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KWCH

KWCH-TV

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,

History

Channel 12 debuted July 1, 1953 as KTVH, the state's second television station. The first was KCTY which operated a transmitter in Overland Park for less than a year in 1953 and 1954. KCTY went on-the-air in June 1953 just prior to KTVH. It broadcasted from a studio in Hutchinson and carried programming from all four networks of the time (CBS, NBC, ABC, and DuMont). In 1954, it lost NBC when KAKE-TV signed on but continued to air some ABC programming until KARD-TV (now KSNW) signed on in 1955 and took over the NBC affiliation. The first NBC affiliate in Wichita was KEDD-TV which operated as an independent station for a short time before shutting down after losing its NBC affiliation to KARD-TV. Also in 1954, KTVH opened a satellite studio on 37th Street North in Wichita. In 1955, the station was bought by Cowles Communications of Des Moines, Iowa. In 1956, the station boosted its signal to cover all of the Wichita metropolitan area. It also moved its main studio to the KEDD facility, where it is today, though it still identifies itself as serving "Hutchinson / Wichita". The power boost brought CBS color programming to Wichita for the first time. KEDD did not have the capability to broadcast in color.

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.

Satellite stations

KWCH is the flagship station for the Kansas Broadcasting System (KBS), a network of CBS affiliates serving central and western Kansas along with parts of Nebraska and Oklahoma. KBSH-TV broadcasts as a "virtual" station on Cox cable systems in Salina with the ability to locally insert news, weather, and commercials.

Station Locations served Channels
(Analog /
Digital)
First air date Call letters
meaning
Former callsigns Former affiliations ERP
(Analog/
Digital)
HAAT
(Analog/
Digital)
Facility ID Transmitter Coordinates
KBSD-TV
> Ensign/Dodge City/Garden City
6 (VHF)
5 (VHF)
July 24, 1957 Kansas Broadcasting System Dodge City KTVC (1957-1989) none 100 kW
20 kW
219 m
198.2 m
66414
KBSH-TV
> Hays/Great Bend/Salina
7 (VHF)
20 (UHF)
September 1958 Kansas Broadcasting System Hays KAYS-TV (1958-1989) ABC (secondary) 112 kW
1,000 kW
216 m (both) 66415
KBSL-TV
> Goodland
10 (VHF)
14 (VHF)
April 1959 Kansas Broadcasting System GoodLand KLOE-TV (1959-1989) none 316 kW
1,000 kW
299 m
285.4 m
66416

News operation

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.

Newscast titles

  • The Coca-Cola News (1953-1962)
  • The Nescafé News (1962-1965)
  • Channel 12 News (1965-1969)
  • Eyewitness News (1969-1977, 1983-1995)
  • The News (1977-1981)
  • News 12 (1981-1983)
  • Channel 12 Eyewitness News (1995-2001)
  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News (2001-present)

News team

Anchors

  • Felicia Rolfe - weekday mornings
    • consumer reporter
  • Matt Mauro - weekday mornings
    • reporter
  • Kim Setty - weekdays at Noon
    • "Does It Work?" segment producer
  • Cindy Klose - weeknights at 5, 6, and 10
  • Roger Cornish - weeknights at 6 and 10
  • Rebecca Gannon - weeknights at 9
    • reporter
  • Kim Hynes - Saturday mornings
    • reporter
  • Michael Schwanke - weekend evenings at 5:30 (SUN), 6 (SAT), and 10
    • reporter
  • Kim Wilhelm - weekend evenings at 9
    • reporter

Storm Team 12

  • Merrill Teller - Chief seen on weeknights
  • Mark Larson - weekday mornings
  • Lindsey Butor - weekdays at Noon
  • Ross Janssen - weekends
  • Rodney Price - fill-in

Sports

  • Bruce Haertl - Director seen on weeknights at 6, 9, and 10
  • Richard Smith - weekends evenings
    • sports reporter
  • Bryan Holmgren - sports reporter
    • fill-in

Reporters

  • Adam Everett Marshall - KBSH anchor and reporter
  • Tracy Crockett
  • Megan Strader
  • Jim Grawe
  • Cliff Judy
  • Alana Rocha

Past personalities

  • David Bloom - reporter (1988–1989)
    • deceased
  • Cheryl Burton - anchor (now at WLS-TV)
  • Bernard Choi - education / city government reporter (2001-2004)
  • Mark Ewing - sports anchor and reporter
  • Michael Herzenberg - now at WTNH
  • Taunia Hottman - now at KUSA-TV
  • Tucker Jankosky - reporter
  • Andrea Joyce - anchor (now at NBC Sports)
  • Jim Kobbe - sports anchor and reporter
  • Chris Koeberl - investigative reporter (1999-2004)
  • Linda Mares - general assignment reporter
  • Susan Peters - anchor (1983–1991)
  • Delaina Renfro - reporter (2002-2003)
  • Joe Sheeran - reporter (2003-2006)
  • Kristi Tedesco - now at KVOA

External links

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