WBRC

Infobox_Broadcast | call_letters = WBRC
city =
station_
station_slogan = The Most Powerful Name in Local News
station_branding = Fox 6
analog = 6 (VHF)
digital = 50 (UHF)
other_chs =
affiliations = Fox
network =
founded =
airdate = July 1, 1949
location = Birmingham, Alabama
callsign_meaning = Bell
Radio
Company
(original owner of WBRC radio)
former_callsigns = WBRC-TV (1949-1999)
former_channel_numbers = 4 (1949-1953)
owner = Local TV LLC
licensee = Community TV Of Alabama License, LLC
sister_stations =
former_affiliations = Primary:
NBC (1949-1954)
CBS (1954-1961)
ABC (1961-1996)
Secondary:
ABC (1949-1961)
DuMont (1949-1953)
effective_radiated_power = 100 kW (analog)
1000 kW (digital)| HAAT = 420 m (analog) 373 m (digital)
class =
facility_id = 71221
coordinates = coord|33|29|21.2|N|86|47|56.1|W|type:landmark_scale:2000
homepage = [http://www.myfoxal.com/myfox/ www.myfoxal.com]

WBRC, channel 6 is a television station in the Birmingham/Anniston/Tuscaloosa, Alabama television market and it's affiliated by the FOX Television Network. Its transmitter is located atop Red Mountain in Birmingham. It is owned by Local TV LLC.

WBRC's audio signal can be heard on 87.7 MHz on the FM dial in Birmingham and surrounding areas. This is because the audio signal of channel 6 is located at 87.75 MHz. This frequency assignment applies to all channel 6 television stations in countries using the NTSC-M standard.

History

WBRC began operation on July 1, 1949 on channel 4 as an NBC affiliate. The station also carried secondary affiliations with ABC (shared with WAPI-TV, now WVTM-TV) and DuMont. [ [http://mywebpages.comcast.net/bham.rewound/radio-tv.htm Comcast ] ] It was owned by Eloise D. Hanna along with WBRC-AM 960. The station's call letters stand for Bell Radio Company, after J.C. Bell, WBRC-AM's first owner.

It moved to channel 6 in 1953 to guard against signal interference with WSM-TV (now WSMV) in Nashville, which is due north of Birmingham. The Hntsville-Decatur TV broadcasting region had not developed yet, and two TV stations occupying channel 4 equidistant from that region made both stations unwatchable in northmost Alabama via antenna. (CATV was also nonexistent in that area.) Later on in 1953, Ms. Hanna also sold WBRC-TV to Storer Broadcasting. WBRC became a dual CBS/ABC affiliate in 1954. In that same year, WBRC-AM-FM-TV moved to a new studio built by Storer, where channel 6 remains today. The studio, like many of those built by Storer, resembled an antebellum mansion. Unusually for commercial broadcasters, Storer supported educational television, and she gave two transmitters & frequencies in the general Birmingham area (channels 7 and 10) to Alabama Public Television. (That organization went on-the-air in 1955.) In 1957, Ms. Storer sold WBRC to Taft Broadcasting.

In 1961, WBRC took the ABC affiliation full time, leaving WAPI to share CBS and NBC. That was very unusual for a market with only two commercial stations. Usually, one or both stations carried ABC as a secondary affiliation, since ABC-TV was considered to be the weaker network. ABC would not be on something resembling an equal footing with CBS and NBC until the 1970s. However, Taft had very good relations with ABC. Most of Taft's TV stations were ABC affiliates, including its flagship station, WKRC-TV in Cincinnati, which was one of ABC's strongest affiliates. Also, Taft's chairman was a personal friend of the ABC president Leonard Goldenson.

Another factor, though supposedly not as important as the Taft-Goldenson relationship, was CBS News's apparent strong support of the Civil Rights Movement, which did not sit well with a large segment of WBRC's audience. ABC had very few full-time affiliates south of Washington, D.C. at the time, but now it had the full benefit of one of the South's strongest signals, best antenna locations, and largest coverage areas. Also in 1972, Taft sold WBRC-AM-FM. That AM radio station is now WERC while the FM station is now WBPT.

WBRC was one of ABC's strongest affiliates for years. For a time, it lodged the ABC dot logo inside its own "6" logo (just as it had done with the CBS eye in the 1950s).

In late 1987, Taft was restructured into Great American Broadcasting after a hostile takeover. In December 1993, Great American Broadcasting was restructured again after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and became known as Citicasters.

In the early spring of 1994, Citicasters agreed to sell two stations to New World Communications. The stations were:
*WDAF, Kansas City's NBC affiliate
*KSAZ, (formerly KTSP) Phoenix's CBS affiliate

But Citicasters would not be able to sell WBRC to New World. A month before, New World agreed to buy four stations owned by Argyle Communications, including Birmingham's WVTM. Federal Communications Commission rules at the time dictated that one company could not own two stations in the same market. In addition, the acquisitions put New World two television stations over the FCC-mandated 12-station limit in effect at the time. As a result, New World decided to place WBRC and WGHP, High Point/Greensboro's ABC affiliate in a trust to WBRC/WGHP Holdings for sale to Fox and keep WVTM.

In May 1994, New World agreed to affiliate all of their stations with Fox except for WVTM and KNSD in San Diego which remained affiliated with NBC; these were subsequently purchased by that network. At that same time, it was announced that WBRC and WGHP would be sold to Fox, but put in a trust until Fox could close on those stations. Fox assumed control of WBRC and WGHP in the summer of 1995 through local marketing agreements. Both stations officially became Fox-owned stations on January 17, 1996. Since WBRC's affiliation agreement with ABC did not expire until September 1996, Fox had to maintain ABC affiliation on WBRC for over a year. This also gave ABC time to find another affiliate to serve central Alabama.

WBRC, like WGHP originally did, was originally going to run "Fox Kids" in the 1 to 4 p.m. slot, but once it was determined that soon to be former Fox affiliate WTTO would be left an independent, it opted to let WTTO keep the "Fox Kids" programming. So as a Fox affiliate, WBRC has aired only the prime-time and weekend sports programming of the Fox network. Even in 2000 when WTTO dropped "Fox Kids," WBRC still did not pick it up. Today Fox only offers a Saturday Morning kids lineup; WBRC still refuses clearance. WGHP originally ran Fox Kids, but when Channel 20 in that market offered to pick it up in 1996, it moved off WGHP to that station.

The current weekday line-up includes "The Tyra Banks Show," "Judge Joe Brown," "Divorce Court," "COPS," "Judge Judy," "Judge Alex," "TMZ on TV," "Bernie Mac," "Malcolm In The Middle," "M*A*S*H," "King Of The Hill," and others.

Since the affiliation switch, the station has been known as "FOX6". It has gained the reputation of having one of the nation's highest-rated primetime newscasts: "FOX6 News at 9:00". It also airs 43 hours of locally produced news programming per week, the most in the market. It also has been the ratings leader in the market for the past few decades.

Soon thereafter, it ceased production and broadcasting of local segments of the United Cerebral Palsy Telethon; WBRC was the first station to broadcast the telethon starting back in the 1940s. National celebrities would fly in to appear on this telethon and it was from WBRC that it moved to national prominence. Even in its waning moments at WBRC, the UCP Telethon would air locally produced mini-documentaries from WBRC (produced by Randy Mize and Tom Stovall).

WBRC is one of only a few stations in the country to have had primary affiilations with all three of the historical networks, and the only one in the country to have had primary affiliations with all four current major networks. The station was also one of the first Fox O&O's to launch a website with the "MyFox" interface, which features video, more detailed news, and a consistent interface that is now featured on virtually all Fox O&O station websites.

When Media General completed its acquisition of WVTM from NBC on June 26, 2006, WBRC became the only network O&O in the Birmingham/Tuscaloosa/Anniston market. However, on December 22, 2007, Fox announced that they had entered into an agreement to sell WBRC and seven other Fox O&O stations [ [http://www.newscorp.com/news/news_360.html News Corporation ] ] to Oak Hill Capital Partners' Local TV LLC, which currently owns nine stations formerly of The New York Times Company. The sale of the station to Local TV became official on Monday, July 14, 2008.

David Neal Lawsuit

In May 2008, former chief meteorologist David Neal filed a breach-of-contract and fraud lawsuit against the station and members of the management team. According to lawsuit filings, Neal was fired in March. The station had taken him off the air without explanation the previous month. ["Still No Sign of David Neal on Fox 6," "The Birmingham News", March 26, 2008, p. 3C] The station denied wrongdoing, and began defending the lawsuit. ["Meteorologist Sues Fox 6 Over Firing," "The Birmingham News", May 13, 2008, p. 1B] In July 2008, the station announced that Neal's permanent replacement would be James-Paul Dice, formerly of WHNT-TV, the CBS affiliate in Huntsville, Alabama. ["Fox 6 Hires Dice as Chief Meterologist," "The Birmingham News", July 19, 2008, p. 2C] On July 29, 2008, the parties to the lawsuit filed a stipulation of dismissal, stating that the dispute had been resolved in mediation. Terms of the settlement were not immediately disclosed. [ [http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2008/07/fox_6_david_neal_settle_lawsui.html#more Fox 6, David Neal Settle Lawsuit, "The Birmingham News", July 30, 2008] ]

Previous owners of Channel 6

*1949–1953: Birmingham Broadcasting Co.
*1953–1957: Storer Broadcasting
*1957–1987: Taft Broadcasting
*1987–1993: Great American Broadcasting
*1993–1994: Citicasters
*1994–1995: WBRC/WGHP Trust(sale to Fox planned)
*1995–2008: FOX Broadcasting
*2008–present: Local TV LLC

Chronology

News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

*"Fox 6 News" (1997-present)

tation Slogans

*"The Most Powerful Name in Local News" (2007-present)
*"Coverage You Can Count On" (1998-2007)
*"Alabama's 24-Hour News Team" (1996-1998)
*"Your 24-Hour News Team" (???-1996)
*"Your 24-Hour News Source"
*"Movin' Ahead"
*"You're On Top Of It All"

Current On-Air Talent

FOX6 Anchors

*Scott Richards - weekdays 5, 5:30, and 10PM
*Steve Crocker - weekdays 6 and 9PM
*Janet Hall - weekdays 5, 5:30, and 6PM
*Janice Rogers - weekdays "Good Day" and noon
*Rick Journey - weekdays "Good Day"
*Bill Bolen - weekdays "Good Day"
*Sarah Verser - weekdays "Good Day"
*Karen Church - weekend evenings
*Tiffany Bittner - weekend mornings

FOX6 Reporters

*Christie del Amo - general assignment reporter
*Jonathan Hardison - nightside reporter
*Sherea Harris - general assignment reporter
*Doug Luzader - FOX News Washington D.C. correspondent
*Chris Montana - general assignment reporter
*Ashley Nix - general assignment reporter
*Melanie Posey - general assignment reporter
*Kelvin Reynolds - Tuscaloosa bureau reporter
*Ronda Robinson - "FOX6 on Your Side" investigative reporter

FOX6 Traffic Anchor

*Brooke Davenport - weekdays "Good Day" traffic anchor/reporter

Meteorologists/Weather Anchors


*James Paul Dice - Chief Meteorologist "
*Mickey Ferguson - weekdays "Good Day" and noon "
*Fred Hunter - weekend evenings, fill-in, also special assignment reporter (meteorologist) "
*Dennis Washington - Meteorologist "
*Sara Sanders - Meteorologist"

ports Anchors/Reporters

*Rick Karle - weekdays 5, 6, 9, and 10PM
*Jeh Jeh Pruitt - weekdays at noon
*Sheldon Haygood - weekend evenings
*Mike Dubberly sports reporter

Notable past personalities

* Country Boy Eddie Burns: Longest produced programming, local Country Music Talent [ [http://www.alamhof.org/burnsed.htm Country Boy Eddy Burns ] ]
* Harry Mabry: News Anchor (deceased)
* Joe Langston: News Anchor
* Bev Montgomery: News Anchor
* Brenda Ladun: News Anchor (currently on Birmingham's WBMA/WCFT/WJSU)
* Taylor Henry: Reporter, Tuscaloosa Bureau Chief (now News Director, KNOE-TV, Monroe, LA)
* Linda Mays: News Anchor (currently on WBMA/WCFT/WJSU)
* Andrea Lindenburg: News Anchor (currently morning news anchor on Birmingham's WVTM)
* Devon Walsh: News Anchor (Left to move to her hometown of Mobile)
* David Neal: Meteorologist (weekend weather on WIAT starting October 10)
* Larry Langford: News Reporter (mayor of Birmingham)
* Shelia Smoot: News Reporter (currently on the Jefferson County Commission)
* Tom York: Sports Anchor and host of WBRC's long running "The Morning Show"
* Herb Winches: Sports Anchor (was at WJOX-AM from 1990-2006; at WIAT-TV) for several years before leaving.
* Jonathan Elias (Reporter 1988-1991, now at WBZ-TV in Boston)
* Mike Hogewood: Sports Anchor (currently lead broadcaster for the Atlantic Coast Conference)
* Gil Tyree: Weekend Sports Anchor (currently on WGCL in Atlanta)
* Eli Gold: Sports Anchor (currently the voice of University of Alabama football & hosts the weekly NASCAR Live radio call in show on MRN.
* Mike Raita: Sports Anchor (currently on WBMA/WCFT/WJSU)
* Fannie Flagg: Co-host of "The Morning Show" during the 1960s
* Pat Gray: Weather Reporter
* Mike Royer: Meteorologist (currently news anchor on Birmingham's WVTM)
* James Spann: Meteorologist (currently on WBMA/WCFT/WJSU)
* Ted Klimasewski ("Dr. Ted K"): Meteorologist (currently fill-in meteorlogist at WJXS-TV)
* Art Franklin: News Anchor (retired in May of 2008 from WAGA-TV in Atlanta, GA)
* Wynette Byrd (Tammy Wynette) was a regular performer on WBRC's Country Boy Eddie Show prior to her move to Nashville
* Bruce Cunningham Sports Anchor (currently on WBFF-TV in Baltimore)
* Donna Hamilton: Co-host "The Morning Show" and "PM Magazine" (currently on WBAL-TV in Baltimore)
* Brandy Malone: Traffic Reporter (left for a traffic job on WZTV-TV in her hometown of Nashville)

References

External links

* [http://www.myfoxal.com/myfox/ MyFoxAL.com Site]
* [http://www.birminghamrewound.com/radio-tv.htm Birmingham Rewound: Radio-TV]
*TVQ|WBRC
*BIA|WBRC|TV|TV
*TitanTV|WBRC


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