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WBTW
Wbtw 2008.png

Wbtw dt2 2009.png
Florence / Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Branding News 13
My TV (on DT2)
Slogan Coverage You
Can Count On
Channels Digital: 13 (VHF)
Subchannels 13.1 CBS
13.2 MyNetworkTV & RTV
Owner Media General
(Media General Communications Holdings, LLC)
First air date October 18, 1954
Call letters’ meaning derived from former
sister station WBTV
Former channel number(s) Analog:
8 (VHF, 1954-1963)
13 (VHF, 1963-2009)
Digital: 56 (UHF)
Former affiliations ABC (secondary, 1954-1980)
Transmitter Power 31.6 kW
Height 598 m
Facility ID 66407
Transmitter Coordinates 34°22′4″N 79°19′21″W / 34.36778°N 79.3225°W / 34.36778; -79.3225
Website scnow.com

WBTW is the CBS-affiliated television station for the Pee Dee and Grand Strand areas of South Carolina that is licensed to Florence. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 13 from a transmitter southeast of Dillon on Pee Dee Church Road. Owned by Media General, the station has studios on McDonald Court in the Stalvey section of Myrtle Beach. Syndicated programming on WBTW includes: Dr. Phil, Ellen, Inside Edition, and Wheel of Fortune.

They operate the area's MyNetworkTV affiliate on a second digital subchannel known as My TV. This can also be seen in most areas on Time Warner digital channel 811, on HTC Cablevision channel 99 in Conway, and in Brunswick County, North Carolina on ATMC channel 13. During the daytime, the channel airs the Retro Television Network (a.k.a. RTV). Media General also owns several area newspapers including: The Morning News, Lake City News and Post, Marion Star and Mullins Enterprise, and the Hemingway Observer. A purchase agreement is also in the works with a Hartsville-based paper called The Messenger.

Contents

Digital programming

Their signal is multiplexed.

Channel Programming
13.1 main WBTW programming / CBS HD
13.2 WBTW-DT2 "My TV"

History

The station went on-the-air October 18, 1954 on VHF channel 8 from a transmitter at their original studios on TV Road in the Back Swamp section of Florence. It was owned by Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company (later becoming Jefferson-Pilot now Lincoln Financial Group). It was Jefferson Standard's second television station behind WBTV in Charlotte. It received the call sign WBTW ("W" being the next letter in the alphabet after "V" although the station was not a satellite of WBTV). In 1963, they moved to VHF channel 13 and their previous location was re-allocated to High Point, North Carolina. In 1968, the station was sold to the Shott family of Bluefield, West Virginia (publishers of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph).

WBTW's current tower was built in rural Dillon County east of SC 57 in 1979. This more than doubled its coverage area giving it at least secondary coverage as far north as Fayetteville, Raeford and Pinehurst; as far west as Polkton and Pageland; as far south as Georgetown and Summerton and as far east as Leland and Elizabethtown. Only Fayetteville and Pinehurst do not currently carry WBTW but did until the 1980s and early-1990s. For many years, it was the only commercial television station located between Wilmington and Charleston. This was because of a quirk in the FCC's allocation of VHF channels. Only one VHF license was allocated to the area because it was sandwiched between the Wilmington and Charleston markets.

The station has always been a CBS affiliate but carried some ABC shows until WPDE-TV signed-on in 1980. The Shotts sold off most of their media holdings in 1984 with its two television stations, WBTW and KIMT in Mason City, Iowa to Spartan Radiocasting Corporation (later Spartan Communications) of Spartanburg. In the late-1980s and early-1990s, they branded themselves on-air as the "Best of Two Worlds" playing off the "BTW" in its call letters. In 2000, Spartan merged with current owner Media General.

From 1995 to 2000, WBTW served as the de-facto CBS affiliate for parts of the Wilmington market due to former affiliate WJKA-TV switching to Fox and becoming WSFX-TV. That market got another CBS affiliate in 2000 when WILM-LP (now WILM-LD) picked up the affiliation. However, WBTW still serves some parts of the Wilmington area that does not receive the low-powered WILM signal over-the-air or on cable. After being known as "TV 13" for most of its history, this station re-branded itself as "News 13" in 2002. On June 12, 2009, WBTW left digital UHF channel 56 and flash-cut its analog channel 13 to digital when the conversion was completed.

News operation

Historically, WBTW has been a ratings blowtorch in their area dominating its competition in both raw household ratings and key demographics. This is in part because it essentially had the market to itself for over a quarter-century with its only real competition being Grade B signals from WECT in Wilmington and WIS in Columbia. In 2004, WBTW established a news share agreement with Fox affiliate WFXB. It then began producing a weeknight 10 o'clock newscast for that station known as Fox 43 News at 10. In 2006, the title switched to Fox News at 10.

During Summer 2007, WBTW moved the majority of its operations to new studios in Myrtle Beach. A smaller facility at that same site had been serving as a news bureau since 1989 and was demolished in 2007. The station continued to operate some news and operations at its old facilities in Florence. A physical Lumberton Bureau closed in 2007. In March 2008, WBTW converted its news operation to all-digital. The revamp included new graphics, news set, robotic studio cameras, and newscasts in 16:9 standard definition widescreen. This is not full high definition unlike NBC affiliate WMBF-TV which has been airing its local newscasts in HD since that station's launch.

In early-2009, Media General issued mandated furlough days as the company saw its stock values drop and the economy weaken. Employees were forced to take ten unpaid days through the first two quarters of the year and dozens of staffers at WBTW were laid-off. The station now utilizes a majority of "one-man-band" reporter crews and cut its news photography staff to three. The station trimmed several news positions during the early-2009 cuts and placed the engineering and production departments under supervision of the News Director. WBTW operates a sub-par weather radar of its own along U.S. 501 in Marion. It also uses live, NOAA National Weather Service radar data from several regional sites. On-air in weather segments, these two sources are known together as "Storm Tracker 13 Titan".

Newscast titles

  • Your Esso Reporter (1954-1961)
  • The Six O'Clock News / The Eleven O'Clock News (1961-1967)
  • Eyewitness News (1967-1976)
  • NewsWatch 13 (1976-1983)
  • Channel 13 News (1983-1991)
  • 13 Eyewitness News (1991-1997)
  • TV 13 News (1997-2002)
  • News 13 (2002-present)

Station slogans

  • "The Best of Two Worlds" (a play on its call letters, early-1990s)
  • "Your 24 Hour News Source" (early 1990s)
  • "13 Eyewitness News When Everything Depends On It" (early 1990s)
  • "The Carolinas' News Station" (1990s-2000)
  • "Coverage You Can Count On" (2000-present)

News team

Anchors

  • Rusty Ray - weekday mornings & Reporter
  • Nicole Boone - weekdays at Noon, 5, and 6/health reporter
  • Bob Juback - weeknights at 6 and 11
  • Michelle Carolla - weeknights at 10 and consumer reporter
  • Thema Ponton - weekends and reporter

Storm Tracker 13 Meteorologists

  • Frank Johnson - Chief seen weeknights
  • Chris Still (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - weekday mornings and Noon
  • Lindsay Milbourn - weekends and weather reporter

Sports

  • Matt Lincoln - Director seen weeknights at 6, 10, and 11
  • Conan Gasque - weekends and digital journalist

Digital Journalists

  • Patricia Burkett - Pee Dee and fill-in news anchor
  • Aisha Khan - Grand Strand
  • Landon Sears - Grand Strand
  • Ben Greene - photographer
  • Curtis Graham - photographer
  • Marshall Staton - photographer
  • Mason Snyder - Grand Strand
  • Sammantha Shephard - Pee Dee

Notable alumni

  • Jody Barr, WBTW crime, court reporter from 2006-2009. Currently working as an investigative reporter with WIS in Columbia, SC.
  • Jason Becknell, WBTW Producer 2004-2007. Currently a producer at WXIA in Atlanta.
  • Bill Burr, Anchor/Reporter who made two tours of duty with WBTW. Currently morning anchor at WCSC in Charleston, SC.
  • Bridget Cannata, Reporter 2002-2005. Most recently a reporter at CBS3 in Sacramento, California. She has left that station.
  • Ken Daily, Morning Meteorologist 1995-1996. Currently out of the media business.
  • Mitch Davis, Weekend Anchor, Reporter, More For Your Money Reporter 1999-2003. Executive Producer, Myrtle Beach Bureau Chief and fill-in anchor/reporter 2003-2006. Now Daybreak Executive Producer for WSOC-TV in Charlotte.
  • Alison Rhinehart de Castro, Primary Myrtle Beach co-anchor from 2000-2004. Now known as Alison de Castro co-hosting The Morning Blend on WTMJ in Milwaukee.
  • Shea Ann DeJarnette, Lumberton Bureau Reporter 1992-2002. She has been working as a coordinator for a "4-H" youth program in Lumberton since 2002 after being released from the station.
  • Debra DeShong Reed,News Reporter and Myrtle Beach News Supervisor 1994-1996. Left to pursue political communications serving as political advisor to Kerry/Edwards presidential campaign. Currently co-founder and principal with Point Blank Public Affairs in Washington DC.
  • Kip Diggs, News Reporter, mid-1990's.
  • Darby Mullany Dunn, Anchor, 1993-1997. Currently a reporter at CNBC. After leaving WBTW she went on to CNN.
  • Ellen Dunn, Morning Anchor 1998-2003.
  • Jake Dunne, Weekend Meteorologist, 1998-2000. Currently AM and Noon Meteorologist at WLNS in Lansing, MI.
  • Lisa Edge, Reporter 2004-2008. Currently works for US Airways Hub in Charlotte, NC.
  • Chris Fischer, Weekend Sports Anchor 2007-2009.
  • Allyson Floyd, Medical Reporter 1991-1996. Currently she is at WPDE ABC 15 as the Anchor and Assistant News Director since 1996.
  • Brian Formica, Reporter 2007-2008. Currently Sports Director at WFMY Greensboro (The Triad), NC.
  • Vernon Fraley, Reporter 1992-1998. He spent nearly six years at WFMY, a CBS affiliate, as an anchor and reporter in Greensboro, NC. Former main Weekday Evening Anchor for News 14 Carolina in Raleigh studio. Named EMBARQ Media Relations Manager in June 2008 in Wake Forest, NC.
  • Ric Garni, Sports Director 2004-2007. Left WBTW to be WWE staff writer in Connecticut. Currently he is the General Manager of Regus in Indianapolis, IN.
  • Kimberly Gill, Morning/ Noon Anchor & Producer 2004-2007, Weekend Anchor 2002-2003. Now Morning Anchor at WEWS 5 in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Kelly Gillespie, Reporter 2004-2009.
  • Ryan Gunn, Weekend Sports Anchor 2005-2007. Left to become General Manager of Regus for eight months. After 5 months off, as of March 2008 he is a Search Consultant with Management Recruiters of West Palm Beach, Florida.
  • Deyna Martin (Hardison), Morning/Noon Anchor 1993-1998. Left to go back home to a New York station. Currently a membership director at a YMCA branch in Delaware.
  • Trish Hamel, Weekend Anchor mid '90's-1999.
  • Vanessa Hill Anchor 1984-1992. Left for WCIV in Charleston, SC to anchor there from 1992-2002. Currently works with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston.
  • Melissa Hoeman, Weekend Meteorologist from 2007-2009. Now at KETV in Omaha, NE.
  • Chris Huffman, Reporter in the Pee Dee Region from 2004-2006. Currently a reporter at KOAT in Albuquerque, NM.
  • Martha Hunn, Anchor 2004-2009. Currently director news and public affairs at Coastal Carolina University.
  • Fred Hunter, Morning Meteorologist, 1993-1995. Currently weekend meteorologist at WBRC in Birmingham, AL since 1997.
  • Will Jones, Reporter 1994-1998.
  • Robert Kittle, Columbia reporter
  • Jeff Kirk, Morning Meteorologist, 1996-2000. Currently at WJCL in Savannah, GA as chief meteorologist since June 2000.
  • Josh Klaff, Weekend Sports Anchor 2000-2004. Left for the Greensboro, NC market. He left the station in Greensboro in late 2007.
  • Beth Kulle, Morning/Noon Anchor 1990-1994.
  • Brian Levitan, Sports Reporter/Fill Sports Anchor 2002-2005. Currently at KNDO/KNDU Yakima/Kennewick, Washington.
  • Julie Loncich, Reporter mid 2000's-2008. Currently at Fox 59, Indianapolis.
  • Elaine Lucadano, anchor/reporter, 1989-1993. Later worked at WTSP in Tampa.
  • Don Luehrs, Morning/Chief/Morning Meteorologist, 1988-2007. He was morning weathercaster until Mark Mathis left in early 1993, then he was chief until the last 6 months before retiring June 2007. Now sells real estate at RE/MAX under Ron Moore in Florence, SC.
  • Tad Maguire, Weekend Meteorologist, 1986-1991. Now senior meteorologist at WSI Corporation.
  • Lyra Manning, Morning/Noon Anchor, 2007-2009. Currently Weekend Anchor (Friday/Saturday) 10pm News at WCCB in Charlotte, NC.
  • Laura Martin, Reporter 1993-1995. After TV13, it was off to Waco, Texas, as the 6 and 10 pm anchor (1995-1999). Then, in 2000, Laura moved to Dallas to report for WFAA-TV.
  • Mark Mathis, Chief Meteorologist, 1987-1993. He left WBTW for WCIV in Charleston, SC, other stations in Dallas, Austin,TX, San Diego, San Antonio, Charlotte, and most recently KREX in Grand Junction, CO where he served as chief meteorologist for 4 years. He is back at WCCB in Charlotte, as co-host of FOX News Rising as of May 2008.
  • Jim McGee, Anchor, mid 1980s-early 1990s alongside Vanessa Hill. Currently Republican Representative for District no. 63 Florence County, SC.
  • Brad Means, Anchor/Reporter 1989-1994. After WBTW, it was off to Huntsville, Alabama, and Columbus, Georgia. Currently he is an anchor and Assistant News Director. He anchors the 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts on WJBF News Channel 6 since 1998.
  • Dan Michaels, Reporter 1992-1994.
  • Monte Montello, Weekend Meteorologist, 2003-2005/ Fox 43 Meteorologist 2005-2007. He is currently a meteorologist at News 14 Carolina in Charlotte.
  • Jimmy Moore, Chief Photographer/Fill-in Reporter (Briefly), 2003-2009. Currently at WYFF in Greenville, SC as of November 2009.
  • Elise Olson, Reporter 2007-2009.
  • Tasha Oxendine, Lumberton Bureau Chief/Reporter, 1992-2005. Currently works as Marketing Director for UNC-Pembroke's Gibbons Performing Arts Center.
  • Frank Paone, Reporter 2008-2008.
  • Tyler Pearson, Reporter/Fill-in Anchor 2001-2006. Currently he is the Morning and Noon Anchor at WMAZ in Macon, Georgia since 2006.
  • Kim Prozzi, Reporter 1991-1993. Currently in Jacksonville, FL.
  • Keith Reid, Noon/5pm/Sunday Morning Anchor 1993-1998. Died on July 31, 2006.[1]
  • Dey Romo, Anchor/Reporter Early 1990s. Later worked at WECT-TV's Fayetteville, NC bureau.
  • Marci Rubin, General Assignment Reporter 2001-2004. Currently anchor/reporter with News 12 Networks in New York City area.
  • Kim Schumacher, General Assignment Reporter - Grand Strand, 1998-2004. Currently reporter for WRIC in Richmond, VA.
  • Newy Scruggs, Weekend Sports Anchor, 1992-1993. Currently Sports Director at KXAS in Dallas since April 2000.
  • Stephanie Snowden, Reporter 2001-2004. Left for WIS-TV NBC 10 in Columbia, SC. Currently is the solo Host of Richland Reveal which comes on Sunday Mornings in Columbia, SC.
  • Mike Stevens, Anchor/Reporter, 1987-1989. Went on to anchor and report at stations in Philadelphia, Columbus Ohio, Sacramento, Atlanta and New York. Currently Evening Anchor at WEYI, Flint Michigan.
  • Rob Stewart, Morning Anchor, 1995-1998. Currently weeknight main anchor of Delaware Tonight airing in the Philadelphia TV market on WHYY.
  • Allen Strum, Weekend Meteorologist, 1996-1998. Currently the chief meteorologist at WEAR in Pensacola, Florida since 2001.
  • Traci Jones Sumter, Strand Reporter 2000's-2007.
  • Mackenzie Taylor, Reporter 2004-2009.
  • Slyvia Thomas, Noon/5pm Anchor 1993-1997.
  • Greg Toland, Sports Reporter/Director, 1984-1998. Now with Comcast SportsNet Washington.
  • Randy Warren, Weekend Anchor 1989-1992. Left for South Florida.
  • Michael White, Weekend Sports Anchor 1990-1992.
  • James Wieland, Morning Meteorologist, 2000-2003. Currently meteorologist at WPTV in West Palm Beach, FL since April 2007.
  • Dave Williams, Morning Meteorologist, December 2003-November 2006. Now morning meteorologist at WCIV in Charleston, SC.
  • Jon Wofford, Sports Director 2000-2004. After WBTW he left to be the Sports Director at WHBF-TV in Rock Island, Illinois. Currently he is the Sports Director at KLKN-TV Channel 8 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
  • Pete Yanity, Sports Director Early 1980's-1984/Weekend Sports Anchor 1990. Left for 13's sister station WSPA in Spartanburg, SC where he has been the Sports Director since 1990.

External links


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