is the ABC
affiliate in Atlanta
, broadcasting on analog channel 2 and digital channel 39. It is the flagship television station of Cox Enterprises
and is co-owned alongside the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
and the WSB radio stations (although all entites are operated independent of each other). Its transmitter
, offices, and studios are located in Midtown Atlanta at 1601 West Peachtree Street along with the studios of sister radio stations WSB-AM
, and WALR-FM
WSB-TV is also available across Georgia to Cox Cable subscribers in the Macon area, although ABC programming is usually blacked out through syndex protection by another local ABC affiliate, WPGA-TV. WSB-TV is also available on cable systems in South Georgia (as far south as the Florida border) due to a lack of an ABC affiliate in the Albany DMA. This is possible because WSB-TV is uplinked onto the AMC-10 satellite.
WSB-TV first began broadcasting on September 29
. It is the second-oldest station south of Washington, D.C.
; only Richmond, Virginia
is older. James M. Cox
, publisher of the Atlanta Journal
, started the station; he also owned WSB radio (AM 750
and 104.5 FM, now on 98.5 FM
). Cox owned WSB-AM-FM-TV under the banner of Miami Valley Broadcasting Inc.
which later on changed its name to the modern-day Cox Enterprises
WSB-TV originally broadcast on channel 8. At that time, its present channel 2 allocation was licensed to the Journal's rival newspaper, the Atlanta Constitution, who had plans to start WCON-TV there. In 1950, the two newspapers merged. At the time, the Federal Communications Commission did not allow one entity to own two television stations in the same market. Accordingly, WCON-TV and WSB-TV merged, operating under WSB-TV's license but using WCON-TV's channel 2.
In 1955, the WSB stations moved into the noted "White Columns" building. They would remain there for 43 years, until a modern new facility was built adjacent to it on the same property in 1998. The new building, which has been called "Digital White Columns" by some, is located just off Atlanta's famed Peachtree Street. The older building was razed shortly after the new building was occupied. The original columns that stood on the front portico of the old building were placed in a garden area alongside the new building. Brand new white columns have been placed inside the glass-enclosed lobby of the newer building.
WSB-TV started out as a primary NBC affiliate, owing to its radio sister's long affiliation with NBC radio. It also carried some ABC programming (from 1949 shared with WAGA-TV) until WLWA-TV (channel 8; now WXIA-TV, channel 11) signed on in 1951.
The station was the original home to the relocated Atlanta Braves baseball team, carrying the games from 1966 to 1970, until they moved to their current longtime home of what is now WPCH-TV, in 1971. Its sister AM station, is the longtime radio flagship of the Braves, carrying the broadcasts for a total of 38 of the 43 years that the franchise has been in Atlanta, dating back to 1966. Ernie Johnson, Sr., a former Braves pitcher and father of his namesake Turner Sports broadcaster, with future Hall of Fame announcer Milo Hamilton (who simutaneously pulled double-duty anchoring Channel 2's sportscasts during this time) lead the WSB Radio and Television Braves network.
As an ABC affiliate
ABC was the highest rated network for most of the late 1970s and, at that time, was looking for stronger affiliates across the country, including Atlanta. ABC's longtime Atlanta outlet, WXIA, frequently traded second place with WAGA. However, WSB-TV was the far-and-away market leader despite being affiliated with last-place NBC. So during the summer of 1980, both 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. By the time it was over in September 1980
, WSB-TV as
of 2008 finally swapped affiliations with WXIA, and joined ABC
WSB-DT went on the air on April 17, 1998, making it one of the first regular-service DTV stations in the country.
Appropriately for a station with roots in a newspaper, channel 2 has a strong news tradition. It has led the news ratings in Atlanta for as long as records have been kept.
One factor behind channel 2's dominance is talent continuity. Many of the station's personalities have been on the air for 15 years or more. Monica Pearson (known as Monica Kaufman until 2005) has been the station's top anchorwoman since 1975. Glenn Burns has been the main weatherman since 1981. Chuck Dowdle has been sports director since 1985. WSB-TV's weeknight news team--anchors Pearson and John Pruitt, weatherman Burns and sportscaster Dowdle--has been together since 1994, longer than any news team in Atlanta.
WSB-TV debuted local newscasts in high definition during its noon broadcast on September 27, 2006. It is the second in the Atlanta market to do so, behind WXIA. It is also the second Cox station behind WFTV to switch to HD. With the switch to HD came a new HD set and HD graphics from Giant Octopus which are similar to those seen on WFTV.
The station's digital channel:
WSB-DT is currently not broadcasting in 5.1 surround sound.
The over the air, digital sub-channel 2.2 started carrying the Retro Television Network on January 28, 2008.
Current News Personalities
Severe Weather Team 2
- Jocelyn Dorsey Community Affairs Director/People 2 People
- Kimberly Kennedy - Hot Topics
- John Crow - Georgia Lottery
Triple Team Traffic
- Mark Arum Weekday mornings
- Captain Herb Emory
- Angie Powell
- Naki Frierson Weekends
- John Alston, Weekend Anchor/Reporter (1986-1995, now at KGO ABC 7 in San Francisco)
- Dan Atkinson - Meteorologist, (Now on WSFA-TV in Montgomery, Alabama)
- Peter Bannon - Entertainment Editor (1985-1991)
- Steve Bartkowski - Sports Reporter (1976-1977). Now retired from NFL career. Board of Directors of Atlanta Falcons.
- Jill Becker - Anchor/Reporter (1981-1987, now at WXIA-TV)
- Johnny Beckman - Meteorologist (1962-1982, retired)
- Sandra Bookman - Weekend Anchor/Reporter (1988-1998, now at WABC-TV in New York)
- Bruce Bartley - Anchor/Reporter (1965-?, deceased)
- David Bodden - Reporter (2001-2005)
- Fred Briggs - Anchor/Reporter (1959-1965)
- Tom Brokaw - Anchor/Reporter (1965-1966); the man who later became the longtime NBC anchor began his journalism career at this station.
- Marion Brooks - Noon Anchor/Reporter (1996-1997, now at WMAQ-TV in Chicago) Called to testify in the 2006 Federal Curruption Trial of former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell after it was revealed that she had an affair with Campbell while working at WSB-TV.
- Steve Buckhends - Sports Anchor/Reporter (?)
- John Buren - Sports Anchor/Reporter (1980-1984)
- Dale Cardwell - Investigative Reporter (1996-2007), 2008 Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Georgia
- Vic Carter - Morning and Noon Anchor/Reporter (1982-1995, now at WJZ-TV in Baltimore)
- Roby Chavez - General Assignment Reporter (2000-2001, now at WTTG-TV)
- Shaunya Chavis - Weekend Anchor/Reporter (News Director & Anchor, FGTV/Atlanta)
- Chris Clark - Reporter (1962-1965, retired from WTVF-TV in Nashville)
- Patrick Crosby - Consumer and Business Reporter (?, now in Media Relations for the Atlanta Office of the U.S. Attorney)
- Chris Curle Farmer - Noon and 5 p.m. Anchor/Reporter (1987-1997, retired in Florida married to Don Farmer)
- Gulstan Dart - 5 p.m. Anchor/Reporter (1999-2003, was at KIRO-TV in Seattle (2003-2008), now at KCRA in Sacramento)
- Amanda Davis - Anchor/Reporter (1981-1986, now at WAGA-TV)
- Kristy Deer - Sports Anchor/Reporter (1989-2002, now at Anderson University in Indiana)
- Tony Dorsey - General Assignment Reporter (1993-1998, left WRC-TV; now a communications director for the Washington, D.C. Metro Transit Association)
- Deidra Dukes - General Assignment Reporter/Weekend noon anchor (1998-2005, now weekend anchor at WAGA-TV)
- Carrie Edwards Sharbo - Weekend Noon Anchor/Reporter (2003-2006)
- Bebe Emerman - Consumer Reporter (1975-1991)
- Don Farmer - 5PM, 6PM, and 11PM Anchor/Reporter, (1987-1997, now a free-lance Florida Newspaper Columnist) Father of WSB-TV anchor/reporter Justin Farmer.
- Steve Gasque - General Assignment Reporter (1992-1997)
- Vince Gerasole - General Assignment Reporter (1999-2001, now at WBBM-TV in Chicago)
- Lynn Harasin Johnson - Reporter
- Tracy Haynes - General Assignment Reporter (?, now at WBMA-TV in Birmingham, AL)
- Dick Horner - Reporter (1965-1975)
- David Johnson - Reporter/Anchor (mid 1980's, now at WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh)
- Ernie Johnson - Sports Anchor/Reporter (1982-1989, now at Turner Sports Broadcasting)
- Arch Kennedy - Meteorologist (2004-2006, now at WZTV in Nashville)
- Don Kennedy - Atlanta's "Officer Don" on WSB-TV's classic Popeye Club children's show (1957-1970)
- Stu Klitenic - Sports Anchor/Reporter (1989-1996, now at Atlanta Braves Radio Network as Post Game Anchor)
- Terry Mann - General Assignment Reporter (2001-2006) husband of B 98.5 FM midday personality Jordan Graye
- Tracy Martinez - General Assignment Reporter (2003-2006, now an Atlanta based Physical Trainer)
- Bob McClain - Sports Anchor/Reporter (1983-1985)
- Jerry McClellan - Noon News Weather/Booth announcer (1963-1972, now free-lance voice artist)
- John McKnight - Anchor/Reporter (?-1988)
- Paul Miller (1979-1981)
- Russ Minshew - Meteorologist (1982-1986, deceased)
- Ray Moore - Meteorologist and local news anchor (1952-1969)
- Vickie Newton - Weekend Anchor/Reporter (2000-2001, now at KMOV-TV in St. Louis)
- Bill Nigut - Political Reporter (1983-2003, now Southeast Regional Director of Anti-Defamation League)
- John Palmer - Anchor/Reporter (1960-1962, retired from NBC News in 2002)
- Marc Pickard - Reporter (1976-1988, now at WXIA-TV)
- Byron Pitts - General Assignment Reporter (1994-1996, now at CBS News)
- Gary Reaves - Reporter (1979-1982, now at WFAA-TV in Dallas)
- Bob Richards - Meteorologist (?, deceased)
- Hank Phillipi Ryan - Reporter (1978-1983, now at WHDH-TV in Boston)
- Jan Ryan, Reporter (1974-1977) now Pres/CEO of NewsPowerOnline.com
- Ron Sailor - Anchor/Reporter (?) Now a minister in Dacula, GA,son. His son Walter Ronnie Sailor, Jr. is a former Georgia State Legislator.
- Wes Sarginson - Anchor (1978-1984, now semi-retired still does spot reporting for WXIA-TV)
- Warren Savage - Morning and Noon Anchor/Reporter (1995-2005)
- Carl Sell - Weekend Sports (1968)
- Collins Spencer - Morning and Noon Anchor (2005-2007)
- Carolyn Sawyer - Reporter (1986-1987)
- Chuck Scarborough - Anchor/Reporter (1969-1972, now at WNBC-TV in New York)
- Jonathan Serrie - Reporter (1994-1999, now Atlanta-based reporter for Fox News Channel)
- Guy Sharpe - Meteorologist (1957-1968,retired from WXIA in 1996 deceased)
- Tyler Sieswerda - Reporter/Fill-In Anchor (?-2005, now at KVUE-TV in Austin, TX)
- Don Stewart - Reporter/Anchor (1950's-?)
- Gary Stromberg - Reporter (1973-1977, now at WJW-TV in Cleveland)
- Lester Strong - Anchor/Reporter (1980-1984)
- Hal Suit - Anchor/News Director (1948-1978) and Republican candidate for Governor of Georgia in 1970
- Rob Sweeting - Anchor/Reporter (1983-1985, now at WJXT-TV in Jacksonville, FL)
- Lisa Tutman - Weekend Morning Anchor/Reporter (1990-95, now at WMAQ-TV in Chicago)
- Jim Viondi - Sports Anchor/Reporter (?)
- Matt Wallace - NewsChopper 2 Pilot/Reporter (1997-2003)
- Shannon Walshe - Reporter/Substitute anchor (2002-2007)
- Alan Wang - General Assignment Reporter (?-2005, now at KGO-TV in San Francisco)
- Ukee (Ulysses) Washington - Sports Anchor/Reporter, now morning/noon news anchor at KYW-TV
- Jim Wilkerson, Anchor/Reporter (?)
- JaQuitta Williams, Anchor/Reporter (2004-2008)
- Terry Wood, Anchor/Reporter (1984-1987, now at KTVX-TV in Salt Lake City)