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Hutchinson-Wichita, Kansas
City of license Hutchinson
Branding KWCH 12 (general)
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News HD (newscasts)
Slogan Expect More
Channels Digital: 19 (UHF)
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
Subchannels (see article)
Affiliations CBS
Owner Schurz Communications
(Sunflower Broadcasting, Inc.)
First air date July 1, 1953
Call letters' meaning WiCHita
Sister station(s) KSCW-DT
Former callsigns KTVH (1953-1983)
KWCH-TV (1983-2009)
Former channel number(s)

12 (VHF, 1953-2009)
19 (UHF, 2002-2009)
12 (VHF, 2009) 19 (UHF, 2009-present)

33 (UHF, LP, 2012-present)
Former affiliations NBC (secondary, 1953-1954)
ABC (secondary, 1953-1955)
DuMont (secondary, 1953-1955)
Transmitter power

1000kW, LP Transmitter Power

Height 421 m
Facility ID 66413
Transmitter coordinates 37°48′0.7″N 97°31′30.2″W / 37.800194°N 97.525056°W / 37.800194; -97.525056

KWCH-DT is the CBS-affiliated television station for Wichita, Kansas that is licensed to Hutchinson. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 19 (virtual channel 12) from a transmitter in Buhler. The station can be seen on Cox cable channel 12 in standard definition and in high definition (with a receiver from Cox) on digital channel 2012, or (with the QAM receiver built into digital TVs) on digital channel 114-5, and is Owned by Schurz Communications of South Bend, Indiana, KWCH is sister to The CW Television Network affiliate KSCW and Univision/TeleFutura affiliate KDCU-DT (the latter owned by Entravision Communications but operated by Schurz through a joint sales agreement).

KWCH-DT also serves as the flagship of the Kansas Broadcasting System, a statewide network of four full-power stations relaying CBS network programming across central and western Kansas, as well as bordering counties in Colorado, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. The two stations share studios on East 37th Street North in Wichita, which also houses the master controls for KDCU. Syndicated programming on KWCH includes: Inside Edition, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dr. Phil, and The 700 Club.


Channel 12 debuted July 1, 1953 as KTVH. It is Kansas' oldest surviving station. The first station to sign on in Kansas was KCTY which operated a transmitter in Overland Park for less than a year in 1953 and 1954 on channel 25. That station went on the air in June 1953 just prior to KTVH's sign-on. Channel 12 broadcast from studios in Hutchinson and carried programming from all four networks of the time (CBS, NBC, ABC, and DuMont). In 1954, it lost NBC when KAKE-TV signed on but continued to air some ABC programming until KARD-TV (now KSNW) signed on in 1955 and took over the NBC affiliation. The first NBC affiliate in Wichita was with KEDD-TV which operated on channel 16 as an independent station for a short time before shutting down after losing its network affiliation to KAKE.[1] Also in 1954, KTVH opened satellite studios on 37th Street North in Wichita.

In 1955, the station was bought by Cowles Communications of Des Moines, Iowa. In 1956, the station boosted its signal to cover all of the Wichita metropolitan area. It also moved its main studios to the KEDD facility, where it is today, though it still identifies itself as serving "Hutchinson / Wichita". The power boost brought CBS color programming to Wichita for the first time. KEDD did not have the capability to broadcast in color. In 1962, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled that central and western Kansas were part of the Wichita market. As a result, Cowles bought KTVC in Dodge City (now KBSD-DT), KAYS-TV in Hays (now KBSH-DT), and KLOE-TV in Goodland (now KBSL-DT) and merged them into the Kansas Broadcasting System with KTVH as the flagship station.

In 1963, channel 12 activated its current tower north of Burrton just east of Hutchinson which is the tallest in the state. Combined with its three satellites, it boosted channel 12's signal to cover almost two-thirds of Kansas. In 1983, the Cowles family began selling off its vast media holdings. KTVH and its sister stations were sold to the Kansas Broadcasting System Corporation owned by a pair of businessmen from Hays, Ross Beach and Bob Schmidt. They changed the call letters to the current KWCH-TV on July 4th - the KTVH call letters would resurface two years later in Helena, MT.

In 1989, the Kansas Broadcasting System Corporation was purchased by Smith Broadcasting which included, as an owner, longtime Wichita television executive Sandy DiPasquale (now the CEO of Newport Television). Smith sold the station to Spartan Communications of Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1994. Spartan merged with Media General in 2000. Until late-1999, all shows produced by King World aired on KWCH. Since then, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune have moved from channel 12 to KSNW. In 2005, KWCH received the "Large Market Television Station of the Year" award from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters. On April 6, 2006, Media General announced that it would sell KWCH and its satellites (which all count as one station) and four other stations as a result of its purchase of four former NBC owned-and-operated-stations. Schurz eventually emerged as the winner and took over on September 25, at which time Schurz formed a new company known as "Sunflower Broadcasting, Inc." which became the licensee for its Kansas broadcasting properties. However, KWCH still uses the same logo from the Media General era. In July 2007, KSCW became a sister station to KWCH after Schurz bought the station. On February 17, 2009, the station became digital exclusive and moved back to channel 12. On June 24, 2009, KWCH-TV and satellites KBSL-TV and KSBH-TV replaced "-TV" in their callsigns with "-DT". KBSD-TV did so on June 25, 2009.

In the spring of 2010, Schurz entered into a long-term website management agreement with the Tribune Company's Tribune Interactive division. Schurz's Kansas properties were the first to launch new Tribune-run websites in late June 2010. This lasted until 2013, when Schurz began a new multiyear hosting deal with Internet Broadcasting.

In the summer of 2012, KWCH added a new transmitter in Bel Aire, Kansas, a small town just north of Wichita, because some people had trouble locking in a signal from their normal transmitter in Buhler, Kansas, a town eight miles northeast of Hutchinson. The new transmitter includes KWCH 12 on channel 12.3, Always on Storm Team 12 weather channel on channel 12.4, and their sister station, KSCW, on channel 33.3. However, due to limited bandwidth, KWCH (12.3) and KSCW (33.3) will not be avaialble in High Definition.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[2]
12.1 1080i 16:9 KWCH-HD Main KWCH programming / CBS
12.2 480i 4:3 KWCH-SD Always On Storm Team 12

On its second digital subchannel, there is a 24-hour local weather channel known as "Always On Storm Team 12". The doppler weather radar and regional forecasts are displayed in the top right-hand corner, city and town forecasts across the state are on the bottom of the screen, and a second doppler radar constantly showing is in the top left-hand corner. When applicable, weather closings are displayed on the bottom of the screen below the city forecasts. The weather channel can also seen on Cox digital cable channel 675 and online through live streaming video.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KWCH shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 12, 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 relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 19 to its former analog VHF channel 12.[3][4][5] After the June 12, 2009 transition, KWCH was one of four VHF digital stations granted a power increase later that month after stations experienced signal problems as a result of changing their digital channel from UHF to VHF.[6] Since reception problems continue, the FCC granted KWCH special permission to switch transmitting facilities with KSCW-DT. On September 29, 2009, KWCH-DT moved its digital signal back to channel 19 (their pre-transition UHF channel) and moved its sister station KSCW-DT to VHF channel 12.[7]


Kansas Broadcasting System[edit]

KWCH operates a network of three full-power stations covering Central and Western Kansas. The KBS network is the only commercial statewide relay network in the 70-county Wichita-Hutchinson Plus television market whose rebroadcasters consist entirely of full-power satellite stations. (Repeaters of KSNW's Kansas State Network, KSAS-TV's Fox Kansas network and KAKE's KAKEland Television Network consist of both full-power satellite and low-power translator stations).

A special feed of KWCH-DT with local news, weather, and commercials is broadcast on Cox cable systems in Salina with the ability to locally insert news, weather, and commercials. All satellite stations shut down their analog signal on June 12, 2009, except for KBSH which shut down on February 17, 2009. In the 1970s, KWCH operated a translator in Arkansas City on channel 70.

Station Locations served Channels
(Analog /
First air date Fourth letter
Former callsigns Former affiliations ERP
Facility ID Transmitter Coordinates
KBSD-DT Ensign/Dodge City/Garden City 6 (VHF) July 24, 1957 Dodge City KTVC (1957–1989) KBSD-TV (1989–2009) none 31 kW 219 m 66414 37°38′28.3″N 100°20′40.8″W / 37.641194°N 100.344667°W / 37.641194; -100.344667
KBSH-DT Hays/Great Bend/Salina 7 (VHF) September 2, 1958 Hays KAYS-TV (1958–1989) KBSH-TV (1989–2009) ABC (secondary) 38.8 kW 216 m 66415 38°53′0.9″N 99°20′15.7″W / 38.883583°N 99.337694°W / 38.883583; -99.337694
KBSL-DT Goodland 10 (VHF) April 26, 1959 GoodLand KLOE-TV (1959–1989) KBSL-TV (1989–2009) none 89.6 kW 299 m 66416 39°28′9.7″N 101°33′20.8″W / 39.469361°N 101.555778°W / 39.469361; -101.555778

News operation[edit]

Since 1985, KWCH has led the news ratings in the Wichita market.[8] In the May 2007 ratings period, its newscasts attracted more viewers than KAKE and KSNW combined. KBSH in Hays provided daily news coverage from its Hall Street studios through much of the late 1980s and 1990s. The full daily newscast continued until the late-1990s when new ownership brought consolidation to the Kansas Broadcasting System. KBSH's evening newscasts were reduced to a short insert that aired during the main newscasts on KWCH in Wichita. In 2001, these news inserts came to an end. The two reporter / photographers stationed at KBSH began sending their stories to Wichita to be incorporated into the Eyewitness News programs seen simultaneously in Wichita, Hays, Goodland, Dodge City, and Ensign. Today, KBSH maintains a full-time anchor / reporter at a news bureau in the same location in Hays that it has occupied since the beginning.

There is also a Salina Bureau that provides a short news and weather insert during the main broadcasts and online. It is identified as "KWCH 12 Eyewitness News Salina". KBSD in Dodge City produced a full local newscast for many years in addition to carry the newscasts from KWCH. More recently, this station has been downsized to contribution reports to the Wichita newscasts and web content supplied through KWCH's website. In October 2008, the station became the first in the market to broadcast their local news in high definition. In order to make the change, KWCH upgraded their studios. The KSAS and KSCW broadcasts were included in the switch. Its weather segments upgraded to high definition level in March 2009, also a first in the market.

In late 2004 KWCH began to produce a nightly 9 p.m. newscast for Fox affiliate KSAS-TV called Fox Kansas Eyewitness News at 9. On weekday mornings at 7, KWCH also produces a two-hour long newscast for KSCW called Eyewitness News This Morning on KSCW. KWCH continued production of the KSAS 9 p.m. newscast despite Schurz Communications' purchase of KSCW in 2008. In addition, KWCH also produces a weeknightly Spanish-language 10 p.m. newscast for Univision affiliate KDCU-DT; as a result, KWCH has the unusual distinction of being the only station in the United States to produce newscasts for more than one other station in the same market in addition to its own newscasts. On September 12, 2011, KWCH began producing half-hour newscasts weekdays at 4 and seven nights a week at 9 p.m. on KSCW; the 9 p.m. The newscast that KWCH produced for KSAS continued through the end of 2011, with KSAS and KSCW carrying simultaneous KWCH-produced primetime newscasts in the intervening months.[9] During weather segments, the station uses live NOAA National Weather Service radar data from sites located in Goodland, Dodge City, Wichita, and central Wabaunsee County. This radar data is known on-air as "Live Storm Team 12 High Definition Super Doppler Radar" or as it is commonly referred to as "HD Super Doppler". KWCH has dropped the KSAS newscast, which was then picked up by NBC affiliate KSNW. KSNW's FOX KANSAS NEWS AT 9 ratings tower above those of KSCW News at 9.

Newscast titles[edit]

  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News This Morning - 4:30-7:00 a.m.
  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News This Morning on KSCW - 7:00-9:00 a.m. (KSCW)
  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News at Noon - 12:00-12:30 p.m.
  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News at 4:00 on KSCW - 4:00-4:30 p.m. (KSCW)
  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News at 5:00 - 5:00-5:30 p.m.
  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News at 6:00 - 6:00-6:30 p.m.
  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News at 9:00 on KSCW - 9:00-9:30 p.m. (KSCW)
  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News at 10:00 - 10:00-10:35 p.m.
  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News This Morning - 8:00-10:00 a.m.
  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News at 6:00 - 6:00-6:30 p.m.
  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News at 9:00 on KSCW - 9:00-9:30 p.m. (KSCW)
  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News at 10:00 - 10:00-10:35 p.m.
  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News This Morning on KSCW - 7:00-9:00 a.m. (KSCW)
  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News at 5:30 - 5:30-6:00 p.m.
  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News at 9:00 on KSCW - 9:00-9:30 p.m. (KSCW)
  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News at 10:00 - 10:00-10:35 p.m.
  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News at 10:30 - 10:35-11:00 p.m.

News/station presentation[edit]

Newscast titles[edit]

  • The Wichita, Kansas Report (1953-1957)
  • The Kansas & World Report (1957-1962)
  • The Big News (1962-1966)
  • Big City News (1966-1969)
  • Eyewitness News (1969-1976/1983–1995)[10]
  • The News (1976–1980)
  • News 12 (1980–1983)[11]
  • Channel 12 Eyewitness News (1995–2001)
  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News (2001–present)
  • KWCH 12 Eyewitness News HD (2009–present)

Station slogans[edit]

  • The Look of a Leader (mid 1980s-early 1990s)
  • Kansas' #1 News Source (1995–2001)
  • Coverage You Can Count On/People You Can Count On (2001–2009)
  • Expect More (2009–present)[12]
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Notable former on-air staff[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KWCH
  3. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^
  6. ^ Eggerton, John (2009-06-29). "Boise Station Gets Power Boost". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ About KWCH
  9. ^ KWCH To Debut 4 & 9 P.M. News On KSCW, TVNewsCheck, July 18, 2011.
  10. ^ KWCH Hutchinson/Wichita Channel 12 "Eyewitness News at Noon" April 1993 Open
  11. ^ KWCH (KTVH) News 1980 Open
  12. ^ KWCH 12 "Expect More" Holidays Promo (HD), 2009

External links[edit]