call_letters = WAWS
city =
station_slogan = Straight to the Point
station_branding = FOX 30
Variety Television Network (DT2)
analog = 30 (UHF)
digital = 32 (UHF)
other_chs =
affiliations = Fox
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
network =
founded =
airdate = February 15, 1981
location = Jacksonville, Florida
callsign_meaning =
former_callsigns =
former_channel_numbers =
owner = Newport Television, LLC
licensee =
sister_stations = WTEV-TV
former_affiliations = Primary:
independent (1981-1987)
UPN (2002-2006)
MyNetworkTV (2006-2007)
effective_radiated_power = 4000 kW (analog)
1000 kW (digital)
HAAT = 307 m (analog)
291 m (digital)
class =
facility_id = 11909
coordinates = coord|30|16|51.8|N|81|34|11.9|W|type:landmark_scale:2000
homepage = [http://www.fox30online.com/ www.fox30online.com]

WAWS is the Fox-affiliated television station for the First Coast of Florida. Licensed to Jacksonville, the station broadcasts an analog signal on UHF channel 30 and a digital signal on UHF channel 32. WAWS's transmitter is located in the Kilarney Shores section of the city. The station is owned by Newport Television as part of a duopoly with the area's CBS affiliate, WTEV-TV. The two stations share studios located on Central Parkway in the Beechwood section of Jacksonville. WAWS is known on-air as "Fox 30".


WAWS first signed on the air on February 15, 1981 as an independent station. WAWS was the first independent station in the Jacksonville area. The original owners of the station were Malrite Television. Initially the station had a general entertainment format of cartoons, movies, sitcoms, and drama shows. In 1986, WAWS became one of the charter affiliates of the newly-launched Fox Broadcasting Company.

In 1989, Malrite sold WAWS to Clear Channel Communications, a fast-growing broadcasting conglomerate based in San Antonio, Texas. Clear Channel had earlier purchased the first independent station in the nearby Pensacola-Moblie market, WPMI-TV (now an NBC affiliate), which was Clear Channel's first TV station. As was the trend for many Fox affiliates throughout the mid to late-1990s, WAWS began moving toward talk and reality shows and away from classic sitcoms. In 1993, Clear Channel began managing rival station WNFT (channel 47, now WTEV-TV) under a local marketing agreement in which the two stations pooled programming and resources, running the strongest shows on WAWS. WNFT became a UPN affiliate in 1995, and Clear Channel bought the station outright in 2001.

In 2002, WJXT, the longtime CBS affiliate in Jacksonville, decided to end its long relationship with the network after a squabble between CBS and WJXT's owners, Post-Newsweek Stations over an affiliation contract. WAWS then added the UPN secondary affiliation, running that network's programming from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., as WTEV decided to drop its UPN affiliation so it could become the new CBS affiliate.

On January 24, 2006, CBS Corporation (owner of UPN) and Time Warner (majority owner of the WB Television Network) announced plans to merge those two networks to form a new network, the CW Television Network. In March 2006, it was announced that WB affiliate WJWB would become the CW affiliate for Jacksonville, and change its call letters to WCWJ. WAWS's over-the-air analog signal reverted to carrying programming only from the Fox network. On July 12 2006, it was confirmed that WAWS would carry Fox's second network, MyNetworkTV, on its digital subchannel instead of as a secondary affiliation. However, until January 2007 (when the new DT2 subchannel was launched), WAWS's website listed MyNetworkTV programming as airing at 11 PM after the WTEV-produced newscast at 10. [http://www.fox30online.com/entertainment/programming/] MyNetworkTV now airs at its regular time (8 to 10 PM) on a dedicated channel, "VTV", which is seen on WAWS's digital signal, as well as on Comcast digital cable.

On April 20, 2007, Clear Channel entered into an agreement to sell its entire television stations group to Newport Television, a broadcaster controlled by Providence Equity Partners.cite press release|title=Clear Channel Agrees to Sell Television Station Group to Providence Equity Partners|publisher=Clear Channel Communications|url=http://www.clearchannel.com/Corporate/PressRelease.aspx?PressReleaseID=1943|date=2007-04-20|accessdate=2007-04-20] Since WTEV was also included in the deal, this would violate Federal Communications Commission rules preventing common ownership of two of the four largest stations in a single market (Clear Channel had acquired WTEV when it was a low-rated UPN affiliate). As a result, the FCC granted Newport Television a temporary waiver for the acquisition of WAWS and WTEV, provided that Newport sells off either station within six months of consummation. The group deal closed on March 14, 2008.

Newport Television originally planned to sell off WAWS to another company while keeping WTEV. However, in mid-May 2008, High Plains Broadcasting agreed to purchase the FCC assets of WTEV and six other stations from Newport Television due to ownership conflicts in the affected markets (including Jacksonville). But as this latest group deal was a sale in name only, Newport Television continues to operate the stations (and thus WTEV effectively remains a sister station to WAWS) after the sale closed on September 15, 2008. This effectively made High Plains Broadcasting a front company for Newport Television, similar to the relationship which exists between Mission Broadcasting and Nexstar Broadcasting Group.

WAWS is the only Jacksonville television station that has never changed its affiliation.

Digital television

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:


WAWS's first venture into local news was through a 10 PM weeknight newscast produced by then-ABC affiliate WJKS in the early 1990s. The newscast, branded "FOX 30 First Coast News", would cease production in 1996 after the shutdown of WJKS's news department and eventual loss of its ABC affiliation. WAWS established its own news department, and began producing 10 and 11 PM newscasts the day after the final WJKS-produced newscast aired.

WAWS later moved the 11 PM newscast to 10:30. Through the years, more local newscasts were added at 6:30 PM (on sister-station WTEV), mornings, and at 4 PM (the 4 PM newscast was discontinued in 2007). Following WTEV's affiliation change to CBS, the WAWS morning newscast was effectively 'moved' over to WTEV, and the 6:30pm newscast was canceled.


External links

* [http://www.fox30online.com/ WAWS website]

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