|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2011)|
|Minneapolis – St. Paul, Minnesota
|City of license||Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|Branding||WCCO Channel 4,
WCCO, CCO (general)
WCCO 4 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Minnesota's most-watched station|
|Channels||Digital: 32 (UHF)
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
(CBS Television Licenses, LLC)
|First air date||July 1, 1949|
|Call letters' meaning||derived from sister station WCCO radio|
|Sister station(s)||KMNB, KZJK, WCCO|
|Former callsigns||WTCN-TV (1949–1952)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
4 (VHF, 1949–2009)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Height||432 m (1,417 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
WCCO-TV, channel 4, is an owned-and-operated television station of the CBS Television Network, licensed to Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA and serving the Minneapolis-St. Paul television market. WCCO-TV's studios are located in downtown Minneapolis, and its transmitter is located at the Telefarm complex in Shoreview, Minnesota.
|This section requires expansion with: further information on the history of WCCO-TV, outside of ownership transactions. (May 2013)|
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2011)|
WCCO-TV's roots originate with a radio station, but not the one with which it is affiliated today. Radio station WRHM (1280 AM), which signed on the air in 1925, is the station to which WCCO-TV traces its lineage. In 1934, two newspapers – the Minneapolis Tribune and the Saint Paul Pioneer Press-Dispatch – formed a joint venture named "Twin Cities Newspapers", which purchased the radio station and changed its call letters to WTCN. Twin Cities Newspapers later expanded into the then-new medium of television with the launch of WTCN-TV on July 1, 1949 as Minnesota's second television station, broadcasting from the Radio City Theater at 50 South 9th Street in downtown Minneapolis.
When Twin Cities Newspapers sold its radio holdings – WTCN (now WWTC) and WTCN-FM (now KTCZ-FM) – in 1952, it was able to buy the much stronger and dominant WCCO (830 AM). A new company, Midwest Radio and Television, was created to do this, with CBS as a minority partner. The call letters of channel 4 were changed to the present WCCO-TV to match its new radio sister (the WTCN-TV call sign would later be picked up by what is now KARE). CBS was forced to sell its minority ownership stake in the WCCO stations in 1954 to comply with Federal Communications Commission ownership limits of the time. The network gained full ownership of WCCO-TV in 1992, when it acquired the broadcast holdings of Midwest Radio and Television.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|4.1||1080i||16:9||WCCO-DT||Main WCCO-TV programming / CBS|
WCCO-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 4, 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 32. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 4.
Satellite stations and translators
WCCO-TV operates two satellite stations northwest of the Twin Cities area:
|Station||City of license||Channels
(TV / DT)
|First air date||Former call letters||ERP||HAAT||Transmitter Coordinates||Facility ID||Public license
|October 8, 1958||KCMT (1958–1987)||29 kW||339.6 m||9632||Profile
|January 1, 1964||KNMT (1964–1987)||59 kW||286.4 m||9640||Profile
Both of these stations were founded by the Central Minnesota Television Company and maintained primary affiliations with NBC and secondary affiliations with ABC from their respective sign-ons until the summer of 1982, when both stations switched to CBS. KCMT had originally broadcast from a studio in Alexandria, with KNMT operating as a satellite station of KCMT. Central Minnesota Television sold both stations to Midwest Radio and Television in 1987, at which point they adopted their present call letters and became semi-satellites of WCCO-TV.
Until 2002, the two stations simulcast WCCO-TV's programming for most of the day, except for separate commercials and inserts placed into channel 4's newscasts. However, in 2002, WCCO-TV ended KCCO/KCCW's local operations and shut down the Alexandria studio, converting the two stations into full-time satellites. Since then, channel 4 has identified as "Minneapolis-St. Paul/Alexandria/Walker", with virtually no on-air evidence that KCCO and KCCW were separate stations.
In addition, the broadcast signal of WCCO-TV is extended by way of six translators in southern Minnesota and one in northern Minnesota; all but one broadcasts in digital:
|City of license||Callsign||Channel|
|This section requires expansion with: information on the history of WCCO's news department. (May 2013)|
WCCO presently broadcasts 28 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 4½ hours on weekdays, 3½ hours on Saturdays and two hours on Sundays). In addition, the station produces a half-hour sports highlight program on Sunday evenings after the 10 p.m. newscast called Rosen's Sports Sunday, which is hosted by sports director Mark Rosen.
Since the May 2006 ratings period,[needs update] WCCO's newscasts have claimed the top spot[clarification needed] in total household ratings for most news programs. The exception has been mornings, where KARE still leads all local competitors. In main demographic groups, WCCO usually comes in second place. May 2009 showed a third place finish behind KSTP at 5:00 p.m.
Notable former on-air staff
- Clellan Card - children's television personality "Axel" (1954–1966)
- Bill Carlson - entertainment reporter, midday news anchor (deceased)
- Paul Douglas - chief meteorologist (1997–2008; now does weather for StarTribune)
- Skip Loescher - news anchor, reporter (later press secretary for U.S. Sen. Walter Mondale and anchor/reporter at CNN; deceased)
- Dave Moore - news anchor (1950s–1998; deceased)
- Barry Petersen (later with CBS)
- Don Shelby news anchor (retired)
- Susan Spencer (later with CBS)
- Bill Stewart (to ABC, murdered in Nicaragua in 1979)
- Michele Tafoya - sports anchor/reporter (now with NBC Sports)
- Ben Tracy (now with CBS)
- http://llnw.static.cbslocal.com/station/wcco/community/09_0827_community_WCCOtimeline.pdf Retrieved 2011-7-22
- http://www.thefreelibrary.com/CBS+ACQUIRES+TELEVISION+AND+RADIO+STATIONS+FROM+MIDWEST+COMMUNICATIONS-a011880751 Retrieved 2011-8-21
- RabbitEars TV Query for WCCO
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "WATR-TV decides to go it alone." Broadcasting, February 22, 1982, pg. 72. 
- Minnesota State Edition
- Washington, D.C. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Record, Vol. 02, No. 22, pp. 6730-6732, Oct 23-Nov. 6, 1987. UNT Digital Library. FCC 87-331 Vol. 22. Accessed June 28, 2012.
- http://www.startribune.com/459/story/455954.html[dead link]
- "WCCO Anchor Bill Carlson Dies At Age 73". 2008-02-29. Archived from the original on 2008-03-03. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
- "TV news anchor Skip Loescher lived and breathed the news". 2013-10-12. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
- Oslund, John J. (1997). "Ruling a Prizewinner Unfair". Retrieved 2007-12-11.
- http://www.topix.com/forum/world/nicaragua/TD3JS0HK75RCUPNBC (an unusual source but there is very little documentation of Stewart's tenure at WCCO)
- "Ben Tracy biography". CBS News. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "A History of Minneapolis: Radio and Television". Minneapolis Public Library. 2001. Archived from the original on 2004-08-08. Retrieved 2004-09-25.
- "History of WCCO-TV". WCCO. 2003-07-16. Retrieved 2004-09-26.[dead link]
- CBSMinnesota.com - Official website
- WCCO Webcast
- RabbitEars.info website - WCCO
- RabbitEars.info website - KCCO
- RabbitEars.info website - KCCW
- WCCO-TV Historical Airchecks at tcmedianow.com
- WTCN TV (4) & WTCN Radio billboard, 1950 from Minnesota Historical Society
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WCCO
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KCCO
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KCCW
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WCCO-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KCCO-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KCCW-TV