Radio-TV Broadcast History

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WGCL-TV, virtual channel 46.1 (digital channel 19) is the CBS television station serving the Atlanta, Georgia area. Its city of license is Atlanta, and the station is owned by Meredith Corporation, making it the largest-market CBS station not owned by the network. It was the largest affiliate of any of the original "Big Three" networks (ABC, CBS or NBC) on analog UHF prior to the digital TV transition, and remains the largest such station to identify via PSIP with a channel number above the traditional 2-13 VHF range.

The station transmits from the "Richland" site near North Druid Hills from the east tower, along with several other stations. The station's digital TV signal on channel 19 formerly datacasted TV Guide On Screen for the area.

Atlanta, Georgia
Branding CBS Atlanta (general)

CBS Atlanta News (newscasts)

Slogan We Ask the Tough Questions
Channels Digital: 19 (UHF)Virtual: 46 (PSIP),809/108.1 (Comcast)
Subchannels 46.1 - CBS (1080i)46.2 - March Madness (480i)
Owner Meredith Corporation
First air date June 6, 1971
Call letters' meaning Georgia's CLear News(former slogan)
Former callsigns WHAE-TV (1971-1977)

WANX-TV (1977-1984) WGNX (1984-2000)

Former channel number(s) Analog:

Channel 46 (1971-2009)

Former affiliations independent (1971-1994)
Transmitter power 1000 kW (digital)
Height 329 m (digital)
Facility ID 72120
Transmitter coordinates 33°48′26.3″N 84°20′21.5″W / 33.807306°N 84.339306°W / 33.807306; -84.339306


Channel 46 first went on the air on June 6, 1971. It was originally owned by the Continental Broadcasting Network, an arm of Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network. Its original broadcast callsign was WHAE-TV, which stood for "Heaven And Earth." 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 (essentially WGN + WANX). The 700 Club was now only broadcast once a day, before being dropped altogether until 2007, when WGCL once again broadcast the show. The station continued to air a similar entertainment lineup, but began airing 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 (and that had a functioning news department). 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 7:30 p.m. newscast, and more syndicated talk and reality shows. It would add on a short-lived 5 p.m. newscast, a morning newscast, and a 4 p.m. newscast as well. It also began calling itself "CBS46," though these references were mostly verbal; graphics continued to refer to "channel 46."

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. Also around the same time, WGNX began branding as "CBS Atlanta."

The station changed its calls to WGCL-TV in 2000 to reflect its new branding tagline, We're Georgia's CLear TV, along with "Clear News", a soft news concept. A few months later, WGCL was "CBS Atlanta" again, then two years later readopted the "CBS 46" 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.

In March 2009, Meredith announced that WGCL would begin handling the master control operations of WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tennessee and WHNS in Greenville, South Carolina. The new hub operation is scheduled to begin operations by the end of 2009. Three other stations—KCTV in Kansas City, Missouri, WFSB in Hartford, Connecticut and WNEM-TV in Saginaw, Michigan—were later added to the WGCL hub; those three stations are slated to go online at the hub sometime in 2010. A similar hub is planned at sister station KPHO-TV in Phoenix, Arizona to handle stations in Portland, Oregon (KPTV and KPDX) and Las Vegas, Nevada (KVVU). [1]

As a CBS affiliate, WGCL has struggled in the local viewership ratings, usually ranking fourth behind WSB-TV, WAGA and WXIA-TV. As such, WGCL has been one of CBS' weaker affiliates. In contrast, WAGA was one of CBS' strongest affiliates. However, in the last three Nielsen ratings periods, it has traded third and fourth place with WXIA-TV.

Digital transition[]

After the analog television shutdown in June 2009, WGCL-TV remained on its pre-transition channel number 19, using PSIP to display WGCL-TV's virtual channel as 46.

Although the DTV Delay Act extended the mandatory shutdown of analog television until June 12, WGCL-TV applied to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to end its transmissions on February 17, the original deadline.[1] However, the station did not appear on the FCC list of such stations, which was released on February 11.[2] (WATC TV 57 and WGTV TV 8 were the other local stations on this list.) Since then, the station ran crawls that indicated that it would switch on June 12. The station applied to be an "analog nightlight" station, ending its regular programming on June 12 as required by law, but continuing to broadcast information regarding the DTV transition for an additional two weeks until June 26. (This is the same bilingual subtitled loop, alternating in English and Spanish, as was seen on several other nightlight stations across the country.)

After this, WYGA-CA may be allowed to increase its analog LPTV signal on adjacent channel 45, as it was forced from channel 55 by MediaFLO, and has been operating on special temporary authority (STA) at very low power to protect adjacent-channel WGCL from RF interference. WSB-TV 39 (2.x) may be also allowed to begin transmitting a co-channel digital TV fill-in translator from south of Gainesville. Both are pending FCC approval of their applications, and WSB also filed for an STA to begin as soon as possible after WGCL ended analog transmissions.

High-definition and multi-channel[]

On Sunday January 11, 2009, WGCL became the third station (behind WSB-TV 2.1 and WXIA-TV 11.1) to broadcast TV news in high definition. With the switch to HD, WGCL has rebranded back to CBS Atlanta, which it used in 1999 and 2002. Like most CBS stations, it transmits in 1080i mode.

[1][2]WGCL-DT 46.2 "March Madness" test card.WGCL-TV has multiplexed additional digital subchannels on its over-the-air 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 basketball games in progress simultaneously carried by CBS Sports. The subchannels, which can number as many as three, have a typical video resolution of 480i at 4:3 aspect ratio. In March 2009, only one subchannel (46.2, labeled WGCLDT2) was used.

Station timeline[]

  • 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
  • 2009: Renamed "CBS Atlanta" yet again

On-air staff[]

Current news staff[]


Former on-air staff[]

  • Denise Agent, general assignment reporter (1989–1999, news director WHSV-TV)
  • Corinna Allen, Better Mornings Atlanta lifestyle/feature reporter (2007-2010)
  • Corey Anderson, sports reporter/producer (2005-2009, New Business Development at Mindstorm Communications Group)
  • Andrea Arceneaux Coleman, anchor and reporter (1999–2002, Founding Editor/CEO of Southwest Atlanta Magazine)
  • Tylar Bacome, reporter (2003–2005)
  • Patrick Boggs, (1981–1992) Now newscaster at SRN Radio News.
  • Joy Barge, traffic reporter (1999–2001; 2002–2004)
  • Johnny Beckman, chief meteorologist (1994-2000, deceased)
  • Mike Brooks, Better Mornings Atlanta anchor (2007-2010)
  • Shane Butler, weathercaster (1996–1997, currently at WRDW])
  • Cheryl Case - anchor/reporter (1990-1998)
  • John Cater, free-lance reporter (2009, deceased)
  • Cari Champion, weekend anchor and reporter (2006–2008)
  • Kevin Cokely, anchor (1988-1994) (now at KXAS-TV in Dallas/Ft. Worth)
  • Steve Dawson, anchor and reporter (1994-1999, last at WHBQ-TV) (retired)
  • Ryan Deal, general assignment reporter (2003–2008)
  • Tiffani Diaz Reynolds, general assignment reporter (1991–2005, last seen at WSB-TV)
  • John Doyle, weathercaster (1997–2005, retired from broadcasting; currently doing voice-overs, working part-time as bailiff at the Gwinnett County Courthouse)
  • Sheldon Fox, traffic reporter (2004–2006, now at WGNO-TV)
  • Naki Frierson, traffic reporter (2006, now at WSB-TV)
  • Bill Gaines, 4:00, 6:00, and 11:00 anchor (2006–2009)
  • Jennifer Gladstone, general assignment reporter (1999–2002, last seen at WBFF-TV)
  • Leigh Green, general assignment reporter (1989–2000, deceased)
  • Karyn Greer, primary co-anchor and reporter (1989–1999, now 5:00 anchor at WSB)
  • Mark Harmon, Sports Anchor/Reporter (1980s - 2009)
  • Tony Harris, 5:00, 6:00, and 11:00 anchor (2003–2004, now co-anchor of CNN Newsroom)
  • Laura Huckabee, meteorologist (1999–2009)
  • Calvin Hughes, 5:00, 6:00, and 11:00 anchor (1999–2002, now a weekday morning and noon co-anchor at WPLG-TV 10 Miami)
  • Patricia Hunte, general assignment reporter (1982-1984)
  • Dagmar Midcap, evening weather anchor/reporter (2007-2010)
  • Steve Johns, morning and noon anchor (1999–2002, last seen at WNCN-TV)
  • Kathleen Kennedy, anchor and reporter (1989-1997)
  • Terry Kniess, main meteorologist (WGNX 1989–1994) Met. Ret. in Henderson, Nevada
  • Steve Kuzj, general assignment reporter (?)
  • Randy Lynn, general assignment reporter (?)
  • Greg Majewski, fill-in meteorologist/weather producer (2005-2009)
  • Brett Martin, Better Mornings Atlanta features reporter
  • JoAnna Massee, general assignment reporter (2008–2009)
  • Kristy Mazurek, general assignment reporter (2000–2003)
  • Molly McCollum, meteorologist (2018–2020, now a freelance on-camera meteorologist with The Weather Channel)
  • 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 (1995–2002, last seen at WHP-TV)
  • Charles Molineaux, weekend anchor and reporter (2002–2005, last seen at WAGA-TV)
  • Denny Moore, weathercaster (1989–2000)
  • Mike Moore, weekend anchor and reporter (2005–2009)
  • Cheryl Morgan - anchor and reporter (1989-1994)
  • Marc Mullins, general assignment reporter (2003–2005, now at KMTR-TV)
  • Kathy Murphy, weekend anchor and reporter (1999–2005)
  • Toni Neal, Traffic Reporter (2004)
  • Helen Neill, anchor and reporter (1999–2009)
  • April Nelson, health reporter (1997–2005, moved to Egypt)
  • Chau Nguyen, general assignment reporter (?–2003, last seen at KHOU-TV Houston, and believed to no longer be in the TV business)
  • 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, last seen at WJCL-TV)
  • Sarah Parker, general assignment reporter (2006–2009)
  • Grace Olson, sports reporter (2014–2015)
  • Paul Ossmann, chief meteorologist (2012–2019)
  • 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)
  • Dave Schwartz, weekend meteorologist (2009)
  • Gwen Scott, anchor (1988–1989)
  • Marshall Seese, meteorologist (was an on-camera meteorologist with The Weather Channel until November 2008)
  • Martha Sharan, anchor and reporter (1994–1999)
  • 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 chief meteorologist at WJHG-TV)
  • Mike Stevens, weekend anchor and reporter (1996–1999, now a weeknight anchor at WEYI-TV following a brief stint with WXIA-TV)
  • Steve Taylor, sportscaster (1989–2005)
  • Derek Toomey, general assignment reporter (2000–2002, currently a singer/songwriter residing in the Atlanta area)
  • Stacey Turner, general assignment reporter (2003–2005)
  • Gil Tyree, Sports Director/Reporter (2003–2010)
  • Cynthia Vail, general assignment reporter (1998–2003)
  • Shannon Walshe Stephens, weekend anchor and reporter (1993–1999, last seen at WSB-TV)
  • John Wetherbee, weathercaster (1989–2005, deceased)
  • Heather Wiggins Thompson, general assignment reporter (1999–2004, last seen at WXIA-TV)
  • Lori Wilson, (2002–2005, now co-host of lifestyle and entertainment show 10! on WCAU-TV)

News/station presentation[]

Newscast titles[]

  • Channel 46 News at Ten (1989–1994)
  • WGNX News (1994–1999)
  • CBS Atlanta News (1999–2000, 2002–2003, 2009-present)
  • Clear News (2000–2002)
  • CBS 46 News (2003–2009)

Station slogans[]

  • Giving Atlanta a Choice! (1985-1989)
  • Georgia's News at Ten (1989–1994)
  • Working to Be Your New Choice (1997–1999)
  • The Address is WGNX CBS46...Welcome Home (1997-1999; local version of CBS ad campaign)
  • The Address is CBS Atlanta (1999-2000; local version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Clear TV, It's All Here/CBS Atlanta, It's All Here/CBS46, It's All Here (2000-2005; local version of CBS ad campaign)
  • News That Clearly Matters (2000–2002)
  • Atlanta's NewsChannel (2003–2004)
  • Breaking News. Breaking Stories. Breaking Habits. (2004–2005)
  • Everybody's Watching CBS46 (2005-2006; local version of CBS ad campaign)
  • We Are CBS46 (2006-2009; local version of CBS ad campaign)
  • We Ask the Tough Questions (2008–present)
  • Only CBS Atlanta Only CBS (2009-present; local version of CBS ad campaign)

News Music Packages[]

Music Packages Composer Year Used Other Notes
KXTV 1986 News Theme Unknown 1984-1995
Newsage Stephen Arnold Music 1990-1995
Millennum 3 Shelly Palmer Company Advance Media 1995-1999
Production Music: News 2000 Megatrax 1999-2001 Commissioned by WGNX/WGCL
Clear News Dreamscape Music 2001-2002 Commissioned by WGCL
WGCL 2002 News Theme Unknown 2002-2003 Commissioned by WGCL
Atlanta's NewsChannel Unknown 2003-2004 Commissioned by WGCL
The One and Only Gari Communications Inc. 2004-2009
The CBS Enforcer Music Collection Gari Communications Inc. 2009-Present

Station Logos[]


WANX TV 46 Logo from 1981 until 1984


WGNX old Logo from late 1980s to 1994 as a independent station


WGNX CBS Channel 46 Logo from 1994 until 1999

WGCL TV CBS-logo-FE133E145A-seeklogo com

WGCL TV Atlanta 46 Logo from 2000 until 2001


Clear TV CBS WGCL TV Logo from 2001 until 2002


CBS 46 Atlanta's Newschannel Logo from 2003 until 2004


CBS 46 Logo from 2004 until 2009

Cbsatlanta logo

CBS Atlanta Current Logo