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WSOC-TV, virtual channel 9 (UHF digital channel 34), is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. The station is owned by the Cox Media Group subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises, as part of a duopoly with Kannapolis-licensed independent station WAXN-TV (channel 64). The two stations share studios on North Tryon Street (U.S. 29/NC 49) north of uptown Charlotte; WSOC-TV's transmitter is located near Reedy Creek Park in the Newell section of Charlotte.

On cable, WSOC-TV is carried in standard definition on Charter Spectrum channel 4 in the immediate Charlotte area (channel 9 in Kannapolis, Concord and on legacy Charter systems), Comporium Communications channel 104 and AT&T U-verse channel 9, and in high definition on Spectrum digital channel 1200 (channel 709 on legacy Charter systems), Comporium channel 1104 and U-verse channel 1009.

HistoryEdit

The station first signed on the air on April 28, 1957 as Charlotte's third television station, after WBTV (channel 3) and WAYS-TV (channel 36, which operated from 1954 to 1955); it was also Charlotte's second station on the VHF band. WSOC-TV is Charlotte's second-oldest continuously operating station, behind WBTV. It operated from a temporary facility on Plaza Road Extension in what was then a rural portion of eastern Mecklenburg County.

WSOC was originally locally owned by Carolina Broadcasting, operated by the Jones family, along with WSOC radio (1240 AM, now WYFQ on 930 AM) and WSOC-FM 103.7. WSOC was the second radio station to sign on in Charlotte, having made its debut in 1929, seven years after the debut of WBT (1110 AM). Channel 9 originally operated as a primary NBC affiliate, and maintained a secondary affiliation with ABC, sharing the network with WBTV. In 1959, WSOC-AM-FM-TV were sold to Cox Enterprises under its forerunner, Miami Valley Broadcasting Company. That same year, it dedicated its current studios on North Tryon Street.

Channel 36 returned to the air in November 1964 as WCCB. WCCB moved to the stronger UHF channel 18 allocation in November 1966, but it continued to be at a competitive disadvantage because many Charlotte-area households did not yet have television sets with UHF tuning capability. As a result, ABC retained a secondary affiliation with WSOC and WBTV, while WCCB aired programs from all three networks (ABC, NBC and CBS) that WSOC and WBTV declined to air. In 1967, WSOC became an exclusive NBC affiliate, while WCCB became a full-time ABC affiliate.

By 1978, ABC had become the highest-rated broadcast television network in the United States for the first time; the network wanted a stronger affiliate in Charlotte than WCCB. WSOC switched its affiliation back to ABC on July 1, 1978, this time as a full-time affiliate. NBC programming was moved over to former independent station WRET (channel 36, now WCNC-TV), due to a promise by then-owner Ted Turner to make $2.5 million in upgrades to that station, including the planned launch of a news department and upgrades to its transmitter; WCCB became an independent station by default, remaining so for the next nine years until it affiliated with Fox when that network launched in October 1986. The WSOC radio stations were sold off in the early 1990s (the AM station that is now WYFQ is now owned by Bible Broadcasting Network; WSOC-FM is currently owned by Beasley Broadcast Group).

By the mid-1990s, WSOC-TV had a problem. It owned the rights to a large amount of syndicated programming, but increased local news commitments left it without enough time in its broadcast day to air it all. In 1996, it found a solution in the form of a joint sales agreement with independent station WKAY-TV (channel 64). As part of the deal, WKAY moved its operations to WSOC-TV's studios and changed its call letters to WAXN-TV. Under the JSA, much of channel 9's inventory of syndicated programming was acquired by WAXN. One of those programs was The Andy Griffith Show; it had been a mainstay on channel 9 for decades on weekday afternoons at 5 p.m. before being bumped in favor of a 5 p.m. newscast. Cox purchased WAXN outright for $3 million in 1999, shortly after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reversed its long-standing ban on television station duopolies, The sale was officially approved by the FCC in 2000. WSOC-TV served as the Charlotte "Love Network" affiliate of the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon from 1974 to 2001; the program moved to WAXN thereafter, before returning to WSOC in 2013 (by this point, known as the MDA Show of Strength) after the program abandoned its syndicated long-form telethon format and became a shortened two-hour network telecast on ABC; the telecast was discontinued after 2014.

On December 21, 2010, a distraught 51-year-old woman armed with a gun entered the WSOC-TV studios, forcing the station to temporarily go off the air just after the start of that evening's 5 p.m. newscast. After a one-hour standoff, the woman was taken into custody; it was later determined that the gun was not loaded. No injuries were reported in the incident.

On March 9, 2017, WSOC-TV announced that they would launch Telemundo Charlotte, on sub-channel 9.2, which launched on June 1 of that year. Laff, which was on sub-channel 9.2 since April 15, 2015, relocated to WAXN-DT4. WSOC-DT2 effecively took over the channel positions on pay-TV providers in the Charlotte market upon that day for Telemundo's national feed. WSOC-DT2 also features a secondary Spanish-language local news operation which draws from both the resources of WSOC and its own reporting.


TV stations in North Carolina
WTVD, Durham

WSOC, Charlotte
WLOS, Asheville
WXLV, Winston-Salem
WWAY, Wilmington
WCTI, Jacksonville

TV stations in North Carolina
Independent stations Religious stations Spanish-language stations Other stations
WSKY, Manteo/Hampton Roads/Norfolk/Virginia Beach WRAY/WLXI, Wake Forest/Greensboro WSOC-DT2, Charlotte WFPX, Archer Lodge
WILM-LD, Wilmington WHFL-CD, Goldsboro WUVC/WTNC-LD, Fayetteville/Durham WNCR-LD, Tarboro
WHKY, Hickory WGTB-CD, Charlotte WRTD-CD, Raleigh WARZ-CD, Smithfield
WGSR-LD, Reidsville WHWD-LD/WDMC-LD, Statesville/Charlotte WNCB-LD/WIRP-LD, Fayetteville WTMH-LD, Kinston
WUBX-CD, Durham WWIW-LD, Raleigh/Durham WHEH-LD, Lumberton
WAXN, Kannapolis
TV stations in the Charlotte, North Carolina area
WBTV 3 (CBS)
WSOC 9 (ABC)
WHKY 14 (Ind)
WCEE-LP 16 (ESTRELLA)
WUNE 17 (PBS)
WCCB 18 (CW)
W21CK-D 21 (3ABN)
WHWD-LD 21 (Daystar)
WDMC-LD 25 (Daystar)
WGTB-CD 28 (Ind)
WNSC 30 (PBS)
WCNC 36 (NBC)
WVEB-LD 40 (Cozi)
WHEH-LD 41 (AZA)
WTVI 42 (PBS)
WJZY 46 (Fox)
WMYT 55 (MNTV)
WUNG 58 (PBS)
WAXN 64 (Ind)
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