KDKA-TV, channel 2, is an owned and operated television station of the CBS Television Network, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. KDKA-TV broadcasts from a transmitter located in the Perry North neighborhood of Pittsburgh, and its studios are located in downtown Pittsburgh at Gateway Center. The facility also houses WPCW (channel 19, Pittsburgh's CW affiliate). Syndicated programming on the station includes: Dr. Phil, Extra and The Insider.
KDKA-TV News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Your Home(general)Your Home for Local News(news)Your Steeler Station|
|Channels||Digital: 25 (UHF)Virtual: 2 (PSIP)|
|Affiliations||CBS (secondary until 1955)|
(CBS Broadcasting, Inc.)
|First air date||January 11, 1949|
|Call letters' meaning||taken from sister radio station KDKA|
|Sister station(s)||KDKA, KDKA-FM, WDSY-FM, WPCW, WZPT|
|Former callsigns||WDTV (1949-1955)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
3 (VHF, 1949-1952) 2 (VHF, 1952-2009)
|Former affiliations||Primary:DuMont (1949-1955)Secondary:|
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||40°29′38″N 80°1′9″W|
- 1 Early history
- 2 Digital programming
- 3 Programming
- 4 Notable former on-air staff
- 5 Gallery
- 6 News/station presentation
- 7 Trivia
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The station went on the air on January 11, 1949, as WDTV (W DuMont TeleVision) on channel 3, owned and operated by the DuMont Television Network. It was the third and last DuMont-owned station to go on the air, behind WABD (now WNYW) in New York City andWTTG in Washington, D.C.. To mark the occasion, a live television special aired that day from 8:30pm to 11pm, with live segments from DuMont, CBS, NBC, and ABC. The station also represented a milestone in the television industry, providing the first "network" that stretched from New England/East Coast to the Mississippi River and beyond. WDTV was one of the last stations to be granted a construction permit before the Federal Communications Commission imposed what turned out to be a four-year freeze on new licenses.
When the release of the FCC's Sixth Report and Order ended the license freeze in 1952, DuMont was forced to give up its channel 3 allocation to alleviate interference with nearby stations broadcasting on the frequency. WDTV moved its facilities to channel 2 on November 23, 1952. Not long after moving, WDTV became the first station in the country to broadcast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At the time Pittsburgh was the fourth-largest market in the country, behind New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Dealing with competition
Until the end of the freeze, WDTV's only competition came in the form of distant signals from stations in Johnstown, Altoona,Wheeling, West Virginia and Youngstown, Ohio. However, Pittsburgh saw two UHF stations launch during 1953 -- ABC affiliate WENS-TV (channel 16, later to become WQEX), and WKJF-TV (channel 53, later to become WPGH-TV), an independent. At the time, UHF stations could not be viewed without the aid of an expensive, set-top converter, and the picture quality was marginal at best with one. UHF stations in the area faced an additional problem because Pittsburgh is located in a somewhat ruggeddissected plateau, and the reception of UHF stations is usually poor in such terrain. These factors played a role in both WKJF and WENS being short-lived.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh's other VHF stations were slow to develop. This was because the major cities in the Upper Ohio Valleyare so close together that they must share the VHF band. After the FCC lifted the license freeze in 1952, it refused to grant any new commercial VHF construction permits to Pittsburgh in order to give the smaller cities in the area a chance to get on the air. As a result, WDTV had a de facto monopoly on Pittsburgh television. Like its sister stations WABD and WTTG, it was far stronger than the DuMont network as a whole. According to network general manager Ted Bergmann, WDTV brought in $4 million a year, which helped sustain the network. 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 New York and Chicago. 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.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse Electric Corporation had been competing with local politicians to acquire the non-commercial channel 13 license from the FCC, as no other Pittsburgh-allocated VHF station would be signing on for the foreseeable future. After launching WBZ-TV inBoston in 1948 and purchasing two other TV stations, Westinghouse was growing impatient with not having a station in its own home market. Westinghouse later offered a compromise plan to the FCC, in which the Commission would grant Westinghouse the channel 13 license; Westinghouse would then "share" the facility with the educational licensee. Finding the terms unacceptable, Pittsburgh attorney Leland Hazardcalled Westinghouse CEO Gwilym Price to ask him if he should give up on his fight for public television. Price said that Hazard should keep fighting for it, giving Westinghouse backing for the station that would eventually become WQED.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. A few years earlier, the FCC had ruled that Paramount controlled DuMont and there were still lingering questions about whether UPT had actually broken off from Paramount. Paramount didn't want to risk the FCC's wrath.
Westinghouse then turned its attention to WDTV, offering DuMont a then-record $10 million for the station in late 1954. Desperate for cash, DuMont promptly accepted Westinghouse's offer. 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 January 1955, Westinghouse changed WDTV's call letters toKDKA-TV, sistering it to Westinghouse's pioneering radio station KDKA (1020 AM; and later to 92.9 FM, now WLTJ). As such, it became one of the few stations east of the Mississippi with a "K" call sign.
As KDKA radio had long been an NBC affiliate (due to corporate ties between Westinghouse and NBC dating back to 1926, when Westinghouse was a co-founder and part-owner of NBC), KDKA-TV hoped to become a primary affiliate of NBC. But that network was seeking to purchase Westinghouse's Philadelphia stations, KYW radio and WPTZ-TV (now KYW-TV) and used coercion, in the threat of withholding a primary affiliation with KDKA-TV, as an enticement for Westinghouse to agree to swap those stations for NBC's stations in Cleveland. The decision would lead to an acrimonious relationship between Westinghouse and NBC in later years.  Channel 2 became a primary affiliate of the higher-rated CBS network instead. KDKA-TV retained secondary affiliations with NBC until WIIC-TV (channel 11, now WPXI) signed on in 1957, and ABC until WTAE-TV (channel 4) signed on in 1958. KDKA-TV became the flagship station of Westinghouse's broadcasting arm, Group W.
The WDTV calls now reside on a CBS affiliate located 130 miles south in Weston, West Virginia, which is unrelated to the current KDKA-TV. That station, which signed on after KDKA-TV adopted its current call signs, did adopt those calls "in honor" of KDKA-TV.
Starting in 1993, KDKA stopped running CBS This Morning and instead ran Disney's syndicated cartoon block. A year later, Westinghouse made a long-term deal with CBS to convert the entire five-station Group W television unit to a group-wide CBS affiliation. In the fall of 1994 channel 2 began running the entire CBS lineup in pattern, as it, and sister station KPIX-TVin San Francisco, were already affiliated with the network.
In early 1996, Westinghouse acquired CBS, making KDKA-TV a CBS owned-and-operated station, after four decades as being simply a CBS affiliate. In 1997, Westinghouse became CBS Corporation, which would then merge with Viacom in 2000, making KDKA a sister station with Pittsburgh UPN (now The CW) affiliate WNPA-TV (now WPCW). Five years later Viacom became CBS Corporation and spun off a new Viacom.
In 2001, KDKA-TV began producing a 10 p.m. newscast on UPN Pittsburgh. In 2005, it added a two-hour morning newscast in 2005 on WNPA.
KDKA-TV is also available on cable in the Johnstown, Altoona and Wheeling areas, as well as several other out-of-market cable systems in northwestern Pennsylvania, northwesternMaryland, northeastern Ohio, and North-Central West Virginia. The furthest south KDKA is carried on cable is in Beverly, West Virginia. This is not far from the Virginia state line near Monterrey.
In August 2007, KDKA-TV 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 was introduced, called "Long Way Home," and features the voice of Kelsey Friday.
|2.1||25.1||1080i||16:9||main KDKA-TV programming / CBS HD|
On Tuesday June 16, 2009, KDKA-TV launched in HD during its noon broadcast, with a new set and weather center. Like rival WTAE, only the in-studio cameras are in HD while most of the content, including field reports and video footage, are in pillarboxed 4:3 standard definition.
In July 2009 the station applied to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to have two repeater signals: channel 31 in Morgantown, West Virginia and channel 40 inJohnstown. The Morgantown signal is expected to reach into Forward Township while the Johnstown signal is expected to penetrate Irwin.
- Hometown High-Q (2000- ): Saturdays at 11 a.m. - "quiz bowl" format show with three teams composed of local high school students
- #1 Cochran Sports Showdown (1998- ): 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. - Rick Dayton and Jon Burnett are the hosts, with weather from Dennis Bowman; local general interest program
- The Sunday Business Page: Sundays at 6:30 a.m. - public affairs programming
KDKA-TV 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 each Sunday.
In January 2009 KDKA-TV celebrated 60 years on being on the air.
- The Children's Hospital Free-Care Fund (1954- ) - (Holiday Season) - yearly pledge drive
- Hometown Holiday Lights - Series aired over the news. Contest between local families with Christmas displays at their residence.
- Steelers Huddle (September 19, 2009 - ) - (during the NFL season) - Saturdays at 11:35 p.m. - Bob Pompeani, Jim Lokay and a rotating member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Steelers Trivia Challenge (July 16, 2005 - ) - Saturdays at 11:35 p.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. The show runs for 9 weeks (mid-July to mid-September).
- Evening Magazine (August 1, 1977-October 12, 1990)
- The Jerome Bettis Show (September 12, 1998-February 4, 2006)
- The Hines Ward Show (September 2, 2006-January 31, 2009)
- Pittsburgh 2Day (1978-January 19, 1990)
- Pittsburgh Pirates baseball (1957–1994)
- Pittsburgh Penguins hockey (1989–1997)
- Wake Up With Larry Richert (1988–1990)
- Inside Pirates Baseball
As of May 2010, KDKA-TV is the most watched news station in the hours of noon, 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 11 p.m. However, WPXI is the most watched news program in the Pittsburgh area in the hours of 5 a.m., 6 a.m. and their 10 p.m. show on WPGH-TV.
- 'Heather Abraham (2010-present) - weekday mornings (4:30-7 a.m.); co-host Pittsburgh Today Live
- Ken Rice (1994–present) - weeknights 5 p.m. & 11 p.m.; WPCW at 10 p.m.
- Stacy Smith (1983–present) - weekdays 4 p.m. & 6 p.m.; host, KD/PG Sunday Edition
- David Highfield (1991-present) - weekday mornings (4:30-7 a.m.); co-host Pittsbirgh Today Live
- Kristine Sorensen  (2003–present) - weeknights 5 p.m.
- Kristin Emery (2012-present) - meteorologist
- Mary Ours (2019-presnet) - meteorologist; weekend mornings
- Ron Smiley (2015-present) - meteorologist; weekday mornings (4:30-7 a.m.); and on WPCW (7-9 a.m.)
- Ray Petelin (2018-present) - chief meteorologist; weeknights (5 p.m., 6 p.m. & 11 p.m.); and on WPCW (10 p.m.)
- Kym Gable (2006-present) - weekdays 4 p.m. & 6 p.m.
- Royce Jones (2020-present) - saturday evenings (6 p.m.); sunday evenings (6:30 p.m.); weekend evenings 10 p.m. (on WPCW) & 11 p.m.
- Meghan Schiller (2017-present) - weeknights at 7:30 p.m.
- John Shumway (1987-present) - weekday mornings (7-9 a.m. on WPCW); also reporter
- Briana Smith (2021-present) - weekend mornings; also weekday reporter
- Bob Pompeani (1982–present) - sports director - weekdays at 6 & 11 p.m. on KDKA; host, KDKA Sunday Sports Showdown & The Nightly Sports Call on WPCW
- Rich Walsh (2014-present) - weekend evening sports anchor
- Bob Allen (2000-2020) - reporter; now retired
- Jennifer Borrasso (2019-present) - reporter
- Dave Crawley (1988–present) - "KD Country" Reporter
- Jon Delano (1994–present) - Money and Politics Editor
- Nicole Ford (2019-present); reporter
- Jessica Guay (2021-present); reporter
- Ross Guidotti (2001–present)
- Lynne Hayes-Freeland (1977–present)
- Chris Hoffman (2019-present) - reporter
- Bryant Reed (2021-present) - reporter
- Andy Sheehan (1992–present) - KDKA Investigator
- Dr. Maria Simbra
- Pam Surano - (2018-present) - reporter
- Amy Wadas (2014-present) - reporter; also fill-in anchor
- Lindsay Ward (2019-present) - reporter
Notable former on-air staff
- The Esso Reporter (1949-1966)
- News Roundup/News at Noon/Chevrolet News/The World Tonight (1950s)
- TV-2 Eyewitness News (1966- mid-1990s)
- KDKA-TV News (mid-1990s-present)
- We're Putting It All Together, on TV-2 (1970-1971; customized version of CBS campaign)
- TV-2, Where the Good Times Are (1971-1972; customized version of CBS campaign)
- TV-2, Have We Got a Fall For You! (1972-1973; customized version of CBS campaign)
- The Best is Right Here on TV-2! / TV-2 is Easy on the Eyes (1973-1974; customized version of CBS campaign)
- See the Best...TV-2 (1974-1975; customized version of CBS campaign)
- Catch the Brightest Stars on TV-2 (1975-1976; customized version of CBS campaign)
- TV-2, We're the Hot Ones (1976-1977; customized version of CBS campaign)
- There's Something in the Air, on TV-2 (1977-1978; customized version of CBS campaign)
- TV-2, Turn Us On, We'll Turn You On (1978-1979; customized version of CBS campaign)
- Pittsburgh's Here 2 You, We're Looking Good (1980-1981; customized version of CBS campaign, incorporating KDKA's "Here 2 You" campaign)
- Reach for the Stars on TV-2 (1981-1982; customized version of CBS campaign)
- Great Moments on TV-2 (1982-1983; customized version of CBS campaign)
- Renaissance Two (1983; used to promote KDKA's newscasts)
- We've Got the Touch on TV-2 (1985-1986; customized version of the CBS campaign)
- KD and You (1986-1990; later combined with national CBS slogans such as "The Address is CBS" and "Get Ready")
- You're in KD Country (1986... mostly used in print and on billboards)
- TV-2 Spirit, Oh Yes! (1987-1988; customized version of CBS campaign)
- You Can Feel It on TV-2 (1988-1989; customized version of CBS campaign)
- Get Ready for TV-2 (1989-1991; customized version of CBS campaign)
- The Look of Pittsburgh is KDKA-TV-2 (1991-1992; customized version of the CBS campaign)
- This is CBS, on KDKA (1992-1994; customized version of the CBS campaign)
- Always Taking the Lead (early-mid 1990s)
- The Hometown Advantage (1996-2005)
- Local News First (2005-present)
- Your Home (2007-present)
- Pop singer Christina Aguilera made her first TV appearance on KDKA-TV.
- In the early 1980s Dennis Miller hosted Punchline, a Saturday-morning newsmagazine for teenagers on KDKA.  He also produced humorous essays for the syndicated PM Magazine television program.
- KDKA is credited with the first "network" TV feed in world history.
- KDKA was featured in the George A. Romero movie Night of the Living Dead as a news source for the stranded group of survivors as they attempt to hold off the zombie horde untl morning. Various statements from KDKA during the movie provided the survivors with valuable information, such as to shoot the "ghouls" in the head to effectively kill the zombie.
- 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 WCCO in Minneapolis, WWJ in Detroit, WJZ in Baltimore, and WBZ in Boston) that doesn't use the "CBS Mandate" for the on-air name (CBS [channel 2] [city/market descriptor (on occasion)). If KDKA did follow the mandate, the station would be branded as CBS 2 (Pittsburgh), but as mentioned above, KDKA does not follow the CBS Mandate as viewers in the Pittsburgh market have protested over such possible changes.
- KDKA aired the Pennsylvania Lottery drawings in the Pittsburgh market from 1980-2009 following an incident where WTAE-TV 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". On July 1, 2009 the lottery moved back to WTAE-TV.
- KDKA uses a variation of the VIPIR system for its radar.
- It carried Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune in the 5 p.m. hour in the 1980s. They have been on WPXI since 1987, airing in the prime access hour.
- KDKA now uses the WeatherBug Network as part of its weather forecasts. It previously relied upon AccuWeather, which is now used at WTAE.
- ^ Dumont History Website by Clarke Ingram
- ^ 
- ^ http://pbrtv.com/blog/entry_1003.php#body
- ^ "Souls who enriched our lives, our region" from Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (December 1, 2002)
- ^ "TV Q&A with Rob Owen/KDKA's Image Campaign". post-gazette.com. http://postgazette.com/pg/07236/811615-238.stm. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
- ^ http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/tvq?list=0&facid=25454
- ^ "Keith Jones seeks stability in move to Tampa". post-gazette.com. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09198/984407-67.stm. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
- ^ "Negro Gets TV News Series Show In Pittsburgh." Jet, July 7, 1966. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
- ^ KDKA-TV consumer reporter Yvonne Zanos dies, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 8, 2010
- ^ http://www.tubecityonline.com/history/perry_fr.html
- KDKA-TV Homepage
- Official Facebook page for KDKA-TV
- Official Twitter page for KDKA-TV
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KDKA-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KDKA-TV
- Program Information for KDKA at TitanTV.com
- Pittsburgh Television history page
- Article on early Pittsburgh Television