When the channel 6 license in Richmond came up for bids before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), it was assumed that the license would go to either Larus and Brother Company, owner of WRVA, or Richmond Newspapers, owner of WRNL, since they were considered Virginia's leading broadcasters. However, for reasons that remain unknown, neither station submitted a bid. The only applicant was the Richmond Broadcasting Company, which was nowhere near as large as either WRVA or WRNL. Its owner, auto parts dealer Wilbur Havens, also owned WMBG (AM 1380) and WCOD (98.1 FM). FCC approval was a mere formality, and WTVR debuted on April 22, 1948, as the first television station south of Washington, D.C. (WTVR's station ID famously proclaimed it to be "The South's First Television Station" as a result). It became an NBC affiliate June 1, 1948. For many years, it used a colorized version of its original ID slide to open newscasts. Then, as now, the station operated from a converted bus garage on West Broad Street, where WMBG had been based since 1939.