WKBT-DT is a CBS and MyNetworkTV affiliated television station serving West CentralWisconsin, including La Crosse (its city of license) and Eau Claire.


200px-WKBT Logo.png

La Crosse, Wisconsin
Branding News 8
Slogan Our Community. Your Station.
Channels Digital: 8 (VHF)
Subchannels 8.1 CBS8.2 MyNetworkTV
Affiliations CBS, MyNetworkTV
Owner Morgan Murphy Media

(QueenB Television, LLC)

First air date August 8, 1954
Call letters' meaning WKBH Television (for "Kimball [Piano] Brings Happiness", as the stations shared ownership with a music store)
Sister station(s) WISC
Former channel number(s) Analog: 8 (VHF)(August 8, 1954 - February 17, 2009)Digital: 41 (UHF)

(March 28, 2003 - February 17, 2009)

Former affiliations All secondary:ABC (1954-1970)DuMont (1954-1955)

NBC (1954-1958) UPN (2006)

Transmitter power 20 kW
Height 469 m
Facility ID 74424
Transmitter coordinates 44°5′27.4″N 91°20′17.4″W
Website www.wkbt.com


WKBT launched on August 8, 1954 as sister station to WKBH (known today as WIZM), and carried dual affiliation with CBS and ABC (a set-up that continued until 1970, when WKBT became solely a CBS affiliate). WKBT also briefly had secondary affiliations with DuMont (until 1956) and NBC (until 1958).[1]

In 1965 the downtown La Crosse building that housed both WKBT and WKBH fell victim to fire; WKBT then rebuilt its current building on the same site.

WKBT was sold to Harold F. Gross, a businessman from Lansing, Michigan who owned WJIM AM, WJIM-FM and WJIM-TV in that city. WKBT and WJIM-TV were sold in the mid-1980s to Unicom Inc, a unit of Forstmann Little, d.b.a. Backe Communications, following a licensing dispute involving WJIM-TV (which became WLNS-TV under Unicom). Unicom's ownership of the station was short-lived as in 1986 it sold WLNS and WKBT to Young Broadcasting.

In March 2000, Young sold WKBT to Morgan Murphy Stations, whose QueenB Television subsidiary (now Morgan Murphy Media) became the licensee for the station.

WKBT-DT went on the air with digital broadcasting on channel 41 (UHF) on March 28, 2003.[1]

WKBT-DT launched digital subchannel 8.2, UPN La Crosse/Eau Claire, on Monday January 30, 2006.[2] (Rival station KQEG-CA had dropped its affiliation with UPN at the end of the previous week.[3])


Beginning September 5, 2006, with the demise of UPN, WKBT-DT2 subchannel 8.2 became an affiliate of the new MyNetworkTV.

On the afternoon of Tuesday, February 17, 2009, WKBT-TV discontinued analog broadcasting on channel 8 (VHF), and the digital WKBT-DT signal was transitioned from channel 41 (UHF) to channel 8 (VHF), completing the station's digital broadcast transition.

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • Tomorrow's Headlines/Deadline Edition (1954-?)
  • News People
  • Action 8 News (19??–19??)
  • Newswatch 8 (19??–199?)
  • Channel 8 News (199?–1995)
  • NewsChannel 8 (1995–2010)
  • News 8 (2010–2020)
  • News 8 Now (2020-present)

Station slogans

  • 8 Country (1970s)
  • Action 8 is Total News (1970s)
  • Serving the Tri-State (1980s)
  • Do you watch Newswatch? (1980s-1994)
  • Take Me There, Make Me Care (1994-1998)
  • Coverage You Can Count On (1998-2010)
  • Our Community, Your Station (June 2009 in TV ads, 2010-present)


MyNetworkTV La Crosse/Eau Claire

MyNetworkTV La Crosse/Eau Claire is slowly being developed. It carries syndicated shows such as The Simpsons, Dr. Phil, and programming with local interest, such as Racing Rewind (a show about weekly races at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway), and a few one-time airings of local events. There is a newscast called My News at Nine shown weekdays at 9 pm. In 2009 WKBT stopped making My NewsChannel 8 at Nine and reaires the 5 pm news.

On the early snowy morning February 25, 2007, the channel aired a 2 hour 30 minute live newscast, to keep people informed of a snowfall that brought over 28 inches of snow to the area.

On-air staff


  • Lou Hillman - Saturday evening anchor and weekday reporter
  • Lisa Klein - 5 & 6 pm co-anchor
  • Martha Koloski - Noon & 10 pm co-anchor
  • Jennifer Livingston - "News 8 This Morning"
  • Mark McPherson - 5 pm co-anchor and Sunday evening anchor
  • Mike Thompson - 6 & 10 pm co-anchor


  • Kristen Elicerio
  • Jade Olds


  • Bill Graul - Meteorologist;"News 8 This Morning" and Noon
  • Cory Malles - Chief Meteorologist; 5pm. 6pm & 10 pm
  • Michelle Poedel- Weekend Meteorologist


  • Ryan Rodig - Weekend Sports anchor
  • Gregg Wavrunek - Sports Director/Weeknight Sports

Former on-air staff



  • John Anderson: 1995-1997 (10 pm anchor/10 pm producer/special reporter)
  • Betsy Singer: 1990s (noon anchor) now at KAAL-TV
  • Bill Bessette: 2001-2007 (6 pm and 10 pm co-anchor/assistant news director)
  • Ann Gallagher
  • Bill Hoel: 1990-1998 (anchor/station manager)
  • John Hoffland: Became News Director at WEAU-TV; passed away on July 4th, 2009
  • Rebakah Ibisch: (reporter)
  • Erin Koskovich: (weekend anchor)
  • Julie Nelson: 1990s (noon anchor)
  • Anne Paape: (1990-? as 6 pm and 10 pm co-anchor/5pm anchor) (1990-present, news director)
  • Sarah Platt: 2003-? (reporter)
  • Mark Quaid: Reporter and former News Director
  • Sue Ramsett: now at WSAW-TV
  • Alexandra Renslo: 1998-? (6 pm and 10 pm co-anchor)
  • Jenna Sachs (reporter/anchor) Later went on to WFRV-TV, but is now at WITI-TV in Milwaukee.
  • Tracey Sievertson: 1990s (board member of Florida Public Relations Association)
  • Sarah Thomsen: 2001-2003 (reporter/fill-in anchor), now at WBAY-TV
  • Bill Walsh: 2004-? (weekend anchor/reporter) now at WNEM-TV
  • Kate Winder
  • Bart Winkler: 2007-2008 (reporter)
  • Jim Winchester: 1998-? (anchor/reporter)


  • Howard Joseph: 1994-1996, 1999-2004
  • Josh Blumenfeld 2004-2010


  • Aaron Matas
  • Bryan Ekern
  • Jim Socha: 1993-?
  • Kristin Erickson
  • Kate Winder


WKBT's transmitter is located in Galesville, Wisconsin, about 30 miles north of the actual station in order to provide their signal to the entire market - it also serves as the CBS affiliate for the Chippewa Valley.

If put up next to Chicago's Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower), the WKBT transmitter would surpass the upper roof and fall just about 100 feet short of the highest antenna on top.


  1. ^ http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=2253116#post2253116
  2. ^ http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3652/is_200603/ai_n17179469/
  3. ^ http://www.lacrossetribune.com/news/article_0b5326c6-5c9a-5f06-8f04-3f5914934aa3.html

External links

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