|St. Louis, Missouri|
|Branding||KMOV 4 (general)
News 4 St. Louis (newscasts)
|Slogan||News 4 Never Stops Watching Out For You|
|Channels||Digital: 24 (UHF)
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
|First air date||July 8, 1954|
|Call letters' meaning||disambiguation of former KMOX-TV callsign|
|Former callsigns||KWK-TV (1954-1958)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
4 (VHF, 1954-2009)
56 (UHF, until 2009)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
KMOV, virtual channel 4, is a CBS-affiliated television station located in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. KMOV is owned by the Dallas-based Belo Corporation, with its studio and office facilities in Downtown St. Louis, and transmitter located in Lemay, Missouri.
- 1 History
- 2 Digital television
- 3 Local programming
- 4 References
- 5 External links
The station began broadcasting on July 8, 1954 as KWK-TV. At its launch, channel 4 was owned by a consortium that included the Convey family and the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, who jointly operated KWK radio (1380 AM, now KXFN); the owners of KXOK radio (630 AM, now KYFI) in St. Louis, which had to be sold as a condition of the license grant; and Hubbard Broadcasting of Saint Paul, Minnesota. KWK-TV took the CBS affiliation from WTVI (channel 54, now KTVI on channel 2). Until 1955, it also aired whatever ABC programs that WTVI turned down.
However, CBS wanted its own television station in St. Louis to run alongside its powerhouse radio station, KMOX (1120 AM). It originally won the construction permit for channel 11 – the last remaining commercial VHF license in St. Louis – in January 1957. But CBS decided in August of that year to instead buy KWK-TV for $4 million. CBS was then forced to give up its construction permit and license for channel 11, and the FCC transferred it to one of the failed applicants, a group led by St. Louis hotelier Harold Koplar, for no financial consideration. Almost immediately, the deal was held up after the St. Louis Amusement Company, one of the original applicants for channel 11, protested to the United States Court of Appeals in January 1958. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately upheld the decision in November 1958. But CBS already officially took control of channel 4 in March 1958, changing its call letters to KMOX-TV after its new radio sister. The following April, channel 11 signed on as independent station KPLR-TV.
By late 1985 CBS was experiencing rough financial straits, an after-effect of successfully fending off a hostile takeover attempt by Ted Turner the previous year. CBS spent the latter portion of 1985 repurchasing a large portion of its stock to help block the Turner takeover. Once Turner sold his stock, CBS was saddled with significant debt and needed to raise cash. Not long after Laurence Tisch became the company's chairman, CBS made the decision to sell KMOX-TV, at the time its smallest owned-and-operated television station. On May 16, 1986, former CBS subsidiary and future parent company Viacom completed its $122.5 million purchase of the station and modified its callsign to KMOV almost a month later on June 18. Despite the sale channel 4 remained co-located with KMOX radio in their downtown studios on Memorial Drive near the Gateway Arch, until KMOX relocated in 2012; both stations moved there in 1968.
As a CBS-owned station, channel 4 cleared the entire network schedule. When Viacom took over in 1986, this changed rather drastically. KMOV began signing off the air at night, thus preempting the overnight news program CBS News Nightwatch. A barrage of scattered primetime preemptions later followed that was so rampant, the station earned a mention in Ken Auletta's 1991 book, Three Blind Mice. KMOV randomly replaced CBS prime-time shows with programming such as Billy Graham Crusades and National Geographic specials, syndicated movie packages, and occasional sporting events. According to Auletta, KMOV preempted 103 hours of CBS primetime programming in 1987, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the network primetime schedule. In the 1990s, the primetime preemptions eased, and currently, the station only occasionally preempts a CBS primetime program. The station also resumed a 24-hour broadcast schedule in the early 1990s.
Viacom purchased Paramount Pictures in 1994, and merged its five-station group (KMOV, WHEC-TV in Rochester, New York, WNYT in Albany, New York, WVIT in New Britain, Connecticut, and KSLA-TV in Shreveport, Louisiana - all of which were either affiliated with either CBS or NBC) into the Paramount Stations Group. However, in 1995, the company decided to divest itself of all of these network affiliates so it could focus on owning stations that would air UPN and Paramount Television programming. Belo Corporation acquired KMOV in a three-way deal also involving two television stations in the Seattle-Tacoma market. As part of the transaction, Belo sold KIRO-TV (included in the deal because Belo had recently acquired that market's NBC affiliate KING-TV) to Cox Enterprises, who concurrently sold its existing Seattle-Tacoma station, KSTW, to Viacom. The deal was consummated on June 1, 1997.KSTW is now owned by CBS Corporation, but KMOV and KIRO-TV remain under their post-1997 owners to this day.
On June 13, 2013, Belo announced that it would be acquired by the Gannett Company, the owner of NBC affiliate KSDK. Since this deal would violate Federal Communications Commission regulations which disallow common ownership of two of the four highest-rated stations in a single media market (this has clearly been the case with KMOV and KSDK, which rank as the top two stations in the St. Louis market in total-day ratings), Gannett will retain KSDK, and announced plans to spin off KMOV to Sander Media, LLC, owned by a former Belo executive, Jack Sander. While Gannett intended to provide services to the station through a shared services agreement, KMOV's operations were to remain largely separate from KSDK, including separate and competing news and sales departments. However, on December 16, 2013, the United States Department of Justice announced that Gannett, Belo, and Sander would need to divest KMOV to a government-approved third-party that would be barred from entering into any agreements with Gannett, in order to fully preserve competition in advertising sales with KSDK. With those stipulations, The FCC granted approval of the deal on December 20.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|4.1||1080i||16:9||KMOV-HD||Main KMOV programming / ABC|
|KMOV-LW||Live Well Network|
As part of the analog television shutdown and digital conversion, KMOV shut down its analog transmitter on June 12, 2009, and continued to broadcast its digital signal on its pre-transition digital channel 24. However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display KMOV's virtual channel as 4.1.
KMOV presently broadcasts a total of 27 hours of local newscasts each week (with five hours on weekdays, and 1½ hours on Saturdays and 3½ hours on Sundays). In addition, the station produces a half-hour sports wrap-up program called Sports Sunday on Sunday evenings after the 10 p.m. newscast. Many members of KMOV's on-air news staff have moved on to work for national news organizations (for example, both Richelle Carey and meteorologist Reynolds Wolf joined CNN in 2006). While this seems like a positive aspect, one of KMOV's weaknesses has been the "revolving door" turnover rate of its anchors and reporters, leading to the unfamiliarity that many of the station's on-air personalities have in the market. Though this may have initially caused some issues for KMOV, ratings for the station's newscasts have since been increasing. Since the departure of Karen Foss from KSDK in December 2006, Larry Conners assumed the title of the longest-serving 10 p.m. news anchor in the market.
In 1976, KMOV became the second station to adopt Dick Marx' WBBM Channel 2 News Theme, that eventually became the de facto official theme music for the newscasts on CBS' owned-and-operated stations. The theme was dropped by the station in 1986 after Viacom took control, though from 2001 to 2008, the station used a Frank Gari-composed package The CBS Enforcer Music Collection, which uses a music signature derived from the WBBM package. Ironically from 1989 to 1992, KMOV used Gari's News Series 2000, traditionally associated with ABC stations, as its news theme.
KMOX-TV led the ratings in St. Louis for most of the time from the late 1960s to the early 1980s, in common with most of its CBS-owned stablemates. From the early 1980s until recently, KMOX-TV/KMOV was a solid, if distant, runner-up to KSDK. However until the mid-1990s, the station had to fend off spirited competition from KTVI. Although KMOV's newscasts were critically favored, this was rarely rewarded with a ratings win over long-dominant KSDK, with the 10 p.m. newscast regularly winning at least a 20% viewership share, while KSDK averaged about a 30% share. KMOV has seen significant growth in viewership since 2004, initially beating out KSDK at 10 p.m. during the November 2004 sweeps period – the first time in over a quarter-century that KSDK did not place first in any timeslot – and once again in May 2006. KMOV's 10 p.m. newscast not only beat out KSDK's during the November 2006 sweeps period, but also became the most-watched late evening newscast in the United States. Most of the ratings growth at 10 p.m. was attributed to ABC's primetime ratings increases and NBC's large drop in viewership. However, KMOV also saw growth in all of its other newscasts, at times where the station does not benefit from a strong ABC lead-in.
On January 27, 2008, beginning with its 5:30 p.m. newscast, KMOV became the second television station in the St. Louis market to broadcast its local newscasts in high definition (after KSDK, which has produced its newscasts in the format since 2006).
During the 2013 November Ratings Book, the St. Louis market saw one of the biggest swings in news viewership in nearly 30 years. KMOV finished first at Noon, 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. KMOV also saw a major surge in morning news viewership. The day-time show Great Day St. Louis also saw a ratings jump beating out KSDK's Show Me St. Louis for the first time since its debut.
- The KWK-TV Newsreel/KWK-TV News (1954-1958)
- KMOX-TV News (1958-1976)
- Big 4 News (circa 1968-1974)
- Channel 4 Newsroom (1976-1986)
- News 4 St. Louis (1986-1992 and 1995–present)
- Channel 4 News (1992–1993)
- News 4 (1993-1995)
- News 4 St. Louis This Morning: 4:30-7:00 a.m.
- News 4 St. Louis at Noon: 12:00-12:30 p.m.
- News 4 St. Louis at 5:00: 5:00-5:30 p.m.
- News 4 St. Louis at 6:00: 6:00-6:30 p.m.
- News 4 St. Louis at 10:00: 10:00-10:35 p.m.
- News 4 St. Louis This Morning: 5:00-6:00 and 7:00-8:00 a.m.
- News 4 St. Louis at 5:00: 5:00-5:30 p.m.
- News 4 St. Louis at 6:00: 6:00-6:30 p.m.
- News 4 St. Louis at 10:00: 10:00-11:05 p.m.
- News 4 St. Louis This Morning: 6:00-8:00 a.m.
- News 4 St. Louis at 5:30: 5:30-6:00 p.m.
- News 4 St. Louis at 10:00: 10:00-11:05 p.m.
- Andre Hepkins - weekday mornings on News 4 This Morning (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Jasmine Huda - weeknights at 5:00 p.m.; also 10:00 p.m. reporter
- Claire Kellett - weekday mornings on News 4 This Morning (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Sharon Reed - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Steve Savard - weeknights at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Robin Smith - weekdays at noon; also weekday morning reporter
- Chris Stanford - weekend evenings; also reporter
- Diana Zoga - weekend mornings (5:00-6:00 and 7:00-8:00 Saturdays; 6:00-8:00 a.m. Sundays); also reporter
- 4WARN Storm Team
- Steve Templeton (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Katie Horner - meteorologist; weekdays at noon and at 5:00 p.m.
- Kent Ehrhardt (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings on News 4 This Morning (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Kristen Cornett (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekend mornings (5:00-6:00 and 7:00-8:00 Saturdays; 6:00-8:00 a.m. Sundays) and Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.
- Matt Chambers (AMS Seal of Approval; member, NWA) - meteorologist; severe weather coverage & fill-in
- News 4 Sports
- Mo Drummand - sports director; Sundays at 5:30, Monday-Thursdays at 6:00 and Sundays-Thursdays at 10:00 p.m.
- Doug Vaughn - sports anchor; Fridays at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Brian Feldman - sports anchor; Saturdays at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m., also sports reporter
- Lindsay Bramson - general assignment reporter
- Craig Cheatham - investigative reporter
- Mike Colombo - investigative reporter and weekday morning reporter (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Steve Harris - weekday morning reporter (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Laura Hettiger - weekday morning reporter (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Russell Kinsaul - general assignment reporter; fill-in anchor
- Chris Nagus - investigative reporter
- Brittany Noble - general assignment reporter
- Ray Preston - general assignment reporter
- Emily Rau - general assignment reporter
- Matt Sczesny - general assignment reporter; fill-in anchor
- Lauren Trager - general assignment reporter
- Nick Zervos - "SkyZoom 4" pilot/photojournalist
- Great Day St. Louis
- Matt Chambers - host and co-producer
- Kent Ehrhardt - host
- Virginia Kerr - host
Notable former on-air staff
- Richelle Carey - reporter (2003–2006; now at HLN)
- Larry Conners - investigative reporter/anchor (1976-1979, 1986-2013) 
- Roger Grimsby - reporter/news correspondent (1959–1961; deceased)
- Jim Hart - weekend sports anchor (former quarterback for the NFL's St. Louis Cardinals)
- Linda Lorelle - reporter (late 1980s; later worked at KPRC-TV in Houston)
- Russ Mitchell - anchor/reporter (late 1980s; later with CBS News and currently at WKYC-TV in Cleveland)
- Regis Philbin - hosted one of his early syndicated shows from the KMOX-TV studios (1972–1975), before moving to Los Angeles (former host of the ABC primetime version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and the syndicated talk show Live with Regis and Kelly. He is currently with Fox Sports 1 as one of the hosts of The Crowd Goes Wild)
- Barry Serafin - weekend anchor/reporter (became Washington, D.C. correspondent for CBS News in 1971; later with ABC News)
- Reynolds Wolf - meteorologist (2005–2006; later at CNN and at WSB-TV in Atlanta; now with The Weather Channel)
Other locally-produced programming
In February 2002, KMOV partnered with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to produce the weekly news discussion program Extra Edition, hosted by now-former weekday morning anchor Marc Cox. In 2003, KMOV began producing At the Zoo, a program that gives a behind-the-scenes look inside the St. Louis Zoo and was hosted by meteorologist Kent Ehrhardt (encore presentations of older episodes aired from 2009 to 2011). In September 2008, KMOV premiered Great Day St. Louis, an hour-long daytime talk show, mostly focusing on entertainment and lifestyle topics in the St. Louis area (the show is currently hosted by Virginia Kerr, Carol Daniel, Matt Chambers and Kent Ehrhardt). In January 2011, KMOV debuted At the Center, which features an inside look at attractions at the St. Louis Science Center.
- "KWK-TV begins; six others ready." Broadcasting - Telecasting, July 12, 1954, pg. 68. 
- "FCC acts to clear key market V's." Broadcasting - Telecasting, January 21, 1957, pp. 35-37. 
- "St. Louis handshake." Broadcasting - Telecasting, September 9, 1957, pg. 5. 
- "New alignment set for St. Louis TV." Broadcasting - Telecasting, October 28, 1957, pg. 73. 
- "Court issues temporary stay in St. Louis ch. 11 situation." Broadcasting - Telecasting, January 6, 1958, pg. 74. 
- "Supreme Court refuses plea to upset St. Louis TV grant." Broadcasting - Telecasting, November 24, 1958, pg. 79. 
- "CBS-TV takes over KWK-TV." Broadcasting - Telecasting, March 3, 1958, pg. 10. 
- "Pressed into service." Broadcasting, May 18, 1959, pg. 80
- "The second 50 years of the Fifth Estate." Broadcasting, December 30, 1985, pg. 70. 
- "CBS puts KMOX-TV on the block." Broadcasting, October 28, 1985, pg. 110. 
- "For the Record." Broadcasting, June 30, 1986, pg. 64. (call letter change from KMOX-TV to KMOV) 
- Seven, Richard (January 21, 1997). "CBS Link Likely To Stay With KSTW -- Buyer Experienced In Broadcast News". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- Brown, Lisa (June 13, 2013). "Gannett to buy TV station owner Belo for $1.5 billion". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
- Eggerton, John (December 16, 2013). "Justice: Sander Can't Keep KMOV". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
- Digital Television Transition Problematic For Some, Don Corrigan, Webster-Kirkwood Times, January 23, 2009 indicates both KMOV and KNLC as digital-only
- Belo Corp. | Press Releases
- Belo Corp. | Press Releases
- "KMOX News Report, Pruitt–Igoe 1968" news report in the archives of the Missouri Historical Society (link via YouTube), 1968; "Big 4 News" uttered by reporter around 2:00 
- "Larry Conners no longer with KMOV". KMOV. May 22, 2013.
- "KMOVs Larry Conners Fired Over Facebook Comments". KMOX. May 22, 2013.
- KMOV.com - Official Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KMOV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KMOV-TV