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30-Oct-2017 01:01

Owned by Raycom Media, WBRC maintains studio and transmitter facilities located atop Red Mountain, between Vulcan Trail and Valley View Drive, in southeastern Birmingham (located to the immediate west of the studios of NBC affiliate WVTM-TV, channel 13); the station shares its transmitter tower with local NOAA Weather Radio station KIH54. WBRC-TV originally operated from WBRC radio's facilities on 19th Street and 2nd Avenue, near downtown Birmingham, which originally only housed business and master control operations; the station originally relied mainly on network and film content for much of the programming it broadcast.

On cable, WBRC is available on Charter Spectrum channel 7, and Comcast Xfinity and AT&T U-verse channel 6 in standard definition; and in high definition on Spectrum digital channel 1007, and Xfinity and AT&T U-verse channel 1006. The station's transmitter was originally purposed as the transmitter facilities for radio station WBRC-FM (102.5, now WBPT at 106.9 FM; original frequency now occupied by WDXB), which signed on in 1947 with the highest radiated power of any radio station worldwide, operating at 500,000 watts; after the FM station suspended operations in June 1948 due to continued revenue losses due to the lack of radios equipped with FM tuners, Hanna borrowed 0,000 to build a new studio facility and transmitter atop Red Mountain for the television station.

WBRC began producing live local programming that year after it converted the building that formerly housed WBRC-FM into a makeshift television studio; the station also acquired additional studio camera equipment, including shows such as Coffee Break, Supersonic Sam and Cowboy Theatre.

On February 19, 1953, WBRC-TV moved to channel 6 as part of a frequency realignment ordered by the FCC, resulting from the Sixth Report and Order issued the year prior in 1952.

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Like many network affiliates, WBRC-TV would preempt ABC programming occasionally or regularly, in some cases., a controversial CBS Reports documentary focusing on desegregation at Birmingham Public Schools that later led to journalist Howard K.Smith's resignation from CBS News after he quoted an anti-desegregation statement by political scientist Edmund Burke in the closing narration, viewed by network president Bill Paley as editorializing his views in support of school integration; however, the special aired on May 18 of that year, two months after the ABC agreement was signed.This also, however, may have been a move to forestall future commercial competition in the market; WBRC and WABT remained the only commercial stations in Birmingham, which would not get a third commercial broadcast television outlet until WBMG (now WIAT) debuted in October 1965, on UHF channel 42, a signal considerably weaker than that of either channels 6 or 13, and a problem which hampered that station's progress until the early 2000s.

In 1957, Storer sold the WBRC stations to Radio Cincinnati Inc., the forerunner of what would become Taft Broadcasting, for .3 million.

Smith III, who worked at the radio stations in advertising sales and was later promoted to program director and vice president, ran the television station as its operations manager.



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