|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2011)|
|Minneapolis – Saint Paul, Minnesota
|City of license||Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|Branding||WCCO Channel 4 (general)
WCCO 4 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Minnesota's most-watched station|
|Channels||Digital: 4 (UHF)
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
(CBS Television Licenses, LLC)
|First air date||July 1, 1949|
|Call letters' meaning||derived from sister station WCCO radio (Washburn Crosby COmpany)|
|Sister station(s)||KMNB, KZJK, WCCO|
|Former callsigns||WTCN-TV (1949–1952)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
4 (VHF, 1949–2009)
|Former affiliations||FNN (1981-1985)|
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Height||432 m (1,417 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
WCCO-TV, channel 4, is a CBS owned-and-operated television station, licensed to Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA and serving the Twin Cities television market. WCCO-TV's studios are located on South 11th Street in downtown Minneapolis, and its transmitter is located at the Telefarm complex in Shoreview, Minnesota.
|This section requires expansion with: further information on the history of WCCO-TV, outside of ownership transactions. (May 2013)|
WCCO-TV's roots originate with a radio station, but not the one with which it is affiliated today. Radio station WRHM, which signed on the air in 1925, is the station to which WCCO-TV traces its lineage. In 1934, two newspapers – the Minneapolis Tribune and the Saint Paul Pioneer Press-Dispatch – formed a joint venture named "Twin Cities Newspapers", which purchased the radio station and changed its call letters to WTCN. Twin Cities Newspapers later expanded into the then-new medium of television with the launch of WTCN-TV on July 1, 1949 as Minnesota's second television station, broadcasting from the Radio City Theater at 50 South 9th Street in downtown Minneapolis.
When Twin Cities Newspapers sold its radio holdings – WTCN (now WWTC) and WTCN-FM (now KTCZ-FM) – in 1952, it was able to buy the much stronger and dominant WCCO (830 AM). A new company, Midwest Radio and Television, was created to do this, with CBS as a minority partner. The call letters of channel 4 were changed to WCCO-TV to match its new radio sister (the WTCN-TV call sign would later be picked up by what is now KARE). CBS was forced to sell its minority ownership stake in the WCCO stations in 1954 to comply with Federal Communications Commission ownership limits of the time. In 1960, with the founding of the Minnesota Vikings football team, WCCO became the team's station of record, because CBS held the rights to NFL games at the time; this alliance would continue until the end of 1993, when the majority of its games moved to WFTC when Fox acquired the NFC broadcast rights (which the Vikings were a part of after the AFL/NFL merger in 1970); since 2002, most games are on KMSP-TV. The station only airs Vikings games nowadays when the team plays a home game versus an opponent from the AFC. The network gained full ownership of WCCO-TV in 1992, when it acquired the broadcast holdings of Midwest Radio and Television.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|4.1||1080i||16:9||WCCO-DT||Main WCCO-TV programming / CBS|
WCCO-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 4, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 32. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 4.
On October 21, 2014, CBS and Weigel Broadcasting announced the launch of a new digital subchannel service called Decades, scheduled to launch on all CBS-owned stations in 2015, including on WCCO-TV on channel 4.2, KCCO-TV on channel 7.2, and KCCW-TV on channel 12.2. The channel will be co-owned by CBS and Weigel (owner of CBS affiliate WDJT-TV in Milwaukee), with Weigel being responsible for distribution to non-CBS-owned stations. It will air programs from the extensive library of CBS Television Distribution, including archival footage from CBS News.
Satellite stations and translators
WCCO-TV operates two satellite stations northwest of the Twin Cities area:
|Station||City of license||Channels
(TV / DT)
|First air date||Former call letters||ERP||HAAT||Transmitter Coordinates||Facility ID||Public license
|October 8, 1958||KCMT (1958–1987)||29 kW||339.6 m||9632||Profile
|January 1, 1964||KNMT (1964–1987)||59 kW||286.4 m||9640||Profile
Both of these stations were founded by the Central Minnesota Television Company and maintained primary affiliations with NBC and secondary affiliations with ABC from their respective sign-ons until the summer of 1982, when both stations switched to CBS. KCMT had originally broadcast from a studio in Alexandria, with KNMT operating as a satellite station of KCMT. Central Minnesota Television sold both stations to Midwest Radio and Television in 1987, at which point they adopted their present call letters and became semi-satellites of WCCO-TV.
Until 2002, the two stations simulcast WCCO-TV's programming for most of the day, except for separate commercials and inserts placed into channel 4's newscasts. However, in 2002, WCCO-TV ended KCCO/KCCW's local operations and shut down the Alexandria studio, converting the two stations into full-time satellites. Since then, channel 4 has identified as "Minneapolis-St. Paul/Alexandria/Walker", with virtually no on-air evidence that KCCO and KCCW were separate stations.
In addition, the broadcast signal of WCCO-TV is extended by way of six translators in southern Minnesota and one in northern Minnesota; all but one broadcast in digital:
|City of license||Callsign||Channel|
Notable former on-air staff
- Clellan Card - children's show personality "Axel" (1954–1966; deceased)
- Bill Carlson - entertainment reporter, midday news anchor (deceased)
- Paul Douglas - chief meteorologist (1997–2008; later with StarTribune)
- Dave Moore - news anchor (1950s–1998; deceased)
- Barry Petersen - news reporter (later with CBS News)
- Don Shelby - news anchor
- Susan Spencer - news reporter, news anchor (later with CBS News)
- Bill Stewart - news reporter (later with ABC News, murdered in Nicaragua while on assignment in 1979)
- Michele Tafoya - sports anchor/sports reporter (later with NBC Sports)
- Ben Tracy - news reporter (later with CBS News)
- http://llnw.static.cbslocal.com/station/wcco/community/09_0827_community_WCCOtimeline.pdf Retrieved 2011-7-22
- http://www.thefreelibrary.com/CBS+ACQUIRES+TELEVISION+AND+RADIO+STATIONS+FROM+MIDWEST+COMMUNICATIONS-a011880751 Retrieved 2011-8-21
- RabbitEars TV Query for WCCO
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- CBS Stations, Weigel Partner on Oldies Digi-Net Decades Broadcasting & Cable (10/21/2014)
- "WATR-TV decides to go it alone." Broadcasting, February 22, 1982, pg. 72. 
- Minnesota State Edition
- Washington, D.C. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Record, Vol. 02, No. 22, pp. 6730-6732, Oct 23-Nov. 6, 1987. UNT Digital Library. FCC 87-331 Vol. 22. Accessed June 28, 2012.
- "A History of Minneapolis: Radio and Television". Minneapolis Public Library. 2001. Archived from the original on 2004-08-08. Retrieved 2004-09-25.
- "History of WCCO-TV". WCCO. 2003-07-16. Retrieved 2004-09-26.[dead link]
- Official website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WCCO
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WCCO-TV