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WDBJ-TV Then & Now

WDBJ-TV first signed on the air on October 3, 1955, originally owned

by the Times-World Corporation, publishers of the Roanoke Times and Roanoke World-News, and operators of WDBJ radio (960 AM, now WFIR; and 94.9 FM, now WSLC-FM).


Channel 7 has been a CBS affiliate since its sign-on,

owing to WDBJ radio's longtime affiliation with the CBS Radio Network. 


WDBJ-TV was the third television station to sign-on from Roanoke, after NBC affiliate WSLS-TV (channel 10) and WROV-TV (channel 27, frequency later occupied by WFXR), which operated as an independent station from February to July 1953.


Before channel 7 signed on, CBS programming had been carried part-time

on Lynchburg-based WLVA-TV (channel 13, now WSET-TV).


During the late 1950s, WDBJ was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.

Channel 7, along with its radio sisters, originally operated from studio facilities

located in the Mountain Trust Bank Building in downtown Roanoke.


Its transmitter was located temporarily on Mill Mountain;

the station originally planned to transmit its signal from Poor Mountain,

but was not able to do so due to concerns regarding interference with the signal

of WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, South Carolina, whose broadcasting facilities

were under construction at the time.


In 1956, WDBJ radio and television moved their operations to the Times-World Building; the television station also relocated its transmitter to Poor Mountain.

 As channel 7 grew during the late 1950s, plans were drawn for a new studio at the corner of Brandon and Colonial Avenues in Southwest Roanoke.

The WDBJ stations moved to the then state-of-the-art building in the summer of 1961.

- - Fast forward to 2000 - -

In 2000, WDBJ announced plans to construct a new studio facility

on the site of the Best Products building in Northwest Roanoke. 

WDBJ began broadcasting from the new facility in May 2002.


This website is a photo journal of the demolition of the Best Products building,

the construction of the Digital Broadcast Center

and the demolition of the Colonial Avenue location.

Photo credit goes to current and former employees of WDBJ Television.



WDBJ Television is owned and operated by Gray Television, Inc.
This web site is independently owned and operated.

WDBJ Television (operated by Gray Television, Inc.) is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on any information contained within this website.

~~ Source:  Wikipedia ~~

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