A Brief History of Channel 4

Post-Newsweek Stations is the owner of WDIV-TV, or virtual channel 4, a television station affiliated with NBC. WDIV-TV is the group’s flagship station and is based in Detroit, Michigan. Hence, the news broadcast is known as channel 4 Detroit news. It’s also the home base of the group, which sees the offices of Post-Newsweek Stations located beside WDIC-TV’s studios. Together with its flagship status, all the stations in the group were brought under the ‘Local’ brand umbrella.

Prior to 1978, the channel 4 Detroit news station was known as WWJ-TV. The new name came about after the Evening News Association swapped stations with the Washington Post to get around regulations the FCC was considering at the time. Though it ultimately wasn’t approved, the new policy would have limited ownership of newspaper and television media in the same market. WWJ-TV was renamed WDIV-TV, for which the ‘D’ stood for ‘Detroit’ and the ‘IV’ signified the number ‘4’ as written in roman numerals

WDIV is noted for a number of firsts in its history of broadcasting. When it signed to WWDT in 1946, it became the first television station in Michigan. It broadcast regularly a year after demonstration programming that ran for a day in 1946. WDIV, also said to mean ‘Where Detroit Is Vital’, also bagged the first telecast of Red Wings, Detroit Tigers and Lions games. It was also the first Michigan television station to broadcast in color in 1954.

WDIV ended its analog television broadcast in the first half of 2009, converting fully to digital transmission. This marked the end of 62 years of broadcasting on channel 4. Although its digital broadcasts are transmitted on the pre-transition channel number 45, its virtual channel still reads ‘4’ thanks to the program and system information protocol (PSIP) used to transmit it to digital television receivers.