Waterloo/Cedar Rapids/Dubuque/Iowa City, Iowa
United States
CityWaterloo, Iowa
ChannelsDigital: 7 (VHF)
Virtual: 7
BrandingKWWL (general)
News 7 KWWL or KWWL News (newscasts)
MeTV KWWL 7.3 (on DT3)
Affiliations7.1: NBC
7.2: Heroes & Icons
7.3: MeTV
7.4: Court TV
7.5: True Crime Network
OwnerAllen Media Broadcasting[1]
(Cedar-Rapids TV License Company, LLC)
Mason City: KIMT
La Crosse, WI: WXOW
Madison, WI: WKOW
cable: Bally Sports North, Bally Sports Wisconsin, Bally Sports Midwest
First air date
November 29, 1953 (67 years ago) (1953-11-29)
Former call signs
KWWL-TV (1953–1983)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 7 (VHF, 1953–2009)
  • Digital:
  • 55 (UHF, 2003–2009)
Call sign meaning
Keep Watching WaterLoo
(common, but inaccurate belief)
Waterloo Way Leads
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID593
ERP49 kW
HAAT601 m (1,972 ft)
Transmitter coordinates42°24′2″N 91°50′37″W / 42.40056°N 91.84361°W / 42.40056; -91.84361
Public license information

KWWL, virtual and VHF digital channel 7, is a NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Waterloo, Iowa, United States and serving the Eastern Iowa television market (Cedar Rapids–Waterloo–Iowa CityDubuque). The station is owned by Allen Media Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based Entertainment Studios. KWWL's studios are located on East 5th Street in Waterloo, and its transmitter is located north of Rowley, Iowa, a city in Buchanan County. The station also maintains news bureaus and advertising sales offices in Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Iowa City.


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When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened up bids for channel 7 in Waterloo, it was obvious that the license would either go to Sonderling Broadcasting, owner of KXEL (AM 1540), or R.J. McElroy and his Black Hawk Broadcasting Company, owner of KWWL (AM 1330, now KPTY). After a long legal battle, Black Hawk won the license, and KWWL-TV signed on for the first time on November 29, 1953—a Thanksgiving Day present to eastern Iowa.

The station was originally affiliated with NBC and the DuMont network.[2] During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[3]

In 1980, Black Hawk agreed in principle to merge with Forward Communications. However, the FCC told Black Hawk and Forward that it would have to sell either KWWL-AM-FM or channel 7. The KWWL stations had been grandfathered under a 1970s FCC rule banning common ownership of radio and television stations. When Forward decided to keep the radio stations, Black Hawk sold channel 7, along with then-sister station KTIV in Sioux City, to AFLAC just before the merger closed.[4] In 1997, AFLAC sold its entire broadcasting division, including KWWL, to Raycom Media.

In 2006, Raycom sold KWWL and a handful of other stations following its purchase of the Liberty Corporation in late 2005.[5] Quincy Newspapers became owner of KWWL on July 1, 2006. The merger made QNI the owner of four of the NBC affiliates serving Iowa, along with flagship station WGEM-TV in Quincy, Illinois, KTTC in Rochester, Minnesota, and Black Hawk/AFLAC sibling KTIV, which had been sold to QNI in 1989.

KWWL has been digital-only since February 17, 2009.[6][7] The "KWWL" callsign was legally transferred from the now-defunct analog channel 7 to the new digital channel 7, with the "KWWL-DT" callsign being permanently discontinued.

On November 1, 2010, the FCC granted KWWL a construction permit for a 300-watt digital fill-in translator on channel 7 (the same frequency as their main channel).[8] The translator would serve the immediate part and areas northwest of Dubuque. The permit was later cancelled on June 6, 2013.[9]

On January 7, 2021, Quincy Media announced that it had put itself up for sale.[10] A few weeks later, Gray Television announced its intent to purchase Quincy for $925 million. As Gray already owns the market's KCRG-TV and both stations rank among the top four in ratings in the Cedar Rapids–Waterloo market, it intended to keep KCRG-TV and divest KWWL in order to satisfy FCC requirements.[11] On April 29, 2021, it was announced that Allen Media Group would acquire KWWL and the remaining Quincy stations not being acquired by Gray Television for $380 million.[1] The sale was completed on August 2 the same year, making KWWL a sister station to CBS affiliate KIMT in nearby Mason City. Gray's decision to sell KWWL came as an ironic twist, given that they had acquired the station's previous owner Raycom in 2019.

Studio renovation

In late 2014, the KWWL building underwent a major renovation project, which involved extensive interior and exterior work. The neighboring American Legion building was demolished to make way for a new parking lot. This also led to the building's "front" changing from the 4th Street side to the 5th Street side. Further exterior work restored the 4th Street side to how it appeared when the building was first constructed in the early 1900s. This included restoring original trim and detail work, as well as the large windows which surrounded half the building. On the interior, the newsroom and studio were relocated to the newly renovated and updated second floor. The new KWWL set debuted on October 26, 2016. A week later, demolition and remodeling of the first floor began. In July 2017, the remainder of KWWL's departments (Marketing, Sales and Administration) moved to their new location on the first floor. The full renovation of the studio building was completed on September 20, 2017.


KWWL-DT2 is the Heroes & Icons-affiliated second digital subchannel of KWWL, broadcasting in 720p high definition on digital and VHF channel 7.2. On cable, the subchannel is available on Mediacom digital channel 125.


KWWL-DT2's previous logo as a This TV affiliate.

KWWL-DT2 began operations in November 2004 as an affiliate of NBC Weather Plus, airing national weather forecasts from the service as well as inserts of local weather forecasts from the KWWL weather center. However, on October 7, 2008, NBC Universal announced that they would shut down the NBC Weather Plus service by December 31, 2008, concurrently, in January 2009, that subchannel began airing This TV programming.[12][13][14]

KWWL-DT2's logo as a CW Affiliate used from 2016 until 2021.
KWWL-DT2's logo as a CW Affiliate used from 2016 until 2021.

In April 2016, KWWL announced that they would add programming from The CW on KWWL-DT2 beginning on September 12, 2016.[15][16] At the same time, KWWL-DT2 ended its five-year affiliation with This TV. This resulted in an affiliation swap between KWWL-DT2 and Iowa City-based KWKB (channel 20), the Cedar Rapids market's former CW affiliate, which then became the This TV affiliate for the Cedar Rapids market.[17]

On August 2, 2021, The CW moved to KCRG-DT3, replacing Antenna TV, and KWWL ended up replacing The CW with Heroes & Icons.

Digital channels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP short name Programming[18]
7.1 1080i 16:9 KWWLNBC Main KWWL programming / NBC
7.2 720p KWWLH&I Heroes & Icons
7.3 480i KWWLME MeTV
7.4 CourtTV Court TV
7.5 TruCrim True Crime Network


Syndicated programs aired by KWWL include Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, Inside Edition, and Live with Kelly and Ryan.

News operation

This section needs expansion with: further information on the history KWWL's news operation. You can help by adding to it. (October 2011)

On April 11, 2010, KWWL became the first station in eastern Iowa and the first QNI station to broadcast its newscasts in high definition.[19] At this time, its updated its logo, removing the large blue circle that surrounded the 7.

Notable current on-air staff

Notable former on-air staff


  1. ^ a b "Byron Allen's Allen Media Will Buy 7 Stations From Gray TV for $380 Million". Variety. April 29, 2021. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
  2. ^ "KWWL-TV Affiliates With Dumont Network", The Oelwein Daily Register, p. 7, November 14, 1953
  3. ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films", Boxoffice: 13, November 10, 1956, archived from the original on June 14, 2009
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 30, 2006. Retrieved March 31, 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^[dead link]
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Application View ... Redirecting
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Quincy Media, Inc. Considering sale of company". January 7, 2021.
  11. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (February 1, 2021). "Gray Television Acquires Quincy Media For $925 Million In Cash". Deadline. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  12. ^ Greppi, Michelle (October 7, 2008). "NBC Shutting Down Weather Plus". TV Week. Archived from the original on November 19, 2008. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  13. ^ Malone, Michael (October 7, 2008). "NBC Universal Shutting Down Weather Plus". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media, LLC. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  14. ^ Magner, Maria (January 8, 2009). "This TV new digital channel 7.2". Quincy Media. Archived from the original on November 5, 2016. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  15. ^ Staff Report (April 12, 2016). "CW Network Coming To KWWL; Cedar Rapids The Quincy Media NBC affiliate in Iowa is adding The CW on its ch. 7.2 beginning in September". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  16. ^ Rosenberg, Madelyne (April 26, 2016). "The CW Network comes to KWWL 7.2 this fall". Quincy Media. Archived from the original on November 5, 2016. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  17. ^ Morrison, Jeff (September 12, 2016). "KWKB loses CW affiliation". Iowa Highway Ends (etc.). Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  18. ^ "KWWL Waterloo, Ia".
  19. ^[dead link]

1. Lipps, Rick and Weaver, Tim. KWWL Station History ( Date Accessed: July 30, 2005. Waterloo, Iowa: KWWL.