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Kcwe dt2.png
Kansas City, Missouri-
Kansas City, Kansas
United States
City of license Kansas City, Missouri
Branding KCWE Kansas City's CW (general)
KMBC 9 News (during KMBC-produced newscasts)
This TV Kansas City
(on DT2)
Slogan Gotta Be KCWE
Coverage You Can Count On;
The Team You Trust;
Kansas City's News Leader (news)
Channels Digital: 31 (UHF)
Virtual: 29 (PSIP)
Subchannels 29.1 The CW
29.2 This TV
Affiliations The CW
Owner Hearst Television
(Hearst Stations Inc.)
First air date September 14, 1996
Call letters' meaning Derived from KCWB
Kansas City's World of Entertainment
Sister station(s) KMBC-TV
Former callsigns KCWB (1996–1998)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
29 (UHF, 1996–2008)
Former affiliations The WB (1996–1998)
UPN (1998–2006)
Transmitter power 1,000 kW
Height 332 m
Facility ID 64444
Transmitter coordinates 39°5′2.8″N 94°30′56.9″W / 39.084111°N 94.515806°W / 39.084111; -94.515806
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website www.kcwe.com

KCWE, virtual channel 29 (UHF digital channel 31), is a CW-affiliated television station serving Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas, United States. The station is owned by the Hearst Television subsidiary of the Hearst Corporation, as part of a duopoly with ABC affiliate KMBC-TV (channel 9). The two stations share studio facilities located on Winchester Avenue (along I-435) in the Swope Park Ridge-Winchester section of Kansas City, Missouri, KCWE's transmitter is located at the intersection of East 23rd Street and Topping Avenue in the city's Blue Valley section.

On cable, KCWE is carried on Comcast channel 2, Time Warner Cable channel 7, SureWest channel 16 and AT&T U-verse channel 29.


Prior history of channel 29 in Kansas City[edit]

Prior to the launch of KCWE, the analog UHF channel 29 allotment in the Kansas City market was originally home to low-powered K29CF, which served as an affiliate of ValueVision. To make way for a new full-powered station on channel 29, that station moved to channel 48 in 1996, becoming K48FS. Today, that station – now KUKC-LP – serves as the market's Univision affiliate.[1]

KCWE station history[edit]

Early years with The WB, and then UPN[edit]

KCWE first signed on the air on September 14, 1996, as KCWB (standing for "Kansas City's WB"). It served as the market's WB affiliate; prior to its sign-on, Kansas City residents were only able to receive WB programs through cable and satellite from the national superstation feed of its Chicago affiliate WGN-TV. It was originally operated by a locally owned company,[who?] but was managed by the Hearst Corporation (owner of KMBC-TV) through a local marketing agreement. Initially, the station ran a mix of cartoons, recent off-network sitcoms, talk shows, court shows and movies. KCWB's operations were taken over by Hearst-Argyle Television (now Hearst Television) in 1997, after Argyle Television Holdings II merged with the Hearst Corporation's broadcasting division.

In January 1998, KSMO-TV dropped its UPN affiliation to join The WB after its then-owner, Sinclair Broadcast Group, cut an affiliation deal with the network for its five UPN affiliates at the time.[2] KCWB subsequently joined UPN, but continued to carry The WB's children's program block Kids' WB until that June, as KSMO was under contract to air Fox Kids (which was not carried by the area's Fox station, WDAF-TV, channel 4); at that time, Fox Kids moved to KCWB as well. Channel 29 changed its call letters to the current KCWE on August 24, 1998. Hearst bought the station outright in 2001, creating Kansas City's first television duopoly; however, Hearst-Argyle continued to consider KCWE to be managed rather than owned by the company for several years afterward, as the station was nominally owned by an indirect subsidiary of the Hearst Corporation instead of its Hearst-Argyle division (then a publicly traded company controlled by Hearst).

Logo used from September 2002 until 2006 as a UPN affiliate.

For most of its tenure as a WB affiliate, KCWB's "WB29" logo was similar to the "WB32" logo used on Tampa, Florida sister station WWWB-TV. Following the switch to UPN, KCWE briefly branded as "KC29", ultimately becoming "More TV 29" for several years to once again match its Tampa sister, by then WMOR-TV. KCWE dropped the "More TV" moniker by 2005 (in favor of using its call letters and the slogan "Kansas City's UPN"), but would retain the logo style for most of the remainder of UPN's existence (KMBC would bring back the branding, as "MOREtv Kansas City", on September 14, 2010, when it began airing general entertainment programs on weekday evenings over its second digital subchannel that was otherwise affiliated with The Local AccuWeather Channel[3]). KCWE dropped Fox Kids in the fall of 1999 in favor of adding more talk and reality programs; Fox Kids programming then moved to independent station KMCI-TV (channel 38). Channel 29 ceased carrying children's programs on weekdays altogether, when UPN discontinued its Sunday through Friday morning Disney's One Too block in August 2003.

CW affiliation[edit]

On January 24, 2006, CBS Corporation and Time Warner announced that The WB and UPN would shut down broadcasting operations that September and combine their higher-rated programming on a new "fifth" network called The CW.[4][5] On March 7, The CW and Hearst announced that KCWE would become Kansas City's CW affiliate.[6] As it already had "CW" in its call letters, station management said it would take advantage of this and leave the callsign unchanged.[7] In August of that year, KCWE adopted a new logo reflecting its new CW affiliation. KCWE affiliated with The CW when the network debuted on September 18, 2006.

In late March 2010, Hearst filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission to transfer KCWE's license from its indirect subsidiary (doing business as "KCWE-TV Company") directly to the larger Hearst Television subsidiary, the transfer was completed on May 1. As it is a sister station to KMBC, the station might take on responsibility of running ABC programming in the event that KMBC cannot due to extended breaking news or severe weather coverage, or broadcasts of sporting events. KCWE serves as an alternate CW affiliate for the St. Joseph television market; officially though, that market's CW affiliate is KBJO-LD, which carries the network's programming through the The CW Plus service (it previously operated as cable-only "WBJO" prior to being added as a third digital subchannel of KNPN-LD when that station launched in June 2012, and then became a standalone station in March 2013).[8] In 2010, it aired all Kansas City Wizards MLS games that were not broadcast nationally over-the-air or on cable.[9]


Syndicated programming on the station includes Extra, Maury, and The Steve Wilkos Show. The latter two are distributed by NBCUniversal.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[10]
29.1 1080i 16:9 KCWE-DT Main KCWE programming / The CW
29.2 480i 4:3 This-KC This TV

On March 3, 2009, KCWE began airing This TV on a new second digital subchannel.[11]

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KCWE shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 29, on December 15, 2008, two months before the originally scheduled February 17, 2009 date for full-power stations to transition from analog to digital broadcasts.[12][13] The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 31.[14] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 29. The UHF channel 29 allotment was subsequently taken over by the digital signal of sister station KMBC-TV.


Former nightly news open.

For many years, KCWB/KCWE aired no local newscasts despite being operated by KMBC. Station management cited a fear of "cannibalizing" KMBC's audience as a reason for not expanding news offerings to channel 29. This changed on March 3, 2008, when KMBC added a two-hour extension of its weekday morning newscast, titled KMBC 9 FirstNews on KCWE, airing from 7 to 9 a.m. In addition to airing against Good Morning America on KMBC, the program competes with a portion of a six-hour in-house morning newscast on WDAF-TV and an hour-long newscast on KSMO that is produced by its sister station KCTV (channel 5).

On September 14, 2010, KMBC debuted a half-hour primetime newscast, titled KMBC 9 News at 9 on KCWE. Originally a weeknight-only program, it also airs against a half-hour nightly local newscast seen on KSMO (which debuted in September 2005 and is also produced by KCTV) and a one-hour nightly in-house 9 p.m. newscast that WDAF has aired since it affiliated with Fox in September 1994.[3] Management stated the reason behind the addition of the program was due to The CW's growing ratings (although the network has typically placed fifth nationally since its launch). The 9 p.m. newscast on KCWE runs a commercial-free block featuring the day's top headlines and an updated weather forecast segment during the first nine minutes of the broadcast (a play on its sister station's on-air branding). As is the case on KMBC, all local newscasts seen on KCWE are broadcast in high definition.

News team[edit]

Current on-air staff[edit]

  • Diane Cho - weekends at 9:00 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
  • Kelly Eckerman - weeknights at 9:00 p.m.; also health reporter
  • David Hall - weekends at 9:00 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
  • Len Jennings - weeknights at 9:00 p.m.
  • Kris Ketz - weekday mornings (7:00-9:00 a.m.); also weeknight reporter
  • Donna Pitman - weekday mornings (7:00-9:00 a.m.)
First Alert Weather[15]
  • Bryan Busby (AMS Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 9:00 p.m.; also heard on KPRS (103.3 FM)
  • Joel Nichols - weather anchor; weekday mornings on First News (4:30-7 on KMBC and 7-9 a.m. on KCWE); also feature reporter and host/producer of Afterwords; heard on KMBZ (980 AM and 98.1 FM).
  • Lisa Teachman (AMS Seal of Approval; member, NWA) - meteorologist; weekends at 9:00 p.m.
  • Erin Little (AMS and NWA Seal of Approvals) - meteorologist; fill-in
KMBC 9 Sports[15]
  • Johnny Kane - sports director; weeknights at 9:00 p.m.
  • Len Dawson - sports director emeritus; also sports reporter and fill-in sports anchor
  • Karen Kornacki - sports anchor; weekends at 9:00 p.m.; also sports reporter
  • Martin Augustine - general assignment reporter
  • Peggy Breit - general assignment reporter
  • Haley Harrison - general assignment reporter
  • Cliff Judy - general assignment reporter
  • Micheal Mahoney - general assignment reporter
  • Stephanie Ramos - weekday morning reporter
  • Johnny Rowlands - "NewsChopper 9" helicopter pilot and weekday morning traffic reporter
  • Kerri Stowell - weekday morning traffic reporter; also fill-in news anchor
  • Brenda Washington - weekday morning reporter
Hearst Television Washington Bureau
  • Hallie Jackson - weekday morning national correspondent
  • Nikole Killion - national correspondent
  • Sally Kidd - national correspondent
  • Tara Mergener - fill-in national correspondent


External links[edit]