|Ames/Des Moines, Iowa
|City of license||Ames, Iowa|
|Branding||KCWI 23, The CW|
|Slogan||We're Your Station!|
|Channels||Digital: 23 (UHF)
KDMI-DT 23.3 (UHF)
Virtual: 23.1 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||23.1 The CW|
|Affiliations||The CW (2006-present)|
|Owner||Pappas Telecasting Companies
(sale to Nexstar Broadcasting Group pending)
(KCWI License, LLC)
|First air date||January 20, 2001|
|Call letters' meaning||The CW Iowa|
|Former callsigns||KPWB-TV (2001–2006)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
23 (UHF, 2001–2009)
The WB (2001-2006)
|Transmitter power||246 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KCWI-TV is the CW-affiliated television station for the Des Moines, Iowa metropolitan area that is licensed to Ames. Broadcasting on UHF channel 23 from a transmitter near Alleman, KCWI is owned by Pappas Telecasting Companies and is sister to This TV affiliate KDMI (channel 19). Both stations share studios located on Southwest 7th Street in downtown Des Moines. Syndicated programs seen on KCWI include The Middle, Doug, The King of Queens and Modern Family.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|23.1||1080i||16:9||KCWI-DT||Main KCWI-TV programming / The CW|
KCWI-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 23, 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 "flash-cut" its digital signal into operation on its analog-era UHF channel 23. Due to this abnormality, the station's digital is carried as a subchannel of sister station KDMI. Because it was granted an original construction permit after the Federal Communications Commission finalized the DTV allotment plan on April 21, 1997. KCWI-TV did not receive a companion channel for a digital television station.
As a WB affiliate
Channel 23 first signed on the air on January 20, 2001 under the callsign KPWB-TV (the KPWB calls were originally used by KMAX-TV in Sacramento, California during that station's 1995 to 1998 tenure as a WB affiliate under Pappas ownership, before later becoming a UPN owned-and-operated station and then joining The CW). The station originally maintained a primary affiliation with The WB and a secondary affiliation with UPN. KPWB dropped UPN programming in 2003, carrying the full WB primetime and Kids' WB lineups during the remainder of the station's tenure with the network.
On January 24, 2006, Time Warner and CBS Corporation announced the shutdowns of The WB and UPN effective that September. In place of these networks, both companies decided to form The CW Television Network, a new service that combined the most popular programming from both UPN and The WB with new series produced specifically for the network. Just over one month later on February 22, 2006, News Corporation announced that it would start up MyNetworkTV, a sister network to Fox, which would be operated as a joint venture between Fox Television Stations and Twentieth Television. MyNetworkTV was created in order to give UPN and WB-affiliated stations that were not selected to join The CW another option besides becoming an independent station.
It seemed very likely that KPWB would become The CW's Des Moines affiliate, as NBC affiliate WHO-TV (channel 13) had a secondary affiliation with UPN. On March 16, 2006, Pappas Telecasting signed an affiliation agreement to make KPWB the market's CW affiliate. A few months later, MyNetworkTV announced that it would affiliate with a new station also owned by Pappas, KDMI (then on channel 56), which began broadcasting that network on September 5, 2006. On September 18, 2006, the date that The CW officially launched, KPWB changed its call letters to KCWI-TV to reflect its new affiliation.
After MyNetworkTV converted to a programming service in September 2009, KDMI dropped the affiliation in favor of joining This TV. WWE SmackDown, which aired on MyNetworkTV at the time, moved to KCWI airing in a Saturday primetime slot; the station stopped airing the show on September 11, 2010, three weeks before the agreement to carry the show ended with the October 2010 move of Smackdown to Syfy. As a result of KDMI dropping the MyNetworkTV affiliation, Des Moines was the largest Nielsen media market without an over-the-air affiliate of the service until KDMI rejoined MyNetworkTV on October 3, 2011, though that station began carrying the service's programming four hours later than most MyNetworkTV affiliates upon rejoining the service (Nexstar Broadcasting Group-owned WLMT in Memphis also aired SmackDown in a manner very similar to KCWI after MyNetworkTV's original Memphis affiliate WPXX-TV dropped the programming service; WLMT's second digital subchannel eventually affiliated with the service after SmackDown moved to Syfy).
On October 24, 2014, Pappas reached a deal to sell KCWI-TV to Nexstar Broadcasting Group for $3.5 million. The deal will separate the station from KDMI, but will create a new duopoly with ABC affiliate WOI-DT (channel 5). Shortly after the sale was announced, Harry and Stella Pappas sued to block the deal, arguing that the price undervalued KCWI. The deal was approved by the FCC on December 19, 2014, but the completion of the deal is on hold due to the lawsuit.
KCWI presently broadcasts a total of 20 hours of local newscasts each week (solely consisting of four hours each weekday). KCWI did not broadcast any news programming until April 2012, when the station debuted a three-hour morning news and interview show called Great Day on KCWI, now airing four hours Monday-Fridays from 6 to 10 a.m. since September 2013. In addition to news, weather, sports and traffic reports, Great Day features guest interviews, animal segments, comedians, music and various videos. The station does not currently offer a primetime newscast following CW network programming, with syndicated sitcom reruns airing instead during the 9 p.m. timeslot.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KCWI
- Final Digital TV (DTV) Channel Plan from FCC97-115
- UPN and WB to Combine, Forming New TV Network, The New York Times, January 24, 2006.
- Fox to Launch My Network TV, News Corporation, February 22, 2006.
- "APPLICATION FOR CONSENT TO ASSIGNMENT OF BROADCAST STATION CONSTRUCTION PERMIT OR LICENSE". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. November 3, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
- Malone, Michael (November 19, 2014). "Pappas Files Suit to Block KCWI Des Moines Sale". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- KCWI23.com - KCWI/KDMI-TV official website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KCWI
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KCWI-TV
- Coverage map from TVFool.com