WTLV
Next to the NBC network logo, a six-feathered, multi-colored peacock, a gray "12", with the 1 higher than the 2. The letters WTLV in a sans serif, also in gray, sit below the 12.
The words "FIRST" and "COAST", directly touching, with "FIRST" bolded, in blue. Beneath, the NBC and ABC logos and the word "NEWS" in blue.
Channels
BrandingWTLV NBC 12; First Coast News
Programming
Affiliations
Ownership
Owner
WJXX
History
First air date
September 1, 1957 (65 years ago) (1957-09-01)
Former call signs
WFGA-TV (1957–1971)
Former channel number(s)
Analog: 12 (VHF, 1957–2009)
  • NBC (1957–1980)
  • ABC (secondary, 1957–1966; primary, 1980–1988)
Call sign meaning
"Television"
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID65046
ERP53.3 kW
HAAT290.7 m (954 ft)
Transmitter coordinates30°16′24″N 81°33′13″W / 30.27333°N 81.55361°W / 30.27333; -81.55361Coordinates: 30°16′24″N 81°33′13″W / 30.27333°N 81.55361°W / 30.27333; -81.55361
Links
Public license information
Websitewww.firstcoastnews.com

WTLV (channel 12) is a television station in Jacksonville, Florida, United States, affiliated with NBC. It is owned by Tegna Inc. alongside Orange Park–licensed ABC affiliate WJXX (channel 25). Both stations share studios on East Adams Street (near TIAA Bank Field) in downtown Jacksonville, while WTLV's transmitter is located on Anders Boulevard in the city's Killarney Shores section.

History

Early color television ID for WFGA-TV
Early color television ID for WFGA-TV

The station first signed on the air on September 1, 1957, as WFGA-TV (which stood for "We're Florida and Georgia"). Founded by the Florida-Georgia Television Company, it was originally a primary NBC affiliate with a secondary affiliation with ABC. It was the first television station in the United States that was designed for color broadcasting, and many of the country's color commercials were filmed at the station. Two years later, WFGA donated tower space, money and transmitting facilities to the market's National Educational Television (NET) member station WJCT (channel 7, now a PBS member station). In 1958, WFGA was selected "Newsfilm Station of the Year" by the National Press Photographers Association.[2]

On October 11, 1958, channel 12 became the first television station to air a live launch from Cape CanaveralThor-Able's successful launch of the Pioneer I lunar probe. The station also provided the remote facilities, and supplied video and audio for all three major networks (ABC, NBC and CBS). This earned WFGA-TV the exclusive spot for NBC's space coverage. WFGA lost the ABC affiliation to WJKS (channel 17, later WJWB and now CW affiliate WCWJ), when it signed on in September 1966; as a result, channel 12 became an exclusive NBC affiliate.

Used as the background for WTLV's newscasts in the mid-1970s; newscasts didn't use the added text. The slide was used from the time the station adopted said call letters.
Used as the background for WTLV's newscasts in the mid-1970s; newscasts didn't use the added text. The slide was used from the time the station adopted said call letters.

On December 16, 1971,[3] the station changed its call letters to WTLV. In 1975, the station was purchased by Harte-Hanks Communications. On March 31, 1980, WTLV swapped affiliations with WJKS, joining ABC, which at the time was the most-watched of the then-three major U.S. broadcast television networks.[4] In December 1987, the Gannett Company bought WTLV from Harte-Hanks, in a two-station deal with Greensboro, North Carolina, sister station WFMY-TV.[5] The deal was finalized in February 1988.[6] On April 3 of that year, WTLV reversed the 1980 affiliation swap with WJKS, returning to NBC in what the network called one of its most successful affiliation switches ever. By this time, NBC had once again become the highest-rated broadcast network.[7] This swap brought WTLV in line with sister stations WXIA-TV in Atlanta, KARE-TV in Minneapolis–Saint Paul and KPNX in Phoenix, which had recently renewed their NBC relationships.[8]

Duopoly with WJXX

After the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) legalized television station duopolies on November 15, 1999, the Allbritton Communications Company announced the following day that it would sell ABC affiliate WJXX (channel 25) to Gannett, creating a duopoly with WTLV.[9] Normally, duopolies between two "big four" affiliates or even "big three" affiliates would not be allowed because they usually constituted the top four stations in a market. FCC regulations do not allow common ownership of any two of the four highest-rated stations in a market based on total-day viewership. However, WJXX had ranked as the fifth highest-rated station in the market, often trailing WJWB (which had gone from one of ABC's weakest affiliates to becoming one of The WB's strongest) and Fox affiliate WAWS (channel 30, now WFOX-TV), in addition to WJXT and WTLV.[9] Once the sale was finalized on March 17, 2000, Gannett's purchase of WJXX became the first instance where a single company owned two television stations that both had affiliations with a "big three" television network (all of Jacksonville's "big four" network affiliates ended up under the control of two media companies by 2002), when WJAX (then WTEV-TV)—which is operated alongside Cox Media Group's WFOX—replaced WJXT as the market's CBS affiliate.

As part of the purchase, the company integrated WJXX's operations into WTLV's Adams Street facility and launched a joint news operation known as First Coast News. However, most of the on-air personnel were holdovers from WTLV. The studios of the newly created duopoly were also renovated.

Around the first week of October 2012, Gannett entered a dispute against Dish Network regarding compensation fees and Dish's AutoHop commercial-skip feature on its Hopper digital video recorders. Gannett ordered that Dish discontinue AutoHop on the account that it was affecting advertising revenues for its Jacksonville television stations. Gannett threatened to pull them both from the satellite provider should the skirmish continue beyond October 7 and Dish and Gannett fail to reach an agreement.[10][11] The two parties eventually reached an agreement after extending the deadline for a few hours.[12]

On June 29, 2015, the Gannett Company split in two, with one side specializing in print media and the other side specializing in broadcast and digital media. WTLV and WJXX were retained by the latter company, named Tegna.[13]

On May 30, 2017, WTLV was fined $55,000 by the FCC for airing Jacksonville Jaguars promos that included the Emergency Alert System tones.[14]

News operation

Main article: First Coast News

The news set of WTLV in Jacksonville as it looked in the 1970s.
The news set of WTLV in Jacksonville as it looked in the 1970s.

When WFGA-TV began broadcasting, the station's first news director was Harold Baker, who had served in the same position at WSM radio and television in Nashville, Tennessee. Baker would anchor the station's 6 p.m. news for 17 years and direct the nascent channel 12 newsroom for 19 years in total, winning the station major national journalism awards.[15] It settled in as a consistent second-place finisher to WJXT in local news, though it worked to close the gap, particularly after its acquisition by Gannett in 1988.[16]

After being acquired by Harte-Hanks in 1975, WTLV began producing the market's first hour-long evening newscast, branded as Action News; channel 12 began producing Jacksonville's first midday newscast at noon soon afterwards.[17] WTLV's Action News launched the city's first morning newscast, Good Morning Jacksonville, in the early 1980s.[17] Some of the first shows featured Pamela Rittenhouse and current First Coast News chief meteorologist Tim Deegan. Beginning in 1995, WTLV also aired a weekly television show called Monday Night Live, which aired at 7:00 p.m. every Monday evening during the NFL season, and was hosted by sports director Dan Hicken and John Jurkovic.[2]

News set used by First Coast News in the 2010s
News set used by First Coast News in the 2010s

After the merger, continuing a trend already set by WTLV, the gap in viewership between First Coast News and market leader WJXT slowly closed to create tough competition in the Jacksonville market.[18][19][20] The combination of WTLV and WJXX also surpassed WJXT in total revenue.[21]

In 2002, the news department of Fox affiliate WAWS (channel 30) expanded to accommodate the move of the CBS affiliation to WTEV (channel 47). The two stations rebranded as WFOX-TV and WJAX-TV in 2014 and their news as Action News as part of a wholesale change which included the firing of the previous main anchors. The Action News revamp improved ratings at the traditional third-place news operation in Jacksonville just as First Coast News remained without a news director for a year, causing a decline in viewership, and several key news personalities defected to Action News.[22] Rob Mennie, who assumed the post of news director in 2014, noted of the newsroom as he encountered it, "This was a station ... I'll just use the word confused. They didn't know who they were. ... They were trying to figure out what makes us tick."[23]

Notable staff

Technical information

Subchannels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Subchannels of WTLV[32]
Channel Video Aspect Short name Programming
12.1 1080i 16:9 WTLV-HD Main WTLV programming / NBC
12.2 480i WTLV-SD Antenna TV
12.3 Crime True Crime Network
12.4 CourtTV Court TV
12.5 ShopLC Shop LC
12.6 HSN HSN
12.7 Comet Comet
12.8 Charge! Charge!

Digital subchannel 12.2 originally carried NBC Weather Plus until the network ceased operations in November 2008; branded as First Coast News Weather Plus, it subsequently became a locally originated weather channel as part of the NBC Plus automated weather service. In April 2009, WTLV moved First Coast News Weather Plus to WJXX on a newly created second digital subchannel of that station. WTLV then began carrying Universal Sports over digital subchannel 12.2, which was subsequently replaced with The Country Network (now ZUUS Country) in January 2012, after Universal Sports ended operations as a digital multicast network and transitioned to a digital cable and satellite network. In the fall of 2013, the subchannel became an affiliate of Soul of the South Network.

Analog-to-digital conversion

On June 12, 2009, WTLV terminated its analog signal, on VHF channel 12, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television.[33] The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 13.[34] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display WTLV's virtual channel as 12.

As part of the SAFER Act,[35] WTLV kept its analog signal on the air until June 27 to inform viewers of the digital television transition through a loop of public service announcements from the National Association of Broadcasters.

References

  1. ^ Miller, Mark K. (February 22, 2022). "Tegna Selling To Standard General For $5.4 Billion". TVNewsCheck. Archived from the original on February 22, 2022. Retrieved February 22, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "WTLV and WJXX station histories". Archived from the original on September 6, 2022. Retrieved May 21, 2006.
  3. ^ "For the Record" (PDF). Broadcasting. January 10, 1972. p. 83. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 6, 2022.
  4. ^ McAlister, Nancy (March 27, 1980). "The Big Switch Is Upon Us". Jacksonville Journal. p. 22. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013.
  5. ^ "Harte-Hanks selling two TV's to Gannett for $155 million" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 7, 1987. pp. 94–95.
  6. ^ "Gannett pays $155 million for two TV stations". UPI. Archived from the original on June 24, 2021. Retrieved November 7, 2021.
  7. ^ Carmody, John (February 22, 1988). "THE TV COLUMN". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on March 26, 2022. Retrieved November 7, 2021.
  8. ^ "Top 20 group owners: Gillett in, Taft out" (PDF). Broadcasting. February 29, 1988. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 9, 2021. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  9. ^ a b Patton, Charlie (December 13, 1999). "Changing the channel". The Florida Times-Union. Archived from the original on April 4, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2011.
  10. ^ Loose, Ashley (October 5, 2012). "DISH customers may lose Gannett programming, including 12 News KPNX, over AutoHop feature". KNXV-TV. Archived from the original on October 11, 2012. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  11. ^ Vuong, Andy (October 6, 2012). "Gannett threatening to black out stations in its dispute with Dish". Denver Post. Archived from the original on October 7, 2012. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  12. ^ Warner, Melodie (October 8, 2012). "Dish, Gannett Reach New Deal". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  13. ^ "Separation of Gannett into two public companies completed | TEGNA". Tegna. Archived from the original on July 2, 2015. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  14. ^ "Jacksonville's WTLV TV-12 owner fined for use of Emergency Alert tones in Jaguars promo". The Florida Times-Union. Archived from the original on July 3, 2018. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  15. ^ Kerr, Jessie Lynne (June 19, 2009). "Harold Baker 1916-2009: TV newsman led Jacksonville broadcasting". The Florida Times-Union. p. B-1.
  16. ^ Patton, Charlie (July 11, 1996). "PLEASE STAY TUNED: For Jacksonville's three news stations, the battle to attract viewers never ends". The Florida Times-Union. p. D-1.
  17. ^ a b "GMJ: The City's First Morning Newscast". First Coast News. Archived from the original on September 6, 2022. Retrieved October 29, 2007.
  18. ^ "Nielsen ratings show WTLV gain". The Jacksonville Business Journal. Advance Publications. June 19, 1998. Archived from the original on July 6, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2007.
  19. ^ Mark Basch (December 24, 2003). "Verdict's still out on WJXT's move". The Florida Times-Union. Morris Communications. Archived from the original on March 1, 2007. Retrieved October 5, 2007.
  20. ^ Sean McManus (June 9, 2003). "TV news in transition". The Jacksonville Business Journal. Advance Publications. Archived from the original on May 26, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2007.
  21. ^ Guinta, Peter (July 14, 2002). "The big switch". The St. Augustine Record. In 2001, WJXT reported revenues of $29.75 million. Its nearest competitor, WTLV-12, reported $22 million and WJXX-25 $12.5 million.
  22. ^ Dixon, Drew (March 28, 2015). "Major shakeups in Jacksonville TV news redefining financial landscape of broadcasters". The Florida Times-Union. Archived from the original on September 6, 2022. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  23. ^ Dixon, Drew (March 29, 2015). "Team full of familiar faces lacked direction: GM's new news director tasked with changing tone of news reports". The Florida Times-Union. p. A-8.
  24. ^ "Meet CNN's New Black Anchor". The Root. July 26, 2012. Archived from the original on January 18, 2020. Retrieved March 12, 2022.
  25. ^ "Fates & Fortunes" (PDF). Broadcasting. March 18, 1985. p. 109. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 8, 2021. Retrieved September 6, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  26. ^ Scanlan, Dan (June 27, 2012). "TV anchor Deegan to leave job in August: She will take on larger role in breast cancer research, wellness". The Florida Times-Union. p. A-1.
  27. ^ Soergel, Matt (July 17, 2015). "Former mascot for Jaguars taking his act to television: Dvorak promises more antics with First Coast News, sans fur". The Florida Times-Union. p. B-1.
  28. ^ Sharkey, Mike. "Gionet heading back to Denver". Jacksonville Daily Record. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
  29. ^ Elliott, Jeff (May 30, 2013). "Longtime anchor Hicken to join TV-47". The Florida Times-Union. p. C-1.
  30. ^ Bull, Roger (April 18, 2006). "New anchor debuts on First Coast News". The Florida Times-Union. Archived from the original on May 20, 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
  31. ^ Daraskevich, Joe (May 14, 2016). "Ogden leaving First Coast News: Weeknight anchor since 2006 to begin work at Denver station in June". The Florida Times-Union. p. B-4.
  32. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WTLV". RabbitEars. Archived from the original on February 11, 2017. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
  33. ^ List of Digital Full-Power Stations
  34. ^ "CDBS Print". Archived from the original on September 6, 2022. Retrieved September 12, 2008.
  35. ^ "UPDATED List of Participants in the Analog Nightlight Program" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. June 12, 2009. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2012.