WTOP-TV - The One & Only Channel 9's History
WOIC ->WTOP-TV ->WDVM ->W*USA-TV


A History of Channel 9 - Washington, DC
Researched & Compiled by James P. Snyder - The American University

1993, 1998 James P. Snyder. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this document may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the express written permission of the author.


"Oh, I See!!"
"Washington's Eye On the World"
Channel Nine - Washington, DC: sign-on to 1950:

September 25, 1946:
FCC grants a Television Station Construction Permit to Bamberger Broadcasting Service, Incorporated, file no. Bl-MPCT-25, requested call letters WWBR, for a television transmitter station located at 40th & Brandywine Streets, NW in Washington, DC. Transmitter is to be located at 38 degrees, 57 minutes 03 seconds North Latitude and 77 degrees, 04 minutes 45 seconds West Longitude.

(FCC form 380 dated 9/25/46)


January 6, 1949:
FCC grants Special Temporary Authorization to Bamberger Broadcasting Service, Incorporated to operate Commercial Television Broadcasting Station WOIC on a commercial basis for the period beginning January 16, 1949 and expiring March 15, 1949, with dispensation to operate on January 11, 1949 to cooperate with the opening test of coaxial cable linking the east coast to the Midwest.

(FCC STA notice of January 6, 1949)

(Hogan & Hartsen letter to FCC Secretary, in re file number BMPCT-279, dated January 3, 1949)


Sunday, January 16, 1949:
WOIC - TV, owned by WOR-AM New York licensee Bamberger Broadcasting Service, begins operation on Channel 9. The transmitter is located at 40th & Brandywine Streets, NW. The business offices are in the Barr Building, 910 17th Street, NW in Washington. WOIC is a CBS Television affiliate, and is intended to be a Mutual Broadcasting System Television Network affiliate when Bamberger's WOR-TV goes on the air in the spring of 1949. MBS-TV never gets off the ground, resulting in the sale of WOIC a year-and-a-half later. Bamberger Broadcasting is owned by the R.H.Macy Company, and is sold in 1952 to General Tire and Rubber to become General Teleradio (later RKO General).

Management:
Theodore C. Steibert - President, Bamberger Broadcasting Service
General Manager: former WOR-AM sales manager Eugene S. Thomas.
Commercial Manager: William D. Murdock.

(Broadcasting Magazine article of January 17, 1949)


Feb. 16, 1949:
John S. Hayes named General Manager - WTOP Inc.


1950s:

June 20, 1950:
Bamberger Broadcasting announces the sale of WOIC to WTOP Inc.

July 26, 1950:
FCC approved sale of WOIC-TV to Washington Post controlled WTOP. This sale was largest television transaction to date. WTOP-TV was operated in conjunction with WTOP Radio under management of Vice - President John S. Hayes who becomes WTOP-TV Vice President and General Manager.

June 12, 1951:
John S. Hayes - President, WTOP Inc.
George Hartford - Vice President for Sales
Clyde M. Hunt - Vice President for Engineering

June 25, 1951:
Channel 9 participates in FCC tests of color television broadcasting systems. WTOP-TV transmits CBS' three-field sequential color mechanical system, then RCA's NTSC Compatible Color. The RCA system would be chosen by the FCC in 1953.

October 21, 1951:
Bob Dalton joins WTOP Radio & Television

Late 1951:
Start of construction on the new WTOP Inc. broadcasting facility at 40th & Brandywine Streets, NW. President John S. Hayes, who had been in London during World War II and had worked at the British radio facility known as "Broadcasting House," dubs the new facility "Broadcast House." (Buddy Belote)

December 19, 1952:
Washington Post buys WMBR-AM & TV Channel 4, Jacksonville, Florida for $2.47 million from the Florida broadcasting Company. Eventually WMBR-AM is sold & WMBR-TV becomes WJXT. (Buddy Belote)

(WTOP Inc. Office Communications from Mr. Ryan to files; July 5, 1956)


Oct. 18, 1953:
WTOP-TV and Radio move into Broadcast House at 4001 Brandywine Street, NW in Washington, DC. It is the first structure built specifically for radio & television broadcasting in the United States. Broadcast House is constructed around the original small WOIC studios and transmission tower. New structure is five stories high, has 90,000+ square feet of space in 3 TV studios, 4 radio studios (1 of which can be converted to television as needed) and office space. Broadcast House is named by John S. Hayes in honor of the BBC's British Broadcasting House where he served during World War II.

February 10, 1954:
Broadcast House dedicated with a special live broadcast.

Program commemorating the dedication is broadcast over both WTOP Radio and Television. Eddie Gallaher, WTOP Radio music host anchors.

April 20, 1954:
WTOP-TV and Radio managements begin operating separately.

George Hartford heads WTOP- TV.

**** Dennis heads WTOP Radio.

October, 1954:
The Columbia Broadcasting Systems sells its 45% stake in WTOP, Inc. to the Washington Post Company

1955:
First use of news film (B+W) for WTOP-TV news. Up to this point, all pictures used for the news were either newsreel footage or still photograph & slides.

(Buddy Belote 12/16/92)

1956:
Washington Post Broadcast Division created.

1957:
WTOP-TV begins to use news film extensively in its news gathering activities.
(Buddy Belote 12/16/92)


1958:
Edward R. Morrow broadcasts from Radio studio.

Bob Dalton begins anchoring WTOP-TV's 1pm newscast. He continues as the anchor until 1970, when the newscast is moved to noon.

July, 1958:
WMBR-AM sold to WWDC-owner Capital Broadcasting Company for $375,000.

September 14, 1958:
WMBR-TV renamed WJXT-TV.


September, 1959:
The Washington Post Company announces that it will install video tape machines in its flagship station, WTOP-TV.
(Royce Fish)



1960s:


1960:
CBS broadcasts Marine Band concerts originating from WTOP Radio.

January, 1960:
First 2" quadruplex video tape machines arrive at WTOP-TV and are installed in the third floor film editing area of Broadcast House.
(Royce Fish)

1962:
Warner Wolf joins WTOP Radio as a sportscaster

May 28, 1961:
The name of the Washington Post Broadcast Division is changed to Post-Newsweek Stations Inc.
(Buddy Belote)

Thursday, April 19, 1962:
Part-time WTOP radio/CBS News audio engineer Lamar Allison reports the near - collision of two planes at Washington National Airport as he heard while monitoring National's tower frequency at 119.1 MHz. He recorded the tower report on tape, and provided it to WTOP-AM-TV, which then was picked up by CBS News with Walter Cronkite the following evening.

(Lamar Allison letter of May 14, 1962)
(CBS News transcript of April 23, 1962)

1963 - 1965:
Extensive renovation of Broadcast House.

June 1, 1964:
CBS moves its Washington bureau from Broadcast House to its new home at 2020 M Street, NW. It remains there to the present day. (Royce Fish)

1965:
Max Robinson joins Eyewitness News as a floor manager, then a reporter. Leaves for WRC-TV in 1965, then returned in 1968.
WTOP Radio sportscaster Warner Wolf named WTOP-TV sportscaster.

1966:
The first color broadcasts of WTOP-TV news commence.

September, 1966:
John S. Hayes is named the Ambassador to Switzerland. Laurence E. Richardson Jr. becomes the new President of Post-Newsweek Stations.

1968:
Washington: A Tale of Two Cities aired as a means of reducing tensions following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Max Robinson returns to WTOP-TV News and co-anchors the 1pm Newscast.

June 23, 1969:
First station in the country to air a regularly scheduled black community affairs program - Harambee. Carol Randolph is one of the original hosts. J.C. Hayward eventually hosts.


1969:
Martin Agronsky anchors 6p.m. hour news.
Tom Braden and Frank Mankiewicz co-anchor 11p.m.

Fall 1969:
Warner Wolfe becomes full time sports director at 6 and 11. (Departs in 1976 to anchor for ABC Sports).
Gordon Peterson joins WTOP Radio and delivered television reports for WTOP TV's The Big News. Comes from CBS Radio Station WEEI-AM Boston, Massachusetts.


Oct. 11, 1969:
Agronsky & Company - a Post-Newsweek production, premieres
Martin Agronsky - moderator
Panelists: James J. Kilpatrick
Hugh Sidey
Carl Rowan
Peter Lisagor -- after his death,
Elizabeth Drew and George Will become regulars

(Agronsky & Company becomes Inside Washington, hosted by Gordon Peterson, when Martin Agronsky retired in 1986. Show continued to be produced by Post-Newsweek Productions at W*USA-TV under new title until 1994, when production was taken over by Gannett and Post-Newsweek severed all ties to the program.)


November 1969:
James L. (Jim) Snyder is named News Director of the 47-member WTOP-TV news team.


1970s:

1970:
1pm Newscast is replaced by noon newscast


Jan. 1970:
Max Robinson and Charles Crawford replace Martin Agronsky as 6p.m. news anchors.

Fall 1970: David French and Chuck Crawford take over 11p.m.

1971:
Gordon Peterson named anchor for The Big News

Sister station WTOP-FM 96.3 is donated to Howard University; is renamed WHUR-FM. The station moves its studios to the University campus but maintains it transmitter at Broadcast House.

March 25, 1971:
Voluntary transfer of control of WTOP Inc. from the parent Washington Post Company to its broadcasting unit, Post-Newsweek Stations, Capitol Area Inc.

May 1971:
Max Robinson and Gordon Peterson named co-anchors of 6 and 11p.m. news

1972:
The Big News becomes Eyewitness News, with the standard format, graphics, news set, intro and theme of all of the Post-Newsweek Station group. The News theme is from the 1966 Broadway musical Superman, overture beginning at 1:50. The musical lasted six weeks. The news theme would last until 1983 on channel nine.

WTOP-TV becomes the first major market station to have a 90 minute newscast

The Warner Wolf Show premieres hosted by sports director Warner Wolf and National Football League Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen. The program becomes Redskins Sidelines when Warner Wolf leaves in 1976.

WTOP-TV News Director Jim Snyder news director for both WTOP-AM & Television.

Sept. 1973:
5:30 Eyewitness News broadcast with J.C.(Jaci) Hayward premiers. First major market station to have 90 minute (5:30 - 7pm) newscast.

December 18, 1972:
WMAL-TV and WTOP-TV begin using their new joint 640-foot high transmission tower complex at 4010 Chesapeake St.,NW, immediately adjacent to Broadcast House across from Fort Reno Park. Other tower clients include WHUR-FM, WMAL-FM (now WRQX-FM) and WMAL-AM two way communications.
WTOP-TV maintains its backup antenna on the old tower in the middle of Broadcast House until February, 1996, when the building and tower are sold. (Original clipping from The Evening Star Magazine.)

Mid 1970s:
Busing controversy - Broadcast House devoted many hours of special programs exploring the impact of integration, attempting to defuse tensions.

1974:
News department begins using first ENG equipment in Washington with the reception of a Norelco minicam

1975:
Carol Randolph - becomes host of Morning Break


1976:
The One & Only station identifier introduced at WTOP-TV. Stylized "9" logo changed.
The District of Columbia gains Home Rule in a series of landmark bills from the United States Congress. Walter Washington is elected the first Mayor.
Jan. 1976:
Max Robinson is named anchor, 11pm Eyewitness News. Max Robinson and Gordon Peterson continue to anchor the 6 to 7p.m. hour. Warner Wolf is replaced by Mike Wolfe as Sports Director.

February, 1976:
Warner Wolf leaves for WABC-TV New York

May, 1976:
Popular WTOP weathercaster Louis Allen dies.

August, 1976:
CBS Radio weatherman Gordon Barnes is brought in as permanent weatherman after several months of temporary weathercasters.

1977:
Nobody Ever Asked Me - station-wide campaign
Community concerns addressed.
Three hour program / booklets distributed.
Initiated station-wide issues effort - probe - in which one key local concern was examined in news and public affairs programs.
(Channel 9 Creative Services records)

News department completes conversion to ENG equipment. Film field equipment is abandoned. Former film lab is converted to an engineering work space.

March 1977:
Hanafi hostage situation at the Washington Mosque is covered on-the-scene by Max Robinson.

Late 70's or early 80's:
Morning Break with Carol Randolph in cooperation with Peoples Drug Stores present, "Your Kids & Drugs: Spot It / Stop It" pamphlets and production awareness

Tuesday, December 6,1977:
Post-Newsweek Stations and Detroit's Evening News Association (ENA) announce the exchange of WTOP-TV and WWJ-TV Channel 4, Detroit, Michigan + $2 million. Evening News Association, a privately-owned and predominantly family-held newspaper and broadcasting company, becomes Channel 9's new owner. WWJ-TV becomes WDIV, a Post-Newsweek Station.

Post-Newsweek announces that WTOP-TV Vice President for News James L. Snyder will move to WWJ-TV.

Post-Newsweek also announces the sale of WTOP-AM to the Outlet Broadcasting Company of Providence, Rhode Island (owners of WJAR-AM/TV), for $6.675 million.

1978:
Max Robinson departs to co-anchor ABC News new nightly news program, World News Tonight, with Frank Reynolds from originating Washington and Peter Jennings from London.
Maureen Bunyan is named co-anchor 6 pm Eyewitness News with Gordon Peterson.
Gordon Peterson and J.C. Hayward are named to co-anchor 11 pm Eyewitness News Nightcast.

May 18, 1978:
The FCC approves the applications of The Evening News Association to swap its station WWJ-TV Detroit with Post Newsweek Stations' WTOP-TV.

May 22, 1978:
Edwin Pfeiffer is named Vice President and General Manager of WTOP-TV.



June 26, 1978
Channel 9 assumes the call letters WDVM-TV, which stand for the District, Virginia and Maryland.

August, 1978:
WTOP Radio moves to the Steuart Petroleum Building, next door to Broadcast House on 40th Street. The former radio studios and offices are converted to office space for the sales and engineering departments, without significant renovation.

June 23, 1979:
Harambee Day is declared by District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry, Jr.

1979:
Carl Rowan receives Ted Yates Award




1980s:

1980:
Eyewitness News anchors:
Phylis Armstrong - 6:30 am
Bob Dalton and Andrea Roane - 12 noon
Jaci ("Jaycee") Hayward and Bob Althage - 5 pm
Gordon Peterson and Maureen Bunyon - 6 pm
Gordon Peterson - 11 pm

198?
Rock the Future
(no details available yet)


August 1980:
Sandra Butler named Executive Producer, WDVM-TV.


1981:
In Our Lives premieres hosted by Bruce Elliott with a live studio audience. This program provides a forum for teens to express their needs, problems and concerns.


1981:
Saturday Magazine premieres


January 13, 1982
Air Florida flight ## crashes into the 14th Street Bridge on takeoff from National Airport. Channel 9 is first on the air with the story with John Goldsmith as reporter, and its coverage is picked up by CBS Television.

1982:
"One & Only" station identifier dropped so that WDVM could put full emphasis on news promotion.

1982:
Eyewitness News expands its newscast from 5:30 to 5:00 to 6:00, becoming the first station in Washington market to have a two hour local newscast.

June 23, 1982:
Carol Randolph Appreciation Day


August 1982:
Hour Magazine with Gary Collins premieres. Series is produced by Group W Productions.

1983:
News Director Dave Pearce shifts the Eyewitness News focus from national to local news. Eyewitness News adopts new open program theme and opens, and debuts new news set.
Bruce Johnson's special report No Minor Crime -an examination of the crime committed by youthful offenders
Gordon Peterson travels to Israel to bring viewers first hand report entitle Faces of Israel.
Reporter Carlton Sherwood charged with illegally taping a conversation; later resigns.
Reporter Mike Buchanan among three radio and television news staff who surrendered to Montgomery County gambling and conspiracy charger. "There must be 500 bookmakers in Washington...mine must keep better records than the National Archives."

April 1, 1983:
Mike Lewis named staff announcer.

Summer 1983:
Music Video Connection premieres hosted by Candy Shannon and Jeff Leonard

Fall 1983:
Fastbreak premieres highlighting the latest scores of the Washington area's high school teams.


April 8, 1984:
Capital Edition premieres, hosted by John Goldsmith providing viewers with an in-depth reading of the local Washington scene and surrounding areas.

May 10, 1984:
Sandra Butler (later Butler-Jones), Executive Producer, WDVM-TV, awarded recognition by National Association of Blacks Within Government


September 7, 1984:
Eyewitness News cameraman Kline Mengle and sound technician Mark Marchione honored by D.C. Metropolitan Police Department for "Outstanding Assistance Rendered to the Department" during a police intervention action that stopped a man from self -immolation.


September 12,1984:
Ellen Kingsley first reports EDB food contamination in Washington supermarkets.


1984:
Drug and alcohol campaign (No details available yet)


June 23, 1984:
Bruce Johnson is awarded the Ted Yates Award for excellence in reporting.

June 23, 1984:
Channel 9 wins 22 local Emmy Awards


July 1984:
Morning Break addresses issue of drug abuse facing Washington families. Host Carol Randolph was joined by Nancy Reagan, and the station received 1,000 calls, nearly half from viewers seeking information about drug use detection, prevention and treatment.


1984:
Target 9: On the Move campaign to report on concepts, design and effectiveness of transportation issues affecting Virginia, D.C. and Maryland metropolitan area.

November 8, 198:4
Three part series by Mark Feldstein begins as investigation of city-cited violations in operation of local abortion clinic. Dr. Milan Vuitch.

1984:
James Brown joins the Eyewitness News sports team

September 23, 1985:
The Carol Randolph Show premieres

March 23-30, 1985:
Community At War documentary hosted by anchor Gordon Peterson explores how residents of the District's drug -riddled Shaw neighborhood have pulled together to protect their children and save their neighborhood.

March 23-30, 1985:
WDVM-TV Drug Awareness Week - concurrent proclamations come from Arlington, Fairfax, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's and Fauquier Counties, plus the District of Columbia and the City of Alexandria, Virginia.

1985:
WDVM-TV, in conjunction with Woodward and Lothrop and drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, begins drug abuse awareness campaign -- "How Do You Know?"

1985:
How Do You Know?- station-wide drug and alcohol campaign - anti-drunk driving poster contest (Woodies partner) scholarship to winner of 6-month project, news, programming efforts.

June 9, 1985:
A First Step documents the first time contemporary Washington Ballet is performed in Beijing, Peoples Republic of China.

1985:
Breast cancer survivor Ellen Kingsley hosts Portrait of Hope, a news series and documentary. Kingsley had appeared previously on The Carol Randolph Show.

June 1985:
"Best of the Class" syndicated project to honor academic achievement.

June 26, 1985:
WDVM-TV President & General Manager Edwin W. Pfeiffer testifies before the Senate Aviation Subcommittee on the transfer of local airports from Federal to local control. Pfeiffer was the sole business representative to testify, emphasising the economic benefits of the transfer of control of National and Dulles Airport.

Dec. 1985:
WDVM-TV weather forecaster Gordon Barnes celebrates his 10th consecutive year as Honorary Chairman of the annual Dollars for Needy Children fund raiser co-sponsored by WDVM-TV and the downtown Jaycees.

August 29, 1985:
"The One & Only" identifier is reinstated.


September 4, 1985:
Jeanne Bowers and Bruce Johnson receive the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Award for Excellence in Reporting on Mental Illness.


Nov. 1985:
Mark Feldstein's four part series Greasing the Wheels airs.


Dec. 1985:
The family shareholders of the Evening News Association approve sale of the media company to Gannett Company Inc., including WDVM-TV.


1986:
The Joe Gibbs Show is cancelled.

February 18:
The Evening News Association merges with Gannett Company, Inc. WDVM-TV becomes a Gannett-owned television station.

March:
Eyewitness News reporter Bruce Johnson is first journalist to obtain videotape of controversial March 7, 1986 shooting between off-duty D.C. police Sgt. William Rollins and alleged burglar James Williams.

Spring:
Documentary Paris: A Tale of Two Citiesairs, hosted by Gordon Peterson.

June:
The syndicated project,Best of the Class is aired to honor academic achievement.
June 19:
Mike Buchanon and Dave Statter cover the tragic death of University of Maryland - College Park basketball player Len Bias in Boston. Eyewitness News is credited with being first to identify the cocaine connection to the player's death.

July 4, 1986:
WDVM-TV changes its call letters to WUSA-TV at midnight. The call letters we brought from Gannett's channel 11 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which became KARE-TV. The station was renamed WUSA-TV to coincide with the other Gannett property headquartered in the Washington area, USA Today. The renaming engendered concern that the editorial philosophy of USA Today would be transplanted to Channel 9, known for its journalistic excellence.

Ron Townsend named Vice -President and General Manager.


August 26, 1986:
The Carol Randolph Show is canceled.

Sept. 5, 1986:
Carol Randolph leaves W*USA.

1986:
Teens: Rock the Future airs. Three thousand teens joined Channel 9 at the Washington Convention Center for day long series of seminars on coping with peer pressure and drugs, educational development, family and values - oriented issues.

Sept.7, 1986:
WUSA-TV airs Countdown to Kickoff, hosted by Washington Redskins Hall of Famers Sonny Jurgenson and Sam Huff.

Sept. 8, 1986:
Syndicated program The Oprah Winfrey Show, hosted by Baltimore native Oprah Winfrey, premiers.

1986:
Ellen Kingsley is awareded the Ted Yates Award.

Oct. 5, 1986:
"22:26" premiered hosted by Maureen Bunyan. The program focuses all 22 minutes and 26 seconds of each episode on one major issue impacting the local community.

Oct. 21, 1986:
Bob Dalton celebrates his 35th anniversary with channel 9.

Jan.4, 1987:
Dave Statter, Greg Guise, Kent Jarrell, Tad Dukehart, and Mike Buchanan informed viewers of the Amtrak train crash in Chase, Maryland.

Jan 198:7
Eyewitness News anchor Gordon Peterson and Dick Swanson journey to South Africa to produce the documentary, "Our Beloved Country", which airs on February 23- 27.

Feb. 3, 1987:
W*USA-TV announces it will continue to reject contraceptive advertising.

1987:
James Brown signs contract with W*USA and CBS sports

1987:
Moscow: Inside the Mystery documentary hosted by Bruce Johnson and Jeanne Bowers. W*USA was first U.S. television station to receive permission to travel to Moscow.

March 16, 1987:
The Oprah Winfrey Show moves to weekday afternoons from WRC-TV.

1987:
Capital Edition travels to Alaska to produce Alaska: The Last Frontier.

April 1, 1987:
W*USA-TV and "USA Today" see success in their joint effort as they helped to reunite a homeless man with his family through media exposure.

Sept. 8 & 13, 1987:
Thurgood Marshall: The Man - two constitutional documentaries - Carl Rowan - Roe vs. Wade Searching for Justice: Three American Stories The material included in this elicited response from the White House, and garnered national and local print and electronic attention. Three major areas were looked at: capital punishment, abortion and segregation. Also involved was the news item revealed for the first time by Jane Roe that she had not been pregnant by rape.

June 11, 1987:
Eyewitness News is the first to report the hazardous gasoline rupture in Centerville, MD. Mike Buchanan reported the story and received praise from Union Mill Elementary School Superintendent Robert Spillane.

1987:
Eyewitness News consumer reporter Ellen Kingsley does week long series "Seniors Beware." Channel 9's consumer hotline received more than 700 calls over a five-day, 10 hour period. The hotline enabled senior citizens to voice their complaints.


May 22, 1987:

June 18, 1987:
Eyewitness News investigative reporter Mark Feldstein revealed that former D.C. Government employee Karen Johnson told prosecutors she supplied Washington, DC Mayor Marion Barry with cocaine and then accepted hush money payments.

Sept. 23, 1987
Eyewitness News obtains copies of the secret tape recordings regarding possible corruption in the D.C. Police Dept. Taps detailed allegations that three vice officers intentionally leaked sensitive police secrets to drug suspects.


Oct. 1987:
During the NFL strike, Eyewitness News' Chris Gorden and Ken Mease help WUSA-TV gain recognition as a "sort of mediator"

Oct. 16, 1987:
W*USA acquires the state-of-the-art newsroom computer system, DynaTech.


Oct. 2, 1987:
The Friday night program, Music Video Connection, expands to 90 minutes.

1988:
One and Only Nine Awards are created. Annual awards program recognizing unsung heroes for their community service.

February 1988:
No Minor Crime airs, reporter Bruce Johnson's in depth look at teen violence in the community. W*USA then holds a forum for parents and teenagers called Coping: A Family Affair, moderated by Bruce Johnson.


Oct. 1988:
W*USA unveils a state of the art weather center to provide viewers with the most comprehensive weather coverage in the market.

Week of Monday, October 17, 1988:
W*USA-TV begins broadcasting BTSC stereo audio, coinciding with the CBS Television Network's commencing of regular stereo broadcasts.


Dec. 1988:
Max Robinson dies of AIDS in Chicago.
The documentary Thurgood Marshall: The Man airs, with Carl Rowan interviewing Judge Marshall.

1989:
The documentary,Why Won't They Come Home? airs, with reporter Bruce Johnson touring Thailand.

March 1989:
Eyewitness News covers an Alexandria hostage shootout live.
Jamie McIntyre replaces John Goldsmith as host of Capital Edition


April 1989:
WUSA-TV image brochure published.


Feb. 1989
We've Had Enough, station-sponsored anti-drug and drug related violence campaign launched with a hotline, post office box, two documentaries, several Eyewitness News programming segments.


Sept. 5, 1989:
Eyewitness News introduces the Washington market's first 4pm newscast, anchored by Mike Buchanan and Andrea Roane. The newscast was introduced after the station gave up The Oprah Winfrey Show to WJLA-TV due to the programs cost.


September 1989:
Hurricane Hugo slams in to South Carolina, with extensive coverage on Eyewitness News.


August 31, 1989:
Eyewitness News breaks the story of the FBI sting of District Mayor Marion Barry, Jr., with footage of the Mayor using cocaine.

1989:
Newswatcher campaign launched with a hotline installed: 1-800-289-WUSA

1990s:



January 20, 1991:
Marion Barry steps down as Mayor after being charged with smoking crack-cocaine.


January 1991:
Glenn Brenner presents Sukari the Elephant with $1,000 prize money for her best football predictions in the NFL prediction contest.

Jan.16-Feb. 1991
The Persian Gulf War rages, with Eyewitness News dominating in the ratings.

Feb. 1991
W*USA promotions begins A World of Difference campaign, designed to combat prejudice.

Feb./Mar 1991:
Regardies article is published about the break-in at Carl Rowan's home, and subsequent shooting of burglar Ben Smith by Mr. Rowan.

March 1991:
22:26 and Capital Edition are canceled.
One and Only Nine Awards held.


March 16:
The Glenn Brenner Show premieres, lasting only two weeks. The producer is Tamara Lanham, with Executive Producer Paul Malkie.

March 18:
Eyewitness News anchor Gordon Peterson accompanies Saud Nasir Sabah on a flight to Kuwait.
March 26:
The Glenn Brenner Show is canceled. Seven episodes were produced, but only two were aired.

April 1991:
W*USA broadcasts telethon from RFK Stadium.(?)


November 3, 1991:
Eyewitness News' Sports Director Glenn Brenner collapses after completing the Marine Corps Marathon in 4 hours, 18 minutes. He is rushed to George Washington University Hospital in Washington and diagnosed with having suffered a "vascular event." After two months of rehabilitation, he is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. He dies at 7:58am on Tuesday, January 14, 1992 at GW hospital, having never returned to the air.


Monday, January 13, 1992:
Sports Director Glenn Brenner diagnosed with an inoperable, terminal brain tumor.
Tuesday, January 14, 1992:
Sports Director Glenn Brenner dies at the age of 43 at the George Washington University Medical Center.
On the same day, the largest watermain break in District history occurs at the corner of 21st & M Streets, NW, pouring an estimated 20 million gallons of water into Foggy Bottom and covering streets with up to 5 feet of water and flooding office building garages & basements.

Friday, January 20, 1992:
The final day at Broadcast House, 4001 Brandywine Street, NW. Final broadcast is Eyewitness News Nightcast, and leaves the air at 11:29pm. Immediately afterwards, the Eyewitness News set is picked clean of memorabilia.

The funeral for Glenn Brenner is held at the United Methodist Church on Nebraska Avenue in Washington. He is later interred at *****.

June 6, 1992:
Former WTOP-TV Sports Director Warner Wolf, after 3 years with ABC Sports / WABC-TV and 12 years with WCBS-TV New York, rejoins W*USA as Sports Director.


Tuesday, September 22, 1992:
Sonny Jurgenson loses his arbitration suit W*USA. Arbitrator ***** rules that Jurgenson is bound for up to four years to W*USA. Jurgenson had wanted to join WRC-TV after the loss of W*USA Sports Director Glenn Brenner.

Thursday, January 14, 1993:
David Letterman announces that he will move his late night program from NBC at 12:35am EST to CBS at 11:35pm EST, going head to head with person he had followed on NBC, Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. The move had been rumored for months. Letterman will be paid over $14 million, but over 40 CBS affiliates, including W*USA, carry the popular and profitable Arsenio Hall Show at 11:35pm.


Thursday, January 21, 1993:
Retired Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall dies at the age of 84. Carl Rowen joins Eyewitness News for coverage of the Judges death.

Thursday, January 28, 1993:
Funeral service for Thurgood Marshall is held at Washington National Cathedral.


Sunday, February 7, 1993:
Dream Makers, Dream Breakers, documentary about the life of Thurgood Marshall hosted by Carl Rowen, airs.


Friday, March 12, 1993:
Weatherman Bill Kamal is fired. He had been working without a contract since summer 1992.

February 12, 1996:
Channel 9 leaves Broadcast House for the last time with the removal of the final transmitter from the Broadcast House transmitter room. The backup antenna is abandoned.


1993, 1998 James P. Snyder. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this document may be reproduced without the express written permission of the author.