KCCI is a television station that broadcasts on channel 8 in Des Moines, Iowa. It is affiliated with the CBS television network and serves most of central Iowa. Owned by Hearst Television, KCCI has studios in downtown Des Moines. The station's transmitter is located in Alleman, Iowa, about midway between Des Moines and Ames. KCCI is also seen in Ottumwa on translator K23CI, operated by a local non-profit organization.
|Des Moines, Iowa|
|Branding||KCCI NewsChannel 8|
|Slogan||Iowa's News Leader|
|Channels||Digital: 8 (VHF)|
|Translators||31 (UHF) Des Moines
(construction permit) K23CI Ottumwa
|Owner||Hearst Television, Inc.
(Des Moines Hearst Television, Inc.)
|First air date||July 31, 1955|
|Call letters' meaning||Cowles
Communications Incorporated (former owners)
KRNT-TV (1955–1974) Digital: KCCI-DT (2002–2009)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog: 8 (1955–2009)
Digital: 31 (2002–2009)
|Transmitter power||28.3 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||41°48′35″N 93°37′16″W / 41.80972°N 93.62111°W / 41.80972; -93.62111|
KCCI started on the air on July 31, 1955, as KRNT-TV, the third television station in Des Moines and the ninth in Iowa. It was owned by the Cowles family, publishers of the Des Moines Register and Des Moines Tribune newspapers, along with KRNT radio (AM 1350 and the original KRNT-FM at 104.5, which went dark). The calls stood for the papers' nickname in central Iowa, "the R 'n T".
The Cowles family and rival KSO-AM (now KXNO; also owned by the Cowles interests until 1942) both applied for the channel 8 frequency and fought over it. A decision was held up due to issues with the Cowles' ownership of Look magazine. Eventually, the two stations reached a settlement that allowed KRNT to own 60 percent of the TV station and KSO to own 40 percent. Yet once the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the station's license, KRNT immediately bought out KSO's share of the station. KRNT-TV's broadcasting day was originally about five to six hours long, and included a 15-minute news program later in the evening. The station has been part of the CBS network through its entire history, owing to KRNT-AM's long affiliation with CBS Radio.
The FCC tightened its ownership rules in the 1970s, forcing the Cowles interests to sell one of their Des Moines broadcast outlets. They opted to sell KRNT-AM and KRNQ-FM (now KSTZ) to Stauffer Communications in 1974 and keep KRNT-TV, which became KCCI-TV, with the initials standing for owner Cowles Communications, Inc.
Over the years, Cowles Communications bought several other media outlets, including KTVH (now KWCH-TV) in Wichita, Kansas (and its satellites in the western part of Kansas) WESH in Orlando, Florida and WQAD-TV in the Quad Cities.
In 1983, the Cowles family announced it was breaking up its vast media empire, selling off most of its assets except the Minneapolis Star Tribune. While the Register went to Gannett and the Register and Tribune Syndicate (best known as syndicators of The Family Circus) went to Hearst as a King Features division, KCCI and WESH went to H&C Communications. H&C sold two of its television stations, KCCI and WESH, to Pulitzer in 1993. What was then known as Hearst-Argyle Television bought all of Pulitzer's television holdings in 1998.
KCCI began broadcasting in high-definition television on channel 8.1 in 2002. On July 24, 2006, KCCI launched "Weather Now", a 24-hour local weather channel that appears on digital subchannel 8.2 as well as local Mediacom digital cable channel 247, and the station's website.
The station operates a website at www.kcci.com. For several years the station's website was known as www.theiowachannel.com, following the practice of other Hearst-Argyle stations, and people going to kcci.com were redirected to theiowachannel.com. In October 2005, the station switched back to the kcci.com name for its web site, with theiowachannel.com serving as a redirect to the kcci.com website.
On December 10, 2008, current KCCI President and General Manager Paul Fredericksen announced a staffing reorganization which eliminated six positions, including on-air talent.
A 200-foot weather beacon is on their auxiliary tower atop the station's downtown Des Moines studios and is a landmark of the Des Moines skyline. The lighted beacon changes colors depending on the forecast:
- "Weather Beacon red, warmer weather ahead.
- Weather Beacon white, colder weather in sight.
- Weather Beacon green, no change in weather foreseen.
- Weather Beacon flashing night or day, precipitation is on the way."
KCCI's signal is multiplexed:
|8.1||8.1||1080i||16:9||KCCI-DT||main KCCI programming/CBS HDTV|
After the analog television shutdown was completed on June 12, 2009 , KCCI-TV moved back to channel 8. Also, the "KCCI" legal callsign was officially transferred from the now-defunct analog channel 8 to the new post-transition digital channel 8 and the "KCCI-DT" callsign was officially retired; however, the PSIP identifier for the main channel 8.1 still identifies it as "KCCI-DT."
Some viewers have had trouble receiving KCCI's channel 8 VHF digital signal, so KCCI has applied for authority to construct a fill-in translator station on its pre-transition channel 31.
Although it was the last Big Three station to sign on in the area, channel 8 has been the highest-rated station in Des Moines for most of its history, often beating competitors WHO-TV and WOI-TV combined. However, in the recent February 2010 ratings period, WHO captured the lead for the morning newscasts and most key demographics at 6 p.m., but KCCI kept the #1 spot for its noon, 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts.
On April 20, 2009, KCCI became the first station in Des Moines to broadcast local news in 16:9 widescreen. Unlike WHO-DT (whose widescreen news broadcasts began two days after KCCI's and who eventually upgraded to high definition newscasts), KCCI's newscasts are still aired in widescreen standard definition. It is unknown when KCCI will upgrade to true high-definition newscasts. WOI-DT launched high-definition local newscasts on October 8, 2010, leaving KCCI as the only local station in Des Moines to continue to broadcast local news in standard-definition widescreen. In addition, KCCI is one of two stations to remain in standard definition for the newscasts (the other being KDSM-TV, which still broadcasts in pillarboxed 4:3 SD although its newscasts are produced by WHO-DT).
In 2009, KCCI won National Edward R. Murrow Awards for Best Newscast and Overall Excellence. In 2009, KCCI won the Photography Station of the Year award in the small market division from the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA). The NPPA also named Photojournalist Cortney Kintzer as the Photographer of the Year in Region 5 (Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin & Illinois). In 2010, KCCI won Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for Best Newscast and Overall Excellence.
 Newscast titles
- KRNT-TV News (1955-1964)
- The Night Report (1964-1967)
- Streamlined News (1967-1970)
- Eyewitness News (1970-1974)
- TV-8 News (1974–1995)
- NewsChannel 8 (1995–2013)
- KCCI 8 News (2013-present)
 Station slogans
- Central Iowa's First Local Color Station (late 1960s)
- KRNT Has the Look of a Winner (1960s-early 1970s)
- TV-8, Now More Than Ever (early 1980s)
- Great Moments on TV-8 (1982-1983; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
- The Iowa Spirit (mid 1980s-1994)
- Iowa's News Leader (1994–present)
- Kevin Cooney - weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
- Mollie Cooney - weekdays at noon
- Cynthia Fodor - weeknights at 5 p.m.
- Stacey Horst - weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
- Steve Karlin - weeknights at 5 p.m.
- Amanda Lewis - weekend mornings "NewsChannel 8 This Morning"
- Todd Magel - Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m.
- Marcus McIntosh - weekday mornings "NewsChannel 8 This Morning" (5-8 a.m.) and noon
- Emily Price - Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m.
SuperDoppler Weather Team
- John McLaughlin (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
- Kurtis Gertz (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekdays at noon and 5 p.m., Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m.
- Wes Callison (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekday mornings "NewsChannel 8 This Morning"
- Frank Scaglione (AMS member; NWA member) - Meteorologist; fill-in, also weather technology coordinator
- Metinka Slater (AMS member) - Meteorologist; weekend mornings "NewsChannel 8 This Morning"
- Andy Garman - Sports Director; weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
- Scott Reister - Sports Anchor; Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m.
- Andy Ireland - sports reporter
- Meredith Garman - general assignment reporter
- Keri Gavin - general assignment reporter
- Eric Hanson - general assignment reporter
- Angie Hunt - Ames "Live Link" reporter
- Alex Murphy - general assignment reporter; fill-in
- Molly Nelson - general assignment reporter
- Katie Ward - general assignment reporter
Hearst Television Washington Bureau In addition to the regular news team, KCCI also has an exclusive team of reporters in Washington D.C., employed by Hearst Television
- Nikole Killion - Washington bureau reporter
- Sally Kidd - Washington bureau reporter
 Former on-air staff
- Geoff Greenwood - general assignment reporter - left to become the spokesperson for Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller
- ^ KCCI. "KCCI Weather Beacon". http://www.kcci.com/weather/575060/detail.html. Retrieved 2007-02-17.
- ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf
- ^ FCC document: "APPENDIX B: ALL FULL-POWER TELEVISION STATIONS BY DMA, INDICATING THOSE TERMINATING ANALOG SERVICE BEFORE ON OR FEBRUARY 17, 2009."
- ^ http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/prefill_and_display.pl?Application_id=1332088&Service=LD&Form_id=346&Facility_id=33710
- ^ http://www.whotv.com/about/station/who-feb2010ratings-033010,0,5215217.story
- ^ KCCI First To Have Widescreen News
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtrBPAcPkJw
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1a0PIXQgL8
- ^ www.kcci.com/kccinewsteam/index.html
- ^ http://www.amestrib.com/articles/2010/03/02/adel_news/news/dcn_news/doc4b8d4b996ec4f254331575.prt
- ^ http://www.omaha.com/article/20100302/NEWS01/703029870/0/AP0409
- ^ http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2010/06/07/kccis-geoff-greenwood-moves-to-ags-office/
- Stein, Jeff, Making Waves: The People and Places of Iowa Broadcasting (ISBN 0-9718323-1-5). Cedar Rapids, Iowa: WDG Communications, 2004.
- KCCI-TV's official website
- KCCI-TV historical artifacts from DesMoinesBroadcasting.com
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KCCI
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K23CI
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KCCI-TV