WSAV-TV is the NBC-affiliated television station for the Coastal Empire of Southeastern Georgia and the Lowcountry of Southern South Carolina. Licensed to Savannah, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 39 from a transmitter in Pooler, Georgia. The station can also be seen on Comcast and Time Warner channel 2 with high definition on Comcast digital channel 432 and Time Warner digital channel 805, channel 3 and channel 4 in some surrounding areas. Owned by Media General, WSAV has studios on East Victory Drive (U.S. 80) in the Live Oak section of Savannah. Syndicated programming on the station includes: Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, Dr. Phil, and Oprah.


115px-Wsav dt2.png

Savannah, Georgia
Branding WSAV 3

News 3 My TV (on DT2)

Slogan On Your Side
Channels Digital: 39 (UHF)

Virtual: 3 (PSIP)

Affiliations 3.1 NBC (since 1986; also from 1956-1982)

3.2MyNetworkTV & RTV

Owner Media General

(Media General Communications Holdings, LLC)

Founded February 1, 1956
Sister station(s) WCBD-TV, WBTW,WJBF/WAGT, WRBL
Former channel number(s) 3 (VHF analog, 1956-2009)
Former affiliations ABC (secondary 1956-1970, primary 1982-1986)
Transmitter power 1,000 kW
Height 442 m
Facility ID 48662
Transmitter coordinates 32°3′31.5″N81°17′54.1″W

Digital programming

On WSAV-DT2 and Comcast digital channel 237 is the area's MyNetworkTV affiliate. This airs the Retro Television Network (RTV) outside weeknight prime time. WSAV-DT2 also repeats Dr. Phil and Oprah from the main channel on weeknights after MyNetworkTV prime time.

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


The station signed-on VHF channel 3 on February 1, 1956 and was co-owned with WSAV-AM 630 (now WBMQ) after a long legal battle over the frequency with WJIV-AM 900. It initially aired an analog signal from a transmitter on top of 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 took the NBC television affiliation.

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 an antenna atop the middle of three AM towers at the transmitter facility on Oatland Island. However, without many listeners to the simulcast programming, FM operation was ended 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 in Pooler was built in 1976. In the same year, WSAV-AM was sold. In 1982, the station swapped affiliations with WJCL and became an ABC affiliate. That network had become number one in the country and was searching for stronger affiliates. However, this channel returned to NBC in 1986 one year after that network became number one 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. In 1996, Ellis was sold to Retirement Systems of Alabama who merged it with Aflac's former broadcasting division to form Raycom Media. Since Aflac had owned rival WTOC, Raycom could not keep both channels due to Federal Communications Commission (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. In the 2000s, this station acquired the local rights to the syndicated game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!. Both were previously shown on rival WJCL for almost two decades.

On February 1, 2006, WSAV 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. Its continued service to its viewers being always "On Your Side" whenever a viewer needs to get a story out was also recognized. On September 5, WSAV began carrying MyNetworkTV and RTV on a new second digital subchannel. This service 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". WSAV-TV ended analog services on June 12, 2009, as part of the DTV transition in the United States. [2] The station remained on its pre-transition channel 39. [3] Through the use of PSIP, WSAV-TV's main NBC signal is displayed as virtual channel 3.

Weather with Captain Sandy

This channel 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 weeknight news 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 local children's shows years before) and the owners made the Captain finally conform to convention prescribing him a suit and tie like other newscasters. The owners also fired the puppets shortly after to the almost-certain sorrow of area children. One of the personalities behind the Captain Sandy character was smooth-voiced Joe Cox, who later left WSAV to become weatherman at cross-town rival WJCL, where he also hosted an evening radio program on WJCL-FM 96.5. The original Captain Sandy from 1956 was played by Norm Strand.

News operation

WSAV's news open.

WTOC has led the Nielsen ratings in Savannah for most of the time since records began to be kept. While WSAV and WJCL made a serious threat in the 1970s, WTOC has won every time slot since 1980 often garnering more viewers than its rivals combined. WJCL has never enjoyed as much success as it did under its founding owners. From its start in the early-1970s through the 1990s, the station lagged behind the other big three outlets. Today, for the most part, WSAV has settled to second place. In 1976, this station expanded its news department for the first time and moved into former insurance offices next door to its original Victory Drive studios.

Unlike most NBC affiliates in the Eastern Time Zone, WSAV does not offer midday or 5 p.m. newscasts during the week (It previously did offer a 5pm newscast for some time, but it was cancelled sometime in the early 2000s). The most recent addition to local news occurred on June 21, 2010 when the station added a show weeknights at 5:30. Before this, WTOC had been the area's only channel to air a broadcast in this time slot. Like all RTV stations in the Eastern Time Zone, WSAV-DT2 airs Daytime weekday mornings at 9 for an hour that is produced by sister station WFLA-TV in Tampa Bay.

In early-March 2009, WSAV-DT2 launched the market's only newscast weeknights at 7. 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 featuring coverage from throughout the Lowcountry and the state. There is a weather forecast targeted towards Hilton Head as well as South Carolina sports headlines. 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". WSAV became the last Savannah station to air local news in high definition on March 8, 2011 beginning with the 5:30 pm program. News and weather updates from this station can be heard on: WGCO-FM 98.3, WGZO-FM 103.1 , WFXH-FM 106.1, WGZR-FM 106.9, WLOW-FM 107.9, and WFXH-AM 1130. All news anchors also serve as reporters.

Newscast titles

  • WSAV-TV News (1956-1964)
  • The World Today/The World Tonight (1964-1967)
  • The Sixth Hour Report/The Eleventh Hour Report (1967-1976)
  • TV-3 News (1971-1974)
  • NewsCenter 3 (1974-1980s)
  • WSAV NewsCenter (1980s-1993)
  • News 3 (1993–present)

Station slogans

  • It's 3 in Savannah and Keep Your Eyes on 3 (1960s)
  • Channel 3, Proud as a Peacock! (1979-1981; local version of NBC campaign)
  • Channel 3, Our Pride is Showing (1981-1982; before the switch)
  • Come on Along with Channel 3 (1982-1983; local version of ABC campaign)
  • That Special Feeling on Channel 3 (1983-1984; local version of ABC campaign)
  • That Special Feeling on SAV (1983-1984; local version of ABC campaign)
  • We're With You on Channel 3 (1984-1985; local version of ABC campaign)
  • You'll Love It on Channel 3 (1985; last local version of ABC campaign, before switching back to NBC)
  • Channel 3, Let's All Be There (1985-1986; local version of NBC campaign)
  • Come Home to Channel 3 (1986-1987; local version of NBC campaign)
  • Come on Home to Channel 3 (1987-1988; local version of NBC campaign)
  • Come Home to the Best, Only on Channel 3 (1988-1990; local version of NBC campaign)
  • WSAV, The Place to Be! (1990-1992; local version of NBC campaign)
  • It's A Whole New Channel 3 (1992-1993; local version of NBC campaign)
  • The Stars Are Back on Channel 3 (1993-1994; local version of NBC campaign)
  • Coverage You Can Count On (mid 1990s-2006)
  • On Your Side (2006–present)

News team

News Anchors

  • Dave Kartunen -weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 a.m.)
  • Kim Gusby - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 a.m.)
  • Tina Tyus Shaw - weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, 10:00 (on WSAV-DT2 MyLC and WGSA-TV) and 11:00 p.m.
  • Russ Riesinger - weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, 10:00 (on WSAV-DT2 MyLC and WGSA-TV) and 11:00 p.m.
  • Tracy Hayes - weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.

Storm Team 3

  • Kris Posman (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist seen weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, 10:00 (on WSAV-DT2 MyLC and WGSA-TV) and 11:00 p.m.
  • Lee Haywood (NWA Seal of Approval) - weekday morning meteorologist (5:00-7:00 a.m.)
  • Matt Devitt - meteorologist seen weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.


  • Ken Slats - Sports Director seen weeknights at 10:00 (on WSAV-DT2 MyLC and WGSA-TV) and 11:00 p.m.
  • Jesse Blanco - sports anchor seen weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.


  • Natalie Hendrix - The Southern Scene seen weekdays at 12:00 noon


  • JoAnn Merrigan
  • Andrew Davis
  • Sheila Parker
  • Meredith Ley
  • Raquel Rodriguez
  • Greg Gullberg
  • Martin Staunton
  • Brittany Shane - South Carolina
  • Ashleigh Holland - South Carolina
  • Will Nunley -
  • Robert Kittle - Media General South Carolina Capitol Bureau

Former staff

  • 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)
  • Michael Jordan, anchor and reporter, 1997-2004 (now president of Cosmos Mariner Productions in Savannah)
  • 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 WPDE, Florence/Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)
  • Jed Mescon, anchor/reporter (now at WRCB-TV, Chattanooga, Tennessee)
  • Gary Miller, Sports Director (1978-1982) later CNN (now at ESPN)
  • Jim Noble, Sports Director (1988-1992), now TNT/PRN NASCAR reporter
  • Eric Paulsen, anchor (1973-1976) (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
  • Richard Rogers, weekend anchor/reporter (now at WRDW-TV Augusta, Georgia.)
  • Ben Smith, meteorologist (now at WFTV, Orlando, Florida)
  • Tom Snyder
  • Don Stone, weatherman (1974-1976) later general manager WAEC Radio, Atlanta, now owner Express Publications, Atlanta, GA)
  • Glenn Zimmerman, reporter (now at WNBC-TV, New York)


  1. ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films", Boxoffice: 13, November 10, 1956
  2. ^
  3. ^ CDBS Print

External links