Three Maine TV Stations Will Start Airing the National Anthem Daily
A tradition that ended more than 30 years ago on broadcast television is returning to three Maine TV stations.
Bangor CBS affiliate WABI, its sister station The CW, and WAGM in Presque Isle will join 89 other Gray Media Group television stations across the county by playing the Star Spangled Banner weekday mornings.
Up until the late 1980s, TV stations would actually shut down late at night for a few hours before coming back on air early in the morning. Most of them would play the national anthem when they signed off and when they signed on. When infomercials became a new money maker for the business, TV stations began to broadcast 24 hours a day and aired infomercials overnight.
Here's a video of WLVI in Boston, a station available in Maine for many years on cable, signing on for the day and playing the national anthem in 1986.
Now Gray Media Group has made the decision to bring back the tradition on all of its 92 stations, including Bangor's WABI and WAGM. A version of the Star Spangled Banner performed by nine-year-old Reina Özbay, of South Florida will air weekday mornings at 4:58 a.m. on WABI and after the 7 a.m. news on The CW, beginning June 13.