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WGAL is the NBC-affiliated television station for South Central Pennsylvania that is licensed to Lancastermarker. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 8 from a transmitter near U.S. 30 north of Hallammarker. Owned by Hearst Television, the station has studios on Columbia Avenue (a.k.a. PA 462) in Lancaster. Syndicated programming on WGAL includes: Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, Oprah, and Dr. Phil.

Digital programming

The station's signal is multiplexed. On WGAL-DT2, Comcast digital channel 248, and Verizon FiOS digital channel 460 is This TV.

Channel Programming
8.1 main WGAL programming / NBC HD
8.2 WGAL-DT2 "This TV Lancaster"


Due to troubles with receiving the main channel 8 signal in many areas, WGAL has applied for six low-powered "fill-in" translators. None have currently been granted construction permits. If and when any stations sign on, they would be listed with the same callsign and facility ID as the main station.
Channel City of License Service Area
15 Lancastermarker Lancaster and immediate area
27 Red Lionmarker Yorkmarker
27 Carlislemarker Carlisle, Mechanicsburgmarker
31 Gettysburgmarker Gettysburg, Chambersburgmarker, Thurmontmarker
43 Harrisburgmarker Harrisburg and immediate metro area
49 Ephratamarker Lancaster, Readingmarker, Lebanonmarker, Hersheymarker
It is not known whether these transmitters will replace the main signal in York if they are built.

History

WGAL-TV began operations on March 18, 1949 on channel 4 as the fourth television station in Pennsylvaniamarker and the first outside Philadelphiamarker beating WDTV (now KDKA-TVmarker) in Pittsburghmarker which began operations in November of that year. It was owned by the Steinman family owners of WGAL radio (1490 AM) and Lancaster's two major newspapers, the Intelligencer Journal and the Lancaster New Era. At the time, Lancaster was the smallest city in the country with a television station. The station's first formal program was shown on March 22 to a group of RCA executives, television dealers, and radio station personnel at the Stevens House Hotel in downtown Lancaster. In 1952, WGAL increased its power from 1,000 to 7,200 watts. Under this new grant, the station was required by the FCC to move to channel 8 to prevent interference with WRC-TVmarker in Washington D.C.marker That change took place on December 31, 1952.

On January 1, 1954, WGAL presented its first color television broadcast of the Tournament of Roses Parade. It has always been an NBC affiliate but also carried some programs from CBS, DuMont, and ABC until 1963 when Nielsen made the Lancaster and Harrisburgmarker / Yorkmarker areas a single market. The Steinmans also launched WDEL-TV in Wilmington, Delawaremarker around the same time as WGAL's launch but sold that station in 1955. Over the years, the family purchased three more television stations (KOATmarker in Albuquerque, New Mexicomarker and KVOAmarker in Tucson, Arizonamarker both of which they sold to Pulitzer Publishing in 1969 and WTEV-TVmarker in New Bedford, Massachusettsmarker) as well as several radio stations and newspapers. The Steinmans sold both of their remaining television stations to Pulitzer in late-1978 reuniting them with KOAT (that company spun off KVOA in 1972).

Under Pulitzer's ownership in 1985, WGAL became the first television station in Pennsylvania to broadcast in stereo beating much larger stations in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. It dropped the -TV suffix in 1992. Pulitzer sold its entire television division, including WGAL and KOAT, to what was then Hearst-Argyle Television in 1999. The sale closed on March 18, this station's 50th anniversary. In 2000, WGAL adopted a Hearst-styled logo somewhat similar to sister stations WBAL-TVmarker in Baltimore, Marylandmarker and WTAE-TVmarker in Pittsburgh. After the analog television shutdown on June 12, 2009, WGAL moved back to channel 8. It airs live the Pennsylvania Lottery televised nighttime drawings seven nights a week and the live Powerball on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The station is also a community service leader in the market airing the Salvation Army Coats For Kids drive and telethon, the Children's Miracle Network telethon, and the Jefferson Awards. Anchors and other on-air personalities are active in the community as well. WGAL's signal is seen on cable systems far past the market borders. This includes in Fulton Countymarker (west), Chestermarker and Berksmarker Counties (east), Northumberland Countymarker (north), and Cecilmarker and Harfordmarker Counties in Marylandmarker (south).

Newscasts

WGAL's current ID slide.
As the only VHF station in the area, it has been the market leader for many years. This may also have to do with its past owners being local major newspapers as is common for many first ranked stations in the United Statesmarker. WGAL airs over 21 hours of local news broadcasts every week. With its dominant presence in the market, the station has the highest share in the country (of the top 50 markets) in terms of audience share for the weekday 6 A.M. and 6 P.M. news and also leads all other stations in the market in terms of share on every other broadcast. On September 30, 1995, weekend morning editions of News 8 Today premiered. In addition to their main studios, WGAL operates bureaus in Harrisburg (on Market Street) and York (on South George Street a.k.a. BL I-83 / Susquehanna Trail). The station operates the area's only live weather radar at its transmitter site known as "Supper Doppler 8".

Current personalities

Anchors
  • Weekday mornings at 5AM and 6AM
    • Jere Gish and Lori Burkholder
  • Weekdays at Noon
    • Susan Shapiro
  • Weeknights at 5PM and 6PM
    • Kim Lemon and Ron Martin
  • Weeknights at 5:30PM
    • Janelle Stelson and Brian Roche
  • Weeknights at 11PM
    • Ron Martin and Janelle Stelson
  • Saturday mornings at 9AM
    • Meredith Jorgensen
  • Sunday Mornings at 9AM
    • Carrie Fairchild
  • Weekend evenings at 6PM and 11PM
    • Anne Shannon


News 8 Storm Team Meteorologists
  • Weekday mornings at 5AM and 6AM
    • Joe Calhoun (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief meteorologist
  • Weekdays at Noon
    • Matt Ritter (AMS Seal of Approval)
  • Weeknights at 5PM, 5:30PM, 6PM, and 11PM
    • Doug Allen
  • Weekend mornings at 9AM
    • Various
  • Weekend evenings at 6PM and 11PM
    • Dr. John Scala
  • Matt Binder - fill-in meteorologist


Sports
  • Weeknights at 5:30PM, 6PM, and 11PM
    • Mike Hostetler
  • Weekend evenings at 6PM and 11PM
    • Mike Straub
  • Pat Principe - sports director/fill-in sports anchor and reporter


Reporters
  • Barbara Barr - Lebanon Countymarker
  • George Lettis - Cumberland Countymarker
  • Jim Sinkovitz - Dauphin Countymarker
  • Ed Weinstock - Adams Countymarker and York Countymarker
  • Katelyn Smith - weekday mornings at 5AM and 6AM
  • Anne Shannon - "Learning Matters" reporter
  • Matt Belanger - reporter
  • Matt Barcaro - reporter
  • Carrie Fairchild - reporter
  • Meredith Jorgensen - reporter
  • Sally Kidd - Washington D.C.marker correspondent
  • Laurie Kinney - Washington D.C. correspondent
  • Traci Mitchell - weekday morning Washington D.C. correspondent
  • Carter Evans - weekday morning New York Stock Exchange correspondent


8 on Your Side Reporters
  • Susan Shapiro - investigative reporter
  • Brian Roche - consumer/investigative reporter
  • Matt Belanger - investigative/government reporter


News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • News 8 (1990-present)


Station Slogans

  • The One to Count On (1982-1987; used during period station used Frank Gari's "So Good to Turn To")
  • WGAL, The Place To Be! (1990-1991; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Coverage You Can Count On (1990-present)


References

External links




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