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|High Springs/Gainesville, Florida
|Branding||CBS 4 (cable channel)
CBS 4 News (newscasts)
My 11 (on DT2)
|Channels||Digital: 28 (UHF/PSIP)|
|Owner||New Age Media, LLC
(New Age Media of Gainesville License, LLC)
|Operator||Sinclair Broadcast Group|
|Founded||June 22, 1987|
|First air date||September 20, 1997|
|Call letters' meaning||Gainesville, FLorida|
|Sister station(s)||WMYG-LP, WNBW-DT, WYME-CD|
|Former channel number(s)||53 (UHF analog, 1997–2008)|
|Former affiliations||The WB (primary, 1997–2002; DT2, 2002–2006)
UPN (secondary, 1997–2002; DT2, 2002–2006)
|Transmitter power||168 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WGFL is the CBS-affiliated television station for North Central Florida licensed to High Springs. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 28 from a transmitter in Newberry. Owned by New Age Media and operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group, WGFL is sister to low-powered MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYG-LP, Class A MeTV affiliate WYME-CD, and NBC affiliate WNBW-DT. The latter is actually owned by MPS Media, LLC but operated by New Age Media through a local marketing agreement (LMA).
All four stations share studios on Northwest 80th Boulevard I-75/SR 93 in Gainesville. Syndicated programming on WGFL includes Jeopardy!, Wheel Of Fortune, Extra, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show among others. The Gainesville market is located between several other Florida DMAs. In these areas, local cable systems opt instead for the affiliate for the home market instead of WGFL. This includes Cox Communications and Bright House Networks in Ocala (part of the Orlando market) that both offer WKMG-TV. In Lake City (part of the Jacksonville DMA) Comcast provides WJAX-TV.
WGFL signed on September 20, 1997, offering an analog signal on UHF channel 53. It was a primary WB and secondary UPN affiliate known on-air as "WB 53". Before the station signed on, WKCF served as the default WB affiliate for the Gainesville area and WRBW served as the default UPN affiliate for the Gainesville area. In 2002, Jacksonville's longtime CBS affiliate WJXT became an independent station after losing the network due to a dispute. During its tenure with the network, that station served as the default affiliate for much of North Central Florida. WGFL quickly joined CBS to keep the network available in Gainesville. It also changed its on-air moniker from "WB 53" to "CBS 4" (named after its cable channel number on Cox systems).
The CBS affiliation brought Florida Gators football to the station through the network's rights to air Southeastern Conference football games. These games have been high ratings draws especially during the national championship years of 2006 and 2008. Corresponding with the network change, the station began broadcasting a digital signal on UHF channel 28. A second digital subchannel was established to continue a primary WB (through The WB 100+) and secondary UPN affiliation. This service used the calls "WBFL" in a fictional manner (to match an off-air analog repeater on VHF channel 11 which is now WMYG) and was known on-air as "WB 10" after the cable channel on Cox.
On January 24, 2006, UPN and The WB announced the two networks would cease broadcasting and merge. The new combined operation 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. On February 22, News Corporation announced it would start up another new network called MyNetworkTV. This new service, which would be a sister network to Fox, would be operated by Fox Television Stations and its syndication division Twentieth Television. MyNetworkTV was created in order to give UPN and WB stations, not mentioned as becoming CW affiliates, another option besides becoming Independent. It was also created to compete against The CW.
On September 5, WMYG became a separate station and joined MyNetworkTV. The call letters stayed the same since they refer to the network. That station became known on-air as "My 11" (again referring to its cable channel slot). Meanwhile, on September 18, 2006, ABC affiliate WCJB-TV added a new second digital subchannel of its own to be part of The CW provided through The CW Plus. Eventually, WYME (a Class A analog repeater of WMYG) became a separate station and joined MeTV.
WNBW launched a second digital subchannel to offer WYME a digital signal since the station did not offer one of its own, like most low powered stations currently.
On September 25, 2013, New Age Media announced that it would sell most of its stations, including WGFL and WMYG-LP, to the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Concurrently, sister station WNBW-DT was slated to be sold to Cunningham Broadcasting and was to continue to be operated by WGFL. On October 31, 2014, New Age Media requested the dismissal of its application to sell WGFL; 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.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|28.1||1080i||16:9||CBS 4||Main WGFL programming / CBS|
|28.2||480i||4:3||MY 11||Simulcast of WMYG-LP|
WGFL discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 53, on July 18, 2008. The station's digital signal broadcasts on its pre-transition UHF channel 28. It was one of very few big three affiliates permitted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to cease analog transmission prior to the national digital switchover on June 12, 2009. The transmitter facility space formerly occupied by WGFL's analog signal on UHF channel 53 is now used for WNBW's transmission.
WGFL initially simulcast WTEV-TV's nightly 11:00 p.m. newscast, which only focused on Jacksonville-area news, as well as brief headlines from the state as a whole. The station would soon drop WTEV's newscast in favor of INN News, a nationally syndicated national newscast from the Independent News Network (INN) of Davenport, Iowa.
On October 27, 2010, WGFL launched GTN News, which is produced by INN at its studios in Davenport, and supplemented by local reporters in the Gainesville area. On weeknights, WGFL simulcasts with WNBW at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; the 11:00 p.m. newscast can be delayed on either station due to network obligations. WGFL and WNBW also simulcast local news and weather cut-ins on weekday mornings during their network national shows. GTN News was renamed CBS4 News on April 2016.
- Channel 4 branded TV stations in the United States
- Channel 28 digital TV stations in the United States
- Channel 28 virtual TV stations in the United States
- Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1999 (PDF). 1999. p. B-18. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
- 2 stations to fill TV-4's former CBS viewing area, The Florida Times-Union, July 14, 2002.
- 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 Gainesville 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.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WGFL
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.