Huge changes in the Central Savannah River (Augusta) market…

WJBF 6 / Augusta, GA – Aiken, SC (“ABC 6”)
WAGT-DT 26.2 / Augusta, GA – Aiken, SC (“CW Augusta”)
WRDW-TV 12 / Augusta, GA – Aiken, SC (“News 12”)
WAGT 26 / Augusta, GA – Aiken, SC (“NBC 26”)

FIRST ON THE BLOG: There has been some huge changes in the Augusta television market, more known there as part of the Central Savannah River area. And it involves almost every single television station in the market, thanks to the Gray/Schurz merger.

First off, the station with the least affected changes. WJBF 6 (ABC) is unaffected the merger, with the exception of their 10:00pm newscast. The 10:00pm nightly half-hour newscast that was seen on WAGT 26.2 (CW), which was known as WJBF NewsChannel 6 at 10:00 on CW Augusta, has since been discontinued and has been replaced by The CW Plus programming, which is currently Seinfeld on weeknights and Saturdays at 10:00pm and Cougar Town on Sundays at 10:00pm. This now leaves WFXG 54 (FOX) as the ONLY local primetime newscast in the market. Other than that, not much else has been discontinued, in terms of newscasts, from WJBF 6, even though they have now lost a sister television station, thanks to the Gray/Schurz merger…

Now that the merger is almost complete, as of today Tuesday February 16th, WRDW 12 (CBS) has officially taken over operations of their newest sister station, WAGT 26 (NBC/CW). Because of this, several newscasts are now affected from both stations.

First thing about this new operation… the weekday morning newscast is now simulcast on both WRDW 12 and WAGT 26 and will air News 12 This Morning in its entirety from 4:30-7:00am. The next thing to note is that weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00pm as well as weekends at 11:00pm, WRDW 12 will simulcast with WAGT 26 during those timeslots. Basically, News 12 at 6:00 (weeknights) and News 12 at 11:00 (nightly) will be seen on both WRDW 12 and WAGT 26. Last thing to note is newscast discontinuations because yes, there are some on WAGT 26.

WAGT 26 has stopped airing a weeknight half-hour 7:00pm newscast and an hour-long weekend morning newscast at 9:00am. The 7:00pm program has since been replaced by two episodes of The Big Bang Theory from 7:00-8:00pm as Modern Family also gets taken off the 7:30pm timeslot. And in terms of local news, there is now no local station that airs a 7:00pm newscast in the market. The 9:00am program has since been replaced by Mom’s Everyday, a Gray TV-produced program and 50 Plus Prime, a program described by them as The TV News Magazine for Baby Boomers. Also in terms of local news, nobody is airing a local newscast at 9:00am during weekend mornings in the market and now leaves WJBF 6 (ABC) as the ONLY station to air a weekend morning newscast in the market, as their weekend edition of WJBF NewsChannel 6 – Good Morning Augusta airs for an hour from 7:00-8:00am.

So there you go folks. It seems like there are less local news now in the Augusta market, again otherwise known as the Central Savannah River area. Congrats folks. I’m glad I don’t live there.

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15 thoughts on “Huge changes in the Central Savannah River (Augusta) market…

  1. This crap would not happen in the San Diego TV Market because You do not have one owner owning more then one TV station in that market like in Augusta, GA, There are six different news operations in the SD TV Market and at the same time they have a whole bunch of local news on all the stations in SD. San Diego is a very news saturated TV Market. KSWB-TV 5/69 , XETV-TV 6, KNSD-TV 7/39, KFMB-TV 8, KUSI-TV 9/51, XEWT-TV 12 news in Spanish, and KGTV-TV 10 plus Univision and Telemundo TV Stations broadcasting local news in Spanish. Each news station has its very own news department maybe except for Telemundo since their owned by NBC. More news stations each owned separately means more competition better local news content and more local newscasts to compete what good ole American Capitalism is suppose to be not monopolistic crap like in Augusta, or Charlottesville VA since WCAV owns ABC and FOX stations there. Charlotte NC to a lesser extent has good local news stations with competition WBTV, WSOC, WNCN, WCCB, and WJZY all have separate news operations. Next year the Boston TV Market will be a very hefty news market with WHDH going independent and NBC getting a new station excellent competition on the scale to San Diego WBZ, WCVB, WHDH, WFXT and the WNEU which will be NBC. Philly is also in there KYW, WPVI, WCAU, WTXL and WFMZ

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  2. I am actually very surprised that there has not been any news department mergers in the SD TV Market. I know in LA there has been with KCBS merging its news department with KCAL and they cut afternoon news block last year and KTTV merging with KCOP and KTTV did away with news on KCOP. Sooner or later you might see a news station consolidate with another news station in San Diego. I think if so it would probably be XETV that would be bought out by another station such as KNSD, KFMB or KGTV or KSWB. I know KSWB is owned by Tribune and they have a duopoly in both Denver and Indy.

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  3. Probably alot of jobs loss. companies that consolidate and merge are all about profit and power not employees or people they could care less about jobs and people all they care about is greed and power.

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  4. The only way to stop these kind of news stations mergers like in Augusta is for the Telecommunications ACT of 1996 to be fully repealed the TCC of 1996 has allowed companies to buy out TV stations and merge news stations look at companies like Sinclair, Media General soon to be Nexstar and Tribune.

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  5. I read that the now former WAGT morning anchor team acknowledged the cancellation, and even going as far as encouraging viewers to file complaints/grievances with the FCC over the matter, and to watch WJBF instead of WRDW. Hmmm.

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    • Maybe if the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was fully repealed it would do away with media consolidation because the TCC of 1996 l aw allows Media consolidation such as what happened in Augusta. The TCC of 1996 has caused local media to take a turn for the worst.

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  6. I hate this move. I don’t want to see the same news on two stations. Before I had a choice of news and now I don’t. Meredith gets on my nerves with that hyped up voice. It was good to hear some mild news on channel 26.

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