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WDAM-TV
WDAMTV.JPG
Laurel/Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Branding WDAM (general)
News 7 (newscasts)
Slogan The Pine Belt's Choice For News
Seven On Your Side
Channels Digital: 28 (UHF)
Affiliations NBC
Owner Raycom Media, Inc.
(WDAM License Subsidiary, LLC)
First air date June 8, 1956
Call letters’ meaning David A Matison
Sister station(s) WLBT, WLOX
Former channel number(s) Analog:
9 (1956-1959)
7 (1959-2009)
Former affiliations Secondary:
ABC (1956-1962)
Transmitter Power 75 kW (digital)
Height 155 m (digital)
Facility ID 21250
Transmitter Coordinates 31°27′12″N 89°17′5″W / 31.45333°N 89.28472°W / 31.45333; -89.28472Coordinates: 31°27′12″N 89°17′5″W / 31.45333°N 89.28472°W / 31.45333; -89.28472
Website www.wdam.com

WDAM-TV is the NBC affiliate station for southern Mississippi. Licensed to Laurel, its studios and transmitter are located near Eastabuchie, a small community located in southern Jones County, midway between Laurel and Hattiesburg.

Contents

History

WDAM-TV signed on June 8, 1956 on channel 9 and was affiliated with both NBC and ABC. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[1]

In September 1959, WDAM-TV moved from channel 9 to channel 7, in order for Baton Rouge's WAFB-TV to move from channel 28 to channel 9 and to protect Tupelo, MS station WTWV (now WTVA), also broadcasting on channel 9. Several years later in 1962, it dropped its secondary ABC affiliation to become a sole NBC affiliate, where it remains today.

WDAM was acquired by current owner Raycom Media in 1997 when it bought out previous owner Federal Broadcasting. However, Raycom owned CBS affiliate WHLT at the time and had to sell it to Media General in order to comply with FCC duopoly rules.

In 2008, the station added a new position, web manager, and updated its Web site to conform to modern standards. That same year, the station launched wdamtogo.com, a site designed for Internet-capable mobile phones.

WDAM's General Manager is Jim Cameron.

Several members of its staff have been with the station for an exceptionally long period of time. Bobby Smith has been at the station since a week after it signed on. He was chief engineer for many years and continues to work in the engineering department. Weathercaster Jim Gibbon was a staple of WDAM's morning and noon newscasts for 43 years until his retirement in March 2007; he died nearly two months later on April 25. News Director Randy Swan has been with the station for approximately three decades, leaving for only a brief period when he served in the same position with a station in the Greenwood/Greenville, Mississippi market. Swan's father, Jimmy Swan, was a well known radio personality and country/bluegrass singer/bandleader during the late 1950s and '60s who also ran for governor.

ABC Television's Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts was a sports anchor at WDAM in the early 1980s.

Gulf Coast

Throughout much of its history, and to a lesser extent today, WDAM carried many of the same syndicated programs as nearby WLOX, frustrating many rural viewers without cable or long-range antenna equipment. While WLOX serves the Mississippi Gulf Coast, its signal almost completely covers WDAM's market area. By comparison, WDAM's signal barely reaches the three coastal counties that make up WLOX's primary service area. And since the digital transition, WDAM's signal doesn't even reach most of the Hattiesburg-Laurel DMA.

As a result of this, cable systems on the Mississippi Gulf Coast opt for Mobile's WPMI, which barely extends into Mississippi, or New Orleans' WDSU. The WDSU signal barely extends into Gulfport.

Both WDAM and WLOX are now owned by Raycom Media.

Digital Television

In 2001, WDAM signed on its digital signal on channel 28. By federal mandate, in 2009, the analog transmitter at WDAM was shut down and the station began broadcasting exclusively in digital. The station had already been broadcasting in both digital and analog Since 2001. With the digital television transition, the station added two new channels to their lineup on 7.2 and 7.3. The station is now producing original programming on 7.2 which simulcasts through local cable outlets as well.

WDAM broadcasts are digital-only, effective June 12, 2009.[2]

WDAM is in the process of moving from UHF channel 28 to their pre-analog allotment, VHF channel 7.[3] No date has been announced on when the switch will go in effect, However Harris is to begin installation of the new transmitter January 19, 2010.

Personalities

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Former On-Air Talent

Television.svg This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.
  • Charles "Chuck" Scarborough
  • Robin Roberts (newscaster)

News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • News 7 (1980s-present)

Station Slogans

  • 7 On Your Side (1990s-present; general slogan)
  • The Pine Belt's Choice For News (2000-present; news slogan)
Television.svg This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.

References

External links


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