High Point, North Carolina
|Branding||ABC 45 (general)
News 14 Carolina on ABC 45 (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 29 (UHF)
Virtual: 45 (PSIP)
45.2 ZUUS Country
|Owner||Sinclair Broadcast Group
(WXLV Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||September 1979|
|Call letters' meaning||XLV = Roman numeral 45 (former analog and current PSIP channel number)|
|Sister station(s)||WMYV, WLOS, WMYA-TV, WRDC, WLFL|
|Former callsigns||WGNN-TV (1979-1980)
|Former channel number(s)||45 (UHF analog, 1979-2009)|
|Former affiliations||Independent (1979-1986)
UPN (secondary, 1995-1996)
|Transmitter power||990 kW|
WXLV-TV is the ABC-affiliated television station for the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina that is licensed to Winston-Salem. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 29 (virtual channel 45) from a transmitter in Randleman along I-73/U.S. 220. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the station is sister to MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYV and the two share studios on Myer Lee Drive in Winston-Salem along I-40. Syndicated programming on WXLV includes: Frasier, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and Family Feud. It can be found on channel 7 on most cable systems in the market.
The station signed-on in September 1979 as independent station WGNN-TV. It was the Triad's first independent station, and aired an analog signal on UHF channel 45 from a transmitter west of Gap in Stokes County. The station was bought by the TVX Broadcast Group in 1980 and changed its call letters to WJTM-TV. Over the years, the station ran a general entertainment format consisting of cartoons, movies, sitcoms, and dramas. It changed its call letters to WNRW in 1984 in memory of a station employee who was murdered in a shooting at the station that year. It became the market's Fox affiliate when the network premiered on October 9, 1986. By the late 1980s, the station had dropped its longtime moniker of "TV 45" in favor of "Fox 45."
TVX sold-off many of its smaller stations in 1988, including WNRW, which it sold to Act III Broadcasting. Meanwhile, the other major independent in the market, WGGT (channel 48), filed for bankruptcy in the late-1980s and still had not emerged from it by 1991. At that time, Act III cut a deal with WGGT's owner, Guilford Broadcasters. Act III bought WGGT's stronger programming and merged it onto WNRW's lineup. WGGT then began to simulcast WNRW, creating a strong combined signal with over 60% overlap. This was known as the "Piedmont Superstation". The two stations took on a secondary UPN affiliation when that network debuted on January 16, 1995.
The simulcast continued after Act III Broadcasting merged with Abry Broadcast Partners in 1995. That September, when Fox acquired longtime ABC affiliate WGHP, WNRW and WGGT swapped affiliations with WGHP, and all Fox programming (including Fox Kids) went to WGHP. WNRW also changed its calls to the current WXLV-TV.
Abry merged with Sinclair in 1996. Sinclair then had Glencairn purchase WGGT from Guilford Broadcasters. In 1997, WGGT dropped the simulcast with WXLV, and the two stations entered into a local marketing agreement (LMA) with WXLV as senior partner. As part of the LMA, all UPN programming moved to channel 48, which changed its calls to WUPN-TV. Since the Smith family (founders of Sinclair) owned most of Glencairn's stock, Sinclair effectively had a duopoly in the Triad. A similar situation existed in the Triangle where Sinclair owned WLFL and Glencairn nominally owned WRDC. Sinclair bought WUPN outright in 2000.
The stations digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|45.1||720p||16:9||WXLV HD||Main WXLV-TV programming / ABC|
|45.2||480i||4:3||WXLV SD||ZUUS Country|
On February 2, 2009, Sinclair told cable and satellite television providers via e-mail that regardless of the exact mandatory switchover date to digital-only broadcasting, the station would cease airing in analog on February 17. At 11:59 p.m. on that date, WXLV's analog signal switched to "nightlight" service and went dark permanently during the week ending March 13. This move made WXLV and WMYV the first digital-only broadcast stations in the market.
The station established a news department after becoming an ABC affiliate in 1995. At the operation's height, it aired local news weeknights at 6 and 11 as well as on weekends under the branding News 45 (subsequently changed to ABC 45 News). There were also weather cut-ins during Good Morning America on weekday mornings. WXLV's sports department produced a local high school sports show known as Friday Night Football. However, the station could not gain significant viewership and compete with WFMY-TV, WGHP, and WXII-TV. WXLV ended its weekday morning cut-ins and weekend newscasts in 2000. The remaining broadcasts and news operation were shut down on January 11, 2002.
In 2003, sister station WUPN began airing a nightly 10 p.m. newscast. As part of Sinclair's News Central operation, local news originated from the Winston-Salem studios while national news, weather, and sports were based at company headquarters on Beaver Dam Road in Hunt Valley, Maryland. In 2004, an identical 11 p.m. newscast, ABC 45 News Late Edition, was launched on WXLV. It also aired "The Point", a one-minute conservative political commentary, that was controversial and a requirement of all Sinclair-owned stations with newscasts (regardless of whether it carried the News Central format or not). Both newscasts were pulled in August 2005 as a result of poor ratings; the News Central format would be phased out entirely in its other markets by March 2006.
For a time afterward, News Central still provided WXLV with weekday morning weather cut-ins during Good Morning America featuring meteorologist Tony Pagnotti. Production of the cut-ins is now at its Asheville sister station, WLOS, with meteorologist Julie Wunder providing the updates. Currently, Eric Gabriel produces various entertainment, sports, and community features that can be seen on-air as well as on WXLV's website. In addition, there is a taped weekly public affairs show called Triad Today hosted by Jim Longworth.
As part of the settlement of Time Warner Cable's latest retransmission consent agreement with Sinclair, local cable news channel News 14 Carolina, which is owned by Time Warner Cable, began producing newscasts for WXLV. The newscast, known as News 14 Carolina on ABC 45, on January 2, 2012. WXLV airs traditional 6pm and 11pm news shows from News 14 Carolina, along with a 6:30am morning newscast before Good Morning America (it is unknown if this will include the :25/:55 local cut-in segments and weather cut-ins). The morning and evening newscasts are produced at News 14's Triad studio in the Centreport office complex in Greensboro. Although in the past local Time Warner news channels have produced news and sports content for broadcast stations (such as a now-expired agreement between Kansas City's KCTV and Metro Sports for the latter to compile and produce their sports coverage), the WXLV/News 14 agreement represents the second time in the United States that a cable news channel produces all of the local newscasts for a broadcast station; in Boston, New England Cable News produced a 10 p.m. newscast that aired on Fox affiliate WFXT from 1993 to 1995 and on UPN affiliate WSBK-TV from 1995 to 1998. Like programming on the cable channel, the newscasts on WXLV are aired in 16:9 widescreen (though not truly high definition).
- Rob Boisvert - weekday morning news (6:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Marti Skold - weekday morning news (6:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Cheryn Stone - weeknight news at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also reporter
- Jeff Crum - Chief Meteorologist seen weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Matthew East (CBM Seal of Approval) - weekday morning meteorologist (6:30-7:00 a.m.)
- J.B. Ricks - weeknight sports at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Bob Costner - Managing Editor and Senior
- Stephanie Stilwell - videographer
- Caitlin Lockerbie
- Caroline Blair
- Elise Roberts
- Ed Scannell
- Meg Smith
Out-of-market cable and DirecTV carriage
In recent years, WXLV 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, WXLV has been carried in Grayson County, Virginia, which is within the Roanoke market.
Disputes with Time Warner Cable
In early 2006, some viewers complained about WXLV's high definition signal not being carried on Time Warner Cable. However, the station noted that Sinclair's company wide policy is to not allow cable providers to carry HD signals without compensation. With NASCAR on ESPN broadcasts as part of the Chase for the Nextel Cup on WXLV, there was a dilemma for the Triad area because it is regarded as the highest-rated NASCAR television market. However, after Sinclair and Time Warner came to a nationwide compensation/retransmission deal in 2007, WXLV-DT and WMYV-DT began to be carried on Time Warner systems.
Sinclair was later involved in a retransmission dispute with Time Warner Cable, whose original agreement ended on December 31, 2010. An agreement was reached on February 2, 2011, with no disruption to carriage of WXLV and WMYV.
- "Norman Lear's Company Selling 8 TV Stations". The New York Times. June 22, 1995. Retrieved February 17, 2011.
- Hearn, Ted (February 2, 2009). "Sinclair Sticks To Feb. 17 Analog Cutoff". Digital Video Report. Retrieved February 24, 2009.
- "Sinclair, Time Warner Reach Retrans Deal". Retrieved 2011-03-10.
- "WXLV to resume newscasts as TWC, Sinclair reach deal". News & Record. 2011-02-02.
- Covington, Owen (July 29, 2011). "New 14 Carolina adding staff for new newscasts". The Business Journal. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
- "Sinclair/Time Warner Cable - Frequently Asked Questions". Sinclair Broadcast Group. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
- Official website
- WMYV website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WXLV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WXLV-TV