WTLV, virtual channel 12 (VHF digital channel 13), is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Jacksonville, Florida, United States. The station is owned by Tegna Inc., as part of a duopoly with Orange Park-licensed ABC affiliate WJXX (channel 25). The two stations share studio facilities on East Adams Street (near TIAA Bank Field) in downtown Jacksonville; WTLV's transmitter is located on Eve Drive at the east end of the Killarney Shores antenna farm.

On cable, the station is available on channel 11 on Comcast Xfinity (cable channel 12 is occupied by Brunswick, Georgia-licensed Ion Television owned-and-operated station WPXC-TV, which broadcasts over the air on virtual channel 21) and channel 12 in most outlying areas of the market.

History[edit | edit source]

The station first signed on the air on September 1, 1957 as WFGA-TV (which stood for "We're Florida and GeorgiA"). Founded by the Florida-Georgia Television Company, it was originally a primary NBC affiliate with a secondary affiliation with ABC. It was the first television station in the United States that was designed for color broadcasting, and many of the country's color commercials were filmed at the station. Two years later, WFGA donated tower space, money and transmitting facilities to the market's National Educational Television (NET) member station WJCT (channel 7, now a PBS member station). In 1958, WFGA was selected "Newsfilm Station of the Year" by the National Press Photographers Association.

On October 11, 1958, channel 12 became the first television station to air a live launch from Cape Canaveral – Thor-Able's successful launch of the Pioneer I lunar probe. The station also provided the remote facilities, and supplied video and audio for all three major networks (ABC, NBC and CBS). This earned WFGA-TV the exclusive spot for NBC's space coverage. WFGA lost the ABC affiliation to WJKS (channel 17, later WJWB and now CW affiliate WCWJ), when it signed on September 1966; as a result, channel 12 became an exclusive NBC affiliate.

In 1972, the station changed its call letters to WTLV. In 1975, the station was purchased by Harte-Hanks Communications. On March 31, 1980, WTLV swapped affiliations with WJKS, joining ABC, which at the time was the most-watched of the then-three major U.S. broadcast television networks. In 1988, the Gannett Company bought WTLV from Harte-Hanks, in a two-station deal with Greensboro, North Carolina sister station WFMY-TV. On April 3 of that year, WTLV reversed the 1980 affiliation swap with WJKS, returning to NBC in what the network called one of its most successful affiliation switches ever. By this time, NBC had once again become the highest-rated broadcast network.

Duopoly with WJXX[edit | edit source]

After the Federal Communications Commission legalized television station duopolies on November 15, 1999, the Allbritton Communications Company announced the following day that it would sell ABC affiliate WJXX (channel 25) to Gannett, creating a duopoly with WTLV. Normally, duopolies between two "big four" affiliates or even "big three" affiliates would not be allowed because they usually constituted the top four stations in a market. FCC regulations do not allow common ownership of any two of the four highest-rated stations in a market based on total-day viewership. However, WJXX had ranked as the fifth highest-rated station in the market, often trailing WJWB (which had gone from one of ABC's weakest affiliates to becoming one of The WB's strongest) and Fox affiliate WAWS (channel 30, now WFOX-TV), in addition to WJXT and WTLV. Once the sale was finalized on March 17, 2000, Gannett's purchase of WJXX became the first instance where a single company owned two television stations that both had affiliations with a "big three" television network (all of Jacksonville's "big four" network affiliates ended up under the control of two media companies by 2002, when WJAX (then WTEV-TV)—which is operated alongside Cox Media Group's WFOX—replaced WJXT as the market's CBS affiliate.

As part of the purchase, the company integrated WJXX's operations into WTLV's Adams Street facility and launched a joint news operation known as First Coast News. However, most of the on-air personnel were holdovers from WTLV. The studios of the newly created duopoly were also renovated and a new graphics and music package ("Global Village" by Stephen Arnold Music) was introduced for the newscasts. On October 29, 2007, as part of the introduction of a new graphics package for the First Coast News broadcasts, the station debuted a new non-italic staggered "12" logo for general branding purposes, replacing the bold-italic, retro "12" that had been in use since the 1980s.

Around the first week of October 2012, Gannett entered a dispute against Dish Network regarding compensation fees and Dish's AutoHop commercial-skip feature on its Hopper digital video recorders. Gannett ordered that Dish discontinue AutoHop on the account that it is affecting advertising revenues for its Jacksonville television stations. Gannett threatened to pull them both from the satellite provider should the skirmish continue beyond October 7 and Dish and Gannett fail to reach an agreement. The two parties eventually reached an agreement after extending the deadline for a few hours.

On June 29, 2015, the Gannett Company split in two, with one side specializing in print media and the other side specializing in broadcast and digital media. WTLV and WJXX were retained by the latter company, named Tegna.

On May 30, 2017, WTLV was fined $55,000 by the FCC for illegally using the Emergency Alert System beeps in a Jacksonville Jaguars promo from August 4 to 6, 2016.

TV stations in Florida
WTVJ, Miami

WFLA, Tampa
WNBW, Gainesville
WTLV, Jacksonville
WTWC, Tallahassee
WJHG, Panama City
WESH, Orlando
WBBH, Fort Myers
WPTV, West Palm Beach

TV stations in the First Coast and Colonial Coast, including Jacksonville and Brunswick
WJXT 4 (Ind)
WCWJ 17 (CW)
WPXC 21 (Ion)
WWRJ-LP 27 (Rel)
WFOX 30 (Fox)
WUJF-LD 33 (Daystar)
W39DF-D 39 (HSN)
WJGV-CD 48 (Ind)
W50CO-D 50 (3ABN)
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