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WSFA is the NBC-affiliated television station for the Black Belt area of central Alabamamarker that is licensed to Montgomerymarker.. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 12 from a transmitter southeast of Gradymarker along the Montgomerymarker and Pikemarker County line. The station is one of two flagships of Raycom Media (along with WBTVmarker in Charlottemarker) and has studios on East Delano Avenue in the Cloverland section of Montgomery. Syndicated programming on WSFA includes: Entertainment Tonight, Oprah, Ellen, and Judge Judy. It boasts one of the largest coverage areas in Alabamamarker providing at least secondary coverage from the geographical center of the state to the Floridamarker state line and the Black Belt region of southwestern Alabamamarker to the Chattahoochee River bordering Georgiamarker. The station is the default NBC affiliate for the Dothanmarker market as well since that area has no affiliate of its own.

Digital programming

The station's signal is multiplexed. On WSFA-DT2, Knology digital channel 121, and Charter digital channel 136 is a 24-hour local weather channel. On WSFA-DT3, Knology digital channel 122, and Charter digital channel 148 is the Retro Television Network (RTV). It airs Daytime on weekday mornings at 9.

Channel Name Programming
12.1 WSFA-DT main WSFA programming / NBC HD
12.2 WSFA-DT2 "Doppler 12 StormVision Weather"
12.3 WSFA-DT3 "RTV"


History

The call letters SFA stand for South's Finest Airport. They can be traced back to 1930 when Gordon Persons (later to become Governor of Alabama) opened the state's fourth radio station in Montgomery. It was located in what is now the Gunter Annexmarker of Maxwell Air Force Basemarker but was then Montgomery Regional Airportmarker. Persons publicized the station with the call letters and the slogan. WSFA quickly became a landmark in Montgomery and the station was most famous in its early days for launching the career of country music legend Hank Williams, a native of nearby Georgianamarker, in the 1940s. By the mid-1950s, the new medium of television was sweeping the nation and Persons won the construction permit for Montgomery's second television station on channel 12. Ironically, channel 12 was supposed to be occupied by Montgomery's first television station, WCOV-TVmarker. However, due to a delay in getting a transmitter for channel 12, WCOV was forced to move to channel 20.

On Christmas Day 1954, WSFA-TV aired its first broadcast. When the television studios were built, the radio station moved into the facility. In February 1955, just two months after going on-the-air, the radio and television stations were purchased by the Gaylord family's Oklahoma Publishing Company. At that time, they were operated by a staff of 35. In 1956, the radio station was sold, changed its call letters to WHHY, and moved to a downtown location. The television station now operating apart from its former namesake radio partner, was sold again to the Broadcasting Company of the South of Columbiamarker in 1959. During that period, WSFA gained a national reputation for its coverage (fed periodically to the NBC network) of local events in the Civil Rights Movement such as the Bus Boycott of 1955 involving Rosa Parks and the varied activities of Martin Luther King, Jr. during his pastorate at Dexter Avenue Baptist Churchmarker. The station's News Director for much of the Civil Rights era was Frank McGee who eventually joined NBC News and hosted Today until his death in 1974. The Broadcasting Company of the South, a subsidiary of Liberty Life Insurance Company, renamed itself Cosmos Broadcasting Corporation in 1965.

Later in the decade, Liberty reorganized itself as The Liberty Corporation with Cosmos and Liberty Life as its subsidiaries. WSFA was the area's only VHF station until 1985. In 1986, it dropped the -TV suffix. Liberty exited the insurance business in 2002 bringing the station directly under the Liberty banner. Liberty merged with Raycom in 2006. Since that company is headquartered in Montgomery, this made WSFA Raycom's flagship station. However, with their 2006 purchase of Lincoln Financial Media's television stations, WSFA now shares flagship status with Charlotte's WBTV. Tracing back from its humble beginnings as the upstart television arm of a local radio station, WSFA is still broadcasting from its original south Montgomery location. Several expansions of the Delano Avenue facility now provide room for a staff of more than 100 and two large telecasting studios. It originally aired a digital signal on UHF channel 14. On June 12, 2009 for the final shutdown of analog television, WSFA reverted its digital signal back to its analog channel.

The graphics and title card used on each newscast.


In January 2009, WSFA 12 News and several of their Raycom sister-stations added a new feature to their website. WSFA 12's feature is called, My 12.

News Operation

On January 15, 2007, WSFA 12 News added a new newscast at 11 a.m., “Alabama LIVE!”. The show reflects on WSFA 12's slogan which is "Coverage, Community, Commitment". Special guests are on the show every day. The show's hosted by WSFA 12 News Anchor Kim Hendrix.

On Monday, January 7, 2008, WSFA 12 News launched a 35 minute newscast, FOX News at Nine, which airs on two FOX affiliates one hour earlier than WSFA 12 News at 10. It's called, "FOX News at Nine" because it has local news for two FOX affiliates, WCOV-TV (FOX 20) in Montgomery, Alabama and WDFX-TV (FOX 34) in Dothan, Alabama.

On Saturday, August 3, 2008, WSFA 12 News began broadcasting their local newscasts in high definition. The news set and the graphics were redesigned in the transition. On Monday, September 8, 2008, WSFA 12 News officially added an extra 30 minutes to Alabama LIVE!. The show was formerly 30 minutes. Now, it's one full our, leading into WSFA 12 News at Noon.

On Monday, September 15, 2008, WSFA 12 News Anchor Tonya Terry became the host of her own show called, "Talk with Tonya". The show comes on every Monday at 9am on one of WSFA 12's digital channels, 12.3 (Retro Television Network). On Sunday, October 12, 2008, WSFA 12 News premiered a new Sunday morning newscast, Today In Alabama: Sunday Special Edition. The show is anchored by WSFA 12 News Anchor Sally Pitts and Doppler 12 StormVision Meteorologist Allyson Rae.

On Monday, November 3, 2008, the Doppler 12 StormVision Network made the debut of their new Alfa SkyVision cameras. On January 25, 2009, WSFA 12 News returned a live 30-min. call-in show, Law Call. The show airs Sunday nights at 11pm.

Special Reports

  • Food For Thought - Each Thursday on the 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts, WSFA 12's Mark Bullock gives selected health ratings of local restaurants, as provided by their counties' public health departments.


  • Class Act - Each Monday on WSFA 12 News at 10 p.m., WSFA 12 News Anchor Judd Davis spotlights a outstanding teacher, nominated by area viewers.


  • WSFA 12 News Editorial - Each week, WSFA 12 Vice President & General Manager Ken Salvaggi provides commentary on a local or national issue, also soliciting viewer responses or rebuttals.
County Road 12 - Every Friday on WSFA 12 News at 6 p.m., Judd Davis visits places across central and south Alabama for an unusual segment focusing on residents with pursuits or real-life stories.

  • Crime Stoppers - Each Monday on WSFA 12 News at 6 p.m., WSFA 12 News Reporter Jennifer Oravet reports on people in the area who are suspects of crimes to area police and sheriff's departments.


  • Friday Night Football Fever - Every Friday night during football season after the abbreviated 10 p.m. newscast, the WSFA 12 Sports team heads out to local high schools in the area to provide video reports of selected games and scores from all others throughout central and southern Alabama.


Syndicated Programming



Newscasts

Weekdays:
  • Today In Alabama - 5-7am
  • Talk with Tonya - 9-9:30am (only on wsfa.com)
  • Alabama LIVE! - 11am-12pm
  • WSFA 12 News at Noon - 12-12:30pm
  • WSFA 12 News at 5pm - 5-5:30pm
  • WSFA 12 News at 6pm - 6-6:30pm
  • FOX News At Nine - 9-9:35pm
  • WSFA 12 News at 10 - 10-10:35pm


Saturdays
  • WSFA 12 News at 6 - 6-7pm
  • FOX News At Nine - 9-9:35pm
  • WSFA 12 News at 10 - 10:30pm


Sundays
  • Today In Alabama: Sunday Special Edition - 9-9:30am
  • WSFA 12 News at 5 - 5:5:30pm
  • FOX News At Nine - 9-9:30pm
  • WSFA 12 News at 10 - 10-11pm
  • Law Call - 11-11:30pm


WSFA 12 News Team

WSFA 12 News Anchors:
  • Tonya Terry - Weekdays, Today in Alabama, WSFA 12 News at Noon, Talk with Tonya
  • Judd Davis - Weekdays, Today in Alabama, WSFA 12 News at Noon
  • Kim Hendrix - Weekdays, Alabama LIVE!, WSFA 12 News at 5
  • Mark Bullock - WSFA 12 News at 5 (Sun.-Thurs.), FOX News at NIne (Mon.-Thurs), WSFA 12 News at 10 (Sun.)
  • Bob Howell - , Weeknights, WSFA 12 News at 6 & 10
  • Valorie Lawson - Weeknights, WSFA 12 News at 6 & 10
  • Sally Pitts - WSFA 12 News at 6 & 10 (Sat.), FOX News At Nine (Fri.-Sat.), Today in Alabama (Sun.)
  • Cody Holyoke - FOX News At Nine (Sundays)
  • Kim Wanous - Sundays, Host of Law Call
  • Gibson Vance - Sundays, Host Attorney of Law Call


WSFA 12 News Reporters:
  • Eileen Jones - Evening/Legislative & Political Reporter
  • Bryan Henry - Evening Reporter
  • Sally Pitts - Evening Reporter (also weekend anchor)
  • Jennifer Oravet - Evening Reporter
  • Cody Holyoke - Evening/Weekend Reporter (also anchor of FOX News at Nine on Sundays)
  • Melissa McKinney - Evening/Weekend Reporter
  • Daniel Curtis - Evening Reporter, WSFA 12 Wiregrass Newsroommarker
  • Melissa Johnson - Evening/Weekend Reporter, WSFA 12 Wiregrass Newsroommarker


WSFA 12 Traffic Tracker:
  • Andi Scott - Weekdays, Today In Alabama (Also heard on WLWI-FM)


Doppler 12 StormVision Meteorlogist:
  • Rich Thomas - Weeknights, Chief Meteorologist, WSFA 12 News at 5, 6, & 10/FOX New At Nine on Fridays
  • Josh Johnson - Weekdays, Meteorologist, Today in Alabama, Alabama LIVE!, WSFA 12 News at Noon
  • Allyson Rae - Meteorologist, (Sun.) Today in Alabama, WSFA 12 News at 5 & 10, (Sun-*Thurs) FOX News At Nine
  • Dan Atkinson - Saturdays, Meteorologist, WSFA 12 News at 6, 10 & FOX News At Nine *


WSFA 12 Sports Team:
  • Jeff Shearer - Monday-Thursday, Sports Director, WSFA 12 News at 6, 10, and FOX News At Nine
  • Derek Steyer - Friday-Sunday, WSFA 12 News at 6 & 10, FOX News At Nine


News Team Timeline

Personality Previous Position Current Position Year Came
Tonya Terry None Morning/Noon Anchor, Talk with Tonya 2002
Judd Davis None Morning/Noon Anchor 2004
Kim Hendrix Reporter, Weekend Anchor, Producer, 6 & 10pm Anchor Alabama LIVE!, Evening Anchor 1990
Mark Bullock Weekend Anchor Evening Anchor 1998
Bob Howell 5pm newscast Evening Anchor 1976-1998, rejoined in 2004
Valorie Lawson None Evening Anchor 2006
Sally Pitts Producer Evening Reporter/Weekend Anchor (2004) 2002
Cody Holyoke Reporter Evening Reporter/Weekend Anchor (2008) 2007
Eileen Jones None Evening Reporter 1992
Bryan Henry None Evening Reporter 1995
Jennifer Oravet Producer Evening Reporter (2008) 2006
Melissa McKinney Wiregrass Reporter Montgomery-based Reporter (2009) 2008
Daniel Curtis None Wiregrass Reporter 2008
Melissa Johnson Producer Wiregrass Reporter (2009) 2008
Andi Scott None Traffic Reporter 1996
Rich Thomas Weekend Meteorologist Chief Meteorologist (1983) 1981
Josh Johnson None Morning/Noon Meteorologist 2008
Allyson Rae Noon Meteorologist Evening Meteorologist (2008) 2007
Dan Atkinson Chief Meteorologist, Weekend Meteorologist (2006) Saturday Meteorologist (2008) 1974-1982, rejoined in 2006
Jeff Shearer Sports Anchor Sports Director (2003) 1991
Derek Styer None Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter 1999


Former personalities

  • Ashley Anderson - News Reporter (Left in 2007, Now at WAFF-TVmarker in Huntsville, ALmarker as Bobby Shuttleworth)
  • Michael Briddell - News Anchor/Education Reporter (Left in 2004, Now Assistant to Montgomerymarker Mayor Todd Strange)
  • Abby Chin - Sports Reporter (Left in 2008, Now with WIATmarker in Birmingham, ALmarker)
  • Barry Davis - News Anchor (Now at KENSmarker in San Antonio, TXmarker)
  • Mickey Ferguson - Weather Anchor (Not a Meteorologist), (Now at WBRC-TVmarker in Birmingham, ALmarker)
  • Jeff Gerber - Meteorologist (Left in 2005)
  • Gina Gregory - News Co-Anchor with Bob Howell for much of the 1980's, now District 7 City Councilwoman in Mobile, AL.
  • David Hagood - Weekday News Anchor (Now "up the road" at WAKA-TVmarker in Montgomery, ALmarker)
  • Rob Hatchell - Morning/Noon Meteorologist (2006-2008,Now Chief Meteorologist at WMBF-TVmarker in Myrtle Beach, SCmarker)
  • John Heckman - Sports Anchor/Reporter (Left in 2007)
  • Chris Holmes - News Anchor/Investigative Reporter, FOX News At Nine (1990s-Left in 2008, now working at a Washington, D.C. Physics Lab)
  • Beth Jett - News Anchor/Reporter (Now at KQDS-TVmarker in Duluth, Minnesotamarker)
  • Carrie Johnson - Morning/Noon Anchor; Original co-host of "Today In Alabama" (Now executive assistant to Alabama Power CEO)
  • Deloris Keith - News Anchor (Left in 2005; Currently in Atlanta, Georgiamarker)
  • Frank McGee - News Anchor
  • Julie Martin - Meteorologist
  • Kyle Montgomery - Sports Anchor/Reporter (2007-2008, Now with NBA sports in Atlantamarker)
  • Stacy Nuemann - News Reporter (Left in 2007)
  • Joey Parker - Weekday News Anchor (Left in 2003, Now at WCJB-TVmarker)
  • Keysha Perry - News Reporter (Currently a high school teacher in Georgiamarker).
  • Jennifer Schram - Meteorologist
  • Phil Snow - Sports Anchor (Retired in 2003)
  • James Spann - Sports Anchor (Now chief meteorologist at WBMA in Birmingham, ALmarker)
  • Bill Taylor - Morning/Noon Meteorologist; Original "Today in Alabama" co-host (Now at KENS-TVmarker in San Antonio, Texasmarker).
  • Theo Travers - News Reporter (Left in 2006 for WREG-TV, Currently pursuing career in Hollywood, Californiamarker)
  • Jennifer Van Vraken - Weekday news anchor (Now at WVUE-TVmarker in New Orleansmarker)
  • Ryan Vaughn - Morning/Noon Meteorologist (Left in 2006, Now Chief Meteorologist at KAIT-TVmarker in Jonesboro, ARmarker)
  • Debbie Williams - News Reporter (Now at WKRG-TVmarker in Mobile, ALmarker)
  • Alex Wystrach Weekend Anchor/Reporter (Now NFL reporter)


News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • News Room With Frank McGee (1955-1956)
  • WSFA-TV News (1956-1986)
  • WSFA News 12 (1986-1990s)
  • WSFA 12 News (late 1990s-present)


Station Slogans

  • Channel 12, Proud as a Peacock! (1979-1981; localized version of NBC slogan)
  • Alabama's News Center (early 1980s-1985)
  • Channel 12, Our Pride is Showing (1981-1982; localized version of NBC slogan)
  • We're Channel 12, Just Watch Us Now (1982-1983; localized version of NBC slogan)
  • Alabama's News Source (1985-2003)
  • Come Home to the Best, Only on Channel 12 (1988-1990; localized version of NBC slogan)
  • Channel 12, The Place To Be (1990-1991; localized version of NBC slogan)
  • Coverage. Community. Commitment. (2003-present)
  • Where Team Meets Technology (weather slogan)


References

External links




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