WPVI-TV Station History

July 21, 2011 12:10:37 PM PDT
For over half a century, 6ABC has been broadcasting programs to viewers in the Delaware Valley, an area covering Southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware and Southern New Jersey, currently representing over 8 million people. 6ABC was the first affiliate of ABC-TV and on April 1, 2008, the station celebrated its 60th anniversary with the network.

WPVI-TV/Channel 6 went on the air as WFIL-TV in 1947. The original facility at 46th and Market Streets was the first studio in the country dedicated solely to television broadcasting. The station produced some of the earliest ABC-TV network programs. In 1963 the station moved to a landmark round building at City and Monument Avenues.

In 2009, the station moved to a brand-new facility right next door to the former site.

In 1971 Capital Cities Communications, later Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., purchased the station and changed its call letters from WFIL-TV to WPVI-TV (the "P" for Philadelphia and the "VI" for 6). In 1996 WPVI-TV became part of the Walt Disney Co. when Disney acquired Capital Cities/ABC.

Throughout its history, 6ABC has remained committed to serving the diverse needs and interests of the Delaware Valley viewers. To help stay in touch with all segments of the community, the station organized the Community Advisory Board. Over the years, the independent panel has been instrumental in providing guidance for original local programming aired on 6ABC.

In conjunction with the board, 6ABC has aired many documentaries produced by independent producers who have submitted scripts and proposals to the board for consideration. This on-going relationship helps foster the work of creative writers, producers, and directors in the Delaware Valley's many diverse communities.

6ABC has a long history of producing local shows and specials. Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" began as a local show on Channel 6.

6ABC is home to the oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade in the nation. The parade, now known as the 6ABC/Boscov's Thanksgiving Day Parade and produced entirely by the station, has aired on Channel 6 since 1966 and is currently syndicated on stations from New York to Maryland. 6ABC also broadcasts annual live coverage of Philadelphia's Pulaski, Columbus, Puerto Rican, and 4th of July parades.

Since local stations rely on their news operations for identity and programming strength, 6ABC has continually built its news operation into the highest rated local newscast, with ratings that top the other two news stations combined! Action News (at 4:30am, 12noon, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, and 11pm) is the most watched news programming in the Delaware Valley, and is the only local TV news operation with full time bureaus in Trenton, NJ, the Jersey Shore (Margate, NJ), Wilmington, DE and Lehigh Valley.

6ABC has a long tradition of producing award-winning public affairs programs. The Public Affairs department produces a popular Sunday morning political roundtable show, "Inside Story", and "Visions," a magazine special that airs in February, May and September, focusing on issues, people and stories of special interest to minority viewers. In addition, a series of other public affairs shows under the "Perspective" banner regularly focus on issues that face the Delaware Valley.

With award-winning locally produced programming, the most popular syndicated daytime talk shows (including "Live with Regis & Kelly,") and perennial favorites like "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune," 6ABC is committed to providing viewers with the programs that make WPVI-TV "the most-watched station in the Delaware Valley."


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