|Charleston, South Carolina|
|City of license||Charleston|
|Branding||ABC News 4|
|Slogan||Local News 4 You|
|Channels||Digital: 34 (UHF)
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
|Owner||Allbritton Communications Company
(sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group pending)
(Charleston Television, LLC)
|First air date||October 23, 1962|
|Call letters' meaning||Charleston IV (Roman numeral 4)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
|Former affiliations||NBC (1962-1996)|
|Transmitter power||630 kW|
WCIV is the ABC-affiliated television station for the Lowcountry area of South Carolina licensed to Charleston. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 34 from a transmitter in Awendaw. Owned by the Allbritton Communications Company, the station has studios on Allbritton Boulevard along US 17/US 701 (Johnnie Dodds Boulevard) in Mount Pleasant. Syndicated programming on WCIV includes: Entertainment Tonight, The Dr. Oz Show, Ellen, and The Rachael Ray Show.
The station launched October 23, 1962 as the third outlet in Charleston. The original license was granted to WTMA-TV but the call letters were later changed to WCIV before it signed-on. It took the NBC affiliation from WCBD-TV (known as WUSN-TV at the time), leaving that station to become a full-time ABC affiliate. The station was originally owned by the Washington Star Company. In 1976, businessman Joe Allbritton bought the Star and sold off the non-television assets in 1978 to form Allbritton Communications.
In 1989, WCIV was almost destroyed when Hurricane Hugo thundered ashore in September of that year. The station's building on the marsh just outside of Mount Pleasant near Sullivan's Island was flooded by the storm surge. WCIV aired from temporary studios near its transmitter site for a time and eventually moved to a new building in 1991.
The station became an ABC affiliate in 1996 as part of Allbritton's affiliation deal with the network. The station has successfully launched the careers of a number of journalists who have gone on to work in network and cable news including Joie Chen, Van Earl Wright, and Fredericka Whitfield. Many more including Dave Lucas, Monica McNeil, and Dan Potash have moved on to enjoy careers in bigger markets. WCIV coordinates a number of popular annual community events and programs including Lowcountry's Promise and Gospel Fest.
On July 29, 2013, Allbritton announced that it would sell its entire television group, including WCIV, to the Sinclair Broadcast Group. As part of the deal, Sinclair intended to sell the license assets of its existing Charleston station, WMMP, but would still operate that station through shared services and joint sales agreements. On December 6, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) informed Sinclair that applications related to the deal need to be "amended or withdrawn," as an existing local marketing agreement between WMMP and WTAT-TV would remain with Sinclair; this would, in effect, create a new LMA between WCIV and WTAT, even though the FCC had ruled in 1999 that such agreements made after November 5, 1996 covering more than 15% of the broadcast day would count toward the ownership limits for the brokering station's owner. In addition, the existing LMA between WMMP and WTAT dates to July 1, 1998, and thus cannot be grandfathered.
On March 20, 2014, as part of a restructuring of the Sinclair-Allbritton deal in order to address these ownership conflicts, Sinclair announced that it would terminate its shared services agreement with WTAT owner Cunningham Broadcasting (which holds majority stock interest in Cunningham, and has long been used by Sinclair to form LMAs with stations that the company cannot legally own due to FCC ownership limits). Cunningham would acquire the non-license assets of WTAT, and seek a shared services agreement with the prospective owner of WMMP, which Sinclair will sell and relinquish all financial and ownership interest in order to receive approval of its purchase of WCIV. On May 29, 2014, Sinclair informed the FCC that it had not found a buyer for WMMP and proposed surrendering the WCIV broadcast license; through the use of multicasting, WMMP would both carry its existing programming (including MyNetworkTV) and inherit WCIV's ABC affiliation, syndicated programming, and news operation. Sinclair opted to retain WMMP because its facilities are superior to those of WCIV. As of late June, 2014, WCIV is still on the air and has not changed.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|4.1||720p||16:9||WCIV-DT||Main WCIV programming / ABC|
WCIV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 4, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 34, using PSIP to display WCIV's virtual channel as 4 on digital television receivers.
WCIV produces a daily lifestyle and entertainment program called Lowcountry Live. The show features many popular regular segments and contributors including "Makeover Monday" and "Louis' Kids". LCL, as it is often referred to, also features a plethora of local artists, chefs, musicians, and authors. The show airs Monday through Friday mornings at 10 for an hour. This broadcast serves as a midday program during the week for WCIV because it does not offer news at 11 in the morning or at noon unlike most other ABC affiliates. There is also no newscast during the 5 o'clock hour on weeknights. Along with CBS affiliate WCSC-TV, this station offers local news weeknights at 7. WCIV debuted its newscasts in high definition on Saturday, October 15, 2011, becoming the second in the Lowcountry and the last Allbritton-owned station to switch to HD.
- The Sixth Hour/Eleventh Hour Report (1962-1971)
- TV-4 News (1971-1973)
- Action News (1973-1979)
- NewsCenter 4 (1979–1984)
- News 4 (1984–1994)
- NewsChannel 4 (1994–2000)
- ABC NewsChannel 4 (2000–2002)
- ABC News 4 (2002–present)
- "Charleston's Full Color Station" (1960s)
- "4's Company" (early 1970s)
- "This is 4 Country" (mid-1970s)
- "4 Leads The Way" (late 1970s)
- "On Your Side" (mid-late 1980s)
- "Dedicated, Determined, Dependable" (mid-1990s)
- "The Best News You'll Get All Day" (mid-1990s)
- "Live. Local. Late Breaking." (1990s–2002)
- "Your Trusted Source" (2002–2009)
- "Local News 4 You" (2011–present)
- Jon Bruce - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00); also host of Lowcountry Live (weekdays at 10:00 a.m.)
- Victoria Hansen - weeknights at 6:00, 7:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Tessa Spencer - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00); also host of Lowcountry Live (weekdays at 10:00 a.m.)
- Dean Stephens - weeknights at 6:00, 7:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Valencia Wicker - weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
ABC News 4 PinPoint Weather
- Dave Williams (NWA Seal of Approval; AMS member ) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 6:00, 7:00 and 11:00 p.m. (heard on WWWZ-FM 93.3, WSSX-FM 95.1, WIWF-FM 96.9, WMGL-FM 107.3)
- Tom Crawford (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings (5:00-7:00), also Lowcountry Live host (weekdays at 10:00 a.m.)
- Sonya Stevens (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m; also news reporter
- Erin Kienzle (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - freelance meteorologist; also news reporter
Sports team (both seen on Friday Football Frenzy)
- Scott Eisberg - sports director; weeknights at 6:00, 7:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Daren Stoltzfus - sports anchor; weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also sports reporter
- Stefanie Bainum - general assignment reporter
- Bill Burr - general assignment reporter
- Nikki Gaskins - general assignment reporter
- Stacy Jacobson - general assignment reporter
- Rob Mallia - general assignment reporter
- Lia Sestric - general assignment reporter/traffic reporter (5:00-7:00 a.m.)
- Ava Wilhite - general assignment reporter
- Greg Woods - general assignment reporter
Out of Market Carriage
WCIV 4.1 is carried by Hargray Communications in parts of the Savannah DMA (primarily Beaufort, Bluffton, and Hilton Head Island) on digital channel 115 in standard definition, and channel 419 in high definition.
- Heath, Thomas; Wilgoren, Debbi (July 29, 2013). "Allbritton to sell 7 TV stations, including WJLA, to Sinclair for $985 million". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- "Sinclair Buying Allbritton Stations For $985M". TVNewsCheck. July 29, 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- Kreisman, Barbara A. (December 6, 2013). "Letter to Sinclair and Allbritton legal counsel" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- Sinclair Offers to Sell Stations Ahead of FCC Decision, TVSpy, March 21, 2014.
- Sinclair Proposes Restructuring Of Allbritton Transaction In Order To Meet Objections Of The Federal Communications Commission, The Wall Street Journal (via PRNewswire), March 20, 2014.
- "Sinclair Proposes Surrendering Three Licenses". Broadcasting & Cable. May 29, 2014.
- Eggerton, John (May 29, 2014). "Sinclair Proposes Surrendering Three Licenses to Get Allbritton Deal Done". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
- Jessell, Harry A. (May 29, 2014). "Sinclair Giving Up 3 Stations To Appease FCC". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WCIV
- Me-TV Beefs Up Roster With 10 New Stations, TVNewsCheck, September 15, 2011.
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations
- CDBS Print
- WCIV News Open November 2007
- ABC News 4 Team
- ABCNews4.com - Official WCIV-TV Website
- MeTVCharleston.com - Official Me-TV Charleston Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WCIV