WBOC Celebrates 60th Anniversary - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

WBOC Celebrates 60th Anniversary

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The front facade of WBOC's original building on 1729 North Salisbury Blvd. in Salisbury, Md. The front facade of WBOC's original building on 1729 North Salisbury Blvd. in Salisbury, Md.
The main anchor desk inside WBOC's state-of-the-art NewsPlex. The main anchor desk inside WBOC's state-of-the-art NewsPlex.
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  • WBOC to Air 60th Anniversary Special 7:15 p.m. Tuesday

    WBOC to Air 60th Anniversary Special 7:15 p.m. Tuesday

    Tuesday, July 15 2014 5:08 PM EDT2014-07-15 21:08:57 GMT
    WBOC TV will be celebrating its 60th anniversary on Tuesday, July 15. During a special broadcast that will air Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. - the exact moment when WBOC first went on the air in 1954 - we'll cover 60 years of stories and history on the Delmarva Peninsula. The special program is called "WBOC: 60 Years Serving Delmarva."More
    WBOC TV will be celebrating its 60th anniversary on Tuesday, July 15. During a special broadcast that will air Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. - the exact moment when WBOC first went on the air in 1954 - we'll cover 60 years of stories and history on the Delmarva Peninsula. The special program is called "WBOC: 60 Years Serving Delmarva."More
SALISBURY, Md.- Tuesday, July 15, 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of WBOC TV's broadcasting on the air to Delmarva.

When WBOC TV first went on the air at 7:15 p.m. on  July 15, 1954, the name WBOC was already a household word to Delmarva residents. That is because in 1954, WBOC Radio had already entered its 14th year of existence and it was the first successful radio station on Delmarva.

There had been other attempts, but it was not until a group of prominent local businessmen joined together to form the Peninsula Broadcasting Company did Delmarva enjoy its own, local radio station. And enjoy it they did; by the time WBOC began broadcasting television, WBOC radio was one of the most successful local radio stations in the country, having been on the air since Sept. 13, 1940.

WBOC's entry into television was as the home team, and when the first black and white signal was broadcast from Salisbury that July 15, Delmarva was more than ready to watch it, support it and make it their own. Early programming on WBOC was nothing like it is today.

Those who were there say the WBOC studios at Radio-TV Park in Salisbury quickly became the cultural and social hub of Delmarva, as the station hosted live variety shows, game shows, talent contests, beauty contests and hours of live, in-studio educational programs.

There was also, for the first time, national television news coverage, and it was on WBOC that Delmarva watched the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s, the assassination and burial of John F. Kennedy in the 1960s, and the Vietnam war in the 1970s.

Originally a part of the Dumont Television Network, WBOC's management soon found the national networks were very interested in the Delmarva market, and for a time WBOC was an affiliate of all three national networks, CBS, NBC and ABC before finally becoming a CBS affiliate which it remains to this day.

In 1961, faced with a quickly changing industry, Peninsula Broadcasting decided to sell the station to the A.S. Abell Company of Baltimore, publishers of the Baltimore Sun and owners of WMAR TV in Baltimore. The A.S. Abell company operated the station for nearly 20 years, before selling to its current owner, Draper Holdings, in November of 1980.

Thomas H. Draper was a very young man when he put together a successful effort to purchase the station, and his hands-on management style and boundless energy revitalized an enterprise that understandably had grown rather set it its ways over the years.

Under Draper's direction, the transmitter was moved and power increased to 4 million watts; departments within the station were streamlined, equipment was upgraded, and Tom Draper made a commitment to local news gathering that continues to this day.

For many years WBOC was the only television station on the Delmarva Peninsula and for many people, it still is. In spite of the number of choices now available, WBOC is still by far the most popular television station on Delmarva. WBOC enjoys that loyalty because it has earned it, through decades of commitment to quality in broadcasting; in news gathering and in public service.

In broadcasting, our engineers have spent decades refining every aspect of our facility, always expanding, always upgrading, always putting the quality of our television products and our broadcast signal ahead of all other considerations.

WBOC's commitment to news in well-known in the industry and our news department has won nearly every major national award there is to win. However, WBOC's main objective is not winning awards. The station's chief goal is to gather and report the most accurate, fair and balanced news possible, and that is what wins awards. The station's commitment to public service is no secret to the people of Delmarva. Whether it is 24-hour storm coverage during hurricanes to public health and safety promotion, WBOC is there.

WBOC has grown from one newsroom to four. The main newsroom, located in back of WBOC's original building and studios on 1729 North Salisbury Blvd. in Salisbury, Md., is called the NewsPlex. The NewsPlex, which opened in 2008, is an 11,340-square-foot state-of-the-art high definition digital broadcast facility that cost $13 million to build.   

The station's other newsrooms are located in Dover and Milton, Del., with a "virtual" newsroom based out of Cambridge, Md.

From one low-power AM signal to three television stations and a robust WBOC.com streaming live newscasts to both online and mobile users, the mission remains the same: to provide the residents of Delmarva with the very best television and online experience" possible. That is what WBOC has always done, and that is what we will always try to do in the future.

WBOC, FOX21, WBOC Classics and WBOC.com are locally-owned and operated by Draper Holdings, which also owns Loblolly, LLC.

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