WGCL-TV is the CBS television station serving the metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia area. Its city of license is Atlanta and the station is owned by Meredith Corporation. Currently it is the largest of any "Big Three" affiliates (ABC, CBS or NBC) on UHF, and the largest CBS affiliate not owned and operated by the network.
Channel 46 first went on the air on June 6
. It was originally owned by the Continental Broadcasting Network, an arm of Pat Robertson
's Christian Broadcasting Network
. Its original calls were WHAE-TV
, which stood for "H
arth." It originally was programmed for an eight-hour broadcast day. It also had a low-budget lineup consisting of a few hours of general entertainment and another few hours of religious shows per day. It ran only religious programming on Sundays.
By 1976, the station had expanded to a 20-hour broadcast day, airing cartoons, classic sitcoms, family dramas, westerns, and religious programming (including The 700 Club twice a day) on weekdays. Children's programming, westerns and movies were shown on Saturdays and the station continued to air strictly religious programming on Sundays until the fall of 1980. At that time, it began to run general entertainment programming during the afternoon. In 1977, it changed calls to WANX-TV, which stood for "Atlanta IN Christ (X)." It also began offering more mainstream programming. However, it didn't air any programming that would offend fundamentalist/Pentecostal sensibilities.
The station was bought by Chicago-based Tribune Broadcasting in 1984. Tribune changed its call letters once again, this time to WGNX, named after then-sister station in Chicago WGN-TV: it took WGN, and added an X from the previous callsign (basically it was WGN + WANX). The 700 Club was now only broadcast once a day, before being dropped altogether. The station continued to air a similar entertainment lineup with newer shows being added over the years, especially shows that it would not have aired under CBN ownership. In 1989, WGNX started its first ever newscast, Channel 46 News at Ten, a seven-night-a-week, 10–11 p.m. newscast. When Tribune partnered with Time Warner to form the new WB Network, WGNX was slated to become the new network's Atlanta affiliate when that network launched in January 1995.
Those plans came to a halt on May 22, 1994, however. On that day, New World Communications announced an affiliation agreement with the Fox Broadcasting Company, months after Fox won the broadcast rights to NFC football games. This resulted in most of its stations set to become Fox affiliates. One of the stations due to switch was Atlanta's longtime CBS affiliate, WAGA-TV. CBS needed to find a new affiliate, but neither WGNX nor Atlanta's original Fox affiliate, WATL, were interested at first. Fearing it would have no affiliate in Atlanta, CBS made a deal to buy WVEU, a low-rated station on channel 69 with the weakest signal of Atlanta's full-power stations in October 1994. Around the same time that the WB launched, another new network, the United Paramount Network (UPN), co-owned by Paramount Pictures/Viacom and Chris-Craft Industries, was set to launch, and with all the other events going on, WATL would have most likely become the UPN affiliate for Atlanta. However, CBS still wanted to affiliate with a station that people were more familiar with. For several months, it continued to negotiate with Tribune, who finally relented in November and allowed WGNX to become a CBS affiliate.
This move left WGNX with cartoons and sitcoms that it would no longer have time to air as a CBS affiliate, so it sold some of its syndicated programming to WVEU, which became the UPN affiliate (while WATL joined the WB), and was later sold to Viacom, which changed its calls to WUPA. As a CBS station, WGNX moved the 10 p.m. newscast to 11 p.m. and added newscasts at Noon (12 p.m.) and 6 p.m., as well as a short-lived 7 p.m. newscast, and more syndicated talk and reality shows. WGCL would add on a short-lived 5 p.m. newscast, a morning newscast, and a 4 p.m. newscast as well.
Tribune began to manage the station in tandem with WATL in 1996 under a local marketing agreement. In 1998, Tribune swapped WGNX to Meredith Corporation in a three-way deal which saw Tribune acquire KCPQ in Seattle from Kelly Broadcasting; that deal allowed Tribune to buy WATL outright the next year.
The station changed its calls to WGCL-TV in 2000 to reflect its new branding tagline, We're Georgia's CLear TV. It began calling itself "CBS Atlanta" again, then two years later readopted the "CBS46" moniker.
On June 20, 2007, WGCL's website underwent a redesign as part of a partnership between Meredith Corporation and Internet Broadcasting, following the successful testing of the websites of five of its sister stations, which had joined Internet Broadcasting the year before. WGCL's website was the sixth Meredith station website to switch from WorldNow to Internet Broadcasting.
After the analog television shutdown scheduled for February 17, 2009 , WGCL-DT will remain on channel 19 using PSIP to display WGCL's virtual channel as 46 on digital television receivers.
WGCL-TV has multiplexed additional sub-channels on its digital transmitter during the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship period during select days and time periods in March. This is done in order to broadcast several games in progress simultaneously carried by CBS Sports. The sub-channels, which can number as many as three, have a typical video resolution of 480i at 4:3 aspect ratio.
- 1971: WHAE-TV as an independent general entertainment/religious station owned by CBN
- 1977: Callsign change to WANX-TV
- 1984: Sold to Tribune becoming WGNX
- 1989: WGNX begins a local news broadcast
- 1994: Switched to CBS (previously on WAGA-TV 5)
- 1995: Became known as "WGNX CBS46"
- 1999: Meredith closes on purchase of station, renamed "CBS Atlanta"
- 2000: Callsign change to WGCL-TV renamed "Clear TV"
- 2002: Renamed "CBS Atlanta" again
- 2003: Renamed "CBS46" again
WGCL is on the same tower
, north of Druid Hills
The tower also contains construction permits for:
FM stations on the same tower are: WWWQ (99.7, newly moved from the WPCH-TV TV main analog tower) and permits for WRFG (89.3) and WKHX-FM (101.5) as well as an application for a broadcast translator from Immanuel Broadcasing Network on 101.9.
Another tower about 120 meters (400 ft) to the west holds the existing WKHX-FM, WWLG (94.9) and WKLS (96.1), and applications for translators on 89.7 and 88.9 from WAY-FM Media Group.
Current news personalities
CBS 46 News - Weekdays
- Stephany Fisher, 4, 6, and 11 p.m. co-anchor
- Bill Gaines, 4, 6, and 11 p.m. co-anchor
- Helen Neill, Noon anchor and reporter
CBS 46 News - Weekends
CBS 46 Better Mornings
- Mike Brooks, co-anchor
- Tracye Hutchins, co-anchor
- Corrina Allen, lifestyle and entertainment reporter
- Brett Martin, features reporter
- Laura Huckabee, Senior Meteorologist, Weekends (Cousin of former Arkansas Govenor and former 2008 Republican Presidential Canidate Mike Huckabe.)
- Greg Majewski, Weather producer/Substitute meteorologist
- Dagmar Midcap, Chief Weather Presenter, 4, 6, and 11PM weekdays
- Jennifer Valdez, Meteorologist/Traffic reporter, Better Mornings, and Noon weekdays
- Corey Anderson, Sports producer and reporter
- Mark Harmon, Weekend sports anchor and reporter
- Gil Tyree, Sports director/reporter
- Chris Adams, Chopper 46 pilot and reporter
- Ryan Deal, General assignment reporter
- Kim Fettig, Investigative reporter
- Christopher King, General assignment reporter
- Joanna Massee, General assignment reporter
- Jennifer Mayerle, General assignment reporter
- Tony McNary, General assignment reporter
- Adam Murphy, Consumer reporter
- Sarah Parker, General assignment reporter
- Wendy Saltzman, Investigative reporter
- Harry Samler, General assignment reporter
- Rebekka Schramm, General assignment reporter
- Renée Starzyk, General assignment reporter
- Denise Agent, General assignment reporter (1989–?, last seen at WAAY-TV)
- Andrea Arceneaux Coleman, anchor and reporter (1999–2002, Founding Editor/CEO of Southwest Atlanta Magazine)
- Tylar Bacome, reporter (2003-2005)
- Patrick Boggs, (1981–?) Now newscaster at SRN Radio News.
- Joy Barge, Traffic reporter (1999–2001; 2002–2004)
- Shane Butler, weathercaster (?–1997, now a meteorologist at WSET-TV)
- Cari Champion, weekend anchor and reporter (2006-2008)
- Kevin Cokely, anchor (1988-?)
- Steve Dawson, anchor and reporter (?, now at WHBQ-TV)
- Tiffani Diaz Reynolds, General assignment reporter (?–2005, now at WSB-TV)
- John Doyle, weathercaster (1997–2005, retired from broadcasting; currently doing voice-overs, working part-time as balliff at the Gwinnett County Courthouse)
- Sheldon Fox, Traffic reporter (2004–2006, now at WGNO-TV)
- Naki Frierson, Traffic reporter (2006, now at WSB-TV)
- Jennifer Gladstone, General assignment reporter (1999–2002, now a morning anchor at WBFF-TV)
- Leigh Green, General assignment reporter (1989–2000, deceased)
- Karyn Greer, Primary co-anchor and reporter (1989–1999, now morning/noon anchor at WXIA-TV)
- Tony Harris, 5:00, 6:00, and 11:00 anchor (2003–2004, now co-anchor of CNN Newsroom)
- Calvin Hughes, 5:00, 6:00, and 11:00 anchor (1999–2002, now a weekday morning and noon co-anchor at WPLG-TV )
- Patricia Hunte, General assignment reporter (?)
- Steve Johns, Morning and Noon anchor (1999–2002, now at WNCN-TV)
- Kristy Mazurek, General assignment reporter (2000–2003)
- John McKnight, anchor and reporter (1989–1999)
- Monica McNeal, weathercaster (2003–2004, now at CNN)
- Chris McWatt, Morning anchor (2002–2003, now host of HGTV's Weekend Warriors)
- Ray Metoyer, anchor and reporter (1994–2000, now president of the Atlanta Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists and executive producer of the Black Family Channel)
- Letitia Miele, General assignment reporter (?–2002, last seen at WHP-TV)
- Charles Molineaux, Weekend anchor and reporter (2002–2005, now a general assignment reporter at WAGA-TV)
- Denny Moore, weathercaster (?–2000)
- Marc Mullins, General assignment reporter (2003–2005, now at KMTR-TV)
- Kathy Murphy, Weekend anchor and reporter (?–2005)
- April Nelson, Health Reporter (1997–2005, moved to Egypt)
- Chau Nguyen, General assignment reporter (?–2003, now a reporter and Saturday morning anchor at KHOU-TV)
- Lori Nixon, General assignment reporter (2003–2004, now at KIRO-TV)
- Rich Noonan, 4:00, 6:00, and 11:00 anchor (2004–2006, now has his own video production company based in Alpharetta, Georgia)
- Gene Norman, Chief meteorologist (2000-2008, now chief meteorologist at KHOU-TV)
- Greg Pallone, General assignment reporter (2004–2005, now an anchor at WJCL-TV)
- Fred Powers, General assignment reporter (1997–2008, deceased)
- Jane Robelot, 5:00, 6:00, and 11:00 anchor (1999–2003, now a reporter and substitute anchor at WYFF-TV)
- Emily Schapmann Stroud, General assignment reporter (2000–2003, 2006)
- Gwen Scott, anchor (1988-1989)
- Marshall Seese, Meteorologist (now an on-camera meteorologist with The Weather Channel)
- Martha Sharan, anchor and reporter (?–1999)
- Todd Shearer, Weekend anchor and reporter (1999–2003, now a consultant with the DeMoss group based in Duluth, Georgia)
- Cynné Simpson, Weeknight 6 pm co-anchor and 11 pm reporter (2004–2007, now a weekend anchor at WJLA-TV in Washington, DC.)
- LuAnn Sodano, General assignment reporter
- Chris Smith, Weekend meteorologist (2005-2008, now a meteorologist at CNN)
- Mike Stevens, Weekend anchor and reporter (?–1999, now a weeknight anchor at WEYI-TV following a brief stint with WXIA-TV)
- Steve Taylor, Sportscaster (1989–2005)
- Derek Toomey, General assignment reporter (?–2002, currently a singer/songwriter residing in the Atlanta area)
- Stacey Turner, General assignment reporter (2003–2005)
- Cynthia Vail, General assignment reporter (?–2003)
- Shannon Walshe Stephens, Weekend anchor and reporter (?–1999, now at WSB-TV)
- John Wetherbee, weathercaster (?–2005, now a meteorologist at WTOC-TV; can be heard doing weather locally on 106.1 WNGC in Athens)
- Heather Wiggins Thompson, General assignment reporter (?–2004, last seen at WXIA-TV)
- Lori Wilson, (2002–2005, now co-host of lifestyle and entertainment show 10! on WCAU-TV)