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18 Facts About WBAL-TV
WBAL-TV began operations on March 11,1948, from its original studios on North Charles Street in Downtown Baltimore.
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WBAL-TV is one of two Hearst-owned broadcast properties to have been built and signed on by the company, and the oldest to be continuously owned by Hearst through its various television subsidiaries through the years.
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WBAL-TV has boasted many television firsts, including becoming the first Baltimore television station to broadcast in color, the first station in Maryland to acquire a videocassette machine ; the first station in Baltimore to acquire a mobile satellite news-gathering system and the first Baltimore station to hire an African-American news anchor and a Black news director.
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WBAL-TV had been invited to switch to ABC in 1977, but opted to remain with NBC out of concerns about the poor ratings for ABC's then-recently revamped evening newscasts.
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WBAL-TV is one of the few NBC affiliates that does not air the fourth hour of Today.
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However, for the better part of the last 40 years, WBAL-TV had waged a spirited battle for first place in the ratings with WJZ-TV.
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WBAL-TV brought in talented anchors like Sue Simmons and Spencer Christian but replaced long-time local news anchor Rolf Hertsgaard with controversial out-of-towner Don Harrison and streamlined the news operation.
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On January 3,2009, WBAL-TV became the second station in Baltimore to begin broadcasting its local news programming in high definition.
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WBAL-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 11, on June 12,2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate.
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WBAL-TV chose to test its equipment before making a commitment.
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In Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, WBAL-TV can be seen in Frederick, Clarke and Warren counties along with the independent city of Winchester.
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