WTOC Celebrates 65 Years: Loyal viewers

WTOC Celebrates 65 Years: Loyal viewers

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - We have been invited into your home each morning, noon and night to give you the news and latest weather forecast. Over the years, we’ve bonded and this year we’re celebrating a milestone: 65 years in business.

WTOC’s Cutter Martin joined one Savannah resident who has watched WTOC since the beginning.

WTOC may be celebrating a 65-year anniversary, but viewer Betty Ann Talley is remembering a 65-year-long friendship.

“WTOC has always just been more friendly, and they did things for the community," Talley said.

Betty Ann came to Savannah in June 1954 - shortly after her parents opened the first Howard Johnson Hotel in Georgia on Highway 17. Back then, television and TV news were a novelty.

“The 11 o’clock news would come on. They didn’t have visual. I mean, you know, there were no pictures, no anything. It was just the logo. You sat there and stared at that and watched The News.”

She, her husband, and their children all watched WTOC.

“My kids were both on Romper Room and, you know, they watched Happy Dan. They couldn’t go...they couldn’t do things until those things were on."

Through the years, there were historic moments. It was American history through a lens, seen on WTOC.

“When they walked on the moon, we got the kids up and, you know, brought them out here. They said ‘what?' You know, ‘what are you doing?’ We said, ‘well, this is news. This is the first time this has ever happened.’ They really weren’t aware of it until several years later. What an exciting thing it was for them.”

But, with triumphs came shared losses.

“When President Kennedy was shot, my husband had just gone to work, and I had just gone out to get the mail, and a young man drove up and he said, ‘the president’s been shot,' and that’s when I came in and turned on WTOC and found out what was going on.”

Some losses hit closer to home, hurting more than others - like the passing of WTOC anchors Don Logana and Mike Manhatton.

“You’re shocked. You’re angry that it happened and the way it happened, and, there again, you feel like it’s a good friend that has passed; that someone has died and all that goes with that when your friends go. You feel like a friend has died," Talley said.

But, it’s care and loyalty that keeps friendships going, including viewers’ total trust in WTOC, and WTOC’s respect for the community that it serves.

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