High Point, North Carolina
|City||Lexington, North Carolina|
|Branding||Triad CW (general)|
WXII 12 News on Triad CW (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 31 (UHF)|
(shared with WXII-TV; to move to 16 (UHF))
Virtual: 20 (PSIP)
(Hearst Properties Inc.)
|Founded||May 3, 1983|
|First air date||October 30, 1985|
|Call letters' meaning||The CW Greensboro|
|Former callsigns||WEJC (1985–1996)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
20 (UHF, 1985–2009)
19 (UHF, 2003–2017)
Religious Ind. (1985–1992)
The WB (1996–2006)
The WB (1995–1996)
Fox Kids (1996–2001)
|Transmitter power||815 kW|
640 kW (CP)
|Height||572 m (1,877 ft)|
571.9 m (1,876 ft) (CP)
|Public license information||Profile|
WCWG, virtual channel 20 (UHF digital channel 31), is a CW-affiliated television station licensed to Lexington, North Carolina, United States and serving the Piedmont Triad region (Greensboro–Winston-Salem–High Point). The station is owned by the Hearst Television subsidiary of Hearst Communications, as part of a duopoly with Winston-Salem-licensed NBC affiliate WXII-TV (channel 12). The two stations share studios on Coliseum Drive in Winston-Salem and transmitting facilities on Sauratown Mountain in Stokes County. On cable, WCWG is carried on channel 3 in most areas of the market.
The station first signed on the air on October 30, 1985 as WEJC (standing for "We Exalt Jesus Christ"; operating as an independent station, it originally maintained a religious educational format. Initially, the programming was Baptist- and Reformed-based and stayed away from "Signs and Wonders" preaching. The station first operated from studios located off I-85 Business in Lexington. Due to lack of suitable programming as well as the perception of religious programs due to hard times in Christian broadcasting following the Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart scandals starting in 1987, the station was reduced to minimum staffing and operations from the transmitter building near Randleman. It was originally owned by Koinonia Broadcasting. During this time, WEJC's programming was split in approximately half between the Home Shopping Club and religious programming. In 1990, the station moved its operations to a new studio facility located on Guilford College Road in Greensboro, eventually resuming local studio production and eliminated most of the HSN programming. The station was affiliated with the a broader-based evangelical Christian Television Network from 1990 until March 1996.
Koinonia sold the station to Pappas Telecasting in 1995. Initially it kept the religious format, but it soon became a WB affiliate, and added that network's programming to its lineup immediately after the sale was finalized. On March 14, 1996, it changed its call letters to WBFX. Religious programming was reduced to mornings from 5-7 a.m. and 9 a.m.-noon in the spring of 1996, with the rest of the schedule filled by syndicated cartoons from 7-9 a.m., westerns in the early afternoon, cartoons until 5 p.m., additional westerns in the evening, WB programs and older movies in prime time, and drama series and classic movies in the late night hours.
That summer, the station reached an agreement with Fox owned-and-operated station (now affiliate) WGHP (channel 8) to carry the Fox Kids programming block, which had aired on that station since it switched to Fox in September 1995. Upon gaining new affiliates through its group affiliation deal with New World Communications (which sold WGHP directly to Fox as it placed New World over the 12-station ownership limit at the time), Fox executives had decided to change the carriage policies for Fox Kids, allowing a station to choose to keep airing it or be granted the right to pass the block to another station in the market. More recent off-network sitcoms were added to WBFX's schedule, and more of its religious shows were dropped.
The station's call letters changed to WTWB-TV on August 28, 2000. WTWB dropped Fox's children's programming in early 2002, when Fox canceled the weekday block nationwide; WGHP chose not to pick up Fox's new Saturday morning cartoon block, Fox Box (later 4Kids TV), which replaced Fox Kids in 2002. As a result, the block did not air at all in the Piedmont Triad.
On January 24, 2006, the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner and CBS Corporation announced that the two companies would shut down The WB and UPN and combine the networks' respective programming to create a new "fifth" network called The CW. On March 2, 2006, UPN affiliate WUPN-TV (channel 48, now WMYV) was announced as an affiliate of MyNetworkTV. Two weeks later on March 17, 2006, WTWB was confirmed as the market's CW outlet. On August 11, 2006, the call sign was changed to WCWG to reflect the affiliation.
On January 16, 2009, Pappas announced that several of its stations, including WCWG, would be sold to New World TV Group, after the acquisition received United States bankruptcy court approval. At some point, New World TV Group would change its name to Titan Broadcasting. On April 1, 2013, Lockwood Broadcast Group announced it would be acquiring WCWG from Titan Broadcasting; the sale was consummated on September 23.
In the FCC's incentive auction, WCWG sold its spectrum for $105,731,122 and indicated that it would enter into a post-auction channel sharing agreement. WCWG subsequently reached a channel sharing agreement with WXII-TV (channel 12); the station also entered into a separate shared services agreement allowing WXII's owner, Hearst Television, to provide additional services to WCWG. With the spectrum move, WCWG dropped Escape and Laff from their channel lineup on July 31, 2017.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|20.1||1080i||16:9||WCWG CW||Main WCWG programming / The CW|
Video Mix TV, a localized viewer request music video channel which originated for ten years in the South Florida market, was carried on digital subchannel 20.2 from June 1, 2009 to December 26, 2010. On December 27, 2010, the subchannel affiliated with Black Network Television, an African American-oriented service with emphasis on the local community. BNT's programming was supplemented with syndicated programs, and at launch also included offerings from the AMG TV network. On July 1, 2015, WCWG replaced BNT with the Escape TV channel.
In May 2010, WCWG began carrying Spanish-language network Estrella TV on digital subchannel 20.3. In the summer of 2012, Bounce TV was added to digital channel 20.4. On June 1, 2015, WCWG replaced Estrella TV with the Laff TV channel.
WCWG shut down its analog signal on June 12, 2009, as part of the FCC-mandated transition to digital television for full-power stations. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 19, using PSIP to display WCWG's virtual channel as 20 on digital television receivers.
Out-of-market cable and DirecTV carriage
In recent years, WCWG has been carried on cable in Siler City, which is part of the Raleigh television market and in Wytheville, Virginia, which is part of the Roanoke market. On DirecTV, WCWG has been carried in Grayson County, Virginia, which is also part of the Roanoke market.
As part of the shared services agreement with WXII, the station moved its 10 p.m. newscast from its MeTV subchannel to WCWG beginning July 31, 2017. The newscast was also expanded to a full hour on weeknights while remaining a half-hour on weekends.
On August 28, 2017, WCWG additionally added a two-hour extension of WXII's morning show.
- Miller, Mark K. (February 16, 2018). "Hearst completes purchase of WCWG". TVNewsCheck.com. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
- 'Gilmore Girls' meet 'Smackdown'; CW Network to combine WB, UPN in CBS-Warner venture beginning in September, CNNMoney.com, January 24, 2006.
- UPN and WB to Combine, Forming New TV Network, The New York Times, January 24, 2006.
- "New World Gets Pappas TVs for $260M". TVnewsday. January 16, 2008. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
- "FCC Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction Auction 1001 Winning Bids" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. April 4, 2017. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
- "Channel Sharing Agreement" (PDF). Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. April 20, 2017. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
- Clodfelter, Tim (August 1, 2017). "Ask SAM: where did WCWG subchannels go?". Winston-Salem Journal.
- Miller, Mark K. (October 4, 2017). "Hearst Buying WCWG Greensboro For $3.3M". TVNewsCheck.com. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
- "WCWG-TV Signs on Estrella TV". Television Broadcast. May 4, 2010. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations
- Clodfelter, Tim (July 26, 2017). "Ask SAM: Why is WXII carrying news on CW channel?". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
- Staff, WXII.com Web (2017-07-27). "WXII 12 expands 10 p.m. news on The Triad CW". WXII. Retrieved 2017-07-30.
- WXII 12 expands morning news coverage beginning Monday WXII.com, August 25, 2017. Retrieved October 4, 2017.