Radio-TV Broadcast History

WTKR is the CBS affiliate television station serving the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, officially known as the Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News DMA. The station is licensed to Norfolk and broadcasts on channel 40 (virtual channel 3). Its transmitter is located in Suffolk, Virginia. Owned by Local TV, the station is sister to The CW affiliate WGNT. The main office and studio is located in Norfolk, and has additional studios in Virginia Beach on Atlantic Avenue at the Oceanfront and inside the office of the Daily Press in Newport News. The station formerly operated news bureaus in the Town Center area of Virginia Beach and in the City Center at Oyster Point section of Newport News.

Norfolk/Virginia Beach/Portsmouth/Newport News, Virginia
Branding NewsChannel 3
Slogan Taking Action, Getting Results (general)

VIPIR Means Accuracy (weather)

Channels Digital: 40 (UHF)
Affiliations CBS (secondary until 1953)
Owner Local TV, LLC

(Local TV Virginia License, LLC)

First air date April 2, 1950
Call letters' meaning Dual meaning:
  • Tidewater Knight Ridder (former owners)[1]
  • tribute nod to WTAR (rhyming scheme)
Sister station(s) WGNT
Former callsigns WTAR-TV (1950–1981)
Former channel number(s) Analog:

4 (1950-1952) 3 (1952-2009)

Former affiliations Primary:

NBC (1950–1953) Secondary: DuMont (1950–1955) ABC (1950–1957)

Transmitter power 950 kW
Height 377 m
Facility ID 47401
Transmitter coordinates 36°48′31″N 76°30′13″W / 36.80861°N 76.50361°W / 36.80861; -76.50361

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Digital television[]

WTKR began digital broadcasts on channel 40 on March 11, 2002 at 4:15pm. On June 12, 2009, WTKR-TV ceased analog broadcasting on channel 3 and continued to broadcast on channel 40 to complete the analog to digital conversion.

Channel Programming
3.1 main WTKR/CBS programming

High definition television[]

WTKR began producing and airing its local newscasts in high definition on January 26, 2009 with the 5:00PM broadcast. [2] WTKR is the third station in the Hampton Roads market, after WAVY-TV and WVBT, to begin airing high definition newscasts (as opposed to the upconverted widescreen standard definition format of WVEC's newscasts).


The station began operation on channel 4 on April 2, 1950 as WTAR-TV, Virginia's second television station. It was a primary NBC affiliate, with secondary affiliations with CBS, ABC, and DuMont. It was owned by the Virginian-Pilot along with WTAR-AM, Virginia's first radio station. It moved to channel 3 in 1952. When WVEC-TV signed on a year later as an NBC affiliate, WTAR became a primary CBS affliliate, retaining its secondary ABC and DuMont affiliations (DuMont folded two years later). WTAR became solely affiliated with CBS in 1957, when WAVY-TV signed on as the ABC affiliate (WAVY and WVEC would swap affiliations in 1959 making the latter station the ABC affiliate). When the Virginian-Pilot reorganized its various holdings as Landmark Communications in 1969, WTAR-AM-FM-TV became the flagship stations.

[2][3]WTKR logo from 1998 to 2002. This logo kept the 3 from the previous 1995-98 logo, but revised the "NewsChannel" branding.Over the years, the station expanded its news operation to include about 30 hours of local news production per week. It also produced PM Magazine from the late 1970s to mid-1980s.

After the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) tightened its ownership restrictions, Landmark sold its Hampton Roads television holdings. WTAR-TV went to Knight-Ridder in 1981. WTAR AM radio was still owned by Landmark, so Knight-Ridder changed the station's calls to WTKR. The new calls reflected the new ownership and also sounded similar to the old ones. WTKR was purchased by Narragansett Television in 1989, and by The New York Times Company in 1995. WTKR's current owner, Local TV, acquired the station on May 7, 2007.

During the 2009 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, independent station WSKY-TV aired two weeknight 11 o'clock newscasts from WTKR during its coverage of the basketball tournament. The station did broadcast late newscasts at Midnight when the coverage concluded. [3]

WTKR started the area's first 4 p.m. newscast on September 8, 2009.[4] This is the station's second attempt at a newscast during the 4 p.m. hour, as WTKR had aired a short-lived 4:30 p.m. newscast in 1995.[5]

In June 2010, Local TV announced that it would be acquiring The CW affiliate WGNT from CBS Television Stations. WTKR managed the station through a time brokerage agreement from that point until Local TV closed on the purchase on August 4. This purchase created the market's second co-owned duopoly operation after the LIN TV-owned combination of WAVY-TV and Fox affiliate WVBT.

Branding and image[]

Weather titles[]

  • TV-3 WeatherVision/TV-3 Forecast Center (1994–1995)
  • Live Neighborhood Radar (1995–1998)
  • Storm Team 3 (1995–1998)
  • Triple Doppler Radar/Triple Doppler Forecast Center (1998–2007)
  • Live VIPIR Radar/Live VIPIR Forecast Center (2007-Present)

News staff[]

Position Year Joined
Domonique Benn Weekends at 6pm and 11pm 2007
Juliet Bickford Weeknights at 4pm and 5pm 2008
Barbara Ciara Weeknights at 4pm, 5pm and 5:30pm 2000
Bianca Martinez Weeknights at 4pm, 6pm and 11pm 2003
Laila Muhammad Weekday mornings and noon 2007
Patrick Rockey Weekday mornings and noon (also meteorologist) 2002
Kurt Williams Weeknights at 5:30pm, 6pm, and 11pm 1988
Year Joined
Reed Andrews General assignment 2010
Domonique Benn General assignment 2007
Juliet Bickford "Don't Waste Your Money"/"Taking Action Against Crime" 2008
Barbara Ciara Reports for evening shows 2000
Marie Coronel General assignment 2007
Kristen Crowley Traffic/Look What's Cookin' 2007
Anjali Hemphill General assignment 2010
Bonnie Johnson Traffic/Look What's Cookin' 2008
Mike Mather Investigative 1998
Bob Matthews General assignment/fill-in sports anchor 1992
Sara Morris General assignment 2007
Vanessa Murdock Features/environmental 2006
Jummy Olabanji General assignment 2008
Blaine Stewart Morning features/weather 2007
Dan Tordjman General assignment 2008
VIPIR Weather
Position Year Joined
Mike Harvey Chief meteorologist; weekday evenings 2006
Vanessa Murdock Meteorologist; weekend evenings 2006
Patrick Rockey Meteorologist; weekday mornings and noon (also anchors) 2003
Blaine Stewart Forecaster, fill-in 2007
Myles Henderson Meterologist 2010
Position Year Joined
Ted Alexander Weekend sports anchor, Locker Room host 1996

Past on-air staff[]

  • Rick Amme, reporter 1979. Now president of Amme & Associates in NC.
  • Stacey Baca, weekend morning anchor from 1996 until 1998. Now at WLS-TV in Chicago.[6]
  • Jason Barr, sports anchor/reporter 2005 until 2008, left for WMBF-TV in Myrtle Beach.
  • Ric Barrick, Weekend Meteorologist, now at WTVR-TV in Richmond, VA.
  • Betty Anne Bowser, reporter, co-anchor in the 1960s and 1970s. Later a correspondent for CBS News (1973-86) and PBS's NewsHour (1986-present). Former co-anchor of 30 Minutes, a news magazine program that won four Emmys, a DuPont-Columbia Award and a Peabody Award.[7]
  • Wally Bruckner, sports anchor in summer 1985. Later worked in Richmond and at WRC-TV in Washington, DC.
  • Jan Callaghan, reporter and weekend anchor from 1980 until 1998. Now working for the city of Norfolk.[8]
  • John Castleberry, sports anchor during the mid-late 1990s, previously weekend sports anchor at WAVY during the 1980s. Formerly hosted a daily radio show on 102.1 The Game WXTG. Husband of former WAVY anchor and Living the Life co-host Carolyn Castleberry. Castleberry is the television voice of Old Dominion University football home games on Cox Cable-11.
  • Glenn "Corey" Corillo, anchor from 1978-98. Unsuccessfully ran against Virginia Beach mayor Meyera E. Oberndorf in spring 2000. Now a member of the faculty of ECPI College of Technology[9]
  • Jeremy Crider, reporter 2007-2009, now working as a journalist in China.
  • Cory Curtis, sports director from 2006 to 2007, now at WKRN in Nashville.
  • Nate Custer, longtime reporter from 1966 until retirement in 2005 [10].
  • Stacy Davis, reporter, weekend anchor, 2001 - 2008, now at WRAL-TV.
  • Patti DiVincenzo, reporter, 1988-1998, now a special projects producer at WSB-TV in Atlanta.
  • Brian Farrell, reporter, weekend morning anchor, now at WVEC.
  • Joe Flanagan, host of WTKR's PM Magazine from 1980 to 1985, now at WVEC.
  • Jane Gardner, main co-anchor from 1990-98. Also co-hosted WTKR's "Live at 9" program in the mid-late 90s.[11]
  • Dale Gauding, investigative reporter from 1984 to 1997, left for WVEC. Now works in public relations/communications for Sentara Hospitals.[12]
  • Lisa Godley, reporter from 1997-2007; now at WHRO and runs her own video production company, Acacia Tree Productions, in Suffolk[13]
  • Pete Grigsby, meteorologist from 1995 to 1999, left for KMBC-TV in Kansas City. Now with Blue Springs, MO school district.[14]
  • Jim Hale, sports reporter, anchor from 1988 to mid 90s. Was morning and noon anchor at WTVR-TV in Richmond from the late 90s until 2000.[15]
  • Dr. Duane Harding, chief weathercaster from 1990 until 1996; when he was fired.[16]
  • Kelly Harvey Jones, weekend anchor from 1999–2002, later went to WVEC.
  • Michele Harvey, 6pm and 11pm co-anchor from the mid-80s until 1990. Left for WSOC-TV in Charlotte.[17]
  • Brian Hill, weekend meteorologist in the 1980s-early 1990s, later went to WVEC.
  • Rick Holmes, reporter from 1999 until 2007. Now at News 12 New Jersey.
  • Ed Hughes, often called the Walter Cronkite of Hampton Roads, from 1967 (as WTAR) to his death from cancer in 2004.
  • George Johnson, weekend sports anchor from 1998 until 2001. Left for WISC-TV in Madison, WI.
  • Gene Kapp, started as a reporter in 1983, became 11pm co-anchor in 1987 until 1992, later a spokesman for CBN.
  • Ann Keffer, anchor/reporter from the 1980s-1999.
  • Sandra Kelly, anchor in the early 1980s. Previously at WAVY. Now associate rector at Tampa's St. John Episcopal Church.[18]
  • Matt Keller, morning anchor from 2005 to 2007. Now at KFSN-TV in Fresno.
  • Beverly Kidd, joined station in 1993 and was morning co-anchor from 1997 until 2001. Now at KTVK in Phoenix.
  • Dick Lamb, Hampton Roads radio personality, hosted the Dick Lamb show from 1970-78[19]
  • Antwan Lewis, hired as a college intern in 1996, worked way up to reporter. Left in 2002 for KTVK in Phoenix. Left KTVK in 2007 for WGN-TV in Chicago; left WGN-TV in March 2010 for WNYW-TV in New York.
  • Becky Livas, newscaster and talk show hostess/producer "People Places & Things", "3 In The Morning", 1971-1980 (then WTAR-TV). Now middle school teacher in Suffolk and cabaret/jazz singer at venues throughout Hampton Roads. Mother of WAVY & WVBT anchor Nicole Livas.
  • Ross MacCallum, news and sports anchor from 1985 to 1992. Also worked at WAVY from 1993 to 1995.
  • Lee Mahaffey, morning anchor from 2000 until 2002. Left for WTVR-TV in Richmond.
  • John McQuiston, weekend sports anchor from 1991 to 1993. Now at WFTS-TV as a freelance traffic anchor.
  • Paula Miller, reporter from 1984 until 1999. Now member of the Virginia House of Delegates.[20]
  • Pat McReynolds, main anchor, 2006 to 2008, reporter from 2008 to 2009. Joined Phoenix CBS affiliate KPHO as a general assignment reporter in December 2009.[21]
  • Regina Mobley, reporter from 1985 to 1992, now at WVEC.
  • Gerald Owens, political reporter and anchor from 1995 until 1998. Now at WRAL-TV in Raleigh.
  • Lou Paris, reporter and news director from 1976–1987. Returned to active duty in the U.S. Air Force. Now retired, living in Germantown, TN.
  • Dave Parker, chief meteorologist from 1997 - 2006. Now at Sinclair Communications and Studio Center, Inc.
  • Joe Perkins, anchor during the station's Esso Reporter period, later program director until the 1990s, died in 2010.
  • Eric Philips, reporter from 1996-2002. Left for CNN.
  • Vic Powell, 1964-1969, weekend anchor/weather and weekday substitute.
  • Ben "Sonny" Pulliam, news photographer from 1953 to 1996 (died in 2006).
  • LeAnne Rains, main co-anchor from 1995 until 2001. Now known as LeAnne Rains-Benedetto.
  • Tom Randles, main co-anchor from 1993 until 2005. Now noon and 6:30 anchor at WSMV-TV in Nashville.
  • Mike Rasnick, sports reporter during 1970s and early 1980s. Later at CBN.
  • Bob Rathbun, sports anchor from 1990 until 1991. Previously at WTAR Radio for 12 years. Now play-by-play announcer for Atlanta Hawks.
  • Andy Roberts, chief weathercaster/announcer for over 35 years until 1990, continued to forecast on noon and 5pm newscasts until his retirement in 1992.
  • Dan Rubin, reporter from 2007-2009.
  • Jeff Rucker, meteorologist on various newscasts from 1995 until 1999, now chief meteorologist at WAGT in Augusta, GA.
  • Mike Simon, noon and 5:30pm meteorologist from 1999-2003. Known as Mike Cuevas as chief meteorologist at WLOS in Asheville.[22]
  • Yvonne Simons, reporter. Now assistant news director at WBTV in Charlotte.
  • Brian Sinkoff, sports anchor, 2001-2005. Now host of "Sound-off with Sinkoff" at WTMM-FM in Albany, NY.
  • Les Smith, 5:30 pm anchor from April-June 2008. Smith left WTKR for unspecified reasons, similar to his departure from WAVY in April 2007. Now a reporter for News 12 New Jersey. [23]
  • Stephanie Sy, fill-in anchor and military reporter from 2001 until 2003. Now reporter for ABC News.
  • Cathleen Trigg, anchor/reporter from 1997-1999. Left for WPIX in New York.
  • Lyn Vaughn, evening co-anchor from July 1999 until 2001 after 14 years with CNN Headline News.
  • Bob West, "Points West" host 1980s-1990s. Retired after 34 years at WTKR. Now lives in Isle of Wight County, Va
  • Tal White, Weekend weathercaster from 1994–1995, 1999-2002, Fill-in forecaster from 2003–2006, worked at WWBT in Richmond in between stints. Now runs family flower business, White's Nursery, in Chesapeake, VA.
  • Ray Williams,Weekend Sports Anchor/Photographer, 1995-2000. Disabled.


WTKR-TV transmission tower is located in northwest part of Suffolk, Virginia. WTKR-TV (digital ch. 40) transmits with 950 kilowatts of power at a height of 1,250 feet (380 m) on a tower owned by ATC and co-located with WHRO, WTVZ and WPXV. It is the tallest antenna in southeastern Virginia.

External links[]


  1. ^
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  3. ^,0,1611931.story
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  7. ^ The Online NewsHour: About Us | Betty Ann Bowser | PBS
  8. ^
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  10. ^ "Another Hampton Roads legend to leave the airwaves". Retrieved 2008-08-23.
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  13. ^ "About Us". Acacia Tree Productions. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
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  17. ^
  18. ^ | News Archives - May & June 2004
  19. ^;_ylu=X3oDMTExMjlxcjMxBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMgRjb2xvA3NwMQR2dGlkAwRsA1dTMQ--/SIG=144ecaia9/EXP=1275061750/**http%3A//
  20. ^ Welcome to Delegate Paula Miller's Web Site
  21. ^ [1] Pat McReynolds - CBS 5 News Story - KPHO Phoenix
  22. ^
  23. ^