KARE-TV, digital Channel 11, is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and serving the Minneapolis-St. Paularea (commonly known as the Twin Cities) of Minnesota and portions of western Wisconsin. It also operates KARE WX NOW, formerly known as NBC Weather Plus on its second digital subchannel (11.2). KARE is owned by TEGNA, with studios located in Golden Valley, Minnesota.

150px-KARE logo.jpg
MinneapolisSaint Paul, Minnesota
Branding KARE 11 (general)

KARE 11 News(newscast)

Slogan Telling the Stories of Life
Channels Digital: 11 (VHF)Virtual: 11 (PSIP)

11.1 - NBC

11.2 - KARE 24/7 Local Weather

Translators (see article)
Founded September 1, 1953
Call letters' meaning pronounced "Care 11"
Former callsigns WTCN-TV (1953-1985)

WUSA (1985-1986)

Former channel number(s) Analog:11 (VHF, 1953-2009)

Digital: 35 (UHF, until 2009)

Former affiliations DuMont (secondary, 1953-1956) [1]ABC (1953-1961)

Independent (1961-1979)

Transmitter power 27.1 kW
Height 455 m
Facility ID 23079
Transmitter coordinates 45°3′44″N93°8′21″W


KARE signed on the air as WTCN (the “TCN” stood for “Twin Cities Newspapers”), although it was not the first TV station in the Twin Cities to carry those call letters. Channel 4 originally carried the WTCN call sign, starting from its sign-on in 1949, but it was changed to WCCO-TV in 1952 when the Twin Cities Newspapers company divested its broadcast properties; the TV station was sold to CBS, which already ownedWCCO-AM radio, while WTCN-AM (1280 AM, now WWTC) was sold to the Minnesota Television Service Corporation headed by Saint Paul businessman Robert Butler, a former ambassador to Cuba and Australia. Twin Cities Newspapers was a partnership between the Saint Paul Pioneer Press and the Minneapolis Tribune.

Soon afterward, Butler's group applied for the channel 11 license. At the same time, WMIN (1400 AM, now KMNV) also applied. Because theFederal Communications Commission (FCC) had a backlog of contested licenses, the two stations worked out an agreement for a joint application. The FCC approved this deal, and WTCN-TV/WMIN-TV went on the air on September 1, 1953 as an ABC affiliate. The station also carried a secondary affiliation with DuMont. During the late 1950s, the station also was briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[2]

Under the agreement, the stations shared a transmitter mounted atop the Foshay Tower in downtown Minneapolis, alternating use every two hours. WTCN's studios were in the Calhoun Beach Hotel in Minneapolis near Lake Calhoun, while WMIN-TV was based in the Hamm Building in downtown Saint Paul. On April 3, 1955, with FCC approval, WMIN sold its share of Channel 11, and WTCN took over the frequency full-time. On the same day, the WTCN stations were sold to the Bitner Group. Two years later, the Bitner group merged with Time-Life.

The early draw of WTCN was its children's programming. There were characters like Sergeant Scotty, Wrangler Steve (Steve Cannon, who would later become one of WCCO radio's biggest draws), and the most popular of all, Casey Jones, played by Roger Awsumb and accompanied by his sidekick, Roundhouse Rodney (Lynn Dwyer). The "Lunch With Casey" show was on the station's schedule from 1954 until 1972.

In 1961, KMSP-TV took the ABC affiliation and WTCN became an independent station, with its 10 p.m. newscast moving to 9 p.m. As a traditional general entertainment channel, WTCN offered cartoons, sitcoms, old movies, Minnesota Twins baseball, locally produced shows, news, and dramas. It was also home to the Twin Cities' first prime-time newscast.

Chris-Craft Industries bought the WTCN stations in 1964, but sold off WTCN-AM, which then became WWTC. Under Chris-Craft, WTCN modernized its newscasts. Up to that time, they were still shot on film.

Metromedia bought WTCN in 1971 and in 1972, the station began using a new tower at the Telefarm site in Shoreview, Minnesota. The new transmitter increased the station's broadcasting range significantly, boosting its secondary coverage to 72 miles. In 1973, after 20 years at the Calhoun Beach Hotel, WTCN moved to its current studio in Golden Valley. The address of the building was originally 441 Boone Avenue North, but is now known as 8811 Highway 55 (55427-4762)-the 11 corresponding to the station's dial position.

KARE at the Minnesota State Fair, 2006

In the late 1970s, ABC began looking for stronger affiliates across the country—including Minneapolis-Saint Paul. The network had talks with WTCN, WCCO-TV (CBS), and KSTP-TV (NBC). KSTP surprised the industry in August 1978 by announcing its split with NBC, ending a five-decade relationship in radio and TV. Channel 5 became an ABC affiliate on March 5, 1979—the network's biggest coup at that time.[3] NBC then chose to affiliate with WTCN, after rejecting KMSP-TV's offer to become its affiliate. Metromedia sold about half of its cartoons and syndicated programming to former ABC affiliate KMSP-TV, which eventually became the Twin Cities' largest independent station and one of the most prominent in the upper Midwest.

In 1983, Metromedia sold WTCN to Gannett. The sale also included WXIX-TV in Cincinnati that year after its separate purchases of WFLD in Chicago and KNBN (now KDAF) in theDallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area put it two stations over the FCC's limit of seven television stations that was in effect at the time. Gannett made a significant investment into the station's news department. The anchor team of Paul Magers and Diana Pierce was hired that September and led the station's 10:00 p.m. newscasts for 20 years, which is a record among Twin Cities news anchors. KARE-11's "Backyard" weather studio was also launched in 1983, coinciding with the arrival of meteorologist Paul Douglas in May.

In 1985, Gannett rechristened Channel 11 as WUSA, but after the company purchased WDVM-TV in Washington, D.C., it transferred the call letters to that station. In the meantime, a Florida TV station had assumed the WTCN call letters. Consequently, KARE became the call letters and branding for Channel 11.

On April 27, 2006, KARE became the first station in the Twin Cities (and among the first in the U.S.) to broadcast news in High Definition Television. As part of this transition, the station completely replaced its news set, originally built in 1986 and updated in the 1990s, with a new state-of-the-art backdrop. The station was still broadcasting in analog (with the news shot in a way that is still usable on the smaller 4:3 format of analog sets) until the federally mandated digital transition on June 12, 2009.[1]


A locally-produced children's program, Lunch with Casey, is remembered as being one of the unique contributions of the station.[citation needed] The show, featuring Roger Awsumb asCasey Jones, ran from 1954 until the end of 1972, with a brief reappearance in 1974. Sidekicks on the show included Joe the Cook, played by Chris Wedes, and Roundhouse Rodney, played by Lynn Dwyer. Wedes went on to play the clown J.P. Patches in Seattle, Washington, credited as partial inspiration (along with Portland, Oregon's Rusty Nails) for Krusty the Clown on The Simpsons.

The short-lived game show Let's Bowl (filmed in the Twin Cities) had some episodes air on the station in the late '90s before it was remade for Comedy Central. In January 2005, a localcable access program began airing. Called The Show to Be Named Later..., it is described as "The first (and only) sports talk, comedy, and variety show", somewhat of a cross betweenLate Night with Conan O'Brien and Fox Sports Net's The Best Damn Sports Show Period. A weekly show for teenagers called The Whatever Show (or simply Whatever) and an outdoors program known as Minnesota Bound have both aired on the station for about a decade. Former Minnesota Twin Kent Hrbek also has hosted his own outdoors show Kent Hrbek Outdoorson the station since 2004. But in the fall of 2008, Kent Hrbek Outdoors was moved over to rival Fox affiliate KMSP.

For decades, both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune aired on rival station WCCO-TV. But, in 1999, Jeopardy! moved to KARE after WCCO aired the game show at 1:37 am (originally 9:30 AM) for several years. However, Wheel still airs on WCCO, making the Twin Cities one of the few markets where Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune don't air on the same station.

News operation

The station experimented with a 40-minute newscast at 10 p.m., before 35-minute nightly newscasts—now the standard—became common (being in the Central Time Zone, Minnesota stations generally broadcast news at 5, 6, and 10 p.m.). The 10:00 p.m. newscast features a "KARE 11 News Extra", an extended news story. A special sports show is put together periodically, and the station also broadcasts a group of morning shows each weekday. On April 27, 2006, KARE began to produce evening news broadcasts in HDTV.

The station made weather history on July 18, 1986 when helicopter pilot Max Messmer was flying out to cover a news story and noticed a funnel cloud forming over the Springbrook Nature Center in Fridley. Photojournalist Tom Empey was on board the chopper and shot amazing and unprecedented video of the twister.[says who?] The images were broadcast live on that day's 5 p.m. newscast. That entire newscast is available online. The funnel soon formed into a full-fledged tornado as it touched the ground, and KARE broadcast images of the funnel for 30 minutes. In the years to come, this first aerial video of a tornado was heavily studied by meteorologists, and contributed significantly to what is known about tornado formation. It was moderate in intensity, with winds of 113–157 mph (an F2 on the original Fujita Scale), and caused $650,000 damage.

The KARE-11 news package (created by Third Street Music) was commissioned in 1996. KARE and KUSA are the only two Gannett-owned NBC affiliates to use a custom news package by Third Street Music. Although the rest of the station group (including KUSA) is using a new music package by Rampage Music New York, KARE has yet to switch to the new theme. However, it is using the new graphics package created by the Gannett Graphics Group (G3).

In June 2009, the KARE weather team and former meteorologist Paul Douglas formed a unique partnership to create KARE's new local weather channel, KARE Wx NOW. Douglas worked for KARE for more than a decade starting in the early 1980s, so it will be a homecoming of sorts for him and his new company, WeatherNation. This new service is available 24 hours everyday on TV and online. WeatherNation staff rotate shifts. Paul Douglas most of the time is on air afternoons Monday to Fridays. The rest of staff rotates between days and evenings and weekends.

Currently KARE produces Approximately 9.5 hours of local news a week. (4.5 hours on weekdays & 5 hours on weekends.)

Press release online: KARE 11 in January is going to drop Showcase MN so that they can run NBC Today show from 7am to 11am and then bring back KARE 11 NEWS TODAY which will be on at 11am vs 9am (and later 10am) like it used to be. Diana Pierce and Pat Evans will anchor KARE 11 NEWS TODAY and they will continue to host KARE 11 NEWS at 4pm. Julie Nelson will then do KARE 11 at 5,6,10 with Mike Pomeranz.

The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) has awarded KARE its "Station of the Year" (large markets)in 1985, 1995, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010.[4][5]


KARE has won the coveted demographic of viewers 25 to 54 years-old in almost every Nielsen Ratings sweeps period since the late 1980s.[6][7][8] The station has been able to build on NBC's primetime lead-ins, which are the lowest in the market.[9][10] However, KARE has placed second overall in households at 5, 6, and 10 p.m since May 2006, trailing rival CBS affiliate WCCO.[11] The station slipped from its top spot among women in 2007 for the first time in two decades,[12] and factoring in KMSP-TV's 9 p.m. newscast, KARE tumbled to third place overall in February 2008.[13]

In November 2010, KARE suffered its first loss in the target 25-54 demographic during its 10 p.m. newscast since 1986, with longtime runner-up WCCO-TV gaining the upper hand. However, WCCO likely benefited from a series of heavily-promoted newscasts to mark the retirement of the station's longtime evening anchor involving the return of former on-air personalities during the sweeps period, leading at least one media critic to question the durability of WCCO's edge. The November 2010 numbers also showed KARE had regained second place in overall viewership.[6]

KARE-TV News / station presentation

Newscast titles

  • Newsorama
  • The Mel Jass News
  • 9:30 News
  • Total News (?-1979)
  • NewsCenter 11 (1979–1983)
  • 11 News (1983)
  • News 11 (1983–1989)
  • KARE 11 News (1989–present)

Station Slogans

  • Channel 11, Proud as a Peacock! (1979–1981; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • TV-11, Our Pride is Showing (1981-1982; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • TV-11 There, Be There (1983–1984; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • TV-11, Let's All Be There (1984–1986; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • The Twin Cities Most Watched Newscast (1986–1989)
  • Come Home to KARE-TV (1986–1987; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come on Home to KARE-TV (1987–1988; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come Home to the Best, Only on KARE-TV (1988–1990; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • KARE-TV, The Place to Be!
  • The Stars Are Back on KARE-TV (1993-1994; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • It's KARE-TV! (1994-1995; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "The Year To Be on KARE-TV" (1995-1996; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "The Network is You on KARE-TV" (1996-1997; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "I Love KARE-TV" (1997-1999; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "It's Only KARE-TV" (1999-2000; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "KARE 11, In the Heart of the Twin Cities" (2000-2001; localized version of NBC ad campaign)

KARE 11 News team

KARE-TV Current on-air staff

KARE 11 News Anchors[14]

  • Diana Pierce - Kare 11 Today at 11am, Kare 11 News at 4
  • Julie Nelson - weeknights at 5pm, 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Mike Pomeranz - weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Pat Evans - KARE 11 TODAY 11am and weekdays at 4 p.m. (also weather anchor)
  • Kim Insley - weekday mornings
  • Tim McNiff - weekday mornings
  • Eric Perkins - Saturday mornings, weekends at 5 and 10 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 and 6:30 p.m.
  • Rena Sarigianopoulos - weekends at 5 and 10 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 and 6:30 p.m.

KARE 11 Weather Now[14]

  • Belinda Jensen (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; Monday-Thursdays at 4, 5, 6 and 10 p.m. and Saturday mornings
  • Jerrid Sebesta - Meteorologist; fill-in
  • Sven Sundgaard (AMS Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; Fridays at 4, 5, 6 and 10 p.m., weekends at 5 and 10 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 and 6:30 p.m.
  • Jonathan Yuhas - Meteorologist; weekday mornings

WeatherNation Staff[14]

  • Paul Douglas - Seen on air weekday afternoons
  • Kristin Clark - Weekday evenings
  • Rob Koch - Weekends
  • Susie Martin - weekends/fills in during the week sometimes
  • Gretchen Mishek - Weekdays/weekends
  • Todd Nelson - Weekday mornings
  • Bay Scroggins - Weekends

KARE 11 Sports[14]

  • Randy Shaver - Sports director; weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Eric Perkins - Sports anchor; weekends at 5 and 10 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 and 6:30 p.m.
  • David Schwartz - Sports reporter
  • David Watkins - Sports reporter

KARE 11 Reporters[14]

  • Dave Berggren
  • Pete Busch - Traffic reporter
  • Allen Costantini
  • John Croman - General assignment and Capitol reporter
  • Jeffrey DeMars - "Backpack journalist"
  • Karla Hult
  • Boyd Huppert
  • Janel Klein
  • Jeff Olsen (also fill-in weather anchor)
  • Julianna Olsen - freelance
  • Kyle Porter
  • Ron Schara - Minnesota Bound host
  • Scott Seroka
  • Jana Shortal
  • Renee Tessman - General assignment and Health Fair 11 reporter
  • Trisha Volpe
  • Shayne Wells - Metro Mix reporter
  • Boua Xiong

Notable former KARE-TV 11 staff

  • Roger Awsumb (played Casey Jones on children's show "Lunch with Casey" 1954-1972, also "Casey & Roundhouse at Grandma Lumpit's Boarding House" and "Wake Up with Casey & Roundhouse")
  • John Bachman (anchor/reporter) Now at WHO-TV in Des Moines, Iowa.
  • Ken Barlow (Weekday Morning Meteorologist, 1989–1994; Chief Meteorologist, 1994–2005) Now With KXTV in Sacramento.
  • Andre Bernier (weekday morning meteorologist) Now at WJW-TV in Cleveland
  • Asha Blake (reporter/anchor)
  • Frank Buetel (sportscaster 1953-72, play-by-play of Minnesota North Stars 1967-70, Minnesota Twins 1970-72, Minnesota Golden Gophers and Minnesota High School Hockey and Basketball Tournaments)
  • Liz "Ibby" Carothers- (Weekday Morning Meteorologist, 1996–1997)
  • Steve Cannon (deceased)
  • Lynn Dwyer (played Roundhouse Rodney on "Casey Jones" children's shows, 1959–1972)
  • Dennis Feltgen (Weekend Meteorologist, 1986–1989)
  • Charles Gonzalez (Sports Reporter, 2004–2007)
  • Bernie Grace (crime reporter, 1979–2006)
  • Amy Hockert (weekend anchor, now at in Minneapolis)
  • Jack Horner (sportscaster, 1960s)
  • Mike Igoe ("Action 11" reporter, 1983–1989)
  • Mel Jass ("Matinee Movie" host, 1950s-1979)
  • Dave Lee (puppeteer/host of "Popeye 'n' Pete"/"Beetle 'n' Pete"/"Dave Lee and Pete"/"The Dave Lee Show," 1962-1969)
  • Stuart A. Lindman (News, weather, public affairs, 1953–1987; also served as local host of Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon from 1970s-1980s.)
  • Kirsten Lindquist (Early Evening Anchor, 1983–1987)
  • Paul Magers (Main Anchor, 1983–2003) Now with KCBS-TV in Los Angeles.
  • Warren Martin, on-air host and voiceover, WTCN
  • Pat Miles (Early Evening Anchor, 1988-2001—hired in 1987, non-compete clause with WCCO)
  • Jeff Passolt (afternoon Sports, 1981–1991; Sports Director, 1991–1994) Now with KMSP-TV (FOX 9) also in the Twin Cities.
  • Amy Powell (Sunrise anchor/reporter) now at KABC in Los Angeles
  • Tom Ryther (Sports Director, 1981–1991)
  • Dale Schornack (anchor/reporter, 1980s) Now With KXTV in Sacramento.
  • Ken Speake (Reporter, 1980–2007)
  • Joan Steffend (Weekend Anchor, 1982–1996; 1999–2000)
  • Kathy Vara (Sunrise and Today anchor) (left for KABC-TV Los Angeles, now at KNBC-TV Los Angeles)
  • Frank Vascellaro (Morning Anchor, 1996-December 2003; Weeknight Anchor, 2003–2005) Now with WCCO-TV also in the Twin Cities.
  • Greg Vandegrift (Reporter from late 90's until 2008)

KARE-TV broadcasting facilities

In addition to the main transmitters in Shoreview, KARE uses a network of broadcast translators to carry its analog signal to outlying parts of the state:

KARE, (along with WCCO-TV) is also carried on most cable systems in Manitoba and northwestern Ontario. The stations do not make any attempt to cater to this audience, other than their inclusion on regional weather maps.


Digital television

The station's digital channel, VHF 11, is multiplexed. NBC-HD programming is carried on digital subchannel 11.1 and WX Now is carried as 11.2. As part of the analog television shutdown and digital conversion was completed, KARE shut down its analog transmitter on June 12, 2009, and moved its digital broadcasts back to channel 11. KARE increased its power from 27.1 kW to 45.3 kW on May 11, 2010. The station says the upgrade should be particularly noticeable to people who live more than 50 miles from its Shoreview transmitter. In the analog era, KARE and most other VHF High stations (channels 7-13) used 316 kW, the maximum then allowed. However, VHF High power levels in the Upper Midwest now vary widely from about 10 kW to 75 kW.[15]


  1. ^ TV Guide: Northwest Edition
  2. ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films", Boxoffice: 13, November 10, 1956[dead link]
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ Garrison, Nicole (March 30, 2003). "KARE 11 continues to lead local news in Nielsen ratings".
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Minneapolis Star Tribune (MN) Deborah Caulfield Rybak, "WCCO Ousts KARE in TV News Rating" - May 26, 2006
  12. ^ St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN)LOCAL TV - December 22, 2007 - A9 Main
  13. ^ KMSP celebrates its highest rating
  14. ^ a b c d e Meet the team.
  15. ^

External links