|Spartanburg-Greenville-Anderson, South Carolina-Asheville, North Carolina|
|Branding||NewsChannel 7 HD|
|Slogan||On Your Side|
|Channels||Digital: 7 (VHF)
(Media General Communications Holdings, LLC)
|First air date||April 29, 1956|
|Call letters’ meaning||We're in SPArtanburg, South Carolina|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
|Transmitter Power||25.7 kW (digital)|
|Height||667 m (digital)|
WSPA-TV channel 7 is the CBS-affiliated television station for western North Carolina and South Carolina. It's licensed to Spartanburg, South Carolina with its transmitter is located on Hogback Mountain southwest of Tryon, North Carolina. Owned by Media General, the station is sister to CW affiliate WYCW. The two stations share studios on International Drive in Spartanburg. Syndicated programming on WSPA includes: Everybody Loves Raymond, Judge Judy and Dr. Phil. WSPA serves as master control for Media General's CBS network affiliates.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|7.2||"Storm Team 24/7"|
After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion, which is scheduled to take place on June 12, 2009 , WSPA-TV moved its digital broadcasts back to its former analog channel number, 7. On WSPA-DT2 and Charter digital cable channel 247 is a 24-hour local weather channel known as "Storm Team 24/7".
In addition to its main signals, WSPA operates a network of 16 translator sites throughout the mountains of western North Carolina.
|City of license||Callsign||Transmitter location|
|Mars Hill||W02AH||Middle Mountain|
|Spruce Pine||W08BF||Woody's Knob|
|Black Mountain||W10AD||Allen Mountain|
|Bryson City||W11AN||Fry Mountain|
The station went on the air on April 29, 1956. It was owned by broadcasting pioneer Walter J. Brown and his company, Spartan Radiocasting, along with WSPA radio (AM 950, now WOLI at AM 910; and 98.9 FM). It has always been a CBS affiliate. Spartan Radiocasting bought several other radio and television stations over the years, and 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. Channel 7 was the last locally owned-and-operated station in the market.
WSPA began broadcasting 24/7 in the mid-1990s, after previously having signed off every Friday night / Saturday morning and 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.
Due to its transmitter location--just over 2,200 feet (670 m) above average terrain--WSPA enjoys one of the largest coverage areas on the East Coast.
On March 1, 2009, WSPA's analog & digital tower at Hogback Mountain in Spartanburg County near the North Carolina/South Carolina border collapsed due to ice and high winds, hitting the main back-up tower as it fell. WSPA's digital signal was restored using a digital subchannel of sister station WYCW; while the station received a replacement Channel 7 antenna on March 4, it was without its analog signal for one week after the accident. A new tower was built, slated for completion in September of 2009.
In North Carolina on cable, WSPA is carried on numerous cable outlets in the western portion of the Charlotte market, such as Hickory, Morganton, Shelby, Lenoir and Taylorsville. However, WSPA is not carried on cable in the areas of Bakersville, Burnsville, and Spruce Pine, which are within the Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville market. Instead, WBTV from Charlotte and WJHL from Johnson City are carried on Charter Cable in those areas. Before the tower collapse, it provided grade B coverage as far east as Charlotte itself. It appeared in the Charlotte Observer television listings well into the 1990s.
Prior to the March 2009 tower collapse, WSPA's analog and digital signal was picked up as far north as Watauga County, including Boone and Blowing Rock. In fact, WSPA's signal often comes in better than the two CBS affiliates both available on cable, Charlotte's WBTV (even though Watauga County is part of the Charlotte market) and WJHL-TV in Johnson City, Tennessee. In the Boone area, WJHL's transmitter is only 28 miles (45 km) away, WBTV's is 65 miles (105 km) and WSPA's transmitter is almost 80 miles (130 km) away. Blowing Rock is 5.5 miles (8.9 km) south of Boone at the height of the Blue Ridge spine, with a greater line of sight to Hogback Mountain at about 75 miles (121 km) away. Despite how well the signal was picked up prior to the March 2009 tower collapse, WSPA is not carried on cable in Watauga County. WSPA used to be carried in the western Union County town of Weddington, long before it became a ritzy suburb of Charlotte.
On cable in South Carolina, WSPA is carried outside the market in McCormick and Newberry. McCormick is part of the Augusta, Georgia market while Newberry is part of the Columbia market. In January 2009, it was dropped from cable carriage in Rock Hill, which is part of the Charlotte market.
On cable in Georgia, WSPA is carried outside the market in most of Rabun County, which is part of the Atlanta market. WSPA was picked up in the 1990s after Atlanta's longtime CBS affiliate, WAGA-TV, switched to Fox. The replacement CBS affiliate, WGCL-TV (formerly WGNX-TV), does not have nearly as strong a signal in the more mountainous areas of the Atlanta market.
WSPA pre-empted several CBS shows through the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s.
The station's newscasts were known as Eyewitness 7 News until 1994 when they were re-branded as NewsChannel 7. Leeza Gibbons,Jane Robelot, and Susan McGinnis are notables who have worked for the station in the past. Annette Estes was WSPA's first female news anchor in 1977. She left the station in 1987 to anchor the 6 and 11 P.M. news with Carl Clark at WYFF. WSPA also used to produce a newscast for Fox affiliate WHNS before that station launched its own news operation. On September 16, 2007, WSPA began producing newscasts in high definition and adopted graphics similar to what is used at sister station WFLA-TV. It was the first television station in South Carolina to upgrade local news broadcasts to HD.
In addition to their main studios, WSPA operates two news bureaus and shares a third with its sister stations. The Greenville Bureau is located on Villa Road and the Anderson Bureau is located on South Main Street. There is one in Columbia as well, with costs of operating the bureau shared between Media General's stations in South Carolina - WSPA, WBTW, and WCBD. WSPA produces newscasts for its local sister station WYCW that air in high definition. This includes weekday mornings and 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 and a motorized two power drop-in extender. The camera system is manufactured by Flir Systems International and the helicopter is maintained by U.S. Helicopters Inc. of Charlotte. It is referred to on-air as "Air 7". WSPA is currently the top rated station in the market.
Storm Team 7 HD