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WACH is the Fox-affiliated television station for the Midlands of South Carolina. It is licensed to Columbia. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 48 from a transmitter along SC 12 in Southwestern Kershaw County. Owned by Barrington Broadcasting, the station has studios on Pickens Street in Downtown Columbia. Syndicated programming on WACH includes: The Insider, The Wendy Williams Show, and Divorce Court.


WACH
WACH logo 2010
Columbia, South Carolina
Branding WACH Fox (general)

WACH Fox News

Slogan Columbia's Own
Channels Digital: 48 (UHF)

Virtual: 57 (PSIP)

Subchannels 57.1 Fox
Owner Barrington Broadcasting

(Barrington Columbia License, LLC)

First air date November 25, 1985
Call letters' meaning the word "watch"

but without the "t"

Former callsigns WCCT-TV (1985-1988)
Former channel number(s) 57 (UHF analog, 1985-2009)
Former affiliations Independent (1985-1988)
Transmitter power 520 kW
Height 464 m
Facility ID 19199
Transmitter coordinates 34°6′58″N80°45′51″W
Website midlandsconnect.com

HistoryEdit

After several false starts dating to 1980, the station signed-on November 25, 1985 as WCCT-TV an independent station owned by Carolina Christian Broadcasting, which also owned WGGS-TV in Greenville. It was the first station in Columbia not to be affiliated with one of the major networks as well as the first completely new commercial license in the area since WIS signed-on in September 1953. Initially as WCCT, it ran religious programs most of the broadcast day such as 700 Club, Richard Roberts, Jimmy Swaggart, PTL Club, and others. It also ran an in house Christian program called Niteline, which was initially produced by WGGS. Eventually, WCCT began producing its own version of the show. For about six hours a day, WCCT ran general entertainment family shows including cartoons, old sitcoms, westerns, and hunting/sports shows. However, its programming policy was very conservative so as not to offend fundamentalist or Pentecostal sensibilities.

The station was sold to secular interests in 1988 who renamed it WACH that June 11 and made it Columbia's Fox affiliate under the on-air nickname "WACH-TV 57" (pronounced "watch TV 57"). For Fox' first seasons, Columbia viewers watched the fledgling network on WTTG from Washington, D.C. which had been available on cable systems for many years. That station continued to be available on Columbia's two major cable systems, Wometco and TCI, for several years afterward. WACH significantly upgraded its programming with a far racier schedule than had been available before. At first, WACH kept Christian programming on weekdays from 9 in the morning until noon and from midnight to 2 in the morning per an agreement with the former owners. It also agreed to continue producing and airing Niteline for an hour a day for five years. This was gone by 1993 along with most of the religious shows. The station eventually re-branded itself "WACH Fox 57" in the 1990s.

WACH was sold to Ellis Communications in 1993, which folded into Raycom Media four years later. On March 27, 2006, Raycom announced that WACH was one of the twelve television stations that would be sold to Barrington Broadcasting. This came as a result of Raycom's merger with The Liberty Corporation. Raycom could not form a duopoly between WACH and Liberty's former flagship station, NBC affiliate WIS, due to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations preventing one company owning two of the four largest stations in a market. The company opted to keep the longer-established WIS and put WACH up for sale. The transaction was completed on August 11, 2006. In 2009, WACH left channel 57 and moved to channel 48 when the analog to digital conversion was completed. [1]

News operationEdit

WACH launched a 10 p.m. newscast in 1996 produced by WIS through a news share agreement. It was one of the first prime time broadcsts in South Carolina and the only 10 o'clock show in Columbia and was one of the highest-rated programs in the country for many years. This station ended the news agreement with WIS on March 4, 2007 and established its own news operations at its facilities on Pickens Street. In March 2007, Mike Woolfolk (longtime co-anchor and managing editor of WACH Fox News at 10) was inducted into the Hall of Fame in Region III of the National Association of Black Journalists.

On April 23, 2007, WACH launched its weekday morning show WACH Fox News Good Day. This airs head-on against WIS and WLTX for local news during the first hour. The station touts the fact that it is the only local news program during the time WIS, WLTX, and WOLO-TV air national morning news shows. On September 28, 2009, WACH began broadcasting the news in 16:9 widescreen accompanied by a new graphics package. It was the first station in Columbia to gather news in the field in widescreen format. However, it is not in high definition but rather enhanced standard definition. WACH changed its music package to the Enforcer from Gari Communications on November 9, 2009 along with another minor graphics update. The station also launched a new thirty-minute newscast weeknights at 7:30 p.m. called WACH Fox Report. The show's style is different from Good Day and News at 10 in content and anchor presentation. The information is presented in an entertainment style format.

In April 2010, WACH did a complete overhaul of its news department. This included a new set, a complete graphics overhaul, and the return of former anchor Arielle Riposta to co-anchor WACH Fox News at 10 on weeknights. Long-time anchor Mike Woolfolk had departed WACH in February 2010 and was replaced by Darryl Hood. The morning show was changed from WACH Fox News Good Day to Good Day Columbia. Former evening anchor Ashley Norris and former Sports Director Brian McConchie became the anchors of this revamped show. Katie Williams moved from mornings to anchor the 7:30 p.m. broadcast.

During the summer of 2010, another shuffle resulted in an expanded Good Day Columbia from 5 to 9 AM, the departure of Arielle Riposta from the anchor desk, the departure of Ashley Norris from the station, and the promotion of Janet Parker to Good Day Columbia co-anchor. Adam Pinsker was moved off the weekend sports desk and replaced with Sara Jane Harris. The WACH FOX Report was moved to 6:30 and became a traditional-style newscast with 10 p.m. anchors Darryl Hood and Katie Williams. Cheryn Stone was brought in to anchor weekends. Eventually, Cheryn Stone was moved to fill in the spot vacated by Ashley Norris on Good Day Columbia, with Fraendy Clervaud serving on the weekend desk.

News/Station PresentationEdit

Newscast titlesEdit

  • WACH Fox News (1996-present)

Station slogansEdit

  • "Just WACH" (2000-2009; general slogan)
  • "Columbia's Only Primetime News" (2002-2008; news slogan)
  • "Columbia's Very Own" (2009-2010)
  • "Columbia's Own" (2010-present)

News music packagesEdit

  • "Image News" by Gari Communications (1996-2002)
  • "The Paramount" by Gari Communications (2002-2009)
  • "Fox Affiliate News Theme" by OSI Music (2008-2009)
  • "The CBS Enforcer Music Collection" by Gari Communications (2009-present)

News teamEdit

Anchors

  • Fraendy Clervaud - weekends at 10 p.m.; also general assignment reporter
  • Darryl Hood - weeknights at 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
  • Brian McConchie - weekday mornings (5-9 a.m.); also news reporter
  • Janet Parker - weekday mornings (5-9 a.m.); also news reporter
  • Cheryn Stone - weekday mornings (5-9 a.m.); also general assignment reporter
  • Katie Williams - weeknights at 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.

SkyWACH Weather Team

  • Justin Kier - Chief Weather Anchor; weeknights at 6:30 and 10 p.m.; also news reporter
  • Katy Kramer - Weather Anchor; weekends at 10 p.m.
  • Henry Rothenberg - Weather Anchor; weekday mornings (5-9 a.m.)

Sports Team

  • Ric Garni - Sports Director, weeknights at 10 p.m.; also senior producer
  • Sara Jane Harris - Sports Anchor, weekends at 10 p.m.; also weekday reporter
  • Adam Pinsker - Sports Anchor, fill-in; also weekday reporter

Reporters

  • Arielle Riposta - special assignment reporter
  • Emily Pace - general assignment reporter; also fill-in news anchor
  • Rob Starkey - general assignment reporter; also fill-in sports anchor

Former on-air staffEdit

  • Cary Allen - meteorologist
  • Heather Hudgens - anchor
  • Caroline Love - anchor/reporter
  • Ashleigh Messervy - anchor/reporter
  • Tim Miller - weather and news anchor
  • Jonathan Oh - weather anchor/reporter, web manager and graphic designer
  • Alison Rauch - reporter/producer
  • Ernest Robinson - sports anchor
  • Mark Quinn - sports anchor
  • Jennifer Timmons - anchor/reporter
  • Crystal Walker - reporter/producer
  • Mike Woolfolk - anchor/managing editor

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmach/DA-06-1082A2.pdf

External linksEdit

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