News 12 NBC 26 to start airing national anthem each day on June 12

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Friday, June 7, 2019

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- News 12 and NBC 26 will be joining our sister Gray Television stations in 93 television markets across the country to broadcast a special video featuring the national anthem.

Up until television stations went to 24-hour operations in the 1980's, playing the anthem was traditionally how American television stations went off the air and returned back to the airwaves the following morning.

Gray Media Group’s Executive Chairman and CEO, Hilton Howell, announced the initiative this week at the broadcast company’s annual meeting of news directors.

News 12 NBC 26 will begin airing the anthem just before our 6 a.m. news Monday-Friday, and following our late news Monday-Sunday.

Reina Özbay, 9, of South Florida was chosen to sing the anthem. Her angelic soprano voice is classically trained, and she studies opera and musical theater. A gifted film and theatre actress with uncanny comedic timing, she made her professional stage debut at the age of seven at South Florida's Stage Door Theatre. She landed her first guest starring role at the age of nine as Abigail in "The Chosen," the number one crowdfunded film/TV project in history. When not performing, Reina enjoys tennis, swimming, bike riding and drawing.

Also, her mother told Gray Media Group a story that “her 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 because they always did the big one on the 3rd - so it’s fun that she’s singing this song.”

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