBS-TV in New York City, and believed to no longer be in the TV business)
- Renee Chenault-Fattah - anchor/reporter (1989–1991, now at WCAU-TV in Philadelphia)
- Jim Huber - weekend sports anchor (1970s-84, later with CNN and Turner Sports; died in 2012)
- Walt Maciborski - anchor/reporter (now at WXIN in Indianapolis)
- Steve McCoy - "Noonday" co-host (1990–1992; formerly on Star 94, and B 98.5FM, now at KXKL-FM in Denver)
- Stone Phillips - reporter (1978–1979, formerly of Dateline NBC)
- Del Rodgers - sports anchor/reporter (1986–1997, now at KCRA-TV and KQCA-TV in Sacramento)
- Steve Somers - sports anchor/reporter (1976–1978, now at WFAN in New York)
- Tom Sullivan - "Atlanta & Company" co-host (2007–2009)
- Harmon Wages - sports anchor/reporter (?-1984)
- Monica Woods - morning and noon meteorologist (1999–2001, now at KXTV in Sacramento)
- Mobile DTV Signal Map from the National Association of Broadcasters
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations
- CDBS Print
- WXIA 11 Alive News 1979
- WXIA 11PM News Open and Close 1990
- WXIA 1995 Open
- WXIA Hello Georgia 1985 Promo #2
- WXIA We're With You On 11 Alive 1985 Promo #1
- WXIA 11 Alive Hello Atlanta
- 11Alive.com - Official website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WXIA-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WXIA-TV