KDKA-TV

KDKA-TV
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
BrandingKDKA-TV
KDKA-TV News
SloganYour Home (general)
Local News First (news)
ChannelsAnalog: 2 (VHF)
Digital: 25 (UHF)
AffiliationsCBS (secondary until 1955)
OwnerCBS Corporation
FoundedJanuary 11, 1949 (roots trace to the experimental station W8XT begun in 1928 by Vladimir Zworykin)
Call letters meaningtaken from sister radio station KDKA-AM
Former callsignsWDTV (1949-55)
Former channel number(s)3 (1949-1952)
Former affiliationsDuMont (1949-55)
NBC (secondary, 1949-57)
ABC (secondary, 1949-58)
Transmitter Power100 kW/254 m (analog)
1000 kW/367 m (digital)
Websitewww.kdka.com|


KDKA-TV is the CBS owned and operated (O&O) television station in Pittsburgh. Its studios are located at One Gateway Center in Downtown Pittsburgh. It broadcasts its analog signal on VHF channel 2, and its digital signal on UHF channel 25 from its transmitter in Pittsburgh.

History

As WDTV

The station went on the air on January 11, 1949, as WDTV (W DuMont TeleVision), owned and operated by the DuMont Television Network. It originally broadcast on channel 3, moving to channel 2 in 1952 to alleviate interference with WNBK in Cleveland (now WKYC-TV), which for several years was a sister station to KDKA-TV).

At the time, Pittsburgh was the sixth-largest market in the country (behind New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Washington). However, WDTV's only competition came from UHF stations, as well as grade B signals from stations in Johnstown, Altoona, Wheeling and Youngstown. Despite its large market size, no other commercial VHF stations signed on in Pittsburgh until 1957 (the only other VHF station in town was educational WQED-TV). This was because the major cities in the Upper Ohio Valley are so close together that they must share the VHF band. At the time, UHF stations were unviewable without a very expensive converter. Even with a converter, the picture quality was marginal at best. UHF stations in the area faced an additional problem because Pittsburgh is located in a somewhat rugged dissected plateau, and UHF stations usually do not get good reception in rugged terrain.

As a result, WDTV had a de facto monopoly on Pittsburgh television. Like its sister stations, WABD in New York (now WNYW) and WTTG in Washington, it was far stronger than the network as a whole. Owning the only viewable station in such a large market gave DuMont considerable leverage in getting its programs cleared in large markets where it didn't have an affiliate. As CBS, NBC and ABC had secondary affiliations with WDTV, this was a strong incentive to stations in large markets to clear DuMont's programs or risk losing valuable advertising in the sixth-largest market. WDTV aired all DuMont network shows live and cherry-picked the best shows from the other networks, airing them on kinescope on an every-other-week basis.

WDTV's sign-on was also significant because it was now possible to feed live programs from the East to the Midwest and vice versa. In fact, its second broadcast was the activation of the coaxial cable linking the two regions. It would be another two years before the West Coast received live programming, but this was the beginning of the modern era of network television.

By 1954, DuMont was in serious financial trouble. Paramount Pictures, which owned a stake in DuMont, vetoed a merger with ABC who had merged with United Paramount Theaters, Paramount's former theater division, a year before. Since the FCC had ruled that Paramount controlled DuMont and there were still lingering questions about whether UPT had actually broken off from DuMont, Paramount didn't want to risk the FCC's wrath.

Desperate for cash, DuMont was forced to sell WDTV to Westinghouse Electric Corporation for $9.75 million in late 1954. While the sale gave DuMont a short-term cash infusion, it eliminated DuMont's leverage in getting clearances in other major markets. Within two years, the DuMont network was no more.

After the sale closed in 1955, Westhinghouse changed WDTV's calls to KDKA-TV, after KDKA-AM 1020, the world's first licensed commercial radio station. It became a primary CBS affiliate, retaining secondary affiliations with NBC until 1957 (when WIIC-TV, now WPXI, signed on) and ABC until 1958 (when WTAE-TV signed on). It became the flagship station of Westinghouse's broadcasting arm, Group W. (The WDTV calls now reside on a CBS affiliate in Weston, West Virginia, which is unrelated to the current KDKA-TV.)

As KDKA-TV

As a CBS affiliate, KDKA-TV dominated the ratings. It was not uncommon for newscasts anchored by Bill Burns to draw a 50 percent share of audience (or higher). It is still the market leader today, though WTAE and WPXI have closed the gap in recent years.

The station was known from the 1960s through the 1990s to pre-empt CBS programs that received low ratings, usually replaced by locally produced shows, high-rated syndicated programming, and Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games.

Even the daytime soap opera As The World Turns wasn't immune as KDKA pre-empted the serial for a large portion of its still-continuing run, most notably in the 1960s (for movies and The Mike Douglas Show), The Marie Torre Show during the early 1970s, and from 1978 to 1990, where the 2 to 3 P.M. hour usually reserved for the national CBS feed of ATWT was replaced by the popular talk program Pittsburgh 2Day. On November 22, 1963, as CBS broke into ATWT to report shots fired at President Kennedy's motorcade, KDKA was airing The Mike Douglas Show when newscaster Bill Burns broke in with the first bulletin. After Pittsburgh 2Day's cancellation in 1990, KDKA would later give in to pressure from both CBS and ATWT fans to air the show. In September 2006, it moved Guiding Light from its longtime 3pm slot to 10am placing Dr. Phil at 3pm.

Starting in 1993, KDKA stopped running CBS This Morning and instead ran syndicated Disney cartoons, an unusual move for a major-market station. It resumed carrying the CBS morning show several years later.

In 1994, Westinghouse made a long-term affiliation deal with CBS to convert the entire Group W television unit to CBS affiliation. As part of the deal, in the fall of 1994 channel 2 began running the entire CBS lineup in pattern, with no pre-emptions except in the case of breaking news.

In early 1996, Westinghouse merged with CBS, making KDKA-TV a CBS owned-and-operated station, after four decades as being simply a CBS affiliate. Viacom merged with CBS in 2000, making KDKA a sister station with Pittsburgh UPN (now The CW) affiliate WNPA-TV (now WPCW). Ironically, in 1994, Viacom purchased Paramount, which figured so prominently in DuMont's collapse, and in fact had announced plans to launch UPN prior to being acquired by Viacom.

In 2001, KDKA began producing a 10 P.M. newscast on UPN Pittsburgh. KDKA added a two hour morning newscast in 2005 on UPN.

To this day, KDKA-AM/TV is the last heritage television/radio cluster in Pittsburgh.

KDKA is also available on cable in Johnstown, Altoona and Wheeling, as well as several other out-of-market cable systems in northwestern Pennsylvania, northwestern Maryland and north-central West Virginia.

CBS 2?

After KDKA dropped the Group W font, it adopted a much plainer logo similar to that of other CBS O&Os. However, it has not fallen into complete compliance with the CBS Mandate as of 2007.

WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, WBZ-TV in Boston and WJZ-TV in Baltimore also do not follow any form of the mandate.

Image Campaign

In August 2007, KDKA revealed a new image campaign, entitled Your Home, with music and lyrics performed by singer-songwriter Bill Deasy. The promo features scenes of Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas, as well as three of the station's personalites. In September 2007, the station unveiled another promo featuring the Joe Grushecky song "Coming Home". Later, a third spot called "Long Way Home" will feature the voice of Kelsey Friday. [1]

Local Programming

  • Hometown High-Q: Saturdays at 11 A.M. - "quiz bowl" format show with three teams composed of local high school students
  • KDKA Sports Showdown: Sundays at 11:35 P.M. - sports talk show
  • KD/PG Sunday Edition: Sundays at 8:30 A.M. - public affairs programming
  • The Lynne Hayes-Freeland Show: Sundays at 6 A.M. - public affairs programming
  • Pittsburgh Today Live: 9:00 - 10:00 A.M. - Kristine Sorensen and Jon Burnett are the hosts, with weather from Jon Burnett or Dennis Bowman; local general interest program
  • The Sunday Business Page: Sundays at 6:30 A.M. - public affairs programming
KDKA presently offers seven-and-a-half hours of live news each weekday, collectively, on channels 2 and 19 (WPCW). On Saturdays, news is broadcast four-and-a-half hours per day, and there is 90 minutes of news on Sunday.

Seasonal

  • The Free-Care Fund - (Holiday Season)- yearly pledge drive
  • The Hines Ward Show - (during the NFL season) - Saturdays at 11:35 P.M. - Bob Pompeani, Hines Ward, Jim Lokay and a rotating member of the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Steelers Trivia Challenge - Sundays at 12:00 A.M. - Bob Pompeani hosts a "quiz bowl" format, modeled after Hometown High-Q, with three teams composed of three Pittsburgh Steelers fans who answer team-related trivia questions

Past

Ratings

Pittsburgh is a perennially competitive market for local news, with news ratings usually differing by less than a full ratings point. KDKA is the market leader for local news, with the highest audience for the newscasts at noon, 4, 5, 6 and 11 P.M., according to the Nielsen May 2007 ratings period. [2]

Personalities

Anchors

  • Sonni Abatta - KDKA from 5 to 7 A.M. and noon; WPCW from 7 to 8 A.M.
  • Patrice King Brown - 4, 6, and 11 P.M.
  • Keith Jones - 5 to 7 A.M.
  • Ken Rice - KDKA at 5 and 11 P.M.; WPCW at 10 P.M.; host, Hometown High-Q and KD/PG Sunday Edition
  • Stacy Smith - Noon, 4 and 6 P.M.; host, KD/PG Sunday Edition
  • Kristine Sorensen - 5 P.M.; host, Pittsburgh Today Live

Anchor/Reporters

  • Don Cannon - anchor, weekend evenings
  • John Cater - anchor, weekdays from 7 to 8 A.M. on WPCW
  • Brenda Waters - anchor, Saturday mornings
  • Stephanie Watson - anchor, KDKA weekend evenings; WPCW at 10 P.M.

Weather

  • Valerie Abati - AMS meteorologist: KDKA from 5 to 7 A.M. and noon; WPCW from 7 to 8 A.M
  • Jon Burnett - weathercaster: weekends; also, host, Pittsburgh Today Live
  • Jeff Verszyla - chief meteorologist: weekdays at 4, 5, 6, and 11 P.M. on KDKA; 10 P.M. on WPCW
  • Dennis Bowman - AMS meteorologist -freelance: weekends, weekday morning fill-in

Sports

  • Bob Pompeani - sports director - weekdays at 5, 6 and 11 P.M. on KDKA; host, KDKA Sunday Sports Showdown and The Nightly Sports Call on WPCW
  • John Steigerwald - sports anchor/reporter - various times (will exit October 2007 [3])
  • Mike Zappone - fill-in sports anchor/reporter - various times

Reporters

  • Bob Allen
  • Mary Berecky - Westmoreland County bureau chief
  • Dave Crawley - "KD Country" reporter
  • Jon Delano - money and politics editor; host Sunday Business Page
  • Marty Griffin - investigative reporter
  • Ross Guidotti - Butler/Beaver/Lawrence Co. bureau chief
  • Harold Hayes
  • Lynne Hayes-Freeland - general assignment reporter; host, The Lynne Hayes-Freeland Show; also does "Waiting Child", a segment which promotes adoption
  • David Highfield
  • Ralph Iannotti
  • Mary Robb Jackson
  • Jim Lokay - traffic and transportation reporter
  • Paul Martino - general assignment/investigative reporter
  • Alison Morris
  • Andy Sheehan - investigative reporter
  • John Shumway
  • Dr. Maria Simbra - medical editor
  • Yvonne Zanos - consumer editor

Former Personalities

  • Eddie Alexander - sports -
  • Jennifer Antkowiak - anchor/host - (1993-2006, now hosts jennifer, a talk show that airs on WTAE and edits At Home With Jennifer magazine)
  • Susan Barnett - anchor/reporter - (1999-2003, now morning co-anchor at KYW in Philadadelphia)
  • Jessica Borg - anchor/reporter - (2000-2004), now the weekend morning co-anchor at WPVI in Philadelphia
  • Andy Briggs - reporter - (1997-2003, now reporter at WPXI in Pittsburgh)
  • Bill Burns - anchor - (1953-1989, died in 1997)
  • Patti Burns - anchor/reporter - (1974-1997), died on October 31, 2001
  • Bill Currie - sports -
  • Alan Cutler - sports - (1984-1987, is a motivational speaker based in Lexington, KY)
  • Gabrielle DeRose - weekend anchor/reporter - (2001-2003)
  • George Eisenhauer - station announcer (1949-1987, died on April 7, 2007)
  • Stu Emry - reporter - (1988-1998, retired)
  • Bill Flanagan - business reporter - (1982-2003, Executive Vice President, Corporate Relations, Allegheny Conference on Community Development and host of "Our Region's Business" on WPXI)
  • Tim Fleischer - reporter - (1982-1985, now at WABC-TV in New York City
  • Kym Gable - freelance reporter - (2006) now works for Comcast
  • Rebecca Hower - morning meteorologist, earlier was an anchor/reporter - (2000-2007), has returned to hometown of Erie
  • Sheila Hyland - fill-in morning anchor - (2006) now also works for Comcast
  • Al Julius - commentator - (1973-1978; 1981-1991, died on June 28, 2002)
  • C.S. Keys - meteorologist - (1994-1995), now the Sports Director/Anchor at XETV in San Diego, also an actor
  • Ron Klink - weekend anchor/reporter - (1977-1991), former Congressman who now runs a lobbying firm
  • Bob Kudzma - meteorologist - (1968-2002), retired
  • Ken Meese - sports - (?-1985, now communications officer for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development)
  • Liz Miles - host Evening Magazine (later worked at WTAE)
  • Kelli Olexia - anchor - (2001-2005), now director of communications at Weirton Medical Center
  • Paul Nemiroff, M.D. - medical correspondent - (2002-2007)
  • Bruce Pompeani - anchor - (1997-2005)
  • Larry Richert - weather - (1990-2001, now host of KDKA Morning News on KDKA-AM, but makes occasional feature appearances on KDKA-TV)
  • Locke Roberts- weather
  • John Sanders - sports - (19??-1990, now play-by-play announcer for Cleveland Indians games)
  • Lynn Sawyer - consumer reporter - (1977-1999, now a contributor for OnQ on WQED)
  • Jacque Smith - weekend anchor/reporter - (1995-2000, now reporter at WKYC in Cleveland)
  • Paul Steigerwald - sports - (1987-1998, now the play-by-play announcer for the Penguins on FSN Pittsburgh)
  • Dick Stockton - sports - (1967-1971, play-by-play man for NFL on FOX)
  • Steve Talbot - sports -
  • Ray Tannehill - anchor - (1976-1999, died on September 13, 2007)
  • Marie Torre - anchor/reporter - (1962-1977, died in 1997)
  • Wayne Van Dine - reporter - (1978-2003, retired)

Newscast branding

  • Eyewitness News - used until 1996; news format inspired by KYW
  • KDKA-TV News - used in accompany with Hometown Advantage from 1996-2005; and Local News First from 2005-present

Logos


KDKA logo pre-1999, features Stylized "Group W Font"

KDKA logo used from 1999-2001

KDKA logo used from 2001-2002

KDKA logo from 2002 - 2003

KDKA logo from 2003 - 2005; changed to meet CBS standards

KDKA logo from 2005-present, inspired by WBBM


Trivia

  • Pop singer Christina Aguilera made her first TV appearance on KDKA-TV.
  • In the early 1980s Dennis Miller hosted The Trolley Show, a Saturday-afternoon newsmagazine for teenagers on KDKA. http://www.comedy-zone.net/standup/comedian/m/miller-dennis.htm He also produced humorous essays for the syndicated PM Magazine television program.
  • KDKA is credited with the first "network" TV feed in world history.
  • The station had the world's first father-daughter broadcast team. Beginning in the 1970s, KDKA's noon news broadcast was anchored by veteran Pittsburgh anchorman Bill Burns and his daughter Patti Burns, often referred to as the "Patti and Daddy show."
  • The station is only one of two television stations, east of the Mississippi River, (the other being KYW-TV) whose call letters begin with "K."
  • KDKA is one of only five CBS O&O stations (in addition to KUTV in Salt Lake City, WCCO in Minneapolis, WJZ in Baltimore, and WBZ in Boston) that doesn't use the "CBS Mandate" for the on-air name (CBS [channel #] [city/market descriptor]).
  • KDKA has aired the PA Lottery drawings in the Pittsburgh market since 1980 following an incident where WTAE personality Nick Perry, who called the lottery drawings for the Pennsylvania Lottery, fixed the PA Lottery's Daily Number so that the drawing could come up as "666".
  • KDKA uses a variation of the VIPIR system for its radar.

References

1. ^ TV Q&A with Rob Owen/KDKA's Image Campaign. post-gazette.com. Retrieved on 2007-08-27.
2. ^ TV News Ratings: May 2007. post-gazette.com. Retrieved on 2007-05-25.
3. ^ KDKA Will Not Renew John Steigerwald's Contract. post-gazette.com. Retrieved on 2007-03-10.

External links





Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Vladimir Kozmich Zworykin (Russian: Владимир Козьмич Зворыкин
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DuMont Television Network

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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The Gateway Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a high-rise building complex with 1.5 million square feet of office space in four buildings. Gateway Center was purchased in 2004 by Hertz Investment Group, a Los Angeles, California based real estate investment company, for US$55
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