Coordinates: 38°58′42″N 94°32′1.8″W / 38.97833°N 94.533833°W / 38.97833; -94.533833
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ATSC 3.0 station
CityLawrence, Kansas
  • 38 The Spot (general)
  • KSHB 41 News on 38 The Spot (newscast)
  • Bounce TV Kansas City (DT2)
FoundedMay 16, 1985
First air date
February 1, 1988 (36 years ago) (1988-02-01)
Former call signs
KMCI (1988–2010)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog: 38 (UHF, 1988–2009)
  • Digital: 36 (UHF, 2001–2009)
  • 41 (UHF, 2009–2019)
  • HSN (1988–1996)
Call sign meaning
MCI = Kansas City's IATA airport code
Technical information[1]
Licensing authority
Facility ID42636
ERP1,000 kW
HAAT306 m (1,004 ft)
Transmitter coordinates38°58′42″N 94°32′1.8″W / 38.97833°N 94.533833°W / 38.97833; -94.533833
Public license information

KMCI-TV (channel 38) is an independent television station licensed to Lawrence, Kansas, United States, serving the Kansas City metropolitan area. It is owned by the E. W. Scripps Company alongside NBC affiliate KSHB-TV (channel 41). The two stations share studios on Oak Street in Kansas City, Missouri; KMCI-TV's transmitter is located at the Blue River Greenway in the city's Hillcrest section. Despite Lawrence being KMCI-TV's city of license, the station maintains no physical presence there.


The station first signed on the air on February 1, 1988.[2] Founded by Miller Broadcasting, it originally served as an affiliate of the Home Shopping Network (HSN).[3]

In March 1996, KSHB owner Scripps Howard Broadcasting reached a deal to manage KMCI under a local marketing agreement.[4] That August,[5] KMCI then dropped much of its home shopping programming and rebranded as "38 Family Greats", with a family-oriented general entertainment format from 6 a.m. to midnight, with HSN programming being relegated to the overnight hours. The new KMCI lineup included an inventory of programs that KSHB owned but had not had time to air after it switched to NBC in 1994.[6]

Exercising an option from the 1996 pact with Miller,[4] Scripps bought KMCI outright for $14.6 million in 2000, forming a legal duopoly with KSHB.[7] In 2002, KMCI dropped the "Family Greats" branding and simply branded by its channel number. In July 2003, coinciding with the move of its transmitter site from Lawrence toward Kansas City, the station officially became known as "38 the Spot".[8]


KMCI features hosts that promote the station's programming, as well as local events during commercial breaks. Taunia Hottman was the first spokesperson for KMCI as "38 the Spot".[9] Meredith Hoenes (who became a traffic reporter for KSHB-TV around this time) replaced Hottman after she left in 2004 to join KUSA in Denver. Holly Starr took over after Hoenes left in February 2008 to become a weekday anchor/reporter for WDAF-TV; Starr remained with KMCI as its program host until 2011, replaced by Crystle Lampitt in 2012.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures in 2020, Scripps partnered with Kansas City Public Schools to air a daily program, KCPS Homeroom, produced by the school district for its students on KMCI.[10]

Sports programming[edit]

Currently, KMCI simulcasts an hour of the Border Patrol morning show on sports radio station WHB (810 AM).[11] Along with KSHB-TV, it is an official station of the Kansas City Chiefs.[12]

Shortly after becoming 38 The Spot, the station launched a sports talk show,[8] 38 Sports Spot, which ran from 2003 to 2008.[13] For much of that time period, the station also had rights to a package of Kansas City Royals baseball games.[8]

On November 6, 2013, KSHB-TV/KMCI-TV announced a deal with Sporting Kansas City to broadcast up to 26 regular season games from the Major League Soccer club on KMCI, as well as several specials throughout the season (some of which will air on KSHB-TV) and pre-game and post-game shows beginning with the 2014 season.[14] The deal ran through 2016; beginning in 2017, all Sporting KC matches moved to Fox Sports Kansas City.[15] For the 2022 season, Sporting KC returned to KMCI.[16]

In 2018, KMCI and the University of Kansas struck a deal where KMCI would broadcast one early-season football game and several early-season Kansas Jayhawks men's basketball games, women's basketball home games, and other select sporting events from the university.[17] The move was part of expanded distribution of the university's Tier 3 athletic events.[18]

The Kansas City Chiefs announced in 2019 that KMCI and KSHB would replace KCTV as the team's official broadcast partners, allowing access to team programming, including preseason contests, plus marketing opportunities.[12]


In 2000, KSHB-TV began producing a half-hour 9 p.m. newscast on KMCI to compete with the in-house newscast in that timeslot on WDAF-TV.[19] The program was canceled in 2003, one week after KMCI's rebranding as "38 The Spot";[8] by this point, the newscast was called 38 News Now and had completely differentiated itself from KSHB's newscasts, using different presentation and a smaller set.

On August 1, 2011, KMCI began airing a rebroadcast of KSHB's 11 a.m. newscast at noon on weekdays. In addition to airing rebroadcasts of local news programming from KSHB-TV, KMCI will take on the responsibility of preempting regular programming and running NBC network shows in the event of extended breaking news or severe weather coverage on KSHB.

On April 6, 2015, KMCI began airing a 3rd hour of KSHB 41 News Today from 7 to 8 a.m., after KSHB begins airing NBC's Today show.[11]

On July 5, 2022, KMCI began airing an original local newscast at noon, branded as KSHB 41 News at Noon on 38 the Spot.

Technical information[edit]


The station's ATSC 1.0 channels are carried on the multiplexed signals of other Kansas City television stations:

Subchannels provided by KMCI-TV (ATSC 1.0)[20][21]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming ATSC 1.0 host
38.1 720p 16:9 KMCI-TV Main KMCI-TV programming KSHB-TV
38.2 480i Bounce Bounce TV
38.3 Mystery Court TV WDAF-TV
38.4 HSN HSN

Live Well Network was originally intended to be carried on KSHB digital subchannel 41.3, but was added to KMCI 38.2 on September 1, 2011, instead to even out the bandwidth between both stations. KMCI replaced the Live Well Network with Bounce TV on digital subchannel 38.2 on October 21, 2013. KMCI also added Escape to 38.3 and Grit on 38.4 on April 15, 2015. Escape was rebranded as Ion Mystery on digital subchannel 38.3 on September 30, 2019. Grit was replaced with Court TV on digital subchannel 38.4 by the end of January 2020, only for that to be replaced by HSN in March 2021. Court TV returned to KMCI-DT3 in July 2023, with Ion Mystery moving to KPXE-DT2. In addition, WDAF-DT3 also aired Court TV until October 2023 when it was replaced with Rewind TV.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KMCI-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 38, on June 12, 2009, the official date on which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal moved from its pre-transition UHF channel 36 to channel 41 (the former analog-era assignment and current virtual channel of sister station KSHB-TV) for post-transition operations.[22][23] As part of the FCC's repack, KMCI-TV moved to channel 25 on February 11, 2019.

ATSC 3.0[edit]

Subchannels of KMCI-TV (ATSC 3.0)[24]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
4.1 1080p 16:9 WDAF-DT Fox (WDAF-TV)
19.1 KCPT-1 PBS (KCPT)
38.1 KMCI-TV Independent
  Subchannel broadcast with digital rights management

On August 24, 2021, at 10 a.m., KMCI-TV turned off its ATSC 1.0 signal and activated its ATSC 3.0 transmitter on UHF 25. The station's ATSC 1.0 subchannels were moved to other broadcasters for simulcasting, while KMCI became the host for the new ATSC 3.0 signals of WDAF-TV, KCPT, KMCI-TV and KSHB-TV.

As for KMCI's subchannels, KMCI 38.1 and 38.2 were moved to sister station KSHB-TV, while 38.3 and 38.4 were moved to WDAF-TV.


  1. ^ "Facility Technical Data for KMCI-TV". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  2. ^ Garron, Barry (February 5, 1988). "Mini-series month for networks". Kansas City Star. p. 2C. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  3. ^ Garron, Barry (November 19, 1987). "Channel 38 set to shop over the air". Kansas City Star. p. 2D. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Miller Broadcasting Signs Agreement With Scripps For Future Programming". The Belleville Telescope. April 18, 1996. p. 8A. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  5. ^ Triplett III, Howard W. (August 12, 1996). "Channel 38: So long, home shopping; hello, reruns". Kansas City Star. p. D-6. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  6. ^ Covitz, Randy (May 13, 1996). "Royals need more TV time". Kansas City Star. pp. C-1, C-4. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  7. ^ Rathbun, Elizabeth A. (March 6, 2000). "Duopoly rule spurs sellers" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable. pp. 11–12. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d Barnhart, Aaron (July 24, 2003). "New sports show to hit the Spot". The Kansas City Star. p. E8. Retrieved February 14, 2021 – via
  9. ^ [1] Archived September 15, 2009, at
  10. ^ Malone, Michael (November 16, 2020). "Standalone Station Is Chief in Kansas City". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  11. ^ a b "KMCI Adds Weekday Morning Newscast". TVNewsCheck. February 25, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  12. ^ a b Goldman, Charles (September 17, 2019). "Chiefs drop KCTV-5, announce new broadcast partnership with KSHB-TV". USA Today. Gannett Company.
  13. ^ Martin, David (November 26, 2008). "Grumpy sports commentators lose platforms". The Pitch. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  14. ^ MorningSky, Autumn (November 6, 2013). "KSHB, KMCI will begin broadcasting Sporting KC games". Kansas City Business Journal. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  15. ^ "FSKC, Sporting KC announce multi-year TV agreement starting in '17". FOX Sports Kansas City. December 20, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  16. ^ Unruh, Sarah (February 14, 2022). "How to watch Sporting KC games in 2022". KSHB. Retrieved February 25, 2022.
  17. ^ "KMCI-TV Becomes the TV Home for KU Athletics". KSHB-TV. August 23, 2018. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  18. ^ "Jayhawk TV Network changes; distribution expanded". KU Athletics. August 23, 2018. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  19. ^ Barnhart, Aaron (June 17, 2000). "Witt signs new deal with WDAF". The Kansas City Star. p. E-1, E-12. Retrieved February 1, 2023 – via
  20. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KSHB
  21. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WDAF
  22. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  23. ^ KC TV stations will delay digital-only switch, Kansas City Business Journal, February 6, 2009.
  24. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for KMCI".

External links[edit]