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Kansas City, Missouri-
Kansas City, Kansas
|City of license||Lawrence, Kansas|
|Branding||38 The Spot|
|Slogan||It's Where You Want to Be.|
|Channels||Digital: 41 (UHF)
Virtual: 38 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||38.1 KMCI (Independent)
38.2 Bounce TV
|Owner||E. W. Scripps Company
(Scripps Media, Inc.)
|First air date||February 13, 1988|
|Call letters' meaning||ICAO-assigned code for Kansas City International Airport and
|Former callsigns||KMCI (1988–2010)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
38 (UHF, 1988–2009)
36 (UHF, 2002–2009)
HSN (1988–1995, secondary until 1999)
Fox Kids/4Kids TV (1999–2008)
Live Well Network (2011–2013)
|Transmitter power||500 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KMCI-TV, virtual channel 38 (UHF digital channel 41), is an independent television station serving Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas, United States that is licensed to Lawrence, Kansas. The station is owned by the E. W. Scripps Company, as part of the company's only existing legal full-power station duopoly with NBC affiliate KSHB-TV (channel 41). The two stations share studio facilities located on Oak Street and Cleaver Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri, and its transmitter is located at the Blue River Greenway in the city's Hillcrest section.
The station first signed on the air on February 13, 1988, as an affiliate of the Home Shopping Network. It was originally owned by Miller Television. Beginning sometime in 1995, KMCI began carrying a minimal amount of syndicated sitcoms, cartoons and other programs, alongside the HSN programming. When KSHB-TV lost the Fox affiliation to WDAF-TV (channel 4) and gained the NBC affiliation that was displaced by that station, KSHB sold very little of its programming to KSMO-TV (channel 62) or WDAF. The station had a lot of acquired programming that it did not have room to run on its schedule due to NBC's heavy lineup of network programming; most of these shows were acquired by KMCI. Early programs on KMCI included shows such as I Love Lucy, Leave It To Beaver, Tom and Jerry, Popeye, Happy Days and Taxi. In the summer of 1996, Scripps Howard Broadcasting (owner of KSHB-TV) began to manage KMCI under a local marketing agreement; KMCI then rebranded as "38 Family Greats", with a family-oriented general entertainment format from 6 a.m. to midnight, with HSN programming being relegated to the overnight hours. More recent programs also airing regularly on KSHB were integrated onto KMCI's schedule.
HSN programming was subsequently dropped from the station in 1999. That fall, KMCI began carrying weekday afternoon and Saturday morning programming from Fox Kids, after it was dropped by then-UPN affiliate KCWE (channel 29, now a CW affiliate); WDAF chose to decline Fox's children's programming lineup after affiliating with the network in September 1994. The weekday afternoon Fox Kids block was discontinued nationwide by Fox in 2002, leaving only the Saturday morning block.
The station was acquired by the E.W. Scripps Company outright in 2002, forming a legal duopoly with KSHB. That same year, KMCI dropped the "Family Greats" name and simply branded by its channel number. Then in July 2003, the station officially became known as "38 the Spot". The station continued to run children's programming from Fox after it was relaunched under the "Fox Box" banner in September 2002 and again under the "4Kids TV" banner from January 2005 until Fox discontinued its children's programming in December 2008, following a dispute with 4Kids Entertainment, which subsequently began programming The CW's Saturday morning children's programming that same year (Weekend Marketplace, the infomercial block that replaced the 4Kids TV block, does not currently air in the Kansas City market).
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|38.1||1080i||16:9||KMCI-TV||Main KMCI-TV programming|
Live Well Network was originally intended to be carried on KSHB digital subchannel 41.3, but was added to KMCI 38.2 on September 1, 2011 instead to even out the bandwidth between both stations. KMCI 38.2 replaced the Live Well Network with Bounce TV on October 21, 2013.
KMCI-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 38, 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 36 to UHF channel 41 (the former analog-era assignment and current virtual channel of sister station KSHB-TV) for post-transition operations. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 38.
KMCI features hosts that promote the station's programming, as well as local events during commercial breaks. Taunia Hottman was the first spokesperson for KMCI as "38 the Spot". Meredith Hoenes (who became a traffic reporter for KSHB-TV around this time) replaced Hottman after she left in 2004 to join KUSA in Denver, Colorado. Holly Starr took over after Hoenes left in February 2008 to become a weekday anchor/reporter for WDAF-TV; Starr remained with KMCI as its program host until 2011, replaced by Crystle Lampitt in 2012.
In 2000, KSHB-TV began producing a half-hour 9 p.m. newscast on KMCI to compete with the in-house newscast in that timeslot on WDAF-TV (which debuted in September 1994, when that station switched from NBC to Fox). The program was canceled in 2003, one week after KMCI's rebranding as "38 The Spot"; by this point, the newscast was called 38 News Now and had completely differentiated itself from KSHB's newscasts, using different graphics, a different – and drastically smaller – set, and a different all-percussion theme ("Third Coast" by Stephen Arnold, which KSHB used as its news theme from 1999 until it rebranded as "NBC Action News" in 2003, and was used on the KMCI newscast from its launch).
On August 1, 2011, KMCI began airing a rebroadcast of KSHB's 11 a.m. newscast at noon on weekdays. In addition to airing rebroadcasts of local news programming from KSHB-TV, KMCI will take on the responsibility of preempting regular programming and running NBC network shows in the event of extended breaking news or severe weather coverage on KSHB.
- NBC 41 News on 38 (2000–2003)
- 38 News Now (2003–2004)
- NBC Action News Midday (2011–2012; rebroadcast of KSHB 11 a.m. newscast)
- 41 Action News Midday (2012–present; rebroadcast of KSHB 11 a.m. newscast)
- "It's Where You Want to Be." (2003–present)
- Scripps to Run TV Station in Lawrence, Kan., The Cincinnati Post (via HighBeam Research), March 28, 1996.
- Scripps Plans to Buy KMCI-TV in Lawrence, Kansas, PR Newswire (via HighBeam Research), December 6, 1999.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KMCI
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- KC TV stations will delay digital-only switch, Kansas City Business Journal, February 6, 2009.
- 38TheSpot.com - KCMI-TV official website
- KSHB.com - KSHB-TV official website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KMCI
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KMCI-TV