Channel 7 Philadelphia, W07CB, was founded in 1992 as Philadelphia's first VHF television station in 44 years. It was the first Philadelphia-licensed VHF since May 1948. Bearing the callsign W07CB, it broadcast with significantly lower power than standard television stations did.
By June 1994, the station's parent company, Morton Broadcasting, named George Brusstar, operator of tiny, yet profitable cable television operations in the Philadelphia suburbs, as its Director of Programming. All of the station's programming was abruptly scrapped along with the station's name ("T-V Heaven, Channel 7"). New call letters were announced, and the station's new logo became "The Bell". Brusstar later claimed the model for the new image was Philadelphia's Liberty Bell. Gone were the old disco shows, classic westerns, and vintage sitcoms. The new format was a 24-hour "two-way talk" program featuring live TV hosts sitting at a desk with telephones. Viewers could call in live and sound off on issues of the day with hosts. Brusstar hired former Philadelphia radio performer Dennis Marcucci and Modesto, California television personality Al Mario to host shows on the new lineup. In addition, Brusstar himself was a featured host, and was joined by 17-year-old Port Richmond resident Mike Phillips, who later went on to host a show on WNJC. The station achieved notoriety by featuring the first Philadelphia on-air personality to ever announce his homosexuality live on-air, in 1995. Advertising revenue picked up, and the A.C. Nielsen Company (which rates television audience size) reported viewership increased sixfold.
A contractual dispute in late 1994 resulted in Brusstar's sudden departure, and all local programming ceased. He was replaced by Mario, who hired local college students, activists, and radio personalities in an attempt to cement a stable evening line-up. Programs included music ("Dr. Soul's Radio on TV"), comedy ("A Sermon from the Reverend Spoonicci"), along with current events commentaries from Mario, homelessness activist Leona Smith, and Libertarian Sean McBride. From 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. the following morning, programming consisted of live TV psychics from a low-power New York City station brought in via satellite. By June of 1995, infighting between owners again forced all programming off the air.
In 1996, with almost no advertisers left, the company was dissolved and the FCC license for Channel 7 was sold to Shooting Star Productions. Executive Producer, Jerry Leazer created an innovative 24 / 7 music video programming format concentrating on the historical music roots of The Sounds Of Philadelphia. The programming format was an immediate success and Morton Broadcasting spent over a year trying to break the contract between Morton Broadcasting and Shooting Star Productions so they could sell it for a higher price now that Jerry Leazer had dramatically increased the value. Shooting Star Productions, which had been represented by Reed Smith Shaw and Mc Clay in Philadelphia and Richard Glanton, ultimately sold their interest to Richard Glanton to avoid any further litigation. By the end of the 1990s, Channel 7 operated at an even lower power than it originally did, and programmed modern rap music videos. It could only be seen 1.5 miles (1 km) from its Philadelphia transmitter, as opposed to a 14-mile radius just a few years before. This was to protect WABC-TV in New York, about 70 miles (112 km) away.