WSAV-TV: Wikis


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Wsav dt2.png
Savannah, Georgia
Branding WSAV 3 (general)
News 3 (newscasts)
My TV (on DT2)
Slogan On Your Side
Channels Digital: 39 (UHF, PSIP 3)
Subchannels 3.1 NBC
3.2 MyNetworkTV/RTV
Affiliations NBC (since 1986; also from 1956-1982)
Owner Media General
(Media General Communications Holdings, LLC)
Founded February 1, 1956
Call letters’ meaning SAVannah
Former channel number(s) 3 (VHF analog, 1956-2009)
Former affiliations ABC (secondary, 1956-1970; full-time 1982-1986)
Transmitter Power 1,000 kW
Height 442 m
Facility ID 48662
Transmitter Coordinates 32°3′31.5″N 81°17′54.1″W / 32.05875°N 81.298361°W / 32.05875; -81.298361

WSAV-TV is the NBC-affiliated television station for the Coastal Empire area of southeastern Georgia and the Lowcountry of southern South Carolina that is licensed to Savannah. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 39 from a transmitter on Little Neck Road west of the I-95 / I-16 interchange. Owned by Media General, the station has studios on East Victory Drive (a.k.a. U.S. 80 and GA 26) in Savannah near Daffin Park. Syndicated programming on WSAV includes: Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, Dr. Phil, and Oprah.



Digital programming

The station's digital channel is multiplexed. On WSAV-DT2, Comcast digital channel 237 in Georgia, and Time Warner Cable channel 72 in South Carolina is the area's MyNetworkTV affiliate. This also airs the Retro Television Network (a.k.a. RTV) during the daytime.

Virtual channel Physical channel Programming
3.1 39.1 main WSAV programming / NBC HD
3.2 39.2 WSAV-DT2 "My TV"


WSAV-TV went on-the-air February 1, 1956 co-owned with WSAV-AM 630 (now WBMQ). It initially broadcasted from a facility atop a bank building on Broughton Street in downtown Savannah. The flashing WSAV sign was a landmark on the street for many years. WSAV-AM had long been with NBC Radio, so WSAV-TV naturally took the NBC television affiliation. However, it shared ABC with CBS affiliate WTOC-TV until WJCL-TV signed-on in 1970. During the late-1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network. [1] WSAV briefly had an FM station using the middle of three AM towers at the transmitter facility on Oatland Island. However, without many listeners to the simulcasted programming, FM operation was ceased in the 1950s. In 1960, WSAV-AM-TV moved into a brand new facility on Victory Drive where WSAV-TV still is today.

A new tower was built at the site boosting its signal to many of the surrounding counties in Georgia and South Carolina. The current tower was built in 1976. In the same year, WSAV-AM was sold off. Just a few months later, WSAV expanded its news department and moved into a former insurance office next door to the Victory Drive studio. In 1982, the station swapped affiliations with WJCL and became an ABC affiliate. That network had become number one in the country and had been searching for stronger affiliates. However, just four years later, channel 3 returned to NBC in 1986 one year after NBC became #1 again.

In the mid-1990s, like many other commercial television stations in the United States, WSAV was sold several times. Ellis Communications bought it in the early 1990s. However, in 1996, Ellis was sold to Retirement Systems of Alabama, who merged it with Aflac's former broadcasting division to form Raycom Media. Aflac had owned rival WTOC-TV, and Raycom couldn't keep both due to FCC regulations forbidding common ownership of two stations in the same market. Raycom opted to keep the higher-rated WTOC and sell WSAV. In early 1997, Raycom traded WSAV to current owner Media General in return for WTVR-TV in Richmond, Virginia and two other stations.

Recently, this station acquired the local rights to the syndicated game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!. Both were previously shown on rival WJCL-TV for almost two decades.

On February 1, 2006, WSAV officially celebrated its 50th anniversary. To commemorate the event, Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson officially announced the date as "WSAV Day" and lauded the station for its many achievements over the decades and its continued service to its viewers always "On Your Side" whenever a viewer needs to get a story out. On September 5, WSAV began carrying MyNetworkTV and the Retro Television Network on a new second digital subchannel. This channel is also available to DirecTV customers in Savannah on channel 29. WSAV-DT2's website and the digital subchannel feature a logo in the upper right-hand corner of the screen that reads "WSAV-DT 3.2 Savannah". After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion on June 12, 2009 [2], WSAV-TV remained on its current pre-transition channel number, 39. [3] However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display WSAV-TV's virtual channel as 3.

Weather with Captain Sandy

Channel 3 was known for an unusual practice on its newscasts from the 1950s to the 1970s. WSAV was home to Captain Sandy who was something of a hybrid between a weatherman and children's show host. The character gave the weather on the evening newscasts working with puppet sidekicks "Wilbur the Weather Bird", "Arthur Mometer" (the thermometer), and "Calamity Clam". Captain Sandy would appear on the news set wearing a vaguely nautical cap and blazer as a nod to the region's dependence on the Atlantic Ocean. The comedy elements of the forecast included the thermometer and the clam. Captain Sandy’s big thermometer was temperamental and would fidget before revealing the next day's high and low temperatures. When Captain Sandy opened Davy Jones' Locker to get the tide information (a crucial component of any weather forecast in the region) out of Calamity Clam, the puppeteer always tried to bite the captain's hand. By the end of the 1970s, new station ownership found Captain Sandy's routine embarrassing (and likely anachronistic since most television stations had discontinued their local children's shows years before) and the owners made the Captain finally conform to convention prescribing him a suit and tie like the other newscasters. The owners also fired the puppets shortly after to the almost-certain sorrow of area children. The personality behind the Captain Sandy character, smooth-voiced Joe Cox, later left WSAV to become weatherman at cross-town rival WJCL where he also hosted an evening radio program on WJCL-FM. The original Captain Sandy, from 1956, was played by Norm Strand.


Like all RTV stations, WSAV-DT2 "My TV" airs Daytime for an hour weekday mornings at 9. The main channel then re-airs the show's first half hour at 11:30. Unlike most NBC affiliates in the Eastern Time Zone WSAV does not air Midday, 5, or 5:30 o'clock newscasts during the week. WSAV-DT2 broadcasts the market's only weeknight 7 o'clock news. Known as My Lowcountry 3, it airs for an hour. Unlike the main channel's local broadcasts, this production focuses on the South Carolina side of the market. WSAV was the featured city during Al Roker's weather forecast on the April 23, 2007 edition of Today. Roker referred to the station as "WSAV NBC 3". All news anchors also serve as reporters.

News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • WSAV-TV News (1956-1964)
  • The World Today / The World Tonight (1964-1967)
  • Eyewitness News (1967-1974)
  • NewsCenter 3 (1974-1990)
  • NewsCenter (1990-1996)
  • News 3 (1996-present)

Station slogans

  • Channel 3, Proud as a Peacock! (1979-1981; local version of NBC campaign)
  • Channel 3, Our Pride is Showing (1981-1982; before the switch)
  • Channel 3, Let's All Be There! (1986; local version of NBC campaign)
  • Come Home to the Best, Only on Channel 3 (1988-1990; local version of NBC campaign)
  • Coverage You Can Count On (mid 1990s-2006)
  • On Your Side (2006-present)

Newscast music

  • NBC TV-Radio Newspulse by Fred Weinberg Productions, Inc. (1974-1978)
  • WSAV 1978 News Theme by unknown composer (1978-1982)
  • WSAV 1982 News Theme by unknown composer (1982-19??)
  • WSAV 1986 News Theme by unknown composer (19??-19??)
  • KSL 1989 News Theme by unknown composer (19??-19??)
  • This is Your News by Gari Communications, Inc. (1997-2004)
  • The NBC Collection by Gari Communications, Inc. (2004-2006)
  • Media General Station Group Package by JDK Music (since 2006)

News team

Current personalities


  • Kim Gusby - weekday mornings
  • Tina Tyus Shaw - weeknights
  • Russ Riesinger - weeknights
  • Holly Bounds - weeknights at 7 and South Carolina reporter
  • Andrew Davis - weekends
  • Ken Slats - Sports Director seen weeknights

Storm Team 3 Meteorologists

  • Kris Posman (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief seen weeknights
  • Lee Haywood (NWA Seal of Approval) - weekday mornings
  • David Ernst - weekends


  • Randi Hempel - education
  • Alice Massimi - community
  • JoAnn Merrigan - consumer
  • Sheila Parker - crime and safety
  • Kris Hummer - multimedia producer and "Coastal Link" segment producer
  • Tuquyen Mach

Former personalities

  • Alaina Anderson, weekend anchor/reporter
  • James Aydelott, meteorologist (now at KOKI-TV, Tulsa, Oklahoma)
  • Jesse Blanco, anchor (now at WJCL-TV, Savannah)
  • Lyndy Brannen, anchor (now at WJCL-TV, Savannah)
  • Tom Chisholm, meteorologist (now at WMTW-TV, Portland, Maine)
  • Dianne Derby, anchor/reporter (now at WSPA-TV, Spartanburg, South Carolina)
  • Paul Floeckher, reporter (now at Georgia Southern)
  • Mike Fuori, meteorologist (2005-2008)
  • Curtis Gaston, photographer (now at
  • Eric Greene, 11 p.m. anchor
  • Tony Guida
  • Brad Huffines, meteorologist (now at WAAY-TV, Huntsville, Alabama)
  • Dave Kartunen, anchor/reporter (now at WHDH-TV, Boston, Massachusetts)
  • Jayme King, meteorologist (now at KSAZ-TV, Phoenix, Arizona)
  • Steve LaPointe, meteorologist (now at WRGB-TV, Albany, New York)
  • Tim McGinnis, anchor/managing editor (now at WHOI-TV, Peoria, Illinois)
  • Jed Mescon, anchor/reporter (now at WRCB-TV, Chattanooga, Tennessee)
  • Eric Paulsen, anchor (now at WWL-TV, New Orleans)
  • Kaitlyn Pratt, general assignment reporter (2006-2008, now at WAGA-TV, Atlanta, GA)
  • Paul Rea, anchor/reporter
  • Darrel Richter
  • Ben Smith, meteorologist (now at WFTV, Orlando, Florida)
  • Tom Snyder
  • Glenn Zimmerman, reporter (now at WNBC-TV, New York)


External links


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