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WHAG-TV is the NBC-affiliated television station for Hagerstown, Maryland. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 26 from a transmitter on Fairview Mountain west of Clear Spring. Owned by the Nexstar Broadcasting Group, the station has studios in the Alexander House Hotel on National Pike (U.S. 40 eastbound) in Downtown Hagerstown (although the address says East Washington Street). Syndicated programming on WHAG includes: Dr. Phil, The Insider, Storm Stories, and Inside Edition.

Despite being designated a part of the Washington, D.C. market (with its own [[O&O affiliate [[WRC-TV), WHAG operates like a small market station focusing on areas west of Frederick County. Reporters are often hired directly out of college and serve as "one man band" personnel that shoot, write, and edit their own stories. There is a high turnover rate with most personalities staying at the station for a year or two before moving on to a larger market.


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HistoryEdit

The station signed on the air on January 3, 1970. It was originally owned by Warren Adler along with WHAG radio in Halfway (AM 1410 and FM 96.7, now WDLD). WHAG-TV's original analog transmitter was to be on top of the Hagerstown Motor Inn (now the Alexander House) but was rejected due to structural incompatibility. A site on Fairview Mountain would become the location of the analog signal on UHF channel 25. Regional Broadcasting Company wanted the station to affiliate with ABC (which was the number one network at the time) but had to join NBC, which was the number three network.[1] Adler Communications sold WHAG-TV to Sheldon and Samuel Magazine of Washington D.C. in 1973. The Magazine Brothers then sold it to local aviation pioneer Richard Henson in 1977. Henson then sold the station to Great Trails Broadcasting in 1981. Great Trails exited broadcasting and sold WHAG along with 2 of its stations—WFFT-TV in Fort Wayne, Indiana and KSVI in Billings, Montana to Quorum Broadcasting in 1998.[1]

In 2003, Quorum Broadcasting and its stations (including WHAG-TV) were acquired by Nexstar Broadcasting Group.[2][3]

ProgrammingEdit

Beyond NBC programming, WHAG's line-up has been stable and consistent. It does not carry the network's Early Today. Long blocks of infomercials have been shown on weekends since the early-1990s. Around September 2006, infomercials began appearing on weekdays during the daytime. WHAG-TV is one of the few NBC affiliates that does not air the fourth hour of Today.

News operationEdit

Right from the start, WHAG began offering local newscasts with The Valley News which aired weeknights at 6, 7, and 11. The original anchors were Bob Witt with news, Glenn Presgraves with sports, and Bill Wolfinger forecasting the weather. Bill Wolfinger also did a Saturday night horror movie show where he would be in costume similar to Lon Chaney. The news department expanded in 1972 to include weekend evening broadcasts at 11 that totaled six hours of local news per week. By the year 2000, news content increased to over 22 hours of broadcasts per week. In 1997, WHAG added a microwave truck allowing the transmitting of live breaking news from the viewing area.[1] On February 12, 2010, WHAG dropped the "NBC 25" branding for "WHAG" and switched its news branding from "NBC 25 News" to "WHAG News". This also happened at the same time a new set, music, and graphics package was launched. The station operates a bureau on East Patrick Street (MD 144) in Frederick.

On August 30, 2010, WHAG added a half hour to its weekday noon and 5 p.m. newscasts. Until this point unlike most NBC affiliates in the Eastern Time Zone, the station had not aired a broadcast weeknights at 5:30. It still does not offer a full two hour weekday morning show. There is now a half hour broadcast seen Monday through Saturday nights at 7. On weekends, an hour-long morning show at 6 as well as a half hour Sunday morning broadcast at 9 were added. In addition, a Northern Virginia Bureau covering LeesburgBerryville, and Winchester was opened. Although not a full news department, this is now the second local news operation established in those areas after TV3 Winchester launched back on March 5, 2007. All of the preceding changes required the expansion of WHAG's personnel.[9][10]

On October 21, 2013, WHAG began broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition, with a new news set, HD cameras and forecasting equipment.

The station's news department is mainly known as a training ground with few permanent personalities, as reporters often come fresh out of college and serve as "one man band" personnel that shoot, write, and edit their own stories. They often move on after a year or two to larger markets or other communications opportunities.

News/station presentationEdit

Newscast titlesEdit

  • The Valley News (1970-1980s)
  • News 25 Alive (1980s–1995)
  • News 25 (1995-late 1990s)
  • NBC 25 News (late 1990s–2010)
  • WHAG News (2010–present)

Station slogansEdit

  • Your Leading Source for Local News (1996-2007)
  • On Air. Online. Only One Station Hits Home. (2007-present)

[1] This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions. News team [2][3]A WHAG Ford E-Series television truck in Annapolis, Maryland.


[4][5]Logo used from the late-1990s until February 12, 2010.Anchors

  • Lynn Lawson- weekday mornings
  • Pieter Bickford - Assistant News Director seen weeknights at 6 and 7
  • Jennifer Mullen - weeknights at 6, 7, co anchor and 11 p.m. anchor
  • Patricia Martellotti - weekday reporter weekends
  • Mark Kraham - News Director weekday mornings at 9:56am

Meteorologists

  • Lou Scally - Chief weather anchor; weeknights at 5, 6 & 7pm and heard on WJEJ-AM 1240
  • Bryan Tolle- meteorologist; weeknights at 11pm
  • Alan Auglis - weekends

Sports

  • Harold Kuntz -sports director; weeknights at 6, 7, and 11pm also sports reporter and WHAG Sports Connection host
  • Kevin Reitmeyer- sports reporter; and "Athlete of the Month" segment producer
  • Paul Espinosa- sports reporter; co anchor of weekend WHAG Sports Connection broadcasts

Reporters

  • Alex Hoff - Northern Virginia Bureau
  • Ashley Monfort - website producer
  • Erin Wolfe - website producer
  • Kristen Freethy
  • Jacqueline Waite
  • Jamie Burke
  • Charya Lon
  • Adam Winer
  • Dawn White
  • Ava-Joye Burnett
  • Ananda Rochita

Former on-air staffEdit

  • Molly Henneberg - anchor & reporter (1995 to 1997, now at Fox News Channel)
  • Desiree Berenguer - morning anchor/reporter (1995 to 1998, most recently at News 12 New Jersey)
  • Greg Miller - Sports Director (now at WPSD-TV in Paducah, Ky.)
  • Kim McKintyre - anchor/reporter (1995 to 1997, most recently at Fox News Channel)
  • Jim Osman - reporter (now at KYW Philadelphia)
  • Ken Quattrin - weather (1996-2000, most recently at KTTC Rochester, MN)
  • Mike Hill - sports anchor (1995 to 1996, now at ESPN)
  • Julia Harding - reporter (1995 to 1997, now at WAGA Atlanta)
  • Garnet Stevens - Sports Director (now at Kaplan College-Hagerstown)
  • Shawn Stepner - Sports Director (now at WKBW in Buffalo)
  • Josh Reed - Sports Director (now at WHTM in Harrisburg)
  • Jory Rand - sports anchor (now at KDKA in Pittsburgh)
  • Morgan Fogarty - anchor & reporter (now at WCCB in Charlotte)
  • Melissa Mollet - anchor & reporter (now at KDVR in Denver)
  • Lance Barry - anchor/reporter (2001 to 2003, now Anchor at WCPO-TV in Cincinnati, OH)
  • Melanie Woodrow - anchor/reporter (2004 to 2006, now at WAVY in Portsmouth, VA)
  • Cara Sapida - anchor/reporter (now at WPXI)
  • Marie Coronel- general assignment/political reporter (2005-2007) (now at WTKR in Norfolk, VA)
  • Joe Little - Frederick Bureau reporter/morning show anchor (1999-2000) (now a news reporter at KGTV in San Diego, CA)
  • Kaitlin McCarthy - Reporter (2006 to 2008, now at KRQE)
  • Lynne Ashminov - reporter
  • Steve Rowings - sports reporter
  • Jamie Costello - reporter (now at WMAR Baltimore)
  • David Bennett Wasser - reporter/Frederick Bureau Chief (now Executive Producer at RLTV)
  • Megan Healey - reporter (now at WHTM in Harrisburg)

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