WHO-DT is a television station that broadcasts on Channel 13 in Des Moines, Iowa. It's affiliated with the NBC television network and serves most of central Iowa. The station transmits from the WOI Tower in Alleman, Iowa, which is actually owned by WHO-DT's owners.

200px-WHO-TV 2004.jpg
Des Moines, Iowa
Branding WHO-HD Channel 13(general)

Channel 13 News(news)

Slogan Iowa's High Definition Leader
Channels Digital: 13 (VHF)
Subchannels 13.1: NBC13.2: Weather13.3: Antenna TV
Translators K27CV 27 Ottumwa
Affiliations NBC
Owner Nexstar Media Group
First air date April 15, 1954
Call letters' meaning from WHO (AM)
Former callsigns WHO-TV (1954–2009)
Former channel number(s) Analog: 13 (1954–2009)Digital: 19 (2002–2009)
Former affiliations UPN (secondary; 2003-2006)
Transmitter power 36.5 kW
Height 600 metres (2,000 ft)
Class Full-power commercial digital
Facility ID 66221
Transmitter coordinates 41°48′32.6″N93°36′53.7″W
Website www.whotv.com/

WHO-DT is repeated on K27CV channel 27 in Ottumwa and was repeated on K66AL channel 66 in Clarinda. The Ottumwa translator is operated by a local non-profit organization, and the Clarinda translator was owned by the City of Clarinda.


WHO-TV signed on the air on April 15, 1954 as the second television station in Des Moines. It was owned by the Palmer family, owners of WHO radio (AM 1040 and FM 100.3, now KDRB). The Palmers had competed with KIOA for the channel 13 license and won it after reaching a settlement.[1] It has always been an NBC affiliate.

The Palmers sold off their broadcast holdings in 1996, with WHO-TV and sister station KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City going to The New York Times Company. Up to that time, channel 13 had been the last locally owned commercial station in Des Moines. WHO-AM, which was eventually acquired by Jacor Communications (which later merged with Clear Channel Communications), continued to occupy the same building until it moved to another building in 2005. While WHO-TV was co-owned with WHO-AM, it used an owl as its mascot, as WHO-AM still does today.[1]

Until the 1980s, WHO-TV frequently preempted NBC programming in favor of local shows. For instance, it didn't pick up Days of Our Livesuntil the soap's 20th season; in the 1960s and 1970s, the station aired a 90-minute movie between 12:30 and 2 p.m.

On January 4, 2007, the New York Times Company entered into an agreement to sell its entire television stations group to affiliates of the private equity group Oak Hill Capital Partners. On May 7, 2007, Local TV LLC, a new broadcasting company owned by Oak Hill, officially became the owner of the former New York Times stations.[2]

On December 20, 2007, Local TV and Tribune Company entered into a letter of intent to create a third-party broadcast management company to provide shared services to all of the stations Local TV and Tribune Company own respectively. The company will function as a wholly owned subsidiary of Tribune Company, and will provide back-office services, administration, and a number of other functions to the stations. The most noticeable byproducts of this partnership are the redesigned websites of WHO-TV and Local TV's other stations, which were launched during late January and into February 2009, using the Tribune Interactive platform also used by the websites of Tribune-owned stations.

In 2008, WHO-TV introduced Iowa's Weather Plus, a 24-hour weather channel affiliated with NBC Weather Plus. This station airs on Digital Channel 13.2 and Mediacom Digital channel 246. Although the national feed of NBC's Weather Plus has been discontinued, Channel 13 continues to air its own weather forecasts and radar loops.

On May 19, 2010, WHO-DT began broadcasting complete broadcasts in 1080i high definition. All video, in-studio and field reports, and graphics began origination in high definition and the station began to refer to itself WHO-HD. The noon broadcast was Iowa's first complete high definition broadcast (KWWL in Waterloo had been the first station in Iowa to launch an HD newscast; however, the field video from that station is not in HD).[citation needed]

Secondary affiliation

In 2003, WHO-TV began airing select UPN programs which KPWB had dropped. WHO-TV aired various UPN programs from midnight-1:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings and WWE Friday Night SmackDown (then called WWE Smackdown) on Sunday nights at 11:30 p.m. This lasted until 2006, when UPN amalgamated with The WB Television Network to form The CW and affiliated with then-WB station KPWB (now KCWI).

Digital television

In 2002, WHO-TV launched digital television programming on channel 19 as WHO-DT. On February 17, 2009 (the original analog television shutdown date[3]), WHO turned off its analog signal in favor of full-time digital broadcasting (joining KDSM-TV as the only 2 Des Moines stations to turn off analog signals on that date). At that time, WHO moved its digital signal from channel 19 back to channel 13 and with it retired the longtime WHO-TV call sign in favor of WHO-DT, a move opposite to what most other TV stations across the country have done (competitor WOI retained its "-DT" suffix as well). As of February 8th, 2011, the WHO-DT signal is multiplexed in the following manner:

Channel Picture


Name Programming
13.1 1080i WHO-DT main WHO-DT programming / NBC HD
13.2 480i Iowa's Weather Plus local and national weather information
13.3 480i Antenna TV classic TV shows and movies

News operation

Chopper 13, on display at the 2006 Iowa State Fair

WHO's main anchor since 1987, John Bachman was one of three reporters who interviewed Ronald Reagan, announcer for WHO-AM in the 1930s at the end of his presidential term. The other two were Larry King and Barbara Walters.

On September 2, 2008, WHO-TV took over production of the 9 p.m. newscast of Fox affiliate KDSM-TV from Cedar Rapids station KGAN. The newscast is aptly titled "Channel 13 News at Nine on FOX 17." WHO-TV previously produced a short-lived prime-time newscast for PAX TV (now ION Television) affiliate KFPX (channel 39) in 2001, during a time when NBC and Pax had a brief news partnership. It's a one hour newscast on weekdays, thirty minutes on weekends.

For most of its history, channel 13 has been a solid, if distant, runner-up to KCCI. However, it has picked up considerable ground on KCCI in recent years. It's the only station in the market to consistently see increased ratings, while the ratings of it's competitors continue to decline. In the recent February 2010 ratings period, WHO had the highest rated morning newscasts. It also took the lead in all key demographics at 6 p.m.--the first time WHO-TV has won that timeslot in recent memory. While WHO still second in all other timeslots (noon, 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.), KCCI's long dominance ended in those timeslots ended as WHO's ratings surged.[4]

WHO-TV has many firsts in the market. It was the first area station to use videotape and the first to broadcast from news events live. It was also the first station to use live Doppler radar and the first to broadcast in high definition (during the 2002 Winter Olympics) and air local news segments in high definition. On April 22, 2009, Channel 13 became the second station in Des Moines broadcasting all in-studio news in widescreen standard definition.[5] On May 19, 2010, WHO-DT became the first commercial station in Des Moines to launch fully into high definition television.[6]

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • WHO-TV News
  • Eyewitness News (1974–1979)
  • NewsCenter 13 (1979–1998)
  • WHO-TV 13 News (1998–2003/04)
  • Channel 13 News (2003/04–present)

Station slogans

  • Colorful Channel 13
  • Part of Your Life
  • WHO-13, Proud as a Peacock! (1979–1981; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • 13's Here for You
  • WHO-13, Our Pride is Showing (1981–1982; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • We're Channel 13, Just Watch Us Now (1982–1983; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • The News Source (1982–1985)
  • WHO-13 There, Be There (1983–1984; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • WHO-13, Let's All Be There (1984–1986; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • It's WHO We Are (1985-1986)
  • Come Home to Channel 13 (1986-1987; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come on Home to TV-13 (1987-1988; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come Home to the Best, Only on Channel 13 (1988-1990; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Making a Difference (1988–1990)
  • Channel 13, The Place to Be! (1990-1992; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Your 24-Hour News Source (1990–?)
  • It's a Whole New Channel 13 (1992-1993; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • The Stars Are Back on Channel 13 (1993-1994; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Where the News Comes First (24 Hours a Day)
  • Coverage You Can Count On (1998–2004)
  • See the Difference (2004–2010)
  • Iowa's High Definition Leader (2010–2014)
  • Proud to call Iowa... Home (2012–2014)
  • THE Local News Leader (2014–present)

On-air staff

Current on-air staff


  • John Bachman - weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m. (father of John Bachman, anchor at WSB-TV in Atlanta)
  • Brooke Bouma - weekday mornings "Today In Iowa"
  • Patrick Dix - weekday mornings "Today In Iowa"
  • Sonya Heitshusen - weeknights at 5 p.m.; also reporter
  • Erin Kiernan - weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Elizabeth Klinge - weekend mornings "Today In Iowa"; also reporter
  • Lynn Melling - weeknights at 9 p.m. (on KDSM)
  • Dave Price - Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5 and weekends at 10 p.m.
  • Dan Winters - weekend mornings "Today In Iowa"; also reporter

First Alert Weather Team

  • Ed Wilson - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Brett McIntyre - meteorologist; Thursday-Fridays at noon, Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5 and weekends at 10 p.m.
  • Jeriann Ritter - meteorologist; weekday mornings "Today In Iowa"
  • Megan Salois (Member, NWA; AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; Monday-Wednesdays at noon and weekend mornings "Today In Iowa"

Sports team

  • Keith Murphy - sports director; weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Chris Hassel - sports anchor; Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5 and weekends at 10 p.m.;
  • Zach Borg - sports reporter/Photographer


  • Aaron Brilbeck - general assignment reporter
  • Emily Carlson - general assignment reporter
  • Brad Ehrlich - traffic reporter
  • Andy Fales - general assignment and sports reporter (also host of "SoundOff")
  • Megan Reuther - morning reporter
  • Jannay Towne - general assignment reporter

News staff

  • Rod Peterson - news director
  • Paul Lepert - executive and 10 p.m. Producer
  • Matt Baker - assignment editor
  • Aaron Creech - assignment editor
  • Lisa DeKryuff - producer; "Today In Iowa"
  • Dan Hendrickson - noon and 6 p.m. producer
  • Jenny Hettmann - weekend mornings and "Today In Iowa" producer
  • Kelly Kaspaire - 5 p.m. producer
  • Brenna Kriger - "FOX News at 9" weekend producer
  • MaCay Weisemann - "FOX News at 9" weeknight producer

Former on-air staff

  • Gary Amble (now morning meteorologist at KCTV in Kansas City)
  • Jeff Barndfor
  • Courtney Green
  • Lori Groves
  • Loren Halifax (now at sister station WDAF-TV in Kansas City)
  • Tim Hedrick (now at WKRC-TV in Cincinnati)
  • Elias Johnson
  • Kim Kerrigan
  • Jason Parkin
  • Susie Robinette
  • Rick Silvestrini
  • Kathy Soltero
  • Jim Strickland
  • Mark Tauscheck
  • Cal Woods
  • Steve Danehy
  • Shawn Terrell


See also

External links


  1. ^ Stein, Jeff (2004). Making Waves: The People and Places of Iowa Broadcasting. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: WDG Communications. ISBN 0-9718323-1-5.
  2. ^ NY Times CO. Sell TV Group to Equity Firm for $530M; Second equity group to buy a media business in two weeks., NewsInc. (via HighBeam Research), January 8, 2007.
  3. ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf
  4. ^ http://www.whotv.com/about/station/who-feb2010ratings-033010,0,5215217.story
  5. ^ Channel 13 News: Widescreen
  6. ^ HD Arrives: Channel 13 Makes History With Iowa's First Commercial High-definition Newscast
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