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|Panama City, Florida|
|City of license||Panama City, Florida|
|Branding|| NewsChannel 7|
The CW Panama City (DT2)
My 7 (DT3)
|Slogan||Coverage you can count on!|
|Channels|| Analog: 7 (VHF) |
Digital: 8 (VHF)
|Affiliations|| NBC (1953-1973 & since 1982)|
The CW (DT2)
|Owner||Gray Television, Inc.|
|Licensee||Gray Television Licensee, Inc.|
|First air date||December 1, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning|| James Harrison Gray|
(founder of Gray Communications)
|Former callsigns||WJDM-TV (1953-1960)|
|Former Affiliations|| ABC (secondary 1953-1973; primary 1973-1982)|
DuMont (secondary 1953-1955)
CBS (secondary 1953-196?)
|Transmitter Power|| 316 kW (analog)|
52 kW (digital)
|Height|| 265 m (analog)|
244 m (digital)
|Website||NewsChannel 7's Website|
WJHG-TV, ch. 7 is the NBC affiliate for Panama City, Florida. Owned by Gray Television, it's studios are located in Panama City Beach while it's transmitter is located in Youngstown.
WJHG was founded in 1953 as WJDM-TV, owned by businessman J.D. Manley. The station aired local programming such as church services & wrestling & went as an independent for a period of time before securing a primary affiliation with NBC & secondary affiliations with CBS & ABC. Mel Wheeler purchased the station in 1957 & in 1960, James Harrison Gray, the founder of Gray Communications, bought the station & changed the call letters to the current WJHG-TV, after his initials.
WJHG dropped CBS in the 1960s after WTVY in Dothan, Alabama became the default CBS affiliate for Panama City as well. In 1973, WJHG became an exclusive ABC affiliate upon WDTB (ch. 13, now WMBB) signed on & took the NBC affiliation. In 1982, WMBB & WJHG switched networks.
In 1998, WJHG was almost sold when the Phipps family sold WCTV to Gray Communications. This would have violated the pre-1996 ownership rules because WJHG's grade B signal covers the extreme western parts of the Tallahassee market. The 1996 Telecommunications Act allowed for overlapping fringe signals, so Gray kept WJHG. Instead, Gray ended up selling it's flagship station, WALB in Albany, Georgia, because it's city-grade signal overlapped that of WCTV's in the Georgia portion of the Tallahassee market, still protected under FCC Rules.
Then in 2002, Gray bought most of Benedek Broadcasting's stations, including WTVY, whose tower is located in Bonifay, Florida, providing a signal that covers all the way from Fort Walton Beach, Florida to Troy, Alabama. By this time, signal contours were no longer an issue & Gray could keep both stations.
Since both stations are available on cable in both Dothan & Panama City, WJHG will run WTVY stories that take place in those parts of northwestern Florida that are in northern part of the Panama City market & WTVY will run WJHG stories on Panama City and the coast. Sometimes, WTVY will run it's own stories on Panama City, but WJHG does not cover Dothan @ all.
DTV & Cable ChannelsEdit
The station's DT ch. is multiplexed:
|7.1||main WJHG-TV/NBC programming|
|7.2||The CW Panama City|
|7.3||My 7 (MyNetworkTV)|
CW Panama City is available on Knology Ch. 9, Comcast Ch. 99 & Mediacom Ch. 60. My 7 is available on Knology ch. 13, Comcast digital ch. 245 & Mediacom Ch. 78.
After the analog TV shutdown & DT conversion, which is scheduled to take place on February 17 2009, WJHG-TV will move it's digital broadcasts back to it's present analog ch. #, 7.
WJHG uses the VIPIR Doppler system & the chief meteorologist helped develop the technology while an employee of Baron Services.
Circle 7 Logo & Affiliation ChangesEdit
The station used the "Circle 7" logo as far back as the 1950s without objection from the ABC TV network. At some point ABC had trademarked the logo for use by it's O&O stations that shared the dial position (Ch. 7) in several major TV markets across the nation. In 1982 when Gray Communications switched the WJHG-TV network affiliation to NBC the rival ABC network ordered WJHG to cease using the logo. Station manager Ray H. Holloway produced archival film & still photographs that showed the local station had been using the "Circle 7" logo longer than the network, but in order to bring the matter to a quick & satisfactory end the station elected to modify the logo. The modification was minor (the bottom of the circle was left open) but enough to pacify executives @ ABC in New York who were upset over the station's decision to "defect" to NBC. However, non-ABC stations still use designs similar to the Circle 7 logo including Ed Ansin's WHDH (NBC) in Boston & WSVN (FOX) in Miami.
When WJHG switched it's network affiliation in 1982, NBC was @ the bottom of the network rankings & ABC was @ the top. The decision to switch was puzzling to many & the true reasons behind the switch were not publicized. However, shortly after the switch NBC enjoyed a resurgence in the ratings & displaced ABC as America's most watched TV network. The ratings rally provided something of a vindication for WJHG & parent company Gray Communications.
- Donna Bell, Morning & Noon Anchor/Reporter
- Kristen Berset, 5 PM Anchor/Producer
- Alex Denis, Walton/Okaloosa County Bureau Reporter
- Travis Feltner, Weekend Weather Anchor/Weekday Reporter
- Josh Gauntt, Reporter
- Kristina Hamilton, Weekend Anchor/Reporter
- Paris Janos, Morning Co-Anchor/Art Director
- Jason Kelley, Chief Meteorologist
- Tom Lewis, 6 & 10 PM Anchor/News Director
- Joe Moore, Noon & 5 PM Anchor/Vice President of News & Operations
- Tim Owens, Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter
- Whitney Ray, Reporter/Tallahassee Bureau (through Capitol News Service)
- Scott Rossman, Sports Director
- Stacey Sawyer, Morning Meteorologist
- Mike Vasilinda, Reporter/Tallahassee Bureau (through Capitol News Service)
- Mark Vaughn, Reporter
- Neysa Wilkins, 6 & 10 PM Anchor
- Kristy Wolski, Reporter
- Bobeth Yates, Reporter
- Elizabeth Prann, Reporter
- Dana Arquilla, General Assignment Reporter (2005-2006) (now @ WTVO-TV)
- Glenn Austin, Reporter (formerly with WKRG-TV, now with Escambia County Florida Sheriff's Office)
- Jake Bell, Sports Anchor/Reporter, Feature Reporter (2000-2002)
- Tyler Berkley, Morning Meteorologist (2005-2007)
- Caroline Brady, Weekend Anchor/Reporter (2005-2006) (now @ KAKE-TV)
- Donnell Brookins, News Reporter (1950s-1960s, retired as Bay County tax collector, now deceased)
- Jason Davis, General Assignment Reporter (?-2006)
- Kate Eckman, Weekend Anchor (2006-2007) (now @ WBBH-TV)
- Jennifer Elmore, Anchor/Reporter (1997-1999, 2003-2005, now owns local franchise "Pump It Up")
- Wayne Gentry, Morning Meteorologist (Now doing weather updates on WBPC)
- Craig Gold, Weekend Meteorologist (2004-2005, now @ KTKA-TV)
- Mike Gurspan, News/Sports Anchor-Reporter (1981-1986, now @ WTVY-TV)
- Earl Hadaway, News Anchor/Program Director (1950s-1980s, retired)
- Courtney Hayes, General Assignment Reporter (2001-2005)
- Tom Hipps, Morning Show Host (1970s-1990s, retired)
- Ray H. Holloway, Station Manager/Editorialist (1960s-1980s, retired as a Gray Communications vice president, now deceased)
- Elizabeth Holmes, Weekend Meteorologist (2005-2007)
- Amy Hoyt, Anchor/Reporter (1980-1994, now @ WMBB-TV)
- Al Hubbard, Outdoor Reporter (2000-2004, deceased)
- Earl Hutto, News/Sports Anchor (1960s/70s, retired U.S. Congressman)
- Red Holland, Host, "The Red Holland Show" (1998-2004, now owns "Red's Rusty Rooster" store)
- Karin Johnson, General Assignment Reporter (2000-2003, now @ WLWT in Cincinnati)
- Melissa Keeney, General Assignment Reporter (2000-2003, went to WINK-TV, now @ WSPA-TV)
- Carla Kneeland, 6 PM Anchor/Reporter (2001-2006)
- Adam Kramer, Weekend Anchor/Reporter (2005-2006)
- Doug Luciani, Marianna Bureau Chief, (1994-1995)
- Greg Majewski, Morning Meteorologist (2001-2005, now @ WGCL-TV)
- Paul Matadeen, Weekend Anchor (Sept 2006- Feb 2007, now @ WNCN-TV in Raleigh/Durham, NC)
- Amy Morris, General Assignment Reporter (2001-2005)
- Stan Pamfilis, News/Sports Anchor (late 1970s, now @ WLOS-TV in Asheville, NC)
- Jeremy Pate, Morning Anchor, Reporter (1999-2006)(Now working in Public Relations)
- Jay Prater, Morning Meteorologist (2003-2004, now @ KAKE-TV)
- Mike Sasser, Sports Anchor (early 1980s, now President of The Ventura Consulting Group, Inc., a corporate communications firm)
- Bill Schubert, Chief Meteorologist (1992-1996) (last @ WTOV-TV in Steubenville, OH)
- Greg Sherrod, Reporter (now @ WMBB-TV)
- Krislyn Smith, General Assignment Reporter (2005-2006)
- Shepard Smith, Anchor/Reporter (?, now @ FOX News)
- David Steele, Sports Anchor (mid 1970s, now @ SUN Sports & NBA's Orlando Magic)
- "Rob" Chris Still, Meteorologist (1996-1997, now @ WBTW-TV)
- Mike Tolbert, Anchor/Reporter (2003-2005, now @ WTEV/WAWS)
- Glen Walker, Weekend Sports Anchor, (early 1980s, now @ KCBS-TV in Los Angeles)
- Buddy Wilkes, News/Weather (1960s-1970s, novelist)
- Candace White, Reporter (2006-2007, now bureau reporter @ WAAY-TV)
- Sabrina Zimring, Anchor/Reporter (2005-2007, now @ WTVD-TV in Raleigh/Durham, NC)