WRDW Augusta, Ga. and owner Gray Television announced Friday that they have finalized plans to launch a new local news operation at the market’s NBC affiliate WAGT but cannot launch at this time.
Before Gray acquired WAGT from Schurz Communications last month, the station had been operated by Media General and its ABC affiliate WJBF under a JSA. Terms of the FCC’s approval of the acquisition included the termination of the JSA.
However, the transfer of power has been contentious transition. According to Gray’s press release, it has “tried repeatedly yet unsuccessfully to obtain assistance from WJBF to ensure a smooth transition of WAGT and its employees to its new owner.” In the meantime, Gray has been simulcasting WRDW’s newscasts on WAGT while creating a new operation.
“At this time, however, we cannot launch our new news offerings,” the release continues. “As previously reported, WJBF recently obtained, over our strenuous objections, a court order giving it control over WAGT’s news programming, advertising, operations and finances. Until WJBF surrenders control or a court dissolves the injunction, WRDW will cooperate with the court order, which means that we cannot launch our new local newscasts on WAGT.”