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Kgcw dt2.png
Burlington/Davenport, Iowa-
Rock Island/Moline, Illinois
United States
City of license Burlington, Iowa
Branding Quad Cities CW
Channels Digital: 41 (UHF)
& WHBF-DT 4.2 (VHF)
Virtual: 26 (PSIP)
Subchannels 26.1 The CW
26.2 This TV
Affiliations The CW
Jewelry Television (overnights)
Owner Nexstar Broadcasting Group
(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
First air date January 6, 1988 (1988-01-06)
Call letters' meaning Grant CW
Former callsigns KJMH (1988–2001)
KGWB-TV (2001–2006)
KGCW-TV (2006-2009)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
26 (UHF, 1988–2009)
Former affiliations Fox (1988-2001)
The WB (2001-2006)
Transmitter power 615 kW
33.7 kW (WHBF-DT2)
Height 1416.6 ft
409 m (WHBF-DT2)
Facility ID 7841
13950 (WHBF-DT2)
Transmitter coordinates 41°8′8″N 90°48′30″W / 41.13556°N 90.80833°W / 41.13556; -90.80833
41°32′48.8″N 90°28′37.7″W / 41.546889°N 90.477139°W / 41.546889; -90.477139 (WHBF-DT2)
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile

KGCW is the CW-affiliated television station for the Quad Cities of Eastern Iowa and West-Central Illinois. Licensed to Burlington, Iowa, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 41 (virtual channel 26.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter in the Seaton village of Abington Township, Illinois. The station can also be seen on Mediacom channel 113 and in high definition on digital channel 713. Owned by Nexstar Broadcasting Group, KGCW is sister to CBS affiliate, WHBF-TV. Nexstar also operates Fox affiliate KLJB, owned by Marshall Broadcasting. KGCW & KLJB share studios on East 53rd Street (I-74) in Davenport, Iowa. The station also carries preseason NFL Green Bay Packers football from the team's Wisconsin state network. KGCW can also be seen on WHBF's second digital subchannel (VHF channel 4.2 or virtual channel 4.2 via PSIP) from a transmitter in Bettendorf; a city located within Pleasant Valley Township in Scott County, Iowa.


The station signed-on August 2, 1984 as KJMH. It aired an analog signal on UHF channel 26 with an effective radiated power of 200 kilowatts (at a height of 96 meters) from a tower on Winegard Drive in Burlington. Originally an Independent, KJMH became a charter Fox affiliate on October 6, 1986 and primarily served the southern portion of the Quad Cities market. However, the station suffered interference and duplication from the area's other Fox affiliate, KLJB in Davenport serving the northern portions of the area. Finally in 1996, this station became a full-time satellite of KLJB. In 2001, KJMH broke off and became a The WB affiliate for the Quad Cities and adopted the KGWB-TV call sign.

In September 2006 as a result of The WB and UPN merging to form The CW, the station was picked as the new network affiliate for the Quad Cities. To reflect the change, KGWB adopted the KGCW-TV call letters on June 30, 2006. Meanwhile, the area's low-powered UPN affiliate WBQD-LP joined the other new service, News Corporation's MyNetworkTV. While broadcasting in analog, KGCW's signal failed to cover the Quad Cities adequately because WBQD also transmitted on channel 26. In addition, its coverage area was less than most full-powered UHF outlets in the United States due to its lower effective radiated power and antenna height. However, from 2001 to 2015, this shortfall had been made up by it being available on cable systems in the area through a fiber optic link and a simulcast on KLJB-DT2. During the Spring of 2015, however, the KGCW subchannel simulcast would migrate to WHBF-DT2.

On November 6, 2013, Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced that it would purchase the Grant Broadcasting stations, including KGCW and KLJB, for $87.5 million. Due to Federal Communications Commission ownership regulations (Nexstar is also in the process of acquiring WHBF-TV), KLJB will then be spun off to Mission Broadcasting, but will be operated by Nexstar through a shared services agreement.[1] However, on June 6, 2014, Nexstar announced that it would instead sell KLJB to a minority-controlled company Marshall Broadcasting—a new company headed by Pluria Marshall Jr., for $58.5 million. While this company will acquire much of the station's assets, Nexstar will enter into a shared services agreement to provide non-programming resources (such as master control) and advertising sales for Marshall's three stations.[2] The sale was completed on December 1, 2014.[3]

On March 25, 2015, it was announced that KGCW would broadcast 24 Chicago Cubs baseball games to Quad City area baseball fans during the 2015 Major League Baseball Season. This was due to the baseball games no longer being available on a national basis to cable and satellite viewers via WGN America. The origination of the baseball broadcasts was split between Chicago's WGN-TV and ABC O&O station WLS-TV, with KGCW carrying the games broadcast by WLS, and the Quad Cities' MyNetworkTV affiliate WQAD-DT3 airing the games broadcast by WGN.[4] In the past, KGCW had aired St. Louis Cardinals baseball games when that team's flagship station was fellow WB/CW affiliate KPLR-TV.

In November 2014, while Nexstar was still waiting for the completion of its sale of KLJB to Marshall Broadcasting, there was speculation by other local media that KGCW might move to a WHBF subchannel.[5] On May 14, 2015, Nexstar relaunched WHBF's digital subchannel 4.2 with a standard definition simulcast of KGCW. Due to the fact that KLJB is now owned by a separate company than KGCW, the simulcast of KGCW, which was previously aired on KLJB's 18.2 subchannel, moved to WHBF's 4.2 subchannel as Nexstar owns WHBF and KGCW, where Marshall Broadcasting owns KLJB.[6]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
26.1 720p 16:9 KGCWDT1 Main KGCW programming / The CW
26.2 480i KGCWDT2 This TV

On December 10, 2009, KGCW added a new second subchannel of its own carrying This TV. It also added Me-TV to a new subchannel on April 10, 2012.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

In December 2009, it finally changed the PSIP identifier for the main channel on 26.1 from its pre-transition labeling of "KGCW-DT" to its current legal call sign "KGCW" without the "-DT" suffix in it. KGCW shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 26, at noon on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 41.[7] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 26. It transferred the "KGCW-TV" calls from its now-defunct analog signal channel 26 to its digital signal on channel 41 and the "KGCW-DT" call sign was discontinued.

However, it changed the legal Federal Communications Commission (FCC) call sign again to KGCW around the revised digital transition date in June 2009 while continuing to use "KGCW-DT" through PSIP to identify channel 26.1 all the way up until December 2009. The current digital signal had been on-the-air from a new transmitter site near north of Seaton since November 2008 and from the station's original Burlington site on Winegard Drive prior to that. The remainder of the television stations in the Quad Cities terminated analog signals on the new analog shutoff date, June 12.


After sister station KLJB launched a thirty minute prime time newscast produced by the Independent News Network (INN) on December 31, 1999, KGCW began repeating the show (known as Fox 18 Nine O'Clock News) on Tuesday through Saturday mornings at 5. On August 6, 2010, it was made public KLJB terminated its long standing partnership with INN and entered into a news share agreement with ABC affiliate WQAD-TV (owned by Local TV). On September 6, that station began producing a nightly half-hour prime time show on KLJB still known by the same name. KGCW then began repeating the previous night's newscast Monday through Friday mornings at 5. Production of Fox 18 Nine O'Clock News changed once more on December 31, 2012 when it was taken over through a new outsourcing arrangement by NBC affiliate KWQC-TV (owned by Young Broadcasting). There is now a separate anchor team featured solely on KLJB but the personalities can fill-in on KWQC when needed. The nightly broadcast at 9 currently originates from the NBC outlet's facility on Brady Street/U.S. 61 (within the Palmer College of Chiropractic campus) in downtown Davenport. KGCW moved the repeat of KLJB's show to the next morning at 1.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Malone, Michael (November 6, 2013). "Nexstar to Acquire Seven Grant Stations For $87.5 Million". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved November 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Nexstar Selling 3 Fox Affils For $58.5 Million". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Consummation Notice,CDBS Public Access Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 3 December, 2014.
  4. ^ "KGCW picks up remaining 24 Cubs games". Quad-City Times (Lee Enterprises). 2015-03-25. Retrieved 2015-03-26. 
  5. ^ Burke, David (2014-11-10). "Big changes likely ahead for 3 Quad-City television stations". Quad-City Times (Lee Enterprises). Retrieved 2015-05-22. 
  6. ^ KGCW facebook page
  7. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 

External links[edit]