ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Albany is getting a local ABC television affiliate through WALB. ABC and Raycom Media, our parent company, reached a new agreement to broadcast the full ABC Network programming schedule in Albany.
It won't affect any of our current local or NBC programming on WALB. The channel will launch early next year and will include southwest Georgia's first 7:00 p.m. newscast.
The new ABC affiliate will originate here at the WALB Studios on Stuart Avenue, as WALB continues to also broadcast the same NBC programming. 'WALB 10.2' will become the 240th ABC Network affiliate.
ABC fans who have struggled to pick up ABC's off air signal 86 miles away in Columbus won't have to struggle after the first of the year.
"This will dramatically change the reception of ABC for the people in the area who do still pick up their local channels with a rooftop antenna or an indoor antenna the reception will be far better since we'll be broadcasting from our same tower," said WALB-TV General Manager Jim Wilcox.
WALB will broadcast the ABC signal on digital channel 10.2 moving 'This TV' to 10.3.
"Our new affiliation with ABC will greatly strengthen WALB's commitment to Albany and south Georgia," said Wilcox.
Partly because the new affiliation will include southwest Georgia's first 7:00 newscast. "At 7:00 PM we're going to have a new live news program that will only be available on the ABC program."
And an opportunity for new syndicated programs. "There are some other syndicated programs that are not currently available in the market but we'll make those announcement a little later."
This isn't the first time WALB has been an ABC affiliate, the station had the dual affiliation until the late 70's. You'll also be able to watch a simulcast of WALB's local news on the ABC affiliate three times a day leading into Good Morning America, World News Tonight and Nightline.
The new affiliation will provide more opportunities for local community programming that haven't existed with limited local stations in town.
The addition of the new channel will give ABC a total of 240 affiliates. And to be clear, this will not affect the programming you currently see here on WALB and NBC. The is all made possible by the mulitcasting ability in this new digital world.
Here is the news release issued by ABC and Raycom--
The ABC Television Network and Raycom Media, Inc. have reached a new affiliation agreement to broadcast the full ABC Television Network programming schedule in the Albany, GA DMA, utilizing WALB digital channel 10.2.
WALB will also continue to broadcast its current NBC and local programming line up on its primary channel. Viewers will continue to see the current programming on the same channel over the air, on cable and satellite.
The announcement was made by Paul McTear, president and CEO of Raycom Media, Inc. and John Rouse, senior vice president, Affiliate Relations, ABC Television Network.
As part of the new affiliation, WALB 10.2 will broadcast local news coverage for the market three times a day leading into the network programs Good Morning America, World News Tonight and Nightline. The channel is targeted to launch in early 2011.
"We are looking forward to a strong distribution relationship with WALB 10.2 in Albany," said Rouse. "This will mark our sixth ABC affiliation with Raycom Media, a valued media ally in delivering exceptional programming to local markets."
"With WALB 10.2 we are looking forward to further serving the viewers and communities of the Albany DMA by providing them a local outlet for ABC programming combined with our award-winning news coverage," commented Paul McTear of Raycom.
Jim Wilcox, vice president and general manager of WALB added "Our new affiliation with ABC will greatly strengthen the station's commitment to Albany and South Georgia by improving our news, public outreach and advertising services. For the first time, the market will have a local newscast at 7:00pm and area businesses, groups and services will have the opportunity to insert local advertising in ABC programming."
Previously, the Albany DMA was served by out-of-market broadcasts from surrounding ABC affiliates. Raycom Media's other ABC affiliates include KAIT Jonesboro, AR; KLTV Tyler, TX; KTRE, Lufkin, TX; WLOX Biloxi, MS; and WTVM Columbus, GA.
With the addition of this new station, ABC will have a total of 240 affiliates.
Raycom Media owns/operates 46 television stations in 36 markets and 18 states, covering 12.6% of the US television households.