call_letters = WSAV-TV
city =
station_slogan = WSAV 3 - On Your Side
station_branding = WSAV 3 (general)
News 3 (newscasts)
analog = 3 (VHF)
digital = 39 (UHF)
other_chs =
subchannels = (see article)
affiliations = NBC (since 1986;
also from 1956-1982)
network =
founded = February 1, 1956
location = Savannah, Georgia
callsign_meaning = SAVannah
former_callsigns =
former_channel_numbers =
owner = Media General, Inc.
licensee = Media General Communications Holdings, LLC
sister_stations =
former_affiliations = ABC (secondary, 1956-1970; primary 1982-1986)
effective_radiated_power = 100 kW (analog)
1000 kW (digital)
HAAT = 442 m (both)
class =
facility_id = 48662
coordinates = coord|32|3|31.5|N|81|17|54.1|W|type:landmark_scale:2000
homepage = []

WSAV-TV, channel 3, is the NBC affiliate in Savannah, Georgia and covers southeastern Georgia and extreme southern South Carolina. Its transmitter is located in Bloomingdale, Georgia.


WSAV-TV went on the air February 1, 1956, co-owned with WSAV-AM 630 (now WBMQ). It initially broadcast from a facility atop a bank building on Broughton Street in downtown Savannah. The flashing WSAV sign was a landmark on Broughton Street for many years. WSAV-AM had long been an NBC affiliate, so WSAV-TV naturally took the NBC television affiliation. However, it shared ABC with CBS affiliate WTOC-TV until WJCL-TV signed on in 1970.

In 1960, WSAV-AM-TV moved into a brand new facility on Victory Drive, where WSAV-TV still is today. A new tower was built at the site boosting its signal to many of the surrounding counties in Georgia and South Carolina, giving thousands of viewers their first chance to see television. In 1976, another new tower was built and the WSAV television signal reached out even further. In the same year, WSAV-AM was sold off.

Just a few months later, WSAV expanded the news department, moving into a former insurance office next door to the Victory Drive studio.

In 1982, WSAV swapped affiliations with WJCL and became an ABC affiliate. ABC had become the #1 network in the country, and had been searching for stronger affiliates across the country. However, just four years later, channel 3 returned to NBC in 1986, one year after NBC became #1 again.

In the mid-1990s, like many other commercial television stations in the U.S., WSAV was sold several times. Between 1996 and 1997, both WSAV (acquired from Ellis Communications) and rival station WTOC-TV (acquired from Aflac) were owned by the same company (Raycom Media), a situation that did not last long due to FCC regulations prohibiting ownership of two of the four largest stations in a market. In 1997, Media General traded WTVR-TV in Richmond, Virginia for WSAV and two other stations.

Recently, the station acquired the local rights to the syndicated game shows "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy!". Both shows were previously shown on rival WJCL-TV for almost two decades.

On February 1, 2006, WSAV officially celebrated its 50th anniversary. To commemorate the event, Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson officially announced February 1, 2006 as "WSAV Day" and lauded the station for its many achievements over the decades and the station's continued service to its viewers, always "On Your Side" whenever a viewer needs to get a story out.

The station carries My Network TV and Retro Television Network on a digital subchannel -- My Network TV is seen during prime-time, with RTN seen at other hours of the day. This digital subchannel is also available to DirecTV customers in Savannah on channel 29. It is known on-air as "My TV". WSAV's website features a generic My Network TV logo.

"The Weather with "Captain Sandy"

Channel 3 was known for an unusual practice on its newscasts in the 1950s and 1960s. WSAV was home to "Captain Sandy", who was something of a hybrid between a weatherman and children's show host. The character gave the weather on the evening newscasts, working with puppet sidekicks "Wilbur the Weather Bird," "Arthur Mometer" (our thermometer), and "Calamity Clam."

Captain Sandy would appear on the news set wearing a vaguely nautical cap and blazer, a nod to the region's dependence on the Atlantic Ocean. His introduction, sung by an off-screen group, went as follows:

:"Yo ho, yo ho, what’s the weather going to be? Here's the man who knows, let's take a look and see. Here is Captain Sandy with the weather he has found, for Savannah and for Chatham and the counties all around."

Captain Sandy’s big thermometer was temperamental and would fidget before revealing tomorrow’s high.

The fun part came when Captain Sandy opened Davey Jones’ locker to get the tide information (a crucial component of any weather forecast in the region) out of Calamity Clam, who always tried to bite the captain.

By the end of the 1970s, new station ownership found Captain Sandy's routine embarrassing (and likely anachronistic, since most U.S. TV stations had discontinued their local children's shows years before), and they made the Captain finally conform to convention, prescribing him a suit and tie like the other newscasters. The owners also fired the puppets shortly after, to the almost-certain sorrow of area children.

The personality behind the Captain Sandy character, smooth-voiced Joe Cox, later left WSAV to become weatherman at cross-town rival WJCL, where he also hosted an evening radio program on WJCL-FM. The original Captain Sandy, from 1956, was Norm Strand.


Kim Gusby is the host WSAV Coastal Sunrise from 5am-7am.

Tina Tyus-Shaw and Russ Riesinger anchor WSAV NEWS3 at 6 and 11.

In 2004 WSAV News 3 at 6 won the National Edward R. Murrow award for Best Newscast.

WSAV was the featured city during Al Roker's weather forecast on NBC's "Today" on Monday, April 23, 2007. Roker referred to the station as "WSAV - NBC 3".

Digital television

Analog-to-digital conversion

After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion, which is scheduled to take place on February 17, 2009] , WSAV-TV will remain on its current pre-transition channel number, 39. [ CDBS Print ] ]] However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display WSAV-TV's virtual channel as 3.

Current Personalities


*Tina Tyus-Shaw: 6 and 11 pm (worked at WSAV since 1992)
*Russ Riesinger: 6 and 11 pm (worked at WSAV since 2004)
*Kim Gusby: Coastal Sunrise (worked at WSAV since 1993)
*Alaina Anderson: Weekend Anchor (worked at WSAV since 2006)


*Alaina Anderson
*Holly Bounds
*Randi Hempel
*JoAnn Merrigan
*Alice Massimi


*Kris Posman: Chief Meteorologist (worked at WSAV since 2007)
*Lee Haywood: Coastal Sunrise (worked at WSAV since 2000)


*Ken Slats: Sports Director (since 2008)

WSAV Alumni

*James Aydelott: Meteorologist, KXAS-TV, Dallas, TX

*Jesse Blanco: Anchor, KDBC-TV, El Paso, TX

*Lyndy Brannen: Anchor, WJCL-TV, Savannah, GA

*Tom Chisholm: Meteorologist, WMTW-TV, Portland, ME

*Dianne Derby: Anchor/Reporter, WSPA-TV, Spartanburg, SC

*Mike Fuori: Meteorologist
*Brad Huffines: Meteorologist, WAAY-TV, Huntsville, AL

*Dave Kartunen: Anchor/Reporter, WSVN-TV, Miami, FL

*Jayme King: Meteorologist, KSAZ-TV, Phoenix, AZ

*Steve LaPointe: Meteorologist, WRGB-TV, Albany, NY

*Tim McGinnis: Anchor/Managing Editor, WHOI-TV, Peoria, IL

*Jed Mescon: Anchor/Reporter, WRCB-TV, Chattanooga, TN

*Sheila Parker: Anchor/Reporter, KDBC-TV, El Paso, TX

*Paul Rea: Anchor/Reporter
*Darrel Richter
*Ben Smith: Meteorologist
*Glenn Zimmerman: Reporter, WNBC-TV, New York, NY


External links

* [ WSAV-TV homepage]
* [ WSAV-DT2 homepage]
* [ Captain Sandy fan site]

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