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WMAR-TV, "Virtual Channel" 2 ("UHF Digital Channel" 38), is an American Broadcasting Company (ABC) -affiliated television station located in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Its landmark three-pronged "candelabra" transmitter and broadcast tower is located on "Television Hill" to the west of the Woodberry and Hampden neighborhoods of northwest Baltimore City, overlooking the upper Jones Falls Valley. Abell Company, publisher of the then "The Sunpapers", twice daily newspapers of Baltimore, along with the original radio station WMAR-FM (97.9 MHz, frequency now occupied by WIYY-FM). Other nearby communities are Stoneleigh and Anneslie. WMAR-TV's studios and offices are located on York Road (Maryland Route 45) just south of suburban Baltimore County and its county seat and unincorporated community of Towson (though with a Baltimore City "zip code" mailing address), north of the Baltimore City-Baltimore County border.
With the 1950s and early 1960s redevelopment of downtown with Charles Center and the later razing of the Sun Building to be replaced by the Morris A.
Mechanic Theatre and the relocation of the newspaper's offices and printing plant to 501 North Calvert Street, facilities for the station were temporarily located there.
Channel 2 was originally an Independent station, largely because at the time it was not clear whether Baltimore would be part of the Washington, D. market (Baltimore is 45 minutes northeast of Washington, and most of the Washington stations decently cover the Baltimore area for major news stories and advertising markets).
In 1948, however, the Federal Communications Commission made Baltimore a separate media market.
On March 29, 1948, WMAR-TV was announced as the Columbia Broadcasting System's third affiliate, after WCBS-TV in New York City and WCAU-TV in Philadelphia.
One of Channel 2's early local personalities was Jim Mc Kay, who later moved over to CBS briefly before achieving greater fame on ABC as host of "Wide World of Sports".Another was Helen Delich Bentley, a maritime editor for the Baltimore Sun who hosted The Port That Built A City, a weekly review presenting maritime, shipping and transportation-related news.(Bentley later ran several times and was finally elected as the U. Representative from Maryland, serving several terms. By the 2010s, the Port of Baltimore was renamed symbolically for her.) As a CBS affiliate, the station preempted an hour of the network's weekday morning daytime schedule, as well as CBS's late night programming.However, this was not a problem for Baltimore area viewers, as most of the area got a decent signal from WTOP-TV in Washington (now WUSA).For many years, the station was also co-owned with WBOC-TV in Salisbury.In 1959, WMAR-TV teamed up with WBAL-TV and WJZ-TV to build the world's first three-antenna candelabra tower.