17 Feb WDCW-TV Black History Month Special “North Star To Freedom” To Air Sunday Feb. 26
Local Special Ties In the Resources of WGN America Series “Underground”
January 17, 2017 – For the eighth consecutive year, WDCW-TV, Tribune Broadcasting’s Washington, DC television station, leads their market in its coverage commemorating Black History Month. Over the past decade, the station has produced a new half-hour documentary each year and packages them under the banner “Living Black History.”
The station’s 2017 special, “North Star To Freedom,” which airs on DCW50 Sunday, Feb. 26, focuses on the perilous journey of freed slaves headed northward on the Underground Railroad; specifically in the mid-Atlantic, Philadelphia and Cleveland areas. The DCW50 documentary begins with an overview of how the characters and situations featured in WGN America’s hit series “Underground” reflect new historical information that has been uncovered in recent years. “North Star” includes interviews with several of the “Underground” cast members who were in DC last fall for the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The Smithsonian had held a special screening of “Underground” during the opening weekend of the new museum.
Executive Producer John Legend is also featured in the WDCW documentary. “’Underground’ speaks the values we prize – courage, freedom, pride, boldness, audacity and the willingness to speak out against oppression,” said Legend.
“Our connection with the production team of ‘Underground’ proved to be an invaluable source of information and content,” said Vince Giannini, Senior Vice President & General Manager of WDCW-TV (Washington, DC) and WPHL-TV (Philadelphia). “Their program is based on true situations and events. The information, advice and help we received from the WGN America producers provided a solid background for the rest of our program as we covered Underground Railroad sights in Metro DC, Philadelphia and Cleveland.”
WDCW-TV’s 2017 “North Star To Freedom” and several other of its Black History documentaries will also be broadcast on Tribune stations: WGN/Chicago, WPHL/Philadelphia, WSFL/Miami, WGNO/New Orleans and WHNT/Huntsville during the month of February. The DCW50 specials are locally produced, however have been shot in locales all across the United States. DCW50’s Black History Month documentaries have won regional Emmy Awards; two “Outstanding Documentary” awards from the National Association of Black Journalists; and a first place honor from the Alliance for Women in Media “Gracie” Award.
The second season of WGN America’s “Underground” will premiere Wednesday, March 8th at 10PM ET.
“We appreciate the enthusiasm DCW50 brought to their ‘North Star To Freedom’ project and we gladly offered whatever resources we had to assist them in building an informative and accurate program. The story of the Underground Railroad will always remain an extraordinary chapter in American history and one of great human endeavor, “ said Brian Dollenmayer, EVP Marketing and Promotion at WGN America. “We are particularly pleased that several other Tribune stations will help share the Underground Railroad story by broadcasting this special shortly before the premiere of our second season premiere in March.”