, channel 2, is an owned-and-operated
station of the CBS Television Network
, located in Los Angeles, California
. KCBS-TV shares its offices and studio facilities with sister station KCAL-TV
(channel 9) inside CBS Studio Center
in the Studio City
section of Los Angeles, and its transmitter is located atop Mount Wilson
In the few areas of the western United States where viewers cannot receive CBS programs over-the-air, KCBS-TV is available on satellite to subscribers of Dish Network and DirecTV. It is also available in the Philippines because CBS established a powerful satellite broadcaster in Makati City that could broadcast a simulcast of KCBS across the Philippines (via cable) with a 10 hour tape delay to make sure TV programming is shown appropriately at the Philippine Time Zone.
KCBS-TV is one of the oldest television stations in the world. It was created by Don Lee Broadcasting, which owned a chain of radio stations on the Pacific Coast
, and was first licensed by the Federal Radio Commission
, forerunner of the Federal Communications Commission
as experimental television station W6XAO
in June 1931. On December 23
it went on the air, and by March 1933 was broadcasting one hour daily except Sundays. The station used a mechanical camera which broadcast only film footage in an 80-line image, but demonstrated all-electronic receivers as early as 1932. It went off the air in 1935, and then reappeared using an improved mechanical camera producing a 300-line image for a month-long demonstration in June 1936. By August 1937, W6XAO had programming on the air six days per week. Live programming started in April 1938.
By 1939, with the image improved to 441 lines, an optimistic estimate of the station's viewership was 1,500 people in a few hundred homes. Many of the receiver sets were built by television hobbyists, though commercially made sets were available in Los Angeles. The station's six-day weekly schedule consisted of live talent four nights, and film two nights. During World War II, programming was reduced to three hours, every other Monday. The station's frequency was switched from Channel 1 to Channel 2 in 1945 when the FCC decided to reserve Channel 1 for low-wattage community television stations.
The station was granted a commercial license (the second in California, behind KTLA-TV
) as KTSL
on May 6
, using the initials of T
homas S. L
ee. The station became affiliated with the DuMont Television Network
later that year.
On January 1, 1951, CBS gave up its 49 percent stake in KTSL's competitor KTTV and purchased KTSL. CBS programming moved to KTSL. In November 1951, KTSL changed its call letters to KNXT, to coincide with CBS' Los Angeles radio outlet, KNX-AM 1070. (KNX's call sign meaning: K News EXpress Television after the now-defunct afternoon daily newspaper.)
In 1960, KNXT created the nation's first one-hour local newscast, The Big News, which featured Jerry Dunphy, one of Southern California's most beloved news icons, along with legendary weatherman Bill Keene and sportscaster Gil Stratton. Also featured were Special Assignment reporter Maury Green and "Human Predicament" essayist Ralph Story. This helped make KNXT the number-one news station in Los Angeles. At times, a quarter of Los Angeles televisions were tuned into The Big News, the highest ratings ever for a television newscast in the area. The station eventually added such reporters as Howard Gingold and Saul Halpert, among others, and added news bureaus in Sacramento, San Francisco and Orange County, each with full-time correspondents and camera crews. Eventually, KNXT expanded to two-and-a-half hours of live local news, as well as a late-night newscast. However, in the mid 1970s, rival KABC-TV began gaining ratings at KNXT's expense. In 1975, KNXT fired Dunphy (who was quickly hired by KABC) and adopted a format similar to KABC-TV's Eyewitness News with its "happy talk" between anchors. However, the change went nowhere. Just as most of its fellow CBS O&Os were dominating their cities' ratings, KNXT rapidly fell into last place.
On April 2, 1984, at noon, KNXT changed its call letters to the present KCBS-TV. In 1997, it adopted the "CBS2" moniker for its on-air image, following the lead of its Chicago and New York sisters. In 2002, KCBS-TV became a sister station to KCAL-TV after the latter was purchased by CBS Corporation.
For a time during the 1980s and 1990s, KNXT/KCBS-TV has several locally produced programs such as "2 on the Town," a local show similar to Evening Magazine and KABC-TV's Eye on L.A., and Kid Quiz, a Saturday Morning Children's Game show hosted by longtime weathercaster Maclovio Perez (now at WOAI-TV). For a time in the mid-2000s, Its sister station KCAL-TV did a show called "9 on the Town."
For most of the time from 1975 to 2006, KNXT/KCBS-TV was not a factor in the Los Angeles television ratings. The exceptions were a brief surge to first place in the early 1980s and another in the mid-1990s when Bill Applegate was General Manager.
During the period, Channel 2 had frequently changed formats to styles that often became unsuccessful and even controversial. In September 1986, Channel 2 implemented a news-wheel format with each half-hour of news devoted to certain topics and themes. For example, there was Entertainment and Lifestyle news early-on and harder news later on. This format was heavily panned by critics and audiences alike and cancelled after only a month.
The late '80s and early '90s brough in the Action News format, which featured a tabloid-type newscast; the style grated on the news staff, which circulated a memo that resulted in the eventual firing of news director John Lippmann. Lippmann was heavily criticized by many, and reportedly had many confrontations with news staff, notably a shoving match between him and anchor Michael Tuck. The station's ratings quickly declined.
CBS management, highly embarrassed at KCBS' subpar performance, responded by bringing in Bill Applegate as general manager. Applegate had previously been general manager at WBBM-TV, and ironically been a reporter there in the early 1970s. While Applegate had been criticized for making WBBM's newscasts flashier than they had previously been, he set about toning down KCBS's newscasts. The station's ratings improved, but Applegate was eventually a casualty of CBS' merger with the Westinghouse corporation in 1996; he'd bickered with Westinghouse over syndicated programming not long after he'd arrived. Westinghouse executives never forgot this; Applegate was one of the first executives to be let go. Channel 2's momentum ground to a halt, and it soon dropped into last place.
KCBS began making another attempt to get out of the ratings basement at the start of the 21st century. In 2000, former KNBC Today in LA anchor Kent Shocknek joined KCBS to become its morning co-anchor. Then in 2001 the station hired Harold Greene, longtime anchor at KABC, as its 5 and 11 p.m. anchor. A year later, he was joined by his former partner at KABC, Laura Diaz. In 2004, Paul Magers, longtime anchor at KARE-TV in the Twin Cities, replaced Greene on the 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. news, bumping Greene to the 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts. The 4 p.m. newscast move to KCAL-TV with the arrival of Dr. Phil on KCBS. At the beginning of 2005, longtime KABC weatherman Johnny Mountain moved to KCBS, surprising many since it appeared that he was going to retire.
At first, it seemed that none of these changes brought KCBS any closer to becoming a factor in the Los Angeles news race. However, in April 2006, KCBS grabbed the #2 spot at 5 PM from KABC due to a strong lead-in from Dr. Phil. More importantly, KCBS shot past both KABC and KNBC to take first place at 11 p.m. for the first time in 30 years.
On April 21, 2007, KCBS and KCAL-TV moved from historic CBS Columbia Square in Hollywood to an all-digital facility at the CBS Studio Center in Studio City. The move marks many changes at KCBS and KCAL-TV. Several news personalities have departed, including David Jackson, a respected news anchor who returned to the duopoly after fronting KCAL-TV's Prime 9 News in the early 90's, Kerry Kilbride, reporter Jay Jackson, Paul Dandridge, Dilva Henry, Linda Alvarez, sports anchor Alan Massengale, and Dave Clark, who left for KTVU. Both stations began broadcasting all their newscasts, sports shows, and public affairs programming in High Definition, becoming the third and fourth station in Los Angeles to do so; the other being KABC-TV in February 2006, and KTLA in January 2007. In addition, KCBS and KCAL-TV now operate in a completely tapeless newsroom. This newsroom is named in honor of Jerry Dunphy, who previously worked at both stations in the past.
With the move, KTLA and KCET are the only stations (either in radio or television) in Los Angeles to broadcast from Hollywood. Both stations, located on Sunset Boulevard do not intend to ever leave their respective locations, or Hollywood for that matter.
On April 1, 2008, CBS's owned-and-operated television stations division ordered widespread budget cuts and staff layoffs from its stations, among the largest budget cuts in television history. CBS O&O's across the country have laid off numerous staff members with KCBS and KCAL-TV no exception. As a result of the budget cuts, roughly 10-15 staffers were released by duopoly. The 6pm anchor team, Harold Greene and Ann Martin, have decided to retire from television news after many years in the business. Greene and Martin (who both also anchor KCAL-TV's 4 p.m. newscast) are slated to have their contracts expire in June, and both were considered for layoffs. Additionally, longtime KCBS reporter Jennifer Sabih, and reporters Greg Phillips and Jennifer Davis were let go by the station.
W6XAO Test pattern from the mid-1940s.
| 1948 - 1950|
KTSL logo from 1948 to 1950. Note the experimental station callsign (W6XAO) still shown.
| 1950 - 1951|
KTSL logo from 1950 to 1951
Early KNXT logo
| 1976 - 1977|
KNXT logo from 1976 to 1977
| 1977 - 1978|
KNXT logo from 1977 to 1978
| 1978 - 1979|
KNXT logo from 1978 to 1979
| 1979 - 1984|
KNXT logo from 1979 to 1984, which was the logo for WCBS-TV until 1985
| 1984 - 1986|
KCBS-TV logo from 1984 to 1986
| 1986 - 1987|
KCBS-TV logo from 1986 to 1987
| 1987 - 1988|
KCBS-TV logo from 1987 to 1988
| 1988 - 1994|
KCBS-TV logo from 1988 to April 1994
| 1994 - 1997|
KCBS-TV logo from April 1994 to May 1997
| 1997 - 2003|
KCBS-TV logo from May 1997 to January 2003
| 2003 - Present|
KCBS-TV's current logo.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|| Programming |
| 2.1 / 60.1
|| KCBS-DT |
After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion
, which is tentatively scheduled to take place on February 17, 2009 , KCBS-TV will move its digital broadcasts to channel 43. However, through the use of PSIP
, digital television receivers will display KCBS-TV's virtual channel
- "World News" (1938-1948)
- "Telenews" (1948-1949)
- "Fleetwood Lawton & The News" (1950-1951)
- "World News and KNXT News" (1951-1960)
- "The Big News" (1960-1976, 6:15 P.M. newscast until September 1, 1963; 6 P.M. newscast since September 2, 1963)
- "24 Hours" (1960-1976, 11 P.M. newscast)
- "Newsroom 2 LA" (1976-1979)
- "Channel 2 News" (1979-1988)
- "Channel 2 Eyewitness News" (1988-1997)
- "CBS 2 News" (1997-present)
The station's former anchors include Steve Kmetko, Keith Olbermann, Paula Zahn, Ann Curry, Bree Walker, Brent Musburger, Dan Miller, Jerry Dunphy, Connie Chung, Ken Jones, and Maury Povich. Ken Jones anchored for KTTV and KCBS Weekends, Jerry Dunphy anchored for KNXT/KCBS and KCAL-TV.
Sports director Jim Hill may well be the station's most notable current personality. Hill, a former San Diego Charger, was a sportscaster for CBS Sports during his first stint at KNXT/KCBS-TV, from 1976 to 1987. Hill then left to become sports director at KABC-TV, but returned to KCBS-TV in 1992 and has remained sports director at the station since. Other ex-athletes who are also sportscasters for KCBS and KCAL-TV are Eric Dickerson, James Worthy and Eric Karros.
KCBS News Anchors
KCBS Fill-in News Anchors
KCBS Weather Anchors/Meteorologists
- Henry DiCarlo (AMS Seal of Approval) - weekdays 5:00 and 6:00 a.m.
- Johnny Mountain - weekdays 5:00, 6:00, and 11:00 p.m.
- Josh Rubenstein (AMS Certified, NWA Seal of Approval) - weekdays 11:00 a.m. Also on KCAL-TV weekdays Noon, 2:00, 3:00 and 4:00 p.m.
- Kaj Goldberg - weekends 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. Also On KCAL-TV weekends 8:00, 9:00,and 10:00 p.m.
- Jackie Johnson- Weather Anchor Also On KCAL-TV weekdays 8:00, 9:00,and 10:00 p.m.
KCBS Reporting Staff
- Catherine Anaya - Woman 2 Woman Anchor/Morning News Anchor in Late Nineties and Early 2000s (Now with KPHO-TV In Phoenix)
- Linda Alvarez - anchor/reporter (1994-2007)
- Steve Alvarez - sports anchor/reporter (1990-1991)
- Terry Anzur - anchor/political reporter (1990-1994)
- Jaie Avila - reporter (1998-2002, now at WOAI-TV in San Antonio)
- Ross Becker - reporter (1980-1990, now at KTVX-TV)
- Joseph Benti - anchor/reporter (1960-1966)
- Marcia Brandwynne - anchor/reporter (1980-1982), now assistant News Director at KTLA
- Mike Boguslawski - consumer advocate/reporter (1999-2001)
- Jim Castillo - weather anchor (2000-2002), now on KOMO-TV
- Gretchen Carr - anchor/reporter (1998-2004)
- Larry Carroll - anchor (1995-1999, now on KFWB Radio)
- Dave Clark - anchor (1993-1999, 1999-2007; now at KTVU
- Valerie Coleman - anchor/reporter (mid 1980's; later worked at CNN)
- Joel Connable - reporter (now at WTVJ in Miami)
- Paul Dandridge - anchor/reporter (1996-2007)
- Donna Deaner - consumer reporter (c1983)
- Linda Douglass - Political reporter (1983-85) (Later with KNBC, CBS News and ABC News before becoming senior strategist and spokeswoman for the Barack Obama presidential campaign
- Jerry Dunphy - anchor The Big News Team and KCBS (1960-1975 and 1995-1997), KCAL-TV 9 Original Anchor of Prime 9 News (1990-1994) and returned to KCAL-TV from 1997-2002) (Died in 2002)
- Connie Chung - anchor/reporter (1976-1983)
- Ann Curry - reporter (1984-1990) (Now at NBC News)
- Jennifer Davis - reporter (2002-2008)
- Bob Dunn - anchor/reporter (1962-1986)
- Steve Edwards (talk show host)|Steve Edwards]] - talk show host/reporter (1978-1984) (Now with KTTV's "Good Day LA")
- Jonathan Elias - anchor/reporter (1998-2002, now at WBZ-TV
- John Elliott (news anchor/meteorologist)|John Elliott]] - morning weathercaster (2004-2006)/(Now With WCBS-TV in New York (same assignment)
- Michael Evans (journalist)|Michael Evans]] - reporter (1976-1981); now at WPVI-TV in Philadelphia
- Roy Firestone - sports anchor/reporter (1978-1985)
- Dr. George Fishbeck - special correspondent/weather anchor (1994-1997)
- Emliy Frances
- David Garcia - anchor/reporter (1983-1986; deceased)
- Ted Garcia - Reporter
- Gina Garcia - Capitol reporter (2001-2003, now at KTTV)
- Jaime Garza - anchor/reporter (1995-2008, now weeknight anchor at KTXL FOX 40 in Sacramento)
- Howard Gingold -- reporter, state capital correspondent 1967-1978 (part of "The Big News" team)
- Maury Green - anchor/reporter (1960-1973)
- Harold Greene-(2001-2008)
- Penny Griego - anchor/reporter (1986-1996)
- Joel Grover - reporter (1996-2002, now at KNBC)
- Steve Hartman - feature reporter (1994-1998, now at CBS News)
- Tony Hernandez - sports anchor/reporter (1985-1990)
- Sandy Hill - anchor (1974-1976 and 1982-1986)
- Lester Holt - reporter (1982-1983, now at NBC News)
- David Horowitz - consumer reporter (1993-1998)
- Huell Howser - features reporter (1981-1987)
- John Huck - reporter (2000-2002, now at KVVU in Las Vegas)
- Lee Irwin - reporter (1978-1980)
- Ken Jones - anchor/reporter (1976-1982; deceased)
- Lisa Joyner - entertainment reporter (2002-2006; now at TV Guide Channel)
- Bill Keene - weather anchor/traffic reporter (1954-1974 and 1980's-1993); (was part of "The Big News" team and also worked at KNX-AM, died in 2000)
- Steve Kmetko - entertainment reporter (1987-1998) (reporter now for KTTV-TV/KCOP-TV)
- Jim Lampley - news and sports anchor (1987-1992)
- Kelly Lange - "Women 2 Women" host (1999-2001)
- Fleetwood Lawton - original KTSL news anchor (1950-1951)
- Bret Lewis - sports anchor (1997-2003)
- Rick Lozano - reporter (1986-1999)
- Harvey Levin - legal analyst (1987-1997) (Now with TMZ.com and The People's Court
- Dorothy Lucey - anchor/reporter (1987-1992); now at KTTV
- Mario Machado - Consumer Affairs reporter (1969-1977)
- Jess Marlow - anchor (1980-1986)
- Ann Martin -(1994-2008)
- Lora McLaughlin
- Dan Miller - anchor/reporter (1986-1987; now at WSMV-TV in Nashville)
- Byron Miranda- weather forecaster (2002-2005) was at KNTV in San Jose freelancing, now back at KTVU in Oakland.
- Jim Moret -entertainment reporter/anchor (1984-1987)
- Terry Murphy - anchor/reporter (1980-1984 and 1987-1989)
- Brent Musburger - anchor/reporter (1971-1977)
- Bob Navarro - reporter (1972-1974 and 1994-1999)
- Pat O'Brien - reporter (1978-1981)
- Keith Olbermann - sports anchor (1988-1991)
- Warren Olney - anchor/reporter (1969-1975 and 1986-1989)
- Mary Parks - reporter (1991-1994) Now At KNBC-TV
- Maclovio Perez - weather anchor (1980-1996), now at WOAI-TV
- Kyra Phillips - reporter/anchor (1995-1999, now at CNN Headline News)
- Denis Phillips- Weather Anchor (1992-1994) now at WFTS in Tampa
- Greg Phillips - Reporter (2006-2008)
- Maury Povich - anchor (1977-1978)
- Steve Rambo- reporter (1988-2001)
- Clete Roberts - anchor/reporter 1966-1977)
- Jennifer Sabih - reporter (1995-2002) Freelance,(2002-2008) Regular Reporter
- Willa Sandmeyer - reporter (1991-1993)
- Hosea Sanders - anchor/reporter (1986-1994, now at WLS-TV in Chicago)
- Bill Seward - reporter (1992-1997)
- John Schubeck - anchor (1983-1988) (Died in 1997)
- David Sheehan - entertainment reporter (1971-1981 and 1994-2003)
- Debra Snell - reporter (1995-1999)
- Ralph Story - anchor/features reporter/host of Ralph Story's Los Angeles (1959-1970 and 1974-1986) ("The Big News" team) (Died in 2006)
- Bill Stout - anchor/reporter/"Perspective" commentator (1954-1960 and 1972-1989) ("The Big News" team) (Died in 1989)
- Gil Stratton - sports anchor (1954-1976, "The Big News" team)
- Ruth Ashton Taylor - anchor/reporter (1951-1958 and 1962-1989)
- Tritia Toyota - anchor (1985-1999)
- Michael Tuck - anchor (1990-1999)
- Bree Walker - anchor/reporter (1988-1994); now with KTLK-AM
- Phil Watson - reporter (c1983)
- Paula Zahn - anchor/reporter (1986-1987)
- Colleen Williams - anchor/reporter (1983-1986, now with KNBC)
- Alex Witt - (1990-1992, now with MSNBC)
- Rory Markas - sports anchor (1990-1996)(now a broadcaster for the Anaheim Angels)
- Pamela Wright - Morning News Weather Anchor-Left in 2002 for WFOR-TV in Miami and has Left WFOR
- Tony Williams- weather anchor
- Sophia Choi (now with KVBC in Las Vegas)
- Bob Jimenez (Reporter and Anchor in the Nineties)
- Beverly Burke (Anchor in the Nineties)
- Steve Physioc - Angels games (1996-2005) Now With KCOP-TV
- Jerry Reuss - Angels Games (1996-1998)
- Rex Hudler - Angels Games (1999-2005) Now with KCOP
- Chick Hearn - Lakers Games (Died in 2002)
- Paul Sunderland - Lakers Games
- Jose Mota - Angels Games
- KCBS airs the Young and the Restless at 11:30 AM instead of 11 AM. Most CBS affiliates and stations air it at 11 AM in the Pacific, Mountain and Central Time Zones, owing to newscasts that air at 12 Noon. But 11:30 AM is really CBS' recommended time slot to air it. This reflects off the fact that most affiliates in the Eastern Time Zone air it at 12:30 PM, following the midday news. This is also the case at KCBS, in lieu of sister station KCAL-TV's newscast schedule. CBS began offering its affiliates two feeds of the show in 1981 so stations in the Central time zone wouldn't have to tape delay Y&R to air before their midday newscasts.
- In Los Angeles, national news from the major networks air at 6:30 PM, an hour later than most West Coast affiliates. This includes the CBS Evening News on KCBS. During the 1980s, the CBS Evening News and ABC World News Tonight (broadcasted by KABC-TV) aired on their respective stations at 7 p.m., though for a time in 1986-87, KCBS had a 7 pm newscast, thus airing CBS Evening News at 6:30 pm. From 1988 to 1999 KCBS aired the CBS Evening News at 5:30.
- KCBS had 4 p.m. newscasts from time to time. They were the first in the Southland with a 4:30 pm newscast, that was later expanded to an hour. KCBS dropped its 4 p.m. newscasts in 1998 in favor of the short-lived "The Howie Mandel Show", which was canceled after only one season, then in 1999, "Woman 2 Woman" public affairs show. After the acquirement of now-sister station KCAL-TV, KCBS brought reintroduced the 4 pm newscast, but now airing exclusively on KCAL-TV. "Dr. Phil" now airs in the 4 pm slot on KCBS.
- KCBS carried Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! at 7:00 and 7:30 PST from 1989 until 1992, when rival KABC-TV added it to their lineup. Before 1989, both Wheel and Jeopardy! were shown on KCOP. Today the 7 PM hour carries Entertainment Tonight and The Insider. Jeopardy! initially aired during the afternoon hours on KCBS in 1984, before KCOP picked it up a year later.
KCBS is rebroadcast on the following translator stations: