WEAR is the ABC affiliated television station for the Mobile, Alabama/Pensacola, Florida viewing area. It is licensed to Pensacola and is one of two major commercial stations in the market that is licensed on the Florida side of the market, the other being sister station WFGX, a MyNetworkTV affiliate. WEAR is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group.
|Pensacola, Florida/Mobile, Alabama|
|Branding||WEAR ABC 3 (general)
Channel 3 News(newscasts)
|Slogan||First LIVE Local|
|Channels||Digital: 17 (UHF)Virtual: 3 (PSIP)|
|Affiliations||ABC (secondary until 1955)|
|Owner||Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.
(WEAR Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||January 13, 1954|
|Call letters' meaning||The word EAR orWEAR|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
|Former affiliations||CBS (1954-1955)|
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
On June 12, 2009, WEAR-TV left channel 3 and moved to channel 17 when the analog to digital conversion completed.
On their 3.2 digital subchannel, WEAR used to carry The Tube until early 2007, when it was replaced with a Standard Definition feed of their main channel, which lasted until around 2010. Since 2011, The Country Network has occupied their subchannel, moving from sister station WFGX.
WEAR began operation on January 13, 1954, which was almost a year after WALA-TV began. The station was founded by Charles Smith and Mel Wheeler. Initially the station was a primaryCBS affiliate, while sharing ABC with WALA. When WKRG-TV signed on in 1955, WEAR became strictly an ABC affiliate.
In 1959, WEAR was sold to Rollins Telecasting. In 1987, Rollins Telecasting merged withHeritage Broadcasting to form Heritage Media. In October 1997, WEAR and the other Heritage stations were sold to Sinclair Broadcasting, just as the remainder of Heritage Media was merging with News Corporation (the parent company of Fox). This sale also protected former longtime NBC affiliate WALA as the market's Fox affiliate; otherwise, WEAR would have been forced to switch its network affiliation to Fox.
WEAR started producing newscasts in HD on September 7, 2008. The station installed a new digital control room and re-built its news set.
WEAR's newscasts tend to focus on coverage of the Northwestern Florida area as opposed to WKRG, WALA, and WPMI-TV, which predominantly feature news for the Alabama side of the market. WEAR has operated a bureau in Foley in southern Baldwin County, Alabama; however, the station rarely covers events in Mobile itself.
Retransmission Consent disputes
In late 2006, Sinclair entered into negotiations with Mediacom, the main cable provider for much of the Florida side of the Mobile-Pensacola market (including Santa Rosa County and Pensacola Beach). The two companies could not reach agreement over compensation rights. As a result, Mediacom pulled all of Sinclair's stations, including WEAR, from its systems on January 6, 2007. The dispute ended on February 2, when the two sides reached an agreement that restored WEAR to Mediacom systems.
Upon the expiration of the 2007 agreement on January 1, 2010, Mediacom was prepared to drop WEAR and WFGX once again from its systems. Sinclair agreed to a temporary extension until January 8 on December 31, 2009 (so the BCS games could be viewed on Sinclair's ABC and FOX affiliates over Mediacom), and eventually, a one-year agreement was reached which will keep Sinclair stations on Mediacom until 2011.
Sinclair Broadcasting currently has a dispute with Bright House Networks (which serves only Northern Escambia County in Florida and southern Escambia County in Alabama from their Cantonment cluster) and is advising viewers of WEAR that the station may be dropped from the provider after January 1st, 2011.
Current on-air staff
- Lena DeFlores - weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.); also reporter
- Will Kennedy - Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:00 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
- Christina Leavenworth - weekend mornings (6:00-7:00 a.m.), Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:00 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.; also reporter
- Bob Solarski - weeknights at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Sue Straughn - weekdays at 11:00 a.m. and weeknights at 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.; also public affairs director and host of Straughn & Company
- Jared Willets - weekday mornings (4:30-7:00) and weekdays at 11:00 a.m.; also "Healthsmart" segment producer
Channel 3 First Warning Weather
- Allen Strum (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weekdays at 4:00 and weeknights at 5:00, 6:00, 9:00 (WFGX) and 10:00 p.m.
- Jim Carmack - meteorologist; Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:00 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.; also general assignment reporter
- Kathryn Daniel - meteorologist; weekend mornings (6:00-7:00 a.m.); also general assignment reporter
- Christian Garman (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings (4:30-7:00) and weekdays at 11:00 a.m.; also entertainment reporter
- Dan Shugart - sports director; weeknights at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Steve Nissim - sports anchor; Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:00 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.; also sports reporter
- Joe Douglass - general assignment reporter
- Jenice Fernandez - Okaloosa County reporter
- Laura Hussey - Okaloosa reporter
- Anthony Pura - general assignment reporter
- Kavontae Smalls - general assignment reporter
- Amber Southard - general assignment reporter
- Jim Pennington (former anchor & news director)
- Mary Ollie Newman (former anchor)
- Ashley Chisholm (chief meteorologist) - at WEAR from 1993 until 2000 before leaving TV. Now with EW Bullock Associates.
- Dale Emanuel (weekend news anchor) - now public relations representative at Goodwill Industries Portland, Oregon area.
- Lance Sandstead (news anchor)
- Hank Astengo (sport anchor) - now sports anchor for WCJB in Gainesville, Florida.
- Katie Horner (chief meteorologist) - now chief meteorologist at KCTV in Kansas City, Missouri.
- Jeff Weeks (morning weather) - produces "Conversations with Jeff Weeks" on WSRE23 (PBS at Pensacola Junior College).
- William Jackson (weekend sports) - left to KCTV and now with Comcast Sportsnet Chicago.
- Steve Berthiaume (weekend sports) - now with ESPN SportsCenter
- Beth Morgan (weekend weather)
- Sarah Pitzen (weekend weather)
- Annette Falwell (weekend news anchor) - now anchor-reporter at WCTI-TV in New Bern, North Carolina.
- Dave Daughtry (news anchor) - went to WALA in Mobile, Alabama, and is now host of the local WEBY radio morning show.
- Drexel Gilbert (weekend anchor) Left for WPEC and eventually at WKRG and WPMI. Now owner of Drexel Gilbert Enterprises, Inc.
- Heather Tesch - former reporter, now a meteorologist at the Weather Channel
- Ann Kerian - former anchor/military affairs reporter - now "Executive Coach, Consultant and Public Speaker"
- Bob O'Brien (weather anchor)
- Shauna Dunlap - former morning anchor, left WEAR and began working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Charles Basset - former weekend anchor, now at KWTV in Oklahoma City
- Catherine Pegram - former morning anchor, now at WABI in Bangor, Maine
- Sherri Hemminghaus
- Doug Mouton - former weekend sports anchor, now works as a reporter at WWL-TV in New Orleans
- Rob Manning - former news reporter
- David Brandao - former news reporter
- Sara Baumgartner - anchor
- Mark Curtis - Former Reporter/Anchor, now at WLNE-TV ABC6 Providence, Rhode Island
- Byron L. Pfordte - former reporter/newscast director, currently Art Director for Sinclair Broadcast Group stations WXLV & WMYV in Greensboro, NC and Owner of bp Multimedia.
- Erin Ovalle - former reporter, now reporter at Sinclair sister station WGME-TV in Portland, ME
- Francesca Maxime - former 10 p.m. anchor, now hosting the daily TV show Currents in New York.
- Liz Swaine - began career at WEAR-TV; voted "Best Journalist in the Nation" while at KTBS-TV in Shreveport; candidate for mayor of Shreveport, 2006
- Tara Brown - former morning anchor
- Tom Siler - former meteorologist
- Tom Rieland - Reporter and Mobile Bureau Chief 1980-83. Now General Manager at WOSU Public Media in Columbus, OH
- Al Crouch - former news anchor
- Marlene Dela Cruz - former producer, currently the 11pm producer at WUSA9/CBS in Washington D.C.
- The Gulf Coast Newsreel (1954–1961)
- The Gulf Coast Report (1961–1967)
- TV-3 News (19??–1970s)
- Eyewitness News (1970s–1981)
- Gulf Coast News 3 (1981–1980s)
- Channel 3 News (1980s–present)
- We're Still the One, on Channel 3 (1977–1978 and 1979–1980; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- We're the One You Can Turn To, Channel 3 (1978–1979; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- Clearly Yours (early 1980s)
- You and Me and Channel 3 (1980–1981; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- Now is the Time, Channel 3 is the Place (1981–1982; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- Come on Along With Channel 3 (1982–1983; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- That Special Feeling on Channel 3 (1983-1984; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- We're With You on Channel 3 (1984–1985; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- You'll Love It On Channel 3 (1985–1986; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- Together on Channel 3 (1986–1987; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- Something`s Happening on Channel 3 (1987–1990; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- The Gulf Coast`s Watching Channel 3 (1990–1992; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- If It's WEAR-3, It Must Be ABC (1992–1993, local version of ABC ad campaign)
- TV is Good, on WEAR-3 (1997–1998; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- We Love TV, on WEAR-3 (1998–1999; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- Your Clear Choice for News (2000–2006)
- First. Live. Local. (2006–present)
- Official site
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WEAR
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WEAR-TV
- Program Information for WEAR at TitanTV.com