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WAWS
Actionnewslogo.png

Waws dt2.png
Jacksonville, Florida
Branding FOX 30 (general)
Action News (newscasts)
My TV Jax (on DT2)
Slogan Coverage You Can Count On
Channels Digital: 32 (UHF)
Virtual: 30 (PSIP)
Subchannels 30.1 FOX
30.2 MyNetworkTV & RTV
Owner Newport Television
(Newport Television License, LLC)
First air date February 15, 1981
Sister station(s) WTEV-TV
Former channel number(s) Analog:
30 (1981-2009)
Former affiliations Independent (1981-1987)
UPN (2002-2006, secondary)
MyNetworkTV (2006-2007, on main channel)
Variety Television Network (secondary on DT2, until 2009)
Transmitter Power 1,000 kW
Height 291 m
Facility ID 11909
Transmitter Coordinates 30°16′51″N 81°34′12″W / 30.28083°N 81.57°W / 30.28083; -81.57
Website ActionNewsJax.com

WAWS is the FOX-affiliated television station for the First Coast of Florida that is licensed to Jacksonville. Its transmitter is located in the Kilarney Shores section of the city. Owned by Newport Television, the station is sister to CBS affiliate WTEV-TV. The two stations share studios on Central Parkway in the Beechwood section of Jacksonville. Comcast carries WAWS on channel 10. U-Verse carries WAWS on channel 30 and an HD feed on channel 1030. Syndicated programming on WAWS includes: Family Guy, That '70s Show, Seinfeld, and Judge David Young. The station operates the area's MyNetworkTV affiliate on its second digital subchannel. Known on-air as My TV Jax, it is also offered on Comcast digital cable channel 206. During the daytime, WAWS-DT2 airs programming from the Retro Television Network (RTV).

Contents

Digital television

The station's digital channel is multiplexed.

Virtual
Channel
Physical
RF Channel
Video Aspect Programming
30.1 32.1 720p 16:9 main WAWS programming / FOX HD
30.2 32.2 480i 4:3 myNetworkTV/RTV

History

WAWS first signed on the air on February 15, 1981 as an independent station. It was the first independent station in the Jacksonville area. The original owners of the station were Malrite Television. Initially, the station had a general entertainment format of cartoons, movies, sitcoms, and drama shows. On October 9, 1986, WAWS became one of the charter affiliates of the newly-launched FOX network. In 1989, Malrite sold the station to Clear Channel Communications, a fast-growing broadcasting conglomerate based in San Antonio, Texas. Clear Channel had earlier purchased the first independent station in the nearby Pensacola / Mobile, Alabama market, WPMI-TV (now an NBC affiliate). It was Clear Channel's first television station. As was the trend for many Fox affiliates throughout the mid to late-1990s, WAWS began moving toward talk and reality shows and away from classic sitcoms. In 1993, Clear Channel began managing rival station WNFT channel 47 (now WTEV-TV) under a local marketing agreement (LMA) in which the two stations pooled programming and resources while running the strongest shows on WAWS. WNFT became a UPN affiliate in 1995 and Clear Channel bought the station outright in 2001.

WAWS's former Fox 30 logo until April 12, 2009.

In 2002, WJXT (the longtime CBS affiliate in Jacksonville) decided to end its long relationship with the network after a squabble between CBS and WJXT's owners, Post-Newsweek Stations, over an affiliation contract. WAWS then added UPN as a secondary affiliation, running that network's programming from 11 P.M. to 1 A.M. WTEV decided to drop its UPN affiliation so it could become the new CBS affiliate. On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN announced that they would end broadcasting and merge. The new combined network would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initial of its corporate parents, CBS (the parent company of UPN) and the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner. On February 22, News Corporation announced that they would start up another new network called MyNetworkTV. This new service, which would be a sister network to FOX, would be operated by FOX Television Stations and its syndication division, Twentieth Television. MyNetworkTV was created in order to give UPN and WB stations, not mentioned as becoming CW affiliates, another option besides becoming independent. It was also created to compete against The CW. In March, it was announced that WB affiliate WJWB would become the CW affiliate for Jacksonville and change its call letters to WCWJ. On July 12, it was confirmed that WAWS would carry MyNetworkTV on a new second digital subchannel instead of as a secondary affiliation.

However, until January 2007 (when the new second digital subchannel was actually launched) WAWS's website listed MyNetworkTV programming as airing at 11 P.M. after the WTEV-produced newscast at 10. With the sign-on of WAWS-DT2, MyNetworkTV began airing at its regular time (8 to 10 P.M.) on a dedicated channel known on-air as "VTV". During the daytime, this station aired programming from the now defunct Variety Television Network. On April 20, 2007, Clear Channel entered into an agreement to sell its entire television stations group to Newport Television, a broadcaster controlled by Providence Equity Partners. Since WTEV was also included in the deal, this would have violated FCC rules preventing common ownership of two of the four largest stations in a single market. As a result, the FCC granted Newport Television a temporary waiver for the acquisition of WAWS and WTEV provided that Newport sells off either station within six months of consummation. The group deal closed on March 14, 2008. Newport originally planned to sell off WAWS to another company while keeping WTEV. However, in mid-May 2008, High Plains Broadcasting agreed to purchase the FCC assets of WTEV and six other stations from Newport Television due to ownership conflicts in the affected markets (including Jacksonville). But as this latest group deal was a sale in name only, Newport Television continues to operate the stations (and thus WTEV effectively remains a sister station to WAWS) after the sale closed on September 15. This effectively made High Plains Broadcasting a front company or "shell corporation" for Newport Television similar to the relationship which exists between Mission Broadcasting and Nexstar Broadcasting Group as well as Sinclair Broadcast Group and Cunningham Broadcasting. WAWS is the only Jacksonville television station that has never changed its affiliation.

On April 13, 2009, WAWS completely revamped their news operation. All newscasts on WAWS and sister WTEV are now branded as Action News. This single branding of the newscasts is similar to the way Gannett operates rivals WTLV and WJXX. The transition to new branding also introduced an entirely new set, on-air graphics, weather operation, and web look. Web operations moved to ActionNewsJax.com.

News Operation

News open for WAWS.

WAWS's first venture into local news was through a weeknight 10 o'clock newscast produced by then-ABC affiliate WJKS in the early-1990s. The news, branded FOX 30 First Coast News (not related to the current First Coast News that airs on WTLV and WJXX), would cease production in 1996 after the shutdown of WJKS's news department and eventual loss of its ABC affiliation. WAWS established its own news department and began producing 10 and 11 P.M. newscasts the day after the final WJKS-produced newscast aired. The station later moved the 11 o'clock news to 10:30. Through the years, more local newscasts were added at 6:30 P.M. (on sister-station WTEV), weekday mornings, and at 4 P.M. (which was discontinued in 2007). Following WTEV's affiliation change to CBS, the WAWS morning newscast was effectively "moved" over to WTEV and the 6:30 P.M. news on WAWS was canceled.

In an effort to receive better ratings, WAWS and WTEV hired Mark Spain who was previously the anchor of First Coast News at 7 on WJXX. He debuted as the new anchor for FOX 30 News at 10 on August 27, 2007. The station hired Julie Watkins as their weekend meteorologist. She had worked at WTLV and WJXX before moving to WFTV in Orlando.

Today, WTEV and WAWS share an entire news department.

WAWS uses National Weather Service Doppler Radar on their newscasts. Branded on-air as First Alert Doppler, it is located at Jacksonville International Airport.

Action News uses the The Enforcer as their news music package. It was composed by Gari Media Group.

Interference Issues north of the Jacksonville Market

WAWS's signal (and analog channel) under the right conditions, can often be received along the South Carolina coastline and even as far north as Wilmington, North Carolina. WMBF, the NBC affiliate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina also share the same DT channel number as WAWS. This has created interference issues in Georgetown and Charleston Counties in South Carolina who are wishing to pick up WMBF over-the-air. This is the fact that WAWS's signal is a full powered transmitter while WMBF is more directional.

News team

The Action News team.

Action News at 10 (10 to 11 P.M.)
Weeknights

Inside the studio of Action News.
  • Weather:
    • Julie Watkins
  • Sports:
    • Brent Martineau


WAWS features additional news personnel from WTEV. See that article for a complete listing.

External links

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