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KWGN-TV, channel 2, is a television station in Denver, Coloradomarker, owned by the Tribune Company and affiliated with The CW Television Network. Its studios are located in Downtown Denver along with KDVRmarker, and its transmitter is atop Lookout Mountainmarker near Goldenmarker.

History

The station first went on the air on July 18, 1952 as KFEL-TV, the first television station in Colorado. KFEL was also the first VHF TV station to go on the air after the Federal Communications Commission's freeze on new television station licenses was lifted in 1952. The first owner was Gene O'Fallon, who located the station in a remodeled brick warehouse at 550 Lincoln Street, where the station was housed until moving to suburban Greenwood Villagemarker in 1983.

Originally, KFEL was a primary affiliate of the DuMont Television Network, but carried shows from other networks as well. Gotham Broadcasting bought the station in 1955, and the call letters were changed to KTVR. Channel 2 became an independent station after the DuMont network's collapse in 1956. In the late 1950s, the station was briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network. In 1963, the station's call letters were changed to KCTO.

Tribune Broadcasting, then known as WGN Continental Broadcasting, acquired the station in 1966, and changed its call letters to KWGN-TV after its new sister station, WGN-TVmarker in Chicago. KWGN was Tribune's fourth television station property after WGN-TV, WPIXmarker in New York Citymarker, and KDAL-TV (now KDLHmarker) in Duluth, Minnesotamarker, which Tribune sold in 1978.

When WGN Continental bought the station, it converted KWGN to color. KWGN promoted itself as Colorado's only all-color station due to the fact that all of its local programs were produced in color. Denver's three network affiliates were airing national programs in color but had yet to upgrade their studios with color cameras.

As an independent, KWGN aired off-network sitcoms and dramas, movies, syndicated game shows and local shows such as "Blinky's Fun Club," "Romper Room," "Fred & Fay," "Denver Now," "Afternoon at the Movies with Tom Shannon" and "Your Right to Say It," a public affairs program.

Starting in the 1960s, cable TV systems on Colorado's Western Slope, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska and Kansas and Idaho provided KWGN to subscribers as an additional channel to make cable more enticing to subscribers. So many cable systems picked up KWGN that it became a superstation before that term was coined by WTBS in Atlanta. KWGN was attractive to cable systems because its programming did not duplicate programs shown on the local network affiliates they were required to carry. KWGN is still available on nearly every cable system in Colorado and Wyomingmarker, as well as several cable systems in Nebraskamarker and Kansasmarker. It is also carried on Dish Network's superstation package, and has substantial over-the-air viewership in Colorado Springsmarker. It was the only independent station in the Denver market until 1983, when KDVR signed on.

KWGN turned down the Fox affiliation in 1986, which instead went to KDVR. KWGN affiliated with the new WB Television Network in early 1995, as did most of Tribune's independent stations. Since the WB only provided a few hours of network programming a day, KWGN's existing lineup was largely unaffected. During The WB's run, it served as the default affiliate for the Colorado Springs/Pueblomarker and Grand Junction markets as well—a status reflected in the fact it used the moniker "WB 2 Colorado" for the latter part of the WB's run.

KWGN's CW logo from September 2006 to July 2008.
KWGN's logo from July 7, 2008-March 30, 2009.


On January 24, 2006, the WB and UPN networks announced they would merge into a new network, called The CW Television Network, owned jointly by CBS (the parent company of UPN) and the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner. The new network signed a 10-year affiliation deal with most of Tribune's WB stations, including KWGN. The CW debuted on September 18, 2006. Former UPN station KTVDmarker, owned by the Gannett Company, joined My Network TV, when that network began two weeks earlier. Its news programming, which was previously branded as "WB 2 News", was renamed "News 2" on August 14, 2006 as a result of the merger.

On September 17, 2008 both Local and Tribune announced that they would merge the operations of both KDVR and KWGN. Both stations will be co-located at KDVR under the management of KDVR GM Dennis Leonard. The move allowed both stations to combine news operations and share certain programming. The LMA (local marketing agreement) went into effect on October 1, 2008. The two stations gradually have been sharing more resources and reporters. Ironically, KDVR's studios are near the same location where KWGN was headquartered for its first 30 years on the air.

On March 30, 2009 the station also underwent a rebranding, and became known as "the Deuce" in an effort to appeal to a younger audience and be more involved in local issues. The station also shifted the 9PM newscast to 7PM; as a result, CW programming moved to 8-10PM. This same experiment is also taking place on St. Louismarker sister station KPLR-TVmarker with LMA partner KTVImarker. On May 29, 2009, the 11AM newscast aired for the last time, being replaced the following Monday with "Martino TV".

Digital television

KWGN continued to broadcast on analog channel 2 until June 12, 2009, when it transitioned to digital-only broadcasting on Channel 34, but shows its virtual channel as 2 through the use of PSIP.

News Operation

Channel 2 was the first station in Denver with a locally produced nightly newscast. The 9PM report, debuting shortly after the station signed on, remained a constant through several ownership changes. In 1966, the news was expanded to one hour—at that time the longest newscast in the Denver market. Titled "The Big News," the program was heavy on local news because filmed national stories were not available in those days to an independent station which lacked a network to feed it such stories. If a major national story occurred, anchor Ron Voigt would read the wire copy while the camera would show a black-and-white AP wire photo.

In the late 1960s up until 1975, "The Big News" had two regular commentators to provide news analysis, George Salem and Gene Amole. The last segment of the hour-long news was often devoted to calls from viewers. It was titled "Speak Out." "The Big News" was also known for its meteorologist, Weatherman (Ed) Bowman, who came to KWGN from KOA-TV (now KCNC) and KOA Radio. Bowman frequently talked about the jet stream while drawing large arcs over a map of the continental United States. The sports director during the 1960s and early 1970s was Fred Leo who also did play-by-play of many of the teams in the area.

KWGN launched a weekday morning newscast in the late 1990s, titled "WB2day" (later renamed "WB 2 Morning News" and then "News 2 This Morning", now known as "Daybreak on the Deuce"), which originally aired from 6-9AM. A few years later, it began airing at 5AM. It was accompanied with an 11AM newscast, which began airing in the late 1990s, but was canceled in 2000; though KWGN returned to airing a newscast at that time on September 11, 2006.

On Monday, July 7, 2008, KWGN launched a new 5:30PM newscast anchored by Kellie MacMullan and Ernie Bjorkman. It was the first 5:30PM newscast in the station's history. The station also re-branded itself on that date, removing the references to "CW" in both station promos and its logo. The station then referred to itself simply as "2", featuring the CW era's 2 character within a solid circle logo and no CW branding. This was part of Tribune's effort to reposition its CW affiliates as more "local" stations. On Monday, August 4, 2008, the station expanded its 11AM newscast to one hour. On Monday, August 25th, 2008, the station changed its news graphics and music.

KWGN discontinued its 5:30PM news broadcast on January 12, 2009, while KDVR expanded its news broadcast to a full hour from 5-6PM. On March 2, 2009 KWGN newscasts moved to a temporary set in preparation for its move from Greenwood Village to KDVR's studios on March 30. At that time, KWGN launched its local newscasts in high definition. KWGN moved its 9PM newscast to 7PM on March 30, 2009.

Personalities

Current On-Air Staff

+ denotes personnel also seen on KDVR



(as of October 10, 2009)

Current Anchors
  • Tom Green - weekday mornings (5-9 AM)
  • Kellie MacMullan - weeknights at 7PM
  • Melissa Mollet - weekday mornings (5-9AM)+


Reporters
  • Angie Austin - morning entertainment reporter (also fill-in "Daybreak" anchor)
  • Jon Bowman - general assignment reporter +
  • Dan Duru - morning feature reporter
  • Julie Hayden - investigative reporter +
  • Heidi Hemmat - investigative reporter +
  • Greg Nieto - general assignment reporter
  • Chris Parente - entertainment reporter (also "Daybreak" and 7PM fill-in anchor)+
  • Kim Posey - general assignment reporter +
  • John Romero - general assignment reporter +
  • Nina Sparano - internet cafe & technology reporter (also 7PM fill-in anchor)
  • Eli Stokols - general assignment and political reporter +
  • Deborah Takahara - general assignment reporter +
  • Tammy Vigil - general assignment reporter +
  • Leland Vittert - general assignment reporter +
  • Dave Young - general assignment reporter and "Unit2" consumer reporter


StormForce Weather Team (shared with KDVR)
  • Dave Fraser (AMS/NWA Seals of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 7PM +
  • Chris Tomer - Meteorologist; weekday mornings (5-9AM) +
  • Nick Carter - Meteorologist; fill-in +


Sports Team (shared with KDVR)
  • Zubin Mehenti - Sports Anchor; weeknights at 7PM (also sports editor) +
  • Chris Tanaka - KDVR Sports Director; appears frequently weeknights at 7PM +
  • Josina Anderson - sports reporter +


Past Personalities

  • Al Albert - sports director (1975-1977)
  • Gene Amole - commentary (early 1970s)
  • Asha Blake - weeknight anchor (2004-2007; now at KTLAmarker in Los Angeles)
  • Weatherman (Ed) Bowman - meteorologist (?-?)
  • Ernie Bjorkman - weekday evening anchor (1998-2008; fetired/fired, now Vet Tech)
  • Wendy Brockman - weeknight anchor (1999-2004)
  • Joe Brown - sports reporter (2001-2004)
  • Joe Cope - reporter (1960s)
  • Casey Curry - weekend weather anchor (2002-2005; now at KTRK-TVmarker in Houston)
  • Ginger Delgado - general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor (?-2008; laid off due to merger)
  • Paul Stephen Dempsey - host of "Your Right to Say It" (1986-1998)
  • "Miss Genie" DeLuise - "Romper Room" host (1962-1972)
  • Audra Ensign - general assignment reporter
  • Amana Miyamae - general assignment reporter
  • Al Fogelman - weather (early 1990s)
  • Mat Garcia - general assignment reporter/weekend anchor (?-2008; laid off due to merger)
  • Glen Gerberg - meteorologist (1984-1991), chief meteorologist (1998-2001; deceased)
  • Greg Guinan - public affairs director 1969-1998, host of "Your Right to Say It" (1969-1986)
  • Fred Hobbs - news director (1977-1982)
  • Lisa Holbrook - weekend sports anchor (?-2008; laid off due to merger)
  • Tony Larson - reporter (1970s)
  • Fred Leo - sports director (1962-1976)
  • Laura Main - weekend evening anchor (?-2009; fired)
  • Jaime Marti - weekend anchor (2000-2004)
  • Beverly Martinez - morning host/public affairs director (1973-2008)
  • Greg Mills - sports anchor/reporter (?-?; now reporter at KCBS/KCAL in Los Angeles)
  • Blake Olson - sports reporter (2003-2005)
  • Chris Riva - sports director (2002-2005; now at KCRAmarker/KQCAmarker in Sacramento)
  • George Salem - reporter/commentary (early 1970s)
  • Steve Saunders - weekend anchor (1980s-1990s; now at KMGH-TVmarker in Denver) takes job with Adams County School District 50 (CO) as director of communications
  • Russell Scott - host of "Blinky's Fun Club" 1966-98 and "Captain Dooley"
  • Tom Shannon - movie host (1972-1976)
  • Don Spencer - "Ranger Don" (1966-1967), Buckles The Clown on "Lunchtime Little Theatre" (1966)
  • Fred & Fae Taylor - hosts of "The Soda Shop" (1953-1955)
  • Natalie Tysdal - weekday morning anchor (2002-2009)
  • Vida Urbonas - midday anchor/morning reporter (?-2008; laid off due to merger; now at KRDO-TV Colorado Springs, Colorado)
  • Ron Voigt - 10PM anchor (1966-1974)
  • Beverly Weaver (1990s)


News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • KFEL-TV News (1952-1955)
  • KTVR News (1955-1963)
  • The Big News (1963-1977)
  • Region 2 News (1977-1983)
  • Channel 2 News (1983-1996)
  • Denver's 2 News (1996-1998)
  • WB 2 News (1998-2006)
  • News 2 (2006-March 27, 2009)
  • News on the Deuce (7PM mewscast; March 30, 2009-present)
  • Daybreak on the Deuce (morning and midday newscasts; March 30, 2009-present)


Station Slogans

  • Channel 2 in Color (1969-1971)
  • Watch it (1972)
  • We Gotcha (1973)
  • Catch 2 (1974)
  • We're Colorado's Channel 2 (1975)
  • It's Happening on Channel 2 (1976-1981)
  • TV-2 Entertains You (1981-1983)
  • Keep Your Eye on TV-2 Eyewitness News (1981-1983; used on news promos)
  • You've Got a Friend on Denver's 2 (1983-1986)
  • Denver's Very Own Channel 2 News (1986-1995; used on news promos)
  • Denver's 2 is Yours (1986-1989)
  • Denver's 2: You're Watching Us (1989-1994)
  • Colorado's Very Own (1995-present; an adaptation of sister station WGN-TV's slogan, "Chicago's Very Own")
  • Colorado Watches 2 (2006-2008; meaning "CW 2")
  • Connected to Colorado and the Entire Rocky Mountain Region, You're Watching 2 (2008-present)


References

  1. From TV Newsday (September 17, 2008)
  2. From Denver Post (March 18, 2009)
  3. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/sta_det.pl?Facility_id=35883


External links




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