|Tallahassee, Florida-Thomasville-Valdosta, Georgia
Fox 49 (DT2)
|Slogan||Your Entertainment Station|
|Channels||Digital: 40 (UHF)
Virtual: 40 (PSIP)
|Owner||Sinclair Broadcast Group
(WTWC Licensee, LLC)
|Founded||April 8, 1982 (Pre-Sign on)|
|First air date||April 21, 1983|
|Call letters' meaning||Watching TV With Celine (girlfriend of first
co-owner, Charlie Holt)
WTLH & WTLF
Albany, GA: WFXL
WNBW-DT, WGFL-TV, WMYG-LP & WYME-CD
Pensacola, FL-Mobile, AL: WEAR-TV, WFGX, WPMI & WJTC
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
40 (UHF, 1983–2009)
2 (VHF, until 2009)
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
WTWC-TV is the NBC-affiliated television station for South Georgia and Florida's Big Bend. Licensed to Tallahassee, Florida, it broadcasts a 720p high definition digital signal on UHF channel 40 from a transmitter in unincorporated Thomas County, Georgia, southeast of Metcalf, along the Florida state line. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the station operates CW affiliate WTLF and Me-TV outlet WTLH (owned by MPS Media and New Age Media, respectively) through a master service agreement.
WTWC has studios on Deerlake South in unincorporated Leon County, Florida northwest of Bradfordville (with a Tallahassee postal address) while WTLF and WTLH maintain a separate facility together on Commerce Boulevard in Midway. Syndicated programming on WTWC includes The Insider, Family Feud, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Dr. Phil among others.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming |
|40.1||720p → 1080i||16:9||WTWC-TV||Main WTWC-TV programming / NBC|
|40.2||720p||WTWC-FX||WTWC-DT2 / Fox|
The station signed-on April 21, 1983 as the market's third commercial outlet, broadcasting an analog signal on UHF channel 40. It immediately joined NBC, making Tallahassee one of the last markets in the United States with full service from all three major networks. Tallahassee had a very long wait for full network service, even though it had been big enough to support at least two stations by the late-1950s and three by the 1960s. However, the Tallahassee market is a very large market geographically, stretching across most of the central Florida Panhandle and much of Southwestern Georgia.
The only other VHF station in the market is PBS member outlet WFSU-TV. UHF stations do not carry well across large areas, making potential station owners skittish about applying for the available UHF channels in the area. By the 1970s, however, cable television had gained enough penetration to make a UHF station viable.
Before WTWC launched, WALB from Albany, Georgia was the NBC affiliate of choice in the area, especially in the Southwestern Georgia part of the market, where it has city-grade quality. The station's original owners, Holt-Robinson TV, went bankrupt in the mid-1990s. In 1996, Guy Gannett Communications bought the station out of receivership. Sinclair bought WTWC, along with most of Guy Gannett's other television properties (in 1998) giving channel 40 its third owner in a decade.
In 2001, Media Ventures Management (then owner of ABC affiliate WTXL-TV) entered into an outsourcing agreement with Sinclair which then began to operate that station. WTXL merged virtually all of its operations from its original studios on Thomasville Road/U.S. 319/SR 61 in Tallahassee into WTWC's facilities on March 17, 2002. This included the ABC outlet's advertising management and promotional control over cable-only WB affiliate "WBXT". The operational arrangement between WTWC and WTXL was the first of its kind in the country.
The Southern Broadcast Corporation (now Calkins Media) acquired WTXL's license on November 30, 2005 but allowed the outsourcing agreement to continue. On February 20, 2006, the partnership between the two stations was dissolved when the Southern Broadcast Corporation gave notice to terminate the agreement with Sinclair. As a result, WTXL moved out of the WTWC building. On December 22, 2006, WTWC renewed its affiliation agreement with NBC keeping the station associated with the network through at least 2016. On June 12, 2009, WTWC shut off its analog signal on channel 40 and moved its digital signal from VHF channel 2 to UHF channel 40.
On September 25, 2013, New Age Media (owner of then-Fox affiliate WTLH and operator of WTLF) announced that it would sell most of its stations to Sinclair. In order to comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ownership restrictions, since Sinclair already owns WTWC, its partner company Cunningham Broadcasting planned to acquire the WTLH license but Sinclair was slated to operate the station (as well as WTLF, which would have been acquired by another sidecar operation, Deerfield Media) through shared services agreements.
On October 31, 2014, New Age Media requested the dismissal of its application to sell WTLH; the next day, Sinclair purchased the non-license assets of WTLH and WTLF and began operating them through a master service agreement. At midnight on January 1, 2015, Sinclair moved the Fox affiliation to WTWC's second digital subchannel. This left Me-TV (formally on WTLH-DT3) to affiliate with WTLH's main channel while the simulcast of WTLF remained on a second subchannel of WTLH.
Compared with the market's other big three television stations, WTWC has never had much success operating a news department of its own. The most recent attempt lasted from 1997 to November 2000 (broadcasts were branded as NBC News 40) but this effort was ultimately shuttered due to poor viewership and budget cuts. Meanwhile, WTXL has traditionally been a distant runner up in the ratings to longtime dominant WCTV which was the only commercial station in the area until WTXL's sign-on.
Throughout the duration of the operational outsourcing agreement between WTWC and WTXL, the ABC station produced some limited newscast programming on WTWC. More specifically, WTXL's on-air team provided WTWC with weekday morning local news and weather cut-ins seen at 7:27 and 8:26 during Today. There were also news and weather briefs aired weeknights at 5:58 and 6:28 on WTWC. The aforementioned programming was taped in advance since WTXL already had prior commitments with its own local newscasts. In addition, there was severe weather coverage presented when conditions warranted.
Since February 2009, this NBC station has utilized the weather team from sister outlet WEAR-TV in Pensacola for weekday morning weather cut-ins (again, recorded in advance) during Today from 7 until 9 a.m. that are tailored to the Tallahassee viewing area. Otherwise, the station does not currently offer any full-length local news programming on its main channel.
Ironically WTWC's Fox subchannel, the programming originally seen on the main channel of WTLH, airs local newscasts that continue to be produced by CBS affiliate WCTV (owned by Gray Television) through a pre-existing news share agreement. This specifically includes an hour-long weekday show known as Fox 49 Morning News (seen from 7 until 8 a.m.) that offers a local alternative to the national broadcasts airing on the big three networks. There is also a nightly thirty-minute prime time newscast known as Fox 49 News at 10. All news programming (airing in 720p high definition) features a separate graphics package and music theme from WCTV. The shows originate from the CBS affiliate's primary set at its studios on Halstead Boulevard in Tallahassee (along I-10) with unique duratrans indicating the Fox-branded shows.
- Sinclair Press release regarding WTWC/WTXL outsourcing agreement, 1 October 2001
- http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf[permanent dead link]
- 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 Tallahassee 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.