call_letters = WAGT
| station_slogan = We're Augusta's Great Television / Straight to the Point. / Your News. Your Choice.
station_branding = NBC Augusta
The CW Augusta (DT2)
analog = 26 (UHF)
digital = 30 (UHF)
The CW (DT2)
December 24, 1968
callsign_meaning = We're
former_callsigns = WATU-TV (1968-1981)
owner = Schurz Communications, Inc.
licensee = WAGT Television, Inc.
former_affiliations = silent (1970-1974)
effective_radiated_power = 1700 kW (analog)
400 kW (digital)
HAAT = 485 m (analog)
483 m (digital)
facility_id = 70699
coordinates = coord|33|25|16.6|N|81|50|18.6|W|type:landmark_scale:2000 (analog)
homepage = [http://www.nbcaugusta.com/ www.nbcaugusta.com]
WAGT, channel 26, is an
NBC-affiliated television station located in Augusta, Georgiatelevision market. It broadcasts its analog signal on UHFchannel 26 and its digital signal on UHF channel 30. Its transmitter is located in Beech Island, South Carolina.
WAGT also carries an affiliation with the
CW Television Networkon its second digital subchannel (26.2), known as The CW Augusta. This channel is also available on Augusta-area cable systems.
WAGT began operations on
December 24, 1968as WATU-TV, the third television station in Augusta. Unfortunately, the station became another of numerous UHF start-ups of that era to fail to obtain a foothold against long-established VHF competition, as the new channel 26 found it impossible to obtain a full-time network affiliation. Its two competitors, WJBF(channel 6) and WRDW-TV(channel 12) both had secondary NBC affiliations and both aired many NBC programs. In fact, it was not unusual for tape-delayed NBC programs to air on both WJBF and WRDW-TV between 7 and 7:30 p.m., before their respective networks' prime-time feeds began for the evening; WJBF also aired NBC's "Today" and "Tonight" shows. Mainly because of this situation, WATU went dark in 1970. Finally, WATU obtained a primary NBC affiliation in 1974 and returned to the air; WJBF and WRDW-TV eventually dropped all their NBC programing. WATU changed its call letters to WAGT in late 1981. For much of the late 1980s and early 1990s, the station used the branding "26 Power."
September 21, 1995, its news debuted under the name "26 News". Before September 1995, WAGT had virtually no newscasts aside from cut-ins during "Today" and "Top 'o the Day," a 30-minute weekday noon news and lifestyle show. "Top 'o the Day" was first hosted by Judith Upchurch and Reese LeRoy. Upchurch was later replaced with Kathy Marks, who was one of the main anchors at Augusta's WJBF in the 1980s.
Over the years WAGT changed its branding, adopting variations like "26 Action News." WAGT finally re-branded in 2003 as "WAGT News;" between 2003 and 2005, "Action News" was completely phased out, along with the "3D Weather" or "3-Degree Guarantee" weather segment.
In 2005, the newscasts were branded "NBC 26 News", completely phasing out the call letters "WAGT" in most, but not all station graphics and logos (due to the fact their graphics package by design company Television By Design, was less than a year old and still carried the WAGT NEWS monikor) Along with this rebrand came new changes, like updates to the news set, graphics, and StormTracker Live Doppler Radar. In early 2007, WAGT once again changed its identity to prepare for the digital phase-out of channel numbers in February of 2009, this time to "NBC Augusta", which resulted in the complete phase out of the channel number "26" out, making the station resemble its digital subchannel sister, CW Augusta.
The longest serving current anchor is Chief Meteorologist Jeff Rucker, who joined the station in 1999. Chris Kane, sports director from 1997 to 2006, left to join
The Golf Channel. A few months later the longest running sports anchor in Augusta History, Stan Byrdy, joined NBC Augusta as sports director. At the same time in just as big a surprise popular weather forecaster Jay Jefferies, who had just left WRDW-TV after a decade on the air, took a full-time position at NBC Augusta. These moves along with moving Bridgett Williams to evenings and hiring Georgia native Trent Butler as anchor has given the station a long needed boost in experienced players.
CW Augusta, the local CW affiliate, broadcasts from WAGT's digital signal on
UHFchannel 30.2 / 26.2.
The station first opened on
September 18, 2006as the replacement of the market's UPN and WB affiliates (digital WRDW-DT2 and cable-only "WBAU"), due to the Time Warner/CBS merger of the UPNand WB networks.
WAGT continued their "News at Ten" newscasts on this new station under the name "CW Augusta Now" in 2006. The newscast was tailored towards more younger audiences, and was anchored by Liz Hill. On Monday, April 23rd 2007, CW Augusta Now was discontinued and replaced with "NBC Augusta News at 10", a more traditional newscast. Liz Hill now anchors the morning newscast.
As of April 2008, NBC Augusta News at 10:00 was discontinued as well, and instead brings CW programming to the time slot. CW Augusta is not the only station that doesn't offer news any longer, WRDW-DT2 My12 has never offered news except a rebroadcast of WRDW's 6pm. WFXG is currently the only station to offer news at 10:00pm.
*1986-1995 "26 Power"
*1995-1998 "26 News"
*1998-2003 "Action News/26 Action News"
*2003-2005 "WAGT News"
*2005-2006 "NBC 26 News"
*2007-present "NBC Augusta"
=Current New Personalities=
* [http://www.nbcaugusta.com/about/personalities/newsbios/3445396.html Trent Butler] Weeknight Anchor/Reporter
* [http://www.nbcaugusta.com/about/personalities/newsbios/1959177.html Liz Hill] Morning Anchor/Reporter
* [http://www.nbcaugusta.com/about/personalities/newsbios/906617.html Tina Terry] Weekend Anchor/Reporter
* [http://www.nbcaugusta.com/about/personalities/newsbios/1616351.html Bridgett Williams] Weeknight Anchor/Reporter
* [http://www.nbcaugusta.com/about/personalities/newsbios/9921337.html Dustin Blanchard] General Assignment Reporter
* [http://www.nbcaugusta.com/about/personalities/newsbios/19136514.html Ashley Campbell] General Assignment Reporter
* [http://www.nbcaugusta.com/about/personalities/newsbios/22812574.html Arielle Clay] General Assignment Reporter
* [http://www.nbcaugusta.com/about/personalities/newsbios/2942191.html Navideh Forghani] General Assignment Reporter
* [http://www.nbcaugusta.com/about/personalities/newsbios/24316477.html Steve Kuzj] General Assignment Reporter
* [http://www.nbcaugusta.com/about/personalities/weatherbios/877022.html Jeff Rucker] Chief Meteorologist
* [http://www.nbcaugusta.com/about/personalities/weatherbios/2855671.html Jay Jefferies] Weather Forecaster/Community Service Representative
* [http://www.nbcaugusta.com/about/personalities/weatherbios/10264092.html Rich Rogers] Weekend Weather Forecaster
* [http://www.nbcaugusta.com/about/personalities/sportsbios/3243816.html Stan Byrdy] Sports Director
* [http://www.nbcaugusta.com/about/personalities/sportsbios/2531701.html Jason Folk] Sports Anchor/Reporter
*Judy Alley, Morning Anchor/Reporter (?)
*Andy Andersen, Chief Meteorologist (1995-1998, now at KCEN-TV Waco, TX)
*John Appicello, Sports Director (1995-1997, now at WSLS-TV Roanoke, VA)
*Ben Baker, Sports Anchor/Reporter (2002-2004, was at WCIV-TV)
*Jeff Bidwell, Sports Anchor/Reporter (now in Paducah)
*Bob Bonner, Sports Anchor/Reporter (Now at WECT, Wilmington)
*Jason Boyer, General Assignment Reporter (2006-2007)
*George Brown, Consumer Reporter/Anchor (1997-2001, now at WMC-TV Memphis)
*Michael Buczyner, Investigative/General Assignment Reporter (2005-2008, now at WBFF-TV Baltimore, MD)
*Bruce Capers, Chief Meteorologist (1998-1999)
*Amy Cowman, Anchor/Reporter (2004-2006, now at WHBQ-TV)
*Barbara Dawson, General Assignment Reporter (1999-2002, Joined rival ABC station, WJBF, 2002-2004)
*Rich Everitt, Anchor/Reporter (2001-2004, now owner of local production company)
*Brooke Foster, Meteorologist (2005-2006, now at KECI-TV)
*Stacy Fronczak, Weather Forecaster (1999-?)
*Neil Gordon, Consumer Reporter/Anchor/Reporter/News Director (Now at rival CBS station, WRDW, and has his own Consumer Report segment)
*Chrystina Head, General Assignment Reporter (2003-2005, now at WITI-TV)
*Jessie Horne, Morning General Assignment Reporter,(2000-2007 now at KUSA-TV)
*John Impemba, General Assignment Reporter (2006-2006, died in fall of 2006)
*Mechelle Jordan, Anchor/Reporter (1995-2003, now at KYTX)
*Chris Kane, Sports Anchor/Sports Director (1997-2006, now at The Golf Channel)
*Diane Keller, Meteorologist (1996-?)
*Tom Knight, Meteorologist (?-2003, now retired, fills-in occasionally)
*Cassandra Lawton, Anchor/Reporter (1995-?)
*Richard Lom, Morning Anchor/Reporter (1997-2000, now at WLEX Lexington)
*Chris Maddox, Meteorologist (2000-2005, now freelance meteorologist with WAAY31, Huntsville, AL.)
*Stephanie Maxwell, Reporter/Anchor (2001-2003, now at WHNS-TV)
*Leon Moore, Weekend Anchor/Reporter (2001-2004)
*Steve Parrett, Anchor/Reporter (1995-?)
*Mike Petchenik, Weekend Anchor/Reporter (2001-2005, now at WLKY-TV)
*Jim Pinkerton, Anchor/Reporter/Assistant News Director (2002-2006, now at WSBT-TV)
*Ben Peine, Morning Meteorologist (2005-2008, now at WHAS-TV)
*Joshua Quinn, General Assignment Reporter (2002-2006, now at WISN-TV)
*Danielle Reese, Anchor/Reporter (1997-2004)
*Creshon Saunders, Weekend Anchor/Reporter (?, now at WRBL-TV)
*Dave Terlizzi, Meteorologist (?-2005)
*Darin Wernig, Sports Anchor/Reporter (?-2006)
*Clint Wilson, General Assignment Reporter (2004-2005)
* [http://www.wagt.com/ WAGT Television Inc.]
* [http://www.nbcaugusta.com/ NBC Augusta Homepage]
* [http://www.cwaugusta.com/ The CW Augusta Official Site]
* [http://www.metrospirit.com/index.php?cat=121304064623238&ShowArticle_ID=11011804074248135 Hash marks at 10: Metro Sprit article]
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