Jan. 25, 1953: Bangor-based WABI-TV begins broadcasting as Maine’s first television station, on VHF channel 5. Its first owner is Community Broadcasting Service, which was founded in 1949 by former Gov. Horace Hildreth, owner of WABI radio station, from which the TV station got its call letters.

Horace A. Hildreth, shown here in 1979, was Maine’s governor from 1945 to 1949. Press Herald file photo

Originally a multi-network affiliate, WABI-TV became a full-time CBS affiliate in 1959. The TV station added digital channels WABI-DT2 and WABI-DT3 in 2007 and 20015, respectively. The station has been owned by Gray Television since 2014.

WABI is the local broadcaster of Maine’s only local late-night talk show, “The Nite Show with Danny Cashman.”

Joseph Owen is a retired copy desk chief of the Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

Presented by:

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.