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WTVD, channel 11, is an owned-and-operated television station of the Walt Disney Company-owned American Broadcasting Company, licensed to Durham, North Carolina, USA. The station serves the areas of Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Fayetteville, known as the Triangle. WTVD's main studios, offices and newsroom are located in downtown Durham, along with additional studio facilities in both Raleigh and Fayetteville. The station's transmitter is located in Garner, North Carolina.

Digital Television

Channel Video Aspect Programming
11.1 720p 16:9 Main WTVD programming / ABC
11.2 Live Well Network
Letterbox on 11.3
11.3 480i 4:3

On June 12, 2009 at 12:30 p.m., WTVD remained on channel 11 when the analog to digital conversion was completed. On September 23, 2009, the station filed an application to the Federal Communications Commission to increase its effective radiated power from 20.7 to 45 kilowatts.


Early years

In 1952, two rival companies each applied for a license to build a television station in Durham on the city's newly allotted VHF channel 11 – Herald-Sun Newspapers (publishers of the Durham Morning Herald and the Durham Sun as well as the owners of radio station WDNC) and Floyd Fletcher and Harmon Duncan, the then-owners of WTIK radio. In December 1953, the two sides agreed to join forces and operate the station under the joint banner Durham Broadcasting Enterprises. Eight months later, on September 2, 1954, WTVD began broadcasting with a black-and-white film of The Star Spangled Banner, this was followed by You Bet Your Life. It was originally a primary NBC affiliate, with a secondary ABC affiliation. Channel 11 is the Triangle's oldest surviving television station, having signed on a few months after CBS affiliate WNAO-TV (channel 28). The station's initial studios were located in a former tuberculosis sanitorium at Broad Street in Durham, with a transmitter located atop Signal Hill in northern Durham County.

WRAL-TV (channel 5), owned by local firm Capitol Broadcasting Company, started in 1956 and took over as the Triangle's NBC affiliate, leaving channel 11 with only ABC. WNAO-TV stopped broadcasting at the end of 1957 due to financial difficulties, and CBS moved its primary affiliation to WTVD. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.

On May 22, 1957, the station's original owners sold their interest in WTVD to Albany, New York-based Hudson Valley Broadcasting Company, owners of WCDA-TV (now WTEN), to form Capital Cities Television Corporation (predecessor of Capital Cities Communications). Around 1958, WTVD built a tower at its present transmitter site in Auburn to increase its coverage of the market. That same year, the station first began broadcasting network programs in color, although it would not be until 1966 before the same was true for local programming.

After WRAL-TV took the ABC affiliation full-time in 1962, WTVD was forced to shoehorn CBS and NBC programming onto its schedule.This was a very unusual arrangement for what was then a two-station market. Although the market got a third commercial station six years later when channel 28 returned to the airwaves as WRDU-TV (now WRDC), WTVD "cherry picked" the most popular CBS and NBC programs, leaving WRDU with the lower-rated shows from both networks. In 1971 the Federal Communications Commission, intervening on behalf of WRDU's owners and in the interest of protecting the development of UHF, ordered WTVD to select one network. Channel 11 decided to go with CBS full-time, allowing WRDU to become an exclusive NBC station (it is now affiliated with myNetworkTV).

In 1978, WTVD attempted to expand its broadcast coverage to the Fayetteville area, which had been without a television station of its own for nearly two decades. Its studios were relocated to their current location on Liberty Street in downtown Durham on a parcel of land it shares with the Durham County Library; it also built its current tower in Auburn. A fire on March 4, 1979 caused extensive damage to the newly built studio building; however, the newsroom and a number of other key components had been rebuilt within a month. By that time, much of WTVD's operations had returned to normal, although it had resorted to temporary setups during the interim such as holding the newscasts in one of the meeting rooms that survived the aforementioned crisis unscathed.

Switch to ABC

On March 18, 1985, WTVD's owner, Capital Cities, announced it was purchasing ABC. Five months later, on August 4, 1985, WTVD swapped affiliations with WRAL-TV and became an ABC affiliate. At that time, WTVD and WRAL-TV joined the small list of stations that have held primary affiliations with all of the "Big Three" networks. The transaction was finalized on January 3, 1986, making WTVD an ABC-owned station, the first network-owned television station in North Carolina. In 1996, the Walt Disney Company acquired Capital Cities/ABC.

On the night of December 6, 1991, a helicopter carrying a pilot and three WTVD employees from a high school football game in Wilmington, North Carolina crashed, killing three of the four members on board. Sports reporter Tony Debo was the only survivor.

On April 30, 2000, a dispute between Disney and Time Warner Cable forced WTVD off cable systems within the Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville market for over 24 hours during the May sweeps period. Other ABC stations in markets served by Time Warner Cable, such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Houston, were also affected by the outage as well before the FCC forced TWC to restore service to those areas on May 2. [1] In July 2010, Disney announced that it was involved in another carriage dispute with Time Warner Cable which involved four ABC owned-and-operated stations (including WTVD), Disney Channel and the networks of ESPN. If a deal was not in place, the entire Disney cluster would've been removed from Time Warner and Bright House cable systems across the country. On September 2, 2010, Disney and Time Warner Cable reached a long-term agreement to keep the Disney family of channels on its systems.

Out-of-market cable and DirecTV carriage

In recent years, WTVD has been carried on cable in multiple areas outside of the Raleigh media market. That includes cable systems within the Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, SC, and Wilmington markets in North Carolina, and the Roanoke market in Virginia. On DirecTV, WTVD has been carried in Alamance County, which is within the Greensboro market.

In the 1970s and 1980s through CATV, WTVD was once carried in Brunswick County, Emporia, Virginia, and Bennettsville, South Carolina.

News operation

For most of the last four decades, WTVD has been a solid second in ratings across the market. This is in contrast to most of its ABC stablemates, which dominate their markets' news ratings.

Principal anchor Larry Stogner has been with the station since 1976 and a weeknight anchor continuously since 1982. His co-anchor for much of the 1990s, Miriam Thomas, abruptly left WTVD after nineteen years in November 2001. Notable former members of WTVD's news staff include musicians John Tesh and John D. Loudermilk, ESPN personality Stuart Scott, as well as former Good Morning America co-host David Hartman.

From 1973 until 1985, WTVD used the Eyewitness News name for its newscasts though its format was very similar to the Action News format pioneered by sister station WPVI-TV in Philadelphia. The arrangement was similar to then-sister station WKBW-TV in Buffalo, New York. During this time, both stations used the same theme song, Move Closer to Your World, and the same opening sequence. WRAL was also using the Action News name during that time period. It called its newscasts simply WTVD 11 News for a time after the affiliation switch in 1985. WTVD called itself NewsChannel 11 from 1993 until 2000 when it changed back to Eyewitness News. WTVD was among the last stations to use the Cool Hand Luke Tar Sequence theme in its broadcasts (which was also used on WRAL for a period in the 1970s). However, the station debuted the theme soon after the Capital Cities/ABC merger and retired it in 1993. Like sister stations WABC, KABC, and KGO-TV, the theme was used only in the opens.

On June 26, 2006, WTVD debuted a new prime time newscast for WB affiliate WLFL entitled Eyewitness News at 10 on WB 22. This happened after WLFL's owner, Sinclair Broadcast Group, ended the controversial News Central format on its stations. This newscast runs directly against the WRAL-produced show on WRAZ. On September 17 concurrent with that station's official affiliation switch to The CW, the newscast changed its name to Eyewitness News at 10 on CW 22. On April 21, 2008, WTVD became the second television station in the Triangle behind WRAL and the eighth ABC-owned station to produce its newscasts in HD.

WTVD added a 4PM newscast on May 26, 2011 to fill the void left by The Oprah Winfrey Show, ending a long run in that time slot.

It subscribes to AccuWeather for the weather portion of the broadcasts. It operates its own weather radar, called "First Alert Doppler XP", at its transmitter. There are live streams offered on its website of every newscast (except the weeknight WLFL show) and "Eyewitness News Now". In addition to its main studios, the station operates bureaus in Fayetteville on Green Street and Raleigh on Fayetteville Street. WTVD has a fleet of regular news vans and trucks as well as a yellow Toyota FJ Cruiser which is known as "Breaking News One". WTVD also has a helicopter which it refers to as "Chopper 11 HD".

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • Your Esso Reporter (1954–1960)
  • NewsBeat (1960–1961)
  • The 11th Hour Report (1961–1962)
  • 11 Now Report (1962–1973)
  • Eyewitness News (1973–1985)
  • WTVD 11 News (1985–1993)
  • NewsChannel 11 (1993–1996)
  • NewsChannel 11-ABC (1996–2000)
  • ABC-11 Eyewitness News (2000–present)

Station slogans

  • 11 Together (late 1970s-early 1980s)
  • The Heart of Carolina (1988–1993; still used to refer to the station's viewing area)
  • The NewsChannel (1993–2001)
  • Working for You (2001–2003)
  • Live. Local. Up to the Minute. (2003–2004)
  • Breaking News. Breaking Stories. (2006–present; news slogan)
  • ABC-11 Eyewitness News. Start Here. (2007–2009)
  • Keeping you Connected (2010-)

News team

Current on-air staff (as of September 6, 2012)


  • Joel Brown - weekends at 6:00, 10:00 (on WLFL) and 11:00 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
  • John Clark - weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
  • Caitlin Knute- weekend mornings (6:00-8:00 and 9:00-10:00 a.m.); also weekday morning reporter
  • Shae Crisson - weekends at 6:00, 10:00 (on WLFL) and 11:00 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
  • Steve Daniels - weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 10:00 (on WLFL) and 11:00 p.m.; also 6:00 p.m. breaking news reporter
  • Barbara Gibbs - weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
  • Angela Hampton - host of "Heart of Carolina Perspectives"
  • Tisha Powell - weeknights at 5:00, 10:00 (on WLFL) and 11:00 p.m.; also health reporter
  • Amber Rupinta - weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.); also traffic reporter
  • Fred Shropshire - weeknights at 4:00 p.m.
  • Larry Stogner - weeknights at 6:00 p.m.
  • Anthony Wilson - weekend mornings (6:00-8:00 and 9:00-10:00 a.m.); also weekday morning reporter

ABC 11 HD AccuWeather Team

  • Chris Hohmann (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 4:00, 5:00, 6:00, 10:00 (on WLFL) and 11:00 p.m.
  • Scott Dean (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekends at 6:00, 10:00 (on WLFL) and 11:00 p.m.
  • Don Schwenneker (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
  • Steve Stewart (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekend mornings (6:00-8:00 and 9:00-10:00 a.m.)

Sports team

  • Mark Armstrong - sports director; weeknights at 6:00, 10:00 (on WLFL) and 11:00 p.m.
  • Joe Mazur - sports anchor; weekends at 6:00, 10:00 (on WLFL) and 11:00 p.m.; also weekday sports reporter
  • Jen Daniels - sports reporter


  • Gilbert Baez - Fayetteville Bureau reporter
  • Greg Barnes - Fayetteville Bureau reporter
  • Jon Camp - general assignment reporter
  • Ed Crump - Raleigh Bureau senior reporter
  • Tamara Gibbs - general assignment reporter
  • Alina Machado - general assignment reporter
  • Sheyenne Rodriguez - general assignment reporter
  • Diane Wilson - consumer investigator
  • Kelly O'Hara - general assignment reporter
  • Steve Dorsey - general assignment reporter

Notable former on-air staff

  • Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder - special sports correspondent (late 1970s-early 1980s; deceased)
  • John Tesh


External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The article or pieces of the original article was at WTVD. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Disney Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.