CityCape Girardeau, Missouri
BrandingKFVS 12; Heartland News
First air date
October 3, 1954
(69 years ago)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog: 12 (VHF, 1954–2009)
  • Digital: 57 (UHF, 2002–2009), 12 (VHF, 2009–2020)
Call sign meaning
from former radio sister KFVS (AM)
Technical information[3]
Licensing authority
Facility ID592
  • 609 m (1,998 ft)
  • 609.1 m (1,998 ft) (CP)[1]
Transmitter coordinates37°25′46″N 89°30′14″W / 37.42944°N 89.50389°W / 37.42944; -89.50389
Translator(s)K17LV-D 17 (UHF) Poplar Bluff, MO
Public license information

KFVS-TV (channel 12) is a television station licensed to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, United States, serving Southeastern Missouri, the Purchase area of Western Kentucky, Southern Illinois, and Northwest Tennessee as an affiliate of CBS and The CW. The station is owned by Gray Television alongside Paducah, Kentucky–licensed Telemundo affiliate WQWQ-LD (channel 18). The two stations share studios in the Hirsch Tower on Broadway Avenue in Downtown Cape Girardeau; KFVS-TV's transmitter is located northwest of Egypt Mills, in unincorporated Cape Girardeau County.

KFVS-TV had previously served the Jonesboro, Arkansas, media market as the default CBS station on cable, until the sign-on of the Jonesboro area's first locally based CBS affiliate August 1, 2015, on a second digital subchannel of Fox affiliate KJNB-LD/KJNE-LD.[4]


Hirsch Tower is the home of KFVS and WQTV/WQWQ.

KFVS began broadcasting on October 3, 1954, and aired an analog signal on VHF channel 12. It was owned by broadcasting pioneer Oscar C. Hirsch, who had signed-on the area's first radio station, KFVS radio (AM 960, now KZIM) in his radio shop in 1925. Although the KFVS call letters appear to stand for "Five States", they were actually randomly assigned by then-Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover. At the start, channel 12 did not have any video cameras. Instead, its first broadcast showed slides of its new transmitter tower that was under construction at the time.[5] Channel 12 was housed along with its radio sister until 1968 when it moved to its present location on Broadway Avenue. Hirsch sold the station to AFLAC in 1979[5], but his family retained the radio station until 1985.

In 1997, AFLAC sold its entire broadcasting division, including KFVS, to a group headed by Retirement Systems of Alabama. It, in turn, merged with Ellis Communications a few months later to form Raycom Media. KFVS offered The Tube Music Network (a 24-hour digital music video channel) on its third digital subchannel which ceased operations on October 1, 2007.

Sale to Gray Television

On June 25, 2018, Atlanta-based Gray Television announced it had reached an agreement with Raycom to merge their respective broadcasting assets (consisting of Raycom's 63 existing owned-and/or-operated television stations, including KFVS and WQTV/WQWQ), and Gray's 93 television stations) under the former's corporate umbrella. The cash-and-stock merger transaction valued at $3.6 billion—in which Gray shareholders would acquire preferred stock currently held by Raycom—resulted in KFVS and WQTV/WQWQ gaining new sister stations in nearby markets, including NBC/ABC affiliates KYTV and KSPR-LD in Springfield and ABC/Fox affiliate WBKO in Bowling Green, in addition to its current Raycom sister stations.[6][7][8][9] The sale was approved on December 20,[10] and was completed on January 2, 2019.[11]

News operation

Compared with the other big four stations in the market, KFVS has traditionally covered Southeastern Missouri. The newscasts of ABC affiliate WSIL-TV focus exclusively on Southern Illinois, from studios in Carterville, and it does not even mention the market's other two primary cities (Cape Girardeau and Paducah) in its on-air legal identification. This is despite the fact that WSIL operates a full-time satellite, KPOB, in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. KFVS offers secondary coverage of Southern Illinois from a newsroom on East Plaza Drive in Carterville near WSIL. NBC affiliate WPSD-TV, based in Paducah, focuses more on the Western Kentucky side although that station operates a bureau in Marion, Illinois. KBSI later debuted its own newscasts in 2022, outsourced from ABC affiliate KLKN in Lincoln, Nebraska.

At one point in time, KFVS produced a nightly prime time newscast on WQTV/WQWQ. Known as Heartland News at 9, the show could be seen for a half-hour and was targeted specifically at a Southeastern Missouri audience.[12] It competed with another broadcast in the time slot on Fox affiliate KBSI which also aired every night for thirty minutes. However, that program was produced by WPSD, so it featured more of a regional summary of headlines since it originated from the NBC outlet's facility in Kentucky. The WQTV/WQWQ newscast was dropped on July 29, 2007, after nearly eight years. KFVS-DT2 currently replays three weekday newscasts from KFVS including the 6 a.m. hour of The Breakfast Show (at 7), Heartland News at Noon (at 1 p.m.), and Heartland News at 10 (at 11 p.m.). The Sunday edition of The Breakfast Show is also repeated on the subchannel.

On October 1, 2010, Heartland News at 9 was brought back after a news share agreement was established with KBSI, which offers a nightly hour-long prime time newscast originating from the KFVS studios. With that addition, this station offers more than thirty hours of local news each week.[13] Unlike other outsourced news arrangements at Sinclair-owned television stations, KBSI features the same graphics scheme and music package as seen on this CBS outlet. Also, there are no on-air duratrans separately identifying the KBSI newscast. In instances of severe weather (most notably during a tornado warning in the viewing area), KBSI may simulcast live coverage from KFVS if an event occurs outside the prime time newscast. On October 3, 2010, WPSD brought back its own newscast at 9 p.m. known as The Nine to both of its digital subchannels which is seen every night, except Saturdays, for a half-hour, until it was canceled in 2019.

In July 2011, KFVS became the second news operation in the market to upgrade local news production to high definition level. Included with the switch was the debut of a new studio and updated graphics (the KBSI newscast was included in the change).

During weather segments, the station uses live NOAA National Weather Service radar data from several regional sites. This system is known on-air as "First Alert Doppler Network". KFVS also operates its own Doppler weather radar, called "Live StormTeam Radar", that is located on top of the Hirsch building. It is a Collins radar sold by ADC in Bloomington, Indiana, and is the only live radar source in the market since the National Weather Service data seen on rival stations is delayed.

Technical information


The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Subchannels of KFVS-TV[14]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
12.1 1080i 16:9 KFVS DT Main KFVS-TV programming / CBS
12.2 720p CW KFVS-DT2 / The CW
12.3 480i Circle Outlaw
12.4 MeTV MeTV
12.5 Grit Grit
12.6 Oxygen Oxygen

Analog-to-digital conversion

KFVS-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 12, on June 12, 2009, the official date on which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 57, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to its analog-era VHF channel 12.[15]

Coverage area

KFVS refers to its viewing area as "The Heartland", which is included in KFVS-DT2's on-air branding. KFVS serves more than fifty counties in four states including all of southeastern Missouri, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, and northwestern Tennessee. KFVS considers Clay County as the only northeastern Arkansas county in its viewing area as shown during its nightly weather segments which be seen in the local temperature graphic.[16] Cable systems in Corning,[17] Piggott, Rector, Marmaduke, Pollard, Greenway, St. Francis, and Lafe, Arkansas[18] list KFVS on their local cable lineups. However, Jonesboro[19] and Lake City[20] cable systems do not carry the station. According to DirecTV, KFVS is still carried on its Jonesboro area lineup as a local channel.[21]

While broadcasting an analog signal, a portion of its off-air signal reached into the Missouri Bootheel overlapping with sister stations WMC-TV in Memphis, Tennessee and KAIT in Jonesboro. During the analog era, KFVS' coverage area overlapped with KMOV in St. Louis, extending as north as Belleville, Illinois, with cable systems on the edge of both markets providing both stations until CBS forced carriage of only the market's given affiliate on those systems in the early 2010s.


  1. ^ a b c "Channel Substitution/Community of License Change". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. November 27, 2020. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
  2. ^ "Report & Order", Media Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, May 5, 2021, Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  3. ^ "Facility Technical Data for KFVS-TV". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  4. ^ "CBS makes debut in northeast Arkansas"
  5. ^ a b Nash, Francis M. (1995). Towers Over Kentucky: A History of Radio and TV in the Bluegrass State. p. 268. ISBN 9781879688933.
  6. ^ "GRAY AND RAYCOM TO COMBINE IN A $3.6 BILLION TRANSACTION". Raycom Media (Press release). June 25, 2018. Archived from the original on June 25, 2018. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  7. ^ Miller, Mark K. (June 25, 2018). "Gray To Buy Raycom For $3.6 Billion". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  8. ^ John Eggerton (June 25, 2018). "Gray Buying Raycom for $3.6B". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media.
  9. ^ Dade Hayes (June 25, 2018). "Gray Acquiring Raycom For $3.65B, Forming No. 3 Local TV Group". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation.
  10. ^ "FCC OK with Gray/Raycom Merger", Broadcasting & Cable, December 20, 2018, Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  11. ^ "Gray Closes On $3.6 Billion Raycom Merger". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. January 2, 2019. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  12. ^ "Heartland News at 9:00 Has a New Focus!".
  13. ^ Mark K. Miller. "KFVS, KBSI Partner For 9 P.M. Hour News". tvnewscheck.com.
  14. ^ "RabbitEars listing for KFVS-TV". RabbitEars.
  15. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  16. ^ "StormTeam Graphics - Heartland Current Temperatures". kfvs.com. April 10, 2003.
  17. ^ "TV Listings Guide and TV Schedule, where to watch TV shows - Zap2it.com". Zap2it.
  18. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 8, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2013.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved February 21, 2013.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ "Ritter Communications". getritter.info.
  21. ^ "DIRECTV Packages and Pricing - Call 855-849-4388". DIRECTV.