23 Facts About WBTV


WBTV is a television station in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States, affiliated with CBS and owned by Gray Television.

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When it debuted, WBTV was the 13th television station in the United States and the first in the Carolinas; it is the oldest television station located between Richmond and Atlanta.

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WBTV was originally owned by the Greensboro-based Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company, owners of WBT, the city's oldest radio station and the first fully licensed station in the South.

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WBTV received one of the last construction permits issued before the Federal Communications Commission's "freeze" on new television licenses, which lasted until the Commission released its Sixth Report and Order in 1952.

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However, WBTV has always been a primary CBS affiliate, owing to WBT radio's long affiliation with the CBS Radio Network.

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In 1955, WBT and WBTV moved to a then state-of-the-art facility on a hill atop Morehead Street, where both stations are still based today.

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Since its completion in 1984, WBTV's signal has been transmitted from a 2,000-foot -high guy-wired aerial mast transmitter tower located in north-central Gaston County, North Carolina, which is shared with former radio sister WLNK.

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Two years later, after KPIX-TV in San Francisco became a CBS owned-and-operated station, WBTV became the second longest-tenured affiliate that was not owned by the network, behind only Washington's WUSA.

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Since Raycom Sports is headquartered in Charlotte, WBTV had a very important role in Raycom Media's operations, and it shared its flagship status with NBC affiliate WSFA, located in the company's homebase of Montgomery, Alabama.

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Many years, WBTV was one of the country's most dominant television stations.

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WBTV was granted the first full-power construction permit for a digital television signal in the United States in 1998, which went on the air that year operating at 1 million watts–equivalent to 5 million watts for an analog transmitter.

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Many years, WBTV occasionally preempted some of CBS' Saturday morning cartoons as well.

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WBTV favored the Redskins while WSPA favored the Falcons, in tandem with most CBS affiliates in their respective states.

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Since the early 1990s, WBTV has generally cleared most of the CBS programming schedule in pattern, with the exception of ACC football and basketball games from Raycom Sports.

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From 1982 to 2019, WBTV was the flagship station of syndicated over-the-air coverage of Atlantic Coast Conference sports.

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WBTV credited its strong social media presence and its talent continuity for the ratings win, while WSOC lost much of its main talent in the previous year.

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Historically, WBTV has dominated the market west of the Catawba River, a legacy from its nine-year head start.

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In September 2010, WBTV debuted an hour-long 4 p m newscast, which competes with what at the time was a half-hour newscast on WCNC-TV.

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Since 2008, WBTV has partnered with its sister stations in South Carolina—WCSC, WIS in Columbia and WMBF-TV in Myrtle Beach and WHNS in Greenville—to cover stories in South Carolina.

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WBTV had previously carried a standard-definition simulcast of the station's main channel on its second digital subchannel.

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On January 1,2012, WBTV switched the subchannels for This TV and Bounce TV, due to a contractual obligation to carry Bounce TV on the station's second subchannel.

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WBTV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 3, 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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In recent years, WBTV has been carried on cable in several areas outside of the Charlotte television market, including cable systems within the adjacent Greensboro–Winston-Salem–High Point and Asheville markets in North Carolina and South Carolina, and the Tri-Cities market in Tennessee and Virginia.

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