|Channels||Digital: 34 (UHF) Virtual: 17 (PSIP)|
|Subchannels||17.1/17.2 The CWHD/SD|
|Owner||Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc.
(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
|First air date||February 19, 1966|
|Call letters' meaning||The CW Jacksonville|
|Former callsigns||WJKS-TV (1966-1997)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:17 (1966-2009)|
|Former affiliations||ABC (1966-1980 & 1988-1997)NBC (1980-1988)The WB (1997-2006)|
|Transmitter power||863 kW (digital)|
|Height||282.5 m (digital)|
Rust Craft signed channel 17 on the air as WJKS-TV, an ABC affiliate on February 19, 1966. Jacksonville had to wait longer for full network service than other cities of its size. This is because the surrounding suburbs and rural areas are smaller than the city itself.
On January 1, 1980, WJKS and WTLV switched networks with WTLV taking ABC and WJKS picking up NBC. This lasted until April 3, 1988 when WJKS and WTLV switched back to their original network affiliations.
WJKS started a small news operation in its second year. Newscasts were called "Pulse News," "NewsWatch 17," "17 News," then finally "17 First Coast News," when the station began to produce a prime time newscast for WAWS.
In 1996, WJKS lost the ABC affiliation to upstart WJXX after WJXX's then-owner, Allbritton, made an affiliation deal with ABC in several markets. WJKS switched to The WB and changed its call letters to WJWB. It also ended its news operation on December 30, 1996. Ironically, whenGannett, owner of WTLV, bought WJXX and merged the two stations' operations, it called its news operation "First Coast News."
WJWB, with over 30 years of service to Jacksonville at the time of the ABC/WB switch, thrived with the new network, and was consistently ranked as one of the highest-rated WB affiliates in the country.
When The CW was announced in January 2006, WJWB was expected to join the new network due to its status as one of the WB's "crown jewels." However, when the new network announced its first group of stations outside the core group of Tribune Company and CBS Corporation-owned stations, WJWB was not on the list, leading to speculation that The CW would choose to affiliate with WJXT instead.
In March 2006, however, The CW announced affiliation deals with WJWB and sister station WASV (now WYCW, which was affiliated withUPN). On May 26, WJWB changed its call letters to WCWJ to reflect its future affiliation. The station launched a "Farewell To The Frog Tour," as The WB network and station mascot Michigan J. Frog was retired over the summer. A series of humorous promos later chronicled the frog's failed attempts to find work at several local businesses. New station branding began in mid-August, which included ID's with both WB and CW logos.
On October 29, 2007, Media General announced that it was exploring the sale of WCWJ. On January 28, 2009, Nexstar Broadcastingannounced that it had reached an agreement to purchase WCWJ., The deal closed on May 1, 2009 As a result, WCWJ became the first (and so far only) CW affiliate that's owned and operated outright by Nexstar (Nexstar also holds the broadcasting license of one CW affiliate that's operated by another company and also operates two CW affiliates that are owned by a third party) and it is Nexstar's largest television station by market size. The WCWJ web site was redesigned almost immediately after Nexstar closed on its purchase.
WCWJ currently airs several non-news original programs, including YourJaxMusic (a local music show), Tom McManus Uncensored, Local Haunts, and Jacksonville Roller Girls.
In 2010, Nexstar began broadcasting an original fully scripted situation comedy entitled In the Pits, produced by the Backlight Theatre Company, based around the historic Florida Theatre in downtown Jacksonville
The station's digital channel, UHF 34, is multiplexed:
|17.1||1080i||16:9||WCWJ programming / The CW HD|
|17.2||480i||4:3||WCWJ programming / The CW SD|
WCWJ left analog channel 17 and remained digital on RF channel 34 when the analog to digital conversion completed in June 2009.However, through the use of PSIP, televisions will receive WCWJ through its virtual channel 17.
- Pulse News (1968–1973)
- News Scene Today (1973–1977)
- NewsWatch 17 (1977–1986)
- NewsWatch Jacksonville/NightWatch Jacksonville (1986–1988)
- 17 News (1988–1990)
- 17 First Coast News (1990–1996)
- Let's Get Together on 17 (1970-1971, local version of ABC campaign)
- This is The Place to Be on 17 (1971-1974; local version of ABC campaign)
- Hello First Coast, Hello 17 (1974-1975, local version of ABC campaign)
- Welcome to the Bright New World on 17 (1975-1976, local version of ABC campaign)
- Let Us Be The One on 17 (1976-1977, local version of ABC campaign)
- You`re Still Having Fun, and 17`s The One (1977-1980; local version of ABC campaign)
- We're The One You Can Turn To, 17 (1978–1979, local version of ABC campaign)
- 17, Proud As A Peacock! (1980–1981, local version of NBC campaign)
- 17, Our Pride Is Showing (1981–1982, local version of NBC campaign)
- We're 17, Just Watch Us Now (1982–1983, local version of NBC campaign)
- 17 There, Be There (1983–1984, local version of NBC campaign)
- WJKS, Let's All Be There!/17, Let's All Be There! (1984–1986, local version of NBC campaign)
- Come Home to 17 (1986–1987, local version of NBC campaign)
- Come on Home to 17 (1987–1988, last local version of an NBC campaign; before the switch back to ABC)
- Something's Happening on 17-JKS (1988–1989; 1989–1990; local version of an ABC campaign)
- The First Coast is Watching, 17-JKS (1990-1992; 1990-December 1996, based on ABC's 1990 slogan "America's Watching ABC")
- If It's The First Coast, It Must Be 17-JKS (1992–1993; local version of "It Must Be ABC" campaign)
- Watched By More First Coast, 17-JKS, ABC (1993-1996; local version of ABC campaign)
- All the News in 30 Minutes (mid 1990s; news slogan)
- Nobody Does It Like 17-JKS (1996; last localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Jacksonville's Home of the WB (December 1996-2006)
- We Don't Do News... We're Non-Stop Entertainment! (2007–2008)
- WJKS 1977 News Theme, Unknown (19??-1978)
- WTLV 1972 News Theme, Unknown (1978–1981)
- Theme From 'Firepower', Gato Barbieri (1981–1983)
- WJKS 1983 News Theme, Unknown (1983–1985)
- News Series 2000, Gari Communications (1985–1991)
- Real News, Killer Tracks (NJJ Music/HLC) (1991-1995)
- Production Music: Heroics, FirstCom (1995-1996)
- ^ Media General (2007-10-29). "Media General Exploring Sale of Five Television Stations". Press release. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
- ^ Nexstar Broadcasting (2009-01-28). "Nexstar Broadcasting to Acquire WCWJ in Jacksonville, FL in AccretiveTransaction". Press release. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
- ^ Media General (2009-05-01). "Media General Completes Sale of WCWJ in Jacksonville, Fla., to Nexstar Broadcasting". Press release. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
- ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf
- ^ FCC document: "APPENDIX B: ALL FULL-POWER TELEVISION STATIONS BY DMA, INDICATING THOSE TERMINATING ANALOG SERVICE BEFORE ON OR FEBRUARY 17, 2009."