In 2004, WLBZ 2 celebrated its 50th anniversary, broadcasting from the same building on Mount Hope Avenue in Bangor as the station has for the past five decades. Under the ownership of Murray Carpenter, the station signed on the air September 12, 1954 as WTWO. Since the station was not affiliated with a network, most programs were locally produced and live.
With so many hours of airtime to fill, one man got plenty of face time and Eddie Driscoll had many faces to go around. Driscoll's array of quirky characters and offbeat skits made him a household name. The station also brought the Bangor area its first live children's program 'Aunt Edna's Lollypop Shop.' Eddie retired in 1986 and was inducted in the Maine Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Throughout his retiremement, he fought Alzheimer's Disease --- a battle he eventually lost in September 2006.
Early in the summer of 1958, William Rines took over WTWO, renaming it WLBZ. Soon after, the station joined the networks of NBC. As the station grew, local news became a priority, as did the commitment to community. Over the years, WLBZ initiated numerous awards like the Jefferson Awards and the 2 Those Who Care Awards, which recognize and show appreciation for volunteerism and community service. Advances in technology have greatly enhanced the television viewing experience. We have gone from live to film, from film to video, black and white to color, from the studio to the scene, to satellite signals which bring viewers the action live as it is happening in eastern Maine and around the world.
In 1998, the Rines-Thompson family sold WLBZ 2 and sister station WCSH 6 to Gannett Co., Inc., a leading international news and information company that publishes 102 daily newspapers in the United States including USA TODAY, operates 21 television stations and is an Internet website leader. In the mid-90's, WLBZ 2 and NEWS CENTER have expanded our program delivery to include WLBZ2.com. In 2002, WLBZ-DT signed on the air, bringing high definition television to Eastern and Central Maine. In late 2005, on channel 2.2, WLBZ 2 began offering NEWS CENTER Weather Plus, the first locally originated 24/7 weather channel in Maine. WLBZ 2 is proud and honored to be the Bangor television station you watch.
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