Washington, D.C.
Branding NBC 4 (general)
News 4 (newscasts)
Slogan Washington's News Leader
Connected to You
Channels Digital: 48 (UHF)
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
Subchannels (see article)
Affiliations NBC
Owner NBCUniversal
(NBC Telemundo License, LLC)
First air date June 27, 1947
Call letters' meaning Radio Corporation of America
(NBC's former parent)
Sister station(s) Comcast Network
CSN Washington
Former callsigns WNBW (1947-1954)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
4 (VHF, 1947-2009)
Transmitter power 813 kW
Height 242 m
Facility ID 47904
Transmitter coordinates 38°56′24″N 77°4′54″W / 38.94°N 77.08167°W / 38.94; -77.08167
Website www.nbcwashington.com

WRC-TV, channel 4, is an owned and operated television station of the NBC television network, located in the American capital city of Washington, D.C. The station's studios and transmitter are co-located in the Tenleytown neighborhood of northwest Washington.[1]

WRC-TV houses and originates NBC News' Washington bureau, out of which David Gregory, Chris Matthews, Jim Miklaszewski, Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell, David Shuster, and Pete Williams are based.



WRC-TV's studio/transmitter facility, which also houses NBC's Washington operations, have been in use since 1958. (Photo is from c. 1962.)

The station traces its roots to experimental W3XNB, which was put on the air by the Radio Corporation of America, the then-parent company of NBC, in 1939. On June 27, 1947, the station received a commercial license and went on the air as WNBW (for NBC Washington). It is Washington's second-oldest licensed television station, after WTTG (channel 5). WNBW was also the second of the five original NBC-owned television stations to sign-on, behind WNBT in New York City (now WNBC) and ahead of WNBQ in Chicago (now WMAQ-TV), WNBK in Cleveland (now WKYC-TV) and KNBH in Los Angeles (now KNBC). The station was operated alongside WRC radio (AM 980, frequency now occupied by WTEM; and FM 93.9, now WKYS).

On October 18, 1954, its callsign changed to the present WRC-TV to match its radio sisters. The new calls reflected NBC's ownership at the time by RCA. It has retained its "-TV" suffix to this day, more than two decades after the radio stations were sold off.

The second presidential debate between candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon was broadcast from the station's studios on October 7, 1960. David Brinkley's Washington segment of the Huntley-Brinkley Report originated at WRC-TV between 1956 and 1970.

The earliest color videotape in existence is a recording of the dedication of NBC/WRC's Washington studios on May 22, 1958. As Dwight D. Eisenhower spoke at the event, it was also the first time a president had been videotaped in color. [1]

At the time of its sign-on, channel 4 was one of two wholly network-owned stations in Washington, the other being DuMont's WTTG. DuMont was shut down in 1956, and for the next 30 years WRC-TV was the only owned-and-operated station in Washington. That distinction ended when WTTG was sold to the newly-created Fox Network in 1986; it has since been accompanied by WDCA and WBDC (now WDCW) in that order, respectively as UPN and WB stations with their owners having stakes in those new networks. Today WRC is one of three network O&O's alongside the Newscorp-owned duopoly of WTTG and WDCA (now a MyNetworkTV station).

On January 14, 2009 WRC-TV and WTTG entered in talks to pool video and share their news helicopters. The agreement is similar to ones already made between Fox and NBC O&Os in Chicago (WMAQ-TV and WFLD) and Philadelphia (WCAU and WTXF).[2]

WRC-TV was the final network affiliated station in the Washington Metropolitan Area to cease news broadcasts in standard definition. On Thursday, April 8, 2010, during the Today show newsbreaks, the station tested the high-definition version of its newscasts and broadcast the newsbreak in HD, but the news was back in standard definition at their next full newscast at 11 a.m. NBC4 started broadcasting from a temporary set on February 8, 2010 while "upgrades" were being made on its main set and the station made final adjustments for its switch to high definition. As of Thursday, April 22, 2010, all newscasts produced by NBC4 are in high definition.

Like all of the DC-area Mobile DTV broadcasters, WRC-TV commenced ATSC-M/H broadcasting on February 27, 2011

Digital programming

WRC-TV's signal is multiplexed. It offers Washington Nonstop on digital channel 4.2 and Universal Sports on 4.3.

Channel Programming
4.1 Main WRC programming / NBC
4.2 NBC Washington Nonstop
4.3 Universal Sports

WRC-TV also has a Mobile DTV feed of subchannel 4.1, labelled "WRC NBC Mobile", broadcasting at 1.83 Mbit/s. This is the lowest bitrate of any DC-area television station mobile feed.[3][4]

On or before June 12, 2009, WRC-TV shut down its analog signal on channel 4 to complete its analog to digital conversion. Its digital signal remained on channel 48.[5] However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display WRC-TV's virtual channel as "4".

WRC-TV's studios were the home from 1996 to about 2002 of WHD-TV, an experimental high definition television station owned by a consortium of industry groups and stations which carried the nation's first program in the format transmitted by a television station, an episode of Meet the Press,[6] and aired on Channel 34 to provide the FCC and the National Association of Broadcasters a channel to conduct many experiments in the new format.[7][8] WHD-TV was discontinued around 2002.

The station started broadcasting its local news programs in High Definition full time on April 22, 2010. It is the only station in the U.S. capital that shoots most of its remote field video in 16:9 widescreen; other stations still shoot live field video in 4:3 and then either pillarbox or stretch this content.

On October 27, 2010, 4.2 NBC Plus went off the air and became NBC Washington Nonstop.


WRC-TV's studios are home to Meet the Press, the longest-running show in U.S. broadcast television history, which debuted on November 6, 1947 and It's Academic, which premiered in 1961 and is the longest-running game show in television history according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Sam and Friends, Jim Henson's late-night precursor to Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, got its start on WRC-TV on May 9, 1955.

Because of its ownership by the network, WRC-TV generally airs the entire NBC schedule, though NBC Nightly News is broadcast a half-hour late (at 7 p.m.) to allow another 30 minutes of local news. WRC-TV was the over-the-air home of Washington Redskins pre-season games for the 2009 season, meaning that some or all of NBC's prime-time schedule was pre-empted by game coverage.

Like other NBC-owned stations, WRC-TV's syndicated program offerings include Access Hollywood, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Nate Berkus Show, among others.


As of 2001, WRC's newscasts have been the number one rated station in the market, with the long-running anchor team of Jim Vance and Doreen Gentzler. In the May 2010 sweeps, it placed first at 5:00 a.m., 6:00 a.m., 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. in total viewers, and first at 6:00 a.m., 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. in the 25–54 demo.

On-air staff


News 4 anchors

  • Jim Vance - Weeknights @ 6pm & 11pm (1969–present)
  • Doreen Gentzler - Weeknights @ 6pm & 11pm also health reporter (1989–present)
  • Jim Handly - Weekdays @ 4pm & 5pm and Viewpoint host
  • Wendy Rieger - Weeknights @ 5pm and Going Green reporter
  • Pat Lawson Muse - Weekdays @ 4pm and Reporter's Notebook & This Week host
  • Joe Krebs - Weekday morning anchor
  • Eun Yang - Weekday morning anchor
  • Barbara Harrison - Midday anchor and Wednesday's Child host
  • Angie Goff - Weekend morning anchor
  • Aaron Gilchrist - Weekend evening anchor

News 4 reporters

  • Jackie Bensen - General assignment reporter
  • Julie Carey - General assignment reporter
  • Pat Collins - General assignment reporter
  • Liz Crenshaw - Consumer reporter
  • Steve Handelsman - General assignment reporter; national correspondent
  • Megan McGrath - General assignment reporter (daughter of WTTG's Patrick McGrath)
  • Mellisa Mollet - general assignment reporter
  • Brian Mooar - National Correspondent
  • John Schriffen - General assignment reporter
  • Danella Sealock - Traffic reporter
  • Tom Sherwood - Political reporter
  • Darcy Spencer - General assignment reporter
  • Shomari Stone - General assignment reporter
  • Tisha Thompson - investigative reporter
  • Derrick Ward - General assignment reporter
  • Jane Watrel - General assignment reporter; national correspondent
  • Tracee Wilkins - General assignment reporter


  • Doug Kammerer (AMS Certified) - Chief Meteorologist at 5, 6 and 11pm
  • Veronica Johnson (AMS) - 4pm Meteorologist and America This Week host
  • Tom Kierein (AMS) - Morning/Midday Meteorologist
  • Chuck Bell (AMS) - Weekend Meteorologist
  • Kim Martucci (NWA) - Fill-in Meteorologist

Sports reporters

  • Dan Hellie - Sports anchor and reporter during the week, Sports Final co-host and Hellie Pad host
  • Hakem Dermish - Sports reporter and producer

Notable former on-air staff


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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