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 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.
“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.