WFMY-TV, virtual channel 2 (UHF digital channel 51), is a CBS-affiliated television station located in Greensboro, North Carolina and also serves High Point and Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States (also known as the Piedmont Triad region). The station is owned by Tegna. WFMY's studio facilities are located at 1615 Phillips Avenue (northeast of downtown) in Greensboro, also the station's transmitter site from the late 1950s until 1980. The transmitter is located in Randleman.
The station first signed on the air on September 22, 1949 as the second television station in North Carolina, debuting just a few months after fellow CBS affiliate WBTV in Charlotte. It was originally owned by the Greensboro News Company, publishers of the Greensboro Daily News and Daily Record (now merged as the Greensboro News & Record). The News Company had put WFMY-FM on the air in 1947, but it shut the radio station down in the early part of the 1950s, eventually selling the license in 1955 to another party. The new owner brought it back on the air as WQMG-FM (97.1).
WFMY-TV has been a primary CBS affiliate from its sign-on, but also initially carried secondary affiliations with NBC, ABC and DuMont. NBC programming moved to WSJS-TV (channel 12, now WXII-TV) when it signed on in September 1953. WFMY also shared the ABC affiliation with WSJS until October 1963 when WGHP (channel 8, now a Fox affiliate) signed on. WFMY lost the DuMont affiliation when that network ceased operations in 1956. In 1965, the News Company was bought by what eventually became Landmark Communications. The station was acquired by Harte-Hanks Communications in 1976.
WFMY's local programming, which includes the long-running news program The Good Morning Show with Lee Kinard and children's program The Old Rebel Show, pre-empted CBS's various attempts at morning programming from 1957 through the 1980s. WGGT (channel 48, now WMYV) aired the CBS Morning News until 1985; WFMY then began to run the program on tape delay from 8-10 a.m. following The Good Morning Show. Lee Kinard later moved to the station's weeknight newscasts until he retired in the 1990s. Another important local daytime program from the 1970s was Sandra and Friends, hosted by longtime news anchor Sandra Hughes. This was one of the first television programs in the region to be hosted by an African-American female.
On the evening of September 25, 1984, the station's Bell JetRanger news helicopter, "Sky 2", crashed while attempting to assist in the rescue of a construction worker trapped atop a water tower in Kernersville (near Winston-Salem). The tower was being dismantled when a piece of steel snapped and trapped the worker for hours, causing him to bleed profusely; "Sky 2" was called in to assist in the rescue. Pilot Tom Haroski began lowering the chopper above the tower, as an EMS worker on board was preparing to rescue the man. The chopper's tail rotor hit one of the steel beams as it hovered over the tower, sending it spiraling nose first into the ground, killing Haroski and the rescue worker instantly (it was later determined that the construction worker had bled to death before the chopper ever took off). Video of the accident was captured on video by competitor WXII-TV and was broadcast around the country. WFMY began using a new version of "Sky 2" (painted black) after the accident, but eventually retired the chopper altogether.
Harte-Hanks sold the station to the Gannett Company in 1989.
In October 2012, Gannett entered a dispute against Dish Network regarding compensation fees and Dish's AutoHop commercial-skip feature on its Hopper digital video recorders. Gannett ordered that Dish discontinue AutoHop on the account that it is affecting advertising revenues for WFMY. Gannett threatened to pull all of its stations (such as WFMY) should the skirmish continue beyond October 7 and Dish and Gannett fail to reach an agreement. The two parties eventually reached an agreement after extending the deadline for a few hours.
On June 29, 2015, the Gannett Company split in two, with one side specializing in print media and the other side specializing in broadcast and digital media. WFMY was retained by the latter company, named TEGNA.
During the analog television era, WFMY boasted one of the largest signal coverage areas in the Southeastern United States. It provided grade B coverage as far south as Charlotte and as far east as Raleigh; its transmitter is located almost halfway between the two cities. The channel 2 signal traveled a very long distance under normal conditions. Although its digital signal operates on UHF, WFMY's secondary coverage area in digital is almost as large as that of its former analog signal. This is because its digital signal operates at a million watts, equivalent to five million watts in analog.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|2.1||1080i||16:9||WFMY HD||Main WFMY-TV programming / CBS|
|2.2||480i||WFMY SD||Justice Network|
WFMY-TV shut down its analog signal on June 12, 2009, as part of the FCC-mandated transition to digital television for full-power stations. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 51, using PSIP to display WFMY-TV's virtual channel as 2 on digital television receivers.
WFMY currently runs CBS This Morning on a one-hour delay due to its broadcast of The Good Morning Show (as such, it is one of a handful of CBS stations that continues to air its morning newscast during the 7 a.m. hour, which was more common during the run of the first CBS This Morning and later The Early Show); it is also one of several CBS affiliates that does not carry the Saturday edition of CBS This Morning on its main channel (also opting to run The Good Morning Show instead, followed by the CBS Dream Team children's program block); CBS This Morning Saturday instead airs on the station's second digital subchannel. Since March 2013, it has also carried Let's Make a Deal at 10 a.m. (prior to then, the program aired on WFMY at its recommended 3 p.m. slot, where a double-run of The Andy Griffith Show relocated after the scheduling change). WFMY carries the first half-hour of Face the Nation on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. so it can carry In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley at 11:00 a.m., the second half-hour is seen instead on its second digital subchannel.
WFMY-TV presently broadcasts 38 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with six hours on weekdays and four hours each on Saturdays and Sundays). On January 5, 2010, beginning with its noon newscast, WFMY began broadcasting its local newscasts in widescreen standard definition; pre-recorded stories and live remote video were also presented in the format. On July 27, 2011, WFMY aired a news story claiming there had been a "series" of "violent flash mob" attacks at a downtown Greensboro park. The report made numerous allegations that were not substantiated and were subsequently refuted by the Greensboro Police Department.
On November 13, 2011 beginning with its 11 p.m. newscast, WFMY began broadcasting its newscasts in high definition. The station also introduced a new format for its newscasts titled News 2.0. On April 25, 2013, WFMY debuted a news/investigative program, 2 Wants To Know; it replaced a third daily airing of The Andy Griffith Show in that program's longtime 5:30 p.m. slot, a move which has angered some viewers, as indicated in stories in the Greensboro News & Record and the Winston-Salem Journal.
Out-of-market cable and DirecTV carriage
In recent years, WFMY has been carried on cable in multiple areas outside of the Greensboro television market including within the Charlotte, Raleigh and Roanoke, Virginia markets. On DirecTV, WFMY has been carried in multiple areas within the Raleigh and Roanoke markets.