DETAILED HISTORY

(Under Construction)

In 1988, while exploring a hobby in Ham Radio, Vernon Watson had learned that the amateur ham radio service also had a amateur ham TV (ATV) service. Since he already had a hobby in 8mm films production he thought amateur TV would be a more modern way to continue his past time. While researching the amateur ham TV service, he came across an article addressing low power TV. Unknowing to him, amateur TV (ATV) and low power TV (LPTV) were two very different services.

He quickly learned that Low power TV (LPTV) was a professional broadcast service similar to the well known full power TV broadcast service. Anxious to learn more about amateur TV or this "new thing" called low power TV, Vernon contacted the author of the article and quickly learned the different. He also learned that it LPTV was an affordable way to get into the professional broadcast business at reasonable costs. He continued his searched to learn all he could about low power TV.

Vernon learned that low power TV service was created in 1982, to fill a void in professional broadcasting. The first reason the federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided to establish LPTV service was to get full utilization of the TV broadcast spectrum. You see, full power televison stations on the same channel must be geographically separated several hundreds miles apart not to interfere with each other. Therefore, gaps are left in the spectrum where smaller or lower power TV stations could operate to fill in the gaps without interfering with full power stations. Second, LPTV stations were created for ninche broadcasting in urban areas addressing the need of minorities, women, or special interest groups and broadcasting in rural areas where full power stations can't service.

After must reseach and consideration and hiring consulting engineers to determine if a channel or spectrum was available in the Pensacola area, Vernon who at the time was running a part time video production business dediced to give low power TV a try. Itwas determined that channel 12 was available in this market.

Vernon hired Harry Tootle of Tulsa, OK, a so called consultant engineer to conduct an engineering study to determine if a channel was available in this area. During his research of low power TV, Vernon came across an ad that said "you can own a TV station for cost of a new car." Vernon is among the working class and did not have lcapital to invest into a television station. However, as a hard working individual, that was employment full time as an EEO Director with the federal government at the Naval Air Station, part time as an Adjunct Instructor at Pensacola Junior College, as well as being member of the United States Air Force Reserves on weekends in addtional to running his part time video business, he knew he probably could afford a televsion station if it only the cost of a new car. He wrote away and sent a check for $25.00 to get Harry Tootle's audio cassette tape and booklet on "How To Own A Televison Station For The Price Of A New Car"

The FCC licensed Vernon Watson to broadcast on channel 12 in Pensacola, Florida in June 1992.

The call sign W12CN was assigned by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

The State of Florida assigned Watson Broadcasting Of Pensacola as a d.b.a. (doing business as) and WBOP was created.

Vernon & Mary Lynn Watson become the first African Americans in Pensacola, Florida and the State of Florida to own a broadcast television station

Vernon Watson became the first General Manager of WBOP TV-12

From 1992 to 1994, WBOP TV-12 was operated out of the Watson's home, doing only 'broadcasting' 24 hours a day. This made the Watsons to become the first "home based" TV station.

Local authorities would not allow normal business transactions such as sales activities, production operations, and traditional employees in a residential neighborhood where the TV station was located, therefore very limited revenue was generated during this period.

Revenue was generated by playing prerecorded taped local TV shows and commercials that were produced outside of our TV station. Most shows were local religious programs and local community events. There were some "live" broadcasts done out of a make shift studio within the Watson's garage

The first "live" show was called "Smith & Smith On Sports". This was a live weekly show hosted by Michael Smith and Al Smith speaking on the current events in sports that week

Vernon Wells and Scott Gallowa were the first salesmen to be hired to work for WBOP TV-12

In 1994, WBOP TV-12 moved to our current location at 3101 North "R" Street and started normal business operations and sales activities.

We adopted the motto of: "Dedicated to the Community We Share"

In 1994, Wilton Daily and Raychelle Gaston-Shoemoe was hired as WBOP's first salespersons in it's new location.

Carl Suliman and Vernon Watson performed major renovation to the building during 1994 to create the broadcast studio as it exist today.

In February 1995, WBOP held an Open House to celebrate it's new location

In March 1995, WBOP became the Gulf Coast's first Warner Brothers Affiliate (The WB Network) .

In July 1995, Donald Ray Watson was named WBOP's first Station Manager

In October 1995, we changed our FCC call sign from W12CN to WBQP call letters. Contrary to popular belief, WBOP was never our official FCC sign but rather a doing business as (d.b.a.) name to resemble a four letter call sign and to gain instant recognition as an African American oriented media

The fact is that the call letters "WBOP" had been previously assigned to an African American formatted radio station in town. WBOP Radio had served Pensacola as the only "voice" to black community for more 30 years and it went off the air unexpectedly in 1988. However, WBOP Radio station was not African American owned.

In 1991,unknown to us, the FCC had reassigned the call sign WBOP to another radio station in Virginia. Since we weren't licensed to broadcast until 1992, after the WBOP call sign had been already been reassigned to the Virginia radio station we did not have any claim to WBOP as a call sign.

Since WBOP was assigned to a radio station and we were a television station, the FCC would have authorized the usage of the call sign to both stations. However, in order for us to use the WBOP call letters for the television station we had to get "special written permission" from the radio station in Virginia to use WBOP as our call letters. They wanted to sell us the usage of the call sign for $25,000

There were a lot of confusion with the identify of the "new" television station called WBOP and the "old" radio station known for many years as WBOP. Since the TV station (Watson Broadcasting Of Pensacola, WBOP) had no ownership or affiliation none whatsoever with the "old" WBOP radio station and to avoid confusion and to establish our own identify, we decided to changed our name and call letters to WBQP TV-12

During 1994 and 1995, there were a continuous struggle and fight to be added the local cable system and to have our TV schedule listed in the local newspaper.

In late 1994, we won the battle to be listed in Pensacola News Journal's newspaper TV listing

The battle to be added to the cable system continued even after many pleas from community groups and the city council. The cable company would not agree to just add us to system for free like all other broadcast stations, but finally, opted to lease us a channel at a very expense rate. Since we were classified a low power TV station and did not qualify for "must carry" under the FCC's rule like the other high power broadcast stations, we had no choice but to lease a channel to survive.

In October 1995, we were finally added to the Cox Cable system and was
assigned channel 50, which increased our viewer ship an additional
80,000 new cable subscribers households

In October 1996, WBQP TV-12 was denied the renewal of the WB network affiliation in favor of a small "high power" TV station. The WB network was assigned to WFGX in Fort Walton Beach, Florida

In March 1996, WBQP TV-12 won the Pensacola's Chamber of Commerce Minority Business of the Year Award.

October 1996, H.D. "Peanut" Crawley was named as the Station Manager

In September 1997, WBQP TV-12 jumps on the World Wide Web with it's own web page at "http://www.wbqp.com"

In 1997, we continued to grow and prosper as an organization!

In October 1997, WBQP TV-12 adapted a new motto:

"The Station That Cares"

In December 1997, WBQP TV-12 incorporated as Watson Broadcasting, Inc.

In January 1998, Gary Montgomery was promoted from Sales Manager and assigned as WBQP TV-12's new Station Manager

In February 1998, WBQP TV-12 installed electronic news gathering (ENG/EFP) equipment to enhance production by having the capability to do remote broadcasts

In March 1998, WBQP TV-12 became the first TV station in Pensacola to install a Tower Cam/Weather Cam

In April 1998, WBQP TV-12 began broadcasting 24 hours a day on the internet. Web casting will allow anyone in the world to view WBQP TV-12 broadcasts. WBQP TV-12 was the first African American owned TV station to web cast 24 hours a day.

In May 1998, WBQP TV-12 entered into a mentor program agreement with the local ABC affiliate WEAR TV-3. WEAR TV Channel 3 agreed to mentor WBQP TV-12 for one year to provide managerial and technical knowledge to help become a professional broadcaster

In June 1998, WBQP TV-12 changed it's cable channel from channel 50 to channel 57 on the Cox's cable system

In August 1998, WBQP TV-12 will install a bigger TV transmitter that is 10x times more powerful than the current transmitter.

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