call_letters = WOLO-TV
city =
station_slogan = At home in the Midlands
Live from Main and Gervais
More Local News
station_branding = ABC Columbia
analog = 25 (UHF)
digital = 8 (VHF)
other_chs =
subchannels = 25.1 HD 25.2 SD 25.3 Radar
affiliations = ABC
network =
founded =
airdate = April 25, 1953 (first incarnation)
October 1, 1961 (current incarnation)
location = Columbia, South Carolina
callsign_meaning =
former_callsigns = WCOS-TV (1953-1956)
WCCA-TV (1961-1964)
former_channel_numbers =
owner = Bahakel Communications, Ltd.
licensee = South Carolina Broadcasting Partners
sister_stations =
former_affiliations = CBS (April-September 1953)
NBC (April-November 1953)
effective_radiated_power = 5000 kW (analog)
43.7 kW (digital)
HAAT = 509 m (analog)
529 m (digital)
class =
facility_id = 60963
coordinates = coord|34|6|58.4|N|80|45|49.9|W|type:landmark_scale:2000
homepage = [http://www.abccolumbia.tv/ www.abccolumbia.tv]

WOLO-TV channel 25 is the ABC television affiliate for Columbia, South Carolina. Its transmitter is located in Elgin, South Carolina.


Channel 25 signed on the air as WCOS-TV on April 25, 1953 owned by Columbia Radio along with WCOS radio (AM 1400 and FM 97.9, now 97.5). It carried programming from all three networks--CBS, NBC and ABC--and broadcast from a Quonset hut on Shakespeare Road a few miles from downtown Columbia.

WCOS-TV had very modern equipment by 1953 standards, especially considering that Columbia was a fairly small market. However, UHF stations always found the going difficult in those days because the FCC didn't require television manufacturers to have UHF tuning capability until 1964. In the 1950s, viewers had to purchase separate converters to watch UHF stations, and even then, the picture was often barely viewable. The problem really manifested itself in November, when WIS-TV, channel 10, signed on as the city's first VHF station and took all NBC programming. WCOS was left with ABC since it had lost CBS to WNOK-TV, channel 67 (now WLTX, channel 19) in September. ABC was a very weak network at the time.

Even though WCOS' fate was sealed when WIS signed on, the station limped along until 1956, when WNOK offered to pay Charles W. Pittman, president of Columbia Radio, to take the struggling station off the air. Pittman, who had put much of his own money into WCOS, accepted and signed off on January 21, 1956.

Channel 25 remained dark for 6 years with a notice around the headquarters that the station may begin broadcasting again "in the near future". On October 1, 1961, local investors bought the license and returned to the air as WCCA-TV, also an ABC affiliate. As a result, while it was the first television station in the state, it is not the oldest--that distinction goes to WCSC-TV in Charleston. In 1964, Cy Bahakel, owner of WCCB-TV in Charlotte (two hours north), bought WCCA and changed the calls to WOLO-TV. Although Bahakel died in April 2006, his company still owns the station.

In 2001, WOLO activated a new tower along I-20 near Camden. It is the tallest structure in South Carolina, at almost 1,800 feet. Before then, the station had long been plagued by a weak signal. Although it decently covered Columbia and its close-in suburbs, it only provided grade B coverage of Sumter and was all but unviewable in the outlying areas. For much of the time until the 1970s, channel 25 was the only primary ABC affiliate between the Piedmont Triad and Atlanta; as such, many areas of the market weren't able to get a decent signal from an ABC station until cable television arrived in Columbia in the 1970s. In 2002, WOLO was the second commercial station in the Columbia market to go digital. However, its newscasts are not in High Definition.

WOLO is Columbia's home for ACC football and basketball games. It is the only affiliate in the market that at times pre-empts primetime network programming for such broadcasts.

News Operations

Despite several firsts--for instance, the first certified meteorologist and color radar in South Carolina (in 1978) and the first live broadcast via satellite (in 1980), WOLO has spent most of its history as the weakest major-network affiliate in Columbia, and one of ABC's weakest affiliates. In 1997, WOLO tried to alter its image by hiring Jim Blue and Leslie Mouton (Mattox) and branded itself as "25 Eyewitness News". It also adopted the "AccuWeather" franchise. It also expanded its news product to include a morning show, "Good Morning Columbia" and a 5 PM newscast. It has not attempted to launch a 7 PM newscast to counter WIS' "7:00 Report" and WLTX's "News 19 at 7:00", possibly because popular shows "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune" air during that time and rate higher, or, a 7:00 PM newscast from channel 25 would not get the high ratings that channels 10 and 19 have.Fact|date=March 2008

In 2002, Bahakel moved WOLO's operations to WCCB in Charlotte, where they stayed for three years. During that time, WCCB's studios played host to WOLO's newscasts. WOLO cut many jobs and shows, and only the weekday evening newscasts were retained. This was one of the first examples of "central casting" (housing several stations' operations in one location) in the United States. The practice of producing a local newscast in a different market was roundly criticized.

Bahakel returned WOLO's anchors to Columbia in Fall 2005 and underscored its commitment to local news, with slogans such as "Live from Main and Gervais" (the major intersection housing WOLO's new street-side newsroom) and "More Local News." The newscasts are now produced in Columbia, though the technical directing is still out of Charlotte at WCCB.Fact|date=September 2008 Around the same time, WOLO switched its on-air name from ABC25 to ABC Columbia, similar to the change made at WCCB, which switched from FOX 18 to Fox Charlotte shortly before taking over WOLO's operations.

WOLO runs syndicated programs such as The 700 Club, The Montel Williams Show, Merv Griffin's Crosswords, Judge Joe Brown, Judge Judy, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, and .


*Daniel Seamans - Evening Anchor, 6 &11 PM
*Alicia Barnes - Evening Anchor, 6 & 11 PM, "Wrinkle Free Wednesday" Host
*Robin Hinson - Reporter
*Monique Williams - Reporter
*Anderson Burns - Reporter, Weekend Anchor 11PM
*Reg Taylor - AMS & NWA Chief Meteorologist - Based out of WCCB-TV Charlotte
*Derek James - Weekend Meteorologist - Based out of WCCB-TV Charlotte
*Tim Hill - Sports Director, Weekday Sports Anchor
*Dave Aiken - Voice of the Viewers
*Terry Chick - Weekend Anchor, Sports Reporter (Former WOLO Sports Director in the 1990s)

Past Personalities

*Jim Blue(1997-2002)
*Leslie Mouton (Mattox) (now at KSAT-TV)
*Craig Beatty
*Shanai Harris (Former Evening Anchor 2002-2008)
*James Hill
*Rick Leventhal, now at Fox News Channel
*Ryan Lieber
*Dia Davidson (now at WLEX)
*Semone Doughton (now at WTVM)
*Phyllis Jackson
*Denise Jackson
*Laurie Shore
*Jeb Shore
*Jim Forest
*Mackie Quave (in SC Broadcasters Assn. Hall of Fame)
*Fred Cunningham (now at WSPA-TV
*Kristen Mitchell
*Dan Weinbaum (now at KMBC)
*Patrick Paolantonio (now at WISN-TV)
*Mark Shaffer
*Kathy Hannus
*Reggie Hall
*Mike Rodgers
*Bob Moore
*Jim Powell (now with Milwaukee Brewers radio)
*Suzel Spiller
*Brian Custar (now at WKOW)
*Tom Ackerman (now at WLEX)
*John Gaughan
*David Hartman
*Ginger Gadsden (now at WTSP)
*Scott Eisberg (now at WCIV)
*Cory Curtis (now at WKRN)
*Susan Biggers
*Dave Stanley
*John Sullivan
*Mark Wade
*Malachi Rodgers (now at WESH)
*Brett Tackett
*Radar the Weather Dog (2001-2002)
*Derrec Becker now at the South Carolina Emergency Management Division
*Ann Cobb
*Richard Breen (now editor of the GSA Business Journal, Greenville, SC)

Digital Television

WOLO-DT is an ATSC digital television signal broadcast over channel 8 which is available over-the-air with a digital tuner, or through digital cable service from Time Warner Cable. With either, there is an offering of three sub-channels:

* WOLO HD on DT 25.1 / 8.1 (Time Warner 815)

* WOLO-TV on DT 25.2 / 8.2 (Time Warner 5)
* NWS Weather Radio & Radar on DT 25.3 / 8.3 (Time Warner 816)

As of March 20, 2007, the Newscasts on WOLO are not broadcast in High Definition. Most ABC programs after 8 PM ET, are broadcast in HD as are most network weekend sports programs.

In 2009, WOLO will continue digital broadcasts on channel 8 when the analog to digital conversion is complete.http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf]


External links

* [http://www.abccolumbia.tv/ WOLO-TV ]

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