WTVR-TV: Wikis


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Wtvr logo.png
Richmond, Virginia
Branding CBS 6
Slogan First • Fair • Everywhere
Channels Digital: 25 (UHF)
Subchannels 6.1 CBS
6.2 CBS6 Xtra
Affiliations CBS Television Network
Owner Local TV LLC
(Community Television of Virginia License, LLC)
First air date April 22, 1948
Call letters’ meaning TeleVision Richmond
Former channel number(s) Analog:
6 (VHF, 1948-2009)
Former affiliations CBS (secondary 1948-1955; sole affiliate 1955-1956)
NBC (1948-1955)
ABC (1948-1960; secondary until 1956)
DuMont (secondary, 1948-1955)
Transmitter Power 410 kW (digital)
Height 347 m (digital)
Facility ID 57832
Transmitter Coordinates 37°30′45″N 77°36′5″W / 37.5125°N 77.60139°W / 37.5125; -77.60139
Website www.wtvr.com

WTVR-TV (CBS 6) is a CBS television affiliate based in Richmond, Virginia owned by Local TV, the broadcasting arm of Oak Hill Capital Partners. It broadcasts on digital PSIP subchannel 6.1 (to associate it with its 60 year former position on analog channel 6) on actual digital channel 25, and its studios and tower are located on West Broad Street in downtown Richmond. The tower is also the transmitter for former sister station WTVR-FM and NPR member WCVE-FM.

In the late morning of June 12, 2009, in compliance with the FCC's digital television transition efforts, the station ceased transmission of its analog television signal after more than 60 years.

A unique feature of WTVR's broadcast before digital television transition occurred was that the station's audio signal could also be heard on the standard FM radio dial at 87.7 MHz in most of central Virginia. This allowed listeners on automobile, home, and portable FM radio receivers to listen to WTVR without a television set. This is because the broadcast frequency for the analog channel 6 was uniquely positioned on the radio spectrum so that its frequency modulated audio signal coincidentally bordered the lower limit of the standard FM radio dial at 87.75 MHz. This benefit ceased to exist as a result of the cessation of the analog transmission on June 12, 2009 since the successor digital signal is not located in that same frequency space (nor would the new digital signal compatible with FM receivers if it were). The station had not indicated whether or not it will get licensed to continue its audio broadcast on that frequency.




Early years

WTVR arose from unlikely roots. Auto parts dealer Wilbur Havens started WMBG (which stood for "Magnetos, Batteries, and Generators"), a 10-watt station on AM 1380, in 1926 in his auto-parts shop on West Broad Street in downtown Richmond. By 1939, Havens' original $500 investment had turned into a studio on West Broad (a former bus garage), where WTVR-TV operates today. Havens brought FM service to Richmond in 1947 when he signed on WCOD-FM 98.1. No one expected him to go after one of the four channels originally allocated to Richmond for television, so it came as a complete surprise when Havens filed an application for channel 6. With no other applications to consider, FCC approval was a mere formality, and WTVR took to the air on April 22, 1948 as the first television station south of Washington, D.C. For many years, it used a colorized version of its original ID slide to start its newscasts. About 2 years ago, an amateur videotographer caught a lightening bolt striking the tower while standing outside a nearby hotel. This picture is occasionally used during weather advertisements.

In 1953, WTVR activated its tall tower, located adjacent to its West Broad studios. The 800-foot / 244 m (1049 feet / 320 m above sea level) tower is considered part of the Richmond skyline, and can be seen for several miles around Richmond. WTVR used a graphical version of the tower in its news opens for several years in the 1980s and early 1990s.

WTVR was originally a primary NBC affiliate, carrying secondary affiliations with CBS, ABC and DuMont. As it was one of the last stations to get a construction permit before an FCC-imposed freeze on new permits, it was the only station in town until 1955. That year, WXEX-TV (now WRIC-TV) signed on from neighboring Petersburg and took the NBC affiliation. It was briefly a CBS affiliate until 1956, when WRVA-TV (now WWBT) signed on and took the CBS affiliation due to WRVA's long history as a CBS radio affiliate. WTVR then carried on as an ABC affiliate until 1960, when CBS cut a new deal with Havens due to channel 12's low ratings. WTVR has been with CBS ever since. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[1]

Park Communications era

Havens sold WTVR-TV, WMBG-AM, and WCOD-FM to Roy H. Park Communications in 1966, earning a handsome return on his investment of 40 years earlier. After taking ownership of the properties, the radio stations adopted the TV station's "WTVR" call letters.

When Park died in 1993, the company's assets were sold to a Lexington, Kentucky group of investors that sold the radio properties separately to various owners, with WTVR-AM-FM going to Clear Channel in 1995. WTVR-FM is still owned by Clear Channel, while the former WTVR-AM, bought by Salem Communications in 2001 and programmed as Christian talk, was later sold by Salem and is now Spanish religious station WBTK.

WTVR was the overall ratings leader in Richmond until the late 1980s, when WWBT surpassed it, mainly in local news ratings and due to strength from WWBT's affiliation with NBC and its top rated primetime lineup. During the late 80's and early 90's the channel won numerous awards, including the RTNDA News Operation of the Year for two consecutive years. Channel 6 also suffered in 1994 when CBS lost the rights to broadcast NFL Football to Fox (CBS returned to NFL broadcasting in 1998). Through it all, WTVR has been a solid runner-up, sometimes waging a spirited battle for second place with WRIC in news ratings.

Raycom Media era

Park merged with Media General in May 1997. However, Media General already owned the Richmond Times-Dispatch and could not keep channel 6 because FCC rules of the time did not allow cross-ownership of newspapers and television stations in the same market. As a result, Media General swapped WTVR to Raycom Media in exchange for WJTV in Jackson, Mississippi, its semi-satellite WHLT in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and WSAV-TV in Savannah, Georgia two months later.

WTVR was the only CBS station between Richmond and Roanoke until WCAV-TV signed on in Charlottesville in 2003.

Local features and community programs have included "For Kids' Sake", "Paws for Pets", and Battle of the Brains and a 24-hour weather news channel broadcast on broadband, digital cable, and digital sub-channel 6.2 in the area. The station carried Raycom's 24/7 music television format "The Tube" on WTVR-DT3 until its shutdown on October 1, 2007.

On November 12, 2007, Raycom Media announced its intention to purchase the television broadcasting and production properties of Lincoln Financial Media, including rival WWBT. Since FCC rules do not allow one person to own two of the four largest stations in a single market, Raycom decided to keep WWBT and sell WTVR to another owner. [2]

On June 24, 2008, Sinclair Broadcast Group announced its agreement to purchase WTVR and sell local FOX affiliate WRLH. [3]. However, the Justice Department, under provisions of a consent decree with Raycom Media, denied Raycom permission to sell WTVR-TV to Sinclair [4] in August 2008.

Local TV LLC era

On January 6, 2009, Raycom and Local TV LLC announced that they would be swapping stations in Richmond and Birmingham. In this deal, Raycom transferred WTVR plus $83 million to Local TV in exchange for that company's WBRC in Birmingham (a former Fox O&O, and currently a Fox affiliate). The transfer closed on March 31, 2009 [5]. Local TV owns WTKR-TV, the CBS affiliate in Norfolk, Virginia, the market just to the east of Richmond. As a result of the trade, Local TV now owns Virginia's two largest CBS network affiliates.

For three months after the swap deal was completed, WTVR's Web site remained in the old Raycom-era format. This changed in late June 2009, a few days after WBRC relaunched its Web site, when WTVR migrated its Web site to the Tribune Interactive platform used by the Web sites of other Local TV-owned stations.

Out of market coverage

Outside of the Richmond market, WTVR is carried in northern Virginia in Front Royal and Luray. In central Virginia, it is carried in Charlottesville, all service providers in Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Madison and Staunton. In southside Virginia in Mecklenburg County, WTVR is carried near the North Carolina state line in Bracey along Lake Gaston. It is also carried in Chase City and South Hill.

News Team

Current personalities


  • Julie Bragg - Weekdays 5, 5:30pm
  • Rob Cardwell - Weekdays 5, 5:30 p.m.
  • Bill Fitzgerald - Weekdays 6, 11 p.m.
  • Reba Hollingsworth -Weekday Morning
  • Sandra Jones - Sunday Morning
  • Greg McQuade - Weekday Morning, Virginia This Morning
  • Cheryl Miller - Weekday Noon, Virginia This Morning
  • Angela Pellerano - Weekend Evenings
  • Stephanie Rochon - Weekdays 6, 11 p.m.


  • Catie Beck
  • Sam Brock
  • Shelby Brown - Chesterfield Beat Reporter
  • Jon Burkett
  • Wayne Covil - Senior Reporter, Tri-Cities
  • Lorenzo Hall
  • Mark Holmberg - Investigative Reporter and Commentator
  • Sandra Jones - Richmond Beat Reporter
  • Tracy Sears


  • Zach Daniel - Chief Meteorologist, Weekday Evenings
  • Aaron Justus - Weekends
  • Carrie Rose - Weekday Mornings, Noon


  • Lane Casadonte - Sports Director, Weekday Anchor
  • Sean Robertson - Weekend Anchor


  • Amanda Meadows

Past personalities

  • Don Dale, Political reporter 1969-1973, news director 1973-1978, now retired from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts where he spent 30 years as assistant manager of public affairs
  • Charles Fishburne, Main anchor from 1984 to 1999, now runs his own video production company[6]
  • Mark Ovenden, Sportscaster, now at KDLD in Sioux Falls
  • Mike Wankum, Chief meteorologist in the early 90s, now at WCVB in Boston
  • Alan Winfield, Early 90s morning and noon meteorologist, now at Bay News 9 in Tampa, Florida [7]*
  • Roger Harvey, Anchor in the late 80s and into the 90s, now Senior Vice President of Bose Public Affairs Group in Indianapolis
  • Marty Snyder, Morning and noon meteorologist, now at WHAM-TV in Rochester, New York[8]
  • Tracy Lewis, Weekend meteorologist, now at WSOC in Charlotte
  • Mike Goldberg, Chief meteorologist 1998 to 2007
  • Nichelle King, Morning and noon co-anchor, later went to WHDH in Boston
  • Ray Collins, Main anchor from 1999-2003, left for WTVT in Tampa
  • Elliott Wiser, Financial reporter in the 80s-early 90s and former news director[9]; was general manager of Bay News 9 in Tampa from 1997-2007; now corporate vice president of news and local programming for Bright House Networks [10]
  • Ivan Schwartz, Sports director in the 80s-90s; now on the sports medicine staff of CJW Medicine Center in Richmond[11]
  • Ros Runner, Weekend meteorologist from 2004-2007, now at WSLS in Roanoke
  • John Carlin, at the station in the early 80s, was main anchor at WSLS in Roanoke from 1987-2008
  • Bob Woodward, reporter in the 1980s, now at ABC News
  • Jeanne Meserve, former reporter who has had a long career as a reporter at CNN
  • Wyatt Andrews, former reporter who has had a long career as a reporter for CBS News
  • Greg Burton, former weekend sports anchor, now hosts a daily radio show on AM950 (ESPN Radio)
  • Lee Mahaffey, Co-anchor of now defunct CW News @ 10
  • Ric Young, Co-anchor of now defunct CW News @ 10
  • Jennifer Haynes, A.M. meteorologist 2006-2008, now at CNN International

News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • News/90 (90-minute evening newscast; late 1960s-early 1980s)
  • News 6 (1980s-1992 and 2000-2003)
  • NewsChannel 6 (1992-2000)
  • CBS 6 News (2003-present)

Station Slogans

  • The South's First Television Station (197?-1980s)
  • Central Virginia's #1 News Team (1980s)
  • 6 Stands For News (early 1990s)
  • Coverage You Can Count On (1997-2000)
  • Where the News Comes First (2000-2006)
  • First, Fair, Everywhere (2006-present)
Television.svg This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.

Digital television

After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion was completed on June 12, 2009, WTVR-DT post-transition remained on channel 25. [12] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers continue to display WTVR's virtual channel as 6.1

External links



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