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Friday facts #13: America’s first black-owned and operated TV station

The station was the first television station in the United States owned and operated by African Americans.

image credit: vignette.wikia.nocookie.net

WGPR-TV first aired on September 29, 1975 on channel 62 in Detroit, Michigan. The station was founded by William Venoid Banks, who then was a Detroit attorney, minister and prominent member of the International Free and Accepted Modern Masons.

Initially, the station broadcasted religious shows, R&B music shows, off-network dramas, syndicated shows and older cartoons.



WGPR-TV (Where God’s Presence Radiates) was the first television station in the United States owned and operated by African Americans.

On July 25, 1995, WGPR-TV was sold to CBS. Two months later, CBS changed the television station name to WWJ-TV. The aim was to target general audience.