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Coordinates: 36°51′21.62″N 76°18′9.37″W / 36.8560056°N 76.3026028°W / 36.8560056; -76.3026028

WVEC logo.png

Me-TV WVEC.png
Hampton Roads, Virginia
United States
City of license Hampton, Virginia
Branding ABC 13 (general)
13 News Now (newscasts)
Me-TV Hampton Roads (On DT3)
Channels Digital: 13 (VHF)
Virtual: 13 (PSIP)
Subchannels 13.1 ABC
13.2 Justice Network
13.3 Me-TV
Affiliations ABC (primary 1959-present; secondary 1953-1957)
Owner Tegna Media
(WVEC Television, Inc.)
First air date September 19, 1953; 62 years ago (1953-09-19)
Call letters' meaning We Value Every Customer
derived from former sister station WVEC radio (now WXTG)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
15 (UHF, 1953–1959)
13 (VHF, 1959–2009)
41 (UHF, 1997–2009)
Former affiliations NBC (1953–1959)
Transmitter power 35 kW
Height 363 m
Facility ID 74167
Transmitter coordinates 36°48′59″N 76°28′6″W / 36.81639°N 76.46833°W / 36.81639; -76.46833
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website www.13newsnow.com

WVEC, channel 13, is a television station licensed to Hampton, Virginia, USA, serving as the ABC affiliate for the Hampton Roads area (comprising the cities of Hampton, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, and Newport News), and portions of the Outer Banks region of North Carolina. WVEC is owned by Tegna, Inc. (the former broadcast division of the Gannett Company), and has its studios located in Norfolk and transmitter based in the Driver neighborhood of Suffolk, Virginia.


The station began operations on September 19, 1953, on UHF channel 15 as an NBC affiliate.[1] It was co-owned originally by Hampton businessman Thomas P. Chisman and several other stockholders, along with WVEC radio (1490 AM, now WXTG; and 101.3 FM, now WWDE-FM). The station switched affiliations to ABC in 1959, when WAVY-TV took the NBC affiliation two years after signing on. During the late 1950s, WVEC-TV was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[2]

In those days, UHF stations were not as successful as VHF stations, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) did not yet make requirements for television sets to have UHF tuners. So on November 13, 1959,[3] WVEC-TV moved to its current location on VHF channel 13. Two years later, the channel 15 position would be occupied by current PBS affiliate WHRO-TV.

In 1980, Chisman sold the station to Corinthian Broadcasting,[4] a unit of Dun & Bradstreet. At the time of the sale, it was the last locally owned and operated "Big Three" station in Hampton Roads. Four years later, Dun sold Corinthian to Belo, which owned the Dallas Morning News and WFAA-TV in its home city.

In 1997, WVEC (along with The Virginian-Pilot and Cox Communications) launched LNC4 (later LNC5), a 24-hour local cable news television channel, featuring repeats of WVEC newscasts and a live 10:00 pm newscast. It was carried by Cox Communications on channel 5 within Hampton Roads. "Pilot 13-News at 10" ceased production on January 30, 2009, however, the partnership with the Virginian-Pilot is expected to continue on a lesser level. LNC5 was closed on December 31, 2010.

On January 12, 2008, WVEC started producing local newscasts in digital widescreen 16x9. Though not truly high definition, the digital widescreen broadcasts were rescanned and up-converted from standard definition to 1080i before transmission to match the ratio of HD television screens.[5] It remained the only major station in the Hampton Roads market to continue to air its newscasts in enhanced definition widescreen rather than true high definition until it upgraded to full HD in 2013.

On June 13, 2013, the Gannett Company announced that it would acquire Belo.[6] The sale was completed on December 23.[7] WVEC began using Gannett's graphics and "This Is Home" package on July 24, 2014. Ironically, the conversion happened during storms and debuted in "Storm Mode."[8] In August 2014, Gannett announced it would split its broadcast and digital holdings into a new company, Tegna; the split became official on June 29, 2015.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[9]
13.1 1080i 16:9 WVEC-HD Main WVEC programming / ABC
13.2 480i WVEC-JN Justice Network
13.3 4:3 Me TV Me-TV[10]

On November 8, 2010, WVEC added ABC's Live Well Network on channel 13.2. On January 23, 2013, WVEC added Me-TV to a new subchannel, 13.3. On January 20, 2015, WVEC removed Live Well Network and replaced it with the new Justice Network.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WVEC discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 13, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television.[11] The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 41 to VHF channel 13.

Eastern Shore translators[edit]

There is one low-powered translator of WVEC that is located in the Eastern Shore of Virginia and is municipally-owned by Accomack County rather than Gannett.[12] WVEC and Tegna Media does not own and operate any translators in the Greater Hampton Roads area.

Branding and image[edit]

Spirit of Hampton Roads[edit]

"The Spirit of Hampton Roads", 1987

In the late 1980s, WVEC-TV introduced its most well-known promotional campaign, "The Spirit of Hampton Roads" – a campaign which has been customized and used by several other Belo Corporation stations (most notably the originator, WFAA-TV's "Spirit of Texas" campaign). The campaign was revamped in September 1992 with a new logo and song composed by Nashville-based 615 Music. WVEC originally dropped it in 1996 and replaced it with another slogan, "Working for You". "The Spirit of Hampton Roads" would finally return in 2003 on New Year's Eve. WVEC phased out the "Spirit" image for the second time in 2008.

News staff[edit]

In 1978, upon the resignation of news anchor Tony Burden, WVEC-TV hired ABC News correspondent Jim Kincaid as its main news anchor.[13] Kincaid's signature became his "Jim's notes," short commentaries which ended the station's nightly newscasts. Compilations of these essays were published in several books authored by Kincaid, including "Notes from Elam," referring to the small town in Prince Edward County, Virginia, where his farm was located. During the Vietnam War, Kincaid was a war correspondent for ABC. He returned to Vietnam in 1994 and reported from the same locations he had covered in the 1960s, producing an award-winning documentary and series of news stories. Kincaid retired from channel 13 in 1997; he died in July 2011.[14]

Another well-known news anchor for WVEC-TV was Terry Zahn, who was hired from WAVY-TV in 1994.[15] Zahn was very active with the American Cancer Society and helped establish the Relay for Life in the area. He produced two videos about Relay for Life which were distributed nationally, and served as chairman of the local Relay, which at the time was the largest in the U.S. Zahn was diagnosed with bone cancer in 1997, but remained with channel 13 until his death in January 2000.[15] Each year, the American Cancer Society presents the Terry Zahn Award to a supporter of the Relay for Life.

Hampton Roads TV news veteran, Barbara Ciara began her career in the market at WVEC-TV, before joining WAVY-TV in 1983. Ciara rejoined channel 13 in 1989 and anchored evening newscasts for the station until defecting to rival CBS affiliate WTKR in 2000.

On March 7, 2003, former investigative reporter, Craig Civale, and former general assignment reporter, Michelle Louie were engaged during a live segment of "Joe's Job" on 13News Daybreak. Michelle was filling in for fellow reporter, Joe Flanagan, where she was to visit a jewelry shop. During a live shot, out pops Craig Civale with ring in hand, where he proposes to Michelle. They both, at the time, had been dating for 5 years. They were married in September 2004.[16]

Beginning with the 6pm newscast, on August 17th, 2013, WVEC began broadcasting their news in High Definition.

Starting on the early morning broadcasts, on July 24th, 2014, WVEC began airing the Gannett graphic package.

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

Programs produced by WVEC[edit]

  • Dialogue- 30-minute public affairs program hosted by WVEC news anchor Lasalle Blanks. Airs Sunday at 12:00 pm.

See also[edit]

  • LNC 5 a defunct Local News Channel.


  1. ^ HISTORY OF WVEC | WVEC.com | News for Hampton Roads, Virginia
  2. ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films", Boxoffice, November 10, 1956: 13 [dead link]
  3. ^ HISTORY OF WVEC | WVEC.com | News for Hampton Roads, Virginia
  4. ^ HISTORY OF WVEC | WVEC.com | News for Hampton Roads, Virginia
  5. ^ 13News takes a wider look at life | TOP STORIES | WVEC.com | News for Hampton Roads, Virginia
  6. ^ "Gannett agrees to buy WVEC owner for $1.5B". The Virginian-Pilot. Associated Press. June 13, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ Gannett Completes Its Acquisition of Belo, TVNewsCheck, Retrieved 23 December, 2013
  8. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrOoE-CG3P0
  9. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WVEC
  10. ^ http://metvnetwork.com/wherewatch.php?marketID=245
  11. ^ List of Digital Full-Power Stations
  12. ^ http://www.rabbitears.info/market.php?request=station_search&callsign=W18EG-D#station
  13. ^ HISTORY OF WVEC | WVEC.com | News for Hampton Roads, Virginia
  14. ^ http://hamptonroads.com/2011/07/beloved-former-wvectv-anchor-remembered
  15. ^ a b HISTORY OF WVEC | WVEC.com | News for Hampton Roads, Virginia
  16. ^ VARTV.com | News Archives – March & April 2003
  17. ^ http://articles.dailypress.com/1989-12-30/news/8912280055_1_adult-contemporary-station-fm-format
  18. ^ WTKR NewsChannel 3: News, Weather and Traffic in Hampton Roads and North Carolina | Barbara Ciara
  19. ^ http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/unity-elects-new-leadership-64096057.html
  21. ^ John Miller for Senate

External links[edit]