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KARE, Digital Channel 11, is an NBC - affiliated television station licensed to Minneapolis, Minnesotamarker, and serving the Minneapolis - St. Paulmarker area (commonly known as the Twin Citiesmarker) of Minnesotamarker and portions of western Wisconsinmarker. It also operates KARE WX NOW, formerly known as NBC Plus on its second digital subchannel (11.2). KARE is owned by the Gannett Company, with studios located in Golden Valley, Minnesotamarker.


KARE-TV signed on the air as WTCN-TV (the “TCN” stood for “Twin Cities Newspapers”), though it was not the first TV station in the Twin Cities to carry those call letters. Channel 4 originally carried the WTCN, but it was changed to WCCO-TVmarker following the station's merger with the WCCO radio stations in 1952. At that time, WTCN-AM (1280 AM, now WWTC) was sold to the Minnesota Television Service Corporation headed by St. Paul businessman Robert Butler, a former ambassador to Cubamarker and Australia.

Soon afterward, Butler's group applied for the channel 11 license. At the same time, WMIN (1400 AM, now KMNV) also applied. Because the FCC had a backlog of contested licenses, the two stations worked out an agreement for a joint application. The FCC approved this deal, and WTCN-TV/WMIN-TV went on the air on September 1, 1953 as an ABC affiliate. The station also carried a secondary affiliation with DuMont. During the late 1950s, the station also was briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.

Under the agreement, each station would use a transmitter mounted atop the Foshay Towermarker in downtown Minneapolis for two hours, then allow the other channel to take over for the next two. WTCN-TV broadcast from the Calhoun Beach Hotelmarker in Minneapolis, while WMIN-TV broadcast from the Hamm Building in St. Paul. On April 3 1955, with FCC approval, WMIN sold its share of Channel 11, and WTCN-TV took over the frequency full-time. On the same day, the WTCN stations were sold to the Bitner Group. Two years later, the Bitner group merged with Time-Life.

In 1961, KMSP-TVmarker took the ABC affiliation, and WTCN became an independent station, with its 10 p.m. newscast moving to 9 p.m. As a traditional general entertainment channel, WTCN offered cartoons, sitcoms, old movies, Minnesota Twins baseball, locally produced shows, news, and dramas. It was also home to the Twin Cities' first primetime newscast.

Chris-Craft Industries bought the WTCN stations in 1964, but sold off WTCN-AM. Under Chris-Craft, WTCN modernized its newscasts. Up to that time, they were still shot on film.

Metromedia bought WTCN-TV in 1971 and in 1972, the station began using a new tower at the Telefarm site in Shoreviewmarker, Minnesotamarker. The new transmitter greatly increased the station's broadcasting range, boosting its secondary coverage to 72 miles. In 1973, after 20 years at the Calhoun Beach Hotel, WTCN moved to its current studio in Golden Valley.

In the late 70s, ABC began looking for stronger affiliates across the country—including Minneapolis-St. Paul. The network had talks with WTCN, WCCO-TVmarker (CBS), and KSTP-TVmarker (NBC). KSTP surprised the industry in August 1978 by announcing its split with NBC, ending a five-decade relationship in radio and TV. Channel 5 would become an ABC affiliate on March 5, 1979—the network's biggest coup at that time. NBC then chose to affiliate with WTCN, after rejecting KMSP-TV's offer to become its affiliate. Metromedia sold about half of its cartoons and syndicated programming to former ABC affiliate KMSP-TVmarker, which eventually became the Twin Cities' largest independent station.

In 1983, Metromedia sold WTCN to Gannett. The media company made a significant investment into the station's news department. The anchor team of Paul Magers and Diana Pierce was hired that September. The pair would lead the station's 10:00 p.m. newscasts for 20 years, which is a record for Twin Cities news anchors (the duo of Jeff Passolt and Robyne Robinson at KMSP-TV are right behind, at 10+ years). KARE-11's outdoor "Backyard" weather studio was also launched in 1983, coinciding with the arrival of meteorologist Paul Douglas in May.

In 1985, Gannett rechristened Channel 11 as WUSA. But, after the company purchased WDVM-TVmarker in Washington, D.C.marker, it transferred the call letters to that its station. In the meantime, a Florida TV station had assumed the WTCN call letters.. Consequently, KARE became the call letters and branding for Channel 11.

In recent years, KARE's news ratings have fallen. Since May 2006, the station has placed second overall in households at 5, 6, and 10 p.m. In February 2008, KARE moved to third overall in late-night household ratings, including the 9:00 news on KMSP-TVmarker. In November 2007, for the first time in more than two decades, KARE lost the top position in the demographic group representing women ages 25-54. But, as of February 2008, KARE continues in first place overall in the 25-54 category.

The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) has given KARE its "Station of the Year" (large markets) award in 1985, 1995, 2000, 2006, 2007, and 2008.

On April 27, 2006, KARE became the first station in the Twin Cities (and among the first in the U.S.) to broadcast news in High Definition Television. As part of this transition, the station completely replaced its news set, originally built in 1986 and updated in the 1990s, with a new state-of-the-art backdrop. The station was still broadcasting in analog (with the news shot in a way that is still usable on the smaller 4:3 format of analog sets) until the federally mandated digital transition on June 12, 2009.[50099]

The KARE-11 News Package (created by Third Street Music) was commissioned in 1996. It and KUSA are making the two Gannett-owned NBC affiliates to use a custom news package by Third Street Music. Although the rest of the station group (including KUSA) is using a new music package by Rampage Music New York, KARE has yet to switch to the new theme. However, it is using the new graphics package created by the Gannett Graphics Group (G3).

In June 2009, the KAREmarker weather team and former meteorologist Paul Douglas , formed a unique partnership to create KARE's new local weather channel, KARE Wx NOW. Douglas worked for KAREmarker for more than a decade in the early 80's, so it will be a homecoming of sorts for him and his new company, WeatherNation. This new service is available 24 hours everyday on TV and online.


A locally-produced children's program, Lunch with Casey, is remembered as being one of the unique contributions of the station. The show, featuring Roger Awsumb as Casey Jones, ran from 1954 until the end of 1972, with a brief reappearance in 1974. Sidekicks on the show included Joe the Cook, played by Chris Wedes, and Roundhouse Rodney, played by Lynn Dwyer. Wedes went on to play the clown J.P. Patches in Seattle, Washingtonmarker, credited as partial inspiration (along with Portland, Oregonmarker's Rusty Nails) for Krusty the Clown on The Simpsons.

The station carries a controversial minister named Mac Hammond. He was investigated financially over the sale of an airplane. See the Minneapolis Star Tribune,

The station experimented with a 40-minute newscast at 10 p.m., before 35-minute nightly newscasts — now the standard — became common (being in the Central Time Zone, Minnesota stations generally broadcast news at 5, 6, and 10 p.m.). The 10:00 p.m. newscast features a "KARE 11 News Extra", an extended news story. A special sports show is put together periodically, and the station also broadcasts a group of morning shows each weekday. On April 27, 2006, KARE began to produce evening news broadcasts in HDTV.

The station made weather history on July 18, 1986 when helicopter pilot Max Messmer was flying out to cover a news story and noticed a funnel cloud forming over the Springbrook Nature Center in Fridleymarker. Photojournalist Tom Empey was on board the chopper and shot amazing and unprecedented video of the twister. The images were broadcast live on that day's 5 p.m. newscast. That entire newscast is available online. The funnel soon formed into a full-fledged tornado as it touched the ground, and KARE broadcast images of the funnel for 30 minutes. In the years to come, this first aerial video of a tornado was heavily studied by meteorologists, and contributed significantly to what is known about tornado formation. It was moderate in intensity, with winds of 113-157 mph (an F2 on the original Fujita Scale), and caused $650,000 damage.

The short-lived game show Let's Bowl (filmed in the Twin Cities) had some episodes air on the station in the late '90s before it was remade for Comedy Central. In January 2005, a local cable access program began airing. Called The Show to Be Named Later..., it is described as "The first (and only) sports talk, comedy, and variety show", somewhat of a cross between Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Fox Sports Net's The Best Damn Sports Show Period. A weekly show for teenagers called The Whatever Show (or simply Whatever) and an outdoors program known as Minnesota Bound have both aired on the station for about a decade. Former Minnesota Twin Kent Hrbek also has hosted his own outdoors show "Kent Hrbek Outdoors" on the station since 2004. But in the fall of 2008, "Kent Hrbek Outdoors" was moved over to rival Fox affiliate KMSP.

For decades, both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune aired on rival station WCCO-TV. But, in 1999, Jeopardy! moved to KARE after WCCO aired the game show at 1:37am (originally 9:30 AM) for several years. However, Wheel still airs on WCCO, making the Twin Cities one of the few markets where Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune don't air on the same station.

KARE 11 Current Anchors

KARE 11 Weather Now Meteorologists

KARE 11 Sports

KARE 11 Reporters

Notable KARE-TV 11 alumni

  • Roger Awsumb (played Casey Jones on children's show "Lunch with Casey" 1954-1972, also "Casey & Roundhouse at Grandma Lumpit's Boarding House" and "Wake Up with Casey & Roundhouse")
  • John Bachman (anchor/reporter)
  • Ken Barlow (Weekday Morning Meteorologist, 1989-1994; Chief Meteorologist, 1994-2005) Now With WBZ-TVmarker in Boston.
  • Roxane Battle (reporter/anchor/"Today" host) Now at WCCO-TVmarker
  • Joe Boyle (Sports Director, 1972-1979)
  • Frank Buetel (Sports Director/North Stars-Twins-Gophers announcer, 1950s-1972)
  • Rodger Buxton (sportscaster, 1973-1980s)
  • Asha Blake (reporter/anchor)
  • Liz "Ibby" Carothers- (Weekday Morning Meteorologist, 1996-1997)
  • Steve Carroll (Sports Reporter, 1981-1989)
  • Mark Daly
  • Lynn Dwyer (played Roundhouse Rodney on "Casey Jones" children's shows, 1959-1972)
  • Dennis Feltgen (Weekend Meteorologist, 1986-1989)
  • Charles Gonzalez (Sports Reporter, 2004-2007)
  • Bernie Grace (crime reporter, 1979-2006)
  • Amy Hockert (anchor, 2003-2008)
  • Mike Igoe ("Action 11" reporter, 1983-1989)
  • Mel Jass ("Matinee Movie" host ,1950s-1979)
  • Rondah Kinchlow (education/general assignment reporter)
  • Kirsten Lindquist (Early Evening Anchor, 1983-1987)
  • Paul Magers (Main Anchor, 1983-2003) Now with KCBS-TVmarker in Los Angeles.
  • Pat Miles (Early Evening Anchor, 1988-2001--hired in 1987, non-compete clause with WCCO)
  • Eric Olson (reporter/anchor, 1985-1997)
  • Jeff Passolt (afternoon Sports, 1981-1991; Sports Director, 1991-1994) Now with KMSP-TVmarker (FOX 9) also in the Twin Cities.
  • Amy Powell (Sunrise anchor/reporter)
  • Tom Ryther (Sports Director, 1981-1991)
  • Dale Schornack (anchor/reporter, 1980s)
  • Barry Siewert (News, sports anchor, weather, host, 1972-1983; announcer, 2007-present)
  • Ken Speake (Reporter, 1980-2007)
  • Joan Steffend (Weekend Anchor, 1982-1996; 1999-2000)
  • Kathy Vara (Sunrise and Today anchor)
  • Frank Vascellaro (Morning Anchor, 1996-December 2003; Weeknight Anchor, 2003-2005) Now with WCCO-TVmarker also in the Twin Cities.

News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • NewsCenter 11 (1979-1983)
  • News 11 (1983-December 31, 1989)
  • KARE 11 News (January 1, 1990-present)

Station Slogans

  • Channel 11, Proud as a Peacock! (1979-1981; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • TV-11, Let's All Be There! (1984-1986; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • The Twin Cities' Most Watched Newscast (1986-1989)
  • The Twin Cities' Fastest Growing Television News (1989-1990)
  • Come Home to the Best, Only on KARE-TV (1988-1990; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Your 24-Hour News Station (1990-1992)
  • Live. On-Air and Online. (2000-2006)
  • Telling the Stories of Life (2006-present)
  • Come Home to KARE (2009-present)

KARE-TV Broadcasting facilities

In addition to the main transmitters in Shoreview, KARE uses a network of broadcast translators to carry its analog signal to outlying parts of the state:

KARE, (along with WCCO-TV) is also carried on most cable systems in Manitoba and northwestern Ontario. The stations do not make any attempt to cater to this audience, other than their inclusion on regional weather maps.

Digital Television

The station's digital channel, VHF 11, is multiplexed. NBC-HD programming is carried on digital subchannel 11.1 and WX Now is carried as 11.2. After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion was completed on June 12, 2009, KARE moved its digital broadcasts back to channel 11.


  1. Minneapolis Star Tribune (MN) Deborah Caulfield Rybak, "WCCO Ousts KARE in TV News Rating" - May 26, 2006
  2. KMSP celebrates its highest rating
  3. St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN)LOCAL TV - December 22, 2007 - A9 Main
  5. NPPA: Best of Photojournalism 2008

External links

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