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WJHG-TV, channel 7 is the NBC affiliate for Panama City, Florida. Owned by Gray Television, its studios are located in Panama City Beach while its transmitter is located in Youngstown.

WJHG-TV
150px-WJHGWjhg cable the cw
Panama City, Florida/Dothan, Alabama
City of license Panama City, Florida
Branding NewsChannel 7

The CW Panama City (DT2) My7 (DT3)

Slogan Coverage You Can Count On!
Channels Digital: 8 (VHF)
Subchannels 7.1 NBC

7.2 The CW 7.3 MyNetworkTV 7.4 WX

Affiliations NBC (1953-1973 and since 1982)
Owner Gray Television, Inc.
First air date December 1, 1953
Call letters' meaning James Harrison Gray

(founder of Gray Communications)

Former callsigns WJDM-TV (1953-1960)
Former channel number(s) Analog: 7 (VHF) (1953-2009)
Former affiliations ABC (secondary 1953-1973; primary 1973-1982)

DuMont (secondary 1953-1955) CBS (secondary 1953-1961)

Transmitter power 67 kW
Height 261.8 m
Facility ID 73136
Transmitter coordinates 30°26′0″N 85°24′51″W
Website www.wjhg.com

HistoryEdit

WJHG was founded in 1953 as WJDM-TV, owned by businessman J.D. Manley. The station aired local programming such as church services and wrestling, and went as an independent for a period of time before securing a primary affiliation with NBC and secondary affiliations withCBS and ABC. Mel Wheeler purchased the station in 1957, and in 1960, James Harrison Gray, the founder of Gray Communications, bought the station and changed the call letters to the current WJHG-TV, after his initials.

WJHG dropped CBS in the 1960s after WTVY in Dothan, Alabama became the default CBS affiliate for Panama City as well. In 1973, WJHG became an exclusive ABC affiliate when WDTB (channel 13, now WMBB) began, taking the NBC affiliation. In 1982, WMBB and WJHG switched networks.

In 1998, WJHG was almost sold when the Phipps family sold WCTV to Gray Communications. This would have violated the pre-1996 ownership rules because WJHG's grade B signal covers the extreme western parts of the Tallahassee market. The 1996 Telecommunications Actallowed for overlapping fringe signals, so Gray kept WJHG. Instead, Gray ended up selling its flagship station, WALB in Albany, Georgia, because its city-grade signal overlapped that of WCTV's in the Georgia portion of the Tallahassee market, still protected under Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules.

Then in 2002, Gray bought most of Benedek Broadcasting's stations, including WTVY, whose tower is located in Bonifay, Florida, providing a signal that covers all the way from Fort Walton Beach, Florida to Troy, Alabama. By this time, signal contours were no longer an issue and Gray could keep both stations.

Since both stations are available on cable in both Dothan and Panama City, WJHG will run WTVY stories that take place in those parts of northwestern Florida that are in northern part of the Panama City market, and WTVY will run WJHG stories on Panama City and the coast. Sometimes, WTVY will run its own stories on Panama City, but WJHG does not cover Dothan at all (southeastern Alabama's default NBC affiliate is Montgomery's WSFA).

On June 28, 2010, WJHG began broadcasting their newscasts in 16:9 widescreen SD format.

Digital TVEdit

Channel Programming
7.1 main WJHG-TV/NBC programming
7.2 The CW Panama City
7.3 My7 (MyNetworkTV)
7.4 VIPIR Weather

Circle 7 logo & affiliation changesEdit

Wjhg 90s

WJHG NewsChannel 7 former logo from 1994 to 1997

The station used the "Circle 7" logo as far back as the 1950s without objection from the ABC television network. At some point ABC had trademarked the logo for use by its owned and operated stations that shared the dial position (Channel 7) in several major television markets across the nation. In 1982 when Gray Communications switched the WJHG-TV network affiliation to NBC the rival ABC network ordered WJHG to cease using the logo. Station manager Ray H. Holloway produced archival film and still photographs that showed the local station had been using the "Circle 7" logo longer than the network, but in order to bring the matter to a quick and satisfactory end the station elected to modify the logo. The modification was minor (the bottom of the circle was left open) but enough to pacify executives at ABC in New York who were upset over the station's decision to "defect" to NBC. However, non-ABC stations still use designs similar to the Circle 7 logo including Ed Ansin's WHDH (NBC) in Boston, and WSVN (FOX) in Miami.

When WJHG switched its network affiliation in 1982 NBC was at the bottom of the network rankings and ABC was at the top. The decision to switch was puzzling to many and the true reasons behind the switch were not publicized. However, shortly after the switch NBC enjoyed a resurgence in the ratings and displaced ABC as America's most watched television network. The ratings rally provided something of a vindication for WJHG and parent company Gray Communications.

News departmentEdit

Notable on-air staffEdit

Current on-air staffEdit

Anchors

  • Donna Bell - weekdays at 11 a.m.
  • Ron Marasco - weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Paris Janos - Morning Anchor
  • Leanna Scachetti - weekends
  • Jennifer Holton- weekdays at Noon and weeknights at 5:30 (WECP)
  • Carly Hildyard - weekday mornings
  • Neysa Wilkins - weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.


Reporters

  • Kelly Baumgarten - reporter
  • Chad Mira - Reporter
  • Meagan O'Halloran - Reporter/Destin Bureau
  • Sandra Osborne - Reporter
  • Erica Rakow - Weekend Anchor/Reporter
  • Whitney Ray - Reporter/Tallahassee Bureau (through Capitol News Service)
  • Amber Southard - Reporter
  • Mike Vasilinda - Reporter/Tallahassee Bureau (through Capitol News Service)


VIPIR 7 Weather Team

  • Chris Smith (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Tyler Allender -
  • Ryan Michaels - meteorologist; weekday mornings and 11 a.m.
  • Alexandra Gallo - meteorologist; weekends


Sports team

  • Scott Rossman - sports director; weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Jamie Hale - sports anchor
  • Greg Brzozowski - sports anchor; weekends

FormerEdit

  • Alex Denis-General Assignment Reporter/Destin Bureau Chief (now Morning Traffic Anchor for Tennessee Mornings-WZTV)
  • Dana Arquilla - General Assignment Reporter (2005–2006; now at WTVO-TV in Rockford, IL)
  • Glenn Austin - Reporter (formerly with WKRG-TV in Mobile; now with Escambia County Florida Sheriff's Office)
  • Jake Bell - Sports Anchor/Reporter, Feature Reporter (2000–2002)
  • Kristen Berset - 5pm Anchor/Producer (now at WBFF-TV in Baltimore)
  • Tyler Berkley - Morning Meteorologist (2005–2007)
  • Caroline Brady - Weekend Anchor/Reporter (2005–2006; now at KAKE-TV in Wichita)
  • Donnell Brookins - News Reporter (1950s-1960s; retired as Bay County tax collector, now deceased)
  • Jason Davis - General Assignment Reporter (?-2006)
  • Kate Eckman - Weekend Anchor (2006–2007; now at WBBH-TV in Fort Myers, FL)
  • Jennifer Elmore - Anchor/Reporter (1997–1999, 2003–2005, now owns local franchise "Pump It Up")
  • Wayne Gentry - Morning Meteorologist (now Morning Meteorologist at WMBB-TV)
  • Craig Gold - Weekend Meteorologist (2004–2005; now at KTKA-TV in Topeka)
  • Mike Gurspan - News/Sports Anchor-Reporter (1981–1986; now with WTVY-TV)
  • Earl Hadaway - News Anchor/Program Director (1950s-1980s, retired)
  • Courtney Hayes - General Assignment Reporter (2001–2005)
  • Tom Hipps - "Daybusters" Host (1970s-1990s; deceased)
  • Ray H. Holloway - Station Manager/Editorialist (1960s-1980s, retired as a Gray Communications vice president, now deceased)
  • Elizabeth Holmes - Weekend Meteorologist (2005–2007)
  • Amy Hoyt - Anchor/Reporter (1980–1994; now at WMBB-TV)
  • Al Hubbard - Outdoor Reporter (2000–2004; deceased)
  • Earl Hutto - News/Sports Anchor (1960s/70s; retired U.S. Congressman)
  • Red Holland - Host, "The Red Holland Show" (1998–2004; now owns "Red's Rusty Rooster" store)
  • Karin Johnson - General Assignment Reporter (2000–2003; now at WLWT in Cincinnati)
  • Melissa Keeney - General Assignment Reporter (2000–2003; went to WINK-TV in Fort Myers, FL, now at WSPA-TV in Greenville/Spartanburg, SC)
  • Jason Kelley - Chief Meteorologist (1999–2009; last at Meteorologist at WBRC-TV in Birmingham)
  • Carla Kneeland - 6pm Anchor/Reporter (2001–2006)
  • Adam Kramer - Weekend Anchor/Reporter (2005–2006)
  • Doug Luciani - Marianna Bureau Chief (1994–1995)
  • Greg Majewski - Morning Meteorologist (2001–2005; now at WGCL-TV in Atlanta)
  • Paul Matadeen - Weekend Anchor (Sept 2006- Feb 2007)
  • Amy Morris - General Assignment Reporter (2001–2005)
  • Stan Pamfilis - News/Sports Anchor (late 1970s; now with WLOS-TV in Asheville, NC)
  • Jeremy Pate - Morning Anchor, Reporter (1999–2006; now working in Public Relations)
  • Jay Prater - Morning Meteorologist (2003–2004; now at KAKE-TV in Wichita)
  • Mike Sasser - Sports Anchor (early 1980s; now President of The Ventura Consulting Group, Inc., a corporate communications firm)
  • Stacey Sawyer - Morning and Noon Meteorologist (2007–2009)
  • Bill Schubert - Chief Meteorologist (1992–1996; last at WTOV-TV in Steubenville, OH)
  • Greg Sherrod - Reporter (now at WMBB-TV)
  • Todd Sloan - Marianna Bureau Chief (1996–1998)
  • Krislyn Smith - General Assignment Reporter (2005–2006)
  • Shepard Smith - Anchor/Reporter (?; now at FOX News)
  • Martha Spencer - Morning/Noon Meteorologist (2006–2007; now Weekend Meteorologist at WTVY)
  • David Steele - Sports Anchor (mid 1970s; now with Sun Sports and the NBA's Orlando Magic)
  • "Rob" Chris Still - Meteorologist (1996–1997; now at WBTW-TV in Augusta, GA)
  • Mike Tolbert - Anchor/Reporter (2003–2005; now at WTEV/WAWS in Jacksonville)
  • Heather Waliga - Weekend Anchor/Reporter (2006–2008; now Weekday Evening Anchor at News 14 Carolina, Charlotte)
  • Glen Walker - Weekend Sports Anchor (early 1980s; now at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles)
  • Buddy Wilkes - News/Weather (1960s-1970s; novelist)
  • Candace White - Reporter (2006–2007; now anchor at WVUA-TV in Birmingham)
  • Sabrina Zimring - Anchor/Reporter (2005–2007; now at WTVD-TV in Raleigh/Durham, NC)

News/station presentationEdit

Newscast titlesEdit

  • The World Today/Panama City Today (1960s-1970s)
  • Channel 7 Spotlight News (1960s-1970s, with the patriotic "Guadalcanal March" as the theme music")
  • TV-7 News (1970s-1990s)
  • 7 News (1990s)
  • NewsChannel 7 (1990s–present)

Station slogansEdit

  • You and Me and Channel 7 (1980-1981; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • Now is The Time, Channel 7 is the Place (1981-1982; final localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • We're Channel 7, Just Watch Us Now (1982-1983; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Channel 7 There, Be There (1983-1984; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Channel 7, Let's All Be There! (1984-1986; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come Home to Channel 7 (1986-1987; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come on Home to Channel 7 (1987-1988; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come Home To The Best, Only on Channel 7 (1988-1990; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Working for You (1990–1997)
  • It's A Whole New Channel 7 (1992-1993; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • The Stars Are Back on Channel 7 (1993-1994; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Northwest Florida's News Leader (1994–1997; news slogan)
  • Spirit of the Panhandle (1997–2007)
  • Coverage You Can Count On (2007–present)

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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