WRTV celebrates 75 years of sharing your stories

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Posted at 4:45 AM, May 30, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — WRTV signed on as Indiana’s first TV station on this day 75 years ago.

The station’s call letters were WFBM, which were the same as the station’s radio station call letters. The first program broadcast on television was “The Crucible of Speed” which was then followed by a live broadcast of the Indianapolis 500.

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WFBM at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The station’s call letters were changed from WFBM to WRTV in 1972.

WRTV was affiliated with each of the “Big Three” networks during its 75-year history. First with CBS, then NBC in 1956, and finally ABC in 1979.

The station’s mission of covering your stories hasn’t changed much in the past seven decades, but the way our journalists gather news is quite different. The typewriters were replaced by computers and film gave way to tape and ultimately digital video.

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WRTV was the first television station in Indiana to use portable live remote equipment beginning in 1975.

WRTV was the first station to utilize portable live remote equipment in 1975 with the "Insta-Cam."

WRTV gave viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the station’s news operation 45 years ago with a special named “Inside The News.”

1979: WRTV journalists take viewers 'Inside the News'

Many talented journalists have called WRTV home, including Howard Caldwell, Barbara Boyd, Clyde Lee, Diane Willis, Tom Carnegie, Tom Alvarez, and Jim Gerard.