|Cape Girardeau, Missouri/|
|City||Cape Girardeau, Missouri|
|Slogan||newscasts: Live. Local. Now.|
DT2: Dare to Defy
|Channels||Digital: 12 (VHF)|
(to move to 11 (VHF))
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||October 3, 1954|
|Call letters' meaning||FiVe States|
KAIT, KYTV, KSPR-LD, KYCW-LD, WFIE, WAVE (TV), WBKO, WMC-TV
|Former channel number(s)|
|Transmitter power||6.8 kW|
11.8 kW (CP)
|Height||609 m (1,998 ft)|
|Public license information||Profile|
KFVS-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 12, is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, United States, serving Southeastern Missouri, the Purchase area of Western Kentucky, and Southern Illinois. Owned by Gray Television, it is a sister station to the low-powered CW/MeTV affiliates WQWQ-LP/WQTV-LP, which are simulcast on KFVS-TV's second digital subchannel. The outlets share studios in the Hirsch Tower on Broadway Avenue in Downtown Cape Girardeau; KFVS-TV's transmitter is located northwest of Egypt Mills, in unincorporated Cape Girardeau County.
KFVS had previously served the Jonesboro, Arkansas media market as the default CBS station on satellite providers. It is not known how much longer that arrangement will continue, after the sign-on of the Jonesboro area's first locally based CBS affiliate August 1, 2015 on a second digital subchannel of Fox affiliate KJNB-LD.
KFVS began broadcasting on October 3, 1954 and aired an analog signal on VHF channel 12. It was owned by broadcasting pioneer Oscar C. Hirsch who had signed-on the area's first radio station, KFVS radio (AM 960, now KZIM) in his radio shop in 1925. The KFVS call letters were randomly assigned by then-Secretary of Commerce, Herbert Hoover. At the start, channel 12 did not have any video cameras. Instead, its first broadcast showed slides of its new transmitter tower that was under construction at the time. Channel 12 was housed along with its radio sister until 1968 when it moved to its present location on Broadway Avenue. Hirsch sold the station to AFLAC in 1979 earning a handsome return on his investment of 54 years earlier.
In 1997, AFLAC sold its entire broadcasting division, including KFVS, to a group headed by Retirement Systems of Alabama. It, in turn, merged with Ellis Communications a few months later to form Raycom Media. KFVS offered The Tube Music Network (a 24-hour digital music video channel) on its third digital subchannel which ceased operations on October 1, 2007.
KFVS serves more than fifty counties in four states including all of Southeastern Missouri, Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, and Western Tennessee. KFVS considers Clay County as the only Arkansas county in its viewing area as shown during its nightly weather segments which be seen in the local temperature graphic. Cable systems in Corning, Piggott, Rector, Marmaduke, Pollard, Greenway, St. Francis, and Lafe, Arkansas list KFVS on their local cable lineups. However, Jonesboro and Lake City  cable systems do not carry the station. According to DirecTV, KFVS is carried on its Jonesboro area lineup as a local channel.
While broadcasting an analog signal, a portion of its off-air signal reached into the Missouri Bootheel overlapping with sister stations WMC-TV in Memphis, Tennessee and KAIT-TV in Jonesboro. KFVS refers to its viewing area as "The Heartland", which is included in WQTV/WQWQ's on-air branding. During the analog era, KFVS' coverage area overlapped with KMOV in St. Louis. In fact, channel 12's over-the-air coverage extended as far north as the St. Louis suburb of Belleville, Illinois. Cable systems in several northern KFVS counties and southern KMOV counties carried both stations.
Sale to Gray Television
On June 25, 2018, Atlanta-based Gray Television announced it had reached an agreement with Raycom to merge their respective broadcasting assets (consisting of Raycom's 63 existing owned-and/or-operated television stations, including KFVS and WQTV/WQWQ), and Gray's 93 television stations) under the former's corporate umbrella. The cash-and-stock merger transaction valued at $3.6 billion – in which Gray shareholders would acquire preferred stock currently held by Raycom – will result in KFVS and WQTV/WQWQ gaining new sister stations in nearby markets, including NBC/ABC affiliates KYTV and KSPR-LD in Springfield and ABC/Fox affiliate WBKO in Bowling Green, in addition to its current Raycom sister stations. The sale was approved on December 20, and was completed on January 2, 2019.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|12.1||1080i||16:9||KFVS DT||Main KFVS-TV programming / CBS|
|12.2||720p||CW||Simulcast of WQTV-LP/WQWQ-LP / The CW & MeTV|
WQTV and WQWQ do not transmit digital signals of their own, and due to their low-powered status, they only cover the immediate areas surrounding Murray and Paducah, Kentucky. Therefore, KFVS-DT2 serves as that purpose which extends their reach throughout the entire market.
KFVS-TV 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 57, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to its analog-era VHF channel 12.
Compared with the other big three stations in the market, KFVS has traditionally covered Southeastern Missouri. The newscasts of ABC affiliate WSIL-TV focus exclusively on Southern Illinois, from studios in Carterville, and it does not even mention the market's other two primary cities (Cape Girardeau and Paducah) in its on-air legal identification. This is despite the fact that WSIL operates a full-time satellite, KPOB, in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. KFVS offers secondary coverage of Southern Illinois from a newsroom on East Plaza Drive in Carterville near WSIL. NBC affiliate WPSD-TV, based in Paducah, focuses more on the Western Kentucky side although that station operates a bureau in Marion, Illinois.
At one point in time, KFVS produced a nightly prime time newscast on WQTV/WQWQ. Known as Heartland News at 9, the show could be seen for a half-hour and was targeted specifically at a Southeastern Missouri audience. It competed with another broadcast in the time slot on Fox affiliate KBSI which also aired every night for thirty minutes. However, that program was produced by WPSD so it featured more of a regional summary of headlines since it originated from the NBC outlet's facility in Kentucky. The WQTV/WQWQ newscast was dropped after the July 29, 2007 edition. WQTV/WQWQ currently replay three weekday newscasts from KFVS including the 6 a.m. hour of The Breakfast Show (at 7), Heartland News at Noon (at 1 p.m.), and Heartland News at 10 (at 11 p.m.). The Sunday edition of The Breakfast Show is also repeated on those stations.
On October 1, 2010, Heartland News at 9 was brought back after a news share agreement was established with KBSI (owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group). That channel now offers a nightly hour-long prime time newscast originating from the KFVS studios. With that addition, this station offers more than thirty hours of local news each week. Unlike other outsourced news arrangements at Sinclair-owned television stations, KBSI features the same graphics scheme and music package as seen on this CBS outlet. Also, there are no on-air duratrans separately identifying the Fox newscast. In instances of severe weather (most notably during a tornado warning in the viewing area), KBSI may simulcast live coverage from KFVS if an event occurs outside the prime time newscast. On October 3, 2010, WPSD brought back its own newscast at 9 known as The Nine to both of its digital subchannels which is seen every night, except Saturdays, for a half-hour, although The Nine was eventually cancelled in 2019.
In July 2011, KFVS became the second news operation in the market to upgrade local news production to high definition level. Included with the switch was the debut of a new studio and updated graphics (the KBSI newscast was included in the change).
During weather segments, the station uses live NOAA National Weather Service radar data from several regional sites. This system is known on-air as "First Alert Doppler Network". KFVS also operates its own Doppler weather radar, called "Live StormTeam Radar", that is located on top of the Hirsch building. It is a Collins radar sold by ADC in Bloomington, Indiana and is the only live radar source in the market since the National Weather Service data seen on rival stations is delayed.
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