Gray TV Brings Back Daily National Anthem

ALTANTA—Gray Television is reclaiming a TV tradition dating back to the days when television stations signed off air in the wee hours of the morning by playing the National Anthem against a montage of landscapes, skylines, national landmarks, ordinary people, waving flags and other patriotic imagery (as seen here).

Valley News Live (KVLY-TV, the Gray-owned NBC affiliate serving Fargo, N.D.,) is reporting that Gray Media Group Executive Chairman and CEO Hilton Howell announced the decision to begin airing the anthem daily in 94 local markets around the country during last week’s annual meeting of Gray Television news directors.

The tradition of airing the anthem at the close and at the beginning of each broadcast day gradually faded away as television stations launched 24-hour operations in the 1980s and ‘90s.

An article by the station on its website quotes Valley News Live GM/News Director Ike Walker as saying: “We love this country and being able to work with our sister stations across the United States to bring this tradition back to the local airwaves is something we are extremely proud of.”

This week the station began airing a rendition of the National Anthem every morning during its Valley News Live. Nine-year-old Reina Ozbay, a classically trained soprano from South Florida, performs the anthem.

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.