|Branding||NBC 4 (general)
News 4 (newscasts)
|Slogan||Washington's News Leader
Working For You
|Channels||Digital: 48 (UHF)
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
(NBC Telemundo License, LLC)
|First air date||June 27, 1947|
|Call letters' meaning||Radio Corporation of America
(NBC's former parent)
|Sister station(s)||Comcast Network
|Former callsigns||WNBW (1947–1954)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
4 (VHF, 1947–2009)
|Transmitter power||813 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WRC-TV, channel 4, is an owned and operated television station of the NBC television network, located in the American capital city of Washington, D.C.. The station's studios and transmitter are co-located in the Tenleytown neighborhood of northwest Washington.
WRC-TV houses and originates NBC News' Washington bureau, out of which David Gregory, Chris Matthews, Jim Miklaszewski, Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell, Pete Williams, Lisa Myers, Tom Costello, Kristen Welker and Peter Alexander are based.
The station traces its roots to experimental W3XNB, which was put on the air by the Radio Corporation of America, the then-parent company of NBC, in 1939. On June 27, 1947, the station received a commercial license and went on the air as WNBW (for NBC Washington). It is Washington's second-oldest licensed television station, after WTTG (channel 5). WNBW was also the second of the five original NBC-owned television stations to sign-on, behind New York City and ahead of Chicago, Cleveland and Los Angeles. The station was operated alongside WRC radio (980 AM, frequency now occupied by WTEM; and 93.9 FM, now WKYS).
On October 18, 1954, its callsign changed to the present WRC-TV to match its radio sisters. The new calls reflected NBC's ownership at the time by RCA. It has retained its "-TV" suffix to this day, more than two decades after the radio stations were sold off.
The second presidential debate between candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon was broadcast from the station's studios on October 7, 1960. David Brinkley's Washington segment of the Huntley-Brinkley Report originated at WRC-TV between 1956 and 1970, as did Washington reports or commentaries by Brinkley or John Chancellor on NBC Nightly News in the 1970s.
The earliest color videotape in existence is a recording of the dedication of NBC/WRC's Washington studios on May 22, 1958. As Dwight D. Eisenhower spoke at the event, introduced by Brinkley, it was also the first time a president had been videotaped in color.
At the time of its sign-on, channel 4 was one of two wholly network-owned stations in Washington, the other being DuMont's WTTG. DuMont was shut down in 1956, and for the next 30 years WRC-TV was the only owned-and-operated station in Washington. That distinction ended when WTTG was sold to the newly-created Fox Network in 1986; it has since been accompanied by WDCA and WBDC (now WDCW) in that order, respectively as UPN and WB stations with their owners having stakes in those new networks. Today WRC is one of three network O&O's in the nation's capital alongside the Newscorp-owned duopoly of WTTG and WDCA (now a MyNetworkTV station).
On January 14, 2009 WRC-TV and WTTG entered in talks to pool video and share their news helicopters. The agreement is similar to ones already made between Fox and NBC O&Os in Chicago (WMAQ-TV and WFLD) and Philadelphia (WCAU and WTXF).
WRC-TV was the final network affiliated station in the Washington Metropolitan Area to cease news broadcasts in standard definition. On Thursday, April 8, 2010, during the Today show newsbreaks, the station tested the high-definition version of its newscasts and broadcast the newsbreak in HD, but the news was back in standard definition at their next full newscast at 11 a.m. NBC4 started broadcasting from a temporary set on February 8, 2010 while "upgrades" were being made on its main set and the station made final adjustments for its switch to high definition. As of Thursday, April 22, 2010, all newscasts produced by NBC4 are in high definition.
Like all of the DC-area Mobile DTV broadcasters, WRC-TV commenced ATSC-M/H broadcasting on February 27, 2011
Digital television 
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||PSIP Short Name||Video||Aspect||Programming|
|4.1||WRC-HD||1080i||16:9||Main WRC-TV programming / NBC|
On January 1, 2012, 4.3 went off the air as this channel, Universal Sports, began to be exclusively distributed to cable and satellite providers.
Analog-to-digital conversion 
On or before June 12, 2009, WRC-TV shut down its analog signal on channel 4 to complete its analog to digital conversion. The station participated in the "Analog Nightlight" program, and did so through June 26, 2009. Its digital signal remained on channel 48. However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display WRC-TV's virtual channel as "4".
WRC-TV's studios were the home from 1996 to about 2002 of WHD-TV, an experimental high definition television station owned by a consortium of industry groups and stations which carried the nation's first program in the format transmitted by a television station, an episode of Meet the Press, and aired on Channel 34 to provide the FCC and the National Association of Broadcasters a channel to conduct many experiments in the new format. WHD-TV was discontinued around 2002.
Mobile DTV 
WRC-TV's studios are home to Meet the Press, the longest-running show in U.S. broadcast television history, which debuted on November 6, 1947 and It's Academic, which premiered in 1961 and is the longest-running game show in television history according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Sam and Friends, Jim Henson's late-night precursor to Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, got its start on WRC-TV on May 9, 1955.
Because of its ownership by the network, WRC-TV generally airs the entire NBC schedule, though NBC Nightly News is broadcast a half-hour late (at 7 p.m.) to allow another 30 minutes of local news. WRC-TV was the over-the-air home of Washington Redskins pre-season games for the 2009 season, meaning that some or all of NBC's prime-time schedule was pre-empted by game coverage.
As of 2001, WRC's newscasts have been the number one rated station in the market, with the long-running anchor team of Jim Vance and Doreen Gentzler. In the May 2010 sweeps, it placed first at 5:00 a.m., 6:00 a.m., 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. in total viewers, and first at 6:00 a.m., 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. in the 25–54 demo. It still leads most time slots today although in the most recent February 2012 sweeps WRC finished second to Fox-owned WTTG at 11:00 p.m. in the 25-54 demo.
On-air staff 
News 4 anchors 
- Jim Vance – weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. (1969–present)
- Doreen Gentzler – weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also health reporter (1989–present)
- Jim Handly – weekdays at 4:00 and weeknights at 5:00 p.m.; also Viewpoint host
- Wendy Rieger – weeknights at 5:00 p.m.; also Going Green reporter
- Pat Lawson Muse – weekdays at 4:00 p.m.; also Reporter's Notebook and This Week host
- Eun Yang – weekday mornings (4:26-7:00 a.m.)
- Aaron Gilchrist – weekday mornings (4:26-7:00 a.m.)
- Barbara Harrison – weekdays at 11:00 a.m.; also Wednesday's Child host
- Keith Russell – weekdays at 11:00 a.m.
- Angie Goff – weekend mornings (6:00-7:00 and 9:00-10:00 weekends + 7:00-8:00 Sundays and 10:00-10:30 a.m. Saturdays)
- Richard Jordan – weekend mornings (6:00-7:00 and 9:00-10:00 weekends + 7:00-8:00 Sundays and 10:00-10:30 a.m. Saturdays)
- Jim Rosenfield – weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
News 4 reporters 
- Jackie Bensen – General assignment reporter
- Julie Carey – Northern Virginia Bureau Chief
- Pat Collins – General assignment reporter
- Liz Crenshaw – Consumer reporter
- David Culver - Northern Virginia Bureau reporter
- Chris Gordon – Legal analyst and reporter
- Steve Handelsman – General assignment reporter; national correspondent
- Zachary Kiesch - General assignment reporter
- Megan McGrath – General assignment reporter (daughter of WTTG's Patrick McGrath)
- Mellisa Mollet – General assignment reporter
- Brian Mooar – National Correspondent
- Mark Seagraves - General assignment reporter
- Danella Sealock – Traffic reporter (weekday mornings (4:30-7:00) and weekdays at 11:00 a.m.)
- Tom Sherwood – Political reporter
- Darcy Spencer – General assignment reporter
- Shomari Stone – General assignment reporter
- Tisha Thompson – Investigative reporter
- Tony Tull - General assignment reporter
- Adam Tuss - Transportation reporter
- Derrick Ward – General assignment reporter
- Jane Watrel – General assignment reporter; national correspondent
- Tracee Wilkins – Prince George’s County Bureau Chief
Storm Team 4 Meteorologists 
- Doug Kammerer (AMS Certified) – Chief meteorologist, weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Veronica Johnson (AMS) – meteorologist, weekdays at 4:00 p.m. and America This Week host
- Tom Kierein (AMS) – meteorologist, weekday mornings (4:26-7:00) and weekdays at 11:00 a.m.
- Chuck Bell (AMS) – meteorologist, weekend mornings (6:00-7:00 and 9:00-10:00 weekends + 7:00-8:00 Sundays and 10:00-10:30 a.m. Saturdays) and weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Kim Martucci (NWA) – Fill-in meteorologist
- Amelia Segal (AMS) – Fill-in meteorologist
Sports reporters 
- Dan Hellie – Sports director; Mondays - Wednesdays at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m., also Sports Final, Hellie Pad and Redskins Showtime host
- Carol Maloney - Sports reporter; Thursdays and Fridays at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Jason Pugh - Sports reporter; weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
Notable former on-air staff 
- Jess Atkinson – Sports anchor/reporter (1990–1996)
- Seth Lemon – General assignment reporter now at WVIT
- Neil Boggs – anchor (late 1960s–mid 1970s; deceased)
- Shannon Bream – Weekend evening anchor/reporter (2004–2007; now with WJW-TV in Cleveland, OH)
- Campbell Brown – Reporter (1993–1996; formerly with NBC News; last with CNN)
- Wally Bruckner – Sports anchor/reporter (1990–2006)
- Nick Charles – Sports anchor/reporter (1976–1979; also at WJZ-TV Baltimore; 1st CNN sports anchor)(Deceased 2011)
- Scott Clark – Sports anchor/reporter (?-1986; moved to WABC-TV, recently retired)
- Richard L. Coe – Entertainment critic prior to Arch Campbell (1960s–1974; deceased)
- Katie Couric – General assignment reporter (1987–1989; former NBC Today show co-host; later anchored the CBS Evening News, and now currently at ABC News and host of a self-named talk show)
- Lindsay Czarniak – Sports anchor/reporter (2005–2011; Sports Final co-host and former Sports Machine co-host) – now at ESPN
- Steve Doocy – Features reporter (1983–1989)(now with Fox News)
- Robert Hager – Reporter (1960–1965; formerly an NBC News correspondent)
- Mike Hambrick – Anchor (1981–1985)
- Richard C. Harkness – News reporter/anchor (1940s–1960s)
- Jim Hartz – Anchor (1976–1979)
- Charlayne Hunter-Gault – Reporter (1967–1968)
- Susan Kidd – Anchor/reporter (1983-2006; retired)
- Lynda Lopez – Reporter (1986–1997)
- Catherine "Cassie" Mackin – Anchor/reporter (1969–1972; deceased)
- Suzanne Malveaux – Reporter (1996–1999; now with CNN)
- Dave Marash – Anchor/reporter (1985–1989)
- Doug McKelway – (?–2001) – reporter and anchor – now at Fox News Channel
- Craig Melvin - (2007-2011) - weekend anchor - now at MSNBC
- Joe Krebs - Morning Anchor (1980-2012; retired)
- George Michael – Sports anchor/reporter; former host of The George Michael Sports Machine (1980-2008; deceased)
- Glenn Rinker – anchor (1967–1976; deceased)
- Max Robinson – reporter (1967–1968; deceased)
- Charlie Rose – Talk show host (1981–1984)
- Tim Russert – Frequent correspondent from Meet the Press; deceased
- Bob Ryan – AMS Certified Meteorologist (1980–2010)-now at WJLA-TV
- Willard Scott – NBC page (1950; Bozo the Clown from 1959–1962; meteorologist (1968–1980); now at NBC's Today Show)
- Sue Simmons – Anchor/reporter (1976–1980; spent 32 years at New York sister-station WNBC after that)
- Carole Simpson – Reporter/public affairs host (1977–1982)
- Jim Simpson – Sports reporter (1960s)
- Jill Sorenson - Sports reporter (2000-2004); now with Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic
- Kimberly Lohman Suiters – Weekend anchor (2008–2011)
- Linda Vester – Reporter (1992–1993; formerly with Fox News Channel)
- Savannah Guthrie - Reporter (2000-2002; now co-anchor of the Today Show)
News/Station Presentation 
Newscast titles 
- Review of The News (1947-1952)
- The Big News (1952-1962)
- Big City News (1962-1966)
- News 4 Washington/News 4 (1966-1975)
- The NewsCenter (1975-1977)
- NewsCenter 4 (1977-1982)
- Channel 4 News (1982-1987)
- News 4 (1987–present)
High definition 
The station started broadcasting its local news programs in high definition full-time on April 22, 2010. It is the only station in the U.S. capital that shoots most of its remote field video in 16:9 widescreen; other stations still shoot live field video in 4:3 and then either pillarbox or stretch this content.
- "Digital Signal Sources". The Washington Post. 2008-05-20.
- "RCA replaces NBC in O&O calls." Broadcasting - Telecasting, October 4, 1954, pg. 78. 
- "Fox And NBC To Share In DC". Retrieved 2009-01-14.
- Brinkley, Joel (March 3, 1997). "Warts and Wrinkles Can't Hide From High-Definition TV". The New York Times.
- Dickson, Glen (2009-07-13). "Special Report: Mobile DTV Heats Up". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
- Shapiro, Leonard (October 4, 2006). "For Bruckner, Time to Chase a Dream". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
- "Leonard Shapiro: Loss of Michael Is a Truly Deep Cut". The Washington Post. December 29, 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: WRC-TV|
- NBCWashington.com - Official Website
- WRC-TV mobile
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WRC-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WRC-TV