WAGA-TV, virtual channel 5.1 (RF digital channel 27) is an owned-and-operated television station of the News Corporation-owned Fox Television Network and based in Atlanta, Georgia,United States.

WAGA hortizonal logo 2.jpg
Atlanta, Georgia
Branding Fox 5 Atlanta (general)

Fox 5 News (newscasts)

Slogan Dedicated, Determined, Dependable; The Most Powerful Name in Local News (news)So Fox 5 (general)
Channels Digital: 27 (UHF)Virtual: 5 (PSIP)
  • 5.1: Fox (O&O)
  • 5.2: Movies!
  • 5.3: Buzzr
  • 5.4: Light TV
  • 5.5: Decades
Affiliations Fox
Owner Fox Television Stations, Inc.

(New World Communications of Atlanta, Inc.)

First air date March 8, 1949
Call letters' meaning 'W 'Atlanta, GeorgiA
Former callsigns WAGA-TV (1949-1998)

WAGA (1998-2009)

Former channel number(s) Analog:

Channel 5 (1949-2009)

Former affiliations Primary:CBS (1949-1994)

Secondary: ABC (1949-1951) DuMont (1949-1955)

Transmitter power 1000 kW (digital)
Height 332 m (digital)
Facility ID 70689
Transmitter coordinates 33°47′51″N 84°20′1.6″W

The station's transmitter is co-located with its studios on Briarcliff Road NE in DeKalb County, just west of Emory University, and next to South Fork Peachtree Creek in the Druid Hills area; just south of the North Druid hills towers (just north of the creek) used by many other local radio and TV stations; however, the station transmits from a TV tower on its own property, and does not appear to have any other stations sharing it.


As a CBS affiliate

WAGA-TV first began operations on March 8, 1949. It was originally owned by Storer Broadcasting along with WAGA AM 590 radio (now WDWD), and WAGA-FM 102.9 (now WVEEFM 103.3), all colloquially called "Wagga". It is Atlanta's second-oldest station, signing on seven months after WSB-TV (channel 2). Originally a CBS network affiliate, channel 5 also carried a secondary affiliation with the DuMont Television Network from 1949 to 1956. It also shared theABC affiliation with WSB-TV until WLWA-TV (channel 11, now WXIA-TV) signed on in 1951. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[1]

WAGA was the only VHF commercial station in Atlanta still on its original analog channel, with WSB and WXIA both having started on channel 8. That allocation was later occupied by WGTV, with the mentioned stations using channels 2 and 11 respectively later on. Storer sold the WAGA radio stations in 1959; however, channel 5 retained the "-TV" suffix for almost four decades longer until Fox dropped it in 1998 (only to regain the suffix in 2009).

WAGA studios

WAGA-TV originally broadcast from TV studios and transmission facilities located at 1018 West Peachtree Street NW. This building would later became home to pioneering superstation and leading Atlanta independent station WTBS (channel 17, now WPCH-TV). Sometime in the mid-1960s, the WAGA stations moved to their current facilities on Briarcliff Road NE on the DeKalb County side of Atlanta. The studio resembles an antebellum Southern mansion, a type ofarchitecture that was typical for Storer's other broadcasting facilities. While this design was somewhat out of place in most of Storer's other markets, it was a perfect fit for Atlanta.

The original WAGA tower is now the site of a different tower for WPCH-TV's analog channel 17 signal, and a backup for WWWQ FM 99.7 (see list of Atlanta broadcast stations by location#Turner tower). Because Storer Cable became part of Comcast, the tower (owned by competing cable TV provider Time Warner, along with WPCH) was removed by October 2009, ending the land lease. The station's studios were used on location in the Matlock episode, "The Reporter", broadcast in 1987.

In 1985, WAGA, along with the other Storer stations, was sold in a group deal to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., a New York-based private equity firm. Two years later, KKR sold the Storer stations to Gillett Communications. After bankruptcy, Gillett restructured in the early 1990s, selling several stations, and changing its name to SCI.

In 1992, SCI filed for bankruptcy and put its stations on the market. In 1993, New World Communications acquired the SCI stations, including WAGA, with the purchase becoming final on May 25. At the time, New World happened to be based out of Atlanta. Because of this, WAGA was made the flagship station of New World for a short period of time.

As a Fox station

In 1994, New World announced an affiliation agreement with Fox; as part of that agreement, Fox's parent company News Corporation acquired a 20 percent stake in New World. This deal resulted in most of New World's stations, including WAGA, switching to Fox beginning in September 1994.[2] However, as in most New World markets, Fox Kids children's programming stayed on former Fox O&O WATL-TV(channel 36), because WAGA was interested in airing more news. All but one station would retain its existing syndicated programming lineup. The lone exception was WGNX (channel 46, now WGCL-TV), which became the new CBS affiliate despite turning it down at first, and sold many of its syndicated shows over to WVEU (channel 69, now WUPA), which became a charter affiliate of the UPN network in early 1995 (eventually becoming a UPN O&O). In the meantime, WATL would become independent until it became a charter affiliate of The WB Television Network in 1995. At that time, Fox finalized the sale of WATL to Qwest Broadcasting (which was controlled by musician Quincy Jones), which merged with WB part-owner Tribune Company in 2000. WATL is now owned by the Gannett Company as part of a duopoly with WXIA-TV.

The affiliation switch occurred on December 11, 1994, the affiliation switch to Fox was originally scheduled for November 27, but was pushed back two weeks while negotiations between New World Communications, Fox and CBS were ongoing.[3] At that point, WAGA's 45-year stint as a CBS affiliate came to an end. Before the switch, WAGA was the longest-tenured CBS affiliate south of Washington, D.C.; an honor now held by WBTV in Charlotte, North Carolina.

With the affiliation switch, WAGA poured more resources into its news department. It added local newscast in morning and early evening timeslots, along with the move of the 11 p.m. newscast to 10 p.m., and the station also ran first-run syndicated talk/reality shows, game shows and movies. It did not run any children's programming except for some educational shows on the weekends. Also, with the affiliation switch, WAGA remained the home station for the Atlanta Falcons; a year before the affiliation changeover, Fox had then-recently won the television rights to the National Football Conference of the NFL[4] – a major reason why it sought an affiliation deal with New World. Since the Falcons play in the NFC, channel 5 had carried most Falcons games since the team's inception. In 2005, WAGA and the Falcons celebrated 40 years together.

Early in 1997, New World merged with Fox. Upon becoming a Fox-owned station (the second in Atlanta), the station rebranded itself as "Fox 5 Atlanta", per the network's branding guidelines. However, New World Communications of Atlanta still remains a shell company for WAGA's license.

Digital television

The station's digital signal on channel 27 was previously multiplexed:

Channels (virtual/physical) Programming
5.1/27.1 main WAGA/Fox HD programming
5.2/27.2 blank (former SDsimulcast)

WAGA-TV also has plans for a Mobile DTV feed of subchannel 5.1.[5][6]

Channel 5.2 originally was for the benefit of smaller cable systems which were taking the fullscreen SD signal straight from the air, and did not want problems due to the widescreen or scan conversion on 5.1. This lasted until the end of April 2009. The channel then stayed blank with no electronic program guide data for several weeks until late June, when it again had identical programming, but this time in widescreen. The 704×480i anamorphic format is unusual, as most SDTV channels use a fullscreen 640×480i format. (By comparison, widescreen NTSCDVDs use 720×480p.) Channel 5.2 again went blank in late July, but continued to have the same program data as 5.1, until it was deleted entirely on December 3.

Analog-to-digital conversion

WAGA shut down its analog signal, on June 12, 2009, as part of the DTV transition in the United States. The station remained on its pre-transition channel 27 [7] using PSIP to display WAGA's virtual channel as 5.

In 2009, the station's first chief broadcast engineer from 1949, Paul Cram (now age 99), was given the duty of permanently turning off the analog transmitter live on the air at 12:30 p.m. on June 12. WSB-TV, WXIA-TV, and WATL also went off the air at the same time, with WSB and WXIA also live in their transmitter rooms like WAGA.

News operation

WAGA broadcasts a total of 55 hours of local news a week (ten hours on weekdays, four hours on Saturdays and 3½ hours on Sundays), the most of any television station in Atlanta, the most of any station in the state of Georgia and the second most in the United States (behindMyNetworkTV affiliate KRON in San Francisco); however as is standard with Fox stations that carry early evening weekend newscasts, WAGA's Saturday and Sunday 6 p.m. newscasts are subject to delay due to sports coverage.

For many years as a CBS affiliate, the station called its newscasts 5 News Scene. In the 1980s, this changed to Eyewitness News. In 1992, WAGA dropped CBS This Morning in favor of a locally produced morning show, "Good Day Atlanta".[8] With the 1994 affiliation switch to Fox, WAGA poured more resources into its news department. Channel 5's news department was already very well respected; for most of its history it was a solid runner-up to longtime leader WSB-TV, but from the 1970s until early 2009 had to fend off a spirited challenge from WXIA-TV. As of mid-2009, with plummeting ratings at WXIA, WAGA-TV has returned to a solid second-place position in the Atlanta news market. After affiliating with Fox, channel 5 increased its news output to 40 hours a week.

On March 26, 2007, WAGA debuted a new logo and set, bringing it in line with other Fox O&O's which had made similar re-designs in the period.

On January 14, 2008, WAGA launched a new 11 p.m. newscast called Fox 5 News Edge hosted by former WSVN anchor Tom Haynes; it is similar to the 11 p.m. newscast on its sister station WTVT in Tampa and other Fox O&O stations across the country.[9] On March 16, 2009 WAGA began producing its newscast in high definition, becoming the last major network-affiliated station in the market to do so behind WGCL, WSB, and WXIA; this was done with the updated FOX O&O HD graphics, that also debuted during the noon newscast.

On September 14, 2009, WAGA expanded its morning newscast to four hours from 5-10 a.m., with an hour-long 9 a.m. extension calledGood Day Xtra, hosted by Karen Graham and Jeff Hill; it is the only local news broadcast in the Atlanta market in that timeslot.[10] On April 1, 2010, WAGA expanded its morning news by an extra half-hour, now running for 5½ hours beginning at 4:30 a.m., becoming the first Atlanta station to do so; the extension was made in order to attract those who wake up go to work earlier than most; the additional half-hour competes against national early morning newscasts airing on WXIA, WGCL and WSB.[11] As of September, 2010, WAGA dropped the Fox 5 Morning News and Good Day Xtra brandings, in favor of keeping the Good Day Atlanta branding.

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • Panorama News (1960s–1970s)
  • TV-5 News (1970s)
  • TV-5/5 News Scene (1970s–1981)[12]
  • TV-5/Channel 5/Fox 5 Eyewitness News (1981–1998)[13]
  • Good Day Atlanta (morning newscast; 1992–present)[14]
  • Eyewitness News Primetime (10 p.m. newscast; 1994–1998)
  • Fox 5 News (1998–present)[15]

Station slogans

  • The Best is Right Here on TV-5 / TV-5 is Easy on the Eyes (1973-1974; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • See The Best...TV-5 (1974-1975; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Catch the Brightest Stars on TV-5 (1975-1976; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • 5 Belongs (1970s-1980)
  • TV-5, We're the Hot Ones (1976-1977; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • There's Something in the Air, on TV-5 (1977-1978; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • TV-5, Turn Us On, We'll Turn You On (1978-1979; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • We're Looking Good on TV-5 (1979-1980; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Looking Good Together, Channel 5 (1980-1981; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Reach for the Stars on Channel 5 (1981-1982; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Great Moments on Channel 5 (1982-1983; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • The News Specialists (1982-1986)[1]
  • We've Got the Touch, You and Channel 5 (1983-1984; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • You and Channel 5, We've Got the Touch (1984-1985; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • We've Got the Touch on Channel 5 (1985-1986; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Share The Spirit on Channel 5 (1986-1987; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Good News, Atlanta! (1986–1988; used during period station used Frank Gari's "Good News")
  • Channel 5 Spirit, oh yes (1987-1988; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Dedicated, Determined, Dependable (1988–present)[2]
  • You Can Feel It on Channel 5 (1988-1989; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Atlanta, Get Ready for Channel 5 / Get Ready for Channel 5 (1989-1991; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • The Look of Atlanta is Channel 5 (1991-1992; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • This is CBS, on Channel 5 (1992-1994; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • It's All Right Here (1993–1994)
  • Just Watch (1994–1996; promotion for the switch to Fox)[3]
  • I am WAGA People on Channel 5 (September-December 1994; last localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Fox 5's Kickin' It (1994-1995; first localized version of Fox ad campaign)
  • Don't Look, Just Watch (1996–1999)
  • The Most Powerful Name in Local News (2007–present)
  • So Entertaining, So Fox (2009-present; local version of Fox ad campaign)
  • Fox 5 News Edge, So Informative, So Fox (2009-present; local version of Fox ad campaign used for news promotion)
  • The Fox 5 Weather Authority, So Accurate, So Fox (2009-present; local version of Fox ad campaign used for weather slogan)
  • Fox 5 Sports, So In Your Face, So Fox (2009-present; local version of Fox ad campaign used for sports slogan)
  • Fox 5 Morning News, So Convenient, So Fox (2009-present)
  • Fox 5 News at 10:00, So Dependable, So Fox (2009-present)
  • Good Day Extra, So Fresh, So Fox (2009-present)
  • Fox 5 Weekends, So Convenient, So Fox (2009-present)
  • So Fox 5 (2009-present)

News team

Current on-air staff

Fox 5 Weather Authority
  • Ken Cook (AMS Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6, 10 and 11 p.m.
  • Jeff Hill (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings "Good Day Atlanta" (4:30-10 a.m.), also co-host of 9 a.m. hour
  • Joanne Feldman (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekends at 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Steve Milone (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekend mornings, also weather producer
  • Cheryl White (AMS member; NWA member) - meteorologist; weekday mornings "Good Day Atlanta" (4:30-9 a.m.), also traffic analyst
Sports team
  • Ken Rodriguez - sports director; weeknights at 5, 6, 10 and 11 p.m.
  • Buck Lanford - sports anchor; weekends at 6 and 10 p.m., also sports reporter and producer
  • Karen Graham - sports reporter
  • Bill Hartman - sports reporter; also fill-in sports anchor
The Georgia Gang

Past news staff

Name Position at WAGA Years Active Whereabouts
Nicole Allshouse General Assignment Reporter 2007 co-host of 'Talk of Alabama' at WCFT/WJSU/WBMA
Jim Axel Anchor/Reporter 1962-1996 Deceased
Marc Bailey Morning Anchor/Reporter/"Good Day Atlanta" Co-Host 1998-2002 now at XETV-TV
Richard Belcher Anchor/Reporter 1975-1990 now at WSB-TV
Craig Bell general assignment reporter
Rick Blalock General Assignment Reporter
Tana Brackin Weekend Anchor/Reporter 1994-2004
Carey Coleman Meteorologist
Lee Cook Weekend Sports Anchor 1973-1975
Jenna Cooper General Assignment Reporter 2003-2005
Angeline Correa Hartmann Reporter/"Georgia's Most Wanted" Correspondent 1996-2005 now at Fox's America's Most Wanted
Tom Corvin General Assignment Reporter
Lisa Crane Reporter/Anchor 2002-2007
Logan Crawford General Assignment Reporter/Substitute Anchor
Sharon Crowley General Assignment Reporter now at WTXF-TV
Danielle Dardashti Freelance Reporter now at Connect With Kids
Carolyn Day General Assignment Reporter
Kiet Do General Assignment Reporter now at KPIX-TV
John Doyle Weatherman 1990-1997 retired from broadcasting; currently doing voice-overs, working part-time as a bailiff at the Gwinnett County Courthouse

Stacey Elgin

General assignment reporter

Charles Ely General Assignment Reporter 1978-1979 KXAS-TV 1979-1985, now at KTUL-TV
Tracy Flanagan General Assignment Reporter 2002-2006 Spokesperson for the Fulton County Sheriff's Office
Art Franklin Weekend Anchor/Reporter 2005-2008 Retired from news broadcasting on 5/31/2008 to pursue other interests
Jana Gentry General Assignment Reporter now at WPEZ-FM
Cynthia Good Anchor/Reporter 1986-1997 Founding Editor/CEO of Pink Magazine
Virginia Gunn PM Atlanta co-host
Bill Hartman Sports Anchor/Reporter 1970-1971 and 1975-1996 Retired from WSB-TV at the end of August 2008 and returned to WAGA-TV in October 2009
Christy Henderson Morning Meteorologist 1999-2002 now at WSPA/WYCW-TV
Andy Hiller Political Reporter 1972-1977 now at WHDH-TV in Boston
Roy Hobbs 5PM Anchor/Reporter 1997-2003 last at WCFT/WJSU/WBMA
Jeff Hullinger Sports Anchor/Reporter 1984-2002 now a Political Reporter at WXIA-TV
Russ Jamieson Reporter 1981-1993 a partner at Broadcast Solutions, a production company
Felicia Jeter Anchor/Reporter 1973-1982
Bob Johnson General Assignment Reporter 1969-1974 last seen at WTVC-TV
Margo Johnson Traffic Reporter 2006 Currently doing traffic at WGST
Cheryl Jones Morning Weather Anchor 1987-1988
Yvette Jones Traffic Reporter 2005-2006
Melissa Jue General Assignment Reporter 1994-2001 employed with KEF-Media Associates in Atlanta
Jim Kaiserski Closer Look Reporter ?-1995
Keith Kalland Traffic Reporter/Pilot 1987-2002 Deceased
Paul Kenney General Assignment Reporter
Sachi Koto Reporter 1975-1977 heads a public relations firm
Nancy Loveland Meteorologist ?-1999
Ken MacLeod Anchor/Reporter 1990-1998 now at WBZ-TV/WSBK-TV
Jacque Maddox Anchor/Reporter 1974-1987 Deceased
Karen Maginnis Weekend meteorologist 2002-2006 now at CNN
John Marler Anchor/Reporter 1990-1995 last seen at WHDH-TV Boston
Brett Martin Good Day Atlanta "Road Warrior"/Entertainment Reporter 2007 last seen at WGCL-TV
Pam Martin Anchor/Reporter/Meteorologist 1978-1989 now at WSB-TV
Dave Michaels Anchor/Reporter/Mr. Pix children's program 1963-1971
Charles Molineaux Reporter/Fill-In Anchor 2005-2008
Marc Mooney General Assignment Reporter
Chuck Moore Anchor/Reporter 1972-1980 last seen at WNEG-TV
Karla Moore Sports Anchor 1996-1999
Joyce Morgan Reporter 1983-1984
Don Naylor Producer, Announcer, Singer, Actor, and Director 1951-1959 Deceased
April Nelson General Assignment Reporter/Fill-In Anchor ?-1997 formerly of [WGCL-TV]], moved to Egypt
Deborah Norville Anchor/Reporter 1978-1981 Inside Edition anchor
Paul Ossmann Meteorologist 1988-1998 now at WXIA-TV
Patty Pan general assignment reporter 2007-2010
John Patrick PM Atlanta co-host
Trevor Pettiford General Assignment Reporter 1998-2005 last at WVTM-TV
Leroy Powell General Assignment Reporter formerly of Georgia Public Broadcasting; Deceased
Paul Reynolds Troubleshooter Reporter 1980-1990
MaryEllen Resendez General Assignment Reporter 1990s now at KNXV-TV
Danielle Reese General Assignment Reporter 2004-2005 last seen at WXIA-TV
Doug Richards General Assignment Reporter 1986-2007 now at WXIA-TV
Ken Roberts Anchor/Reporter
Robin Roberts Anchor/Reporter 1988-1990 now at ABC's Good Morning America
Angela Robinson Anchor/Reporter 1978-1983 now at WPBA-TV
Dan Ronan General Assignment Reporter now at AAA Texas/New Mexico as Corporate Communications Manager
Sharon Saunders Anchor/Reporter
Forrest Sawyer Anchor/Reporter 1980-1985 formerly of MSNBC; occasional substitute anchor for NBC News
Glenn Schwartz Meteorologist 1978-1983 now at WCAU-TV
Sally Sears Belcher General Assignment Reporter 1986-1996 retired from WSB-TV; married to WSB's Richard Belcher
Mary Shalvarjian General Assignment Reporter 1990-1994
Guy Sharpe Meteorologist 1968-1977 Retired from WXIA-TV in Atlanta in 1996. After retiring worked at WGFS radio in Covington. Deceased.
Paul Shields Anchor/Reporter/News Director 1965-1991 Deceased
Tony Shin General Assignment Reporter 2001-2003 now at KNSD-TV
Jim Shuler General Assignment Reporter 1980-1990
Orelon Sidney Weekend/Substitute Meteorologist 2006-2007 last seen at WXIA-TV
Janette Smith Morning Anchor/Good Day Atlanta Co-Host 2000-2002 now at the DIY Network
Mary Stimmel Editorial Director, Viewpoint Host 1973-1990 retired; lives on the GA coast and France
Brad Stone Traffic Reporter last seen at WSB-TV
Mary Tan General Assignment Reporter now communication coordinator in Brooklyn Park, MN
Jim Thomas Producer/Reporter/Anchor 1979-1980 retired
Tony Thomas general assignment reporter 2009 now at WSB-TV
Cory Thompson Weekend Anchor/Reporter 1998-2004 now Board Director at DeKalb Technical College
Mirtha Vaca General Assignment Reporter 2001-2004 last seen at KING-TV in Seattle
Harmon Wages Sports Anchor/Reporter
Richard Warner Reporter/Substitute host "Good Day Atlanta" 1993-2003 now at Georgia Public Broadcasting
Shirley Washington Anchor/Reporter now at KTVI-TV
Bernard Watson General Assignment Reporter now at WGCL-TV
Ken Watts Anchor/Reporter 1981-1997 formerly of WXIA-TV, now at HD Net
Kelly Wolf General Assignment Reporter
Brenda Wood Anchor/Reporter 1988-1997 now at WXIA-TV
Judy Woodruff Anchor/Reporter 1970-1975 now on PBS's News Hour

Station Logos


  1. ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films", Boxoffice: 13, November 10, 1956
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  7. ^ CDBS Print
  8. ^ Carter, Bill. "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; CBS's Ruptured Ties To Affiliates. New York Times 14 September 1992: 1.
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  11. ^
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  19. ^ Gurvir Dhindsa Returns To WAGA Atlanta, TVNewsCheck, March 8, 2011.

External links