|Channels||Digital: 14 (UHF)|
Virtual: 14 (PSIP)
|Owner||Big Horn Television LLC|
First air date
|August 12, 1980|
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
14 (UHF, 1980–2009)
15 (UHF, 2002–2009)
Call sign meaning
|Great Western Network/Casper|
(after former sister station KGWN-TV)
|HAAT||562 m (1,844 ft)|
Public license information
KGWC-TV, virtual and UHF digital channel 14, is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Casper, Wyoming, United States. The station is owned by Big Horn Television. KGWC-TV's transmitter is located atop Casper Mountain.
KGWC's programming is relayed on two satellite stations: KGWL-TV (channel 5) in Lander and KGWR-TV (channel 13) in Rock Springs (part of the Salt Lake City market). Operations for the three stations are based on Skyview Drive in Casper, in the same studios as ABC affiliate KTWO-TV (channel 2), Fox affiliate KFNB (channel 20) and MeTV affiliate KWYF-LD (channel 27).
KGWC is one of the few stations in the country that signs off at night. Its repeaters KGWL and KGWR stay on air, but freeze up on the last image transmitted by KGWC.
The Chrysostom Corporation, a group of five investors that included the Casper police chief, was formed in 1977 to apply for a license to build a TV station in Casper. The Federal Communications Commission approved the application on August 31, 1979, and KCWY-TV began broadcasting on August 12, 1980. Channel 14, which has been affiliated with CBS since its launch, was the first new television station to go on the air in Casper since 1957 and marked the first time the city had two competing stations since 1959, when KSPR-TV folded. It also was Wyoming's first UHF television station.
The new channel entered into a tough battle with KTWO-TV, with which it was at a constant disadvantage. In its first ratings book, its Action News newscasts attracted two percent of the audience, compared to 59 percent at KTWO. KTWO trumpeted that it aired all 50 of the top 50 programs in Casper. With the Casper station on air, Chrysostom then began a push to build full-power satellite stations. It filed for the open channel 4 at Lander, which put it in competition with Central Wyoming College's application to build the first educational television station in the state. Channel 5 was found to be available, and both groups received channels. Chrysostom put KOWY on the air in Lander in 1982. At the same time, it bought KTUX-TV, a channel 13 station in Rock Springs that had signed on October 21, 1977 but was silent, and renamed it KWWY-TV. With all three in operation, the group briefly branded as the "Wyoming Action Network".
Sale to Stauffer
The Chrysostom Corporation sold KCWY-TV and its satellites to Stauffer Communications of Topeka, Kansas, in 1986 for $3.5 million. At the same time, Stauffer bought KYCU, the CBS affiliate in Cheyenne. On New Year's Day 1987, the stations adopted new call letters of KGWC-TV, KGWL-TV (Lander), and KGWR-TV (Rock Springs), matching the Cheyenne station, which became KGWN-TV, representing the "Great Western Network". (The KCWY call letters later returned to Casper on channel 13.)
Under Stauffer, cuts were made to the operation in Casper to reduce costs, respond to the weak regional economy, and take advantage of synergies with the Cheyenne station. In early 1987, the station ceased producing its own local weathercasts and began taking legislative and state capitol reports from KGWN; it cut its news department from 11 staff down to 8. Even deeper cuts followed the next year, with six of the remaining eight news positions in Casper eliminated. Viewers in Casper now mostly saw KGWN's news.
Under Benedek's ownership, KGWC received significant investment and increased the visibility of its product, running billboards and TV advertisements for its newscasts. In December 1996, it poached Rich Bircumshaw from KTWO radio to serve as the news director and KTWO-TV news director Vicki Daniels as assignment editor. It added weekend newscasts and doubled its staff. Benedek leased an electronics store building on CY Avenue to serve as the station's studios and outfitted it with $500,000 in new equipment, improving the technical quality of its broadcasts.
However, the product failed to work for Benedek. The news department's size slowly shrank, and the station had three general managers in less than two years. On June 4, 2000, the entire Casper operation, except for an engineer, was shuttered and the station turned into a satellite of KGWN. The vice president of KGWN-TV noted that, despite good ratings, poor personnel and "management problems" made a closure necessary; Benedek vowed to restore news but did not give a timetable.
Chelsey ownership and sale to Mark III Media
After the closure of the KGWC-TV operation, financial problems developed at Benedek. The early 2000s recession dented ad sales and caused the company to be unable to pay interest on a set of bonds issued in 1996, prompting a filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. While many Benedek stations were sold to Gray Television, some—including KGWC-TV and KGWN-TV—went to Chelsey Broadcasting, an affiliate of the Chelsey Capital hedge fund.
In 2003, Chelsey Broadcasting sold the KGWN stations in two separate sales. KGWN and Scottsbluff, Nebraska, satellite KSTF were sold to SagamoreHill Broadcasting, while KGWC, KGWL, and KGWR were sold separately to Mark III Media. Mark Nalbone, who was the general manager of KFNB owner Wyomedia and a consultant to KTWO-TV, was the president of Mark III. The sale languished during a lengthy approval process at the FCC due to several objections, primarily concerning whether the sale would effectively put the stations under common ownership with KFNB and KTWO-TV. However, Mark III programmed KGWC separately from KGWN under a time brokerage agreement.
Mark III resurrected a local newscast in 2004, which shared reporting resources with KTWO-TV. KTWO sponsored an "Anchorman for a Day" contest, which was won by Marvin Nolte, a retired man from Bar Nunn with no previous broadcasting experience; he wound up getting a permanent position after one of KGWC-TV's anchors moved to Cheyenne. However, the program failed to make headway in the ratings against KTWO and KCWY, which had begun a local newscast in 2003, and was canceled on January 3, 2006.
Gray sale attempt and sale to Coastal
Mark III Media announced the sale of KGWC-TV to Gray Television, owner of KCWY-DT and KGWN, on February 12, 2018. Under the terms of the deal, the KGWC license was to be donated to a non-profit organization and would receive a new call sign and virtual channel number; on March 6, 2018, Gray agreed to donate the license and transmitter to Central Wyoming College, operator of the Wyoming PBS network. Central Wyoming College planned to convert channel 14 into a non-commercial license, with the station being used to broadcast their PBS Kids subchannel full-time in high definition (which is currently unavailable in the area via Wyoming PBS station KPTW). CWC reserved the call sign KEWY for the station. Gray would have retained the KGWC call letters and CBS programming, moving them to its low power KCBZ-LD, formerly KSBF-LD (channel 36); per the donation agreement, KCBZ-LD was to have taken the virtual channel 14 PSIP to maintain CBS programming on channel 14. Gray would have acquired and retained KGWR-TV and KGWL-TV. The sale of KGWC-TV and its satellites was canceled in October 2018; on January 24, 2019, Gray disclosed that its acquisition of the CBS affiliation had been blocked by the Department of Justice (DOJ). This came primarily because the DOJ regarded KGWL as a Casper station. The FCC took the line that the Gray deal would have had the effect of creating a duopoly between KCWY and KGWL. Casper has only four full-power stations, not enough to legally permit a duopoly.
On October 8, 2019, Mark III Media announced that it would sell KGWC-TV and its satellites to Big Horn Television (run by Michael Hogan); the sale was concurrent with Vision Alaska's purchase of KTWO-TV and Coastal Television Broadcasting Company's purchase of KFNB. The sale was completed on June 1, 2020.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming |
|14.1||1080i||16:9||KGWC||Main KGWC-TV programming / CBS|
|14.2||480i||4:3||KTWO-SD||Simulcast of KTWO-TV / ABC|
KGWL and KGWR began broadcasting digital television service in February 2009. KGWL opted to transmit its digital signal on channel 7 (its analog signal had operated on channel 5), while KGWR flash-cut on channel 13. KGWC had operated a digital signal on channel 15 for some time before then, but moved it to channel 14 after shutting down its analog transmitter.
KGWC does not currently produce any local news. Local news updates broadcast during CBS This Morning are produced by KTWO using their Good Morning Wyoming anchors.
|Station||City of license||Channels
(VC / RF)
|First air date||Former callsigns||ERP||HAAT||Facility ID||Transmitter coordinates||Public license information|
|September 19821||KOWY (1982–1986)||14.3 kW||113 m (371 ft)||63162||Profile|
|KGWR-TV||Rock Springs||13 (PSIP)
|October 21, 1977||KTUX (1977–1982)
|14.2 kW||495 m (1,624 ft)||63170||Profile|
- 1. The Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook says September 10, while the Television and Cable Factbook says September 12.
- Jacobson, Adam (8 October 2019). "A Trio Of TV Re-Do Deals In Wyoming". Radio & Television Business Report.
- Wheaton, John (October 11, 1979). "Police chief resigns to manage television station". Casper Star-Tribune. p. 1. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- Ansley, David. "'We made it': KCWY-TV is on the air". Casper Star-Tribune. pp. A1, A12. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- Wheaton, John (August 14, 1980). "Don't bash your TV yet; just twist that UHF knob". Casper Star-Tribune. p. A3. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- Linihan, Richard (January 10, 1981). "KTWO clobbers KCWY in first audience ratings". Casper Star-Tribune. pp. A1, A12. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- "Once Again, KTWO Television is the overwhelming favorite among Wyoming television viewers". Casper Star-Tribune. April 13, 1981. p. A4. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- Bean, Greg (June 6, 1981). "KCWY owners tangle with CWC over Lander channel". Casper Star-Tribune. p. A3. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- "KCWY to buy TV station". Casper Star-Tribune. July 24, 1982. p. A3. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- "Open Your Eyes, Wyoming!". Casper Star-Tribune. February 20, 1983. p. A10. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. July 7, 1986. p. 86. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- "Kansas firm bids for Casper's KCWY-TV". Casper Star-Tribune. June 3, 1986. p. A3. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- Ensor, Kendra (April 1, 1987). "TV channel 14 'tightens belt,' will use more reports from Cheyenne". Casper Star-Tribune. p. A3. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- Quarterman, Emily (January 6, 1988). "Channel 14 television plans staff layoffs". Casper Star-Tribune. p. A3. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- Quarterman, Emily (February 1, 1988). "Channel 14 begins new news format". Casper Star-Tribune. p. A3. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- "KGWC-TV sold to Illinois company". Casper Star-Tribune. December 6, 1995. p. C1. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- Stanton, Susan (December 24, 1996). "Bircumshaw to take news helm at KGWC". Casper Star-Tribune. pp. A1, A10. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- Stoelzle, Deirdre (February 20, 1997). "K2's Vicki Daniels heads to Channel 14". Casper Star-Tribune. pp. A1, A10. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- "Former employees recall the past, ponder the future". pp. A3, A4.
- Morton, Tom. "Benedek vows KGWC-TV news' return". pp. A1, A12.
- McClellan, Steve; Trigoboff, Dan (April 1, 2002). "Benedek couldn't hang on". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- Morton, Tom (November 29, 2002). "CBS affiliates under new ownership". Casper Star-Tribune. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
- Van Dusen, Matthew (June 8, 2004). "TV trouble". Casper Star-Tribune. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
- Dillon, Jenni (April 29, 2005). "Anchorman contestant gets TV job". Casper Star-Tribune. pp. A3, A7. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- Matteson, Cory (January 5, 2006). "Back down to two". Casper Star-Tribune. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
- Gray, Roger (February 12, 2018). "Casper's Channel 13 to Purchase CBS Affiliate KGWC". K2Radio.com. Townsquare Media. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
- "Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
- "Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- Dugas, Terry (March 22, 2018). "WyomingPBS acquires Casper station". Central Wyoming College. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
- "Media Bureau Call Sign Actions" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. May 10, 2018. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
- "Donation Agreement". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission.
- "Notification of Non-consummation (KGWC-TV)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. October 5, 2018. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
- "Notification of Non-consummation (KGWR-TV/KGWL-TV)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. October 5, 2018. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
- Klamann, Seth (January 24, 2019). "KCWY 13 to combine with Cheyenne station, reduce Casper reporting workforce to 4". Casper Star-Tribune. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
- Jacobson, Adam (January 24, 2019). "ACA Slams Gray For DOJ Blame On Wyoming News Cut". Radio & Television Business Report. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
- Learned, Nick (October 9, 2019). "21 Wyoming TV Stations to be Sold in 3 Transactions". K2 Radio. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
- Hogan, Michael G. (June 5, 2020). "Consummation Notice". CDBS Public Notice. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
- KGWC-TV in the FCC's TV station database
- KGWL-TV in the FCC's TV station database
- KGWR-TV in the FCC's TV station database
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KGWC-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KGWL-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KGWR-TV