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WGFL, virtual and UHF digital channel 28, is a dual CBS/MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station serving Gainesville, Florida, United States that is licensed to High Springs. Owned by New Age Media, it is sister to two Gainesville-licensed stations: low-powered, Class A Antenna TV affiliate WYME-CD (channel 45) and full-power NBC affiliate WNBW-DT (channel 9). The latter is actually owned by MPS Media but operated by New Age Media under a local marketing agreement (LMA). All three stations, in turn, are operated under a master service agreement by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. The stations share studios on Northwest 80th Boulevard (along I-75/SR 93) in Gainesville; WGFL's transmitter is located in Newberry.
|High Springs/Gainesville, Florida|
|City||High Springs, Florida|
CBS 4 (cable channel)
newscasts: CBS 4 News
DT2: My 11 Gainesville
|Channels||Digital: 28 (UHF)|
(to move to 29 (UHF))
Virtual: 28 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||28.1: CBS (2002–present)|
|Owner||New Age Media, LLC|
(New Age Media of Gainesville License, LLC)
|Operator||Sinclair Broadcast Group|
(via master service agreement)
|Founded||June 22, 1987|
|First air date||September 20, 1997|
|Call letters' meaning||Gainesville, FLorida|
|Sister station(s)||broadcast: WGFL-DT2, WNBW-DT, WYME-CD|
cable: Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports Sun
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
53 (UHF, 1997–2008)
|Former affiliations||The WB (primary, 1997–2002)|
UPN (secondary, 1997–2004)
|Transmitter power||168 kW|
125 kW (CP)
|Height||265 m (869 ft)|
288 m (945 ft) (CP)
|Public license information||Profile|
On cable, WGFL is available on Cox channel 4 in Gainesville and Altitude Communications channel 4 in High Springs (hence the on-air branding CBS 4). There is a high definition feed offered on Cox digital channel 1004.
The Gainesville market is located between several other Florida DMAs. In these areas, local cable systems opt instead for the affiliate for their home market instead of WGFL. This includes Charter Spectrum and Cox in Ocala (part of the Orlando market) that both offer WKMG-TV. In Lake City (part of the Jacksonville DMA), Comcast Xfinity provides WJAX-TV.
As a WB affiliateEdit
WGFL signed on September 20, 1997, offering an analog signal on UHF channel 53. It originally served as the WB affiliate for the Gainesville area and was known on-air as "WB 53". The station also maintained a secondary affiliation with UPN, carrying its programming at 10 p.m. following WB's regular primetime schedule.
WGFL's daytime programming mainly consisted of classic sitcom reruns along with various reality/talk shows such as Queen Latifah. Like most WB affiliates at the time, WGFL carried the afternoon Kids' WB line up along with more youth oriented sitcoms like Sister, Sister during the evenings.
In May 2002, WGFL announced its intention to affiliate with the CBS network on July 15, 2002; this came about as an affiliation switch arose involving then-CBS affiliate WJXT and then-UPN affiliate WTEV (now WJAX-TV) in Jacksonville, which led WJXT to drop CBS programming and become an independent. Up until that point, WJXT had served as the default CBS affiliate for Gainesville because its signal offered city-grade coverage into the area.
When the switch took place, WGFL gained the CBS affiliation and the station re-branded to "CBS 4" (preferring to go by its cable channel number on Cox systems). Now displaced, the UPN programs were moved to late night hours on WGFL while The WB moved over to a new cable-only station branded as "WB 10" (again referring to the Cox channel assignment). The UPN programming would later move from WGFL in 2004 (see Translators).
The CBS affiliation also brought Florida Gators football as well as the NFL to the station through the network's rights to air SEC and AFC football games. The SEC games have been high ratings draws especially during the Gators' national championship seasons of 2006 and 2008.
During the mid 2000s, WGFL went through a couple of ownership changes. In 2004, the station was sold to Pegasus Communications due an earlier time brokerage agreement with then-owner Budd Broadcasting A short time later, WGFL would become part of New Age Media after Pegasus filed for bankruptcy in 2005.
On September 25, 2013, New Age Media announced that it would sell most of its stations, including WGFL and WMYG-LP, to the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Concurrently, sister station WNBW-DT was slated to be sold to Cunningham Broadcasting and was to continue to be operated by WGFL. On October 31, 2014, New Age Media requested the dismissal of its application to sell WGFL; the next day, Sinclair purchased the non-license assets of the stations it planned to buy from New Age Media and began operating them through a master service agreement.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|28.1||1080i||16:9||CBS 4||Main WGFL programming / CBS|
WGFL discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 53, on July 18, 2008. The station's digital signal broadcasts on its pre-transition UHF channel 28. It was one of very few big three affiliates permitted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to cease analog transmission prior to the national digital switchover on June 12, 2009. The transmitter facility space formerly occupied by WGFL's analog signal on UHF channel 53 is now used for WNBW's transmission.
|Station||City of license||Channel||Former callsigns||Notes|
|WMYG-LP1||Lake City||11 (VHF)||W15AG (1985–2001)
|Became affiliate of MyNetworkTV on September 5, 2006; license canceled on November 18, 2015 (now on WGFL-DT2)|
|WYPN-CA2||Gainesville||45 (UHF)||W14CB (1994–1997)
|Now WYME-CD and an affiliate of Antenna TV|
- WLCF/WMYG had operated as a translator of WGFL since the station's sign-on in 1997.
- WYPN became a translator of WGFL on July 15, 2002; it had previously operated as an independent station since 1994. It would later become a separate station when it picked up the UPN affiliation on December 1, 2004.
Syndicated programming on WGFL includes Extra, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, Hot Bench, and Judge Judy among others. The latter four programs are distributed by CBS Television Distribution.
In 2002, WGFL aired a weekly sports-oriented show on Friday evenings called Sports Showdown. The show mainly focused on the Gator sports teams and was hosted by Larry Vettel with Gainesville Sun sports columnist Pat Dooley.
When the station became a CBS affiliate in 2002, there were plans to start a local news operation as early as the fall of that year. In 2003, WGFL entered a news-share agreement with nearby CBS affiliate WTEV (now WJAX-TV) in Jacksonville and in November began simulcasting their noon, 6 p.m., and 11 p.m. newscasts. While WTEV's newscasts focused on the Jacksonville area, they did cover Gainesville during Gator football season or major news events. After a few years, WGFL quietly dropped the WTEV simulcasts in the fall of 2006 and replaced it with the nationally syndicated INN News.
WGFL later formalized their relationship with INN and on October 27, 2010, the station launched GTN News. Produced from the Independent News Network's studios in Little Rock, Arkansas, the news team is supplemented by local reporters in the Gainesville area. Currently, WGFL simulcasts with WNBW at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; the 11:00 p.m. newscast can be delayed on either station due to network obligations. WGFL and WNBW also simulcast local news and weather cut-ins on weekday mornings during their respective national network shows. WGFL also aired a standalone 5:30 p.m. newscast which was canceled a few years later.
On April 4, 2016, WGFL began using the Sinclair music and graphics package along with re-branding the newscasts to CBS 4 News.
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