|Myrtle Beach/Florence, South Carolina/
Lumberton, North Carolina
|Channels||Digital: 32 (UHF)|
32.2 Bounce TV
32.3 This TV
(WMBF License Subsidiary, LLC)
|First air date||August 7, 2008|
|Call letters' meaning||Myrtle Beach / Florence|
|Sister station(s)||WECT, WIS, WCSC-TV|
|Former affiliations||NBC Weather Plus
|Transmitter power||530 kW|
WMBF-TV is the NBC-affiliated television station for the Grand Strand and Pee Dee areas of South Carolina that is licensed to Myrtle Beach. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 32 from a transmitter in Bucksville. It can also be seen on Time Warner Cable channel 10 (analog), 120 (digital), and 1120 (HD). Owned by Raycom Media, the station has studios along U.S. 17 on Frontage Road East in Myrtle Beach as well as one off West Cheves Street in Florence. Syndicated programming on WMBF includes: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Family Feud, Access Hollywood, and The Doctors.
Raycom started construction on the station in late-2007. The company inherited the construction permit for the station when it merged with The Liberty Corporation, owner of WIS in Columbia, which had operated a virtual station in the market since the 1990s. WMBF-TV signed-on for testing in late-July 2008 with a station ID slide. On August 7, it officially signed-on at 11:59 p.m. with NBC welcoming the station on-air the following day on Today, NBC Nightly News, and Late Night with Conan O'Brien. The sign-on of WMBF occurred in time for the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Before WMBF's launch, the Myrtle Beach/Florence area had been one of the few areas on the East Coast without its own NBC affiliate. Traditionally, WECT in Wilmington was the affiliate of record for Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand while WIS served Florence and the Pee Dee. However, both stations were available on most of the area's cable systems.
With WMBF's sign-on, WECT and WIS were dropped from cable systems due to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules. WECT long provided Grade B coverage of Myrtle Beach but this ended on September 8, 2008 when Wilmington's early digital transition moved that station to the UHF band. While Myrtle Beach itself is just outside the fringe of WECT's digital signal, North Myrtle Beach is just inside it. WECT and WIS have been sister stations since Raycom's merger with Liberty in 2005. WMBF signed on without an analog signal joining several other digital-only television stations in the United States such as KPXJ in Shreveport, Louisiana, WMFD-TV in Mansfield, Ohio, and KVMD in Southern California. Since the sign-on, its digital signal had been multiplexed with NBC Weather Plus until the national network's demise on December 1, 2008. WMBF cost $10 million to build.
|32.1||1080i||16:9||Main WMBF programming / NBC|
The station's digital signal is multiplexed. WMBF-DT2 previously carried a 24-hour local news and weather channel known as "WMBF News XTRA". Launched in June 2009 on the same channel occupied by the defunct NBC Weather Plus, programming consisted of simulcasts and repeats of newscasts as well as weather. It was replaced with Bounce TV on September 26, 2011.
Availability and replacement
Florence, the market's largest city in terms of population, is just outside WMBF's over-the-air fringe area. This is because it must conform its signal in order to protect the digital signal of WRLK-TV (also on channel 32) in Columbia. However, the station is available on all of the market's cable systems. According to its website, WMBF now holds the channel 10 position on South Carolina Time Warner cable systems where WIS was located. WMBF's terrestrial digital signal does not reach the North Carolina side of the market including Lumberton. However, parts of that area once received WECT's analog signal from only 10–15 miles away in nearby Bladen County. The digital signal in Delco in central Brunswick County, reaches Lumberton but not all of Robeson County. WMBF is also seen on Metrocast (formerly Northland Cable) in Bennettsville.
In Georgetown County, part of the Charleston market, WMBF is carried in most of the southern Grand Strand. The Surfside Beach area lost WECT and WIS, but WCBD-TV in Charleston remained on the lineup until 2013. Cable systems in the southern end of the Grand Strand in DeBordieu Beach do not carry WMBF but it can be received by antenna there. Despite how young WMBF is, it was previously carried out of market in Cheraw on digital cable channel 805. That area is in Chesterfield County which is part of the Charlotte market.
WMBF is the first in the market to broadcast its local newscasts in high definition. CBS affiliate WBTW and ABC affiliate WPDE airs their local news in 16:9 standard definition widescreen. It is not the same as true high definition, however. WMBF is also the only station in the market to offer local news weeknights from 4-6:30 and weekend mornings from 7-8am, but unlike the other two Raycom Media stations based in South Carolina (WIS and WCSC), does not have a 7 p.m. newscast. Unlike most NBC affiliates, the station does not air news at noon during the week. It uses the "NBC - Flagship" theme from The NBC Collection by Frank Gari and Gari Communications, Inc. WMBF shares regional news content with other Raycom Media stations in the Carolinas and throughout the Southeast. In addition to its main studios, it operates a Florence Bureau on South Cashua Drive. The station uses a mobile weather vehicle, known as the "WMBF News Storm Chaser", that was obtained from a local dealership.
- Heather Biance - weekday mornings on WMBF News Today (5:00-7:00 a.m.)
- Paula Caruso - weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. (formerly weekday mornings)
- Theo Hayes − weekdays at 4:00 and 4:30 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
- Michael Maely - weekdays at 4:00 and 4:30 and weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- David Klugh - weekday mornings on WMBF News Today (5:00-7:00 a.m.); also reporter
- Brennan Somers - weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
- Lauren Weppler - weekend mornings on WMBF News Today (7:00-8:00 a.m.)
WMBF Storm Team
- Jamie Arnold - chief meteorologist; weekdays at 4:00 and 4:30 and weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Marla Branson - meteorologist; weekday mornings on WMBF News Today (5:00-7:00 a.m.)
- Jessica Ryan - meteorologist; weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Robert Whitehurst - meteorologist; weekend mornings on WMBF News Today (7:00-8:00 a.m.)
- Joe Murano - sports director; weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- TBD - sports anchor; weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Jenna Deangelis - weekday morning traffic on WMBF News Today (5:00-7:00 a.m.); also general assignment reporter
- Brooke Holden - weekend morning traffic on WMBF News Today (7:00-8:00 a.m.)
- Ian Dorety - photographer
- Daniel Paxton - photographer
- Michael Walter - photographer
- Ken Baker - Pee Dee reporter
- Alex Holley - general assignment reporter
- Stephanie Robusto - general assignment reporter
- Will Whitson - general assignment reporter
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