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Cape Girardeau, Missouri/
Paducah, Kentucky/
Harrisburg, Illinois
United States
CityCape Girardeau, Missouri
ChannelsDigital: 36 (UHF)
Virtual: 23
Brandinggeneral: Fox 23
newscasts: Heartland News
DT2: My 49 WDKA
Affiliations23.1: Fox (1987–present)
23.2: MyNetworkTV
23.3: Comet
23.4: Defy TV
23.5: TrueReal
23.6: Newsy
OwnerCommunity News Media[1]
(Paducah Television License LLC)
FoundedJune 1, 1982 (39 years ago) (1982-06-01)
First air date
September 10, 1983 (38 years ago) (1983-09-10)
Former channel number(s)
23 (UHF, 1983–2009)
22 (UHF, 2001–2019)
Independent (1983–1986)
ABC (NYPD Blue only, 1993–94)
Call sign meaning
Kentucky, Bootheel, and Southern Illinois (reflecting area served)
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID19593
ERP1,000 kW
HAAT543 m (1,781 ft)
Transmitter coordinates37°24′23″N 89°33′44″W / 37.40639°N 89.56222°W / 37.40639; -89.56222
Public license information

KBSI, virtual channel 23 (UHF digital channel 36), is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, United States, serving Southeastern Missouri, the Purchase area of Western Kentucky, and Southern Illinois. The station is owned by the Community News Media subsidiary of Standard Media, as part of a duopoly with Paducah, Kentucky-licensed MyNetworkTV affiliate WDKA (channel 49). The two stations share studios on Enterprise Street in Cape Girardeau; KBSI's transmitter is located in unincorporated Cape Girardeau County north of the city.


The station signed on the air on September 10, 1983, as an independent station and aired an analog signal on UHF channel 23.[2] The station was originally owned by Cape Girardeau Family Television, Ltd., in turn 51 percent owned by Media Central of Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was not the first independent to operate in the market—two stations broadcast in southern Illinois, and a prior attempt had been made at an independent in Paducah—but it was the first to cover all of it, which was the reason Media Central had been attracted to the area.[3]

Media Central filed for bankruptcy in 1987 to fend off a hostile takeover attempt.[4] That same year, despite having passed on the opportunity a year prior,[5] KBSI joined Fox.[6] Media Central continued to own the station until a bankruptcy judge approved its acquisition by Engles Communications, owned by David Engles, a former Warner Bros. and NBC radio executive.[7] Under Engles, KBSI picked up the first season of NYPD Blue when ABC affiliate WSIL-TV refused to air the show.[8]

Engles then sold the station to Max Television (later Max Media Properties) in 1995.[9] In 1998, Sinclair Broadcast Group acquired most of the Max Media Properties stations, including KBSI; it owned KBSI and later WDKA in Paducah until both were sold to Community News Media for $28 million in a transaction that closed in 2021.[10]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[11]
23.1 720p 16:9 KBSI-DT Main KBSI programming / Fox
23.2 480i WDKA-DT SD simulcast of WDKA / MyNetworkTV
23.3 COMET Comet
23.4 DEFY Defy TV
23.5 TRU TrueReal
23.6 NEWSY Newsy

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KBSI shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 23, on February 17, 2009, the original target date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 22.[12] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 23.


Syndicated programming on KBSI includes Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, and Judge Judy among others.


From 2006 to September 30, 2010, NBC affiliate WPSD-TV (owned by the Paxton Media Group) produced a nightly prime time newscast for KBSI through a news share agreement.[13] When the WPSD newscast started, KBSI competed with another nightly half-hour newscast at 9 p.m. on the area's low-powered CW affiliates WQTV-LP/WQWQ-LP. That newscast, produced by CBS affiliate KFVS-TV, focused on news from southeastern Missouri and was eventually canceled on July 29, 2007.[14]

On October 1, 2010, KBSI entered into a new agreement with KFVS to produce the newscast, which expanded to an hour in length.


  1. ^ "Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. November 12, 2020. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  2. ^ Monroe, Cathy A. (September 11, 1983). "KBSI-TV: Another station cranks up Monday". Southern Illinoisan. p. 1. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  3. ^ Stackhouse, Ben (May 5, 1983). "New Cape independent UHF station goes on air in July". The Paducah Sun. p. B-9. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  4. ^ "Parent company of Cape station in bankruptcy". The Paducah Sun. July 9, 1987. p. A10. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  5. ^ DeWitte, Dave (August 7, 1986). "Joan Rivers' network won't be carried locally". Southern Illinoisan. p. 17. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  6. ^ "KBSI to air Fox Network programs". The Paducah Sun. August 5, 1987. p. A12. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  7. ^ Gardner, Bruce (February 15, 1990). "KBSI-TV under new ownership". The Paducah Sun. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  8. ^ Morgan, Lucinda (September 23, 1993). "Fox station to air 'NYPD'". Southern Illinoisan. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  9. ^ "KBSI sold to Virginia company". The Paducah Sun. March 24, 1995. p. 6A. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  10. ^ Jacobson, Adam (January 20, 2021). "FCC OK's Sinclair Duo's Spin To Soo Kim". Radio and Television Business Report. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  11. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KBSI
  12. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  13. ^ Moyers, Scott. "WPSD, KBSI to take on KFVS12's 9 p.m. newscast". The Southeast Missourian. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  14. ^ Sanders, Matt (August 2, 2007). "KFVS drops 9 p.m. news". The Southeast Missourian. Archived from the original on August 21, 2007. Retrieved August 14, 2021.

External links[edit]