1951 - On the Air: WXIA-TV's history dates back to 1951 when the station signed on the air as an ABC affiliate. Twenty-nine years later, in September 1980, Channel 11 joined NBC. Early in its history, the station was known as WLWA-TV and operated under the ownership of Crosley Broadcasting. Known from the start as a station with a strong interest in local, live programming, the station was purchased in 1962 by Richard Fairbanks of Indianapolis and officially became WAII-TV, The Eyes of Atlanta. In 1963 WAII-TV introduced News Watch and brought the first woman weather forecaster, Eleanor Knight, to the airwaves, followed by Linda Faye in 1964. Three years later in March of 1967, WAII-TV began broadcasting the news with its first color camera.
1968 - A New Beginning: In 1968 WAII was sold to Pacific and Southern Broadcasting and Channel 11 became known as WQXI-TV until 1974 when the station became WXIA-TV. Two years later, the station adopted the 11Alive name.
1979 - A Change in Ownership: Ownership of WXIA-TV changed again in 1979 when Combined Communications Corporation signed a deal with the Gannett Company to become one of the largest mergers in media history. WXIA-TV, 11Alive is today still owned by Gannett Broadcasting, which consists of more than 20 television stations covering more than 17 percent of the USA and cable television systems in major U.S. markets. In addition to its broadcast operations, Gannett publishes more than 75 daily newspapers including USA TODAY and USA WEEKEND, a newspaper magazine, and is the USA's largest newspaper group in terms of circulation. In 1996, WXIA-TV was the NBC flagship station of the Atlanta Summer Olympics. Included among the many personalities to work at WXIA-TV over the years were NBC's Stone Phillips and actor Dick Van Dyke. Van Dyke worked as an announcer and audioman. Allegedly, Phillips was discovered waiting tables at an Atlanta restaurant by a station executive. The Dateline anchor went directly from his summer job to the 11Alive newsroom.
Today: 11Alive currently employs more than 200 men and women in the areas of news, engineering, production, promotion, accounting, sales, programming, web design and development, and administrative support. WXIA-DT went on the air October 1998. In 2006, 11Alive became Atlanta's first station to broadcast all local news programs in high definition. Also in 2006, Gannett Broadcasting acquired WATL-TV (Channel 36), and WATL became an affiliate of MyNetworkTV. WATL-TV broadcasts in the digital and HD spectra.
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