Chronology data should be put on the appropriate chronology page ("Chronology of call letters WSB") .
Other material must be reorganized into appropriate categories of articles.
|Branding||WSB-TV, Channel 2 (general)
Channel 2 Action News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Coverage You Can Count On|
|Channels||Digital: 39 (UHF)Virtual: 2 (PSIP)|
|Subchannels||2.1 ABC2.2 RTN|
|Translators||31 (UHF) (2.5) Athens46 (UHF) Gainesville(construction permit)14 (UHF) Rome(application)|
|Owner||Cox Enterprises, Inc.
(Georgia Television Company)
|First air date||September 29, 1948|
|Call letters' meaning||Welcome South Brother (from AM sister station)|
|Sister station(s)||WSB AM, WSB-FM, WBTS FM, WSRV FM, WALR-FM|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:8 (VHF, 1948-1950)2 (VHF, 1950-2009)|
|Former affiliations||Primary:NBC (1948-1980)Secondary:ABC (1948-1951)|
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Height||316 m (1,037 ft)|
|Transmitter coordinates||33°45′51″N 84°21′42″W / 33.76417°N 84.36167°W / 33.76417; -84.36167 (WSB-TV tower)|
is the flagship television station of Cox Enterprises and is co-owned alongside the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the WSB radio stations (although all three entities are operated independently of each other). Its offices and TV studios are located in midtown Atlanta at 1601 West Peachtree Street, along with the offices and studios of sister radio stations WSB AM 750, WSB-FM 98.5, WBTS FM 95.5, WSRV FM 97.1, and WALR-FM 104.1 (all of which transmit from other sites).
Its TV tower is located immediately adjacent to Freedom Parkway, east of downtown Atlanta and just southwest of the Carter Center. It is so close to the highway that one of its three sets of guy wires passes over the road. Because freezing rain may accumulate in winter storms (especially since the tops of towers are colder than at ground level), the road is covered by a "tunnel" to prevent heavy ice from falling into the roadway or onto cars during and after storms. The tower has carried both analog and digital for WSB, but has no other FM or TV tenants listed by the FCC. The station has also applied for three digital broadcast translators due to the poor performance of the ATSC digital TV standard, which has caused many viewers to lose the station's over-the-air signal.
WSB-TV is also available across Georgia to Cox Cable subscribers in the Macon area, although ABC programming is usually blacked-out by another local ABC affiliate, WGXA-DT2. WSB-TV is also available on cable TV systems in South Georgia (as far south as the Florida border) due to a lack of an ABC affiliate in the Albany media market covering southwest Georgia. This is possible because WSB-TV is uplinked to the AMC-10 TV satellite.
WSB-TV first began broadcasting on September 29, 1948. It is the second-oldest station south of Washington, D.C.; only Richmond, Virginia's WTVR-TV 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 the stronger channel 2. The channel 8 allocation was eventually reserved as non-commercial educational by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and is now WGTV, the flagship TV station of Georgia Public Broadcasting.
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, on the dead-end northern portion of West Peachtree Street which is actually east of Peachtree Street. This is near the Brookwood Hills area, and just east of the "Brookwood split", the well-known highway interchange where the Downtown Connector splits into I-75 and I-85. 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 was originally 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 11) signed on in 1951.
The station was the original home to the relocated Atlanta Braves baseball team, carrying the games from 1966 to 1972 until the Braves moved to their current longtime home of what is now WPCH-TV, in 1973. Its sister AM station, was 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) were the main announcers for what was then the largest television network in baseball.
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 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 digital TV stations in the country. (The -DT suffix is not mandated by the FCC, thus it is WSB-TV even for digital.)
The over-the-air digital subchannel 2.2 started carrying the Retro Television Network on January 28, 2008. Prior to this, the channel was blank, or later with a small station ID in the lower corner, and finally with the test pattern pictured at right.
For the 2009 analog television shutdown, Don McClellan, celebrating 50 years at WSB-TV, turned off the station's analog transmitter for last time at 12:30 PM on June 12, live from the station's transmitter room on the noon newscast.
Cable television allows viewers to receive WSB-TV on channel 3.
During late August and into September 2009, the station removed its analog TV antenna from the top of the tower, and moved its side-mounted digital antenna up from lower on the tower.
In March 2009, the station filed applications for two digital fill-in broadcast translators, due to expected loss of signal toward the east and northeast because of the digital transition. One is to be on channel 46, which is being vacated by analog WGCL-TV on June 26 after two extra weeks as an analog nightlight station. It will be located on the same radio tower as Cox's WSRV/WBTS FM, having Gainesville, Georgia as its city of license, but reaching as far into the north-northeastern Atlanta suburbs as Lilburn. The other is for channel 31, licensed to Athens, Georgia, but located only about halfway to there from Atlanta on a tower southwest of Winder, and again reaching as far west as Lilburn. It has also requested special temporary authority to begin operating these stations immediately, pending approval of its regular applications. Most of both stations' broadcast range will overlap with each other, and are almost entirely within the predicted coverage area of the main station, however distributed transmission (on-channel boosters) will not be used. The translators are expected to overcome the terrain obstructions caused by Stone Mountain to the east of the WSB transmitter. In late June 2009, it also applied for a translator on channel 14 just southwest of Rome, vacated by analog WPXA TV 14. This will cover a significant portion of northwest Georgia with only 1000 watts. There is no request for STA with this station, however. ==News operations
One factor behind its 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, and was one of the first African-American female anchors in the South. Since 1994, her anchor desk partner has been John Pruitt, who started at channel 2 in 1973 before beginning a 16-year run at WXIA. Glenn Burns has been the main weatherman since 1981. Chuck Dowdle (previously in TV in Miami) served as sports director from 1985 until his December 2009 retirement. Pearson, Pruitt, Burns and Dowdle had been together since Pruitt's return to channel 2 in 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 was the second in the Atlanta market to do so, behind WXIA-TV. It is also the second Cox station behind WFTV in Orlando 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.
In mid-November 2009, reporter Tom Jones and a cameraman escaped serious injury when the telescoping radio mast of their electronic news-gathering van (holding a microwave TV antenna for the remote pickup unit used for outside broadcasting) contacted 115-kilovolt high-voltage powerlines while leaving the Fulton County Jail. Georgia Power staff were surprised anyone survived, but the two were treated for minor burns and smoke inhalation at Grady Memorial Hospital and released later in the day. The massive electric spark caused an explosion, left a crater underneath the van, arced to and broke a water main, and caused a brief power outage. The vehicle was a total loss.  
News Music Packages
Current news announcers
Severe Weather Team 2
Triple Team Traffic
Past news announcers
- ^ Atlanta Business Chronicle (2007-11-20). "TV classics come to WSB with RTN". American City Business Journals, Inc.. http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2007/11/19/daily13.html?t=printable. Retrieved 2007-12-12.
- ^ CDBS Print
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNSsR2Zh2ow
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DH-k-H2OSKg
- ^ http://users.ece.gatech.edu/mleach/radio/fm.html
- ^ http://donmcclellan.wordpress.com/2009/09/page/2/
- WSB-TV homepage
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WSB-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WSB-TV