WPTV and WSM to become ABC affiliation in the 80s

Chapter 39: UHF approval for GE
March 8, 1982

The Federal Communications Commission had approved the $3.5 billion acquisition of Durham Life Insurance Company by General Electric Company of Schenectady, New York. This made WPTF-TV-AM-FM the first UHF station to be owned by General Electric.

WPTF-TV is a UHF station and a NBC affiliate operating on channel 28. It is one of the weakest NBC affiliates in the world.

WPTF-TV was first started in 1968 as WRDU-TV in Durham by Triangle Telecasters. Then, Durham Life bought it in 1977 and rechristened to WPTF-TV in 1978. It was the Triangle's NBC affiliate. It was in the process of being sold to General Electric.

WPTF-TV became General Electric's eighth television station, as the company has seven VHF NBC-affiliated stations in the portfolio.
Chapter 40: KNTV and WAKC go independent
March 22, 1982

ABC announced that they would yank its affiliation from San Jose station KNTV, and Akron station WAKC, because of competition from ABC O&O KGO-TV and ABC Scripps-Howard affiliate WEWS-TV.

ABC had three Scripps-Howard stations in the portfolio, including WEWS-TV in Cleveland, WPTV in West Palm Beach and WMC-TV, the latter two were market leaders.

WEWS was notified that The Morning Exchange would shut down production, and decided to displace the show with the second hour of Good Morning America (ITTL, IOTL this didn't happen until the ABC-Scripps deal arrived in 1994).

Both of the stations cited lower than excepted ratings made for the station.

This is the POD ITTL scenario, IOTL ABC didn't yank its affiliation from KNTV until 2000 and WAKC/WAKR until 1996.
Chapter 41: Harrisburg stations change affiliation
April 4, 1982

ABC affiliate WHTM-TV in Harrisburg and NBC affiliate WGAL-TV in Harrisburg switched network affiliations. WHTM-TV in Harrisburg went to NBC thanks to a groupwide affiliation deal with Times-Mirror Company, and WGAL-TV went to ABC thanks to a groupwide affiliation deal with Pulitzer.

The reason cited for WGAL's switch to ABC was only because ABC was number one in all of the television ratings and it was the news leader for the marker.

WHTM-TV took advantage of NBC's weakest ratings, so it was dead last in the television ratings, and NBC was placed number three in all television ratings.

Pulitzer has other television stations in the portfolio with ABC (the 1983 trade with Multimedia for the South/North Carolina stations had been butterflied away), staying as grandfathered for the St. Louis stations, while Times Mirror has five NBC stations and two CBS affiliates in the portfolio.
Chapter 42: GE completes Durham buyout
April 18, 1982

General Electric Company of Schenectady completes its $3.5 billion purchase of Durham Life Insurance Company. Durham Life owns and operates the only broadcasting company that serves the Triangle, WPTF-TV-AM-FM.

WPTF-TV is a NBC affiliate operating on channel 28, serving Durham-Raleigh-Fayetteville, and it was on the UHF band.

This was General Electric's first foray on the UHF business, as seven of the other GE stations, including WRGB-TV in Schenectady, were VHF stations.

General Electric announces its plans to clone WRGB's "NewsCenter" format into WPTF-TV, under the name "Eyewitness News". It also borrows Lucas/McFaul's General Electric music package that was used on other GE stations, excepting WRGB, which includes KFOG-TV in San Francisco, WNGE in Nashville and KOA-TV in Denver.
Chapter 43: CBS to woo Spokane station
May 2, 1982

CBS announced that they would leave KREM-TV, citing last place in the Spokane television ratings, and signed on to affiliate with KHQ-TV, which was currently affiliated with the third place television network NBC.

Concurrently, to avoid letting KREM-TV to go independent, King Broadcasting Company had better relations with NBC, and forced to affiliate it with KREM-TV.

KHQ-TV is the market leader, and it was first place in all television ratings. The combination of CBS would boost the ratings up.

King Broadcasting Company also owns and operates NBC television stations in the portfolio, like KTVB in Boise, KGW in Portland and KING-TV in Seattle/Tacoma, both of them remained NBC affiliates.
Chapter 44: Oklahoma City stations changed affiliation
May 23, 1982

ABC affiliate KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City, owned by Gannett Company and NBC affiliate KTVY in Oklahoma City, owned by Universal Communications, a division of the Evening News Association, swapped network affiliations. KTVY became an ABC station, while KOCO-TV became a NBC station.

The reason cited was that partly because NBC had better relations with Gannett in both the Georgia and Oklahoma markets than it was on ABC.

KTVY said they took care of the stronger ABC programming like Three's Company and Happy Days, while KTVY's news finished first in the television ratings.

KOCO-TV was a perennial ratings also-ran to the CBS affiliate KWTV-TV, which was in third place, and the combination with the third place network help viewers to tune in to your favorites like Gimme a Break!, Hill Street Blues, The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson and Little House on the Prairie.
Chapter 45: ABC to court WCIV
June 6, 1982

WCIV, the Charleston station owned by Allbritton Communications announced that they would affiliate the station with the high-rated ABC, because NBC is in last place among television networks.

The reason stated that they would left the previous ABC affiliate WCBD-TV without a network affiliation, and likely to sign with NBC.

WCIV was Charleston's most popular television station and it was the strongest television stations of all time, and the combination with ABC will be the most important to do.

Other Allbritton stations WJLA-TV, KATV, KTUL-TV and WSET-TV were already affiliates of the top ABC affiliates, making all five Allbritton VHFs ABC affiliates.

(ITTL, IOTL this didn't happen until 14 years later)
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Chapter 46: WCBD to sign with NBC
June 27, 1982

WCBD-TV, which operates on Charleston, channel 2, signed a deal to affiliate the station with the third-rated television network NBC, which is in third place among television ratings.

Among them, they will stay with Taxi, plus the new home for Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, Hill Street Blues and Gimme a Break!, and also be excited for WCBD to see new shows like Little House: A New Beginning and Cheers.

The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, which is NBC's most popular late night talk shows, and Late Night with David Letterman, the newest late night series, would displace Nightline among late night schedules.

WCIV-TV in Charleston, the longtime NBC affiliate would end up affiliating with the higher-rated ABC, since ABC is searching for stronger programming in Charleston.
Chapter 47: Spokane stations switch affiliations
July 4, 1982

The Spokane television tempest, which began in 1976, has been officially changed. KREM-TV, channel 2 will switch affiliations from CBS to NBC, thanks to NBC's better relations with the King Broadcasting Company, who has other NBC affiliates in the portfolio.

NBC has other station groups found in the portfolio, including Times-Mirror Broadcasting, who owns KTVI, channel 2 in St. Louis, and General Electric, who owns KFOG-TV, channel 4 in San Francisco and WRGB-TV, channel 6 in Schenectady/Albany/Troy.

Meanwhile, market-leading and strongest station KHQ-TV was quickly moved from NBC to CBS, because they took advantage of the stronger programming found in CBS' schedule like 60 Minutes.

KXLY-TV would stay with the ABC television network. The reason KHQ-TV switched to CBS was for searching stronger programming in the Spokane market.
Chapter 48: Charleston stations switch affiliations
July 26, 1982

WCBD, the Charleston ABC affiliate, and WCIV, the Charleston NBC affiliate swapped network affiliations. WCIV took care of the stronger ABC programming like The Fall Guy and Dynasty, while WCBD airs the weakest NBC programs.

The reasons cited for the switch is that WCIV is the market leading television station in order to take care for the stronger programs ABC had ever offered.

WCBD airs the weaker NBC programming, like The Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes. WCBD has plans to air new programs like Knight Rider, Cheers, and Mama's Family, in order for WCBD to take care of the weakest NBC programming.

Allbritton Communications, who owns WCIV in Charleston also owns and operates several ABC stations in the portfolio, like its flagship WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C.
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Chapter 49: Salt Lake stations switched affiliations
August 1, 1982

NBC affiliate KUTV in Salt Lake City and ABC affiliate KTVX in Salt Lake City swapped network affiliations, reversing the 1960 network swap. KUTV switches to ABC to take care of the stronger programming, while KTVX switches to NBC. NBC is in third place, and ABC is highest rated, searching for stronger programming in Salt Lake City.

KUTV will plans to air stronger ABC programs like That's Incredible!, The Fall Guy, Three's Company, Laverne & Shirley, Happy Days, Hart to Hart, The Love Boat, and Fantasy Island, and has plans to air the new fall shows like Tales of the Gold Money, The New Odd Couple and Matt Houston. The station has finished number two in all newscasts.

KTVX was a ratings also-ran with newscasts in third place, will take care of the third-place NBC programming like Real People, The Facts of Life, Quincy, M.E., Taxi, Gimme a Break! and Diff'rent Strokes, while has plans to air the new fall shows like Silver Spoons, The Devlin Connection, The Powers of Matthew Star, Knight Rider, Cheers and St. Elsewhere.

The reason explicitly stated that United Television has a group deal with NBC. United Television was in the process of selling it to Post-Newsweek. KSL-TV remains unaffected by the Salt Lake network switches.
Chapter 50: GE completed Fort Myers offer
August 3, 1982

The Federal Communications Commission had approved the $750 million acquisition of WBBH-TV, Fort Myers, NBC affiliate on UHF channel 20 by General Electric. This met down FCC's nine-station maximum limits.

This gave GE the second UHF station, as the company required seven VHF stations in San Francisco and Denver markets.

Three weeks later...
August 22, 1982

General Electric had completed/finalized the $750 million acquisition of WBBH-TV, Fort Myers, UHF channel 20 and a NBC affiliate. This met General Electric Broadcasting the maximum total of nine station limits.

General Electric also introduced a new "circle 20" logo for the Fort Myers television station, and rebranded the newscasts to "NewsCenter 20", matching up the feel of General Electric Broadcasting.

General Electric owns and operates nine television stations, including its flagship WRGB-TV in Schenectady, and KFOG-TV in San Francisco. The company had recently acquired Durham Life Insurance Company, owners of WPTF-AM-FM-TV.

WPTF-TV and WBBH-TV are NBC affiliates on the UHF band. The other seven GE stations are on the VHF band.
Chapter 51: TVX bought out Boston station
September 2, 1982

TVX Broadcast Group, who owns WTVZ-TV in Norfolk, WRLH-TV in Richmond and WJTM-TV in Greensboro announced its plans to purchase WLVI-TV, channel 56 in Boston for $3 billion, beating out an initial price tag by Gannett Company.

This is part of a divesture from Field Communications, as WFLD-TV, channel 32 in Chicago was sold to Metromedia, and KBHK-TV, channel 44 in San Francisco was sold to United Television/Post-Newsweek. A serious offer for WKBS-TV, channel 48 in Philadelphia was considered by Outlet Communications for $2 billion, and WKBD-TV, channel 50 in Detroit was considered by Cox Enterprises for $1 billion.

TVX will made up of four television stations. Boston would became TVX's largest television market ever. TVX is an independent broadcasting company.

TVX Broadcast Group is operated by Gene Loving and Timothy MacDonald, who went for WTVZ-TV in Norfolk, which was started out in 1979.
Chapter 52: KCRA signs with ABC
September 6, 1982

ABC, the highest-rated television network in the nation had reached a deal with Sacramento's market leading television station KCRA-TV, which operates on channel 3 in order to move the affiliation to ABC, which was abandoning NBC.

This left the current ABC affiliate KOVR-TV without a network affiliation. KOVR-TV had hopes to go to independent or affiliate it with the NBC television network.

KCRA-TV says that they had taken care of the highest-rated network programs like The Fall Guy and Dynasty, plus new and powerful shows everybody in Sacramento is hoping for, like Matt Houston, Tales of the Gold Monkey and Star of the Family.

NBC falls third in the television ratings, which they lost most of the top-rated NBC affiliates to ABC. ABC is in the process of invading the market-leading NBC affiliates.
Chapter 53: KOVR signs with NBC
September 27, 1982

To avoid letting KOVR going independent, The Outlet Company and NBC signed a groupwide affiliation deal to affiliate all of the stations with the third place television network. These stations included were existing NBC affiliates WJAR-TV in Providence and WCMH-TV and signed an agreement to affiliate KOVR-TV in Sacramento and WCPX-TV in Orlando with NBC. Outlet considered a station swap of ABC's KSAT-TV in San Antonio to Scripps-Howard for NBC's KJRH-TV in Tulsa.

WESH-TV says it is abandoning NBC, forcing Cowles to sign with CBS.

KOVR says they took care of the NBC programming like Hill Street Blues, Father Murphy, The Facts of Life, Quincy, M.E., Diff'rent Strokes, Gimme a Break! and Fame, and new programs that KOVR had taken care of it like Silver Spoons, Cheers, Remington Steele, St. Elsewhere, Knight Rider, Voyagers! and Gavilan.

KOVR was in third place among news television ratings, behind KCRA and KXTV. KCRA is about to became an ABC affiliate.
Chapter 54: WESH-TV signs with CBS
October 1, 1982

Cowles Communications Inc. signed a group deal with CBS to affiliate the station with WESH-TV, and a renewal of Cowles' KCCI-TV and KTVH in Wichita. WESH-TV also has plans to promote the slogan "Keep your eye on 2".

WESH-TV was in first place among Orlando's television stations.

WESH-TV would took care of the stronger CBS programs like Walt Disney, Dallas, The Dukes of Hazzard, Falcon Crest, Knots Landing, Simon & Simon, Magnum, P.I., 60 Minutes, Archie Bunker's Place, and the new shows Gloria, Square Pegs, Bring 'Em Back Alive and Tucker's Witch.

CBS finished first in the television ratings, while WESH-TV has a stronger news facility. The previous CBS affiliate WCPX-TV, owned by Outlet, suffered from crippling preemptions of its programs.
Chapter 55: Sacramento stations switched
October 3, 1982

KCRA-TV, the longtime NBC affiliate owned by Kelly Broadcasting in Sacramento, and KOVR-TV, the Outlet-owned ABC affiliate in Sacramento, swaps network affiliations. KCRA-TV would change itself into an ABC station, while KOVR-TV would change itself into a NBC station.

KCRA-TV took care of the strongest ABC programming, like The Fall Guy, Dynasty and newer shows like The New Odd Couple and Matt Houston.

KOVR-TV took care of the weakest third-place perennial NBC series like Little House: A New Beginning, Father Murphy, and newer shows like Family Ties, Cheers and Knight Rider.

KCRA-TV was number one in all newscast ratings, and it was one of the strongest television stations ever. KOVR-TV, on the other hand is in perennial third place.
Chapter 56: Orlando stations swapped
October 4, 1982

WESH-TV, the NBC affiliate owned by Cowles Communications in Orlando, and WCPX-TV, the Outlet-owned CBS affiliate in Orlando swapped network affiliations. WESH-TV became a CBS station, while WCPX-TV became a NBC affiliate.

This means that WESH-TV would air some of the favorites like Walt Disney, The Dukes of Hazzard, Dallas, Falcon Crest, Knots Landing, Magnum, P.I., M*A*S*H, Alice, One Day at a Time, and outstanding new CBS shows like Newhart, Square Pegs, Tucker's Witch and Gloria.

WESH-TV finishes first in news television ratings, while taking care of the stronger programming of the higher-rated and popular CBS television network in Orlando.

WCPX-TV, on the other hand took care of the weaker NBC shows like Hill Street Blues, Little House: A New Beginning, Father Murphy, The Facts of Life, Quincy, M.E., Fame, Gimme a Break! and poorly-rated new shows like Cheers, Remington Steele, Knight Rider, The Devlin Connection and Silver Spoons. WCPX-TV finished third in the news television ratings, while having the weaker NBC shows as lead-ins.
Chapter 57: Westinghouse to buy second UHF station
October 11, 1982

The Westinghouse Broadcasting Company, owners of six television stations, including its first UHF buyout WCPQ-TV in Charlotte, announced a $6.4 billion offer to purchase Kentucky Central Insurance Company, who owns WKYT-TV in Lexington.

WKYT-TV is a CBS affiliate, operating on UHF channel 27.

Westinghouse is in the process of trading some larger market television stations for several mid-sized television stations.

WKYT-TV was number one in all newscasts ratings, and it was one of the most popular television stations ever in the Kentucky market.
Chapter 58: KNTV and WAKR to go independent
October 25, 1982

Two of the television stations KNTV-TV, channel 11 in San Jose, and WAKR-TV, channel 23 in Akron, became independent stations, due to internal conflicts with existing ABC affiliates KGO-TV, channel 7 in San Francisco, and WEWS-TV, channel 5 in Cleveland.

It is said that San Jose is part of the San Francisco market, and Akron is part of the Cleveland market.

These two left KGO-TV in San Francisco as the sole ABC outlet for the San Jose area, and WEWS-TV in Cleveland as the sole ABC outlet for the Akron area.

Both of these stations struggled due to competiton from other ABC stations in nearby television markets.