February 2, 2007
WFAA-TV/DT Becomes the First Dallas-Fort Worth Television Station to Launch Daily Local Newscasts In High Definition
DALLAS -- This morning at 5 a.m., WFAA introduced D-FW viewers to the first regularly scheduled local newscast in high definition with the broadcast of News 8 Daybreak. Effective today, north Texas viewers with digital television sets can see broadcasts of News 8 Daybreak, Good Morning Texas as well as the Noon, 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts, plus various specials and community programming in high definition on WFAA-DT 8.1. Viewers can receive 8.1 for free with an HDTV rooftop antenna, or check with their satellite or cable providers for local carriage of WFAA in high definition. All of the programs will continue to be available in standard definition to viewers with analog television sets.
"This is a memorable day and we are proud to broadcast News 8 in high definition television," said Kathy Clements, WFAA president and general manager. "With the dramatic increase in the penetration of digital television sets in the market, our goal is to meet the needs of our viewers," said Clements. "Today we took a significant leap forward by supplying local news in high definition to the north Texas market."
In 1997 WFAA created a national stir when the station introduced thousands of Texas consumers to their first glimpse of high definition television in a special theater at the State Fair of Texas. The following February, WFAA made history again as the nation's first television local station to broadcast HDTV on a VHF signal. Since then WFAA has continued to blaze trails pioneering digital programming with broadcasts of local sports shows, parades, special community events and more. Today WFAA took another important step ahead as the first station in D-FW to broadcast local news in HDTV.
"Our high definition planning has been extensive," said Clements. "WFAA equipment purchases over the past few years have all been in support of this anticipated switch to HDTV. Clements said the recent launch of the station's new broadcast studio at Victory Park in Dallas was made "knowing that we would broadcast in HDTV just a short time later."
"We have spent a lot of time working with technology companies, researching and testing equipment," Clements added. "In fact, several manufacturers incorporated design elements into their equipment based on input from our staff."
All of the station's studio cameras are capable of broadcasting both standard and high definition to accommodate any news and local programming broadcasts originating from a number of WFAA facilities. Additionally, the WFAA helicopter is outfitted with a high definition camera to be used during various news and traffic reports. There are also various high definition "tower cam" views now available -- one in downtown Dallas, and another mounted on the second floor of the W Hotel focused on the south plaza in front of the American Airlines Center. All of these high definition cameras are designed to give WFAA viewers the clearest possible view of the landscape available.
Clements noted that several years ago ABC began providing the majority of its prime- time programming in high definition, and last year added Good Morning America. "Now viewers will be able to watch long blocks of network as well as local programs in HD on WFAA: News 8 Daybreak, followed by ABC's Good Morning America and WFAA's homegrown Good Morning Texas, all back-to-back in high definition," she said.
For viewers with questions about high-definition television they should check the station's web site and a special section on high definition television available at WFAA.com/HDTV.
WFAA-TV is a subsidiary of Belo Corp., one of the nation's largest media companies with a diversified group of market-leading television, newspaper, cable and interactive media assets. A Fortune 1000 company with 7,400 employees and more than $1.5 billion in annual revenues, Belo operates in some of America's most dynamic markets in Texas, the Northwest, the Southwest, the Mid-Atlantic and Rhode Island. Belo owns 19 television stations, six of which are in the 15 largest U.S. broadcast markets. The Company also owns or operates seven cable news channels and manages one television station through a local marketing agreement. Belo's daily newspapers are The Dallas Morning News, The Providence Journal, The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) and the Denton Record-Chronicle (Denton, TX). The Company also publishes specialty publications targeting young adults, and the fast-growing Hispanic market, including Quick and al dia in Dallas/Fort Worth, and El D and La Prensa in Riverside. Belo operates more than 30 Web sites associated with its operating companies. Additional information is available at www.belo.com. For more information on WFAA contact Dave Muscari, vice president/product development at 214-977-6490.