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13 minutes ago, CircleSeven said:

Big News. Gray's largest TV station could be changing its callsign this fall.

 

Its CBS station in Atlanta, WGCL-TV has filed an app to change its callsign to WANF.

 

If approved, the change would go in effect on October 3.

 

Why would a station want to do this?

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There is mounting evidence that this has been in the works for the better part of a year.

 

On November 1, 2021, Gray parked the WANF call sign by changing an LPTV in Tennessee to WANF-LD.

 

On April 25, 2022, Rick Folbaum welcomed a new employee with this tweet: "Welcome to the team! Let's get to work. @cbs46 @GrayTelevision #Atlanta #News #First"

 

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2 hours ago, kshow said:

Why would a station want to do this?

Because WGCL’s ratings have been in the toilet since time immemorial. The only constant at CBS 46 has been an absurd level of instability. Also, I’m not sure how branding by “channel 46” makes you relevant in today’s world.

 

Gray doesn’t want its largest station to be a perennial basement dweller. They needed to end the instability plaguing the station, enhance the newsroom with new hires, and blow up the branding. They’ve done a decent job with the first two so far, and now they’re about to do the third.

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17 minutes ago, GoldenShine9 said:

Does that also get translated for WKTB? I know they are building up a Telemundo operation.

They also bought a station in Summerville/Triton, WKSY-LD, which was a subchannel dead zone for the extreme western part of the market (though it did offer local public access like coverage of local meetings and events); Gray certainly isn't planning for it to forever carry Real America's Voice (that's what's on the schedule; gotta assume the ownership before and not Gray made that deal) and Circle has no affiliate in Atlanta to speak of. It's definitely a move-in and tower move-up target, because it's doing bupkis in Rome and Ft. Payne.


As for this station call change, good on them for finally killing calls that should've died when "Georgia's Clear News" did; if only WATL wasn't being wasted on Tegna/MyNet.

Edited by mrschimpf
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1 minute ago, mrschimpf said:

They also bought a station in Summerville/Triton, WKSY-LD, which was a subchannel dead zone for the extreme western part of the market; don't know what they're carrying now, but Gray certainly isn't planning for it to carry Ion Mystery or Retro TV, and Circle has no affiliate in Atlanta to speak of. It's definitely a move-in and tower move-up target, because it's doing bupkis in Rome and Ft. Payne.


As for this station call change, good on them for finally killing calls that should've died when "Georgia's Clear News" did; if only WATL wasn't being wasted on Tegna/MyNet.

 

Truth be told, if much of its range is in Alabama, they should shoehorn WBRC onto there too to enhance its coverage in the far eastern part of that market.

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12 minutes ago, nycnewsjunkie said:

Because WGCL’s ratings have been in the toilet since time immemorial. The only constant at CBS 46 has been an absurd level of instability. Also, I’m not sure how branding by “channel 46” makes you relevant in today’s world.

 

Gray doesn’t want its largest station to be a perennial basement dweller. They needed to end the instability plaguing the station, enhance the newsroom with new hires, and blow up the branding. They’ve done a decent job with the first two so far, and now they’re about to do the third.

It's nice to see them make some drastic changes. WGCL and WXIA have been slowly limping along with drastically lower ratings than market leaders WSB & WAGS making only minor changes that lack traction. It'll be interesting to see if WSB loses ground as Apollo is more bottom line focused while Gray is throwing money at WGCL. Sounds like the biggest loser here will be WXIA.  

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3 hours ago, CircleSeven said:

Its CBS station in Atlanta, WGCL-TV has filed an app to change its callsign to WANF.

 

If approved, the change would go in effect on October 3.

Perhaps this is when the new set will premiere, and maybe this new branding....

Edited by 24994J
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3 hours ago, Marvin Dillweed said:

Here's the reason for the change. Spotted on VUit.

ANF.jpg

Well, It's About Time.

 

(Oops, wrong station!)

 

But a long overdue move.   Kill the old call letters with fire after what Meredith did to the place....

 

As long as CBS Atlanta doesn't resurface on an O&O in the market, although I doubt Gra wants to "fire" CBS any time soon or vice versa...

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4 minutes ago, tyrannical bastard said:

As long as CBS Atlanta doesn't resurface on an O&O in the market, although I doubt Gray wants to "fire" CBS any time soon or vice versa...

On the contrary, I think this new branding is exactly what Hilton Howell meant by “firing CBS.” It fits with the overall strategy of giving the station its own identity, which it’s never really been able to find all these years. It’s not like they’re planning on dumping the affiliation or anything.

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4 hours ago, CircleSeven said:

Here's the write-up about "Atlanta News First" from TVNewsCheck.

Like atlnews2, I love how they say they’re the hometown station owned by a company based in Atlanta. Guess they forgot about WSB 🙄🙄🙄

Edited by Greggo
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1 hour ago, nycnewsjunkie said:

On the contrary, I think this new branding is exactly what Hilton Howell meant by “firing CBS.” It fits with the overall strategy of giving the station its own identity, which it’s never really been able to find all these years. It’s not like they’re planning on dumping the affiliation or anything.

Channel 46 doesn’t need to have “46” in their branding, either, and why would they? They could easily brand outside of news as “WANF CBS”, “ANF CBS” or … hear me out … “WANF”.

6 minutes ago, Greggo said:

I like how they say they’re the hometown station owned by a company based in Atlanta. Guess they forgot about WSB 🙄🙄🙄

It’s intentional and I love it. Cox ceased being a local company when Apollo bought them out (blame the Cox family losing hundreds of millions on Theranos).

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6 hours ago, Samantha said:

There is mounting evidence that this has been in the works for the better part of a year.

 

On November 1, 2021, Gray parked the WANF call sign by changing an LPTV in Tennessee to WANF-LD.

 

On April 25, 2022, Rick Folbaum welcomed a new employee with this tweet: "Welcome to the team! Let's get to work. @cbs46 @GrayTelevision #Atlanta #News #First"

 

You literally owned this story. Why are you not taking credit for helping to break it?

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58 minutes ago, CircleSeven said:

CMG's HQ is based out of Atlanta, despite being owned by a private equity that's based out of New York.

That’s the point. One company is controlled by private equity. The other is not.

 

They still have the offices but Cox ceased being a “local company” with the Apollo buyout, it merely became the equivalent of a subsidiary.

Edited by Myron Falwell
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5 hours ago, DefinitelyIan said:

It's nice to see them make some drastic changes. WGCL and WXIA have been slowly limping along with drastically lower ratings than market leaders WSB & WAGS making only minor changes that lack traction. It'll be interesting to see if WSB loses ground as Apollo is more bottom line focused while Gray is throwing money at WGCL. Sounds like the biggest loser here will be WXIA.  

 

WSB has already seemed to falter with Apollo, only standing on their laurels as a legacy station with pseudo-local ownership. WAGA is catching up in ratings?

 

I agree WXIA is the big loser.

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So now I ask this question, what next? If the letters WANF are approved and make their debut on October third, should we expect to see the launch of Atlanta News First then as well? Numerous anchors said the new set would debut in October, should we assume October third too? Is a temporary period of ratings instability on the horizon with yet another rebrand Atlanta viewers (like myself) will go through? Finally, moving forward should all new set talk be moved here or should the set and ANF remain separate threads?

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