This page is improperly set up.

Chronology data should be put on the appropriate chronology page ("Chronology of call letters WJLA") .

Other material must be reorganized into appropriate categories of articles.

Washington, D.C.
Branding ABC 7 (general)

ABC 7 News (newscasts)

Slogan On Your Side
Channels Digital: 7 (VHF)

Virtual: 7 (PSIP)

Subchannels 7.1 ABC

7.2 Weather Now 7.3 RTN

Affiliations ABC
Owner Allbritton Communications Company

(ACC Licensee, Inc.)

First air date October 3, 1947
Call letters' meaning Joseph L. Allbritton

(owner of the station)

Former callsigns Analog:

WTVW (1947) WMAL-TV (1947–1977) Digital: WJLA-DT (2000's–2009)

Former channel number(s) Analog:

7 (1947–2009) Digital: 39 (2000's–2009)

Former affiliations CBS (1947-1949, secondary from 1948)
Transmitter power 52 kW
Height 235 m
Facility ID 1051
Transmitter coordinates 38°57′1″N 77°4′47″W / 38.95028°N 77.07972°W / 38.95028; -77.07972


[hide]*1 History

    • 1.1 Ratings
    • 1.2 Logos and idents
  • 2 Programming
  • 3 Digital television
  • 4 On-air staff
    • 4.1 Anchors
    • 4.2 Reporters
    • 4.3 Weather
    • 4.4 Sports
    • 4.5 Traffic
    • 4.6 Former staff
  • 5 News/station presentation
    • 5.1 Newscast titles
    • 5.2 Station slogans
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links


The District of Columbia's second television station began broadcasting on October 3, 1947 as WTVW, owned by the Washington Star along with WMAL radio (630 AM and 107.3 FM, now WRQX). It was the first Band III VHF station (channels 7-13) in the United States. A few months later, the station renamed itself WMAL-TV after its radio sisters, with the callsign moving to the station in Evansville.

WMAL radio had been an affiliate of the NBC Blue Network since 1933, and remained with the network after it was spun off by NBC and evolved into ABC. However, channel 7 started as a CBS station since ABC hadn't gotten into television yet. When ABC launched its television network in 1948, WMAL-TV became ABC's third primary affiliate. It continued to carry some CBS programming until WOIC-TV (later WTOP-TV and now WUSA) signed on in 1949. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[1]

In 1976, Texas businessman Joseph L. Allbritton, the owner of Washington-based Riggs Bank, purchased the Star along with the WMAL stations. As a condition of the purchase, Allbritton had to break up the newspaper/broadcast combination, which the Federal Communications Commission was seeking to prohibit under its "one-to-a market" rule. WMAL-TV was separated first from its radio sisters when ABC purchased WMAL-AM-FM in March 1977. Upon the radio transfer, channel 7 changed its call letters to the current WJLA-TV, after Allbritton's initials. Allbritton then sold the Star to Time, Inc. in February 1978.

Rumors abounded from the mid-1990s onward that ABC might buy WJLA-TV, thus reuniting it with its former radio sisters. However, ABC sold most of its radio properties, including WMAL and WRQX, to Citadel Broadcasting Corporation in June 2007. Even so, WJLA is still an ABC affiliate to this day under Allbritton because the company has an exclusive affiliation deal with the network. After WJZ-TV in Baltimore switched to CBS in 1995, WJLA became ABC's longest-tenured affiliate.

In December 2007, WJLA began simulcasting WTOP-FM on its "Weather Now" digital sub-channel, though dropped this as late July 2009.

WJLA became the second television station in Washington (behind CBS affiliate WUSA) to broadcast newscasts in high definition, beginning on December 8, 2008. The newscast has new graphics and made minor changes to the news desk for better viewing quality with high definition.


Prior to 2001, WJLA's newscasts had long rated third in the market, behind WUSA and NBC-owned WRC-TV.

The station scored a major coup in 1999, when it hired Maureen Bunyan, former longtime anchorwoman at WUSA. In 2003, Leon Harris, formerly of CNN, joined the station as an anchor. In 2004, WJLA hired Bunyan's former anchor desk partner, Gordon Peterson; they have since been reunited for the 6:00 p.m. news.

These personnel moves, combined with WUSA's recent troubles, have led to a resurgence in the ratings, and it currently leads at 5:00 p.m. It has the largest news team in the Washington area. As the flagship station of the Allbritton chain, WJLA provides national news headlines for other Allbritton-owned stations.

Logos and idents

Since 1970, WMAL-TV/WJLA has used a variation of the Circle 7 logo, which has long been associated with ABC affiliates. From 1970 to 2001, WMAL/WJLA used its own version of the logo, with the "7" modified to accommodate the circle. This version was probably the longest continuously used numeric logo in Washington's television history. The only real modification came in 1998, after it began calling itself ABC 7 on-air and added the ABC logo to the left. In 2001, WJLA adopted the standard version of the Circle 7 logo, re-fueling speculation that ABC would buy the station. WJLA-TV is the largest ABC affiliate to use the Circle 7 that is not an ABC owned-and-operated station. In addition, sister station KATV in Little Rock, Arkansas has used the standard Circle 7 since the 1960s, longer than all WJLA versions combined.


Syndicated programming on WJLA includes Jeopardy! (since 1984), Wheel of Fortune (since 1990), The Oprah Winfrey Show (since 1989), and Live with Regis and Kelly. As one of the largest stations not owned-and-operated by the network, the station generally clears all ABC programming, with only two exceptions. Locally-produced sports and election specials preempt the first hour of primetime on a few days in late summer and early fall, while the poorly-watched Saturday night network lineup is occasionally thrown out during the summer in favor of an old movie. If needed, WJLA reschedules network programming at its earliest convenience, usually during the overnight hours. In most cases, any preempted network programming can be seen on Baltimore's WMAR, which is receivable in Washington and its close suburbs with a rooftop antenna.

WJLA airs Clean Skies Sunday, a program on energy issues produced by the American Clean Skies Foundation[2], a non-profit run by natural-gas billionaire Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy.[3]

Digital television

In 2009, WJLA-TV returned its digital broadcasts to its analog channel number, 7. While 90 percent of the station's viewers received their signal by cable or satellite, many of the over-the-air viewers had problems after the final transition. Some needed to rescan, and others needed a VHF antenna.[4] Also, at the same time, the "WJLA-TV" callsign was legally transferred from the now-defunct analog channel 7 to the new digital channel 7 with the "WJLA-DT" callsign being retired.

WJLA applied on August 29, 2009 for special authorization by the FCC to increase its effective radiated power (ERP) to 52 kW. The power increase was put into effect on September 18, 2009. WJLA already ran 30 kW of ERP, which was higher than the other three VHF stations in the area: WUSA (12.6 kW), WBAL-TV (5 kW), and WJZ-TV (28.8 kW).[5]

Digital Channel Programming
7.1 Main WJLA-TV programming / ABC HD
7.2 Doug Hill's WeatherNow
7.3 Retro Television Network

WJLA operates two digital subchannels: Doug Hill's Weather Now, which shows weather radar and carries a simulcast of WTOP-FM, and the Retro Television Network, as "RTN on ABC7". RTN7 replaced "Local Point TV" at 10:00 a.m. on July 28, 2008.[6] Both subchannels are carried locally by Comcast and Verizon FiOS.

Local Point TV was a local version of, featuring short five minute video segments created by area residents. Abby Fenton, the station's Director of Community Relations said in an interview with Broadcasting & Cable that "the station likes the Local Point programming and is pondering where else it might fit".[7]

In late October 2008, WJLA began simulcasting on local low-powered station WWTD-LP; the station is expected to continue broadcasting an analog feed of WJLA after the digital transition.

In late July 2009, WJLA dropped its locally produced "WeatherNow" channel for The Local AccuWeather Channel on its DT2 subchannel. It will still carry the "Doug Hill's WeatherNow" name.

On-air staff

On January 23, 2009, WJLA laid off 26 staff members, including several on-air reporters due to financial constraints. The laid off reporters include Andrea McCarren, Sarah Lee, Alisa Parenti, Emily Schmidt, Jennefer Donelan and weekend sports anchor Greg Toland. Most of the dismissals will take effect immediately, but some were allowed to serve out their contracts. WJLA also announced a 4.9% salary cut for all remaining staff and a halt to company contributions to 401(k) retirement plans.[8]


  • Leon Harris - Weeknights at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m.
  • Cynné Simpson - Weeknights at 5 p.m.
  • Maureen Bunyan - Weeknights at 6 p.m.
  • Gordon Peterson - Weeknights at 6 p.m. and "Inside Washington" Host
  • Caroline Lyders - Weeknights at 11 p.m., Weekend Anchor and Washington Weekly Anchor
  • Doug McKelway - Good Morning Washington 5 a.m.-7 a.m. host of Lets Talk live on newschannel8 at 12pm
  • Alison Starling - Good Morning Washington 5 a.m.-7 a.m. and noon


  • Natasha Barrett - General Assignment Reporter
  • Brad Bell - Prince George's County Bureau Chief
  • Matt Brock - General Assignment Reporter
  • Pamela Brown - General Assignment Reporter
  • Mike "Buck" Buchanan - Commentary
  • Arch Campbell - Entertainment Reporter
  • Brianne Carter - General Assignment Reporter
  • Mike Conneen - General Assignment Reporter
  • Rebecca Cooper - National Correspondent
  • Jennifer Donelan - General Assignment Reporter
  • Sam Ford - DC Bureau Chief
  • John Gonzalez - General Assignment Reporter
  • Suzanne Kennedy - General Assignment Reporter
  • Greta Kreuz - Montgomery County Bureau Chief
  • Jay Korff - General Assignment Reporter
  • Caroline Lyders - Reporter/Fill-In Anchor
  • Kathy Park - General Assignment Reporter
  • Julie Parker - General Assignment Reporter
  • Gail Pennybacker - Fairfax County Bureau Chief
  • Philip Stewart - General Assignment Reporter
  • Scott Thuman - General Assignment Reporter
  • Stephen Tschida - General Assignment Reporter
  • Kris Van Cleave - General Assignment Reporter


  • Doug Hill - Chief Meteorologist seen at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. (AMS Certified)
  • Bob Ryan - Meteorologist seen at 11 p.m. (AMS Certified)
  • Brian van de Graaff - Newschannel 8 Meteorologist(AMS Certified)
  • Steve Rudin - Weekend Evening Meteorologist (NWA Certified)
  • Adam Caskey - Meteorologist at 5-7 a.m. and noon
  • Dave Zahren - Weekend Morning
    • All Meteorologists are heard on WTOP Radio in Washington, D.C.


  • Tim Brant - Weeknight Sports Anchor/Sports Director
  • Gregg Mace - Fill-In Weekend Sports Anchor
    • Gregg Mace primarily works at sister station WHTM-TV as their Sports Director
    • Horace Holmes fill in weeknight sports anchor and weekend sports anchor


  • Lisa Baden - Morning Traffic Reporter
  • Eric Thomas - Evening Traffic Reporter
  • Jim Russ - Fill-In Morning Traffic Reporter

Former staff

  • Donald Allen - Anchor/Reporter (1969–1974, deceased)
  • Louis Allen - Chief Meteorologist (1955–1974, deceased; Was the first meteorologist to appear on television.)
  • Lauren Ashburn - Reporter/Anchor (1996–2000, now at USA Today Live)
  • Gary Axelson - Reporter (1972–1984)
  • Ric Barrick - Morning Weather(1995–1996; now at WTVR)
  • Roberta Baskin - Reporter (1980s-1991, 2007-2009, now senior communications advisor for the Department of Health and Human Services)
  • Jim Berry - Sports Anchor/Reporter (1981–1988, now at WFOR-TV in Miami)[9]
  • Paul Berry - Anchor/Reporter (1971–1999, now in public relations)[10]
  • Melinda Nix - Reporter (1972–1975), stringer CBS TV + Radio, Tokyo (1975–1977), WABC-TV NYC(1977–1982), now Sotheby's International Realty NYC
  • Rea Blakey - Health Reporter (1988–2001, recently at CNN, now with Discovery Health Channel)
  • James Brown - Sports Reporter (1984, now at CBS Sports)[11]
  • Mike "Buck" Buchanan - General Assignment Reporter (2004–2006, now at WTOP radio; father of WUSA reporter Doug Buchanan; has been seen doing opinion reports on WJLA.)
  • Jack Bowden - Reporter/Anchor - MD Bureau Chief 1990-1998 (retired)
  • Mike Cairns - Sports Reporter/Anchor (1992–2000, now a sports announcer for Cleveland State University in Cleveland)
  • Jim Clarke - Special Correspondent (1964–2003, deceased)
  • Jack Conaty - National Correspondent (1980–1986)[12]
  • Carol Costello - Morning Anchor (1996–2001, now appears on CNN's Situation Room)[13]
  • Nancy Cordes - Reporter (1999–2003, now CBS News Congressional Correspondent and Transportation and Consumer Safety Correspondent )[14]
  • Kelly Cresswell - Community Reporter (News Channel 8)
  • Chris Curle Farmer - Anchor/Reporter (1977–1980, retired in Florida)
  • Elliott Francis - Weekend Anchor/Reporter (1997–2007)
  • Charles Gibson, Anchor/Reporter (1970–1973, now retired)[15]
  • Jeff Gilbert - Meteorologist (1991–2001)
  • Chris Gordon - Anchor/Reporter (1980–1983, now at WRC-TV in Washington, DC)[16]
  • Jason Gough - Meteorologist (now at WNYT in Albany, New York)[17]
  • Mike Hambrick - Co-anchor (1992–1995, now with the National Association of Manufacturers)
  • Delores Handy - Weeknight Anchor, first woman named anchor of a nightly 6 o'clock news broadcast in Washington, D.C.(1976–1978, now at WBUR Boston)
  • Jim Harriott - Anchor (1989–1990, deceased)
  • John Harter - Reporter (1974–2006, retired)
  • Dan Henry - Meteorologist (1997–2002, now at KDFW-TV in Dallas)[18]
  • Frank Herzog - Sports Director/Reporter (1983–1992, now at WTOP Radio)[19]
  • Don Hudson - Morning Anchor (?-2003, now at WTVQ)[20]
  • Kerri Kazarba - Anchor/Reporter (1993–1994, now at KCPQ-TV in Seattle)
  • Dennis Ketterer - Meteorologist (1988–1995, now at WBOC-TV in Salisbury, Maryland)[21]
  • Susan King - Anchor/"Cover Story" Reporter (1987–1997)
  • Christianne Klein, Weekend Anchor/Reporter (2005–2006, now an anchor and correspondent for ABC News)
  • Rene Knott - Sports Director (1992–2003, now at KSDK-TV in St. Louis)
  • Sarah Lee - Morning Reporter
  • Dan Lewis - Anchor (1984–1987, now at KOMO-TV in Seattle)[22]
  • Josh Mankiewicz - Reporter (1980–1982, now at NBC News)
  • Elizabeth Manresa - Consumer Reporter (2001–2004, now at CNN Newsource)
  • Kathleen Matthews - 5 p.m. Anchor/Capitol Sunday Co-Host/Reporter (1982–2006, wife of MSNBC's Chris Matthews, now works for Marriott Hotels but still an occasional contributor)
  • Andrea McCarren - I-Team Reporter
  • Lark McCarthy - Anchor/Reporter (1976–1984)
  • Derek McGinty - Anchor/Reporter (1998–2000, now at WUSA-TV)[23]
  • Doug McKelway - Reporter fired for clash with station manager over factual comments about BP contributions to President Obama)
  • Chris McKendry - Weekend Sports Anchor (1994–1996; now at ESPN
  • Alisa Parenti - General Assignment Reporter
  • Renee Poussaint - Anchor/Reporter (1978–1992)
  • Gary Reals - General Assignment Reporter (1983–1990, now in same position at WUSA-TV)[24]
  • Ron Riley - Meteorologist (?-2008, retired)
  • Angela Russell Anchor. Currently anchor for KIRO-TV.
  • Wes Sarginson - Anchor (early 1970s through 1975, 1985–1988; now retired)
  • David Schoumacher - Anchor (1976–1988; retired)
  • Dale Solly - Anchor/Reporter (1988–1993 and 1997–2002, deceased)
  • Alexandra Steele - Meteorologist (1999–2003; now at the Weather Channel)
  • Lori Stokes Anchor (1992–1996; now at WABC-TV)
  • Henry Tenenbaum - Reporter (1987–1990, now at KRON-TV in San Francisco)[25]
  • Del Walters - Anchor/Reporter (1997–2003)
  • Fred Weiss - Meteorologist (1963–1988; deceased)
  • Barry Zevan - Weather/Reporter (1970s; moved to KSTP Minneapolis; now retired)
  • Joseph McCaffrey-Anchor/Reporter (1959–1973)
  • Joseph McBee-Anchor/Reporter (1960–1969)
  • Greg Toland - Weekend sports anchor/reporter (200n-2009; now a sports anchor/reporter at Comcast SportsNet Washington)

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • The Scene (1974–1978)
  • News 7 (1978–2001)
  • ABC 7 News (2001–present)

Station slogans

  • So Good to Turn To (1982–1985; used during period station used Frank Gari's "So Good to Turn To")
  • On Your Side (1984–present; slogan also used in an image campaign based on Frank Gari's "This is Your News" from 1995–1999)
  • Something's Happening on Channel 7 (1988–1989; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • Where News Can Change the World (1988–1992)
  • Washington's Watching WJLA (1990–1991; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • Your 24-Hour News Source (1992–1999)
This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.==See also==
  • Circle 7 logo


  1. ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films", Boxoffice: 13, November 10, 1956,
  2. ^ "Clean Skies Sunday" Energy & Environmental News
  3. ^ American Clean Skies Foundation Chairman Aubrey McClendon to Announce Launch Date...
  4. ^ Eggerton, John (2009-06-23). "WJLA Says It Is Taking Care OF DTV Business". Multichannel News. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
  5. ^ FCC TV Query: WJLA
  6. ^ WJLA Going Retro with Retro Television Network
  7. ^ WJLA Washington, D.C. Going Retro
  8. ^ Tucker, Neely (Jan. 24, 2009). "Citing Economy, WJLA Fires 26 Staffers". Washington Post: p. C1.
  9. ^ "CBS4 News Team". WFOR-TV/CBS Television Stations. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  10. ^ "Paul Berry and Associates". Paul L. Berry & Associates. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  11. ^ "CBSSports TV - James Brown". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  12. ^ "Jack Conaty". WFLD-TV/FOX Television Stations Group. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  13. ^ "Anchors & Reporters - Carol Costello". CNN. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  14. ^ "Nancy Cordes". CBS. Retrieved 2008-03-20.
  15. ^ "ABC News - Charles Gibson". American Broadcasting Company. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  16. ^ "NBC Washington - Chris Gordon". WRC-TV/NBC Washington. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  17. ^ "Jason Gough". WNYT-TV. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  18. ^ "Dan Henry". KDFW-TV/FOX Television Stations Group. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  19. ^ "WTOP Radio - Frank Herzog". WTOP Radio/Bonneville International. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  20. ^ "Don Hudson". WTVQ-TV. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  21. ^ "WBOC-TV - Dennis Ketterer". WBOC-TV. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  22. ^ "Dan Lewis". KOMO-TV. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  23. ^ "WUSA-TV - Derek McGinty". WUSA-TV/Gannett. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  24. ^ "WUSA-TV - Gary Reals". WUSA-TV/Gannett. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  25. ^ "KRON-TV - Henry Tenenbaum". KRON-TV/Young Broadcasting. Retrieved 2008-10-27.

External links

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.