Alabama Television Stations Bringing Back National Anthem to End the Day

Three television station in Alabama are bringing back an old tradition of ending their broadcast day by playing the National Anthem.

Western Journal reported that when my grandfather was alive, he used to tell me that “back in his day,” the three televisions stations he had access to would play the national anthem to mark the end of that day’s broadcasts. As a patriotic American, I always thought that would be neat to see.

Then along came the 1980s, when television networks began the switch to a 24-hour format, seemingly leaving no time for non-revenue generating programming.

However, much to my patriotic delight, Gray, a company that owns television stations in 93 markets across America, announced this week that it’ll be resurrecting the tradition of playing the national anthem.

According to Alabama Real-Time News, June 18 will mark the first day Gray Television stations all over the country will air “The Star-Spangled Banner” to mark the end of broadcasting for the day.

Back in the day, stations did not broadcast for 24-hours. This is how they would sign off for the day.

Watch the video:


Three Alabama television stations are resurrecting the tradition of ending the broadcast day with renditions of the national anthem.

WBRC Fox 6 News in Birmingham, WAFF 48 in Huntsville, WTVY-TV in Dothan and WSFA 12 in Montgomery are joining with other Gray Television stations across the nation to add “The Star-Spangled Banner” to their lineups.

Starting June 18, WBRC Fox6 will air the anthem shortly before 4 a.m. each day, as will WSFA. WAFF 48 will air the anthem on Mondays after the 10 p.m. newscast; after the noon newscast on Tuesdays and Thursdays; immediately after the 4:30 a.m. newscast on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; and before the start of the 5 a.m. newscast on Saturdays and Sundays.

WTVY will air a special edition of the Star Spangled Banner each morning at 5 a.m. It will also show it in other newscasts on certain days, such as July 4.

“Alabamians are proud of this country, and of the men and women who serve or have served for us,” WBRC Vice President and General Manager, Collin R. Gaston said in a statement. “We live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, and it’s important to honor those who sacrificed so much to allow WBRC FOX6 News these liberties. That’s why I am proud WBRC will be joining other stations in the Gray Television family and broadcast the national anthem each and every day.”

Until television stations switched to 24-hour operations in the 1980s, playing the anthem was traditionally how American stations went of the air and returned the following morning, WBRC noted.

The stations are among 93 Gray markets across the country announcing the national anthem change.