WTLV-TV is the NBC-affiliated television station for Jacksonville, Florida. The station broadcasts a digital signal on VHF channel 13. The station is owned by Gannett as part of a duopoly with the area's ABC affiliate, WJXX. The two stations share studios located on East Adams Street in downtown near EverBank Field; its transmitter is located in Kilarney Shores. The station serves all of northeast Florida (the First Coast) and southeast Georgia. The station is available on channel 11 on Comcast cable in the Jacksonville area. U-Verse carries WTLV on channel 12 and an HD feed on channel 1012.
|Branding||WTLV NBC 12 (general)
First Coast News (newscasts)
|Slogan||First For You
|Channels||Digital: 13 (VHF)Virtual: 12 (PSIP)|
12.1 - NBC
12.2 - The Country Network
The Country Network (DT2)
|First air date||September 1, 1957|
|Call letters' meaning||TeLeVision or TweLVe (former analog channel)|
|Former callsigns||WFGA-TV (1957–1972)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:12 (1957–2009)|
|Former affiliations||Primary:NBC (1957–1979)|
|Transmitter power||53.3 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||30°16′24″N 81°33′13″W|
The station began broadcasting on September 1, 1957 as WFGA-TV (which stood for "We're Florida and GeorgiA"), owned by the Florida-Georgia Television Company. It was originally a primary NBC affiliate with a secondary ABC affiliation. It was the first television station in the United States designed for color broadcasting. Two years later, WFGA donated tower space, money, and transmitting facilities to Jacksonville's PBS affiliate, WJCT. In 1958 WFGA was selected Newsfilm Station Of the Year by The National Press Photographers Assocation.
WFGA-TV was the first television station to air a live launch from Cape Canaveral in the 1960s. The station provided the remote facilities and supplied video and audio for all three major networks. This earned WFGA-TV the exclusive spot for NBC's space coverage. When WJKS (now WCWJ) signed on as an ABC affiliate, WFGA became a sole NBC affiliate.
In 1972, WFGA-TV changed call letters to the current WTLV following an ownership change. Later that year, Harte-HanksCommunications bought the station and began producing the market's first hour-long newscast, branded as Action News; channel 12 began producing Jacksonville's first noon newscast soon after.
On January 1, 1980, WTLV switched its network affiliation with WJKS (now WCWJ) to ABC. That network was number-one at the time. WTLV's Action News launched the city's first morning newscast, Good Morning Jacksonville, in the early 1980s. Some of the first shows featured Pamela Rittenhouse and current First Coast News chief meteorologist Tim Deegan.
Gannett bought WTLV and sister station WFMY-TV in Greensboro, North Carolina from Harte-Hanks in 1988. On April 3rd, WTLV then swapped affiliations with WJKS, again returning to NBC in what the network called one of its most successful affiliation switches ever. By this time, NBC had become number one once again.
WTLV became the de facto official station of the Jacksonville Jaguars when the team joined the NFL in 1995, by virtue of NBC owning the rights to the American Football Conference. It aired most Jaguars games until 1998, when the AFC moved to WJXT. WTLV also aired a weekly television show during football season called Monday Night Live which went on-air at 7 p.m. every Monday and was hosted by Sports Director Dan Hicken and John Jurkovic.
Gannett later acquired WJXX, the area's current ABC affiliate, from Allbritton Communications in late-1999. As part of this purchase, the company moved WJXX into WTLV's facilities and combined the news personnel of both stations. This created First Coast News which airs on both stations today. The combined news department then adopted the "Global Village" theme by Stephen Arnold Music in 2000 (the package used previously was "NBC: Speed of Life" by Gari Communications). This package stayed until December 2006 when the station switched to "Seize The Day" by 615 Music. Earlier that very year,First Coast News renovated its studios and changed their graphics after long-time anchor Alan Gionet departed.
Early 2006 marked a significant transition period for First Coast News. Alan Gionet had been the 5, 6, and 11 p.m. anchor for eight years, and his return to the local CBS station in Denver left the station with an opening in those slots. Gionet announced his departure in October 2005 and was hired by KCNC-TV in November 2005; he left in March 2006. Ken Tonning, general manager of First Coast News, said he received hundreds of applications for the position and had also considered current on-air anchors and reporters. Seven potential applicants were brought in and filmed with Jeannie Blaylock (anchor of the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts) and Donna Hicken (anchor of the 11 p.m. newscast). Focus groups were then brought in to critique each one. On March 28, 2006, the station announced that Shannon Ogden, anchor of Good Morning Live on New England Cable News (NECN) in Boston, would replace Gionet. During the tenure between Gionet's departure and Ogden's arrival, First Coast News reporter Kyle Meenan anchored with Blaylock and Hicken. Ogden started on April 10, 2006.
On September 10, 2007, First Coast News discontinued its simulcast of the 5 and 5:30 p.m. weekday broadcasts on WJXX. The Ellen DeGeneres Show replaced the broadcasts at 5 p.m. on WJXX instead. Since NBC's Today expanded to four hours, the station moved Live with Regis and Kelly, which had previously aired at 10 a.m. on WTLV, to WJXX at 9 a.m. Divorce Court was also moved from WJXX (where it had aired at noon) to 2 p.m. on WTLV. Joy Purdy (who previously worked at WFOR-TV, the CBS affiliate in Miami) also debuted as the new anchor of First Coast News at 7. Weeks later, on October 29, 2007, First Coast News again debuted new graphics in time for the November sweeps. Along with new graphics, Donna Hicken officially identified herself on-air as Donna Deegan. The NBC 12 logo also had changed for the first time since the 1980s. The older logo, a bold-italic, retro 12, was replaced with a non-italic staggered version of the 12 logo.
On May 15, 2008, First Coast News released an email to all subscribers about their website which debuted on May 21. It was announced by Online Manager Linda Mock that the new site was to have a new forum system known as 'Pluck' and would require everyone to sign up, unlike their existing system 'Topix'. A new banner that changes with the weather conditions replaced the old banner that showed the current on-air anchors. Ads also began for every newscast at the top of the screen, which cycles through with previous ads. The new website was also announced via a breaking news alert at the top of the existing website.
In mid-2008, First Coast News began a "Weather Call" service that, by default, informs viewers via telephone of severe weather in their area. The service, which utilizes National Weather Service data to place the call, requires a paid subscription.
On October 23, 2008, First Coast News debuted new graphics and music, the same standardized packages as on every other Gannett television station. The new uniformed graphics were created by G3 (or the Gannett Graphics Group) based near sister station KUSA-TV in Denver; the music was composed by Rampage Music New York.
In January, 2009, First Coast News fired weekend meteorologist Dave Vanore. Michelle Jacobs returned back to First Coast News to anchor weather and traffic in the mornings. The entire weather team shifted, with Steve Smith moving from mornings to 7 p.m. weekdays, and Mark Collins moving to weekend newscasts.
In July, 2009, First Coast News yet again shuffled anchors around. Joy Purdy and Deanna Fene departed First Coast News at 7, with Purdy switching places with Patty Crosby and joining Phil Amato on Good Morning Jacksonville, and Fene replacing departing Victor Blackwell on weekend evenings. Crosby moved to 7 p.m. broadcasts anchoring news, with Steve Smith anchoring weather, and Dan Hicken anchoring sports. Corrine Hautala was hired to anchor weekend morning newscasts.
On February 1, 2010, First Coast News began broadcasting local newscasts in high definition, becoming the third television news operation in Jacksonville to do so. Coincidentally, Action Newson WTEV and WAWS began broadcasting in that format the day before. The entire on-air appearance was revamped, with differently stylized versions of Gannett's standardized graphics being introduced, as well as a brand new set being unveiled, designed by FX Group. With the premiere of high definition newscasts, First Coast News completed the transition to high definition broadcasts on Jacksonville's television newscasts.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed: WTLV aired NBC Weather Plus until it's cancellation, then aired First Coast News Weather Plus on its digital subchannel 12.2. In April, 2009, WTLV moved First Coast News Weather Plus over to sister station WJXX. This was to make room for Universal Sports.
|12.1||WTLV-DT1||Main WTLV-TV Programming / NBC (HD)|
|12.2||WTLV-DT2||The Country Network|
In 2009, WTLV turned off its analog transmitter and remained on its pre-transition channel 13.  However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display WTLV's virtual channel as 12.
WTLV's newscasts, which were known as 12 News until the merger with WJXX in 1999, have always had tough competition with rival station WJXT in the ratings. As a CBS affiliate, WJXT had a strong lead in the number of households viewing its newscasts. However, once WTLV and WJXX merged together, the gap slowly closed to create tough competition in the Jacksonville market. In the May 2007 Nielsen ratings, WTLV and WJXX had a powerful lead. They won the weekday morning, noon, 5:30, 6, and 11 p.m. slots. During the 11 p.m. slot, more people watched WTLV and WJXX than any other local station combined. The 5 p.m. slot went to WJXT because of the powerful lead-in, The Oprah Winfrey Show.
However, six months later during the November 2007 Nielsen Ratings, WTLV and WJXX only won the weekday morning, noon, and 11 p.m. news slot. The 5, 5:30, and 6 p.m. slots went to WJXT.
The May 2008 Nielsen Ratings did not bring the former glory First Coast News had seen before. The weekday morning, noon, 5, 5:30, and 6 p.m. slots went to WJXT, making it the number-one station in the Jacksonville market. WTLV and WJXX won only won slot: 11 p.m. First Coast News remains the second-most-watched television news organization in Jacksonville, behind WJXT but ahead of both WAWS and WTEV-TV.
WJXX is the only television station in Jacksonville to have a weeknight 7 p.m. newscast known as First Coast News at 7 and airs Good Morning Jacksonville Sunday as well.
WJXX and WTLV operate their own weather radar. It is located next to WTLV's transmitter. They also broadcast a weather radar that is operated by the National Weather Service and is located at its Local Forecast Office near Jacksonville International Airport.
- The News on 12 (1957–1971)
- TeLeVision 12 News (1971–1973)
- Action News (1973–1986)
- TV-12 News (1986)
- The News on 12/Tonight's News on 12 (1986–1993)
- 12 News (1993–2000)
- First Coast News (2000–present; with WJXX)
- The Ones to Watch (1968–?)
- 12 Belongs (1979–1982)
- You and Me and TV-12 (1980-1981; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Now is The Time, TV-12 is the Place (1981-1982; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Come on Along with TV-12 (1982-1983; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Now More than Ever (1982–1986)
- That Special Feeling on TV-12 (1983-1984; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- We're With You on TV-12 (1984-1985; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- You'll Love It on TV-12 (1985–1986; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Together on TV-12 (1986–1987; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- The Team to Watch (1986–1988)
- Something's Happening on TV-12 (1987–1988; last localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Come on Home to TV-12 (April-September 1988; first localized version of NBC ad campaign since 1980)
- Come Home to the Best, Only on Channel 12 (1988-1990; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- TLV-12 Cares (1988–1993)
- WTLV, The Place to Be! (1990-1992; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- Making Good Things Happen for The First Coast (1990–1993)
- Your 24-Hour News Source (1991–1996)
- It's A Whole New Channel 12 (1992-1993; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- The Stars Are Back on Channel 12 (1993-1994; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- It's Channel 12! (1994-1995; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- The Year To Be on NBC 12 (1995-1996; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- Your First Coast News Leader (1996–2002)
- Your News Leader (2002–2011)
- NBC 12, Chime In (2003-2004; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- First For You (2011–present)
Current on-air staff
- Phil Amato - weekday mornings on Good Morning Jacksonville (4:30–7:00 a.m.)
- Patty Crosby - weekday mornings on Good Morning Jacksonville (4:30–7:00 a.m.)
- Jeannie Blaylock - weeknights at 5:30 and 6:00 p.m.
- Lewis Turner - weeknights at 5:30 p.m.
- Shannon Odgen - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Laura Caso - Saturday mornings on Good Morning Jacksonville (8:00-10:00 a.m.)
- Jessica Clark - weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
First Coast Weather Team
- Tim Deegan (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Mike Prangley - meteorologist; weekend mornings on Good Morning Jacksonville (8:00-10:00 a.m.) and 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Steve Smith (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings on Good Morning Jacksonville (4:30–7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
- Lewis Turner - meteorologist; fill-in
- Chad Cushnir - Sports Director; Weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Chris Porter - Sports Anchor; Weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Ken Amaro - weeknight 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. consumer reporter
- David Williams - consumer reporter
- Kathyrn Jeffries - general assignment reporter
- Michelle Quesada - general assignment reporter
- Lindsey Boetsch - general assignment reporter
- Heather Crawford - general assignment reporter
- Andrew Capasso - general assignment reporter
- Mike Lyons - general assignment reporter; also assignment editor
- Jacob Long - weekday morning reporter (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Roger Weeder - weekday morning reporter (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- ^ a b "GMJ: The City's First Morning Newscast". First Coast News. Retrieved October 29, 2007.
- ^ "News Music Search Archive". SouthernMedia. Retrieved October 29, 2007.
- ^ "Gionet's October Departure". Florida News Center. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
- ^ "Gionet's October Departure". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
- ^ "Ogden's April Arrival". Florida News Center. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
- ^ "Ogden's April Arrival". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
- ^ "ONLINE EXTRA: Preview the all-new firstcoastnews.com". First Coast News. Retrieved May 15, 2008.
- ^ "Gannett Graphics to Revolve Around AXIS". TVNEWSDAY. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf
- ^ CDBS Print
- ^ Rausch, Paula (June 17, 1996). "Channel 4 beats 12 in May 1996 Nielsens". The Jacksonville Business Journal. Retrieved October 5, 2007.
- ^ "Nielsen ratings show WTLV gain". The Jacksonville Business Journal. June 19, 1998. Retrieved October 5, 2007.
- ^ "Verdict's still out on WJXT's move". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved October 5, 2007.
- ^ McManus, Sean (June 9, 2003). "TV news in transition". The Jacksonville Business Journal. Retrieved October 5, 2007.
- FirstCoastNews.com - Official WTLV/WJXX-TV Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WTLV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WTLV-TV
- A WTLV transmitter is at coordinates 30.273556°N 81.553583°W