||It has been suggested that this article be merged into WRDC. (Discuss) Proposed since June 2017.|
WNAO-TV was a North Carolina television station that was on the air from 1953 to 1957.
In July 1952, Sir Walter Television Co. applied for WETV, a TV station to serve the Raleigh-Durham TV market. The company considered Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Roanoke, Virginia and even Durham, but selected Raleigh due to the number of colleges in the area, qualified personalities, and Reynolds Coliseum, as well as the people's strong desire for a TV station. In October, the Federal Communications Commission approved the request. On February 13, 1953, Sir Walter completed the purchase of WNAO radio (850 AM, now WPTK; and 96.1 FM, now WBBB) from the owners of The News & Observer.
The expected sign-on date was April 27, but the new station experienced numerous delays in getting transmitter equipment.
On July 12, 1953 at 5:25 p.m., WNAO-TV began broadcasting on channel 28 as the Triangle's first television station (fourteen months before WTVD debuted) and the state's first-ever UHF station. WNAO was a CBS affiliate, and had secondary affiliations with ABC, NBC, and the DuMont network. However, television manufacturers were not required to include UHF tuning capability on their sets at the time. Until the FCC required all-channel tuning in 1964, UHF stations were unviewable without a converter. Even with one, the picture was barely viewable.
With WRAL-TV (channel 5) signing on in late 1956 with an NBC affiliation, WNAO-TV was dealt another blow. The station had struggled for viewership for much of its brief existence, and the presence of a new station simply made the situation worse. Channel 28 shut down at the end of 1957.