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|Minneapolis – Saint Paul, Minnesota
|Branding||WCCO 4 (general)
WCCO 4 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Minnesota's most-watched station (General)|
|Channels||Digital: 32 (UHF)
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
7.1 KCCO-TV (Alexandria, Minnesota)
12.1 KCCW-TV (Walker, Minnesota)
|Affiliations||CBS (O&O) (Secondary through 1953)|
(CBS Television Licenses, LLC)
|First air date||July 1, 1949|
|Call letters' meaning||derived from sister station WCCO radio (Washburn Crosby COmpany)|
|Sister station(s)||KMNB, KZJK, WCCO|
|Former callsigns||WTCN-TV (1949–1952)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
4 (VHF, 1949–2009)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Height||432 m (1,417 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
WCCO-TV, channel 4, is a CBS owned-and-operated television station, licensed to Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA and serving the Twin Cities television market. WCCO-TV's studios are located on South 11th Street in downtown Minneapolis, and its transmitter is located at the Telefarm complex in Shoreview, Minnesota.
WCCO-TV's roots originate with a radio station, but not the one with which it is affiliated today. Radio station WRHM, which signed on the air in 1925, is the station to which WCCO-TV traces its lineage. In 1934, two newspapers – the Minneapolis Tribune and the Saint Paul Pioneer Press-Dispatch – formed a joint venture named "Twin Cities Newspapers", which purchased the radio station and changed its call letters to WTCN. Twin Cities Newspapers later expanded into the fledgling FM band with WTCN-FM, and shortly thereafter the then-new medium of television with the launch of WTCN-TV on July 1, 1949 as Minnesota's second television station, broadcasting from the Radio City Theater at 50 South 9th Street in downtown Minneapolis. It has always been a primary CBS affiliate since its sign on. However, it also had a secondary affiliation with ABC during its early years from 1949-1953 when another incarnation of WTCN-TV (now known as KARE of which it also had the ABC affiliation from its sign on in 1953 until 1961 when it became an independent station).
Twin Cities Newspapers sold off its broadcast holdings in 1952, with channel 4 going to the Murphy and McNally families, who had recently bought the Twin Cities' dominant radio station, WCCO (830 AM), from CBS. The stations merged under a new company, Midwest Radio and Television, with CBS as a minority partner. The call letters of channel 4 were changed to WCCO-TV to match its new radio sister on August 17th (the WTCN-TV call sign would later be picked up by what is now KARE). CBS was forced to sell its minority ownership stake in the WCCO stations in 1954 to comply with Federal Communications Commission ownership limits of the time.
In 1959, WCCO became the first station in the midwest to have a videotape machine; it came at a cost of $50,000 and one part-time employee was hired to operate the machine. In 1961, with the establishment of the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League, the station became the unofficial home station of the team, a partnership that would continue until the 1993 season, when most games were moved to WFTC (most Vikings games are now on KMSP-TV); today, channel 4 airs Vikings games (at least two each season) when the team plays host to an AFC team at plays at U.S. Bank Stadium.
On July 23, 1962, WCCO-TV was involved in the world's first live international broadcast via the Telstar satellite; the station's mobile units provided the feed for all three networks, ABC, CBS and NBC for a program originating from the Black Hills showing Mount Rushmore to the world.
The station began telecasting color programs in 1966. In September 1983, WCCO relocated its operations from its longtime studios on South 9th Street to the present location at South 11th Street & Nicollet Mall. The network gained full ownership of WCCO-TV in 1992, when it acquired the broadcast holdings of Midwest Radio and Television.
During the 1980s, a cable-exclusive sister station was created to supplement WCCO, with its own slate of local and national entertainment programming. This was known as WCCO II, but by 1989, it had evolved into the Midwest Sports Channel, focusing on regional sporting events. It continued under CBS ownership until 2000, when it was announced that MSC and sister RSN Home Team Sports were to be sold- HTS went to Comcast, while MSC was sold to Fox Entertainment Group and became part of Fox Sports Net, becoming Fox Sports North (it had been an FSN affiliate since 1997).
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|4.1||1080i||16:9||WCCO-DT||Main WCCO-TV programming / CBS|
WCCO-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 4, 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 remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 32. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 4.
On October 21, 2014, CBS and Weigel Broadcasting announced the launch of a new digital subchannel service called Decades, scheduled to launch on all CBS-owned stations in 2015, including on WCCO-TV on channel 4.2, KCCO-TV on channel 7.2, and KCCW-TV on channel 12.2. The channel will be co-owned by CBS and Weigel (owner of CBS affiliate WDJT-TV in Milwaukee), with Weigel being responsible for distribution to non-CBS-owned stations. It will air programs from the extensive library of CBS Television Distribution, including archival footage from CBS News.
Satellite stations and translators
WCCO-TV operates two satellite stations northwest of the Twin Cities area:
|Station||City of license||Channels
(TV / DT)
|First air date||Former call letters||ERP||HAAT||Transmitter Coordinates||Facility ID||Public license
|October 8, 1958||KCMT (1958–1987)||29 kW||339.6 m||9632||Profile
|January 1, 1964||KNMT (1964–1987)||59 kW||286.4 m||9640||Profile
Both of these stations were founded by the Central Minnesota Television Company and maintained primary affiliations with NBC and secondary affiliations with ABC from their respective sign-ons until the summer of 1982, when both stations switched to CBS. KCMT had originally broadcast from a studio in Alexandria, with KNMT operating as a satellite station of KCMT. Central Minnesota Television sold both stations to Midwest Radio and Television in 1987, at which point they adopted their present call letters and became semi-satellites of WCCO-TV.
Until 2002, the two stations simulcast WCCO-TV's programming for most of the day, except for separate commercials and inserts placed into channel 4's newscasts. However, in 2002, WCCO-TV ended KCCO/KCCW's local operations and shut down the Alexandria studio, converting the two stations into full-time satellites. Since then, channel 4 has identified as "Minneapolis-St. Paul/Alexandria/Walker", with virtually no on-air evidence that KCCO and KCCW were separate stations.
In addition, the broadcast signal of WCCO-TV is extended by way of six translators in southern Minnesota and one in northern Minnesota; all but one broadcast in digital:
|City of license||Callsign||Channel|
|Red Lake||K49LO-D ||49|
WCCO presently broadcasts 41½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 7 hours on weekdays, 3½ hours on Saturdays and 3 hours on Sundays).
Notable former on-air staff
- Al Austin - news reporter (later with CBS News)
- Jerry Bowen - news reporter (later with CBS News)
- Clellan Card - children's show personality "Axel" (1954–1966; deceased)
- Bill Carlson - entertainment reporter, midday news anchor (deceased)
- Mary Davies - children's show personality "Carmen The Nurse" (1954–1977; deceased)
- Paul Douglas - chief meteorologist (1997–2008; later with StarTribune)
- John Gallos - children's show personality "Clancy The Cop" and other characters, host of weekly Laurel & Hardy films program, host of public service programs and staff announcer
- Phil Jones - news reporter (later with CBS News)
- Randi Kaye - news reporter, news anchor (later with CNN)
- Don Kladstrup - news reporter (later with CBS News then ABC News)
- Bud Kraehling - weather anchor/staff announcer (1949–1996; deceased)
- Skip Loescher - news anchor, news reporter (later press secretary for U.S. Sen. Walter Mondale and anchor/reporter at CNN; deceased)
- Allan Lotsberg - children's show personality "Willie Ketchum"
- Pat Miles - news anchor (1978–1988), later wth KARE
- Dave Moore - news anchor (1950s–1998; deceased)
- Barry Petersen - news reporter (later with CBS News)
- Ann Rubenstein - news reporter, news anchor (later with NBC News)
- Hal Scott - sports anchor (1960s–1980; deceased)
- Don Shelby - news reporter/news anchor (1978-2010)
- Susan Spencer - news reporter, news anchor (later with CBS News)
- Bill Stewart - news reporter (later with ABC News, murdered in Nicaragua in 1979 while on assignment)
- Michele Tafoya - sports anchor/sports reporter (later with CBS Sports, NBC Sports, ABC Sports and ESPN)
- Heather Tesch - meteorologist (later with The Weather Channel)
- Ben Tracy - news reporter (later with CBS News)
- Jamie Yuccas - news reporter (later with CBS News)
- http://collections.mnhs.org/cms/largerimage.php?irn=10206529&catirn=10853547 WTCN-TV 4 billboard, 1950, showing ABC, CBS and DuMont affiliations
- http://llnw.static.cbslocal.com/station/wcco/community/09_0827_community_WCCOtimeline.pdf Retrieved 2011-7-22
- http://www.thefreelibrary.com/CBS+ACQUIRES+TELEVISION+AND+RADIO+STATIONS+FROM+MIDWEST+COMMUNICATIONS-a011880751 Retrieved 2011-8-21
- RabbitEars TV Query for WCCO
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- CBS Stations, Weigel Partner on Oldies Digi-Net Decades Broadcasting & Cable (10/21/2014)
- "WATR-TV decides to go it alone." Broadcasting, February 22, 1982, pg. 72.
- Minnesota State Edition
- Washington, D.C. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Record, Vol. 02, No. 22, pp. 6730-6732, Oct 23-Nov. 6, 1987. UNT Digital Library. FCC 87-331 Vol. 22. Accessed June 28, 2012.
- "Twin Cities Television Milestones". "Pavek Museum of Broadcasting". Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- "CBS News Correspondent Jerry Bowen Retires". TV Newser. 2007-10-15. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- "Obituary: Mary Davies Orfield, TV's Carmen the Nurse". 2014-10-02. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- "John P. Gallos obituary". 2005-11-19. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- "Phil Jones 2002". Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. 2002. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- "Wine Book Reviews". 2002-11-27. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- "TV news anchor Skip Loescher lived and breathed the news". 2013-10-12. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
- "Twin Cities Television Milestones". Pavek Museum of Broadcasting. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- "Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame". Pavek Museum of Broadcasting. 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- "WCCO-TV 5pm Report, February 16, 1984". TC Media Now. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- "Name Your Favorite Otter Athlete". 2011-05-16. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- Neal Justin (21 October 2015). "Jamie Yuccas leaving WCCO for CBS's Newspath in New York". Star Tribune. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
- "A History of Minneapolis: Radio and Television". Minneapolis Public Library. 2001. Archived from the original on 2004-08-08. Retrieved 2004-09-25.
- Official website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WCCO
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KCCO
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KCCW
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WCCO-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KCCO-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KCCW-TV