WJBF, WAGT announce joint operating plan

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Two downtown Augusta television stations will be sharing services starting in January.

WJBF Channel 6 and WAGT Channel 26 announced Monday that their parent companies have signed a letter of intent indicating that WJBF would provide sales, news and other operational services for WAGT.

Richmond, Va.-based Media General owns ABC affiliate WJBF at 1001 Reynolds St., and Mishawaka, Ind.-based Schurz Communications Inc. owns WAGT, the market's NBC affiliate, at 905 Broad St.

WAGT will manage programming other than local news and fulfill additional obligations required by the Federal Communications Commission, the stations announced.

The stations also will develop a plan to share operating facilities.

"We are very proud of the staff and management of WAGT and their commitment to their community. But it has become clear that the current economic conditions will only make it increasingly difficult to operate as we have in the past," Marci Burdick, senior vice president for Schurz Communications, said in a release.

"There has been a mutual trust and respect between our two companies for many years. We believe the new agreement allows the best of both companies to be leveraged for the benefit of the viewers and advertisers in the CSRA," she added.

Calls to the stations for further information were not returned Monday.

Reach LaTina Emerson at (706) 823-3227 or latina.emerson@augustachronicle.com.

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Niko Mahs
Niko Mahs 10/06/09 - 09:27 am
You do not need two national

You do not need two national affiliates in a one horse town!

GeorgeBrown905 10/06/09 - 11:23 am
Basically, WAGT has been sold

Basically, WAGT has been sold to WJBF but it can't be done completely legally so they've side stepped the no backbone FCC. I doubt Schurz was losing money on that bare bones operation. Dozens of people are without jobs and you just lost another point of view when it comes to news. How is WJBF going to provide news? Are they going to simulcast the same news on two channels? Why bother? As a former employee, this saddens me for the people and the industry.

ripjones 10/06/09 - 04:07 pm
As I said in the story posted

As I said in the story posted yesterday, the wrong station came out on top. I wonder what the WAGT management are getting out of this deal? And Niko -- You have to at least have an affiliate for each of the major networks.

conservative 10/10/09 - 10:33 pm
This is a shame. We have had

This is a shame. We have had four very good TV stations in Augusta. We watch WAGT-NBC the most because they are very often ther FIRST with certain news, and they are ACCURATE. Sometimes at the end of some ABC news reports there have been several bits of news that leave us wondering. The news is not complete and had been rushed through to cram in some other not as important news. John Hart is an excellent sports reporter. The ABC morning news guy is the best. To get the BEST in all around news, we watch WAGT-NBC. I don't know how they do it but they get some HOT local news first by far, and they get it accurate. They have some reporters that do not present as well on the cameras. Those that present the BEST are not on as often as they should be (Steve Kuzj). Had you been in Minneapolis, MN after the I-35 West, bridge collapse your mouth would have been hanging open in aw at his reporting and accurate facts and follow ups. That is just ONE example. He has it together friends. You cannot blame anyone for wanting to get back nearer home, but if he leaves, MN gain will be our GREAT loss. Let us all pray that it never happens.

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