WPTV and WSM to become ABC affiliation in the 80s

Chapter 81: TVX finalizes purchase of Boston station
  • June 1, 1983

    The TVX Broadcast Group, owners of WTVZ-TV in Norfolk, WRLH-TV in Richmond and WJTM-TV in Greensboro, had finalized its $3 billion purchase of WLVI-TV in Boston, an independent television station (ITTL it became the launch affiliate of Fox 3 years later due to a group deal with TVX, while CBN sold WXNE to Tribune, butterflying IOTL's WFXT-TV away).

    This is a part of a divesture of Field Communications that the first part saw WFLD-TV in Chicago that was sold off to Metromedia. Several Field purchases are yet to be finalized sooner than expected (KBHK was sold to United Television and WKBD-TV was sold off to Cox just like IOTL).

    TVX now has four television stations, and Boston becoming the largest television market for TVX Broadcast Group, a broadcasting group consisting of independent stations.

    TVX Broadcast Group is owned by Gene Loving and Timothy MacDonald, who started out the company in 1979.
    Chapter 82: KRGB announces new program
  • June 6, 1983

    KRGB-TV, the NBC affiliate owned by General Electric, operating on channel 4 announces plan to launch The Northern California Evening News, which was set to debut on Labor Day 1983 (the format will roll out to other GE-owned stations, like KOA-TV in Denver and WNGE-TV in Nashville, also NBC affiliates in 1984).

    KRGB-TV also has plans to adapt KOA-TV's First News program onto the San Francisco market, which was planned to be used as a template for General Electric's stations.

    KRGB's new program was designated to run after the NBC Nightly News, which was comprising of headlines from the San Francisco Bay Area with KRGB's news anchors and reporters doing their own headlines.

    KRGB-TV originally started by the San Francisco Chronicle in 1949 as KRON-TV. After the Chronicle was sold off to Times Mirror, the station lost its grandfathered protection, and sold the station to General Electric, which was renamed to KFOG-TV, until January 1, 1983, which was renamed once again to KRGB-TV to match its East Coast sister WRGB-TV in Schenectady.
    Chapter 83: TVX to buy WXXA
  • June 21, 1983

    Two weeks after TVX completing its buyout of WLVI-TV in Boston from Field Communications, TVX Broadcast Group announced its negotiations to purchase Albany TV 23, Inc., owners of Capital Region's TV affiliate WXXA-TV, which was an independent station.

    The FCC asked TVX to receive a cross-station waiver if they wanted to keep both WLVI-TV and WXXA-TV since it has overlapping signals with the newly acquired station.

    TVX Broadcast Group is owner of five independent stations, and the Capital Region will be the sixth one TVX is planning on to acquire.

    TVX's first station is the flagship WTVZ-TV in Norfolk, which was already operating on the station since 1979, and it expanded to show more acquisitions. The purchase price cost $750 million, more than Albany TV's asking price.
    Chapter 84: Erie stations switched affiliations
  • June 26, 1983

    After an airing of the final episode of Saturday Night Live off WICU, the NBC affiliate WICU and the ABC affiliate WJET-TV swapped network affiliations. This makes ABC to be easier to reach Pennsylvania.

    WICU-TV, the longtime NBC affiliate is now an ABC affiliate, in order to take advantage of the network's stronger programming.

    WJET-TV, the longtime ABC affiliate in Erie is now an NBC affiliate, because NBC was the network was in third place around that time, to take advantage of the weaker shows.

    WICU-TV finishes first in the ratings, because of the newscast performance, and the addition of ABC programs of WICU-TV took advantage of the network's stronger programming of the newscasts.
    Chapter 85: Hearst nears FCC approval for Nashville station
  • July 5, 1983

    The Federal Communications Commission is sending down the approval for Hearst's offer to purchase WSM-TV-AM-FM from the National Life and Accident Insurance Company, which was an ABC affiliate since 1980.

    Hearst's other broadcasting properties include WBAL-TV in Baltimore, WISN-TV in Milwaukee, WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, WDTN-TV in Dayton, KAKE-TV in Wichita and WNAC-TV in Boston.

    There are rumors that WCVB-TV and WNAC-TV would swap owners and affiliations, since WCVB-TV would be better associated with ABC than it was on CBS.

    Hearst's stations were ABC affiliates, of which these was a close relationship, since the 1950s. WBAL-TV just signed up with ABC in 1981.
    Chapter 86: TVX to buy Atlanta station
  • July 19, 1983

    After the successful buyout of what would be TVX's largest TV market, WLVI-TV in Boston, TVX Broadcast Group took a $2 billion step in order to purchase WATL-TV, channel 36, in the Atlanta market, outbidding Outlet Communications.

    Atlanta was ranked #15 in the television market. TVX's flagship station was WTVZ-TV in Norfolk.

    Boston was number 6 in the television market, while TVX Broadcast Group was successful in purchasing WLVI-TV in Cambridge/Boston from Field Communications.

    TVX's other station properties include WRLH-TV in Richmond, WJTM-TV in Greensboro, and it was in the process of buying WXXA-TV, channel 23 in the Capital Region (Albany/Schenectady/Troy).
    Chapter 87: ABC to steal WTVJ
  • August 1, 1983

    ABC announced an affiliation agreement with the longtime CBS affiliate WTVJ, which served Miami and Fort Lauderdale, which operates on channel 4 and it will be the number one South Florida television station.

    This left the current ABC affiliate in South Florida, WPLG without an affiliate, and possibly to sign with CBS (since the stations in New Hartford, Jacksonville and St. Louis had been already affiliated with the network).

    WTVJ will be the new home of popular award-winning shows like That's Incredible!, Happy Days, Three's Company, T.J. Hooker, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Hart to Hart, Dynasty, The Fall Guy and Benson, and prepared for exciting new shows like Oh Madeline, Just Our Luck, Hardcastle and McCormick, Hotel and Webster.

    The combination of the number-one network with the number-one news station could be important to our viewers, so it was understandable to South Floridans. The current NBC affiliate owned by General Electric, WCKT-TV would be left unaffected.
    Chapter 88: Baltimore has second swap
  • August 8, 1983

    The Baltimore television tempest, which was started two years earlier on August 30, 1981, had changed very much of its affiliations.

    WJZ-TV, which served as CBS affiliate in Baltimore for two years, officially changes to become a NBC affiliate, this was pretty much of a prelude to the RCA-Westinghouse merger, which was soon to be finalized in the January of 1984.

    WMAR-TV, which only served the NBC affiliate for two years, reverts to being a CBS affiliate. CBS acquired 75% of controlling interest in The A.S. Abell Company.

    Pittsburgh will soon have its swap on September 5, 1983, when KDKA, the longtime CBS affiliate switches to NBC, ceding CBS to WPXI-TV, the Cox station.
    Last edited:
    Chapter 89: WPLG switches to CBS
  • August 10, 1983

    Upon realizing that Post-Newsweek's other television stations in St. Louis, New Hartford and Jacksonville are all affiliated with CBS, CBS quickly signed an agreement to affiliate with outgoing ABC affiliate WPLG-TV.

    This means that WPLG would carry the CBS shows like 60 Minutes, Cagney & Lacey, Trapper John, M.D., Magnum, P.I., Dallas, The Dukes of Hazzard, Knots Landing, Falcon Crest, and exciting new shows like Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Emerald Point N.A.S., Whiz Kids and Cutter to Houston.

    The move came in because Post-Newsweek Stations developed better relations with CBS, since the network had lost WTVJ to ABC.

    The reason came because WTVJ was not satisfied of preempting several CBS programs, being preempted by occasional sports events, this is the reason why the South Florida station WTVJ moved to ABC.
    Chapter 90: Hearst took control of Nashville station
  • August 18, 1983

    The acquisition of WSM-AM-FM-TV in Nashville by Hearst Broadcasting has been completed. WSM-TV was an ABC affiliate since 1980, when General Electric's WNGE-TV in Nashville was moved to NBC.

    This means Hearst's other television properties in the portfolio included WBAL-TV in Baltimore, WISN-TV in Milwaukee, WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, WDTN-TV in Dayton, KAKE-TV in Wichita and WNAC-TV in Boston.

    Hearst's first television station WBAL-TV was built in 1948, and several more acquisitions followed. Hearst and ABC are great partners and opportunities.

    Hearst now has seven ABC-affiliated television stations. Hearst and ABC having plans to discuss a possible merger. The station was originally owned by the National Life and Accident Insurance Company, but when the organization exited out of broadcasting, Hearst took control of the station.
    Chapter 91: Pittsburgh stations swapped network affiliation
  • September 5, 1983

    KDKA is ending their longtime affiliation with CBS, so they will be able to affiliate it with NBC. This was partly due to a prelude between the merger between RCA and Westinghouse, a move that stunned the broadcast industry.

    Meanwhile, WPXI, the longtime NBC affiliate also transferred its affiliation to CBS, so this means all viewers in Pittsburgh could watch any favorite CBS program.

    WTAE-TV, the longtime ABC affiliate in Pittsburgh, would not change its affiliation, so this would be unaffected, and Hearst had a long-term ABC affiliation contract.

    The RCA/Westinghouse merger will yet to receive FCC approval. Two of the Pittsburgh network affiliates simply swap network affiliations. This only came after Cox had to let go with NBC, two of the stations in Charlotte and Atlanta switched respectively to ABC.
    Chapter 92: Other Labor Day events
  • September 5, 1983

    The General Electric-owned KRGB-TV, in San Francisco, debuts two new programs to fulfill the television schedule, First News, a television program that was based off the format used by KOA-TV in Denver, and The Northern California Evening News, an evening news program that featured some of KRGB-TV's top news talent.

    These two new programs obtained help for KRGB-TV to fulfill the strong schedule, even with the NBC programming as appropriate lead-ins.

    On the same day, both WPLG-TV and WTVJ switched network affiliations in South Florida, with WPLG-TV going to CBS, while WTVJ going to the much appealing ABC. This was due to Post-Newsweek Stations' better relations with the CBS network, as it already owns KMOX-TV in St. Louis, WJXT-TV in Jacksonville and WFSB in Hartford-New Haven. KMOX-TV-AM-FM is expecting to change callsign to KMYG-TV-AM-FM, which stood for Katharine MeYer Graham.

    On the same day in the Denver market, KWGN repackaged its existing newscasts, picking up its "Action News" format and its accompanying theme "Move Closer to Your World", and repackaged it to The Rocky Mountain Action News, to make the station look like WPIX-TV, the New York sister station.
    Chapter 93: WSM to drop end theme
  • September 19, 1983

    Hearst Broadcasting, the station's new owner of WSM-TV is officially dropping The Miracles' "Let the Children Play" as its closing theme of WSM's newscasts, electing to use "Hello News" as the closing theme.

    WSM-TV is an ABC affiliate since 1980, which was operating on channel 4 in Nashville. Prior to that, this was a NBC affiliate, until NBC was realized to be in third place and ABC wanted a stronger outlet in Nashville (realizing that WNGE shows many preempted programs).

    Hearst Broadcasting is also principal owner of six other ABC affiliates WBAL-TV in Baltimore, WISN-TV in Milwaukee, WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, WDTN-TV in Dayton, KAKE-TV in Wichita and WNAC-TV in Boston.

    The reason cited by Hearst management is that executives say "we did not care for the song at all".
    Chapter 94: WPTV to change call letters
  • September 21, 1983

    The current ABC affiliate for West Palm Beach since 1980, WPTV announced that they would change its call letters to WSHB. The call letters stood for the station's owner, Scripps-Howard Broadcasting.

    Since 1980, WPTV and WMC were exiled from NBC in order to switch to the top-rated and popular network ABC.

    Scripps also owns a third ABC station, which was that of WEWS-TV in Cleveland, along with a NBC affiliate KJRH-TV, a CBS affiliate WCPO-TV, and KSHB-TV, an independent television station.

    ABC's signal for WPTV decently covers the network, so WTVJ has already switched to ABC. WPTV was the West Palm Beach affiliate for ABC, prior to 1980, it was a NBC affiliate until it swapped affiliations with WPEC.
    Chapter 95: FCC seeks waiver for TVX
  • September 26, 1983

    The Federal Communications Commission is seeking a waiver from the TVX Broadcast Group to keep WXXA in Albany/Schenectady/Troy, citing signal overlap with WLVI-TV in Cambridge/Boston.

    TVX Broadcast Group is owner of four current independents WRLH-TV in Richmond, WJTM-TV in Greensboro, WLVI-TV in Cambridge/Boston and WTVZ-TV in Norfolk.

    TVX's first station was built in 1979 with the launch of the independent station WTVZ-TV, which served the Norfolk area.

    WXXA-TV was signed on in 1982 as the Capital District's first independent television station. The current VHF stations in the Capital District are WRGB-TV (NBC), WTEN-TV (ABC) and WAST-TV (CBS).
    Chapter 96: WRGB introduces new show
  • October 3, 1983

    After the success of General Electric-owned KRGB in San Francisco with the two new programs, the General Electric-owned NBC affiliate WRGB in Schenectady (TTL this remained a NBC affiliate due to a group deal with General Electric, OTL this became a CBS affiliate in 1981) is introducing two new programs First News, and The Capital Region's Evening News.

    One of the two new programs were First News, which was adapted from a format that was used by General Electric-owned sister stations KOA-TV in Denver and KRGB-TV in San Francisco, with two anchors emceeing, at 5:30.

    The other new program, The Capital Region's Evening News, which was an adaptation of the format The Northern California's Evening News that was used by KRGB-TV in San Francisco. Unlike KRGB's Northern California's Evening News, which used "Image VI" by Newsmusic Central, WRGB's Capital Region's Evening News used WNBC's 1980 news theme "News 4 New York" by Jim McAllister.

    The Capital Region's Evening News will air at 7:30, and it will follow the NBC Nightly News. The news program will compete against PM Magazine on rival station WTEN-TV.
    Chapter 97: FCC seeks waiver for WJZ and WRC
  • October 7, 1983

    The Federal Communications Commission has told to the RCA that they will gave them a waiver for keeping both WJZ-TV in Baltimore, and WRC-TV in Washington, both of them were currently NBC affiliates.

    A RCA-Westinghouse merger was proposed in early 1983 that they will see seven of the Westinghouse groups and five RCA/NBC groups merged together.

    Westinghouse is one of the co-founders of the current owner of NBC, Radio Corporation of America in 1919. The new combined company would be called "Westinghouse-RCA".

    One of the other stations Westinghouse owned are KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, WJZD-TV in Detroit, KYW-TV in Chattanooga, WBZ-TV in Boston, WCPQ-TV in Charlotte and WLTZ-TV in Columbia.
    Chapter 98: FCC approves TVX offer
  • October 12, 1983

    The Federal Communications Commission had approved TVX Broadcast Group's offer to purchase Albany TV 23, Inc., owners of the Capital Region's independent television station WXXA-TV in Albany.

    TVX is in the process of buying WATL-TV in Atlanta, from one of its original owners.

    TVX Broadcast Group, who was controlled by Gene Loving and Tim McDonald, also owns WTVZ-TV in Norfolk, WRLH-TV in Richmond, WJTM-TV in Greensboro and WLVI-TV in Cambridge/Boston.

    WLVI-TV was TVX's largest television station by market size. WXXA was built in 1982 as an independent television station.
    Chapter 99: CBS to buy Storer Communications
  • October 20, 1983

    CBS Inc., who owns five television stations in the largest markets announced a $6.4 billion offer to purchase Storer Communications, who owns seven stations. This gave CBS additional owned-and-operated TV stations in NFL markets.

    The seven Storer stations include WAGA-TV in Atlanta, WJBK-TV in Detroit, WJKW-TV in Cleveland, WTVG in Toledo, WITI in Milwaukee, WAST-TV in Albany and WKYT-TV in Lexington. The five CBS O&Os include WCBS-TV in New York, KCBH-TV in Los Angeles, WBBM-TV in Chicago, WCAU in Philadelphia and KCBS-TV in San Francisco.

    Detroit is the nation's seventh largest market, and this mean CBS will have a Detroit base for the station. RCA was in the process of merging with Westinghouse Electric Corporation, who also owns another Detroit NBC affiliate WJZD-TV in Detroit. ABC already has a O&O in the nation's seventh largest market, WXYZ-TV in Detroit.

    The 1994 move of the stations to Fox has been butterflied away.
    Chapter 100: WCKT to adapt new look
  • October 31, 1983

    The General Electric-owned South Florida NBC affiliate WCKT-TV is giving them a new look under the new call letters "WGEF", which stood for "General Electric Florida". In addition, the station will bring two new programs.

    First is First News, which is based on KOA-TV's First News format, which was also widely used by General Electric stations, with two anchors doing the helm at WCKT. It was designed to run at 5:30.

    The second is The South Florida Evening News, which is based on this type of news format that was used by two General Electric-owned stations KRGB in San Francisco and WRGB in Schenectady, designed to run after NBC Nightly News at 7:30.

    The type of news programs will be an instant success and hopes to be a huge hit for the WGEF-TV station.