|Branding||Colorado's Own Channel 2 (general)
Channel 2 News (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 34 (UHF)
Virtual: 2 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||2.1 The CW
2.2 This TV
|Affiliations||The CW Television Network|
(operated under local marketing agreement by Local TV)
|First air date||July 18, 1952|
|Call letters' meaning||World's Greatest
(named after sister station WGN-TV; refers to corporate cousin, the Chicago Tribune)
|Former callsigns||KFEL-TV (1952-1955)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
2 (VHF, 1952-2009)
|Former affiliations||DuMont (1952-1956)
The WB (1995-2006)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KWGN-TV, channel 2, is the CW-affiliated television station in Denver, Colorado. Owned by Tribune Broadcasting, KWGN is a sister station to Fox affiliate KDVR (channel 31) through a local marketing agreement with that station's owner Local TV. The station's studios are located alongside KDVR in Downtown Denver, and its transmitter is atop Lookout Mountain near Golden.
KWGN is available to subscribers of the Dish Network satellite service throughout the United States as part of its superstations package, and on cable television providers in parts of the western United States.
Digital television 
Digital channels 
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|2.1||16:9||720p||KWGN-DT||Main KWGN-TV programming / The CW|
Analog-to-digital conversion 
On June 12, 2009, KWGN turned off its analog transmitter and converted its broadcasts exclusively to digital television, remaining on its pre-transition UHF channel 34. However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display KWGN's virtual channel as its former analog channel 2.
Early years 
The station signed on the air as the first television station in Colorado on July 18, 1952 under the callsign KFEL-TV. KFEL was also the first television station on the VHF band to sign on the air following the lifting of the Federal Communications Commission's freeze on television station licenses that year. The station was originally owned by Gene O'Fallon, and it operated from studios located in a remodeled brick warehouse at 550 Lincoln Street, before moving to its operations to suburban Greenwood Village in 1983. Originally, KFEL was a primary affiliate of the DuMont Television Network, but also cherry-picked programs from other networks.
Gotham Broadcasting, owned by J. Elroy McCaw (who also owned WINS in New York City), purchased the station from O'Fallon in 1955. A 50-percent interest was subsequently acquired by John M. Shaheen, the founder of Tele-Trip Inc., an aviation services company which later became a subsidiary of Mutual of Omaha. Channel 2's call letters were changed that same year to KTVR, and the station became independent after the DuMont network's collapse in 1956. In the late 1950s, the station was briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network. In 1959 the station's call letters were changed to KCTO and McCaw became the sole owner of channel 2, buying out Shaheen's share.
Under Tribune ownership 
Tribune Broadcasting, then known as WGN Incorporated, acquired the station in March 1966. The new owners changed the call letters to the current KWGN-TV after its new sister station, WGN-TV in Chicago. At the time of its purchase, KWGN became Tribune's fourth television station property after WGN-TV, WPIX in New York City, and KDAL-TV (now KDLH) in Duluth, Minnesota, which was owned by Tribune from 1960 until 1978.
When WGN Continental Broadcasting bought the station, the company invested in KWGN to allow the station to upgrade its programming from black-and-white to color broadcasting. KWGN promoted itself as Colorado's only all-color station, because all of its local programs were produced in the format. Denver's three network affiliates (KOA-TV, KLZ-TV and KBTV) were broadcasting national network programs in color, but had yet to upgrade their studios with color cameras.
As an independent station, KWGN aired off-network sitcoms and dramas, cartoons, movies, syndicated game shows and locally-produced programs such as Blinky's Fun Club, a local edition of the Romper Room franchise, Fred & Fay, Denver Now, Afternoon at the Movies with Tom Shannon and public affairs program Your Right to Say It.
Starting in the 1960s, the station began building a massive network of translators across the state. Around this time, KWGN became a regional superstation (long before that term was coined by Atlanta station WTBS) as many cable television systems in Colorado's Western Slope, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming began carrying the station to its subscribers. KWGN was attractive to cable systems because its programming had no duplication with programs seen on the local network affiliates. Additionally, it was the only independent station available in much of the region until the 1980s (in the present day, KWGN remains available on the majority of cable systems in Colorado and Wyoming, as well as several systems in Nebraska and Kansas). It was the only independent station in the Denver market until 1983, when KDVR signed on. KWGN was approached by Fox to affiliate with the upstart network upon its 1986 debut. Channel 2 turned down the affiliation, effectively sending the network to KDVR.
WB affiliation, then to the CW 
On November 2, 1993, the Warner Bros. Television division of Time Warner and Tribune Company announced the creation of The WB Television Network as a youth- and family-targeted competitor of ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox. KWGN became a charter affiliate of the network, along with most of Tribune's other independent stations. Due to Tribune's minority interest in The WB, KWGN-TV effectively became a de facto owned-and-operated station of the network. The network launched on January 11, 1995, though KWGN's existing lineup was largely unaffected at first, since The WB initially ran programming only on Wednesday evenings, gradually adding additional nights of programming until 1999; by that time, the network offered primetime programming on Sunday through Friday evenings, along with children's programming on Saturdays.
In 1996, the station altered its on-air branding from "Denver's 2" to "Denver's WB2" to reflect its network affiliation, the "WB2" branding continued to be used in some form for the remainder of the network's run. During its existence as a WB affiliate, KWGN also served as the default WB affiliate in the Colorado Springs/Pueblo and Grand Junction markets – a status that was reflected under the "WB2 Colorado" moniker used during the final years of The WB's run.
On January 24, 2006, Time Warner and CBS Corporation made the announcement that their respectively owned networks, The WB and UPN, would merge to form a new network called The CW, which would be jointly owned by Time Warner's Warner Bros. Entertainment division and CBS. Nearly one month later on February 22, News Corporation announced a new competing network, MyNetworkTV, which would be run by its Fox Television Stations and Twentieth Television units. Tribune Broadcasting signed a 10-year affiliation agreement with The CW for KWGN and most of its other WB-affiliated stations. In preparation for the affiliation switch, the station retitled its newscasts from WB 2 News to News 2 on August 14, 2006. The affiliation switch took place on September 18, 2006, the day after The WB ended operations; MyNetworkTV ended up affiliating with former UPN affiliate KTVD (owned by the Gannett Company).
On July 7, 2008, KWGN removed references to its CW affiliation from its branding in both station promotions and its on-air logo, referring to itself simply as "2", featuring the CW branding era's 2 character within a solid circle logo. This was part of Tribune Broadcasting's effort to reposition its CW-affiliated stations as more "local" stations.
LMA with KDVR 
On September 17, 2008, Tribune Company announced that it would enter KWGN into a local marketing agreement with Fox affiliate KDVR effective on October 1, 2008, as a result of the formation of a "broadcast management company" that was created to provide management services to stations owned by both Tribune Broadcasting and KDVR owner Local TV, LLC. As a result, the two stations would be operated from the KDVR studios in downtown Denver (located near the same location where KWGN's original studios were located during the station's first 30 years on the air). The move resulted in both stations combining their news departments and sharing certain syndicated programming.
On March 30, 2009, KWGN also underwent a change in its on-air branding, dropping its "CW 2" branding to become known as "2 the Deuce" in an attempt to appeal to younger viewers and become more involved in local issues. On March 1, 2010, locally-produced talk show Everyday with Libby and Natalie was renamed as simply Everyday and moved to KWGN from KDVR (effectively changing timeslots as a result moving from late afternoons to late mornings with the program's station switch); Libby Weaver co-hosted the program with Natalie Tysdal until June 1, 2009, after which Weaver was replaced by Chris Parente. After Peter Maroney took over as general manager following the 2009 departure of Dennis Leonard, other noticeable changes to the station have since taken hold with the locally-produced consumer talk program Martino TV being replaced in its 11 a.m. timeslot by repeats of Maury.
In May 2010, KWGN temporarily changed its branding from "The Deuce" to simply identifying by its KWGN call letters. The following month, the station changed its website domain from 2thedeuce.com to KWGN.com to reflect the branding change; later that year, the station rebranded itself as "Channel 2, The CW". That fall, the station dropped Live! with Regis and Kelly from its schedule, which moved to sister station KDVR; this left WGN-TV and KPLR as the only Tribune-owned stations and two of the few CW affiliates that carry the show. On July 22, 2011, KWGN debuted a new on-air appearance and branding (becoming known as "Colorado's Own Channel 2", resembling the former "Denver's 2" identity from the 1980s and early 1990s), as well as reformatting its local news programming to a more traditional format. As of June 1, 2012, the station's website is run by KDVR via WordPress instead of Tribune Interactive, in the same manner that WZVN-TV/Fort Myers has its site run by sister station WBBH.
News operation 
KWGN-TV currently broadcasts a total of 25 hours of locally-produced newscasts each week (with five hours every weekday). Unlike most Tribune-owned stations that produce local newscasts, KWGN does not air any locally-produced news programming on weekend evenings or weekend mornings.
Channel 2 was the first station in Denver with a locally-produced nightly primetime newscast. The 9 p.m. newscast, which debuted shortly after the station signed on, remained a constant through several ownership changes. In 1966, the newscast expanded to one hour – becoming the longest newscast in the Denver market in terms of runtime at that point. Titled The Big News, the program was heavy on local news because filmed national and international news reports were not available during that period to stations that lacked a network affiliation to provide news feeds. If a major national story occurred, anchor Ron Voigt would read the wire copy while the camera would show black-and-white wire photos supplied by the Associated Press.
In the late 1960s up until 1975, The Big News had two regular commentators to provide news analysis, George Salem and Gene Amole. The final segment of the newscast was titled "Speak Out" and was often devoted to phone calls from viewers. The Big News was also known for its meteorologist, Ed Bowman (known as Weatherman Bowman), who came to KWGN from KOA-TV-AM. Bowman frequently discussed the jet stream while drawing large arcs over a map of the continental United States. The sports director during the 1960s and early 1970s was Fred Leo, who provided play-by-play analysis of many of the area's professional sports teams.
KWGN launched a weekday morning newscast in 2000, titled WB2day (later renamed WB2 Morning News and then News 2 This Morning, now known as Daybreak), which originally aired from 6 to 9 a.m. on weekday mornings. A few years later, it expanded to a 5 a.m. timeslot. The morning newscast was accompanied by a midday newscast at 11 a.m., which ran from the late 1990s to 2000 and again from September 11, 2006 to May 29, 2009. On July 7, 2008, KWGN branched out its news programming into early evenings for the first time with the launch of a half-hour 5:30 p.m. newscast, anchored by Kellie MacMullan and Ernie Bjorkman. One month later on August 4, 2008, the station expanded its 11 a.m. newscast to one hour.
After entering into the local marketing agreement with KDVR, major changes were made to KWGN's news programming. First, the station discontinued its 5:30 p.m. newscast on January 12, 2009, as KDVR expanded its own early evening newscast to an hour at 5 p.m. On March 2, 2009, KWGN moved its newscasts to a temporary set in preparation for its move from Greenwood Village to KDVR's studios on March 30. The station then shifted the flagship 9 p.m. newscast to 7 p.m. on March 30, 2009, trading timeslots with the CW's primetime programming, which moved to 8–10 p.m.; this effectively resulted in the newscast being reduced to airing only on Monday through Friday evenings in part due to The CW airing a three-hour primetime lineup on Sunday evenings at the time (the 7 p.m. newscast on KWGN continues to air exclusively on weeknights despite the fact that The CW turned over its Sunday primetime hours to their affiliates in September 2009). St. Louis sister station KPLR-TV also moved its 9 p.m. newscast to 7 p.m. around the same time to avoid competing with the late evening newscast on LMA partner KTVI. KWGN also discontinued the 11 a.m. newscast on May 29, 2009, being replaced the following Monday with Martino TV, a lifestyle program featuring paid segments from local businesses. At that time, KWGN began broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition.
There is a considerable amount of sharing between both stations in regards to news coverage, video footage and the use of reporters; though both outlets maintain their own primary on-air personalities (such as news anchors and meteorologists) that only appear on one station; several KWGN on-air staffers that remained with the station after the LMA was formed simultaneously joined KDVR's news department with the consolidation of news departments.
News team 
+ denotes personnel seen exclusively on KWGN-TV
- + Nick Emmons - weeknights at 7:00 p.m.
- + Tom Green - weekday mornings on Daybreak (5:00-9:00 a.m.)
- Hema Muller - weeknights at 7:00 p.m.
- Natalie Tysdal - weekday mornings on Daybreak (5:00-9:00 a.m.) – leaving at end of May 2013
Pinpoint Weather (shared with KDVR)
- Dave Fraser (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 7:00 p.m.
- + Chris Tomer (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings on Daybreak (5:00-9:00 a.m.)
- Nick Carter - meteorologist; fill-in
- Shanna Mendiola - meteorologist; fill-in
Sports team (shared with KDVR)
- Nick Griffith - sports director; weeknights at 7:00 p.m.
- Kami Carmann - sports anchor; fill-in, also sports reporter
- Raul Martinez - sports anchor; fill-in
- + Jacki Jing - weekday mornings on Daybreak (5:00-9:00 a.m.)
Reporters (shared with KDVR)
- Josh Bernstein - senior investigative reporter
- Jon Bowman - general assignment reporter
- Dan Daru - weekday morning feature reporter
- Julie Hayden - investigative reporter
- Heidi Hemmat - investigative reporter
- Jim Hooley - general assignment reporter
- Chris Jose - general assignment reporter
- Justin Joseph - general assignment reporter
- Marika Lorraine - general assignment reporter
- Melody Mendez - general assignment reporter
- Mark Meredith - general assignment reporter
- Sara Morris - general assignment reporter
- Greg Nieto - general assignment reporter
- Chris Parente - entertainment reporter; also fill-in anchor
- Kim Posey - general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor
- Boris Sanchez - general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor
- Eli Stokols - political reporter; also fill-in anchor
- Hendrick Sybrandy - general assignment reporter
- Shaul Turner - health and weekday morning assignment reporter
- Tammy Vigil - general assignment reporter
- Dave Young - general assignment reporter
- + Joanna Canals - co-host
- + Paula Haddock - co-host
Former on-air staff 
- Ernie Bjorkman - weeknight anchor (1984-1988, 1998–2008)
- Asha Blake - weeknight anchor (2004–2007; formerly at KTLA in Los Angeles)
- Tom Martino - consumer reporter and host of Martino TV (2009–2010)
- Russell Scott - host of Blinky's Fun Club and Captain Dooley (1966–1998; deceased)
- Station Search Details
- "$800,000 in sales get FCC approval." Broadcasting - Telecasting, Aug. 1, 1955, pg. 80. 
- "Founders picks up option, purchases half of KFEL-TV." Broadcasting - Telecasting, Sept. 26, 1955, pg. 103. 
- "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films", Boxoffice, November 10, 1956: 13[dead link]
- "Storer buys KPOP; KVAN, KTVR sold." Broadcasting, Mar. 16, 1959, pg. 9.
- "WGN Inc. buying VHF in Denver." Broadcasting, Sept. 6, 1965, pg. 57. 
- "WGN gets KCTO, but FCC split on policy." Broadcasting, Mar. 7, 1966, pg. 9. 
- "KWGN(TV) starts with a bang." Broadcasting, Mar. 14, 1966, pg. 58
- Warner Bros., Tribune Broadcasting & Jamie Kellner to Launch WB Network in 1994, TheFreeLibrary.com. Retrieved 12-10-2010.
- Tribune Broadcasting Joins with Warner Bros. to Launch Fifth Television Network, TheFreeLibrary.com. Retrieved 12-10-2010.
- 'Gilmore Girls' meet 'Smackdown'; CW Network to combine WB, UPN in CBS-Warner venture beginning in September, CNNMoney.com, January 24, 2006.
- News Corp. Unveils My Network TV, Broadcasting & Cable, February 22, 2006.
- From TV Newsday (September 17, 2008)
- KWGN-TV to launch 5:30 p.m. newscast, Denver Business Journal, July 2, 2008.
- Fox31 boosts early-evening news to an hour, Denver Business Journal, January 6, 2009.
- Channel 2 shuffles primetime, The Denver Post, March 18, 2009.
- About Us, KWGN.com.
- Stelter, Brian (30 November 2008). "A Generation of Local TV Anchors Is Signing Off". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- "Asha Blake Bio". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- Roberts, Martin (13 May 2009). "Tom Martino to charge big bucks for his endorsement on Martino TV". Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- "Blinky the Clown Bio". Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- KWGN.com - Official KWGN-TV Website
- Denver.ThisTV.com - Official This TV Denver Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KWGN
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KWGN-TV