KWCH, channel 12, is the CBS-affiliated television station for Wichita, Kansas that is licensed to Hutchinson. Its transmitter is located north of Burrton. Owned by Schurz Communications, the station is sister to CW affiliate KSCW. The two stations share studios on East 37th Street North in Wichita. Syndicated programming on KWCH includes: Inside Edition, Oprah, and Dr. Phil,
The station originally carried programming from the CBS and DuMont. In 1962, the FCC ruled that central and western Kansas were part of the Wichita market. As a result, Cowles bought KTVC in Dodge City (now KBSD-TV), KAYS-TV in Hays (now KBSH-TV) and KLOE-TV in Goodland (now KBSL-TV) and merged them into the Kansas Broadcasting System with KTVH as the flagship station. In 1963, channel 12 activated its current tower north of Burrton just east of Hutchinson. The new tower is the tallest in the state. Combined with its three satellites, it boosted channel 12's signal to cover almost two-thirds of Kansas. In 1983, the Cowles family began selling off its vast media holdings. KTVH and its sister stations were sold to the Kansas Broadcasting System Corporation owned by a pair of businessmen from Hays (Ross Beech and Bob Schmidt). They changed the call letters to the current KWCH-TV. In 1989, the Kansas Broadcasting System Corporation was purchased by Smith Broadcasting which included, as an owner, longtime Wichita television executive Sandy DiPasquale (now the CEO of Newport Television). Smith sold the station to Spartan Communications of Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1994. Spartan merged with Media General in 2000.
Until late-1999, all shows produced by King World aired on KWCH. Since then, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune have moved from channel 12 to KSNW. In 2005, KWCH received the "Large Market Television Station of the Year" award from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters. On April 6, 2006, Media General announced that it would sell KWCH (including its satellites which all count as one station) and four other stations as a result of its purchase of four former NBC owned and operated stations. Schurz eventually emerged as the winner and took over on September 25. However, KWCH still uses the same logo it used from the Media General era. In July of 2007, KSCW became a sister station to KWCH after Schurz bought the station.
|Station||Locations served|| Channels|
|First air date|| Call letters|
|Former callsigns||Former affiliations|| ERP|
|Facility ID||Transmitter Coordinates|
> Ensign/Dodge City/Garden City
| 6 (VHF)|
|July 24, 1957||Kansas Broadcasting System Dodge City||KTVC (1957-1989)||none|| 100 kW|
| 219 m|
> Hays/Great Bend/Salina
| 7 (VHF)|
|September 1958||Kansas Broadcasting System Hays||KAYS-TV (1958-1989)||ABC (secondary)|| 112 kW|
|216 m (both)||66415|
| 10 (VHF)|
|April 1959||Kansas Broadcasting System GoodLand||KLOE-TV (1959-1989)||none|| 316 kW|
| 299 m|
KBSH provided daily news coverage from its Hall Street studios in Hays through much of the late-1980s and 1990s. The full daily newscast continued until the late-1990s when new ownership brought consolidation to the Kansas Broadcasting System. KBSH's evening newscasts were reduced to a short insert in the main newscasts from KWCH in Wichita. In 2001, the news inserts came to an end. The two reporter / photographers stationed at KBSH began sending their stories to Wichita to be incorporated into the Eyewitness News programs seen simultaneously in Wichita, Hays, Goodland, Dodge City, and Ensign. Today, KBSH maintains a full time anchor / reporter at a news bureau in the same location in Hays that it has occupied since the beginning. KBSD produced a full local newscast for many years in addition to carry the newscasts from KWCH.
More recently, the station has been downsized to contribution reports to the Wichita newscasts and web content supplied through KWCH's website. Since 1985, KWCH has led the news ratings in Wichita. In the May 2007 ratings period, its newscasts attracted more viewers than KAKE and KSNW combined. KWCH produces a nightly 9 o'clock newscast for Fox affiliate KSAS-TV called Fox Kansas Eyewitness News at 9. On weekday mornings at 7, KWCH produces a newscast for KSCW called Eyewitness News This Morning on Kansas' CW. In October of 2008, the station will begin broadcasting their local news in high definition. In order to make the change, KWCH will have to upgrade their studios. The KSAS and KSCW broadcasts will most likely be included in the switch. The station operates a 24-hour local weather channel on its second digital subchannel. Known as "Always On Storm Team 12", it is also offered on Cox digital cable channel 675 and via live streaming video on KWCH's website.
Storm Team 12