WPCH-TV, virtual channel 17 (UHF digital channel 20), is an independent television station licensed to Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The station is owned by the Meredith Corporation, as part of a duopoly with CBS affiliate WGCL-TV (channel 46). The two stations share studios on 14th Street Northwest (adjacent to Laurent and Mecaslin Streets) in Atlanta's Atlantic Station district; WPCH-TV's transmitter is located near Shepherds Lane and Arnold Avenue in the Woodland Hills section of northeastern Atlanta (near North Druid Hills). On cable, WPCH is available on Comcast Xfinity and Charter Spectrum channel 7 in the Atlanta market.
During its ownership under the Turner Broadcasting System (which owned the station from April 1970 until February 2017), WPCH-TV—then using the WTCG call letters—pioneered the distribution of broadcast television stations retransmitted by communications satellite to cable and satellite subscribers throughout the United States, expanding the small independent station into the first national "superstation" on December 17, 1976. (The station eventually became among the first four American superstations to begin being distributed to television providers in Canada in 1985.)
The former superstation feed – which eventually became known as simply TBS, and had maintained a nearly identical program schedule as the local Atlanta feed – was converted by Turner into a conventional basic cable network on October 1, 2007, at which time it was concurrently added to cable providers within the Atlanta market (including Comcast and Charter) alongside its existing local carriage on satellite providers DirecTV and Dish Network. Channel 17—which had used the WTBS callsign since 1979—was concurrently relaunched as WPCH (branded as "Peachtree TV") and reformatted as a traditional independent station with a separate schedule exclusively catering to the Atlanta market. Although the Atlanta station is no longer available on American multichannel television providers outside of its home market, WPCH-TV continues to be available as a de facto superstation on most Canadian cable and satellite providers.
History[edit | edit source]
As WJRJ-TV[edit | edit source]
On October 20, 1965, Rice Broadcasting Inc. – owned by Atlanta entrepreneur Jack M. Rice, Jr., owner of locally based pay television firms Atlanta Telemeter Inc. and Home Theaters of Georgia Inc. – filed a permit application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to be the holder of the construction permit to build and license to operate a new television station on UHF channel 46, the third commercial UHF allocation to be assigned to Atlanta. The FCC granted the permit to Rice Broadcasting on October 20, 1965. In January 1966, Rice Broadcasting chose to assign WJRJ-TV – named for Jack Rice, Jr. – as the call letters for its television station. On February 21, 1966, Rice subsequently filed to modify the permit to re-allocate the proposed station to UHF channel 17; the FCC granted the frequency reallocation to channel 17 five weeks later on March 31. (The UHF 46 channel allocation would eventually be assigned to the Continental Broadcasting Network arm of the Christian Broadcasting Network, which signed on WHAE-TV [now CBS-affiliated sister station WGCL-TV] over that frequency on June 6, 1971.)
Channel 17 first signed on the air on September 1, 1967. WJRJ-TV was the first commercial television station to sign on in the Atlanta market since the short-lived WQXI-TV (channel 36, allocation now occupied by MyNetworkTV affiliate WATL) signed on 13 years earlier on December 18, 1954; it was also the second independent station to begin operation in the market – the first since WQXI-TV ceased operations on May 31, 1955 – even though, on paper, had a large enough population to provide suitable viewership for an independent station since the mid-1960s, as well as one of the first independents to sign on in the Southeastern United States. The station's original studio and transmitter facility was located at 1018 West Peachtree Street Northwest, which had formerly served as the studios of then-CBS affiliate WAGA-TV (channel 5, now a Fox owned-and-operated station). At 1,050 feet (320 m), the tower near the Peachtree Street studio building became the third-tallest free-standing broadcast transmission tower in the United States at that time.
WJRJ was launched on a shoestring budget, with an afternoon and evening schedule – running from 4:00 to 11:00 p.m. – filled with older movies and a few off-network reruns (such as Father Knows Best, The Danny Thomas Show, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and The Rifleman), as well as a 15-minute-long news program. In addition to placing daily ads in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's television listings page, WJRJ-TV ran exactly one TV Guide advertisement: a half-page ad in a September 1967 issue of the magazine's Georgia edition with the headline, "Yes, Atlanta, there is a channel 17." Despite the fact that WJRJ had billed itself as "Good-looking Channel 17," technical snafus were the norm during the station's early months: film broke down, station identification, advertising and program promotion slides frequently appeared backwards, and there were often long pauses when nothing appeared on screen. The station did carry a top-rated show for a few weeks: WAGA-TV pre-empted CBS network programming to run a movie on Wednesday nights, and channel 17 stepped in to run the drama series Medical Center for a time. On June 5, 1968, Rice requested to transfer majority control of the station (reducing his interest from 53.9% to 46.68%) to Rice Broadcasting president W. R. McKinsey via stock delivery through conversion of 130,000 shares in debentures at $4.75 per share; the FCC granted the transfer on September 5.
Arrival of Ted Turner[edit | edit source]
In July 1969, Rice Broadcasting announced an agreement to merge with the Turner Communications Corporation – an Atlanta-based group owned by entrepreneur Robert E. "Ted" Turner III, who ran the billboard advertising business founded by his deceased father and had also owned radio stations in Chattanooga, Tennessee (WGOW); Charleston, South Carolina (WTMA-AM-FM, the FM station is now WSSX-FM); and Jacksonville, Florida (WMBR, now WBOB) – in an all-stock transaction. Under the terms of the deal, Rice would acquire Turner in an exchange of stock and adopt the Turner Communications name; however, Turner would acquire about 75% of the merged company and own 48.2% of its stock, receiving 1.2 million shares of Rice stock worth an estimated $3 million. The FCC granted approval of the acquisition on December 10, 1969, giving Turner its first television property. In January 1970, soon after Turner received approval of its purchase of the low-rated UHF outlet, Turner changed the station's call letters to WTCG, which reportedly stood for "Watch This Channel Grow" (though the "TCG" officially stood for Turner Communications Group). The sale was formally completed four months later on April 6, at which time Turner was assigned as licensee of WJRJ-TV.
Upon becoming owned by Turner, WTCG initially retained its original programming format. It also moved its operations to new studio facilities located a few blocks west of the original Peachtree Street facility, to the former site of the Progressive Club. During an interview in 2004, Turner revealed that some of the problems that had dogged WJRJ were present during the early days at WTCG. First, when Turner bought the station, it was the only one in the Atlanta market that was still broadcasting exclusively in black-and-white because the previous owners had not made the necessary technical upgrades to allow the transmission of color programming. (The station decided to purchase the color broadcasting equipment it needed on credit after Turner took over, and began transmitting programs in color by May 1970.) Secondly, money was still very tight during the first couple of years that Turner owned the station. However, some months had passed and Turner found himself unable to make the payments on the equipment. As a last resort (after unsuccessfully attempting to secure further financing), Turner held an on-air telethon – much in the manner of the pledge drives seen on public television – to raise the money needed to pay the station's bills. Third, as it began operations in 1970, there was new competition in the form of upstart UHF station WATL (which signed on the air on August 16, 1969 as the second television station in Atlanta to occupy the channel 36 allocation). Once the financial problems were settled, WTCG eventually drove WATL off the air in April 1971, as channel 17 (as well as the economic climate of the period) ate significantly into that station's advertising revenue; channel 36 would remain dark for five years and never became a major player until it became the market's original Fox station in October 1986.
WTCG threw an on-air party in celebration, but it would soon have a new competitor when WHAE-TV took to the air on channel 46 in June 1971; that station originally maintained a six-hour-a-day program schedule, with Christian programs filling four hours of its schedule and low-budget secular shows filling the remaining airtime. Channel 46 gradually expanded its broadcast day, running programs for 20 hours daily by 1976. By 1974, the station had a conventional general entertainment format, with religious programs mixed in among its secular shows during morning and prime time slots (such as CBN's flagship program, The 700 Club). WHAE (which became WANX-TV in 1977) was a very competitive station, but could not beat WTCG, which remained the leading independent in Atlanta.
Turner had a low budget in terms of programming purchases, and would bid very low on new shows offered in syndication; network-affiliated stations WAGA-TV, WSB-TV (channel 2) and WXIA-TV (channel 11) would get the best product. But due to network commitments, the three major affiliates could keep programs for only a few years at a time. Turner would then buy the rights to the shows that the major affiliates did not renew for nearly half the price of the original purchase. Turner also bought most of the movie packages in this manner. The station's schedule placed an emphasis on its movie library; one notable program was Academy Award Theatre (eventually renamed TBS Award Theater), which showcased films that had won or have been nominated for Academy Awards. Classic films from the 1930s through the 1950s (mostly consisting of Warner Bros. releases) were shown every day as part of the regular schedule. Many older films that had either never been telecast in the Atlanta area (such as 1935's A Midsummer Night's Dream) or had not been seen on television for a long time, made their local television debut or "comeback" on WTCG.
Channel 17's sports programming grew to include game telecasts from the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Flames, as well as Georgia Championship Wrestling, one of the roots of the later World Championship Wrestling (WCW). The sports and wrestling would become foundation blocks during the early satellite years (see below). Programs carried by WTCG during the period included a mix of sitcoms (such as I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, The Beverly Hillbillies and Three Stooges shorts), cartoons (such as The Flintstones and Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies cartoons released prior to 1948) and drama series (such as Star Trek). Another show on WTCG's lineup was Future Shock, a music program hosted by R&B singer James Brown. The show, which bore similarities to American Bandstand and Soul Train, aired in late night each Friday from 1976 to 1979.
First "Superstation"[edit | edit source]
Beginning in the early 1970s, many cable systems in middle and southern Georgia and surrounding states—namely Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina—began receiving the WTCG signal via microwave relay, enabling the station to reach far beyond the Atlanta television market. By June 1976, the WTCG signal was relayed to 95 cable systems in six Southeastern U.S. states, with an estimated reach of 440,000 households. Still, many places were located far enough away from the signal of an independent television station that this was not an option. There were cable systems that carried three stations affiliated with each of the major commercial networks and three PBS stations (one station from within the home market and two stations from neighboring markets of each network).
To serve such areas lacking an independent station, Ted Turner decided to negotiate an agreement with Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Southern Satellite Systems (SSS) – a common-carry uplink firm founded by Turner Communications, which divested the firm to Edward L. Taylor (a former vice president of marketing at Western Union) for $1 in December 1975 to comply with FCC rules prohibiting a common carrier from having involvement in program origination – to uplink the WTCG signal to the Satcom 1 communications satellite in order to distribute the station's programming to cable and C-band satellite subscribers throughout the United States. With this move, WTCG would become one of the first television stations, and only the second U.S. broadcaster – following premium cable network Home Box Office (HBO) (an eventual sister property to channel 17 as a result of Time Warner's 1996 acquisition of the Turner Broadcasting System), which began to transmit its signal nationally via satellite on September 30, 1975 – to be transmitted via satellite, instead of the then-standard method of using microwave relay to distribute a programming feed.
At 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on December 17, 1976, WTCG became America's first "superstation"—independent stations distributed to cable providers throughout their respective regions, or the entire country—when its signal was beamed via Satcom 1 to four cable television providers in the Midwestern and Southeastern United States: Multi-Vue TV's Grand Island, Nebraska, system; Hampton Roads Cablevision in Newport News, Virginia; Troy Cablevision in Troy, Alabama, and Newton Cable TV in Newton, Kansas. All four cable systems started receiving Deep Waters, a 1948 drama film starring Dana Andrews and Cesar Romero, which was already airing in progress for 30 minutes on channel 17 in Atlanta.
Instantly, WTCG increased its available viewing audience by 24,000 additional households, which consisted of 675,000 households in metropolitan Atlanta. That number would grow in the next several years, with the first heaviest concentrations in the Southern United States (where WTCG's telecasts of Atlanta Braves baseball and professional wrestling were highly popular), with its cable coverage eventually encompassing the nation. SSS initially charged prospective cable systems 10¢ per subscriber to receive the WTCG signal as a 24-hour-a-day service and 2¢ per subscriber to receive it as an overnight-only timeshare feed (for transmission over a cable channel otherwise assigned to a local or out-of-market broadcast station, to fill airtime during the occupying station's normal sign-off period). The station, and Turner's innovation, pioneered the distribution of broadcast television stations via satellite transmission to pay television subscribers nationwide, leading United Video Inc. and Eastern Microwave Inc., respectively, to uplink fellow independent stations WGN-TV in Chicago and WOR-TV (now MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station WWOR-TV) in New York City to satellite for distribution as national superstations by the spring of 1979. Eventually, other independent stations such as KTVU (now a Fox owned-and-operated station) in San Francisco, KTVT (now a CBS owned-and-operated station) in Dallas, WPIX (now a CW affiliate) in New York City and KTLA (now a CW affiliate) in Los Angeles were uplinked to satellite as well, with their distribution either being purposefully limited to a regional basis or intended for national distribution only to have its reach concentrated primarily within their home regions.
Turner's move to uplink WTCG to satellite also signaled the start of the basic cable revolution, inspiring the concept of cable-originated channels that were available to subscribers without an additional fee including, among others in the early days of basic cable, the CBN Satellite Network (now Freeform), the [original] Madison Square Garden Network (now USA Network), the Alpha Repertory Television Service (ARTS; now A&E), Nickelodeon and ESPN as well as Turner's later cable programming ventures, including Cable News Network (CNN), CNN2 (later Headline News and now HLN), Turner Network Television (TNT), Cartoon Network and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). By 1978, WTCG was carried by cable providers in all 50 states, many of which lacked access to a local commercial independent station and, in some cases, even a distant one. Programming stayed pretty similar as shows such as The Brady Bunch, The Beverly Hillbillies, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Hogan's Heroes, made-for-TV Popeye cartoons and other vintage shows would be purchased second and even third hand; All in the Family and Sanford and Son, however, were bid for and acquired by WTCG.
Management with Turner and Channel 17 treated WTCG as an "active" superstation; Turner directly asserted national promotional responsibilities for the station, made investments in programming, and charged both national and local advertising rates. This resulted in the station paying for syndicated programs at (albeit reasonably cheaper) rates comparable to other national networks, rather than merely receiving royalty payments from cable systems for programs to which it held the copyright as "passive" superstations—like WGN and WOR, which opted to take a neutral position on their national distribution and left national promotional duties to the satellite carriers that retransmitted their signals and, comparatively, had their signals redistributed without their owner's express permission under a provision in Section 111 of the Copyright Act of 1976—did. Initially, WTCG was identified as "Channel 17" or "Super 17" both locally in Atlanta and on cable providers outside of that area; by 1979, the station identified primarily by its call letters locally and nationally. By 1978, WTCG was carried on cable providers in all 50 U.S. states, reaching over 2.3 million subscribers.
As WTBS[edit | edit source]
In May 1979, Turner reached an agreement to acquire the WTBS call letters used by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based educational FM radio station owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with the intent of re-assigning the callsign to Turner's Atlanta television station. The request was made in conjunction with a $25,000 donation by Turner to a group associated with MIT to fund a new transmitter for the radio station (now known as WMBR), which would include an additional $25,000 pledge to the group if Turner Communications became successful in obtaining the WTBS calls from the FCC. Channel 17 changed its call letters to WTBS—for the Turner Broadcasting System, which its parent company had been renamed in accordance with the callsign change—on August 27, 1979; the station concurrently began branding as "SuperStation WTBS" on a limited basis. By July 1979, WTCG/WTBS was available to 1,000 cable systems throughout the United States, with a total of 4.8 million cable subscribers receiving the signal.
In 1981, Turner decided to have all of the shows carried by WTBS continue to air both locally and nationally, but separated the feeds (in a move that preceded United Video implementing this practice for the national version of WGN-TV after the FCC reinstituted the syndication exclusivity rights rule in January 1990). As a result, local commercials airing on channel 17 in Atlanta were substituted with separate national advertising, direct response ads or public service announcements over the satellite feed. Among the programming efforts WTBS made during this period was Night Tracks, a late-night music video block that aired weekends on the station from 1983 to 1992; the program aired in the form of two three-hour-long video blocks (later reduced to two two-hour blocks in August 1989, and then to two 90-minute blocks in the spring of 1990), barring pre-emptions from sporting events running overtime. Other original programs shown on WTBS during the 1980s included Tush (a late night sketch comedy and variety series hosted and developed by comedian Bill Tush that ran from 1980 to 1982), Starcade (an arcade-themed game show that ran from 1982 to 1983, with a further run through Turner Program Services in syndication until 1984), The Catlins (a Dynasty-style prime time soap opera which ran from 1983 to 1985), and The New Leave It To Beaver (a continuation of the Leave it to Beaver revival series originally aired on The Disney Channel as Still the Beaver that ran on WTBS from 1986 to 1989).
During the 1980s, WTBS featured a heavy schedule of movies – airing two film presentations during the daytime hours each weekday, and a largely movie-exclusive schedule during the nighttime hours after 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time as well as on weekends from late morning to overnight (with exceptions made for scheduled sporting events, specials, original programs and, in the case of Sunday nights, off-network syndicated series and paid programming). In 1986, Ted Turner purchased the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film studio and co-owned United Artists (UA) for $1.5 billion. However the debt that Turner Entertainment incurred from the purchase forced Turner to subsequently sell the studios back to previous owner Kirk Kerkorian that October,[ in exchange for retaining ownership of the entire MGM/UA film library (including certain acquisitions by MGM). As a result, WTBS acquired the rights to feature films released by the MGM and UA studios for its movie inventory as well as the rights to many theatrical cartoon shorts such as Tom & Jerry and comedy and drama series such as Gilligan's Island and CHiPs for its daily schedule.
By 1987, WTBS was available to 41.6 million households with a cable or satellite subscription nationwide. On September 7, 1987, the "W" in the station's call letters was dropped from the "SuperStation WTBS" branding outside of Atlanta in order to emphasize the channel's national programming prominence. Within the Atlanta market, through the early 1990s, station promos and digital on-screen graphics referred to the station as "TBS 17". The "SuperStation" branding was dropped entirely on September 10, 1990, in accordance with the national feed's discontinuance of the moniker; for a short time in the late 1990s, in concurrence with the restoration of the sub-brand on the national feed, the "Superstation" brand returned to WTBS – under the "Superstation 17" moniker – without the "TBS" branding.
On September 22, 1995, Time Warner – a New York City-based media company formed in 1989 through the merger of Time Inc. and Warner Bros. corporate parent Warner Communications – reached an agreement to acquire the Turner Broadcasting System and its associated properties (including WTBS/TBS, CNN, TNT, Headline News and Cartoon Network as well as Turner Entertainment) for $7.5 billion; the deal would also expand Time Warner's cable television holdings, as it had owned HBO and sister premium service Cinemax as well as cable television provider Time Warner Cable since the Time-Warner Communications merger six years prior. (Time Warner and predecessor Warner Communications had owned an 18% interest in Turner Broadcasting since 1987, as part of a cable television industry-backed bailout of the company amid severe financial issues.) Under the terms, Turner would acquire an approximate 10% interest in Time Warner as well as oversee its cable network group – comprising the Turner and Home Box Office units and its minority interests in Comedy Central and E! – and hold a position on the company's board of directors (which he retained until he stepped down from the company in February 2006) upon the merger's closure. The merger received regulatory approval on September 12, 1996; the Turner–Time Warner deal was finalized one month later on October 10, forming what at the time was the largest media company in the world.
On December 17, 1997, Time Warner purchased Southern Satellite Systems from Liberty Media for $213 million in cash, as part of a purchase option that Time Warner chose to exercise on September 16. Time Warner held out on an option to acquire SSS through a common stock buyout and instead chose a cash payment citing the “strong overall financial performance of its businesses and its belief that its stock remains undervalued” in spite of price appreciation having been appreciated. The purchase gave Time Warner control over uplink responsibilities for TBS/WTBS.
In September 1998, due to the trend of children's programs migrating more toward cable channels such as Turner's Cartoon Network, WTBS dropped animated series and cartoon shorts from its schedule entirely, leaving a weekday daytime and weekend morning schedule comprised strictly of feature films, sitcoms from the 1980s and 1990s, and a few drama series. As the 1990s and 2000s wore on, the station began to more closely resemble a basic cable channel than a superstation. Outside of Braves baseball, the only Atlanta-centric programming seen on WTBS by 2002 was a pair of weekend morning public affairs shows that were only broadcast over WTBS, and were replaced on the national feed by acquired television series. In September 2003, WTBS dropped a large proportion of dramatic films from its feature film slate and all of its acquired drama series, in an effort to refocus the schedule around comedy programming, consisting of comedy films and sitcoms from the 1990s. (This occurred three years after sister network TNT had altered its schedule to specialize in drama programs.)
Transition to Peachtree TV[edit | edit source]
As WTBS shifted its programming philosophy, it was eventually determined that the station should be split up into two separate entities. The national cable channel would be known as TBS, while the Atlanta broadcast station would retain a commercial independent format that also focused on sitcoms, as well as other movies and local interest programs. On October 1, 2007, Turner Broadcasting changed the station's call letters to WPCH-TV, and rebranded it as "Peachtree TV". The WPCH call letters had already been used by an unrelated AM radio station in West Point (owned by iHeartMedia, then known as Clear Channel Communications) on 1310 AM; the calls had previously been used in Atlanta by the present-day WUBL (94.9 FM, which accordingly was branded as "Peach 94.9") from 1972 to 2002. (Outside of the Atlanta area, the calls had been used by the Augusta radio station now known as WNRR [1380 AM] from 2003 to 2006, and then in the Macon area by the present-day WIHB-FM [96.5 FM] from 2006 to 2015; all three of which are also owned by iHeartMedia. Probably the first use of the WPCH call letters was by a radio station in New York City which operated from November 6, 1926 to June 4, 1933; the station was created as a merger of two earlier stations, WFBH and WRW, under the ownership of Concourse Radio Corporation; it was bought by the owners of WMCA in the fall of 1927 and was merged into that station six years later.)
As a result of the separation of channel 17 from the national feed, the national version of TBS became available to cable and satellite viewers in the Atlanta market – including Comcast and Time Warner Cable systems within metro Atlanta – for the first time. (Simultaneous to this, the national TBS network would begin broadcasting MLB games featuring all teams, not just the Braves, and the League Division and Championship Series.) WPCH-TV carries classic and more recent off-network syndicated programming and movies. The relaunched station contains significantly more paid programming, programs targeted at an African American audience, and older, less expensive programming than its predecessor WTBS. Channel 17 also continued to carry Atlanta Braves baseball games until 2012, when all Braves games became cable-exclusive within the market via regional sports networks Fox Sports South and SportSouth (now Fox Sports Southeast), following a two-year arrangement with Fox Sports South in which it assumed production responsibilities for the station's 45 annual Atlanta Braves broadcasts from Turner Sports.
On January 18, 2011, Turner Broadcasting/Time Warner announced it would enter into a local marketing agreement with Des Moines-based Meredith Corporation, under which Turner/Time Warner would retain ownership of the broadcast license while Meredith would assume responsibility for advertising sales, marketing and promotional services and technical operations for WPCH under the purview of CBS affiliate WGCL-TV (which Meredith had purchased in August 1998 in concurrence with longtime owner Tribune Broadcasting's full acquisition of then-WATL-owner Qwest Broadcasting). Channel 17 subsequently migrated its operations from the Techwood Drive facility into WGCL's studio building on 14th Street Northwest in Atlanta's Atlantic Station district. This management agreement with Meredith apparently also ended Turner Broadcasting's yearly sponsorship of Piedmont Park's "Screen on the Green" beginning in 2011.
Outright sale to Meredith[edit | edit source]
On October 22, 2016, AT&T announced an offer to acquire Time Warner for $108.7 billion, including debt it would assume from the latter; the merger would bring Time Warner's various media properties, including TBS, under the same corporate umbrella as AT&T's telecommunications holdings, including satellite provider DirecTV. WPCH was among the very few Time Warner properties licensed by the FCC, as cable channels like CNN and broadcast television networks like The CW – the latter of which operates as a joint venture with CBS Corporation – are not directly licensed by the FCC (though another wrinkle in the deal involved the company's send/receive satellite dishes, which were Time Warner-owned and licensed by the FCC and were reviewed as part of AT&T's existing infrastructure under the agency's overview of the merger). In the announcement, the companies said they were still determining which, if any, of Time Warner's FCC licenses would be assumed by AT&T.
Media analysts suggested that WPCH was likely to be spun off or sold to a third party to potentially avoid an FCC review entirely, in an effort to expedite the AT&T–Time Warner merger. On February 20, 2017, Meredith announced that it would acquire the license assets of WPCH-TV from the Turner Broadcasting System for $70 million. The sale received FCC approval on April 17, 2017, and was finalized four days later on April 21. The TBS cable channel would remain part of Time Warner, which was renamed WarnerMedia upon the merger's June 14, 2018 consummation, following a 1½-year-long antitrust battle with the United States Department of Justice that ended with the deal being affirmed by court judgement.
|TV stations in Georgia|
|Religious stations||Spanish stations||Other stations||Religious stations||Spanish stations||Other stations|
|WDTA-LD, Atlanta||WUVM-LP, Atlanta||WYGA-CD, Atlanta||WYBU-CD, Columbus||WDGA-CD, Dalton||WSCG, Baxley|
|WATC, Atlanta||WTBS-LD/WANN-CD, Atlanta||WPCH, Atlanta||WELF, Dalton||WMUB-LD, Macon|
|WHSG, Monroe||WUVG, Athens||WKSY-LD, Summerville||WDMA-CD, Macon||WXSX-CA, Savannah|
|WGGD-LD, Gainesville||WKTB-CD, Atlanta||WGTA, Toccoa||WGNM, Macon||WDNN-CD, Dalton|
|WIGL-LD, Athens||WIRE-CD, Atlanta||WTLH, Bainbridge|
|WTHC-LD, Atlanta||WPGA-LP, Macon|
|W45DX-D, Atlanta||WSST, Cordele|
|TV stations in North Georgia, including Atlanta and Athens|
|WSB 2 (ABC) |
WUVM-LP 4 (AZA)
WAGA 5 (Fox)
WGTV 8 (PBS)
WXIA 11 (NBC)
WPXA 14 (Ion)
WGGD-LD 15 (Daystar)
WYGA-CD 16 (SHOP-LC)
WPCH 17 (Ind)
WKSY-LD 21 (Ind)
WTBS-LD 26 (ESTRELLA)
WDWW-LD 28 (Ind)
WPBA 30 (PBS)
WGTA 32 (MeTV)
WANN-CD 32 (APG)
WUVG 34 (UNI)
WDTA-LD 35 (Daystar)
WATL 36 (MNTV)
WIGL-LD 38 (TCT)
WIRE-CD 40 (Info)
WTHC-LD 42 (Ind)
W45DX-D 45 (HSN2)
WGCL 46 (CBS)
WKTB-CD 47 (TLM)
WAGC-LD 51 (Info)
WATC 57 (Rel)
WHSG 63 (TBN)
WUPA 69 (CW)