Jacksonville, North Carolina
|City of license||Washington|
WITN News (newscasts)
WITN 7.2 (on DT2)
Me-TV Eastern Carolina
|Slogan||Your Breaking News
& Weather Authority
|Channels||Digital: 32 (UHF)
Virtual: 7 (PSIP)
|First air date||September 28, 1955|
|Call letters' meaning||WashIngToN or
|Former callsigns||WITN (1955-1978)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
7 (VHF, 1955-2009)
|Former affiliations||ABC (secondary, 1955-1963)
local weather (on DT2)
|Transmitter power||795 kW|
WITN-TV is the NBC-affiliated television station for Eastern North Carolina's Inner Banks. Licensed to Washington, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 32 (or virtual channel 7.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter in Grifton along NC 118. Owned by Gray Television, it has studios on East Arlington Boulevard in Greenville. Syndicated programming on WITN includes Rachael Ray, Judge Mathis, Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and Steve Harvey.
|Channel||PSIP short name||Video||Aspect||Programming|
|7.1||WITN-DT||1080i||16:9||Main WITN programming / NBC|
|7.2||WITN-MY||480i||4:3||WITN-DT2 / MyNetworkTV|
Originally, WITN-DT2 served as a 24-hour local weather channel. It picked up MyNetworkTV on September 28, 2009 after the area's Ion Television owned-and-operated affiliate WEPX-TV and its full-time satellite, WPXU-TV, dropped the programming service. At that point, local weather programming was reduced to overnights and mornings while syndicated offerings made up the rest of WITN-DT2's schedule. A further addition to that service occurred April 18, 2011 when it added Me-TV and dropped all remaining weather-related programming with the new network taking up most of the weekend and daytime schedule.
Eventually, a new third digital subchannel signed-on and began offering a 24-hour live feed of WITN's Doppler weather radar. On January 17, 2013, it separated programming from MyNetworkTV and MeTV onto dedicated digital subchannels (with Me-TV relocating to a new third subchannel). However, WITN-DT2 simulcasts WITN-DT3 during overnight periods.
For a period of time, WITN-DT2 could be seen on the digital tier of Time Warner Cable in the greater Wilmington area since that market's MyNetworkTV affiliate, W47CK, was technically ineligible for carriage on cable providers due to its low-powered status. As a result, the clearance allowed WITN-DT2 to unofficially serve as Wilmington's Me-TV outlet since there is currently no associated television outlet in that area. Eventually, Time Warner picked up W47CK and subsequently dropped WITN-DT2 from the lineup.
The station signed-on September 28, 1955 from facilities on U.S. 17 in Chocowinity (outside Washington, though with a Washington mailing address). It was the area's second television outlet to launch after Greenville's WNCT-TV. It was an NBC affiliate from the start but shared secondary ABC relations with WNCT until the 1963 sign-on of WNBE-TV (now WCTI-TV) in New Bern.
WITN aired an analog signal on VHF channel 7 from the region's highest transmitter at that time; its current tower was also one of the tallest structures in the United States. The station was originally owned by North Carolina Television, a consortium of radio stations from Northeastern North Carolina. Majority ownership was held by the owners of WITN radio (930 AM now WDLX and FM 93.3 now WERO).
That company held onto the television station until 1985 when it was sold to Aflac. It added the -TV suffix to its call sign on July 31, 1978. In 1997, Aflac sold its broadcasting group to Retirement Systems of Alabama which merged with Ellis Communications to form Raycom Media. However, Raycom could not keep WITN due to a significant signal overlap with Wilmington's WECT (an Ellis property that was part of the deal). WITN's city-grade signal reaches the northern portion of the Wilmington market. What was then known as Gray Communications (now Gray Television) bought the station in 1997. It has been broadcasting a full-power digital signal since June 2006.
On January 7, 2009, a high definition feed of WITN was launched on DirecTV and can now also be obtained on Dish Network. It switched to digital-only broadcasting on June 12. However, the station had planned to end analog transmissions on February 19 as originally scheduled. WITN's digital signal remained on UHF channel 32 when the conversion was completed. In June 2013, the station moved to a new high-definition ready studio in Greenville.
In addition to offering network and syndicated programming, the station also produces live broadcasts of select East Carolina University football and basketball games not picked up nationally by ESPN as part of its deal with Conference USA. Even though most of the broadcasts were limited to its own market, WITN got other television outlets throughout North Carolina to carry a contest in 2003 which saw ECU competing against in-state rival University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
In terms of Nielsen ratings, Eastern North Carolina is usually not very competitive during sweeps periods. Historically, WITN has generally traded the highest viewership crown with WNCT and WCTI. In July 2008, the CBS outlet became the most watched television station in the market after taking first place weeknights at 6 and 11. However, since then, WNCT has fallen to 3rd place weeknights at 6. As of May 2010, WITN has won the sign-on to sign-off honors for two consecutive ratings periods. More specifically, the station won all time periods except for the weekday noon news. After moving into its new studio facility in Greenville on June 5, 2013, WITN became the area's second television outlet to upgrade news production to high definition level. In addition to its main studios in Greenville, the station operates news bureaus in Washington (on Main Street), Jacksonville (on Western Boulevard), and in New Bern (on Middle Street).
While broadcasting from its original facility in Chocowinity, WITN maintained a bureau in Greenville on East Arlington Street (within the Square Shopping Center) less than two blocks from its current full studio building. This location began broadcasting a weekday morning newscast in 1997 featuring a news anchor, meteorologist, and photographer based at the location. There were also weeknight interview segments conducted from the old Greenville facility. WITN still operates its own Doppler weather radar, known on-air as "Live Doppler 7", at its old Chocowinity facility along with featuring live VIPIR data from several regional NOAA National Weather Service radar sites.
- WITN News (1955-1970 and 2007–present)
- Eyewitness News (1970-1985)
- WITN 7 News (1985-2007)
- "On Top of it All" (late 1970s)
- "Keep Your Eye on Eyewitness News" (1980s)
- "We Care About You!" (late 1980s)
- "Where the News Comes First" (1990s)
- "Eastern Carolina's News Channel" (1990-2006)
- "Dedicated, Determined, Dependable" (1998-2006)
- "Eastern Carolina's Weather Authority" (2006-2008)
- "Your Breaking News & Weather Authority" (2008–present)
- Heather King - weekday mornings
- Carly Swain - weekdays at noon
- Gina DiPietro - weeknights at 5, 5:30, and 11
- Dave Jordan - weeknights at 5:30, 6, and 11; also feature reporter
- Lynnette Taylor - weeknights at 6
- Cassandra Bell - weekend mornings
- Clayton Bauman - weekend evenings
Weather Authority Meteorologists
- Marvin Daugherty (CBM Seal of Approval) - Chief; weeknights at 5, 6, and 11
- Phillip Williams - weeknights at 5:30; also Tuesdays and Wednesdays at noon
- Jim Howard - weekday mornings; also "Pet of the Week" segment producer
- Matt Engelbrecht - weekend mornings; also Thursdays and Fridays at noon
- Charlie Ironmonger - weekend evenings; also Mondays at noon
Sports (both seen on Football Friday)
- Billy Weaver - Director; weeknights at 6 and 11
- Chris Obarski - weekend evenings; also sports reporter
- Alizé Proisy - New Bern Bureau Chief
- April Davis - Jacksonville Bureau Chief
- Clayton Bauman
- Dan Yesenosky
- Lindsey Fry
- Carly Swain
Notable former on-air staff
- John Beard - news anchor (1972-1976; now at WGRZ in Buffalo, New York)
- David Crabtree - anchor/reporter (1985–1988; now at WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina)
- Stand by: Digital TV transition postponed, Ginger Livingston, The Daily Reflector, February 04, 2009
- http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6579887.htmlLink 3
- "Bio". Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- "David Crabtree Bio". WRAL-TV. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- WITN-TV mobile
- WITN-DT2 "My TV WITN 2"
- WITN-DT3 "Me-TV Eastern Carolina"
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WITN-TV