WDFX-TV is the Fox-affiliated television station for Southeastern Alabama's Wiregrass Region. Licensed to Ozark, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 33 (or virtual channel 34.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter in unincorporated Wicksburg. The station can also be seen on Bright House Networks channel 11 as well as Comcast and Time Warner Cable channel 13 with HD on Bright House Networks digital channel 231, Time Warner Cable digital channel 213, and Comcast digital channel 434. Owned by Raycom Media, WDFX has studios on Ross Clark Circle (AL 210/U.S. 231) in Dothan. Syndicated programming on the station includes The Big Bang Theory, Judge Judy, Two and a Half Men, and The Dr. Oz Show among others.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming|
|34.1||720p||16:9||WDFX-DT||Main WDFX-TV programming / Fox|
The station launched as WDAU in February 1991. Airing an analog signal on UHF channel 34, it was the market's fourth television outlet to sign-on and has been with Fox since the very beginning. It was established after a small group of Ozark investors saw the market as being undeserved with the network and the need for a locally based affiliate in the area. The call sign had been previously used on what is now CBS affiliate WYOU in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (a sister station to rival ABC affiliate WDHN in Dothan).
The call letters changed to WDFX-TV on August 31, 1995 while owned by David Woods, Woods Communications Corporation of nearby Montgomery (controller of that market's Fox affiliate WCOV-TV). Interestingly, his father, Charles Woods, had previously operated rival CBS affiliate WTVY in Dothan. WDFX quickly grew in popularity under Woods Communications Corporation.
In June 1999 the station was bought by Waitt Media and, under the company's ownership, moved to its current facility on Ross Clark Circle. This change resulted in its advertising sales and traffic departments being held together under the same room for the first time. On December 15, 2003, Raycom Media bought the station; two years later, WDFX became a sister station to NBC affiliate WSFA in Montgomery after Raycom acquired The Liberty Corporation. The big three outlet served the Wiregrass Region as its de facto NBC affiliate until WRGX-LD signed on in 2013.
On January 7, 2008, WDFX began airing a nightly prime time newscast at 9 produced by WSFA in Montgomery. Originally airing for 35 minutes on weeknights, a weekend half-hour edition of Fox News at 9 began in Summer 2008. It was produced in conjunction with Montgomery's Fox outlet WCOV through a news share agreement. The show originated from a secondary set at WSFA's studios on East Delano Avenue; likewise there was a primary focus in coverage of the Montgomery area. However, there were also localized news and sports contributions from two personalities based at WDFX's facility in Dothan (known on-air as the "Wiregrass Newsroom").
Although WSFA upgraded its local newscasts and primary set to high definition level on August 3, 2008, Fox News at 9 on WDFX and WCOV was not initially included in the change. It would not be until Spring 2010 that the prime time show would make the switch complete with an updated graphics package separate from local news programs seen WSFA. After WCOV's outsourcing contract with WSFA expired at the end of 2010, the former entered into a new agreement with another Mongomery big three affiliated station in order to specifically cover the Montgomery area.
As a result, WSFA transitioned its nightly prime time show (renamed The News at Nine) to its second digital subchannel (then affiliated with the Retro Television Network; now with Bounce TV) on January 1, 2011. The show's format remained mostly unchanged except for originating from WSFA's primary set. Eventually, at some point in time, WSFA added a simulcast of its weekday afternoon newscast at 4 to WDFX's schedule. This sixty-minute broadcast, however, generally covers the greater Montgomery area. On September 10, 2012, WDFX began having competition to its prime time news at 9 with the introduction of a weeknight-only half-hour show on CW affiliate WTVY-DT3.