|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)
|Owner||Pappas Telecasting Companies
(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:
|Former affiliations||The WB (2001-2006)
UPN (secondary; 2001-2003)
|Transmitter power||246 kW|
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 MyNetworkTV/This TV affiliate KDMI. Both stations share studios located in downtown Des Moines. Syndicated programs seen on KCWI include Friends, Family Guy, The King of Queens and Scrubs.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming|
|23.1||1080i||16:9||KCWI||Main KCWI-TV programming / The CW|
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. Instead, on or before June 12, 2009, which was the final day of the digital TV conversion period for full-service stations, the station was required to turn off its analog signal and turn on its digital signal (called a "flash-cut"). Due to this abnormality, KCWI's digital signal is carried as a subchannel of sister station KDMI.
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/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 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, 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 (this 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/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).
KCWI presently broadcasts a total of 15 hours of local newscasts each week (solely consisting of three 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, airing Monday-Fridays from 6 to 9 a.m. 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.
Great Day Team / Hosts
Great Day on KCWI
- Lou Sipolt, Jr. - anchor/host
- Jackie Schmillen - anchor/host
- Jason Parkin (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist
- Michelle Beschen - fill in host
- Stan Moberg - fill-in host/Producer
- KCWI 23 official website
- Great Day website
- KCWI's Pappas TV profile
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KCWI
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KCWI-TV