WDBJ7 Archive: The history of your Hometown Station

Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 11:05 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - October 3rd marks the 68th anniversary of your Hometown Station’s first televised broadcast. WDBJ7 dug through the archives to find some footage from the early days of the station.

In 1955, the studio was located in downtown Roanoke at the Mountain Trust Bank Building with signals transmitting from Mill Mountain. The transmitter would then be relocated to Poor Mountain in 1956 and the studio moved to the Times-World Building.

WDBJ7′s broadcasts were originally in black and white. Our station was the first in the area to switch to color for the 11 p.m. newscast on February 24, 1967.

The second drastic change would come in 2009, as the station switched from analog to digital broadcasting.

While the technology has changed over the years, the sentiment has not. Your Hometown Station has found ways to connect and inform our communities since the beginning.

Segments such as Klassroom Kwiz, hosted by Ted Powers and later George Bassett, was an opportunity for high school students to show off their trivia knowledge in an on-air competition.

The Cartoon Theatre, hosted by Irv Sharp, was a source of children’s entertainment. The Saturday segment featured children’s movies, puppet shows, and a way for parents to entertain their children without having to change the channel.

In the realm of sports, fitness guru Artie Levin, taught us the importance of exercise and answered thousands of letters from viewers wanting physical fitness advice into the early 80s.

WDBJ7 was also the first to highlight our hometown sports, with Friday Football Extra airing in 1984.

We’ve been here for our hometowns for 68 wonderful years, and can’t wait to find new ways to bring the community together. Thank you for watching and supporting the WDBJ7 team.