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|Pensacola, Florida/Mobile, Alabama|
|Branding|| WEAR ABC 3 (general)|
Channel 3 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||First LIVE Local|
|Channels|| Analog: 3 (VHF) |
Digital: 17 (UHF)
|Owner||Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.|
|Licensee||WEAR Licensee, LLC|
|First air date||January 13, 1954|
|Call letters' meaning||The word EAR or the word WEAR|
|Former Affiliations||CBS/ABC (1954-1955)|
|Transmitter Power|| 100 kW (analog)|
1000 kW (DT)
|Height|| 574.9 m (analog)|
579 m (DT)
|Website||WEAR ABC 3's Website|
WEAR is the ABC affiliate for the Mobile, Alabama/Pensacola, Florida viewing area. It's licensed to Pensacola & is 1 of 2 major commercial stations in the market that is licensed on the Florida side of the market, the other being sister station WFGX, a My Network TV affiliate. WEAR is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group.
It's transmitter is located near Foley, Alabama & it's studios are located on Mobile Highway (US 90) in southwest Pensacola.
WEAR began operation on January 13 1954, which was almost a year after WALA-TV began. The station was founded by Charles Smith & Mel Wheeler. Initially the station was a primary CBS affiliate, while sharing ABC with WALA. When WKRG-TV signed on in 1955, WEAR became strictly an ABC affiliate.
In 1959, WEAR was sold to Rollins Telecasting. In 1987, Rollins Telecasting merged with Heritage Broadcasting to form Heritage Media. In October 1997, WEAR & the other Heritage stations were sold to Sinclair Broadcasting, just as the remainder of Heritage Media was merging with News Corporation (the parent company of FOX). This sale also protected former longtime NBC affiliate WALA as the market's FOX affiliate; otherwise, WEAR would have been forced to switch it's network affiliation to FOX.
WEAR started producing newscasts in HD on September 7, 2008. The station installed a new digital control room & re-built their news set. They are the 1st news operation in the Mobile/Pensacola market to produce a local newscast in HD.
WEAR's newscasts tend to focus on coverage of the Northwestern Florida area as opposed to WKRG & WPMI-TV, which predominantly feature news concerning the southern Alabama area.
Sinclair prohibited it's ABC affiliates, including WEAR, from airing a Nightline broadcast in 2004 because the company felt it was near anti-war rhetoric.
- The Gulf Coast Newsreel (1950s)
- WEAR-TV News (1960s-1970s)
- Channel 3 News (1970s)
- NewsCenter 3 (1970s-1980s)
- Gulf Coast News 3 (1980s)
- Channel 3 News (1980s-present)
In late 2006, Sinclair entered into negotiations with Mediacom, the main cable provider for much of the Florida side of the Mobile-Pensacola market (including Santa Rosa County & Pensacola Beach). The 2 companies could not reach agreement over compensation rights. As a result, Mediacom pulled all of Sinclair's stations, including WEAR, from it's systems on January 6, 2007. The dispute ended on February 2, when the 2 sides reached an agreement that restored WEAR to Mediacom systems.
- Ashley Chisolm (chief meteorologist) - At WEAR from 1993 until 2000 before leaving TV
- Lance Sandstead (news anchor)
- Hank Astengo (sport anchor) - Now sports anchor @ WCJB in Gainesville, FL
- Katie Horner (chief meteorologist) Now chief meteorologist @ KCTV in Kansas City, MO
- Jeff Weeks (morning weather) - No longer in TV
- Beth Morgan (weekend weather)
- Sarah Pitzen (weekend weather)
- Annette Falwell (weekend news anchor) Now weeknight anchor @ WNCT-TV in Greenville, NC
- Dave Daughtry (news anchor) Went to WALA in Mobile, AL & now appears to have left TV
- Heather Tesch - Former reporter, now a meteorologist @ The Weather Channel
- Ann Kerian - Former Anchor/Military Affairs Reporter - Now "Executive Coach, Consultant & Public Speaker"
- Bob O'Brien
- Shauna Dunlap - Former morning anchor, left WEAR & began working for the FBI
- Charles Basset - Former weekend anchor, now @ KWTV in Oklahoma City, OK
- Catherine Pegram - Former morning anchor, now @ WABI in Bangor, ME
- Sherri Hemminghaus
- Doug Mouton - Former weekend sports anchor, now works as a reporter @ WWL-TV in New Orleans, LA
- Rob Manning - Former news reporter
- David Brandao - Former news reporter
- Sara Baumgartner - Anchor
- Byron L. Pfordte - Former Reporter/Newscast Director, currently Art Director for Sinclair Broadcast Group stations WXLV & WMYV in Greensboro, NC