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Cable Technology Feature Article

July 12, 2011

WSAZ TV Presents Local News in High-Definition

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

Local news will be more engaging now that WSAZ TV’s news department has completed its conversion to high-definition broadcasting.

All locally produced news programs in the Huntington, W.Va., station are now in an HD format, Regional Vice President and General Manager Don Ray told the Herald-Dispatch newspaper.

In addition to local news, syndicated programs and NBC network programs can be seen in high-definition, too.

"This represents the end of a multi-year, multi-million dollar project and the beginning of a new way for all television viewers in the Charleston-Huntington market to see their world. We'll all be looking at the drama and excitement that happens every day in breathtaking color and clarity,” Ray told The Herald-Dispatch.

Because of its split newscast format, the station spent “twice as much money as other stations would," Ray told the Herald-Dispatch.

After making the transition, WSAZ donated its old cameras, editors, video switchers, and television audio consoles to West Virginia State University for the school’s communications classes.

WSAZ TV is 60 years old. Its audience lives in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio, according to the station’s website.

Because of the number of viewers living in hilly areas and hollows, the world's biggest and most powerful transmitter license was given to WSAZ in 1952.

The station's signal could sometimes be received in locations as far away as Cuba and Canada.

WSAZ started the two-city newscast concept – with one anchor in Huntington and the other in Charleston. The director of the newscast cut back between each feed. The format is still in use.

In addition, WSAZ remains the most powerful broadcaster in the region.

WSAZ simulcast Channel 3 in analog format and Channel 23 in digital format until a digital transition on Feb. 14, 2009, according to the station’s history as outlined on its website.

The station is owned by Gray Television.

Ed Silverstein is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf