Black History: Special Delivery!!
In 1961, Dr. William V. Banks, took a lead role when the International Free and Accepted Modern Masons bought WQTI 107.5 and renamed it WGPR. He changed the format to R & B, gospel and soul music to make it more appealing to African American Detroiters. In 1975, he would do the same thing in the television industry by launching Channel 62. Bank’s purchase made WGPR the first television station ever to be wholly owned by African Americans.
The station created an opportunity for African-Americans in front of and behind the cameras. At that time not only were there no black-owned television stations, but there weren’t a lot of black people working in television. One TV-62’s signature shows was, “The Scene”; a dance show featuring African Americans. “The Scene was on air from 1975-1987”.
In 1995, WGPR-TV was sold to CBS. CBS changed the tv station name to WWJ-TV and targeted its programming for a general audience.
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