WFXI, channel 8, is an Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Morehead City, North Carolina, USA. WFXI is owned by Esteem Broadcasting, and is operated through a shared services agreement by the Bonten Media Group, owners of ABC affiliate WCTI-TV (channel 12). The two outlets share studios on Glenburnie Drive in New Bern; WFXI's transmitter in located near Davis, North Carolina. WFXI's coverage contour primarily serves Morehead City.
WYDO, channel 14 in Greenville, North Carolina, operates as a full-time satellite of WFXI. This station broadcasts from a transmitter located near Trenton, North Carolina and covers a wider portion of Eastern North Carolina, centered on Greenville, Washington, New Bern, Jacksonville and surrounding areas.
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WFXI signed on November 1, 1989 as the area's fourth commercial television station. It immediately assumed the Fox affiliation and aired an analog signal on VHF channel 8; Prior to WFXI's sign-on, residents in the eastern North Carolina area received their Fox programs on cable via Raleigh's WLFL or Washington's Fox owned-and operated WTTG. The station had to operate at considerably lower power than the other stations in this large market because it was short-spaced to both Washington-licensed WITN-TV (channel 7) and Greenville-based WNCT-TV (channel 9). WFXI's signal also had to protect WXEX-TV (now WRIC-TV) in Petersburg, Virginia, which also operated on channel 8. This resulted in a broadcasting radius that only reached the southeastern portions of the Eastern North Carolina designated market area namely Morehead City, Jacksonville, and New Bern.
In order to remain associated with Fox, full-time satellite WYDO was launched on June 30, 1992. This station aired an analog signal on UHF channel 14 from a transmitter southeast of Ayden that covered Greenville, Washington and the northwestern parts of the Inner Banks region. In addition to resolving reception issues for WFXI, WYDO also provided an additional opportunity for local advertising. While WFXI's studios were always based in Morehead City on Arendell Street/U.S. 70, WYDO operated an advertising sales office in different locations in Greenville (the last one was located on Red Banks Road).
On April 18, 2006, a preliminary announcement was made public stating WFXI and WYDO would each add new second digital subchannels in order to affiliate with MyNetworkTV (a new broadcast network and sister operation to Fox). However, officials later changed their mind, and on August 11, moved the pending affiliation to a secondary arrangement through Ion Television owned-and-operated affiliate WEPX-TV (and its full-time satellite, WPXU-TV). MyNetworkTV is currently seen in the market on a second digital subchannel of NBC outlet WITN-TV. Right now, WFXI-DT2/WYDO-DT2 are affiliated with Bounce TV. For a time, WFXI shared its call sign with a now defunct Class A repeater of a fellow Fox affiliate in Youngstown, Ohio. Although both stations were owned by Piedmont Television until 2007, the two were otherwise unrelated.
On November 6, 2007, it was announced the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the sale of certain WFXI/WYDO assets from Piedmont Television to the Bonten Media Group (owner of WCTI) with the license being sold to Esteem Broadcasting. As part of the deal, WFXI moved from its longtime home to WCTI's facility in New Bern while WYDO closed its sales office. For a while, WFXI's studios in Morehead City continued to be used for a WCTI advertising sales office. In January 2008, after Bonten took over operation of the two stations through a shared services arrangement, they were co-branded together as "Fox Eastern Carolina" and a new logo was made public. The outlets had previously been known on-air as "Fox 8/Fox 14" for many years. The web address remained in that branding until August 2010 when it was integrated into a separate section of WCTI's website.
WFXI/WYDO made local headlines with difficulties transmitting Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008. The transmission outage left several thousand viewers unable to watch in Eastern North Carolina.
A high definition feed of WYDO was launched on DirecTV on January 7, 2009 while Dish Network did the same for WFXI at the end of February. At midnight on June 13, both stations went all-digital as part of the DTV transition.
In the late-1990s, WFXI/WYDO began airing the market's original prime time newscast that was produced by CBS affiliate WNCT-TV (owned by Media General) through a news share agreement. Known on-air as Fox News at 10, the broadcast could be seen every night for thirty minutes. It originated from the big three outlet's studios on South Evans Street in Greenville featuring most of WNCT's on-air team (except for maintaining a separate news anchor). The outsourcing arrangement was terminated in December 2007 after WCTI became a sister station to WFXI/WYDO through their management by the Bonten Media Group.
Initially in January 2008, the ABC station began repeating its nightly 6 o'clock show later in the evening at 10 on WFXI/WYDO. It would not be until the month's end when a new live, nightly prime time newscast (produced by WCTI) debuted on this station. Now known as Fox Eastern Carolina News at 10, the show was expanded to an hour on weeknights while remaining a half-hour on weekends. Meanwhile, WNCT began airing its own newscast at 10 on its CW-affiliated subchannel. Unlike the WFXI/WYDO program, WNCT's prime time broadcast only airs for thirty minutes each night.
As part of debuting the WCTI produced-newscast, WFXI/WYDO introduced an updated graphics package and news music theme licensed for use from News Corporation Digital Media and modified from Fox owned-and-operated stations. On June 27, 2010, WCTI became the area's first television outlet to upgrade its local news production to high definition (the nightly news on WFXI/WYDO was included in the change). In addition to the main studios in New Bern, the ABC affiliate operates bureaus in Jacksonville (on South Marine Boulevard/U.S. Route 17 Business) and Winterville (covering Greenville). There is no sports department.