The new 30,000-square-foot home under construction for WRDW-WAGT, Gray’s CBS-NBC duopoly in Augusta, Ga., will do more than house the latest tech and workflows, it will also serve as a “billboard” to remind the locals to tune in, as well as a classy venue for schmoozing Gray advertisers and investors, especially during the annual Masters golf tournament.
The new 30,000-square-foot operation will house the group’s WRDW and WAGT and is slated to launch late next year.
Mike Oates and Sacha Purciful will oversee duopolies of WRDW-WAGT and WHSV-WSVF, respectively.
The fight between Gray Television and Media General over operation of Augusta, Ga., NBC affiliate WAGT has, in effect, ended. In a filing Tuesday with the Georgia Supreme Court, Media General withdrew its injunction, which the high court suspended last month and which had kept Gray Television from operating the station for much of February and March.
A federal judge will hear arguments this Thursday involving a contract dispute between the station’s new owner, Gray Television, and Media General, the company that has been operating WAGT (NBC) under a long-term contract with former owner Schurz Communications. Gray, owner of Augusta’s WRDW (CBS), says the agreement dissolved when it acquired the NBC affiliate from Schurz. Media General, which owns WJBF (ABC), maintains the joint operating agreement is still in effect.
A judge’s action Friday might delay Schurz Communications from selling NBC affiliate WAGT Augusta, Ga., to Gray Television Group, which operates the market’s CBS affiliate WRDW. The conflict between Media General and its ABC affil WJBF and the owners of the two other stations is complicated by the involvement of federal agencies and spectrum usage rights, but it boils down to a contract dispute, Judge Michael N. Annis said.
News anchors from WJBF will no longer be able to appear on WAGT following the dissolution of a previous joint operating agreement between the two.
A promotion thought up by Mike Oates, general sales manager at Gray’s CBS affiliate in Augusta, Ga., won the top award at the NAB’s Small Market Television Exchange. “Like most great ideas, the concept is simple,” says Angie Doolittle, the WRDW account executive in charge of the project.
Augusta, Ga., may be a small market, but its main newspaper, the Augusta Chronicle, is making big noise as one of the few sites to have found success with a metered paywall. Competition from local TV outlets, three of which are owned by Media General, is tepid.