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WSPA-TV

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WSPA-TV
Spartanburg / Greenville / Anderson, South Carolina - Asheville, North Carolina
Branding NewsChannel 7 HD
Slogan On Your Side
Channels Analog: 7 (VHF)

Digital: 53 (UHF) returning to 7 in 2009

Subchannels 7.1 CBS
7.2 Weather
Translators see article
Owner Media General
Licensee Media General Communications Holdings, LLC
First air date April 29, 1956
Call letters' meaning SPArtanburg
Sister stations(s) WYCW
Transmitter Power 265 kW (analog)
875 kW (DT UHF)
26 kW (DT VHF)
Height 676 m (analog)
657 m (DT)
Facility ID 66391
Website WSPA CBS 7's Website

WSPA-TV, ch. 7, is the CBS-affiliated TV station for western North Carolina & South Carolina. It's licensed to Spartanburg, South Carolina; with it's transmitter is located on Hogback Mountain in South Carolina southwest of Tryon, North Carolina. Owned by Media General, the station is sister to CW affiliate WYCW. The 2 stations share studios on International Drive in Spartanburg. Syndicated programming on WSPA includes: Everybody Loves Raymond, Judge Judy & Dr. Phil. WSPA serves as master control for Media General's CBS network affiliates.

DTVEdit

The station's DT signal is multiplexed:

DT channels
Channel Programming
7.1 CBS HD
7.2 "Storm Team 24/7"

Analog-to-DT conversionEdit

After the analog TV shutdown & DT conversion, which is scheduled to take place on February 17 2009, WSPA-TV will move it's DT broadcasts back to it's present analog ch. #, 7. On WSPA-DT2 & Charter digital cable ch. 247 is a 24-hour local weather channel known as "Storm Team 24/7".

TranslatorsEdit

In addition to it's main signals, WSPA operates a network of 16 translator sites throughout the mountains of western North Carolina.

City of license Callsign Transmitter location
Burnsville WO2AT Phillips Knob
Brevard W02AG Rich Mountain
Mars Hill W02AH Middle Mountain
Asheville 8 Reynolds Mountain
Canton W08AO Chambers Mountain
Cherokee W08AT Jenkins Mountain
Marshall W08AX Roberts Mountain
Marion W08BJ Mount Ida
Spruce Pine WO8BF Woody's Knob
Sylvia 9 Kings Mountain
Franklin WO9AG Winespring Bald
Waynesville WO9AD Little Mountain
Weaverville W09AR Baird Mountain
Black Mountain 10 Allen Mountain
Greenville, SC W10AJ Paris Mountain
Bryson City W11AN Fry Mountain

HistoryEdit

The station went on the air on April 29, 1956. It was owned by broadcasting pioneer Walter J. Brown & his company, Spartan Radiocasting, along with WSPA radio (AM 950, now WOLI @ AM 910 & 98.9 FM). It has always been a CBS affiliate. Spartan Radiocasting bought several other radio & TV stations over the years & was renamed Spartan Communications in 1995. The radio stations were sold off in 1998, but WSPA-TV remained the flagship of the company until it merged with Media General in 2000. Ch. 7 was the last locally O&O station in the market.

WSPA began broadcasting 24/7 in the mid-1990s, after previously having signed off every Friday night / Saturday morning & Saturday night / Sunday morning.

The station shared some resources with WNEG-TV in Toccoa, Georgia while that station was co-owned with WSPA; this included a CBS affiliation. This arrangement was terminated after the sale of WNEG to the University of Georgia.

News/Station PresentationEdit

Newscast TitlesEdit

  • Your Esso Reporter (1956-1958)
  • The Six O'Clock News Final (1958-1966)
  • Newscope (1966-1971)
  • Channel 7 News (1971-1975)
  • Eyewitness 7 News (1975-1978)
  • 7 Eyewitness News (1978-1994)
  • NewsChannel 7 (1994-present)

Station SlogansEdit

  • Channel 7, Serving the Carolinas (late 1970s)
  • Great Moments on Channel 7 (1982-1983; local version of CBS campaign)
  • Your 24 Hour News Source (1990-1994)
  • On Your Side (2002-present)

Preempted programmingEdit

WSPA pre-empted several CBS shows through the 1960s, 70s, 80s & 90s.

  • CBS Children's Film Festival
  • Press Your Luck (was picked up in 1984 shortly after Michael Larson's record $110,237 win)
  • Card Sharks (aired by WSPA from 1986-1988, dropped from September of 1988 to March of 1989 & preempted by Wipeout)
  • Now You See It (April-July 1989, CBS daytime game show preempted by Wipeout)
  • Wheel of Fortune (July-September 1989, picked up by WSPA in September of 1989, preempted by Wipeout)
  • Family Feud Challenge (final few months?)
  • Muppet Babies (1991-1993?, preempted by Jack Roper's Kidsizzle)
  • Pee-Wee's Playhouse (final season?)
  • Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures (the animated series, final weeks?)
  • The Late Show with David Letterman (for 1 week around the Summer of 1998)

News operationEdit

The station's newscasts were known as Eyewitness 7 News until 1994 when they were re-branded as NewsChannel 7. Leeza Gibbons, Tricia Kean, Jane Robelot & Susan McGinnis have worked for the station in the past. Annette Estes was WSPA's 1st female news anchor in 1977. She left the station in 1987 to anchor the 6 & 11 PM news with Carl Clark @ WYFF. WSPA also used to produce a newscast for FOX affiliate WHNS before that station launched it's own news operation. On September 16 2007, WSPA began producing newscasts in HD & adopted graphics similar to what is used @ sister station WFLA-TV. It was the 1st TV station in South Carolina to upgrade local news broadcasts to HD.

WSPA is currently the ratings leader in most timeslots having surged ahead of longtime leader WYFF. In addition to their main studios, WSPA operates 3 news bureaus. The Greenville Bureau is located on Villa Road & the Anderson Bureau is located on South Main Street. There is 1 in Columbia as well. WSPA produces 3 newscasts for sister station WYCW that air in HD. This includes weekday mornings & evenings as well as on the weekends. The station operates an aerial news gathering helicopter with a gyrostabilized camera that is outfitted with a 72 power zoom lens & a motorized 2 power drop-in extender. The camera system is manufactured by Flir Systems International & the helicopter is maintained by U.S. Helicopters Inc. of Charlotte. It's referred to on-air as "Air 7".

Current News PersonalitiesEdit

AnchorsEdit

  • Carrie Davis Daybreak Anchor
  • Fred Cunningham Daybreak & Noon Anchor
  • Amy Wood 5, 6 & 11 PM Anchor
  • Tom Crabtree 5, 5:30, 6 & 11 PM Anchor/"Voice of the Viewer" Segment Producer
  • Connie LeGrand 5:30 & 7 PM Anchor/Education Reporter

ReportersEdit

  • Jonathan Carlson General Assignment Reporter/Substitute Anchor
  • Chris Cato General Assignment Reporter/Anchor
  • Carmen Coursey Anderson Bureau Reporter
  • Dianne Derby Problem Solver Reporter/Weekend Anchor
  • Melissa Keeney Greenville Bureau Reporter
  • Robert Kittle Columbia Bureau Reporter/Photographer
  • Kristen Nastasia Greenville Bureau Reporter
  • Elizabeth Owens General Assignment Reporter
  • Andy Pierrotti Investigative Reporter
  • Heather Sullivan Consumer Reporter/Anchor

Storm Team 7 HDEdit

  • Christy Henderson Chief Meteorologist
  • Dan Bickford Daybreak & Noon Meteorologist
  • Justin Cooper Weekend Mornings Meteorologist
  • Richard McCollough Weekend Evenings/Weekday Substitute Meteorologist

SportsEdit

  • Pete Yanity Sports Director/Anchor
  • Todd Summers Weekend Evenings Sports Anchor

Past personalitiesEdit

  • Ken Bostic (Sportscaster/Meteorologist from 1969-1984 before moving to rival WLOS-TV)
  • Bebe Burns (Reporter 1970s, later @ KTVI-TV in St. Louis, KHOU-TV & KPRC-TV in Houston)
  • Carl Clark (Anchor/Reporter from 1995-2003, now retired)
  • Tony Dale (Meteorologist)
  • Allen Denton (Anchor/Reporter, now @ KNTV in San Jose, CA)
  • Annette Estes (Weekday Anchor from 1977-1987, later moved to rival WYFF-TV in 1987)
  • Brian Foote (Weekend Anchor 1980s)
  • Kathy Foster (Weekend Anchor 1980s-1990s)
  • John Gallows (Meteorologist)
  • Leeza Gibbons (Reporter, before she became a famous TV personality)
  • Pamela Graham (Weekday Anchor from 1990-2006)
  • Terri Gruca (Anchor/Reporter 2001-2003, now 6 & 10 PM anchor @ KVUE-TV in Austin, TX)
  • Brad Huffines (Chief Meteorologist, now @ WAAY-TV in Huntsville, AL)
  • Tricia Kean (Anchor/Reporter, now @ KTNV-TV in Las Vegas, NV)
  • Cherish Keats (Reporter)
  • Jim Kirkpatrick (Meteorologist)
  • Susan McGinnis (Reporter, now @ CBS's The Early Show)
  • David Morian (Meteorologist)
  • Matthew Nordin (Anchor/Reporter, won station's 1st Edward R. Murrow Award, now @ WMBF-TV in Myrtle Beach)
  • Stan Olenik (Sportscaster, later moved to rival WYFF-TV in the 1980s)
  • Scott Palmer (Sports Director, later @ WPVI-TV in Philadelphia, PA)
  • Julie Phillips (Morning Anchor)
  • Melissa Rehberger (Anchor/Reporter, now @ MSNBC)
  • Jane Robelot (Weekday Anchor, later @ CBS & now reporter @ rival WYFF-TV)
  • Brad Sattin (Anchor/Reporter, now @ KSTP-TV in St. Paul, MN)
  • Craig Smith (Anchor/Reporter, later @ WNYT & WRGB-TV in Albany, NY)
  • Brian Washington (Anchor/Reporter)
  • Diana Watson (Anchor/Reporter, now @ rival WHNS-TV)
  • Cordell Whitlock (Reporter, later @ KSDK-TV in St. Louis, MO)
  • Jack Roper (Chief Meteorologist 1986-2006 / Meteorologist 2006-2007, now co-hosts local talk show "Your Carolina")

External linksEdit

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