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Atlanta, Georgia
United States
Branding WSB-TV, Channel 2 (general)
Channel 2 Action News (newscasts)
Slogan Coverage You Can Count On (primary);
Live. Local. Latebreaking. (secondary)
Channels Digital: 39 (UHF)
Virtual: 2 (PSIP)
Subchannels 2.1 ABC
2.2 Me-TV
2.3 LAFF
Translators 31 (2.5/6) Athens
46 (2.7/8) Gainesville
17 (permit) Newnan
14 (application) Rome
Affiliations ABC (since 1980; also secondary from 1948-1951)
Owner Cox Media Group
(Georgia Television, LLC)
First air date September 29, 1948 (1948-09-29)
Call letters' meaning "Welcome South, Brother" (from AM sister station)
Sister station(s) WALR-FM, WSB, WSB-FM, WSBB-FM, WSRV, WTSH-FM
Former channel number(s) Analog:
8 (VHF, 1948–1950)
2 (VHF, 1950–2009)
Former affiliations NBC (1948–1980)
Transmitter power 1,000 kW
Height 316 m (1,037 ft)
Facility ID 23960
Transmitter coordinates
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile

WSB-TV United States. The station maintains studios and offices located at the WSB Television and Radio Group building on West Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta and its transmission tower is located on the border of the city's Poncey-Highland and Old Fourth Ward neighborhoods.

WSB-TV is the flagship television property of the Cox Media Group division of Cox Enterprises, which has owned the station since its inception. Cox also publishes The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and owns sister radio stations WSB (750 AM), WSB-FM (98.5 FM), WSBB-FM (95.5 FM), WSRV (97.1 FM) and WALR-FM (104.1 FM) − all of which are based out of WSB-TV's studio facilities.


  • History 1
    • As an NBC affiliate 1.1
    • As an ABC affiliate 1.2
  • Digital television 2
    • Digital channels 2.1
    • Analog-to-digital conversion 2.2
    • Broadcast translators 2.3
  • Programming 3
  • News operations 4
    • Current on-air staff 4.1
      • Notable former on-air staff 4.1.1
  • Out-of-market coverage 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


As an NBC affiliate

WSB-TV first began broadcasting on September 29, 1948, originally broadcasting on channel 8. It is the second-oldest station south of Washington, D.C.; only Richmond, Virginia's WTVR-TV (channel 6) is older. The station was founded by James M. Cox, publisher of The Atlanta Journal, and who also owned WSB radio (AM 750 and 104.5 FM, now on 98.5 FM). Cox owned WSB AM-FM-TV under the banner of Miami Valley Broadcasting Inc., which later changed its name to the current Cox Enterprises. The station was originally a primary NBC affiliate, owing to its radio sister's longtime affiliation with NBC Radio. It also carried some ABC programming (from 1949, shared with WAGA-TV, channel 5) until WLWA-TV (channel 8; now WXIA-TV, channel 11) signed on in 1951.

At that time, its present channel 2 Georgia Public Broadcasting.

In 1956, the WSB stations moved into the noted "White Columns" building, designed and built according to the 85 on the north end. The older building was razed shortly after the new building was occupied. The original columns that stood on the front portico of the old building were placed in a garden area alongside the new building. Brand new white columns have been placed inside the glass-enclosed lobby of the newer building. WSB-TV is located less than one block south of the building formerly utilized by WXIA when that station moved its operations to WATL's studios in 2008.

The station was the original local television broadcaster of the relocated Atlanta Braves baseball team, carrying the games from 1966 to 1972, until the Braves telecasts moved to WTCG (now WPCH-TV) in 1973. Its sister AM station was the longtime radio flagship of the Braves, carrying the broadcasts for 38 out of the 46 years that the franchise has been in Atlanta, dating back to 1966. Ernie Johnson, Sr., a former Braves pitcher and father of his namesake Turner Sports broadcaster, with future Hall of Fame announcer Milo Hamilton (who simultaneously pulled double-duty anchoring Channel 2's sportscasts during this time) were the main announcers for what was then the largest television network in baseball.

In 1972, the station aired the name of a murdered rape victim in violation of Georgia's shield law. The station successfully overturned the law before the U.S. Supreme Court in Cox Broadcasting Corp. v. Cohn.

As an ABC affiliate

ABC was the highest-rated network for most of the late 1970s and, at that time, was looking for stronger affiliates across the country, including Atlanta. ABC's longtime Atlanta outlet, WXIA, frequently traded second place with WAGA. However, WSB-TV was the far-and-away market leader despite being affiliated with last-place NBC. During the summer of 1980, both stations conducted an experiment unusual for a large market: WXIA aired NBC daytime shows in the morning and ABC daytime shows in the afternoon, while WSB aired ABC shows in the morning and NBC shows in the afternoons. By the time the experiment ended on September 1, 1980, WSB-TV officially swapped affiliations with WXIA, and joined ABC. In January 1986, the station debuted the current number "2" logo it continues to use to this day.

On March 12, 2011, WSB-TV and WGCL-TV turned on their ATSC-M/H signals for the first time, becoming the first stations in the Atlanta area to offer Mobile DTV broadcasts.

The station has carried games featuring the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football since 2006 when it moved from ABC to ESPN under a syndication arrangement, to provide a local broadcast outlet for those games.

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1]
2.1 / 2.5 / 2.7 720p 16:9 WSB-HD Main WSB-TV programming / ABC
2.2 / 2.6 / 2.8 480i 4:3 WSB-SD Me-TV
2.3 / 2.7 / 2.9 TBA LAFF[2]

WSB-DT went on the air on April 17, 1998, making it one of the first regular-service digital television stations in the country (the -DT suffix is not mandated by the FCC, thus it is WSB-TV even for digital). The over-the-air digital subchannel 2.2 started carrying the Retro Television Network on January 28, 2008.[3] Prior to this, the channel was blank, or later with a small station ID in the lower corner. RTV programming was replaced with Me-TV on June 1, 2011.

WSB-TV also has a mobile DTV feed of subchannel 2.1, labelled "WSB MH", broadcasting at 1.83 Mbit/s.[4][5]

Analog-to-digital conversion

WSB-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 2, on June 12, 2009, at 12:30 p.m., during a live broadcast from the station's transmitter room on the noon newscast, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television.[6] The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 39,[7] using PSIP to display WSB-TV's virtual channel as 2 on digital television receivers. Don McClellan, celebrating 50 years at the station.

During late August and into September 2009, the station removed its analog transmitter from the top of the tower, and moved its side-mounted digital antenna up from its previous lower location on the tower.

Broadcast translators

City of license Callsign/channel Transmitter power Coordinates
Athens WSB-TV 31 5,000 watts
Gainesville WSB-TV 46 9,000 watts
Newnan WSB-TV 17 10,000 watts (CP) (CP)
Rome WSB-TV 14 1,000 watts (CP) (CP)

In March 2009, the station filed applications for two digital fill-in Winder, and its signal also reaches as far west as Lilburn. WSB-TV requested special temporary authority to begin immediate operation of these stations, pending approval of its regular applications.

The signal coverage of both stations largely overlap with one another, and are almost entirely within the estimated coverage area of the main station, however distributed transmission (on-channel boosters) will not be used. The translators are intended to overcome the terrain obstructions caused by Stone Mountain to the east of the WSB transmitter, and were in operation by January 2011. The Athens station uses virtual channels 2.5 and 2.6 instead of 2.1 and 2.2, while the Gainesville station uses 2.7 and 2.8, allowing viewers to choose whichever station whose signal is better receivable at a given time (certain ATSC tuners may have trouble with two stations using the same virtual channel, and even if not, the user would have to enter the channel number and press "channel-up" or "channel-down" buttons to access the alternates, which would not be separately labeled or identified by the tuner).

In late June 2009, the station also applied for a translator on channel 14 just southwest of Newnan on channel 17. This translator will be co-located on the same tower as Cox-owned WALR-FM (104.1), and less than .25 miles (0.40 km) west of another tower holding WBZY (105.3 FM; which is not owned by Cox).[9]


WSB carries most of the ABC lineup except for adjustments to the network's overnight programming in order to start their morning news at 4:30 a.m.; the station carries World News Now from approximately 3:07 a.m. until 4:30 a.m., while declining America This Morning. The Sunday morning talk show from ABC News, This Week airs delayed 90 minutes to accommodate the station's Sunday morning newscast.

News operations

WSB nightly newscast open.

Appropriately for a station with roots in a newspaper, local news programming has had a strong presence on channel 2 since its debut, and it has led the news ratings in Atlanta for as long as records have been kept. WSB-TV presently broadcasts 41 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with six hours on weekdays and Sundays, and five hours on Saturdays); as such, WSB-TV is one of the few Big Three network affiliates to offer more than 35 hours of local news content each week and one of the few Big Three affiliates to carry a midday newscast on weekends. In addition, WSB-TV's weekend newscast output is larger than that of Fox owned-and-operated station WAGA (channel 5), which offers a larger overall weekly (and weekday) newscast output than WSB-TV.

ABC World News Tonight is broadcast a half-hour later (at 7 p.m.) than most ABC stations in the Eastern Time Zone, due to an hour-long 6 p.m. newscast.

One factor behind its dominance is talent continuity, as many of the station's personalities have been on the air for 15 years or more. Monica Pearson (known as Monica Kaufman until 2005) was the station's top anchorwoman from 1975 to 2012, longer than any female anchor in Atlanta television history. She was one of the first African-American female anchors in the South. From 1994 to 2010, her partner on the anchor desk was John Pruitt, who started at channel 2 in 1973 before beginning a 16-year run at WXIA. Glenn Burns has been the main weatherman since 1981. Chuck Dowdle served as the station's sports director from 1985 until his retirement in December 2009. Pearson, Pruitt, Burns and Dowdle served as channel 2's main anchor team from Pruitt's return in 1994 until 2009 – longer than any news team in Atlanta at the time. Pruitt anchored his last newscast on December 17, 2010. He is now semi-retired, but still works on special assignments. Pearson retired on July 25, 2012, ending a 40-year career.

WSB-TV became the second station in the Atlanta market (behind WXIA-TV) and the second Cox-owned station (behind Orlando's WFTV) to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. The first HD broadcast was on September 27, 2006; during its noon broadcast. With the switch came a new HD-ready set and a graphics package designed by Giant Octopus.

In mid-November 2009, reporter Tom Jones and a cameraman escaped serious injury when the smoke inhalation at Grady Memorial Hospital and released later in the day. The massive electric spark caused an explosion, left a crater underneath the van, arced to and broke a water main, and caused a brief power outage; the vehicle was a total loss.[10][11][12]

In July 2010, WSB-TV expanded its weekday morning newscast to 2½ hours, with the start time moved to 4:30 a.m. It announced a news partnership with Telemundo affiliate WKTB-LD on August 23, 2010.[13] On May 26, 2011, WSB-TV debuted an hour-long 4 p.m. newscast, which replaced Oprah when the daytime talk show ended its 25-year run.[14][15]

Current on-air staff

Notable former on-air staff

Out-of-market coverage

In Stephens counties.

In Savannah DMA.

In south Georgia (as far south as the Coffee County.

In western North Carolina it is carried in the Cherokee County town of Murphy, alongside Asheville, North Carolina ABC affiliate WLOS.


  1. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WSB
  2. ^
  3. ^  
  4. ^ [6]
  5. ^ Mobile DTV Signal Map from the National Association of Broadcasters
  6. ^ List of Digital Full-Power Stations
  7. ^ CDBS Print
  8. ^ [7]
  9. ^ [8]
  10. ^ News photographer, reporter escape serious injury in ENG van accident, Broadcast Engineering, November 24, 2009.
  11. ^ WSB-TV employees survive truck explosion, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, November 18, 2009.
  12. ^ TV ENG Van Explodes, TVTechnology, November 19, 2009.
  13. ^ "Channel 2 WSB-TV, Telemundo in partnership".  
  14. ^ WSB Atlanta Announces 4 P.M. Newscast, Retrieved 11-23-2010.
  15. ^ Channel 2 Action News at 4 Launches May 26
  16. ^ Jovita Moore
  17. ^ [9]
  18. ^ [10]
  19. ^ "Ukee Washington biography".  
  20. ^

External links

  • - WSB-TV official website
  • - Me-TV Atlanta official website
  • Query the FCC's TV station database for WSB-TV
  • BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WSB-TV
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