High Point, North Carolina
|Branding||WXII 12 (general)
WXII 12 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||The Number 1 Choice for News in the Triad|
|Channels||Digital: 31 (UHF)
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
(WXII Hearst Television, Inc.)
|First air date||September 30, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||XII=Roman numeral 12|
|Former callsigns||WSJS-TV (1953-1972)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
This TV (2009-2012)
|Transmitter power||815 kW (digital)|
|Height||572 m (digital)|
WXII-TV (digital channel 31, virtual channel 12) is the NBC-affiliated television station for the Greensboro–High Point–Winston-Salem designated market area, serving North Carolina's Piedmont Triad region and parts of Southwest Virginia. It is licensed to Winston-Salem and is currently owned by Hearst Television. Its transmitter is located on Sauratown Mountain in Stokes County, North Carolina. The station is carried on cable channel 11 in most parts of the market. Syndicated programming on WXII-TV includes Live! with Kelly and Michael, Dr. Phil, Anderson, Inside Edition and Entertainment Tonight.
The station began operation on September 30, 1953 as WSJS-TV. It is the third-oldest surviving station in North Carolina, behind Charlotte's WBTV and Greensboro's WFMY-TV. The station at first was owned by a subsidiary of Piedmont Publishing (publishers of the Winston-Salem Journal and Twin City Sentinel along with WSJS radio (600 AM and 104.1 FM, now WTQR)) and Hollywood star Mary Pickford and her husband Buddy Rogers.
Johnny Beckman, an early employee, recalls working at WSJS-TV in those early years:
There were three of us, and we all did multiple jobs -- the weather, commercials, a teenage dance party. We were all scrambling around trying to make a living. Broadcasting was not high-paying then. The pay has certainly improved, but it was a more enjoyable career than it has become now.
The station has always been affiliated with NBC. ABC was shared with WFMY until WGHP signed on in 1963. The station first broadcast from the basement of WSJS studios on Spruce Street in Winston-Salem. The first broadcast was of the first game of the World Series between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers. The station originally broadcast from an antenna near Kernersville. WSJS-TV opened its new transmitter site atop Sauratown Mountain in 1955. In 1959, Piedmont exercised an option agreement to buy out Pickford and Rogers and gained complete control of the station. The matter ended up in court when Pickford and Rogers felt that Piedmont had undervalued the amount of their shares, but was eventually resolved in Piedmont's favor.
When Piedmont Publishing was sold to Media General in 1968, Gordon Gray, the longtime publisher of both papers, held onto WSJS-AM-FM-TV as Triangle Broadcasting. Gray also received the franchise for the city's cable system. However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled that TV stations could not also own the cable systems in their markets. Gray was thus forced to sell WSJS-TV in 1972 to Multimedia Inc., who renamed the station WXII-TV. The letters "XII" from "WXII" are the Roman numerals for the number "12", which is the station's channel number. At the time of the call letter change, the station ran a promotional ad parodying the death of Julius Caesar to amplify the Roman numeral theme. Two other stations in the market later switched to Roman numeral call letters (WXLV-TV 45 and WLXI-TV 61; WGSR-LD's previous incarnation also used Roman numerals as WXIV).
Multimedia swapped WXII and WFBC-TV in Greenville, South Carolina (now WYFF) to Pulitzer in 1983 in exchange for KSD-TV in St. Louis (now KSDK). When Pulitzer bowed out of broadcasting in 1997, Hearst-Argyle Television bought the entire group, including WXII. That same year, Hearst bought WETR 830 AM and named it WXII, and a news radio format was used that included audio from some WXII news broadcasts.
On March 4, 2013, WSJS radio began airing the WXII 6 P.M. newscast. This would be the first of several ways the stations would work together; the radio station's reporters would do stories for the TV station and vice versa.
On July 9, 2012, WXII's parent company Hearst Television was involved in a dispute with Time Warner Cable, leading to WXII being pulled from Time Warner Cable and temporarily replaced with Nexstar Broadcasting Group station WBRE-TV of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; Time Warner opted for such a distant signal like WBRE, as they do not have the rights to carry any NBC affiliate closest to them. The substitution of WBRE in place of WXII lasted until July 19, 2012, when a deal was reached between Hearst and Time Warner.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short name||Programming|
|12.1||1080i||16:9||WXII-TV||Main WXII-TV programming / NBC|
On July 24, 2012, Hearst Television renewed its affiliation agreement with Me-TV to maintain existing affiliations with eight Hearst-owned stations currently carrying the digital multicast network through 2015. As part of the renewal, Hearst also signed agreements to add the network as digital subchannels of WXII-TV and four other Hearst stations in Sacramento, Baltimore, Boston and Oklahoma City. Digital subchannel 12.2 replaced This TV with Me-TV on August 6, 2012.
|This section requires expansion. (August 2010)|
WXII currently broadcasts 36.5 hours of local news per week, with 5.5 hours on weekdays and three hours on weekends. A 2½ hour morning newscast begins at 4:30 a.m., followed by one-hour blocks at noon and 5 p.m., a half-hour block at 6 p.m. a half-hour block at 10 p.m on Me-TV (12.2) and a 35-minute wrap at 11 p.m. On weekends, a two-hour morning newscast begins at 5 am, followed by half-hour blocks at 6, 10 p.m on Me-TV (12.2) and 11 p.m.
Ratings began to increase following a series of severe weather events in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Since then, WXII has regularly traded the top spot in the ratings with WFMY.
On February 12, 2010, after the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, WXII became the last local station in the Piedmont Triad to produce its newscasts in 16:9 widescreen standard definition, joining WGHP and WFMY. For a few months after the switch, weather graphics were still broadcast in the 4:3 format with blue colored pillarboxing, but since has upgraded the graphics to 16:9 widescreen format. The studio cameras and news packages are in 16:9 SD widescreen. Broadcasts are now in 16:9 1080i High Definition.
On March 4, 2013, WXII started simulcasting its weeknight 6:00 p.m. newscast on its former radio sister, WSJS. The two properties started a news sharing agreement where WSJS personalities will appear on WXII's newscasts while WXII personalities will appear on WSJS's newscasts.
WXII used the "Hello News" theme package in the early 1980s. Their campaign song was "Hello Piedmont." Following the "Hello" campaign of the early 1980s, WXII hired a Florida production company to put together a new image campaign, "Count on Us". This was used for little more than a year and then dropped. In the early 1990s WXII was rebranded "Your Carolina News Connection". As with most TV stations, WXII used custom versions of NBC campaigns—one example being "Come Home to WXII". They also made a local version of "Come Home to the Best, Only on NBC" in 1988, featuring shots of NBC's stars and WXII's anchors throwing a party to coincide with the station's 35th anniversary. The latter clip can be seen on YouTube (originally uploaded by the station itself).
In the mid-to-late 1990s, WXII branded itself as NewsChannel 12, and its positioning statement was "Complete Local Coverage of the Western Piedmont." Once Hearst took full control (around 1999-2000), both the NewsChannel and positioning statement were dropped. The station then began branding itself as WXII 12 News. As of 2008, the station refers to itself (TV and online) as WXII Digital Media.
- WSJS-TV News (1953–1964)
- Golden Triangle News Report (1964–1971)
- Eyewitness News (1971–1977)
- NewsCenter 12 (1977–1985)
- Channel 12 News (1985–1992)
- Newswatch 12 (1992–1996)
- (WXII) NewsChannel 12 (1996–2003)
- WXII 12 News (2003–present)
- "Eyewitness News, Covering All of the Piedmont Triad and Southwestern Virginia" (early 1970s)
- "Eyewitness News, First in the Triad" (mid-1970s)
- "Hello Piedmont" (early 1980s)
- "Come Home To The Best Only On Channel 12"
- "Count on Us" (late 1980s)
- "Your Carolina News Connection" (1991–1996)
- "Complete Local Coverage of the Western Piedmont" (1996–2004)
- "Your Home for Piedmont Triad and Southwest Virginia News" (2007–2008)
- "The Number 1 Choice for News in the Triad" (2009–present)
- Cameron Kent - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00, 10:00 (WXII-DT2 MeTV) and 11:00 p.m.
- Wanda Starke - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00, 10:00 (WXII-DT2 MeTV) and 11:00 p.m.
- Kimberly Van Scoy - weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Nicole Ducouer - weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Margaret Johnson - weekdays at noon
- Veronica White weekends at 6:00, 10:00 (WXII-DT2 MeTV) and 11:00 p.m.; also weekday reporter
- Talitha Vickers - weekend mornings (5:30-6:00 Saturdays and 6:00-8:00 a.m. weekends); also weekday morning reporter
WXII 12 Weather
- Lanie Pope (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; Thursdays-Fridays at 5:00 and weeknights at 6:00, 10:00 (WXII-DT2 MeTV) and 11:00 p.m.
- Austin Caviness (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Michelle Kennedy (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; Mondays-Wednesdays at noon and 5:00 and weekends at 6:00, 10:00 (WXII-DT2 MeTV) and 11:00 p.m.
- Brian Slocum (NWA Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; Thursday-Fridays at noon and weekend mornings (5:30-6:00 Saturdays and 6:00-8:00 a.m. weekends)
- Kenny Beck - sports director; weeknights at 6:00, 10:00 (WXII-DT2 MeTV) and 11:00 p.m. (formerly weekend morning anchor)
- TBD - sports anchor; weekends at 6:00, 10:00 (WXII-DT2 MeTV) and 11:00 p.m.
- Manard "Busta" Brown - morning traffic anchor (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Hallie Jackson - Washington Bureau reporter
- David Jeannot - general assignment morning reporter
- Sally Kidd - Washington Bureau reporter
- Nicole Killion - Washington Bureau reporter
- Chris Lea - evening traffic anchor (5:00 and 6:00 p.m.)
- Bill O’Neil - investigative reporter
- Rob Wu - general assignment reporter
Notable former on-air staff
- John Beard - Former anchor and reporter (1976-77). Now at WGRZ in Buffalo.
- Paul Dellegatto - former chief meteorologist (1986–1990). Currently chief meteorologist at WTVT in Tampa.
- Bonnie Schneider - meteorologist. Joined CNN in 2005.
- Jennie Stencel - Former traffic reporter. Resigned on May 14, 2010.
Out-of-market cable and DirecTV carriage
In recent years, WXII has been carried on cable in multiple areas outside of the Greensboro media market. That includes cable systems within the Charlotte market in North Carolina and the Roanoke market in Virginia. On DirecTV, WXII has been carried in multiple areas within the Roanoke market in Virginia.
- The Winston-Salem Journal, Magnolia Trees and Pulitzer Prizes, by Frank V. Tursi, page 182.
- Bill Montgomery, "What Ever Happened to ... Johnny Beckman," Atlanta Journal-Constitution, December 11, 2006.
- Jeri Rowe, "A Powerful AM Radio Station Gives NBC Affiliate WXII a Bigger Punch Regionwide", Greensboro News & Record, November 6, 1998.
- Clodfelter, Tim (February 28, 2013). "WXII’s 6 p.m. newscast will be broadcast on WSJS radio". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
- Winston-Salem Journal: "WXII off Time Warner Cable, due to contract dispute", July 10, 2012.
- Orlando Sentinel: "WESH off Bright House; Pennsylvania station is substitute", July 10, 2012.
- Broadcasting & Cable: "Hearst TV, Time Warner Cable End Viewer Blackout", July 19, 2012.
- "WXII Launching New 24-Hour Movie, Classic TV Network", wxii12.com, March 23, 2009.
- Me-TV Adds Five More Hearst Stations, TVNewsCheck, July 24, 2012.
- WXII 12 adds Me-TV!, WXII-TV, July 25, 2012.
- WXII adds 10 p.m. newscast
- WXII 12 announces partnership with WSJS - 600 AM will air WXII 12 News at 6:00 p.m. WXII12.com, February 28th, 2013
- WXII 1996 Open
- WXII-TV open 2000
- WXII-TV 11PM Open (June 2011)
- News Team
- "Bio". Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- WXII-TV website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WXII-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WXII-TV