A golden anniversary: 50 years of WCIV-TV

By Dean

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - Oct. 21, 2012 is a special anniversary for ABC News 4.

Fifty years ago on this day, WCIV-TV went on the air for the first time. Employees may have come and gone, but there are pictures to remind us and there are some originals who shared their stories of just how it all came about for WCIV.

"It was just a thrill to start a TV station," said Steve Thomas.

Thomas was one of three men who came from Savannah, Ga., to lay the groundwork of what would eventually become five decades of public service.

"They poured the concrete for the building on the marsh, put the tower up and started a TV station," said Thomas.

It was from the edge of Mt. Pleasant, just down the road from Sullivan's Island where Channel 4 News came to life. It is also where Thomas created a weather role for the ages.

"We did a lot of unique things at that time. I was the character at the time called Capt. Scotty and the weather segment had a weather bird called Percy Pelican," said Thomas of the famous stuffed bird who would deliver the forecast in his bill.

In 1969, Cheryl Hamilton-Harleston joined Channel 4 and broke barriers along the way.

"Being an anchor was{}very special. There had been no African-American doing that kind of work. I was the morning and noon anchor," said Hamilton-Harleston.

Hamilton-Harleston was the first African-American anchor on Channel 4.

"There were those who felt I sat to close to the white anchor while doing the Today Show. There were complaints that the stories I was doing were not of this place because I was from somewhere else," said Hamilton-Harleston.

And 50 years later, both Thomas and Hamilton-Harleston returned to Channel 4 to see the{} part they played in what is now ABC News 4.

"Fifty years to me means that the community still appreciates Channel 4 and what it provides. Good solid news and good solid programming. I am proud to be a part of that as it grew from the early days to what it is today," said Hamilton-Harleston.

"I am proud that I'm old enough to be able to walk through a building after 52 years. That means a lot to me that I can say I helped begin that station and start that station and yet that station is still here and so am I," said Thomas.