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|Kansas City, Missouri / Kansas|
|City of license||Kansas City, Missouri|
|Branding||KCTV 5 (general)
KCTV 5 News (general)
|Slogan||It's Your News|
|Channels||Digital: 24 (UHF)
Virtual: 5 (PSIP)
|First air date||September 27, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||Kansas City TeleVision|
|Former callsigns||KCMO-TV (1953–1983)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
5 (VHF, 1953–2009)
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
KCTV, virtual channel 5 (UHF digital channel 24), is a CBS-affiliated television station serving Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas. The station is owned by the Meredith Corporation, as part of a duopoly with MyNetworkTV affiliate KSMO-TV (channel 62). The two outlets share studios on Shawnee Mission Parkway (U.S. 56 / U.S. 169) in Fairway, Kansas, and KCTV's transmitter is located on East 31st Street in Kansas City, Missouri's Union Hill section (adjacent to the studios of PBS member station KCPT).
The station can also be seen on Time Warner Cable and SureWest channel 3, and AT&T U-verse channel 5, with the high definition feed available on SureWest digital channel 620, Time Warner Cable digital channel 1003 and AT&T U-verse channel 1005. As the Saint Joseph market does not have an CBS affiliate of its own, KCTV serves as a default affiliate for the area as its transmitter provides a city-grade signal in St. Joseph proper, and it is available on cable and satellite providers in the area.
- 1 History
- 2 Tower
- 3 Digital television
- 4 Programming
- 5 News operation
- 6 Branding
- 7 References
- 8 External links
KCMO-TV signed on September 27, 1953. Meredith Engineering bought the station, and its radio counterparts, not long after the sign-on. KCMO began as an ABC affiliate, with some DuMont programming.
In 1955, KCMO-TV swapped affiliations with KMBC. KCMO-TV evidently received the CBS affiliation in 1955 as compensation for the loss of another of Meredith's stations. The station started branding itself as "Television 5" in the 1960s, which later provided the inspiration for the KCTV call letters. KCMO-TV continued to operate on 31st Street until the mid-1980s. Meredith sold the radio stations in 1983, separating KCMO-TV from KCMO-FM and KCMO. The television station moved to a new building on Shawnee Mission Parkway in Fairway, Kansas soon afterward. Upon the sale of the radio stations, KCMO-TV became KCTV, branding itself as "TV 5." In the 1980s and early 1990s, KCTV was very competitive with KMBC and WDAF. In the mid-1990s, KCTV rented a helicopter for a while, calling it NewsHawk 5.
Some of the main personalities had been there since the late 1960s, but that began to change after the year 2000, as CBS started aiming for younger viewers, and KCTV sought younger news watchers. Longtime anchor, Wendall Anschutz, retired in 2001. KCTV stirred the pot with a rebranding that placed an emphasis on immediacy and urgency in the news. Veteran talent like Anne Peterson and Russell Kinsaul left, and others were pressured to leave. That part of the equation later became the focus of a discrimination lawsuit filed by a former director. KCTV eliminated its sports department in 2003, outsourcing to Metro Sports. The "Live, Late Breaking, Investigative" marketing coincided with increased success in CBS prime time programming. KCTV reached #1 in their 10:00 news in 2004; they currently place second. KCTV's investigative stories have won numerous awards.
In November 2004, Meredith bought local station KSMO, creating a duopoly. KCTV airs three newscasts on KSMO during the week, and one on weekends. KCTV started airing news in high definition in September 2008, becoming the third in the market to do so. KCTV signed off its analog signal June 12, 2009.
KCTV does not operate on any subchannels. Previously, they aired games from the first three rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament. That subchannel programming ended in 2011, when CBS moved some NCAA games to Turner Broadcasting properties. In 2009, KCTV's contract with Metro Sports ended; the station went without a sports department for a year before rehiring an in-house sports unit. In 2011, KCTV announced a news partnership with the Kansas City Star. KCTV provides weather and website video for the Star, and the two will supposedly work together on some stories. At the end of 2011, KCTV quietly dropped its 7:00 a.m. newscast from KSMO.
KCTV's 1,042 feet (318 m) transmitter tower at its former studios on East 31st Street on Union Hill, south of Downtown Kansas City, is a widely recognized Kansas City landmark. This is due largely in part to the string lights on the four corners of the tower that can be seen for miles around the immediate metropolitan area at night. It is so recognized that from 1999 to 2002, the "tall tower" (as it was called on-air) was incorporated into KCTV's official station logo. For many years, the station flashed the lights on the tower due to inclement weather in Kansas City and the immediate surrounding communities in three sections:
- Top thirds flashing indicated a severe thunderstorm watch, tornado watch or winter weather advisory was in effect
- Two thirds flashing indicated a severe thunderstorm warning or winter weather warning was in effect
- All lights flashing indicated a tornado warning was in effect or highly threatening weather will occur
After the September 11 attacks, KCTV changed the tower's lighting to a red, white and blue scheme with red lights on the top third of the tower and blue lights on the bottom third. The lights on the tower went dark for a period until all of the light bulbs could be changed. On July 1, 2006, it turned the tower back on in all white lights as it had originally been until the 1970s. The lights do not flash as they did before September 11, 2001.
In June 2010, the analog antenna was disassembled and lowered to the ground to allow the installation of a new top mounted digital antenna to improve coverage of KCTV's digital signal. The tower is similar in structure to the 750-foot (228.6 m) KQTV tower in St. Joseph, Missouri. Coincidently, that station (which serves as the ABC network affiliate for the St. Joseph market) had also begun broadcasting on September 27, 1953.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|5.1||1080i||16:9||KCTV-HD||Main KCTV programming / CBS|
KCTV shut down its analog signal at 9 a.m. on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition to digital television for full-power stations. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 24. However, through the use of PSIP, KCTV's virtual channel is displayed as 5.
Syndicated programming on KCTV includes Inside Edition, Without a Trace, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, CSI: Miami, Criminal Minds and Scrubs. The station currently carries all CBS network programming, though due to the station's Sunday morning newscast, Face the Nation is generally delayed to Sunday late nights; the station also is one of several CBS affiliates to split the network's Saturday morning children's programming to Saturday and Sunday mornings, as one hour of the lineup airs on Sunday mornings before CBS News Sunday Morning. Over the years, the station would preempt moderate amounts of CBS programming such as some morning daytime shows, Sunday morning cartoons, a couple Saturday morning cartoons, an occasional primetime show, and some late night shows prior to David Letterman's arrival to CBS in 1993. Today, KCTV still runs a large amount of local news along with most every CBS program.
One of the most common copies of Star Wars Holiday Special comes from this station. It can be found as first generation bootleg copies all the way down to the third generation. Also during the 1970s into the 1980s, it was very active in locally produced shows such as Saturday Science Fiction Theatre. It was during the immediate aftermath of the Hyatt Regency walkway collapse that one of the station's most popular shows, Friday Fright Night, was preempted for the fear of further traumatizing viewers already in shock. Friday Fright Night was known for its opening sequence of a skull with an announcer giving the lead-in with both a spooky tone of voice and dialogue only to leave the shot with a prolonged sequence of hysterical-sounding laughter. At least two other shows competed in the genre with Friday Fright Night by the early 1980s including Creature Feature with Crematia Mortem and All Night Live! with Edward Musacare, a.k.a Uncle Ed, and "Caffeina the Cat" and later Dick Wilson. However, "Uncle Ed" had various spook-shows going back to the 1960s albeit in different markets.
In 1998, KCTV began airing game telecasts from the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, after CBS acquired the broadcast rights to televise games from the league's American Football Conference. This relationship extends to the NFL preseason as well, in which KCTV serves as the flagship station for Chiefs telecasts that are not televised nationally by a broadcast or cable network.
In September 2012, KCTV debuted a one-hour lifestyle program called Better Kansas City, which airs at 9 a.m. weekday mornings; the program is produced independently from the station's news department. Better Kansas City should not be confused with Better, a nationally syndicated lifestyle program distributed by Meredith, which airs locally on sister station KSMO-TV. The program was placed on a summer hiatus on June 6, 2013 for "retooling", with the national Better program filling the timeslot.
KCTV presently broadcasts 32½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with five hours on weekdays, 4½ hours on Saturdays and three hours on Sundays); in regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is the second-largest local newscast output among Kansas City's broadcast television stations, well behind WDAF-TV's 59½ hours of weekly newscasts. KCTV also produces 2½ hours a week of local newscasts for sister station KSMO with a half-hour primetime newscast at 9 p.m. on weeknights.
From 1979 to 1994, KCTV's Anne Peterson and Wendall Anschutz were Kansas City’s top-rated news anchor team. In November 2004, KCTV won the coveted 10 p.m. news race unseating KMBC for the first time in a decade. However in November 2006, KCTV dropped back to second place at 10. The station remained in third place at 5 and 6 p.m. after KMBC and WDAF-TV. In February 2007, KCTV regained the top spot at 10 p.m. and most of its other newscasts made viewership gains as well. In the fall of 2005, KCTV began producing a nightly 9 p.m. news broadcast for KSMO to compete with WDAF's in-house newscast in the same timeslot. In May 2006, the station acquired a new helicopter for aerial newsgathering called "Chopper 5".
KCTV and former news director Regent Ducas came under fire during the 2000s for bringing what some call tabloid-style reporting to the market. "Live. Latebreaking. Investigative." became KCTV's new slogan (which was also used by Phoenix sister station KPHO) in September 2002, six months after Regent's hiring. A year later, the station's sports department was shut down and sports news was outsourced to Metro Sports (a local cable channel operated by Time Warner Cable) with most of the former KCTV sports personnel making the move; this continued until 2009. On March 25, 2010, KCTV announced that would begin producing sports segments in-house once again.
As a result of the station's "new direction", several high-profile anchors and reporters left including Anne Peterson, Russell Kinsaul (who is now working across the state in St. Louis at CBS affiliate KMOV) and Dave Helling. A May 26, 2007 article in The Kansas City Star revealed the turbulence behind KCTV's move to become the #1 news station in the market. A lawsuit filed by a longtime newscast director alleges that the station's owners engaged in systematic harassment and dismissal of older workers. A judge denied KCTV's move to dismiss the suit and the station settled with the plaintiff according to an article in the newspaper. KCTV became the third television station in Kansas City (after KSHB-TV and KMBC-TV) to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition on October 20, 2008 beginning with its 4 p.m. newscast. The KSMO newscasts were included in the upgrade.
On September 13, 2010, KCTV expanded its weekday morning newscast to 4½ hours, becoming the third television station in Kansas City to begin its morning newscast at 4:30 a.m. (ABC affiliate KMBC and NBC affiliate KSHB moved the start time of their morning newscasts to 4:30 a.m. on August 23, 2010). On October 12, 2010, KCTV announced that it would begin airing obituaries during the noon newscast and the now-defunct weekday morning newscast on sister station KSMO, citing concerns caused by the decline of newspaper circulation. KCTV and its corporate parent Meredith Corporation also launched two websites, ObitMissouri.com and ObitKansas.com to provide online obituaries, detailed information on the deceased and memorial service information to Kansas City-area residents.
On January 4, 2011, KCTV entered into a news partnership with Kansas City Star, in which the station and the newspaper would partner together on local news stories and allow KCTV to provide weather forecasts for the paper. Incidentally, the Star put rival station WDAF-TV on the air in 1949 and owned it until 1958, and KSHB-TV already had a news share partnership with the Star until the announcement was made. In the February 2011 sweeps period, KCTV won the noon timeslot ahead of WDAF-TV with a 5.3 household rating, while the station placed second at 10 p.m. with a 9.8 rating behind KMBC. Overall, the station dropped to third place behind WDAF-TV with a total-day quarter-hour household rating average of 4.3.
The station has not shied away from reporting on controversial topics, two of which were featured nationally by CBS. KCTV aired a seven-part series in February 2004 that exposed the dangers children can face in internet chat rooms. A group called Perverted Justice posed as minors in chat rooms and waited for adult men to proposition them for sex. The "minors" then invited the men to meet them at a house where a KCTV news crew was waiting. Dateline NBC later used Perverted Justice as the basis for its To Catch A Predator series. After the series aired, local law enforcement made a new effort to police chat rooms and prosecute men who attempt to meet minors for sex through the internet. None of the people "stung" by KCTV could be charged in these cases because the operation was done without police involvement.
In June 2005, KCTV exposed a doctor's negligent handling of private medical records. A scavenger gave the station a computer found at the curb of a plastic surgeon's home in Mission Hills, Kansas. The surgeon claimed that he erased the patients' information from the computer. However, only the computer's random access memory was removed. Its hard drive was intact and contained photos and files on many patients. KCTV attempted to contact several of the patients whose information was found on the discarded computer. The surgeon sued citing that interviewing the patients violated medical confidentiality. The judge ruled in favor of the doctor although KCTV took the case to a federal district court in Kansas City, Kansas. The doctor withdrew his lawsuit and the story aired on June 30. As a result of this, several of the surgeon's patients filed a class action lawsuit against him for negligent handling of their confidential records.
In early 2010 under new management, it was rumored KCTV was shutting down its entire investigative unit. However, in March of the same year, the station hired new investigative reporter Stacey Cameron, a former attorney and reporter at WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina. Later that same month, the investigative unit received several awards for its investigative reporting. KCTV's news team has been honored with the Mid-America Emmy award for overall news excellence, the Edward R. Murrow Award for overall news excellence, and multiple awards for its investigative reporting.
- The Ford News (1953–1956)
- Your Esso Reporter (1956–1962)
- National News (1962–1966)
- Eyewitness News (1966–c. 1985)
- Kansas City's News (c. 1985–1994)
- News 5 (1994–1999)
- KCTV 5 News (1999–present)
- "Move Closer to Your World" (1972–1976)
- "We're Part of Your Life" (1976–1980)
- "Hello Kansas City, TV-5 Loves You" (1980–1983; local variation of Frank Gari's "Hello News")
- "Gimme 5" (1983)
- "Kansas City's Television" (1983–1994)
- "The Team That Always Takes You One Step Further" (1985–1989)
- "In Kansas City, 5 Stands For News" (1994–1997)
- "Taking Action" (1997–1999)
- "News That Makes a Difference" (1999–2002)
- "Live. Late-Breaking. Investigative." (2002–2011)
- "It's Your News" (2011–present)
Current on-air staff
- Amy Anderson - Saturdays: KCTV 5 News at 5, 6, and 10P; Sundays: KCTV 5 News at 5:30 and 10P; KCTV 5 News at 9P (KSMO); also weekday reporter
- Jonathan Carter - KCTV 5 News at 4P and KCTV 5 News at 9P (KSMO)
- Alexis Del Cid - KCTV 5 News, It's Your Morning 4:30-7A and KCTV 5 News at Noon
- Karen Fuller - KCTV 5 New at 5, 6 and 10P
- Dave Hall - KCTV 5 News, It's Your Morning 4:30-7A and KCTV 5 News at Noon
- Bonyen Lee - KCTV 5 News, It's Your Morning (weekends); also weekday reporter
- Carolyn Long - KCTV 5 News at 4 and KCTV 5 News at 9P (KSMO)
- Brad Stephens - KCTV 5 News at 5, 6 and 10P
StormTrack 5 Weather Team
- Chief Meteorologist Chris Suchan (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - KCTV 5 News at 4P and KCTV 5 News at 5, 6, and 10P; KCTV 5 News at 9P (KSMO)
- Gary Amble (AMS Seal of Approval) - KCTV 5 News, It's Your Morning 4:30-7A and KCTV 5 News at Noon
- Hallie Shulman (AMS Seal of Approval) - KCTV 5 News, It's Your Morning (weekends)
- Tom Wachs (Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - Saturdays: KCTV 5 News at 5, 6 and 10P, KCTV 5 News at 9P (KSMO); Sundays: KCTV 5 News at 5:30 and 10P, KCTV 5 News at 9P (KSMO)
- Michael Coleman - Sports Director; (Sundays at 5:30, Monday-Thursdays at 5 and 6 and Sunday-Thursdays at 9 (KSMO) and 10P; also host of Off the Bench)
- Brad Fanning - Sports Anchor; (Fridays and Saturdays at 5, 6, 9 (KSMO) and 10P; also sports reporter)
- Alan Shope - Sports Reporter; (also general assignment news reporter and photojournalist)
- Alice Barr
- Dave Jordan
- Jeanene Kiesling
- Sandra Olivas
- Natalie Puhr - "On Time Traffic" reporter (KCTV 5 News, It's Your Morning 4:30-7a)
- Emily Rittman
- Justin Schmidt
- Erika Tallan
- Heather Staggers
- Betsy Webster (KCTV 5 News at 10P Reporter)
- Stacey Cameron
- Eric Chaloux
Notable former on-air staff
- Wendall Anschutz - anchor/reporter (1966–2001; died in January 2010)
- Karen Foss - 6 and 10 p.m. anchor (1978–1979; later at KSDK in St. Louis, now retired)
- Don Harrison - 6 and 10 p.m. anchor (later at CNN and Headline News; deceased)
- Iris Hermosillo - meteorologist/Que Pasa, KC host (2009–2012; now at KNXV in Phoenix, Arizona)
- Katie Horner - chief meteorologist (1994–2011; currently at KMOV in St. Louis)
- Russell Kinsaul - evening anchor (now with KMOV in St. Louis)
- Ash-har Quraishi - chief investigative reporter (2004–2009)
- Michael Scott - weeknight 5, 6 and 10 p.m. anchor
As featured in news footage from the 1960s, KCMO branded itself as "Television 5". The branding was simplified to "TV 5" when the Eyewitness News format was adopted and continued into the 1980s. When Meredith separated KCMO radio from KCMO-TV, the "KCTV" calls were adopted based on the familiarity of the "TV 5" branding. A font similar to that of co-owned WNEM-TV was then adopted and a new slogan brought forth: "TV 5 Loves You". The advertised "TV 5" branding ended in 1990 when a new logo was adopted and KCTV took on the "Kansas City's News" slogan simply taking on the "KCTV Kansas City" branding.
Its logo, however, continues to subtly advertise its commonly known former branding, "TV 5", by changing the font of "TV" (as done when the "TV 5" branding was dropped from 1990 to 1999), bolding the "TV" (as done from 1999 to 2002), or connecting "T" to "V" (as seen in the current logo). In 1994, KCTV dropped "Kansas City's News" and adopted "In Kansas City, '5' stands for News" as its new slogan. Its newscasts were branded as "News 5". However, it still branded itself as "KCTV Kansas City". The station took on its current "KCTV 5" branding upon a logo redesign in September 1999.
- KCTV 5 History
- RabbitEars TV Query for KCTV
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations
- KCTV5 Going Digital On June 12
- KCTV-5 creating a 9 a.m. show, Kansas City Star, May 4, 2012.
- Kelly Jones Out, ‘Better Kansas City’ on Hiatus at KCTV, TVSpy, June 6, 2013.
- "Longtime KCTV5 Anchor Wendall Anschutz Dies". KCTV5.com. KCTV. Retrieved February 28, 2010.
- KCTV Regains Top Spot 10 pm newscast 2007[dead link]
- KCTV to Drop Sports, Use Metro Cable Reports; CBS Affiliate Eliminating In-House Department, Partnering With Time Warner Unit, TelevisionWeek, November 17, 2003.
- "Lawsuits reveal a time of turbulence at KCTV". Kansas City Star. 2007-05-26. Archived from the original on unknown date. [dead link]
- "Live. Late-Breaking. Litigation.: Lawsuits reveal a time of turbulence at KCTV". TVBarn. KansasCity.com. May 30, 2007. Retrieved February 28, 2010.
- [dead link]
- Newspaper Decline Creates Need KCTV Will Begin Doing TV Obituaries, Bottom Line Communications. October 12, 2010.
- KCTV and KC Star Form News Partnership, Bottom Line Communications, January 4, 2011. Retrieved 1-5-2011.
- KMBC's frosty, fabulous February, Kansas City Star, March 3, 2011.
- "KCTV Noon Open - 2002". YouTube. 2002-09-05. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- Bios, KCTV.com