KSHB-TV

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Not to be confused with KSHV-TV.
KSHB-TV
KSHB 41 News KC logo.png
Kansas City, Missouri
United States
Branding 41 Action News
Slogan Kansas City's Breaking News Leader (news)
Kansas City's Weather Leader (weather)
Channels Digital: 42 (UHF)
Virtual: 41 (PSIP)
Subchannels 41.1 NBC
41.2 Cozi TV
Affiliations NBC
Owner E. W. Scripps Company
(Scripps Media, Inc.)
First air date August 10, 1970 (1970-08-10)
Call letters' meaning Scripps Howard Broadcasting (former name of broadcasting division)
Sister station(s) KMCI-TV
Former callsigns KBMA-TV (1970–1981)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
41 (UHF, 1970–2009)
Former affiliations independent (1970–1986)
Fox (1986–1994)
Transmitter power 450 kW
Height 275.8 m
Facility ID 59444
Transmitter coordinates 38°58′40″N 94°31′59.5″W / 38.97778°N 94.533194°W / 38.97778; -94.533194
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.kshb.com

KSHB-TV, virtual channel 41 (UHF digital channel 42), is an NBC-affiliated television station serving Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas, United States. The station is owned by the E. W. Scripps Company, as part of a duopoly with independent station KMCI-TV (channel 38). The two stations share studio facilities located on Oak Street and Cleaver Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri; KSHB maintains transmitter facilities located at the Blue River Greenway in the city's Hillcrest section.

The station also serves as the default NBC affiliate for the St. Joseph market, which does not have an NBC affiliate of its own. KSHB provides a city-grade signal in St. Joseph proper, and it is available on cable and satellite providers in the market.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

The station first signed on the air on August 10, 1970 as KBMA-TV (standing for Businessmen's Assurance Company of America, which provided initial funds for the station's founding), Founded by Wilson D. Grant, it originally operated as an independent station. However, it had stronger financing and programming than the city's first independent, KCIT-TV (channel 50, now Ion Television owned-and-operated station KPXE-TV), which ceased operations in July 1971 and left channel 41 as the only independent station in Kansas City for the next 12 years (channel 50 eventually returned to the air in December 1978 as a religious station).

The station's original studio facilities were located in the BMA Tower; the first local program to air on KBMA was called 41 Treehouse Lane, an afternoon series for children which also showcased cartoons. From the early 1970s through the 1980s, it was available on many cable providers in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma – including many large Midwestern cities that did not have independent stations of their own, such as Des Moines, Omaha, Lincoln and Wichita – effectively becoming a regional superstation.

KBMA was sold to Scripps Howard Broadcasting in 1977. To reflect its new ownership, the station later changed its call letters to KSHB-TV on September 28, 1981. Under Scripps, channel 41 acquired some stronger off-network sitcoms and movie packages, and remained the area's leading independent station. KSHB became a charter affiliate of Fox when that network launched on October 9, 1986.[1] However, like most Fox stations, it continued to essentially be programmed as an independent station during the network's early years. KSHB continued to air movies during primetime on nights when Fox did not provide programming until the network began airing primetime shows seven nights a week in September 1993. By the early 1990s, KSHB rebranded as "Fox 41," and began to add a few talk and reality shows to its schedule.

As an NBC affiliate[edit]

Former logo, used from 2003 to 2012.

On May 22, 1994, New World Communications signed an affiliation agreement with Fox, six months after the network outbid CBS to be awarded the rights to the NFL's National Football Conference television package. This resulted in most of New World's various "Big Three" network stations (including two that were sold directly to Fox Television Stations) switching their affiliations to Fox. One of the stations involved was Kansas City's longtime NBC affiliate, WDAF-TV (channel 4), which New World was in the process of acquiring from Citicasters (longtime CBS affiliate KSAZ-TV in Phoenix was also acquired through the Citicasters purchase).

Searching for a new affiliate in Kansas City, NBC briefly held discussions with CBS affiliate KCTV (channel 5) for a deal. However, CBS persuaded the Meredith Corporation to switch two of the company's stations (NBC affiliate WNEM-TV in Bay City, Michigan and independent station KPHO in Phoenix) to that network as a condition of keeping the CBS affiliation on KCTV. KMBC-TV (channel 9) was in the middle of a long-term affiliation agreement with ABC at the time, making it a non-viable option. NBC eventually signed an agreement to affiliate with KSHB on August 1, 1994,[2] on the condition that it carry as much local news programming as WDAF had aired as an NBC affiliate. KSHB was not part of Scripps' affiliation deal with ABC (which was struck around the same time) due to ABC's long-term contract with KMBC. NBC programming moved to channel 41 on September 12, 1994, with WDAF taking over the market's Fox affiliation. Fox Kids programming as well as much of KSHB's syndicated programming inventory was acquired by KSMO-TV (channel 62).

For four years after the switch, KSHB aired most of the Kansas City Chiefs' game telecasts as part of NBC's broadcast contract with the American Football Conference; the games moved to KCTV in 1998 when the rights to the AFC package migrated to CBS (Chiefs games now only air on KSHB whenever NBC airs a Sunday Night Football telecast featuring the team). In 1996, Scripps-Howard Broadcasting took over the operations of independent station KMCI (channel 38) under a local marketing agreement,[3] and moved the sitcoms that KSHB had held local syndication rights that it did not have room to carry on its schedule due to the heavy amount of network programming from NBC as well as its new local news programming commitments to that station; Scripps acquired KMCI outright in 2001.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[4]
41.1 1080i 16:9 KSHB-DT Main KSHB-TV programming / NBC
41.2 480i KSHB-WX Cozi TV

Analog-to-digital transition[edit]

KSHB-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 41, 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 42.[5][6] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 41.

Programming[edit]

Syndicated programs broadcast on KSHB include The Doctors, Jeopardy! (Wheel of Fortune, usually paired with Jeopardy! in most markets, airs in Kansas City on WDAF-TV) and the Scripps-produced shows Let's Ask America and The List. Although it airs most NBC programs in pattern, KSHB currently airs Today in two blocks from 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. (with a breakaway at 10:00 a.m. for Kansas City Live and the midday newscast). KSHB airs the NBC Kids block on a one-hour delay due to its Saturday morning newscast, and runs Early Today 30 to 60 minutes earlier than most NBC stations in the Central Time Zone at 3:30 a.m., in line with the Eastern Time scheduling of the program.

In September 2005, KSHB debuted a locally produced mid-morning talk show titled Kansas City Live, which was similar in format to two other talk programs aired on the station – Kansas City Today, which aired on the station during the late 1990s, and AM Live, which aired in the 1980s; the show was cancelled in early 2008, and was replaced by a midday newscast in its 11:00 a.m. slot; the Kansas City Live title was revived for a new talk show that debuted on the station in September 2012, which features a mix of paid and unpaid segments.

News operation[edit]

KSHB-TV presently broadcasts 30½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with five hours on weekdays, 3½ hours on Saturdays and 2½ hours on Sundays). In addition, the station produces the half-hour sports highlight program Sports Sunday on Sundays nights after the 10:00 p.m. newscast. It is one of ten television stations that air consumer reports from John Matarese of ABC-affiliated sister station WCPO-TV in Cincinnati.

Although KSHB's newscast ratings are generally lower than WDAF, KCTV and KMBC-TV (and NBC's ratings have been lower than that of ABC, CBS and Fox since the mid-2000s), the station has seen some slow viewership growth in the last several years. In fact, KSHB is now solidly in second place at 5:00 and 6:00 p.m., and has risen to third in the 6:00 a.m. timeslot. Given NBC's often mediocre to poor performance in primetime in recent years, its late evening newscast at 10:00 p.m. continues to struggle, consistently ranking in fourth place, and at times a close third at a small enough margin to where KSHB competes to an extent with WDAF (which itself competes with KCTV for second place) for third place in the market.

Channel 41 ran news programs in various formats for years prior to joining NBC. As an independent station, KSHB (as KBMA) aired news updates with reports supplied by United Press International over a 41 Newsbreak slide. During the 1980s, the station aired a 15-minute local newscast at 10:00 p.m. titled 41 Express, as well as live news updates that ran during commercial breaks within primetime programs until 1991. The current news department began with the August 1993 debut of Fox 41 News at Nine, a half-hour 9:00 p.m. newscast that was anchored by Jim Condelles and Pam Davis. Upon becoming an NBC affiliate on September 12, 1994, KSHB added newscasts at 5:00 p.m. seven nights a week and at 6:00 p.m. weeknights; the 9:00 p.m. newscast was also moved to 10:00 p.m.[7] The 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. newscasts were canceled in 1997, in favor of a single half-hour newscast at 6:30 p.m.; newscasts were reinstated at 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. upon the removal of the 6:30 broadcast in March 1999.[8] In 2000, KSHB began producing a half-hour 9:00 p.m. newscast for KMCI; by the time it was canceled in 2003, the program was titled 38 News Now and had used different graphics, a different (and drastically smaller) set, and a different all-percussion theme than KSHB's newscasts.

KSHB has since become a more news-intensive operation – to the point where it currently brands itself as 41 Action News. The Action News branding, as a Scripps-owned station, is also shared with sister stations WFTS-TV in Tampa and WXYZ-TV in Detroit (both of which are ABC affiliates). In the case of the Kansas City market, KSHB is the second station to use the branding – dating from when WDAF used it for its newscasts from 1974 to 1990 as an NBC affiliate. The Action News branding on KSHB originated as NBC Action News in 2003, for use as a unified brand for both entertainment programming and newscasts; after station management discovered that most viewers still referred to KSHB as "channel 41," the on-air branding was changed (with very little advanced promotion) to 41 Action News on February 5, 2012 beginning with that night's 10:00 p.m. newscast (following NBC's coverage of Super Bowl XLVI and the second season premiere of The Voice).[9]

On April 24, 2008, starting with its 11:00 a.m. newscast, KSHB became the second station in the Kansas City market (behind KMBC-TV) to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition; a new high definition set was unveiled on August 8. In November 2009, KSHB-TV introduced a new red and brown standardized graphics package (designed by a graphics hub based out of WFTS-TV) and news theme (composed by Musikvergnuegen) for its newscasts, that became utilized on most of Scripps' stations.[10]

On August 23, 2010, KSHB expanded its morning newscast to 2½ hours, with the addition of a half-hour at 4:30 a.m. (the station had previously started its morning newscast at 4:00 a.m. from 2005 to 2006); its hour-long Saturday morning newscast was extended to two hours from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. and an hour-long 6:00 p.m. newscast on Saturdays was added on September 4.[11] Earlier on August 19, KSHB announced that former WDAF-TV sports director Frank Boal (who had announced in 2009 that he was retiring from the television industry) would be joining the station as a contributor for its NFL and college football coverage. On August 29, 2011, KSHB debuted a half-hour 4:30 p.m. newscast, which utilizes social media platforms to allow viewers to interact with the program.[12] On April 8, 2013, the station added an hour-long 4:00 p.m. newscast on weekdays.[13] On July 14, 2014, KSHB-TV and Denver sister station KMGH-TV (which produces the program) debuted a Scripps-produced hour-long news program titled The NOW (which replaced the 4:00 p.m. newscast); the program, which will begin to be syndicated to other Scripps stations through January 2015, heavily incorporates social media and features a mix of national segments featuring stories that are trending online and local news inserts.[14]

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]