WRIC-TV Channel 8 is the ABC affiliate television station for the Richmond, Virginia market. It is owned by Young Broadcasting. The station is licensed to nearby Petersburg, while its studios are just off the Powhite Parkway extension (State Route 76) on Arboretum Place in westernChesterfield County (unincorporated Richmond).
|Branding||WRIC TV 8 (general)
8 NEWS (newscasts)
|Slogan||Straight To The Point
Live, Local, Latebreaking
|Channels||Digital: 22 (UHF)|
|Owner||Young Broadcasting, Inc.
(operated by Gray Television) (Young Broadcasting of Richmond, Inc.)
|First air date||August 15, 1955|
|Call letters' meaning||W-RIChmond|
|Former callsigns||WXEX-TV (1955-1990)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
8 (VHF, 1955-2009)
|Former affiliations||NBC (1955-1965)|
|Transmitter power||850 kW (digital)|
|Height||328 m (digital)|
The station began operation in 1955 as WXEX-TV, an NBC affiliate. It was originally licensed to Petersburg and was owned by Thomas Tinsley, operating as Petersburg Television. During the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, WXEX had an AM sister station, WLEE-AM, who maintained a separate location in Richmond on West Broad St. The TV station's transmitter was located in the Bermuda Hundred area of eastern Chesterfield County and the station reached not only Petersburg, but Richmond as well, albeit with a weaker signal than the two stations licensed to Richmond at the time. The main studios were located in Petersburg. At first, a Richmond sales office was co-located with sister station WLEE-AM on W. Broad St; later, satellite studios were established just off Midlothian Turnpike in Bon Air, Virginia, a suburb of Richmond.
The station had been an NBC affiliate for many years, but switched to ABC in 1965 and has been with that network ever since. In 1968 the station (along with sister station WLEE-AM) was sold to Nationwide Communications; Nationwide would sell WRIC and the rest of its television stations to Young Broadcasting in 1993.
In 1969, a fire destroyed its original Petersburg studios. For a few weeks, the station had to broadcast from its transmitter, then set up temporary offices and studios in a vacated store in Petersburg. The station later moved in a brand new facility on Crater Road that it named Blandford Manor.
In 1981 Nationwide sold off sister station WLEE-AM.
WXEX's call letters were changed on April 23, 1990 to WRIC-TV and the station moved its studios to the current location in The Arboretum Office Park in Chesterfield County. However, it is still licensed to Petersburg; unlike the other stations in the market, it identifies as "Petersburg/Richmond."
The station's owner, Young Broadcasting, went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009. The station was part of a bankruptcy auction scheduled for July 14, 2009 but cancelled at the last minute. On July 22, a bankruptcy judge approved a plan in which Young's secured lenders would take over the company and outsource the management of seven of its 10 stations including WRIC to Gray Television. Final approval of the deal from the Federal Communications Commission is still pending. On June 12, 2009, WRIC-TV's digital broadcasts are now on channel 22. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers continue to display WRIC-TV's virtual channel as 8.1.
Current on-air staff
- Juan Conde - Weeknights 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m.
- Christina Feerick - Weeknights 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m.
- Kerri O'Brien - Evening Anchor Explainer
- Amy Lacey - Weekday Morning Anchor
- Amie McLain - Weekday Morning Anchor
- A.J. Lagoe - Weekday Noon Anchor
- Morgan Dean - Weekend Mornings
- Lindsey Henley Martin - Weekend Evenings
- Darragh Copley
- Morgan Dean
- Nate Eaton
- Catherine Hawley
- Yianni Kourakis
- Josh Landon
- Laura Morris
- Kerri O'Brien
- Kim Schumacher
- Katelyn Sherwood
- Mark Tenia
- Chelsea Washington
- John Bernier - Chief Meteorologist
- Matt DiNardo
- Paul Milliken
- Jason Myers
- Chip Tarkenton - Sports Director/Weekday Anchor
- Phil Orban - Weekend Anchor
- Yianni Kourakis
Former on-air staff
- Ric Barrick - Meteorologist
- Anita Blanton- Morning Anchor/Reporter
- Gretchen Carlson - Reporter/Anchor
- Keri Abbott Carro - Meteorologist
- Lou Charlip - Sports Anchor/Reporter
- Craig Civale - Reporter
- Bruce Cunningham - Sports Director
- Derrick Dennis - Reporter
- Vernon Glenn - Sports Reporter/Anchor 1985 to 1987, now at KRON-TV in San Francisco
- Matt Lauer - host of "PM Magazine" in the 1980s.
- Doug Luzader - Reporter (now FOX News Washington D.C. correspondent at WBRC in Birmingham, Alabama)
- Mara MacDonald - Reporter
- Pam Magee - Reporter, News Director
- Laura Main - Reporter/Anchor
- Amie McLain - Weekday Morning Anchor Explainer
- Chesley McNeil - Weather/Mr. Outside
- Carole Meekins - Anchor
- Kerri O'Brien - Evening Anchor Explainer
- Jim Ramsey - Weather Anchor; now at WGN-TV in Chicago
- Richard Real - Reporter, Managing Editor
- Frank Robertson - Anchor
- Rucks Russell - Reporter; now at KHOU-TV Houston, TX
- Lisa Schaffner - Anchor
- Ken Strayhorn - Sports Director
- Cheryl Tan - Weekend Anchor; Now at Wavy 10 and Fox 43 in Hampton Roads,Va
- Mike Topham - Sports Photographer/Reporter
- Ric Young - Anchor
- Rich Landrum - News Reporter and co-host of "Dialing for Dollars". Much better known in later years as the host for the nationally syndicated TV show, "World Wide Wrestling".
- Barbara Trear - (better known to the staff as "BJ", short for Barbara Jeane)Co-host of "Dialing for Dollars" & Special Events Reporter. Better known now throughout Maryland, DC & Northern Virginia, for her jazz band, "The BJ Doyle Trio".
- Tracy Butler - Meteorologist
- Sal Urbano - Sports Anchor
- Gwen Williams - Anchor
- Jason Guy - Reporter; now at WESH-TV Orlando, FL
1972—First "Eyewitness News" team
- Anchorman - Charles McMahon
- Co-Anchor - Bill McGowan
- Sports - Floyd Henderson
- Weather - Don Kesler
- The WXEX-TV Newsreel (1955-1960)
- The Big News (1960-1965)
- The 6 'O Clock/11 'O Clock Report (1965-1968)
- TV-8 Eyewitness News (1968-1992)
- TV-8 News (1992-1993)
- 8 News (1993–present)
- Come on Along with TV-8 (1982-1983; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- That Special Feeling on TV-8 (1983-1984; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Making a Difference (1990-1995)
- Richmond's News People (1995-1999)
- TV is Good, on WRIC 8 (1997-1998; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- We Love TV, on WRIC-TV 8 (1998-1999; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Your Local News Source (2000–2004)
- Straight To The Point (2004–present; primary news slogan)
- Live, Local, Latebreaking (late 1990s-present; secondary news slogan)
- ^ A vulture's eye view of Young
- ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf