WGHP celebrates 50 years – digital time capsule, timeline and photos

WGHP is celebrating 50 years of broadcast television here in the Piedmont Triad. The first air date at WGHP was October 14, 1963. 50 years later, some things have changed while other things have remained the same.

Station names/slogans

Wghp-80sOver 50 years, we have used several news names including Channel 8 News (1964-1967), TV-8 Eyewitness News (1974-1986), NewsChannel 8 (1994-1995) to our current station name of FOX8 News.

News station slogans have included “Channel 8″ (1963-1967), “The Piedmont’s Favorite News Team” (1984–1988), “The News Leader” (2005–June 2013) and most recently “The Piedmont News Station” (June 2013-present).

Championship Wrestling

charlie with wrestlersWGHP was born on October 14, 1963, the first air date for WGHP. Charlie Harville, who became a broadcasting institution in North Carolina and would become only the second sportscaster inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, spoke the first words on WGHP.

In February 1964, WGHP began airing Championship Wrestling on Saturday evenings. The show was filmed and/or taped at the WGHP studios on the second floor of the Sheraton Hotel on North Main Street in High Point.

The WGHP program was enormously popular. During its 10 year run, it was the only Crockett Wrestling show in the Winston-Salem/Greensboro/High Point market. Championship Wrestling aired at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday evenings for most of it’s 10 year run on WGHP.

Harville was loved by wrestling fans, and he also served as ring announcer for a period of time for the Greensboro shows in the Greensboro Coliseum. Harville died in 2002. Read more here.

Promos/commercials

Longest-tenured employee

The longest-tenured employee at WGHP is Martha Shelley. She has worked at WGHP for 36 straight years.

ABC vs. Fox affiliation

hqdefaultOriginally owned by Southern Broadcast Company, WGHP was a longtime ABC affiliate. WGHP was sold to Gulf Broadcasting in 1978 and was sold again in 1984 to Taft Broadcasting.

After several sales, Fox took over operations at WGHP in 1995. WGHP officially affiliated with Fox on September 3, 1995. Fox completed its purchas of WGHP on January 17, 1996, with WGHP becoming a Fox owned-and-operated station, and was the only commercial station in the Piedmont Triad area to be owned by a major network.

The move gave WGHP its fifth owner in a decade.

WGHP weekend news team from 1986-1987.

WGHP weekend news team from 1986-1987.

In 2007, Fox sold WGHP and seven other stations to Oak Hill Capital Partners and subsidiary Local TV.

On September 12, 2010, WGHP became the first station in the Piedmont Triad to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition.

In July of 2013, Tribune announced its plans to acquire WGHP, however WGHP will remain a Fox affiliate.