WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – After more than half a century in downtown Wilmington, WWAY will soon move to a new home.
Morris Network Inc., WWAY’s parent company, closed this week on the purchase of the former Thunder Alley building in Leland at the entrance of Magnolia Greens.
“This is an exciting time for us,” WWAY General Manager Andy Combs said. “Not many television stations get the chance to design a new space. Given all the changes in technology, media and business that have happened in just the last few years, let alone the last 50, it’ll be great to have a new space designed for our modern needs with room to grow. That’s a benefit not just for us, but for everyone who tunes in to our stations for news and entertainment.”
Major design and construction work on the new WWAY studio will start soon.
“On behalf of the Town Council of Leland, I am excited about WWAY’s decision to relocate to Leland,” Mayor Brenda Bozeman said. “We appreciate the service they provide to the community and look forward to increasing our friendships with their staff and partnering with them on future activities in the town. Our hope is that their presence in Leland is a testament to the town’s commitment to sustainable growth and it will be a catalyst for more growth in the years ahead.”
While the station may be leaving Wilmington proper, the move will have no impact on how it serves southeastern North Carolina, especially with the causeway widening that wrapped up last fall and the completion of the I-140 Wilmington Bypass, which is scheduled to be done later this year.
“We will be just minutes from our current location, so little will change in way of logistics,” Combs said. “What’s really exciting is to be part of the continued growth of Brunswick County as a whole. So many of our viewers already know what a great place it is to live and play. We look forward to working there, as well.”
WWAY has been a fixture in downtown Wilmington since it started in 1964 on the 10th floor of the Murchison Building at Front and 2nd streets. In 1969, the station moved four blocks north to its current location, which was the first property sold as part of an urban renewal project, according to George Allen, who worked for WWAY from 1964 until 2016.
WWAY started operation as southeastern North Carolina’s ABC affiliate in October 1964. In 2013, WWAY added the market’s CW affiliate and since Jan. 1, WWAY has also been the area’s home for CBS.