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3 hours ago, carolinanews4 said:

 

I second @JackityJack's comments. People in the industry are watching WJZY closely. Nexstar is looking at all aspects of this station as they believe it was under performing due to poor allocation of resources under FOX. For example, FOX requires stations to execute a heavy quarterly marketing spend. This was evident early in WJZY's run as a FOX affiliate. They plastered the region with billboards and radio/cable commercials for their Fox News Carolinas Primetime, as it was then known, which was a trainwreck...as most products are at launch. Instead of quietly launching, working to find their voice, and THEN advertising, they spent heavily and drove curiosity viewing of a bad product. This put them in a hole that one could argue they are still working to climb out of. The list goes on, but that's just one concrete example. 

 

As for talent departures, there's no drama. As contracts end, Nexstar is looking to put their own stamp on talent. While it is always sad when contracts aren't renewed, it comes with the territory. And when you are on a morning show that still scratches every now and then, it can't be a surprise that the new owners are looking to shake things up. None of this is evidence of FOX returning to Charlotte. It is just a new owner looking to invest in their new property. Whatever your personal opinion of Nexstar is, that's your choice. But people at rival stations and inside WJZY are watching with curiosity as Nexstar amps up the investment for the future. 

 

Something that people are forgetting in the speculation about Fox buying back WJZY/WMYT for NFL reasons... although they sold those stations, Fox never really left the Charlotte market. 

 

Fox Sports maintains a presence in Charlotte for primarily their NASCAR coverage, although they have done other events from there during the pandemic

 

Plus, although at this moment  Nexstar is against the cap (although as WPIX showed, they still aren't afraid to go on Missions if needed), Nexstar is known as buyers, not sellers. The only time they sell is when they are forced to during purchases to either 1) stay under the cap, or 2) b/c they already own a station in that market. 

 

Final Point, owners typically slash budgets when they want to sell , not invest more money into the operation.

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It has been a little over three months. I really don't see how the timetable of a new set could possibly portend the sale of a station. I also think it is unfair to say that this is a product of poor

Uh. No... I have inside information indicating that Nexstar is actively investing in WJZY & WMYT. They are planning to keep it.

UPDATE: Just read on the Nexstar channel on Discord that the new set/studio is coming in September.  It’s likely coming with a total rebrand, and they have added staff. They could even be adding on to

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I think the news product has continued to improve at WJZY under Nexstar. I am just a bit perplexed why they have lost some good talent, although they have recently hired some good talent as well. I guess things just evolve. As for the set delay, perhaps it's supply chain issues. And then they have to train the talent for the new set, particularly if it is more of a stand up set, which remains to be seen. I do like their regional news coverage from sister stations in the Carolinas, such as WSPA, WGHP, and WNCN. And national coverage as well.

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UPDATE: Just read on the Nexstar channel on Discord that the new set/studio is coming in September.  It’s likely coming with a total rebrand, and they have added staff. They could even be adding on to the building. They are also planning on more newscasts. So my guess is that GDC will be expanded into the 9-10am hour and an 11pm news will be added, with Charlotte Sports Live moving to 11:30. I would expect to see the Nexstar graphics in September. Who knows, they might even change the name of the morning news.

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Thanks for the update @Nelson R..  I had heard rumblings that they were doing some structural improvements beyond just dropping in a new set. I heard that expanding the footprint of the building was a potential. It will be interesting to see what they come up with this fall.

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Just now, carolinanews4 said:

Thanks for the update @Nelson R..  I had heard rumblings that they were doing some structural improvements beyond just dropping in a new set. I heard that expanding the footprint of the building was a potential. It will be interesting to see what they come up with this fall.

No problem.

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On 7/8/2021 at 8:40 PM, Nelson R. said:

UPDATE: Just read on the Nexstar channel on Discord that the new set/studio is coming in September.  It’s likely coming with a total rebrand, and they have added staff. They could even be adding on to the building. They are also planning on more newscasts. So my guess is that GDC will be expanded into the 9-10am hour and an 11pm news will be added, with Charlotte Sports Live moving to 11:30. I would expect to see the Nexstar graphics in September. Who knows, they might even change the name of the morning news.

Now I’m hearing that WJZY could even be changing their call letters! This is coming from speculation but the secondhand source seems pretty legit so it could happen. I hope not. They really don’t need to go that far. That’s the only call letters they have ever had since they’ve been on the air. (They were originally licensed as WHMU).

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On 7/8/2021 at 8:40 PM, Nelson R. said:

UPDATE: Just read on the Nexstar channel on Discord that the new set/studio is coming in September.  It’s likely coming with a total rebrand, and they have added staff. They could even be adding on to the building. They are also planning on more newscasts. So my guess is that GDC will be expanded into the 9-10am hour and an 11pm news will be added, with Charlotte Sports Live moving to 11:30. I would expect to see the Nexstar graphics in September. Who knows, they might even change the name of the morning news.

Glad to hear the update. Sounds like they continue to expand and improve news coverage.

On 7/12/2021 at 9:07 AM, Nelson R. said:

Now I’m hearing that WJZY could even be changing their call letters! This is coming from speculation but the secondhand source seems pretty legit so it could happen. I hope not. They really don’t need to go that far. That’s the only call letters they have ever had since they’ve been on the air. (They were originally licensed as WHMU).

Hope they keep the branding FOX46. Well established and no need to revert back to FOX Charlotte or something like that. And the current FOX graphics package looks good so they should leave that alone. And don't see the need to change the call letters.

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Hopefully the time is taking is deliberate to undergo other needed changes to bolster the operation (or to bring them to a decent level of operability). 

The operation going back to the affiliation switch seemed rushed and half-assed just for Fox to get it on the air and running at the time.

 

A call change would be nice as well, are there a set of old call letters that are still available....much like Nexstar resurrected WDVM for their former WHAG to refocus to DC?

All of WCNC's old calls are unavailable, WRET is used down in Spartanburg for SCETV, and the others are used elsewhere.

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What about WPCQ? (The old calls of WCNC between 1980-89, meaning “People of the Carolinas and the Queen City)

 

I’ll let the Sandman show me the exit. 3QMm9p.gif

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2 hours ago, RGSJenkins said:

What about WPCQ? (The old calls of WCNC between 1980-89, meaning “People of the Carolinas and the Queen City)

 

I’ll let the Sandman show me the exit. 3QMm9p.gif

No TV station seems to be using them…

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On 7/13/2021 at 1:51 PM, tylerSC said:

Glad to hear the update. Sounds like they continue to expand and improve news coverage.

Hope they keep the branding FOX46. Well established and no need to revert back to FOX Charlotte or something like that. And the current FOX graphics package looks good so they should leave that alone. And don't see the need to change the call letters.

Well looks like I will be disappointed with the rebranding. New promos indicate the FOX46 logo is being replaced by FOX Charlotte, which was previously used by WCCB back when they had the FOX affiliation. Disappointing since WJZY has always been known as channel 46, from the independent days and through the UPN and CW eras. While 46 does not quite have the legacy branding of WBTV channel 3 and WSOC-TV channel 9, it is still familiar, especially to those of us who watch via an antenna. I generally dislike when stations drop their channel numbers from their branding. I was also disappointed when WCNC dropped 36. Looks like the current FOX46 logo and FOX graphics will soon be retired, which is disappointing as they look good. I agree with the upcoming new set and studio, but not the total rebranding.

And I guess the new set should finally be coming soon, as September is almost upon us.

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Just now, tylerSC said:

Well looks like I will be disappointed with the rebranding. New promos indicate the FOX46 logo is being replaced by FOX Charlotte, which was previously used by WCCB back when they had the FOX affiliation. Disappointing since WJZY has always been known as channel 46, from the independent days and through the UPN and CW eras. While 46 does not quite have the legacy branding of WBTV channel 3 and WSOC-TV channel 9, it is still familiar, especially to those of us you watch via an antenna. I generally dislike when stations drop their channel numbers from their branding. I was also disappointed when WCNC dropped 36. Looks like the current FOX46 logo and FOX graphics will soon be retired, which is disappointing as they look good. I agree with the upcoming new set and studio, but not the total rebranding.

Yeah they have been phasing that in during Young Sheldon, YBYL and BBT promos. I’m extremely disappointed as well. Which makes it even more crazy is that they are “de-Foxifying” their news branding according to someone on Discord who will be working at the station in a couple weeks. 

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1 hour ago, Nelson R. said:

Yeah they have been phasing that in during Young Sheldon, YBYL and BBT promos. I’m extremely disappointed as well. Which makes it even more crazy is that they are “de-Foxifying” their news branding according to someone on Discord who will be working at the station in a couple weeks. 

They probably want to de-emphasize FOX based national reporting in favor or Nexstar regional reporting or their NewsNation brand. But they should keep the familiar FOX46 identifier. FOX Charlotte is very generic and does not indicate or promote the channel/station you are watching.

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I'm ok with the return of the "Fox Charlotte" branding.  Enough time has passed since the switch from WCCB to WJZY, and that the efforts Fox took up were lackluster at the time, and too confusing, especially with "Fox Carolina" down the street in Greenville, so "FOX 46" was the only option.

 

Then again, it will likely mean the "bleh" Nexstar FOX package, a downgrade from some of the Tribune variants still on the air at the Fox 8's in Greensboro and Cleveland.

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16 minutes ago, tyrannical bastard said:

I'm ok with the return of the "Fox Charlotte" branding.  Enough time has passed since the switch from WCCB to WJZY, and that the efforts Fox took up were lackluster at the time, and too confusing, especially with "Fox Carolina" down the street in Greenville, so "FOX 46" was the only option.

 

Then again, it will likely mean the "bleh" Nexstar FOX package, a downgrade from some of the Tribune variants still on the air at the Fox 8's in Greensboro and Cleveland.

With Gray set to take over Fox Carolina, wonder if they will go back to Fox 21?

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Yep, it makes the Fox affiliate of a major market looks small market.  NewsNation will continue to get nothing in constantly forcing stations to promote an out-of-date product in 2021. I don't agree with Fox's over-the-air antics with their O&Os nor the FNC, but Charlotte is a better fit for an O&O than Nexstar bs that belongs in any market that's below the top 50 ranking. Watch the ratings drop falter with the unnecessary changes forcing another rebranding...  WCCB might wind up as the O&O in the future.

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foxcharlotte.com already redirects to WJZY's website. So evidently Bahakel sold the domain to Nexstar. I personally don't care much for the Fox Charlotte branding since it seems to ignore the other 21 counties in the market. Granted the lion's share of population - and ad revenue - is in Charlotte, so that's where you can make headway. The branding made sense for WCCB because they historically did well in the city itself and had limited viewership in the suburbs and mountain counties. WCCB's news product all but ignored anything outside of the city limits. It looked like Nexstar was going for a more regional approach like WSOC and WBTV have utilized to their advantage, but now it seems like the will focus on the core of the market. 

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On 8/30/2021 at 11:49 PM, carolinanews4 said:

foxcharlotte.com already redirects to WJZY's website. So evidently Bahakel sold the domain to Nexstar. I personally don't care much for the Fox Charlotte branding since it seems to ignore the other 21 counties in the market. Granted the lion's share of population - and ad revenue - is in Charlotte, so that's where you can make headway. The branding made sense for WCCB because they historically did well in the city itself and had limited viewership in the suburbs and mountain counties. WCCB's news product all but ignored anything outside of the city limits. It looked like Nexstar was going for a more regional approach like WSOC and WBTV have utilized to their advantage, but now it seems like the will focus on the core of the market. 

Charlotte is too large and prominent of a city to have the "Carolinas" branding in the market. The 3 of the 4 South Carolina counties in their DMA are aligned with and apart of the Charlotte metro area. The Unifour is basically an extension of Charlotte these days and will covered, so the mountain counties outside of Watauga are really left out.  However, they're not really populated outside of Watauga. The thought processes of Nexstar is why failure with this is imminent upon launching. Charlotte is not the Triangle nor the Triad, nor as it was 25+ years ago when the transient population was much lower. Most people especially Millennials and Gen Z don't care except for the political news from each state capitols & governors in Raleigh and Columbia as the remainder is unnecessary regional fluff. Conducting Charlotte as so will always lead to failure in this time or the future. 

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Jeez, the speculation on this is still rampant, and there's a LOT of wrong info here.

 

-foxcharlotte.com was never a Bakahel thing.  foxcharlotte.tv was, however, a Bahakel thing when they were a Fox station.

 

-if you're going to say the 'Fox Charlotte' branding is going to 'ignore the other counties in the market'...okay, so you do realize that two other stations in the market have the 'Charlotte' name in their slogans, and three other stations total, don't emphasize their channel numbers and right?  WBTV goes just by their call letters.  WCNC goes by 'WCNC Charlotte' and was previously 'NBC Charlotte'.  WCCB, itself, has de-emphasized their Channel 18 position for nearly two decades, going by 'Fox Charlotte' before, now, going by 'WCCB Charlotte'.  Complain as much as you want, but the stations obviously had reasons for doing it--be it financial, or facing the reality of trying to put on the best face to go after the competition that had been well-established in the market for decades.

 

-WJZY had the whole "myFox Carolinas" thing and it didn't work out all that well.  The station itself still slogans as "Fox46 Charlotte"...so taking out the '46'  helps with any additional confusion because of cable--where, let's be honest, last time I checked, on Charter Spectrum cable,  WSOC was on Channel 4, and WJZY was on Channel 8 (I understand there are a variety of reasons for the cable channel positioning, but this goes to prove my point in the long run on why Charlotte stations have had a habit of dropping their branding or, in the case of WCNC and WMYT, having a previous (for the case of WCNC) or current (in the case of WMYT) history of going by their cable channel allotment.

 

-WCCB 'becoming an O&O'...if the station didn't sell after Cy Bahakel died or in the first go when Fox was wanting a station, I doubt they'll do it when approached again.  Additionally, Bahakel likely isn't going to sell their prized possession unless it's the full TV station group, and they're full of a bunch of stations that Fox doesn't want because they're in smaller markets.

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@JackityJack there was nothing about my post that I consider to be rampant speculation. In fact, I've pushed back hard on speculation in this thread and others. It is difficult to detect tone via a written message so I'm going to hope you meant your message in a constructive manner.

 

foxcharlotte.com was indeed a Bahakel thing. (By the way, if you are going to try to "school" someone on facts, you might want to spell the name of the company correctly)  WCCB also owned foxcharlotte.tv along with myfoxcharlotte.com which they used when they moved to the "myfox" platform from Fox Interactive Media.  I only mentioned the foxcharlotte.com URL because it was mentioned that WJZY would be adopting "Fox Charlotte" as a brand. But in case you are interested the myfoxcharlotte.com URL also now redirects to WJZY's site.

 

As for my comment about not liking the Fox Charlotte brand. That's my opinion, not speculation. I'm aware that WCNC went by NBC Charlotte. Just because the #3 station in the market did it, doesn't make it the right thing to do. There are business reasons for and against it, which I laid out.

 

Now, as for the whole Fox buying back a Charlotte station. That is unfounded speculation that I personally have tried to tamp down before. I always try to back up my claims with fact and separate factual statements from opinion. Speculation is something I do not take part in. The O&O chatter comes from one source in this thread and there is no evidence to support this person's claims.

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The strongest legacy analog branding is indeed Channel 3 and Channel 9, with 18, 36, and 46 a bit weaker. And WBTV does identify more by the call letters, although the 3 remains prominent in the logo. I would say Channel 9 used by WSOC is the most prominent channel number branding. And the Circle 9 logo is classic, and one of the first and best looking in the country. However, WJZY has always been well known as Channel 46, so I don't quite understand why they would want to drop this identifier. I guess they don't want to look like a FOX O&O anymore, I don't know. But their current FOX logo and graphics package looks good, so I am sorry to see them change it. And Nexstar kept FOX8 for WGHP in Greensboro and did not change to FOX Triad. So this is a bit inconsistent. And they changed CBS North Carolina back to CBS17 for WNCN in Raleigh, so these changes at WJZY seem like a step in the opposite direction. FOX46 is stronger and more familiar, depicting both the national affiliation as well as the local channel identity.

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2 hours ago, tylerSC said:

The strongest legacy analog branding is indeed Channel 3 and Channel 9, with 18, 36, and 46 a bit weaker. And WBTV does identify more by the call letters, although the 3 remains prominent in the logo. I would say Channel 9 used by WSOC is the most prominent channel number branding. And the Circle 9 logo is classic, and one of the first and best looking in the country. However, WJZY has always been well known as Channel 46, so I don't quite understand why they would want to drop this identifier. I guess they don't want to look like a FOX O&O anymore, I don't know. But their current FOX logo and graphics package looks good, so I am sorry to see them change it. And Nexstar kept FOX8 for WGHP in Greensboro and did not change to FOX Triad. So this is a bit inconsistent. And they changed CBS North Carolina back to CBS17 for WNCN in Raleigh, so these changes at WJZY seem like a step in the opposite direction. FOX46 is stronger and more familiar, depicting both the national affiliation as well as the local channel identity.


WGHP was an ABC affiliate for decades before it became a Fox O&O (and then shifted hands a few times before it became a Nexstar station) and its identity is synonymous with their channel number. 

 

Also, VHF stations are considered more ‘legacy’/been around longer and so having them go by channel number is par for the course.  The old UHF stations, in most cases, and with their news operations, have been around a shorter time, and don’t have the long-time legacy branding that others do—and it’s still often seen as ‘the higher the channel number, the more amateur the operation’ in many respects, and also didn’t have as much of a reach (that’s changed since digital TV came along, but the perceptions remain)
 

This is why WGCL in Atlanta has had an identity crisis.  This is why stations in Fort Myers, Florida (a majority of which are UHF) don’t go by their broadcast channel number, and instead their Comcast channel allotment (look it up).  This is why Roanoke’s Fox station goes by their call letters.  This is by a number of Fox O&Os, for a long time, went by ‘Fox Chicago’ or ‘Fox Philadelphia’. WNCN has had its own identity shifts in the last few years, even before their affiliation switch.  


Some have had ratings success (Fox59 in Indy is a good example), but this isn’t the case everywhere. 

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There are two cross trends that are going on at the same time.

 

With so many cord cutters, OTA channel numbers have become more important—but also less important as many vMVPDs (say, YouTube TV) don't use channel numbers.

 

At the same time, we're also seeing the increased presence of city and region names in TV station branding in the last 10 years. My guess is that this aids SEO. When the "MyFox" era ended, KSAZ didn't revert back to fox10.com and became fox10phoenix.com (they are also Fox 10 Phoenix on all social platforms). Years ago, KNXV added "Arizona" to a lot of its branding and materials, and they slapped a big "Arizona" on KASW when they bought it. NBC famously tried dropping channel numbers, which was both a foresighted idea and a horrible one at the nadir of the NBC-owned station group about a decade ago. We are also seeing this elsewhere in Scripps (see WRTV, for instance).

 

When you're a station like WJZY that has a high channel number and is trying to be relevant, you end up ping-ponging between the two when you refresh (WGNX/WGCL is the most classic example of this, imo).

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