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|Branding||Fox 54 (general)|
Newsleader 9 on Fox 54 (newscasts)
|Slogan||Coverage you can count on|
|Channels||Digital: 24 (UHF)|
Virtual: 54 (PSIP)
|Owner||American Spirit Media, LLC|
(WXTX License Subsidiary, LLC)
|First air date||November 1984|
|Sister station(s)||WTVM, WSFA, WAFF, WBRC, WALB, WTOC-TV|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
54 (UHF, 1984–2009)
49 (UHF, until 2018)
UPN (secondary, 1995–1998)
MyNetworkTV (secondary, 2006–2012)
|Transmitter power||200 kW|
|Height||339 m (1,112 ft)|
|Public license information||Profile|
WXTX is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Columbus, Georgia, United States, serving the Chattahoochee Valley of west-central Georgia and east-central Alabama. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 24 (or virtual channel 54 via PSIP) from a transmitter in the Vista Terrace section of South Columbus.
Owned by American Spirit Media, WXTX is operated through a shared services agreement (SSA) by Gray Television as a sister station to ABC affiliate WTVM (channel 9). The two stations share studios on Wynnton Road (GA 22) in the Dinglewood section of Columbus. On cable, the station is available on Mediacom and WOW! channel 7 as well as Charter Spectrum channel 8.
The station signed-on in November 1984 as the market's second independent television outlet after Opelika, Alabama's WSWS-TV (channel 66). Less than three years later on April 5, 1987, it became a Fox affiliate and has remained with the network ever since the network's prime-time launch. The station is the network's longest serving Georgia affiliate after Fox dropped WATL for New World-owned WAGA-TV in Atlanta. By 1993, WXTX grew to a seven night network affiliate after Fox expanded its programming offerings. The station was named a top ten affiliate with the network in November 1994 for its prime time audience share. It has subsequently been named to the "Fox Number One Club" several times, most recently in 2007, in recognition of the station's sweeps ratings.
On September 5, 2006, it became the area's secondary MyNetworkTV affiliate after The CW chose then-UPN station WLGA to become its affiliate in Columbus. The CW is currently seen on a second digital subchannel of NBC affiliate WLTZ. Originally, WXTX aired programming from MyNetworkTV on weeknights from 11 until 1 in the morning. For Saturday night primetime, that network was shown early Sunday mornings from 12:30 until 2:30. It eventually shifted to the Tuesday through Saturday time slot of midnight until 2 a.m. after the network transitioned to a programming service. In 2012, WXTX dropped MyNetworkTV as a secondary affiliation; this left Columbus with no affiliate of the service until 2017, when WLTZ launched MyNetworkTV in primetime on its third digital subchannel, which airs Antenna TV at all other times.
At one point, the station offered The Tube (a 24-hour automated music video network) on a second digital subchannel. This was dropped on October 1, 2007, when the service shut down due to a lack of advertising revenue. WXTX's broadcasts became digital-only, effective June 12, 2009.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming|
|54.1||720p||16:9||WXTX-DT||Main WXTX programming / Fox|
Since 2004 through a news share agreement, WTVM has been producing the Chattahoochee Valley's only prime time newscast on WXTX called Fox 54 News at 10, which airs weeknights for an hour (thirty minutes on weekends) from the ABC affiliate's facility on Wynnton Road/SR 22 Spur in the Dinglewood section of Columbus. In 2007, the ABC outlet began airing an hour-long extension of its weekday morning show on WXTX under the name Fox 54 Morning News, this program aired for an hour starting at 7 and offered a local alternative to the national morning broadcasts on the big three stations in Columbus. The production was eventually cancelled most likely due to inconsistent viewership and/or low ratings.
WXTX's newscasts have a separate music package and graphics theme from WTVM and employs the use of the ABC affiliate's primary set but modified with duratrans indicating the Fox-branded show. Although WXTX features the majority of WTVM's on-air personnel, this station maintains a separate additional news anchor on weeknights that can fill-in on WTVM when necessary.
In late-October 2010, HD-ready graphics began to be seen in weather forecasting segments indicating WTVM and WXTX would be making the switch to high definition newscasts. The entire graphics package made a full switch to an updated theme in January 2011. On February 16, 2012, production of Fox 54 News at 10 moved to the newsroom while a temporary weather office was constructed in the hallway between the editing bay and the newsroom. The main set during this time was finally upgraded to high definition. The new HD set and transition to high definition news was completed on March 14 at which point WXTX retained the same graphics scheme and news music package. On July 25, 2012, WXTX debuted an updated set of Raycom Media corporate graphics and a new music package.
On September 17, 2012, the station launched a weeknight half-hour newscast at 7. Since Alabama (which is in the Central Time Zone) is an hour behind Georgia, this program is the only local news catering to viewers on the western side of the market airing at 6. Viewers in those areas also have access to stations from Dothan and Montgomery offering broadcasts geared for the Central Time Zone. In addition to WTVM's main studios, that station also operates an East Alabama Bureau on Executive Park Drive in Opelika offering coverage of that city (in addition to Auburn and Phenix City).
Since half of the viewing area includes East-Central Alabama, WTVM and WXTX are part of the "Raycom News Network". This is a system designed to rapidly share information among the company's widespread group of television stations and websites in Alabama. A regional network has developed among WSFA/WDFX-TV in Montgomery/Dothan, WAFF in Huntsville, and WBRC in Birmingham in which the outlets share information, equipment (such as satellite trucks), and video footage from reporters. Between them, these stations cover the entire state of Alabama (except for the Gulf Coast) and also comprise the regional "Raycom Weather Network".