In 1973, The Federal Communications Commission granted the International Free and Accepted Modern Masons, led by Dr. William V. Banks (1903-1985), a permit to operate UHF television Channel 62 in Detroit. WGPR-TV debuted a few seconds before noon on September 29 1975, becoming the first African-American owned and operated television in the continental United States. The station provided job training and employment opportunities for African-Americans in television production, broadcast journalism and sales. Programming, most of which was locally produced, was crafted for an urban black audience. Popular shows included The Scene, Big City News and Gospel Time. In 1979, WGPR-TV began providing programs such as The Arab Voice in Detroit, for the city's minority ethnic communities.