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KCCI is a television station that broadcasts on channel 8 in Des Moines, Iowamarker. It is affiliated with the CBS television network and serves most of central Iowamarker. Owned by Hearst Television, KCCI has studios in downtown Des Moines. The station's transmittermarker is located in Alleman, Iowamarker, about midway between Des Moines and Amesmarker. KCCI is also seen in Ottumwa on translator K23CI, operated by a local non-profit organization.

History

KCCI started on the air on July 31, 1955, as KRNT-TV, the third television station in Des Moines and the ninth in Iowa. It was owned by the Cowles family, publishers of the Des Moines Register and Des Moines Tribune newspapers, along with KRNT radio (AM 1350marker and the original KRNT-FM at 104.5, which went dark). The calls stood for the papers' nickname in central Iowa, "the R 'n T".

The Cowles family and rival KSO-AM (now KXNO; also owned by the Cowles interests until 1942) both applied for the channel 8 frequency and fought over it. A decision was held up due to issues with the Cowles' ownership of Look magazine. Eventually, the two stations reached a settlement that allowed KRNT to own 60 percent of the TV station and KSO to own 40 percent. Yet once the FCC approved the station's license, KRNT immediately bought out KSO's share of the station. KRNT-TV's broadcasting day was originally about five to six hours long, and included a 15-minute news program later in the evening. The station has been part of the CBS network ever since signing on, owing to KRNT-AM's long affiliation with CBS Radio.

The FCC tightened its ownership rules in the 1970s, forcing the Cowles interests to sell one of their Des Moines broadcast outlets. They opted to sell KRNT-AM and KRNQ-FM (now KSTZ) to Stauffer Communications in 1974 and keep KRNT-TV, which became KCCI-TV, with the initials standing for owner Cowles Communications, Inc.

Over the years, Cowles Communications bought several other media outlets, including KTVH (now KWCH-TVmarker) in Wichita, Kansasmarker (and its satellites in the western part of Kansas) WESHmarker in Orlando, Floridamarker and WQAD-TVmarker in the Quad Citiesmarker.

In 1983, the Cowles family announced it was breaking up its vast media empire, selling off most of its assets except the Minneapolis Star Tribune. While the Register went to Gannett and The Register and Tribune Syndicate (best known as syndicators of The Family Circus) went to Hearst as a King Features division, KCCI and WESH went to H&C Communications. H&C sold two of its television stations, KCCI and WESH, to Pulitzer in 1993. What was then known as Hearst-Argyle Television bought all of Pulitzer's television holdings in 1998.

KCCI began broadcasting in high-definition television on channel 8.1 in 2002. On July 24, 2006, KCCI launched "Weather Now", a 24-hour local weather channel that appears on digital subchannel 8.2 as well as local Mediacom digital cable channel 247, and the station's website.

The station operates a website at www.kcci.com. For several years the station's website was known as www.theiowachannel.com, following the practice of other Hearst-Argyle stations, and people going to kcci.com were redirected to theiowachannel.com. In October 2005, the station switched back to the kcci.com name for its web site, with theiowachannel.com serving as a redirect to the kcci.com website.

On December 10, 2008, current KCCI President and General Manager Paul Fredericksen announced a staffing reorganization which eliminated six positions, including on-air talent.

Weather beacon

A 200-foot weather beacon is on their auxiliary tower atop the station's downtown Des Moines studios and is a landmark of the Des Moines skyline. The lighted beacon changes colors depending on the forecast:
"Weather Beacon red, warmer weather ahead.
Weather Beacon white, colder weather in sight.
Weather Beacon green, no change in weather foreseen.
Weather Beacon flashing night or day, precipitation is on the way."


Digital TV

KCCI-DT broadcasts on digital channel 8.

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Digital channels
Channel Name Programming
8.1 KCCI-DT main KCCI/CBS programming
8.2 KCCI WeatherNow AccuWeather


Analog-to-Digital conversion

After the analog television shutdown scheduled for June 12, 2009 , KCCI-TV will move back to channel 8.

Programming

In addition to CBS network programming, KCCI airs first-run syndicated programs such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil, Live with Regis and Kelly, and Inside Edition, as well as reruns of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and the original Star Trek.

News Operation

Even though it was the last of Des Moines' Big Three affiliates to sign on, channel 8 has been the highest-rated station in Des Moines for most of its history. It has been especially dominant in news programming, which is not surprising given its newspaper roots. In the May 2009 sweeps, KCCI retained its dominant lead, with its nearest competitor, NBC affiliate WHO-TVmarker, in a distant second. March 2009 also marked the first time ever that KCCI's Saturday morning newscast beat out WHO's Saturday Morning Newscast in the ratings.The news department receives regional and national awards of merit on a regular basis. Among the honors are a number of Edward R. Murrow awards, and the photojournalism staff was recently named "Station of the Year" (Small/medium market) by the National Press Photographers' Association.

KCCI added weekend morning newscasts on January 21, 2006. On April 20, 2009, KCCI became the first station in Des Moines to broadcast local news in 16:9 widescreen.

Personalities

Current On-Air Talent

Current Anchors
  • Kevin Cooney - weeknights at 6 and 10PM
  • Mollie Cooney - weekdays at noon
  • Caitlin Coyner - weekday mornings "NewsChannel 8 This Morning" (5-8AM)
  • Cynthia Fodor - weeknights at 5PM
  • Stacey Horst - weeknights at 6 and 10PM
  • Steve Karlin - weeknights at 5PM
  • Amanda Lewis - weekend mornings "NewsChannel 8 This Morning"
  • Todd Magel - Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10PM
  • Marcus McIntosh - weekday mornings "NewsChannel 8 This Morning" (5-8AM) and noon


Reporters
  • Meredith Garman - general assignment reporter
  • Keri Gavin - general assignment reporter
  • Geoff Greenwood - general assignment reporter
  • Eric Hanson - general assignment reporter
  • Angie Hunt - Ames "Live Link" reporter
  • Molly Nelson - general assignment reporter
  • Katie Ward - investigative reporter


Hearst Television Washington Bureau

In addition to the regular news team, KCCI also has an exclusive team of reporters in Washington D.C.marker, employed by Hearst Television
  • Nikole Killion - Washington bureau reporter
  • Sally Kidd - Washington bureau reporter
  • Laurie Kinney - Washington bureau reporter


SuperDoppler Weather Team
  • John McLaughlin (AMS/NWA Seals of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 6 and 10PM
  • Kurtis Gertz (AMS/NWA Seals of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekdays at noon and 5PM, Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10PM
  • Bryan Karrick (AMS/NWA Seals of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekday mornings "NewsChannel 8 This Morning"
  • Metinka Slater - Meteorologist; weekend mornings "NewsChannel 8 This Morning"
  • Frank Scaglione (AMS/NWA Member) - Fill-in Weathercaster; Weather Technology Coordinator


Sports Team
  • Andy Garman - Sports Director; weeknights at 6 and 10PM
  • Scott Reister - Sports Anchor; Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10PM
  • Andy Ireland - sports reporter


Former On-Air Talent

News/Station presentation

Newscast titles

  • KRNT-TV News (1955-1964)
  • The Night Report (1964-1967)
  • Eyewitness News (1967-1974)
  • TV-8 News (1974-1995)
  • NewsChannel 8 (1995-2000)
  • KCCI NewsChannel 8 (2000-present)


Station Slogans

  • TV-8, Now More Than Ever (early 1980s)
  • Great Moments on TV-8 (1982-1983; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • The Iowa Spirit (mid 1980s-1994)
  • Iowa's News Leader (1994–present)


References

  1. http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf
  2. FCC document: "APPENDIX B: ALL FULL-POWER TELEVISION STATIONS BY DMA, INDICATING THOSE TERMINATING ANALOG SERVICE BEFORE ON OR FEBRUARY 17, 2009."
  3. KCCI First To Have Widescreen News
  • Stein, Jeff, Making Waves: The People and Places of Iowa Broadcasting (ISBN 0-9718323-1-5). Cedar Rapids, Iowa: WDG Communications, 2004.


External links




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