While Channel 57 was originally licensed in 1981 under the call letters WWSG-TV. It was owned by William S. Gross and debuted as a hybrid, airing Financial News Network programming during the day and subscription (pay TV) at night. It wasn't until the station was re-launched as WGBS-TV (Grant Broadcasting), Philly 57 on October 22, 1985 that the station became one of the market's most innovative local broadcasters.
Kim Martin who did mid-days for WPEN and engineered the 950 Club with Joe Grady and Ed Hurst, did most of the booth announcing.
Later, the license would be transferred to Combined Broadcasting along with other Grant owned and operated stations.
The station took on its current call letters, WPSG-TV, on December 11, 1995 as a UPN network station. In September, 2006, it became part of the CW network, rebranding itself as The CW Philly 57.
The early history of the Channel 57 allocation saw it channel being assigned to the Lehigh Valley. However, later that frequency was reassigned to the Philadelphia market.
Throughout its history, the station has been totally Philly sign on to sign off. The CW Philly has a rich history of local sports broadcasting, including being the local broadcaster of the Philadelphia Phillies 2008 World Series championship team and the broadcast partner for the Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers for many years. With deep roots in the community, Philly 57 has brought its viewers local events such as the St. Patrick's Day Parade, showcased local talent with programs like Gimme The Mike; helped launch reality stars like America's Next Top Model winner, Teyona, who was discovered at a CW Philly casting call, and, with its sister station CBS 3, helped raise millions of dollars for local charities like Alex's Lemonade Stand and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
"In broadcasting years, The CW Philly is still in a growth spurt," says President and General Manager Jon Hitchcock. "While celebrating this milestone, we're looking forward to an even more exciting future that will continue to serve our viewers and local communities throughout the Delaware Valley."
In 2010, the station offered viewers both an Emmy Award-winning morning (7 to 9 am) and prime time (10 to 10:30 pm) newscast, one of the most talked about prime time line-ups on television (Gossip Girls, America's Next Top Model) and an Emmy Award-winning public service program, Speak Up. CBS 3 (KYW-TV) and The CW Philly (WPSG-TV) are part of CBS Television Stations, a division of CBS Corporation.
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Graphic originally donated by Broadcast Pioneers member Bill Bransome
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