When did UNC-TV go 24/7?
It’s hard to believe there was a time when television stations did not broadcast 24 hours a day. But for decades, TV stations would sign off overnight, often with a patriotic flair and some pageantry. UNC-TV is no exception, as the network (in the days before digital, we only broadcast the one signal, albeit statewide on many transmitters and translators) signed off at midnight. That time frame was extended until about 2am for a short while and then the full 24/7 experience that you’ve come to know and love.
But when did it happen?
If this sounds like a tough question, I assure you it is. I couldn’t recall the date or even the year. My supervisor didn’t remember. I even asked an engineer who has been with the organization even longer than I have (which is forever, it seems) and he didn’t know either. Eventually, a co-worker rummaged through some old Centerpiece magazines and found the answer.
So when did UNC-TV extend its broadcast schedule to 24 hours day? If you know the year, that’s impressive – but if you can remember the month as well then you have a far better memory than anyone who works here.
The answer? July of 2000. In fact, here is a pic of the rather unceremonious announcement in that month’s Centerpiece…