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WGMB-TV ("Fox 44") is the local Fox affiliate for Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is owned by Communications Corporation of America, and is sister station to the area's The CW affiliate, WBRL-CD. WGMB also shared facilities and staff with WVLA-TV (channel 33) and KZUP-CD (channel 19). WGMB's transmitter is located near Addis, Louisiana.


WGMB-TV
WGMB44
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Branding WGMB Fox 44 Baton Rouge (general)

Fox 44 News/Fox News Baton Rouge (news)

Slogan So Fox 44
Channels Digital: 45 (UHF)
Subchannels 44.1 Fox - HD

44.2 The CW - SD

Affiliations Fox
Owner Communications Corporation of America

(Comcorp of Baton Rouge License Corporation)

First air date August 11, 1991
Call letters' meaning Galloway MediaBroadcasting or GuMBo
Sister station(s) WBRL-CD, WVLA-TV,KZUP-CD
Former channel number(s) Analog:

44 (UHF, 1991-2009)

Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 424 m
Facility ID 12520
Transmitter coordinates 30°19′35.4″N91°16′36.4″W
Website www.fox44.com

The stations transmits its analog signal on UHF channel 44, and its digital signal on UHF channel 45. The station is seen via satellite through DirecTV and Dish Network and on cable Cox Communications and AT&T U-verse.

HistoryEdit

The station first signed on August 11, 1991, making Baton Rouge the last of the Top 100 Nielsen Designated Market Areas to receive a Fox affiliate. It has been owned by the Galloway family since its inception. It took five years to bring Fox to Baton Rouge, as the FCC licensed channel 44 to Baton Rouge in 1983 and several potential buyers sought a license. One company, Parish Family Television expressed an interest in broadcasting an independent station affiliated with the network in 1986 with the call letters WPFT. Delays occurred as Southwest Multimedia of Houston expressed an ownership interest in Parish Family Television and rival company Louisiana Super Communications objected to this sale. After Southwest Multimedia bowed out of the ownership stake, Thomas Galloway of Lafayette purchased the license from PFTV in November 1990. The station installed an antenna on WVLA's tower, bought from future sister station WNTZ's parent company at the time, Delta Media Corporation. From April 1990 to February 1991, local NBC affiliate WVLA aired week-delayed episodes of Fox shows such as The Simpsons, Married with Children, and In Living Color.

The station did not produce a local newscast until 2007; however, it usually broadcasted children's events and programming from around the Baton Rouge area in the 1990s as part of its "Fox 44 Kids Club." One locally-produced show was "Fox Rox Saturday," which aired in the late 1990s on Saturday mornings. The station also produced commerials for local businesses in the 1990s, such as the now-defunct Pepperoni's Pizza, Mad Man Marks, and Printing Tech.

Digital televisionEdit

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Digital channels

Channel Name Programming
44.1 WGMB-DT WGMB Main Programming / Fox HD 720p
44.2 WGMB-DT2 WBRL Main Programming / The CW SD 480i

Analog-to-digital conversionEdit

WGMB-TV shut down analog transmissions on June 12, 2009. The station remained on its current pre-transition channel 45.[1] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display its virtual channel as 44.

HD ProgrammingEdit

WGMB currently airs all of FOX network programming in High Definition and one of its syndicated programming such as Two and a Half Men in HD.

NewscastEdit

200px-FOX44News

Original Fox 44 News logo for WGMB

On March 12, 2007, WGMB debuted a local newscast entitled Fox News Louisiana airing weeknights at 9 p.m. In the summer of 2008, the newscast was rebranded as Fox News Baton Rouge. WGMB also produces and pre-records the 9 p.m. newscast for sister station KADN in Lafayette, and formerly did so for KMSS-TV in Shreveport. The KMSS-TV evening newscast is now handled by KFXK of Tyler, Texas.

On August 20, 2007, WGMB debuted Fox News Louisiana AM to counter the national morning shows. The newscast, anchored by Rachel Slavik and Lauren Unger, featured eight weather updates an hour from meteorologist Jesse Gunkel. It also was simulcast on sister station WNTZ in Alexandria, although news from that area rarely made it to the program. On 2 December 2008, WGMB cancelled the newscast due to cost cuts; at the same time the station also laid off an undisclosed number of employees. WGMB’s sister station, NBC affiliate WVLA, will continue to air its 6 a.m. local newscast, which precedes The Today Show.

On April 28, 2009, WGMB announced the discontinuation of all locally produced newscasts.[2] The 9 p.m. newscast will originate from sister station KETK in Tyler, Texas.

WGMB also airs a 30-minute sports program called The Show on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. It is produced by KETK in Tyler, Texas, and is hosted by Tamara Jolee.

On January 3, 2011, WGMB started producing its 9 p.m. newscast locally from Baton Rouge.

Fox44 News Baton Rouge (Weeknights 9 to 9:30 p.m.)

  • Anchor:
  • Weather:
    • Jesse Gunkel
  • Sports:
    • Matt Boudreaux
  • Reporters:
    • David D'Aquin
    • Brix Fowler
    • Kelsey Scram

Former StaffEdit

  • Jeff Beimfohr - news anchor and managing editor
  • Barrett Berard - news reporter
  • Duke Carter - news reporter
  • Kiran Chawla - news reporter and interim morning forecaster,
  • Erin Cofiell - drunk driver, news reporter, now sports reporter at WJAR-TV in Providence, RI
  • Hilarie Courtney - news reporter
  • Brett Cummins - chief meteorologist
  • Jon Fairbanks - news reporter, now at WRNN-TV in Rye Brook, NY
  • Tyler Gamble
  • Jenny Heroman - news anchor and producer, now with EATEL Fiber Edge TV
  • Kianga Kelly - news reporter
  • Chris Mycoskie - sports director, now director of television and electronic media at Southland Conference
  • Nelson Robinson - chief meteorologist
  • Morgan Rose - news reporter
  • Lauren Unger - news anchor and reporter
  • Rachel Slavik - news anchor and reporter
  • Cole Wright - sports anchor, now at ESPNEWS in Bristol, CT

News/Station presentationEdit

Newscast titlesEdit

  • Fox News Louisiana (general) / Fox News Louisiana A.M. (mornings; 2007–2008)
  • Fox 44 News / Fox News Baton Rouge (2008–present)

Station slogansEdit

  • Giving You More FOX 44 (early 90s)
  • Baton Rouge's Home for Sports and Entertainment (2006–2008)

Movie Umbrella TitlesEdit

  • WGMB Movie

BankruptcyEdit

In June 2006, owner ComCorp filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. ComCorp said in a press release viewers and staff would see no changes at the station.[3][4][5][6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ CDBS Print
  2. ^ Baton Rouge Business Report - WVLA, WGMB eliminating production of local news
  3. ^ TV station parents told to file reorganization
  4. ^ Tvnewsday - Comcorp Ready For Its Next Chapter
  5. ^ TheInd.com - News | Business | Culture - Weekly - Lafayette LA
  6. ^ :: Baton Rouge Business Report :: WVLA, WGMB getting new owners

External linksEdit

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