KCAU-TV
A silvery 9 in a box split between silvery, blue, and yellow pieces, with the ABC logo on top. In a blue box above, the lettering KCAU, and in a silver box below, the lettering NEWS.
Channels
BrandingKCAU 9
Programming
Affiliations
Ownership
Owner
History
First air date
March 29, 1953 (69 years ago) (1953-03-29)
Former call signs
KVTV (1953–1967)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 9 (VHF, 1953–2009)
  • Digital:
  • 30 (UHF, until 2009)
  • Primary:
  • CBS (1953–1967)
  • Secondary:
  • NBC (1953–1954)
  • DuMont (1953–1955)
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID11265
ERP29.5 kW
HAAT616 m (2,021 ft)
Transmitter coordinates42°35′12.2″N 96°13′57.1″W / 42.586722°N 96.232528°W / 42.586722; -96.232528
Translator(s)35.2 KNEN-LD (UHF) Norfolk, Nebraska
Links
Public license information
Websitewww.siouxlandproud.com

KCAU-TV (channel 9) is a television station in Sioux City, Iowa, United States, affiliated with ABC and owned by Nexstar Media Group. The station's studios are located on Gordon Drive in Sioux City, and its transmitter is located near Hinton, Iowa.

The first television station in the region, the station began broadcasting as CBS affiliate KVTV in 1953. It was acquired in 1965 by a company that became known as Forward Communications; under Forward stewardship, the station activated a 2,000-foot (610 m) tower, changed its call sign to KCAU-TV and its affiliation to ABC in 1967, and became the leading station in the market through the 1980s. It was owned by Citadel Communications from 1985 to 2014, when it was purchased by Nexstar.

History

Early years

The Cowles Company, which owned WNAX in Yankton, South Dakota, filed on June 30, 1952, to build a new television station on channel 9 in Sioux City.[1] The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved on November 19, after a competing application from Siouxland Television Company merged into the Cowles bid; it was the second construction permit granted for a station in the city after one for UHF channel 36.[2] A downtown office was set up on Pierce Street, and the transmitting facility was built north of the city at 41st and Howard streets.[3] The call letters KVTV were selected; the station could not be WNAX-TV because it was not in Yankton.[4]

KVTV began broadcasting on March 29, 1953.[5] It was affiliated with CBS, NBC, and DuMont, with ABC coming on board shortly after launch. When KTIV signed on in 1954, NBC programming moved there, and the two stations split DuMont (until that network folded) and ABC.[6] In 1956, KVTV moved to the former municipal auditorium at Seventh and Douglas streets in downtown Sioux City.[1] The 1909 structure had previously functioned as Sioux City's municipal auditorium, a meeting place for fraternal organizations, and as the Tomba Ballroom.[7]

One of the first programs on the new station was a children's show hosted by Jim Henry, who was approached to see if he knew anyone who would be a good host but could not recommend anyone else.[8] His Brooklyn accent made him an odd fit for a Western-themed kids' program, but Canyon Kid's Corner endured on the air.[9]

Advertisement for Peoples Broadcasting Corporation, later known as Nationwide Communications Inc., a subsidiary of the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company (Note the Nationwide "eagle" logo inside the Peoples microphone logo)
Advertisement for Peoples Broadcasting Corporation, later known as Nationwide Communications Inc., a subsidiary of the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company (Note the Nationwide "eagle" logo inside the Peoples microphone logo)

In late 1957, Cowles sold WNAX and KVTV to the Peoples Broadcasting Corporation, a subsidiary of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, for $3 million.[10] KVTV began producing a regular series of bowling telecasts in conjunction with KELO-TV of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Big Bowl, which was produced in Sioux City and aired until 1973, featured competitors from the two cities facing off against each other and was credited with increasing bowling's popularity regionally.[11] Also under Peoples, the station erected its first weather ball atop the Badgerow Building, which remained in place until it was destroyed in a 1973 windstorm.[12]

Forward ownership

Peoples sold KVTV in 1965 to the Wisconsin Valley Television Company of Wausau, Wisconsin.[13] That December, after seven years of joint work and the withdrawal of an objection by KQTV in Fort Dodge,[14] KTIV and KVTV began broadcasting from a new tower near Hinton, Iowa, that both stations constructed jointly.[15] The former installations were dismantled; the land was sold to the Sioux City school system to build North High School,[16][17] and the antenna was gifted to South Dakota Educational Television, which used it as a backup for its KBHE in Rapid City.[18][19]

Bigger changes were in store than a new tower. In 1967, Forward Communications—which changed its name from Wisconsin Valley at the start of the year owing to its expansion outside the state[20]—changed the station's call letters to KCAU-TV to "reflect the new character of the station" and switched network affiliation from CBS to ABC. At the time, neither Sioux City nor Sioux Falls had an ABC affiliate, and with Sioux Falls CBS affiliate KELO-TV about to activate a 2,000-foot tower of its own and other nearby stations airing CBS, it felt there would be a larger audience for an ABC station.[21][22] The station advertised in the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, trumpeting its dual-city status as "ABC for Sioux City and Sioux Falls".[23]

While Sioux City viewers would turn to new station KMEG-TV (channel 14), originally planned as an ABC affiliate, for their CBS programs, the Forward ownership and affiliation switch ushered in the strongest years in station history, living up to the "Major 9" moniker adopted around the same time. William F. Turner served as general manager of KCAU-TV from 1966 to 1985, and the station spent most of that time as the market leader in Sioux City; it also had a large audience in Sioux Falls, where the only other receivable ABC affiliate was KORN-TV/KXON-TV/KDLT in Mitchell, South Dakota.[24] However, the station started to lose ground in the early 1980s in large part because of an affiliation switch in the South Dakota city. When KSFY-TV replaced KDLT in the ABC network in 1983, the factor that gave KCAU-TV a ratings advantage disappeared, and KTIV—which had been improving its coverage steadily for several years—moved past its Sioux City competitor to take the market lead.[24][25] Forward Communications was sold in late 1984 to Wesray Capital Corporation, which retained the Forward name for its media holdings.[26]

Citadel ownership

Wesray intended all along to sell some of Forward's television properties and its four radio stations, and KCAU-TV was the first to find a buyer. In July 1985, KCAU-TV was purchased for $14 million by Citadel Communications, a company owned by Phil Lombardo.[27] General manager Turner exited, receiving a standing ovation from staff.[24] Days after closing on the purchase, Lombardo put his stamp on the station on November 18, 1985, firing 22 staffers in what a front-page headline of the Sioux City Journal termed a "purge" of a third of the staff; he was reported to have called KCAU-TV "hemorrhaging" and in need of "major surgery". Among those to lose their jobs was Jim Henry; Canyon Kid's Corner, by then a weekly show,[28] was cancelled after 32 years on the air and more than 70,000 guests.[9]

Citadel's first priority upon taking ownership was to stabilize the newsroom. It was able to lure popular anchor Greg Lund back to the market from a job in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1986.[29] A decline in agricultural advertising and the difficulties of airing a noon newscast for an ABC station in the Central Time Zone prompted the station to shelve its midday news in 1987.[30] A local 5 p.m. newscast was added in 1999.[31]

In 1994, popular weather presenter Tom Peterson died in a car crash in Minnesota.[32] Some 1,000 people attended his funeral.[33] The station also revived the weather ball in 1995, this time atop the Terra Centre (now Ho-Chunk Centre) office building.[34]

KCAN

Further information: KLKN

Citadel also sought to expand KCAU-TV's circulation to the southwest. In 1986, the company acquired KBGT-TV, a struggling independent station in Albion, Nebraska, from the Amaturo Group, and converted it into a satellite station as KCAN (call letters that matched KCAU-TV and also reflected the major cities served of Columbus, Albion, and Norfolk).[35] The FCC approved the deal because it agreed with Citadel's contention that Albion could not support its own TV station, and ABC approved extending the affiliation because some of the households reached by its transmitter did not receive ABC from another station.[36] The deal, which would add 463,000 viewers to the station's potential audience, did not include KBGT's satellite studio in Lincoln, Nebraska.[37]

Logo during Citadel ownership from 2006 to 2017
Logo during Citadel ownership from 2006 to 2017

KCAN continued as a complement to KCAU-TV for more than a decade, but beginning in 1991, Citadel began efforts to move the station south to Lincoln, which only had one full-service commercial TV station.[38] A new UHF station would replace it at Albion.[39] KOLN, the existing commercial station in Lincoln, and several stations in Omaha challenged the proposal, but the FCC gave initial approval in April 1993[40] and final approval in June 1995.[41] It became a standalone station, KLKN, on April 1, 1996.[42]

Nexstar ownership

On September 16, 2013, Citadel announced that it would sell KCAU-TV, along with WOI-DT in Des Moines and WHBF-TV in Rock Island, Illinois, to the Nexstar Broadcasting Group for $88 million. Nexstar immediately took over the station's operations through a time brokerage agreement. The deal separated KCAU from KLKN, which Citadel retained.[43] Citadel's sale of the three stations followed Phil Lombardo's decision to "slow down", as well as a desire by Lynch Entertainment, an investor in WOI and WHBF, to sell.[44] The sale was completed on March 13, 2014.[45]

Soon after the acquisition, the new ownership deemed the downtown studio inadequate for the station's needs and began a search for a new site.[46] In February 2017, the station relocated to a state-of-the-art facility located on the city's east side.[47]

Notable former on-air staff

Technical information

Subchannels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Subchannels of KCAU-TV[51]
Channel Video Aspect Short name Programming
9.1 720p 16:9 KCAU-TV Main KCAU-TV programming / ABC
9.2 480i Escape Ion Mystery
9.3 Laff Laff
9.4 Bounce Bounce TV

At the start of July 2021, Flood Communications, the owner of the low-power News Channel Nebraska system, began to simulcast KCAU's main channel as a subchannel of KNEN-LD (channel 35), which serves Norfolk, Nebraska.[52]

Analog-to-digital conversion

KCAU-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 9, at noon on February 17, 2009, which had been the official date of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television until it was changed earlier that month to June 12.[53] The station's digital transmissions moved from UHF channel 30 to channel 9.[54]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b FCC History Cards for KCAU-TV
  2. ^ "WNAX Receives Video Channel". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. November 21, 1952. p. 12. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ White, Jerry (January 4, 1953). "Covering Dump Is Among '53 Projects Here". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. p. 3:1, 2. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "Progress Report on KVTV Channel 9". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. February 22, 1953. p. 2:9. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ "KVTV, Sioux City's First Television Station, Goes on Air This Afternoon". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. March 29, 1953. p. 3:2. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "KTIV Begins Telecasts on Channel 4 Tonight". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. October 10, 1954. p. 1. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ Lubsen, Jeannette (September 22, 2003). "Excessive noise in neighborhood can be stopped". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. p. A4. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ Miller, Bruce R. (April 3, 1983). "He's been in Canyon for 30 years". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. p. A12. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ a b Burkhard, Betsy (November 19, 1985). "No more 'Canyon Kid': KCAU ousts 22 in purge". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. p. A1, A12. Archived from the original on May 27, 2022. Retrieved May 27, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ "FCC Approves Cowles Sale To Peoples, Other Transfers" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 2, 1957. p. 10. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 27, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  11. ^ Duncan, Pat (February 8, 1987). "Pioneer bowling broadcaster remembers 'The Big Bowl'". Argus-Leader. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. p. 7B. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "Won't Replace Weather Ball". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. June 19, 1973. p. 2. Retrieved May 29, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ "KVTV Sale At $3,500,000 Announced". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. July 17, 1965. p. 5. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ "Iowa TV's settle tower disagreement" (PDF). Broadcasting. January 25, 1965. p. 66. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 8, 2021. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  15. ^ "Tall Tower Moving Day Big Event". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. December 5, 1965. p. 10. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ "'No Immediate Plans': Sioux City School Board to Buy 78.18-Acre Site". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. September 27, 1967. p. E4. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ Rose, Dianne (August 16, 1972). "Some Problems Will Mark Opening of New Schools". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. p. B10. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ "Used Television Antenna Donated to Dakota ETV". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. July 29, 1967. p. 5. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ "ETV Gains Equipment From Iowa". Rapid City Journal. Rapid City, South Dakota. February 25, 1967. p. 3. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  20. ^ "TV Corporation Has New Name". Wausau Daily Herald. Wausau, Wisconsin. January 9, 1967. p. 7. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  21. ^ "Channel 9 To Be Fulltime ABC Affiliate". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. May 16, 1967. p. 13. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  22. ^ "Channel 9 to Become KCAU-TV". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. July 23, 1967. p. 7. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  23. ^ "KCAU-TV 9 (Formerly KVTV) Will Be ABC For Sioux City and Sioux Falls". Argus-Leader. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. July 24, 1967. p. 11. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  24. ^ a b c "Television is in the spotlight: Turner resigns". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. September 21, 1985. p. A1, A26. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  25. ^ Miller, Bruce R. (February 3, 1984). "News wars". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. p. B1, B4. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  26. ^ Berger, Tom (January 3, 1985). "New Forward owner expanding: Wesray must sell WSAW or Marshfield paper". Wausau Daily Herald. Wausau, Wisconsin. p. 3. Archived from the original on May 27, 2022. Retrieved May 27, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  27. ^ Rhein, Dave (July 27, 1985). "Sioux City TV station KCAU sold once more". The Des Moines Register. Des Moines, Iowa. p. 17A. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  28. ^ Casterline, Gail (April 16, 1978). "Sioux City's Canyon Kid: Cowboy with New York accent". The Des Moines Register. Des Moines, Iowa. p. 7P. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 27, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  29. ^ Reinders, Mark (December 20, 1985). "Former anchor to return to KCAU". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. p. A3. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  30. ^ "KCAU drops show, lists staff changes". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. May 31, 1987. p. B4. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  31. ^ "Mirarchi to anchor KCAU newscast". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. January 17, 1999. p. 60. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  32. ^ Zerschling, Lynn (January 3, 1994). "Crash kills T. Peterson: Popular TV figure dies in collision in Minnesota". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. p. A1, A12. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  33. ^ Zahren, Bill (January 7, 1994). "Audience celebrates Peterson's life". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. p. A1, A10. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  34. ^ Dreeszen, Dave (October 21, 2012). "Weather ball staying put on downtown Sioux City building". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. p. A5. Retrieved May 29, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  35. ^ "Citadel to change KBGT call letters". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. January 11, 1987. p. D2. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  36. ^ "Sioux City signal retransmission planned: Big 8 TV will become ABC 'satellite' station". Lincoln Journal. Lincoln, Nebraska. November 14, 1986. p. 16. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  37. ^ "Owner of Channel 9 acquires new outlet". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. November 18, 1986. p. A1. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  38. ^ "Firm wants to move TV station to Lincoln". Lincoln Journal. Lincoln, Nebraska. Associated Press. December 11, 1991. p. 29. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  39. ^ Bogues, Maureen (December 11, 1991). "Lincoln could get second TV station if FCC OKs move of Albion's KCAN". The Lincoln Star. Lincoln, Nebraska. p. 1, 4. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  40. ^ "Second commercial TV station may be coming to Capital City". The Lincoln Star. Lincoln, Nebraska. October 9, 1993. p. 1. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  41. ^ Moser, Daniel R. (June 30, 1995). "ABC satellite television station allowed to relocate in Lincoln". The Lincoln Star. Lincoln, Nebraska. p. 1. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  42. ^ "It's Showtime". Lincoln Journal Star. Lincoln, Nebraska. April 2, 1996. p. 1B. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  43. ^ Malone, Michael (September 16, 2013). "Nexstar to Acquire Citadel's Iowa Stations for $88 Million". Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  44. ^ Hicks, Lynn (September 16, 2013). "Nexstar buys WOI, other Citadel TV stations in Iowa". Des Moines Register. Archived from the original on September 16, 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  45. ^ "Consummation Notice". Federal Communications Commission. Archived from the original on March 23, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  46. ^ "KCAU station to move studios from downtown to Gordon Drive site". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. November 29, 2016. p. C1. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  47. ^ Gallagher, Tim (February 22, 2017). "GALLAGHER: For KCAU staffers an old door closes, a new one opens". Sioux City Journal. Lee Enterprises. Archived from the original on February 25, 2017. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  48. ^ Horlyk, Earl (June 19, 2020). "Broadcast titan dies at 90". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. p. C3. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  49. ^ a b Dreeszen, Dave (March 29, 2003). "Sioux City's first television station, KCAU, marks 50 years on the air". Sioux City Journal. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
  50. ^ "Talkback". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. January 26, 1986. p. Television Times 8. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  51. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for KCAU-TV". rabbitears.info. Archived from the original on March 16, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  52. ^ Feenstra, Danielle (July 1, 2021). "KCAU 9 expands over-the-air coverage in Norfolk, Nebraska". KCAU-TV. Archived from the original on July 27, 2021. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  53. ^ Dreeszen, Dave (February 17, 2009). "Today is the day for digital TV switch". Sioux City Journal.
  54. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. May 23, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2021.