1949 -- The first night of television in West Michigan occurs onAugust 15. WLAV-TV, the predecessor of WOOD TV8, broadcasts onChannel 7 from the Grand Rapids National Bank Building (now McKayTower). The station's owner is Leonard Versluis.
1951 -- Grandwood Broadcasting (owner of WOOD radio)purchases WLAV-TV and changes the call letters to WOOD-TV. WillieWood debuts. The cartoon woodpecker is the station's visualhallmark.
1953 -- The station switches from Channel 7 to Channel 8 onDecember 8, and increases its power from 28,000 to 100,000 watts.WOOD-TV is the first station in West Michigan to broadcast incolor.
1954 -- On New Year's Day, WOOD-TV is one of 21 stations inthe country to carry the Tournament of Roses parade in color.WOOD-TV becomes Michigan's most powerful station with 316,000watts.
1955 -- WOOD-TV, along with WOOD radio, moves to its currentbuilding at 120 College S.E.
1957 -- WOOD-TV is purchased by Time, Inc.
1964 -- Warren Reynolds joined WOOD-TV.
1972 -- WOOD-TV changes its call letters to WOTV when Time,Inc. sells WOOD radio.
1974 -- Suzanne Geha first comes to WOTV.
1975 -- WOTV is the first station in West Michigan to ownelectronic news gathering equipment.
1980 -- WOTV is the first station in West Michigan to operatelive news-gathering equipment and broadcast news from outside thestudio.
1983 -- LIN Broadcasting Corp. purchases WOTV from Time, Inc.
1983 -- Chopper 8 becomes West Michigan's first newshelicopter.
1984 -- News 8 Today premieres as the area's first earlymorning newscast. It airs weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.
1992 -- On January 1, WOTV reclaims its old call letters andonce again becomes WOOD. WUHQ (channel 41), because of its localmarketing agreement with WOOD becomes WOTV.
1995 -- News 8 expands early morning news to a two-hourformat, weekday mornings from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. Also, theweekday noon newscast and weekend 6:00 p.m. newscast expand toone-hour formats. This gives WOOD TV8 more local news than anystation in the market.
1996 -- In November, www.woodtv.com premieres onthe Internet.
1997 -- 24 Hour News 8 receives eight awards for excellencefrom the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, including Station ofthe Year. The station also receives six Associated Press Awards,the School Bell Award from the Michigan Education Association andthe Gracie Allen Award from the American Women in Radio andTelevision.
1999 -- WOOD TV8 celebrates 50 years of broadcast excellence andis the first station in West Michigan to broadcast in HDTV.
2002 -- In May, the WAP site live8.com was launched,bringing local news and weather to cell phones across WestMichigan.
2009 -- June 12, WOOD TV8 ended analog transmission for theswitch to Digital Television (DTV.)
The Firsts of WOOD TV8
First with live, local programs and news.
First to bring network television to West Michigan.
First to provide West Michigan with color television.
First in West Michigan to broadcast its audio in stereo.
First to close-caption local newscasts.
First to bring 24-hour news coverage to West Michigan.
First to offer West Michigan viewers a locally produced hour anda half of news five days a week.
First to have a fully operating computerized newsroom.
First in West Michigan to use satellite news gatheringbroadcasts.
First in West Michigan to use electronic news gathering and liveremote news broadcasts.
First in West Michigan to broadcast in HDTV.
Global civil rights icon Nelson Mandela, whose legacy is ending South African apartheid, has died.
The case of a man accused of the involuntary manslaughter of three children who died in a February apartment fire is ready to go to a jury.
A Grand Rapids man has been arrested in connection to the case of a Jenison teen who was missing.