|Florence/Myrtle Beach, South Carolina-
Lumberton, North Carolina
|Branding||WWMB CW 21 (general)
ABC 15 News on CW 21 (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 21 (UHF/PSIP)|
|Subchannels||21.1 The CW
21.3 ASN Channel
|Owner||Howard Stirk Holdings
(HSH Myrtle Beach (WWMB) Licensee, LLC)
|Operator||Sinclair Broadcast Group|
|First air date||September 21, 1994|
|Call letters' meaning||We're Myrtle Beach|
|Sister station(s)||WPDE-TV, WACH|
|Former channel number(s)||21 (UHF analog, 1994–2009)
20 (UHF digital, 2006–2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1994–1995)
|Transmitter power||400 kW|
WWMB is CW-affiliated television station for South Carolina's Pee Dee and Grand Strand regions that is licensed to Florence. It broadcasts a 720p high definition digital signal on UHF channel 21 from a transmitter on Pee Dee Church Road in Floydale. Owned by Howard Stirk Holdings, WWMB is operated through a shared services agreement (SSA) by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. This makes it a sister station to ABC affiliate WPDE-TV and the two outlets share studios together on University Boulevard/SC 544 in Conway. There is currently no website for WWMB.
The station is carried on cable channel 6 in most parts of the market.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming |
|21.1||720p||16:9||WWMB-DT||Main WWMB programming / The CW|
|21.2||480i||CW Plus||The CW Plus|
|21.3||4:3||ASN24/7||American Sports Network|
WWMB went on the air September 21, 1994 as an independent station. It was owned by Atlantic Media Group, but operated by Diversified Communications, then-owner of WPDE, under an LMA. It joined UPN as a charter affiliate on January 16, 1995. By 1999, WWMB was airing Access Hollywood starring Myrtle Beach native Nancy O'Dell. Barrington Broadcasting bought WPDE in 2006. At the same time, Atlantic Media Group sold WWMB to SagamoreHill Broadcasting, which continued the LMA with WPDE.
On January 24, 2006, TimeWarner and CBS Corporation announced that the two networks they owned, The WB and UPN, would cease operations, and that those companies would combine their resources to create The CW. Just hours after the announcement, WPDE released a notice on its website indicating WWMB would become an affiliate of the new network. This notice was a little premature, as over the next two months, many announcements of network affiliation changes including station deals with The CW were made.
The existence of a cable-only WB affiliate, "WFWB," which was carried by area cable systems as part of The WB 100+ national cable service, made a CW affiliation for WWMB seem less of a sure thing. Nevertheless, WWMB made public on April 10 it had joined The CW.
Even though WWMB carries CW programming on its individually-programmed main channel, it also operates a digital subchannel that carries the programming of The CW Plus, a similar national operation to The WB 100+. Despite this, the 21.2 subchannel did not inherit the cable channel slots of "WFWB," which were instead dropped.
At some point in 2006, the station signed-on its original digital signal on UHF channel 20. WWMB's broadcasts became digital-only, effective June 12, 2009.
On February 28, 2013, Barrington Broadcasting announced the sale of its entire group, including WWMB's LMA partner WPDE-TV, to Sinclair Broadcast Group. Since the LMA is included in the group deal, SagamoreHill would be selling the license assets of WWMB to Howard Stirk Holdings (owned by conservative commentator Armstrong Williams), with WPDE continuing to operate WWMB. The sale was finalized on November 22.
In 1996, WWMB began airing the market's first prime time news on weeknights. Produced by WPDE, the show aired for thirty minutes and was originally called NewsChannel 15 at 10 on TV 21. It was initially anchored by Steve Hawley until late-1996 when he left the station. The program was then alternately hosted by Dave Gilbert and Tiffany Cochran. After the latter personality departed WPDE and Gilbert died in 1997, the show was renamed UPN 21 News at 10 and anchored by Leo Stallworth (later Audra Grant) until its cancellation in 2000.
In 2003, WPDE introduced another prime time newscast on WWMB under the title WPDE NewsChannel 15 at 10 on UPN. Now airing every night, it was anchored on weeknights by Jim Heath. The second generation of the show featured interactive segments such as "Say What?" and "Quick Hits" in a more fast-paced format. WWMB first got competition in 2004, when Fox affiliate WFXB entered into a news share agreement with WBTW. This partnership resulted in the area's second prime time broadcast at 10 seen weeknights for a half-hour. On September 18, 2006 with the launch of The CW, WPDE's production on WWMB changed its name to NewsChannel 15 at 10 on CW 21 and featured an updated graphics theme.
There was a further expansion of local newscasts in 2007 when WPDE added a third hour of its weekday Good Morning Carolinas broadcast to WWMB. This was seen from 7 until 8 and was the first local show to debut in the time slot and partially air against the national weekday morning show seen on the big three networks. For an unknown reason, the production was ultimately dropped.
On January 26, 2009 days after anchor Jim Heath left WPDE, WWMB's nightly 10 o'clock show was canceled. A repeat of NewsChannel 15 at 7 was subsequently added in its place on weeknights with live weather updates. Eventually, this program was dropped as well. WWMB airs a rebroadcast of WPDE's Carolina & Company Live in the weeknight 10:30 p.m. time slot. On August 19, 2013, WPDE revived the prime time newscast on WWMB called CW21 News At 10.
- Toby Eddings, "'Access Hollywood' needs some viewers," The Sun News, May 24, 1999.
- "New Network is Launched". WPDE ABC TV News Channel 15. January 24, 2006. Archived from the original on October 7, 2007. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
- Romano, Allison (April 10, 2006). "CW Signs 13 More Affils". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
- Malone, Michael (February 28, 2013). "Sinclair's Chesapeake TV Acquires Barrington Stations". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved March 1, 2013.