BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - WAFB is proud to announce the station will begin airing the national anthem each weekday at the end of the station’s noon newscast.
“We are thrilled to be taking part in this patriotic effort,” said WAFB Vice President and General Manager Ronna Corrente. “This is a way to show our appreciation to the people who defend our freedom and to be thankful that we call America home.”
WAFB, which is owned by Gray Television, will join Gray stations in 93 markets across the country in regularly airing The Star-Spangled Banner. Gray Media Group’s Executive Chairman and CEO Hilton Howell announced the initiative in early June in New Orleans during the broadcast company’s annual meeting of news directors. The highly-produced video stations will air features beautiful scenes from around the country as a 9 year old Florida girl sings the anthem. Howell says more versions featuring other singers will be produced going forward. The original version that will debut on WAFB Friday, June 14 features singer, Reina Özbay. She has been inspiring crowds with her performances since she was 4 years old. Her angelic soprano voice is classically trained, and she studies opera and musical theater.
Reina’s mother says her daughter’s birthday is July 3 and “the evening she was born there was a massive fireworks display outside of the hospital window at the Milwaukee lakefront."