WXIA-TV


WXIA-TV
WXIA-TV
Wxia11alive.png
Atlanta, Georgia
Branding 11 Alive (general)
11 Alive News (newscasts)
Slogan News That Actually Helps You. (news)
Atlanta's HD News Leader (station)
Channels Digital: 10 (VHF)
Virtual: 11 (PSIP)
Subchannels 11.1 - NBC HD (1080i)
11.2 - Weather Info Zone (480i)
Owner Gannett Company
(Pacific and Southern Company, Inc.)
First air date September 30, 1951
Call letters' meaning XI (11 in Roman numerals, former analog channel)
Atlanta/Alive
Sister station(s) WATL
Former callsigns WLTV (1951-1953)
WLWA (1953-1962)
WAII-TV (1962-1968)
WQXI-TV (1968-1973)
Former channel number(s) Analog: 8 (1951-1953), 11 (1953-2009)
Former affiliations ABC (1951-1980)
Height 303 m (994 ft)
Facility ID 51163
Transmitter coordinates 33°45′23.9″N 84°19′54.7″W / 33.756639°N 84.331861°W / 33.756639; -84.331861
Website www.11alive.com/

WXIA-TV, virtual channel 11.1 (digital RF channel 10), is the NBC-affiliated television station in Atlanta, Georgia. Popularly known by its 11 Alive moniker, WXIA is owned by the Gannett Company in a duopoly with MyNetworkTV affiliate WATL (channel 36.1). The station's studios and offices are located at One Monroe Place on the north end of midtown Atlanta, and its TV transmitter site is located on its own TV tower in the city's east section near Kirkwood. The station is seen on Comcast cable channel 6 and HD channel 806 in the Atlanta area.

Contents

History

The station signed on the air on September 30, 1951 as WLTV, an ABC affiliate on channel 8 (the second Atlanta station on this channel after WSB-TV moved to channel 2 a year before), by a group of Atlanta businessmen. In 1953, the station was bought by the Crosley Broadcasting Corporation of Cincinnati, who changed its call letters to WLWA (often rendered as WLW-A). This aligned their Atlanta property to Crosley's other TV stations, who took their call letters from its flagship, WLW Radio. Crosley then moved it to channel 11 to alleviate RF interference with WROM-TV, channel 9 in nearby Rome (later moved north to Chattanooga as WTVC), with channel 8 being reallocated for noncommercial educational use by the FCC in May 1960. (WGTV was started by the University of Georgia on channel 8 in 1960.)

WLWA was purchased in 1962 by Richard Fairbanks of Indianapolis as part of a settlement between Crosley and Fairbanks. Crosley had started WLWI (now WTHR) in Indianapolis in 1957, but Fairbanks insisted that the last VHF allocation in Indianapolis should go to a local owner. Eventually, the two companies agreed to what amounted to a trade, in which Crosley kept WLWI while Fairbanks bought WLWA. The Atlanta station's calls then became WAII-TV, using the slogan "The Eyes of Atlanta" and the calls standing for Atlanta's 11 (II)". The station was sold to Pacific & Southern Broadcasting of Phoenix, Arizona in 1968 and became known as WQXI-TV, aligning it with WQXI-AM and FM—the calls originally used on channel 36, currently WATL, in 1954-1955). Pacific & Southern later merged with Combined Communications. The station assumed the WXIA-TV call letters on December 25, 1973 (Christmas Day) and first used the branding 11Alive in 1976. In 1979, Combined merged with Gannett in what became the biggest media merger in history up to that time.

On September 1, 1980, WXIA became an NBC affiliate, due to market leader WSB-TV's signing with ABC. This could be traced to ratings: NBC slid to a very poor third place; meanwhile, ABC was in first place for most of the late 1970s and was seeking out stronger and better affiliates in many markets including Atlanta. So during the summer of 1980, the two stations conducted an experiment unusual for a large market: WXIA aired NBC daytime shows in the morning and ABC daytime shows in the afternoon, while WSB aired ABC shows in the morning and NBC shows in the afternoons. When the experiment was over, on that same day both stations finally swapped affiliations for good.

On June 5, 2006, Gannett agreed to purchase WATL from the Tribune Company, now affiliated with MyNetworkTV. The purchase price was $180 million. Ironically, WXIA's branding of "11 Alive" was once used by Tribune's New York station WPIX. [1]. Since WATL is not among Atlanta's four largest TV stations, the FCC permitted this sale. The sale was finalized on August 7, 2006; as a result, Gannett is now the owner of Atlanta's first television duopoly, as well as duopolies in Denver and Jacksonville.

WATL occasionally airs NBC programs when WXIA is not able to for news-related emergencies and other reasons. It also airs a half-hour WXIA newscast at 10 p.m., competing with the hour-long 10 p.m. newscast on Fox O&O WAGA-TV (channel 5), while letting WXIA air NBC's prime-time lineup.

Also as a result of the WATL acquisition, WXIA management decided to move the studios for both stations to WATL's old location at One Monroe Place, leaving WXIA's longtime location at 1611 West Peachtree Street. WXIA and WATL began broadcasting from the new studios on July 27, 2008.

Digital programming

The station originally had the only VHF allotment for digital TV in the area, until WGTV (channel 8) was moved from 22 to 12 (now 8). WXIA-TV shut down its analog signal, on June 12, 2009, as part of the DTV transition in the United States. [1] The station remained on its pre-transition TV channel 10 (193.31 MHz) [2] using PSIP to display WXIA-TV's virtual channel as 11.

The station's digital broadcast is multiplexed into three digital subchannels, with NBC HD on channel 11.1. It was the first Atlanta station to present its local TV news in HDTV.

Channel Label Video Aspect Programming
11.1 WXIA-TV 1080i 16:9 Main WXIA "11 Alive" programming / NBC
11.2 WXIA-WX 480i 4:3 Weather Information Zone "WIZ"

On 11.2 (111 on Charter and 211 on Comcast), NBC Weather Plus service was discontinued on December 1, 2008; however some stations, including WXIA, continued to air national and local radar with Weather Plus branding, supplied by The Weather Channel through the end of December. In January, WXIA rebranded the channel "11Alive Weather" and kept the "L-Bar" with weather information from The Weather Channel, but shifted the remainder of the content to a local radar loop, and eliminated the background music that aired with it. It was later rebranded as the "11Alive Weather Information Zone" or "WIZ" in 2010, along with the weather segments during newscasts on the main channel.

In early December 2010, the WIZ was moved to WATL, and aired on channel 36.2, while 11.2 continued to air a static message graphic directing over-the-air viewers to tune there and re-scan if necessary. A month later, on January 10, the channel was removed completely from WXIA, and 11.3 became 11.2, before being reversed the following day. In 2011, Atlanta-based Bounce TV began operation on September 26th with WATL 36.2 as its de facto flagship channel, with WIZ (no relation to Bounce's first program, The Wiz) to be restored two weeks later on 36.3. In early October, 11.2 again became Universal Sports and 11.3 was deleted, and was reversed again a week later, with WIZ bounced back to its original channel 11.2. In November 2011 11.3 was deleted leaving 36.3 as the sole channel for Universal Sports until it becomes a pay channel in 2012.

The WIZ weather radar portion (including overlaid graphics) is exactly the same as that which is being shown at the same moment on the main 11Alive channel, such as during regular or emergency weathercasts. When not being used on the main channel, it shows precipitation and severe weather warnings across the northern half of Georgia and adjacent parts of surrounding states, and occasionally a radar loop of the Southeast or a region being affected by a tropical cyclone. Watches and warnings are still shown by full counties, not just the portions of each which are within the alert box for each storm, the way National Weather Service weather warnings are now issued.

The station added Universal Sports at the beginning of May 2009 on channel 11.3, added it to 36.3 in October 2011, and then deleted it from 11.3 in November 2011. However, it uses severe video data compression, which leaves very obvious compression artifacts (blurriness and pixelation) during high-motion scenes common in sports. This low-bitrate sacrifice protects the quality of the main HD channel, and is unavoidable because Universal Sports transmits this programming via satellite in this highly compressed form (4.48Mb/s). It was therefore not originally transmitted on sister station WATL (virtual channel 36.3, digital channel 25) because it would look the same there, and that station's bandwidth is being used for mobile television (ATSC-M/H), including WXIA's mobile channels. Additionally, mobile communications work better on higher UHF TV channels than on low VHF ones.

WXIA-TV and its sister station WATL-TV have plans for mobile DTV simulcasts of their primary subchannels (11.1 and 36.1 respectively), but have not yet[when?] begun transmissions.[3][4]

As on other TV stations carrying it, Universal Sports will be forced off the air at the end of 2011 after NBC's purchase by cable TV giant Comcast, to prevent competition with Universal Sports and Versus, both now owned by Comcast. The network will only be available on pay TV from then on. No statment has been made as to what, if anything, it will be replaced with on WXIA.

Station branding

"11Alive"

11Alive has been WXIA's on-air branding since 1976, when then-owner Combined Communications adopted the practice of using the word "Alive" as part of the monikers at most of their stations. New York's WPIX TV also used the "11 Alive" nickname from 1976 to 1986, as did Pittsburgh's NBC affiliate WIIC (now WPXI) from 1976 to 1979.

After Gannett acquired Combined in 1979, many of the former Combined stations stopped using "Alive" in their names, though WXIA continued calling itself "11Alive".

In August 1994, Gannett dropped the "11Alive" moniker as part of an image makeover. However, only a month later, WXIA began calling itself "11Alive".

Local programming

The station previously aired a program called Noonday for many years, beginning with the news at noon and at 12:30 continuing on for the rest of the hour with features, akin somewhat to the Today show. This was cancelled in the 2000s, but the half-hour Noon newscast is now preceded by the hour-long Atlanta & Company at 11 am, a program which has some similar features, but is partly paid for by the companies featured on it.

News operation

Currently, WXIA broadcasts a total of 27 hours of local newscasts every week (with 4½ hours on weekdays, two hours on Saturdays and 2½ hours on Sundays). Unlike most NBC affiliates, the station does not carry local newscasts in the weeknight 5 p.m. timeslot; nor does it air one prior to the Sunday edition of Today.

The station began calling itself "News Watch" for its newscasts in 1963 and began broadcasting news in color for the first time on March 20, 1967. From the early 1970s onward, channel 11's newscasts waged a spirited battle with WAGA-TV for second place behind long-dominant WSB-TV. Since WAGA switched to Fox in 1994, WXIA has been a solid runner-up, usually finishing well ahead of perennial third-place finisher WGCL-TV; however, by May 2009, WXIA's ratings had been surpassed by WGCL at Noon and 11 pm. The Today in Atlanta morning news programs had experienced a 40% ratings drop, leaving them a very distant third behind the local morning shows on WSB and WAGA, and sometimes fourth behind WGCL.

WXIA also aired the NBC Weather Plus service on its digital over-the-air signal, as well as on Charter's and Comcast's digital cable system in the Atlanta area. This is now called "11Alive Weather" WXIA formerly had a partnership with The Weather Channel to use their weather forecasters and provide local weather forecasts.

The station's Doppler weather radar site is located west of Atlanta in far southern Cobb County, south-southwest of Mableton, on the south side of Interstate 20 not far west of Six Flags Over Georgia.

WXIA began airing its daily local newscasts in high definition on February 2, 2006, the first Atlanta station to do so. To signal the conversion to HD, an HD-friendly new TV studio from Production Design Group, Ltd. was built and graphics from Giant Octopus were created.

In February 2010, WXIA began a nightly news segment, "Bull Fighters", which consists of eight reporters/anchors. The segment is usually provided by former WAGA sports reporter Jeff Hullinger.

On April 28, 2010, due to Early Today beginning at 4 a.m., the debut of a new 4:30 a.m. newscast called Wake Up with Chesley features meteorologist Chesley McNeil and travel producer Matt Holmes. In addition to news updates throughout the show, McNeil primarily gives weather updates while Holmes gives travel delays and information. The music opening for the show does not use the mandated Gannett music theme.

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • News Watch 11 (1963–1966; as WAII-TV)
  • Instant News (1966–1967)
  • Eyewitness Color News (1967-1968 as WAII-TV; 1968-1969 as WQXI-TV)
  • Eyewitness News (1969–1972)
  • Pro News (1972-1974 as WQXI-TV; 1974-1976 as WXIA-TV)
  • 11-Alive Newsroom (1976–1984)[5]
  • 11 Alive News (1984–1994 and 1996–present)[6]
  • 11 News (1994–1996)[7]

Station slogans

  • Atlanta's Proud New Tradition (1980–1982)
  • Hello Atlanta, It's All Right Here on 11 Alive (1980–1985; used during period station used Frank Gari's Hello News)[8]
  • Hello Atlanta, We're with You on 11 Alive (1985–1990; used during period station used Frank Gari's Hello News)[9]
  • Hello Atlanta, 11 Alive and You (1990–1993; used during period station used Frank Gari's Hello News)[10]
  • Atlanta's NewsChannel (1993–1995)
  • News at the Speed of Life (1995–1997)
  • Home of the Eleven-Minute Advantage (1997–2006)
  • The News You Expect. The Balance You Deserve. (2006–2009)
  • Atlanta's HD News Leader (2006–present)
  • News That Actually Helps You (2009–present)
  • Your Days are Numbered on 11 Alive, Weather Information Zone Slogan (2010–present)
Television.svg This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.

News team

Current on-air staff[11]

Anchors/local program hosts
  • Jeff Hullinger - weeknights at 6, 10 (on WATL-TV) and 11 p.m.
  • Brenda Wood - weeknights at 6, 7, and 11 p.m. (M-Th only)
  • Mellisa long - weeknights at 10 (on WATL-TV)
  • Keith Whitney - weekends at 6, 10 (on WATL-TV) and 11 p.m.
  • Karyn Greer - weekday mornings "11 Alive News Today" (5-7 a.m.) and noon
  • Ted Hall - weekday mornings "11 Alive News Today" (5-7 a.m.) and noon
  • Valerie Hoff - weekend mornings "11 Alive News Today"
  • Christine Pullara - Atlanta & Company host
11 Alive Weather Information Zone Team
  • Mike Francis (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 6, 7, 10 (on WATL-TV) and 11 p.m.
  • Chris Holcomb (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekend mornings, weekends at 6, 10 (on WATL-TV) and 11 p.m.
  • Chesley McNeil (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings "11 Alive News Today" (5-7 a.m.) and noon; also host of "Wake Up with Chesley" (4:30 a.m)
Sports team
  • Fred Kalil - sports director; weeknights at 6, 7, 10 (on WATL-TV) and 11 p.m.
  • Sam Crenshaw - sports anchor; weekends at 6, 10 (on WATL-TV) and 11 p.m., also sports reporter
  • Randy Waters - sports reporter and fill-In sports anchor
Reporters

11 Alive Traffic Jam

  • Nick Vadas - weekday mornings
  • John Gerard - "Commuter Dude"

Center for Investigative Action (CIA)

  • Shawn Hoder - investigative reporter
  • Ross McLaughlin - investigative reporter

General assignment reporters

  • Blayne Alexander
  • Jerry Carnes
  • Paul Crawley
  • Duffie Dixon
  • Jennifer Leslie
  • Matt Pearl
  • Doug Richards
  • Kevin Rowson
  • Jon Shirek
  • Jaye Watson - also fill-in anchor
  • Julie Wolfe
  • Bill Liss - consumer and business editor
  • Donna Lowry - education reporter
  • Dr. Sujatha Reddy - health reporter
  • Chris Sweigart - 11Alive.com and reporter web producer
  • Michael King - 11Alive.com reporter and producer
  • Tracey Christensen - contributor
  • Conn Jackson - Atlanta & Company contributor
  • Evelyn Mims - Atlanta & Company contributor
  • Robyn Freedman Spizman - contributor

Notable former on-air staff

  • Roz Abrams - anchor/reporter (1972–1980, last seen at WCBS-TV in New York City, and believed to no longer be in the TV business)
  • Renee Chenault-Fattah - anchor/reporter (1989–1991, now at WCAU-TV in Philadelphia)
  • Jim Gandy - weekend weatherman (1999), used by parent company Gannett when not allowed to work in his home (Columbia, South Carolina) market under a noncompete agreement.
  • Steve McCoy - "Noonday" co-host (1990–1992; formerly on Star 94, and B 98.5FM, now at KXKL-FM in Denver)
  • Dave Michaels - anchor/reporter (1976–1985; later with CNN)
  • Stone Phillips - reporter (1978–1979, formerly of Dateline NBC)
  • Del Rodgers - sports anchor/reporter (1986–1997, now at KCRA-TV and KQCA-TV in Sacramento)
  • Steve Somers - sports anchor/reporter (1976–1978, now at WFAN in New York)
  • Tom Sullivan - "Atlanta & Company" Co-Host (2007–2009)
  • Harmon Wages - sports anchor/reporter (?-1984)
  • Monica Woods - morning and noon meteorologist (1999-2001, now at KXTV in Sacramento)
  • Paul Ossmann - chief meteorologist (1998-2011)
  • Jill Becker - Weekday morning and noon co-anchor (1986-2011)Retired

See also

References

External links


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