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WKBT Logo.png
La Crosse/Eau Claire, Wisconsin
City of license La Crosse, Wisconsin
Branding News 8
Slogan Our Community. Your Station.
Channels Digital: 8 (VHF)
Subchannels 8.1 CBS
8.2 MyNetworkTV
Affiliations CBS, MyNetworkTV
Owner Morgan Murphy Media
(QueenB Television, LLC)
First air date August 8, 1954
Call letters' meaning The TV sibling of WKBH Radio, which shared ownership with a music store that sold Kimball Pianos (the store's slogan: Kimball Brings Happiness)
Sister station(s) WISC-TV
Former channel number(s) Analog: 8 (VHF)
(8/8/1954 - 2/17/2009)
Digital: 41 (UHF)
(3/28/2003 - 2/17/2009)
Former affiliations All secondary:
ABC (1954-1970)
DuMont (1954-1955)
NBC (1954-1958)
UPN (2006)
Transmitter power 25.9 kW
Height 464.9 m
Facility ID 74424
Transmitter coordinates 44°5′27.4″N 91°20′17.4″W / 44.090944°N 91.338167°W / 44.090944; -91.338167
Website www.news8000.com

WKBT-DT is a television station owned and operated by Morgan Murphy Media and serving West Central Wisconsin, including La Crosse (its city of license) and Eau Claire. The station is primarily affiliated with CBS and airs programming from MyNetworkTV on its digital subchannel.


Studios of WKBT-DT

WKBT launched on August 8, 1954 as sister station to WKBH radio (AM 1410), a station now known as WIZM. (The "T," for "television," replaced the "H" in the call sign to differentiate the stations.) It originally carried programming from all four major networks of the day—CBS, NBC, ABC and DuMont—but has always been a primary CBS affiliate. It lost DuMont after that network shut down in 1956, and lost NBC in 1958 after La Crosse and Eau Claire were collapsed into a single market. WKBT then shared ABC with Eau Claire-based NBC affiliate WEAU-TV until WXOW signed on in 1970.[1]

On April 16, 1965, during the worst of the famous 1965 flood, the downtown La Crosse building that housed both WKBT and WKBH burned to the ground; WKBT then rebuilt its current building on the same site.

In the 1970s, WKBT was sold to Harold F. Gross, a businessman from Lansing, Michigan who owned WJIM-AM-FM-TV in that city. WKBT and WJIM-TV were sold in the mid-1980s to Unicom Inc, a unit of Forstmann Little, d.b.a. Backe Communications, following a licensing dispute involving WJIM-TV (which changed its call letters to WLNS-TV). Unicom's ownership of the station was short-lived as in 1986 it sold WLNS and WKBT to Young Broadcasting.

In March 2000, Young sold WKBT to Morgan Murphy Media--ironically, the original owner of WEAU-TV.

In the summer of 2011, WKBT became the first station in the La Crosse/Eau Claire DMA to air newscasts in widescreen. As of December, 2013, WKBT has not broadcast its local newscasts in high definition.

In October 2012, WKBT was in the national spotlight when morning news anchor Jennifer Livingston addressed an e-mailer who criticized her about her weight, and issued an on-air commentary about bullying and being a role model.

News/station presentation[edit]

Newscast titles[edit]

  • Total News (1971–1974)
  • TV-8 Action News (1974–1976)
  • Action 8 News (1976–1987)
  • Newswatch 8 (1987–1994)
  • Channel 8 News (1994–1995)
  • NewsChannel 8 (1995-October 24, 2010)
  • News 8 (October 25, 2010 – present)

Station slogans[edit]

  • 8 Country (1970s)
  • Action 8 is Total News (1970s)
  • Serving the Tri-State (1980s)
  • Do you watch Newswatch? (1980s-1994)
  • Take Me There, Make Me Care (1994–1998)
  • Coverage You Can Count On (1998–2010)
  • Our Community, Your Station (June 2009 in TV ads, 2010–present)

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
8.1 1080i 16:9 WKBT-HD Main WKBT-DT programming / CBS
8.2 480i 4:3 WKBT-DT MyNetworkTV

WKBT-DT launched digital subchannel 8.2, UPN La Crosse/Eau Claire, on Monday January 30, 2006.[2] (Rival station KQEG-CA had dropped its affiliation with UPN at the end of the previous week.[3])

Beginning September 5, 2006, with the demise of UPN, WKBT-DT2 subchannel 8.2 became an affiliate of MyNetworkTV.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WKBT-DT went on the air with digital broadcasting on channel 41 (UHF) on March 28, 2003.[4]

On the afternoon of Tuesday, February 17, 2009, WKBT-TV discontinued analog broadcasting on channel 8 (VHF), and the digital WKBT-DT signal was transitioned from channel 41 (UHF) to channel 8 (VHF), completing the station's digital broadcast transition.

On-air staff[edit]


  • Lisa Klein - 5 & 6 pm co-anchor
  • Martha Koloski - Noon & 10 pm co-anchor
  • Jennifer Livingston - "News 8 This Morning"
  • Mark McPherson - 5 pm co-anchor
  • Mike Thompson - 6 & 10 pm co-anchor


  • Kyle Dimke
  • Kevin Hoy
  • Leah Linscheid
  • Brittany Schmidt


  • Bill Graul - Meteorologist;"News 8 This Morning" and Noon
  • Cory Malles - Chief Meteorologist; 5pm. 6pm & 10 pm
  • Michelle Poedel- Weekend Meteorologist


  • Kyle Deckelbaum - Weekend Sports anchor
  • Gregg Wavrunek - Sports Director/Weeknight Sports

Former on-air staff[edit]


WKBT's transmitter is located in Galesville, Wisconsin, about 30 miles north of the actual station in order to provide their signal to the entire market - it also serves as the CBS affiliate for the Chippewa Valley.

If put up next to Chicago's Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower), the WKBT transmitter would surpass the upper roof and fall just about 100 feet short of the highest antenna on top.


External links[edit]