WNCT celebrates 60th anniversary - WSPA.com

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WNCT celebrates 60th anniversary

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - WNCT turned 60 Sunday.

From our coverage of the hurricanes that hit the east like Floyd and more, 9 On Your Side's been there for you for since 1953.

Looking back through the archives, it's exciting to see how far we've come at Channel 9.
    
With decades of bringing news and entertainment to the east, WNCT actually started on December 22nd, 1953.
 
We started this TV thing, as WNCT became the first station east of Raleigh to hit the airwaves.
      
A preacher turned broadcaster named Hartwell Campbell had the vision.

"WNCT was blazing paths,” said Tom Campbell. “They had to do a lot of different things at the same time."
   
His son Tom Campbell remembers the early days well.
 
"There were many dreamers who were involved in this and while I personally believe my dad deserve a lot of the credit for what happened, there were a lot of other people who were involved also," said Campbell.
 
And so it began, with a series of weather forecasts, a valuable service to farmers, driven by former Navy officer Sherman Husted.
    
5 forecasts a day from the station's back yard, next to the hogs; a 60-sow swine farm, where farmers got on-the-spot live shows, shot from the bed of a pickup.
 
In 1959, WNCT introduced what would become the longest running morning show in eastern North Carolina history.
 
Just two years later, a man named Roy Park bought the station. 
    
His son, Roy Park, Jr. wrote a book about living in his father's shadow.

Via Skype, he recalled how his father bought WNCT.
 
"A half an hour before, he was able to raise the money from Society Bank and Wachovia together by using the value of the stock to get the loan to walk in 30 minutes later and pay cash,” said Roy Park, Jr., former owner's son. “I believe he paid 2 and half million dollars for your station, WNCT."
 
WNCT would be Roy Park's flagship station for 30 years.

The faces would change, Bill Norwood, John Spence, Jim Woods, Slim Short, and Sherman Husted, but the mission stayed the same.
 
And the effort to bring top-quality coverage to the east remained steadfast, including around-the-clock coverage of the east's biggest events, like a 19-84 outbreak of tornadoes that offered compelling news coverage, even then.
 
From the 80's, through the 90's, came even more new faces. Some you may recall today.

In 1997, Media General purchased the station and under its guidance launched the station into the new millennium with unprecedented coverage of what many call the “storm of the century,” Hurricane Floyd.
    
Our teams worked around the clock for days, bringing viewers the latest, helping keep them safe.
 
"When that storm hit in the fall of 1999, we were able to take a lot of our news resources, trucks, reporters move them to Eastern North Carolina and as a result have a much more in depth news coverage of that terrible event,” said Jim Conschafter, Vice President, Media General.
 
As the world changed, WNCT changed along with it, broadcasting across several platforms, on WNCT.com, Facebook and Twitter.

"Quite frankly, the internet made us a better news organization,” said Conschafter. “Now we're a 24/7 news organization. And social media and smart phones even brings more focus to the fact that we have to cover the news and report it as it happens."

And there’s so much more to our history.
    
In 2006, WNCT launched The CW, a new network, in 2012, a new set, and most recently, 9 On Your Side launched in High Definition.


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