WOFL: Wikis

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WOFL
WOFL Logo.png
Lake Mary / Orlando, Florida
City of license Orlando
Branding Fox 35 (general)
Fox 35 News (newscasts)
Slogan You Need to Know (news)
So Fox 35 (general)
Channels Digital: 22 (UHF)
Virtual: 35 (PSIP)
Affiliations Fox (since 1986)
Owner Fox Television Stations
(Fox Television Stations, Inc.)
First air date 1974
Call letters’ meaning Orlando, FLorida
Sister station(s) WRBW
WTVT
WOGX
Former callsigns WSWG (1974-1977)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
35 (UHF, 1974-1977 & 1979-2009)
Former affiliations Independent (1979–1986)
Transmitter Power 1000 kW (digital)
Height 392 m (digital)
Facility ID 41225
Transmitter Coordinates 28°36′13″N 81°5′11″W / 28.60361°N 81.08639°W / 28.60361; -81.08639
Website www.myfoxorlando.com

WOFL, channel 35, is the Fox owned-and-operated television station serving the Orlando, Florida metropolitan area. It is licensed to Orlando, with studios located in Lake Mary. It broadcasts its digital signal on UHF channel 22. On cable, WOFL-TV is currently seen on channel 3 for subscribers of Bright House Networks in the Orlando area. It is also available on channel 16 for subscribers of Comcast in Indian River County.

Its transmitter is located in Bithlo, Florida. Its Digital TV transmitter has a power of 1,000 kW.

WOFL and sister station WTVT of the bordering Tampa market commonly share reporters and footage, as other station groups do.

Contents

History

The channel 35 frequency in Orlando was first occupied by WSWB, which went on air in 1974. It was owned by Sun World Broadcasters, hence the callsign. Its original studio was on East Colonial Drive, now the home of WMFE. However, Sun World was in major financial troubles, and as a result, the station went off the air in 1977.

Then-unknown media mogul Ted Turner made an attempt to buy the station, however, it failed because of ensuing legal actions. In fact, for a brief time, the station’s 44-acre (180,000 m2) transmission site was owned by Turner, while the tower and broadcasting equipment were tied up in a judgment claim held by Pat Robertson, owner of the Christian Broadcasting Network. Because of this mess, channel 35 remained off the air until the license was granted to a group of investors known as The Omega Group, with the Meredith Corporation holding an option to eventually buy out the other partners. The station signed back on the air in 1979. Channel 35 then received a new set of call letters, WOFL. The WSWB call letters are now used on the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre affiliate of The CW.

Meredith Corporation exercised its full purchase option from Omega in 1982, and the station eventually moved to a new studio building in Lake Mary in 1986, a major change from the prior studios located in a converted bank building in the middle of Orlando's South Orange Blossom Trail adult-entertainment district.

At the inception of the Fox Broadcasting Company in 1986, WOFL became one of that network's charter affiliates. WOFL was frequently ranked as one of the country's leading Fox affiliates during the network's early years, achieving a number one ranking on several occasions through the early 1990s. It was also the most profitable station in Meredith's multi-station group, despite being the only UHF "independent" station at that time. In the mid-1990s, WOFL took over the operations of Gainesville's Fox affiliate, Ocala-based WOGX channel 51. WOFL began expanded news operations in March 1998, as Fox was pushing for its affiliates to have news. The newscasts were simulcast on WOGX. It launched its digital TV signal on channel 22 in January 2000, and began broadcasting in widescreen format in January 2002.

In 2002, Meredith traded WOFL and WOGX to News Corporation's Fox Television Stations Group, and, in return, Meredith received KPTV in Portland, Oregon. This made WOFL a Fox owned-and-operated station (O&O), and sister station to UPN affiliate WRBW channel 65. Fox had acquired WRBW and KPTV several months earlier when they acquired the stations of the United Television group. This tradeoff protected WOFL as the Fox affiliate. After the trade was finalized, WRBW's operations were integrated with those of WOFL. WOFL was the only network O&O in the Orlando-Daytona Beach market until UPN and the WB were folded into The CW (which is shown on WKCF). In response, Fox formed My Network TV, which airs on the former Fox-owned UPN stations, including WRBW.

WOFL began broadcasting in 720p HDTV format in September 2004.

Most of WOFL's programming, including Fox programming, was originally seen in Citrus County on W49AI in the 1980s. The station did nor air WOFL's late-night programming however, as it signed off at Midnight. This arrangement continued until WOGX became a Fox affiliate in 1991.

On April 23, 2007, WOFL launched a new logo, modeled after that of sister station WTVT in Tampa Bay. Ironically, the channel number font harkens back to a WOFL logo from the mid-1980s. WOFL slightly modified their then-new set (the current set premiered on January 2005), started to use new news music, and changed their slogan (from "First on Fox" to "The Most Powerful Name in Local News", reflecting the national Fox News slogan).

WOFL simulcasts WTVT's Tampa Bay Buccaneers pregame show Chip Carter's Tailgate Sunday.

Digital television

On June 12, 2009, WOFL discontinued regular programming on its analog channel 35. It continued digital broadcasts on its current pre-transition channel number, 22. However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display its virtual channel as 35.

WOFL was one of three stations in the Orlando area to participate in the "Analog Nightlight" program, which lasted through July 12, 2009.[1]

News Operation

WOFL broadcasts a total of 39 hours of local news a week (seven hours on weekdays, and two hours each on Saturdays and Sundays), the most of any Orlando-area television station; however as is standard with Fox stations that carry early evening weekend newscasts, WOFL's Saturday and Sunday 5PM newscasts are subject to preemption due to sports coverage.

The station premiered a half-hour 10PM newscast in 1998, and became the first independently produced newscast in the Orlando market outside of the "big three" major-network affiliates. The newscast expanded to an hour in the fall of 1999. In September 2000, the station launched a two-hour morning newscast called Good Day Orlando (now Fox 35 Morning News). The morning newscast expanded to three hours from 6-9AM in 2002, then later expanded to four hours starting at 5AM.

The station began competing against the Big Three affiliates in the early evening timeslot with the debut of the 5PM newscast in March 2006; which expanded to seven days a week that fall. A 6PM newscast was added in August 2007 and an 11PM newscast began in January 2008. Unlike many other Fox owned-and-operated stations, the 11PM newscast does not use the NewsEdge title. WOFL's sister station in Ocala, WOGX (channel 51), currently simulcasts all of WOFL's newscasts except for the 6PM edition.

On February 9, 2009, WOFL became the third station in the Central Florida area to broadcast news in high definition. In June 2009, WOFL shut down their sports department, making it the only Fox-owned station without a sports department. Sports anchors Kevin Holden and Tom Johnson were resassigned to other positions.

In July 2009, WOFL revealed new plans for a new radar called "The Guardian", claiming it will top all weather radars combined with the new radar operating on 1 million watts of power. It was launched on October 27, 2009.

On September 14, 2009, the station rescheduled Fox 35 Morning News to 5-8:30AM and launched an extension of the newscast called Good Day, running weekdays from 8:30-10AM, anchored by Christine van Blokland, Jacquie Sosa, Amy Kaufeldt, and Heidi Hatch.

Fox35 Notable Personalities

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Current On-Air Talent

Current Anchors

  • Bob Frier - weekdays 5pm and 10pm
  • Amy Kaufeldt - weekdays 5pm and 10pm
  • Cale Ramaker - weekdays 6pm and 11pm
  • Sonni Abatta - weekdays 6pm and reporter at 5pm and 10pm
  • Jacquie Sosa - weekday mornings "Fox35 Morning News" (5am-7am) and "Good Day" (8:30am-10am)
  • Heidi Hatch - weekdays "Fox35 Morning News" and "Good Day" (7am-10am)
  • Christine van Blokland - weekdays "Good Day" (also morning reporter)
  • Mike Dunston - weekday mornings "Fox35 Morning News" (5am-8:30am)
  • Keith Landry - weekends 5pm and 10pm (also late evening reporter 3 days a week)
  • Talitha Vickers - weekends 5pm and 10pm (also early evening reporter 3 days a week)

Reporters

  • Elizabeth Alvarez - general assignment reporter
  • Valerie Boey - morning reporter
  • Holly Bristow - general assignment reporter
  • Alexis Brito - general assignment reporter
  • Shannon Butler - general assignment reporter
  • Melissa DiPane - general assignment reporter
  • Steve Gehlbach - general assignment reporter
  • Cheryl Getuiza - general assignment reporter
  • Shay Harris - general assignment reporter
  • Tracy Jacim - general assignment reporter
  • Kelly Joyce - general assignment reporter
  • David Martin - general assignment reporter
  • Patrick Pegues - general assignment reporter
  • Tom Sussi - investigative reporter

Fox35 Weather Authority

  • Glenn Richards (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist seen weeknights at 5pm, 6pm, 10pm and 11pm
  • Jim Van Fleet (NWA Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist seen weekday mornings 5am-9am
  • Sabrina Fein (AMS Seal of Approval) - Weekday Morning Traffic Reporter/Fill-In Meteorologist seen weekday mornings 5am-9am
  • Rob Eicher - (AMS-CBM/NWA Seal of Approval)- Weekend meteorologist seen 5pm and 10 pm weekend evenings.

Past Personalities

  • David Bailey - reporter (now at WWMT)
  • Jo Ann Bauer - anchor
  • Michael Brooks - anchor (now at WGCL-TV as "Mike Brooks")
  • Scott Burridge - sports (now a real estate broker in Portland, OR)
  • Margaret Carlo - anchor/reporter
  • Marissa Tejada - reporter
  • Eric Clinkscales - sports
  • Anne Craig - reporter (now at WNYW)
  • Ken Daily - meteorologist
  • Thomas Forrester - sports
  • Jennifer Graham - reporter
  • John Graham - morning features reporter
  • Penn Holderness - sports (now at WNCN)
  • Donald Jones - anchor/reporter (now at WNCN)
  • Janice Jones - meteorologist
  • Bill Karins - meteorologist/environmental reporter (now at MSNBC)
  • Doug Kammerer - meteorologist (now at KYW-TV)
  • Julie Kim - freelance reporter (now at WTXF-TV)
  • Lauren LaPonzina - anchor/reporter (now at WPTV)
  • Cris Martinez - meteorologist (now at WGCL-TV)
  • Laverne McGee - anchor/reporter
  • Glenn Pearson - anchor/reporter
  • Kristi Powers - meteorologist (now at KRIV)
  • Milissa Rehberger - anchor (now at MSNBC)
  • Shelly Ribando - anchor (now at KOAT-TV)
  • Melissa Ross - anchor
  • Beth Sherman - reporter (now Media Relations - Department of Defense, Washington, DC
  • Ken Smith - Sky Fox reporter (now morning/afternoon helicopter reporter at KLAS-TV in Las Vegas)
  • Brad Stephens - anchor (now at KCTV)
  • Corrina Sullivan - anchor/reporter

News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • News Capsule (1988-1998)
  • Fox 35 News (1998-present)

Station Slogans

  • Florida's Favorite (1980s)
  • Your Generation (2001-2003)
  • Fair. Balanced. First. (2003-2004)
  • First on Fox (2004-2006)
  • The Most Powerful Name in Local News (2005-2007)
  • On Your Side (2007-2008)
  • You Need to Know (2008-present)
  • So Fox 35 (2009-present; local version of Fox ad campaign)
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References

  1. ^ [1]

External links


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