call_letters = WCCO-TV
station_slogan = Know More (TV)
Always On (webpage)
station_branding = Channel 4, WCCO 4, CCO (general)
WCCO News (newscasts)
analog = 4 (VHF)
digital = 32 (UHF)
subchannels = 4.1 CBS
other_chs = (see article)
July 1, 1949
location = Minneapolis/
St. Paul, Minnesota
callsign_meaning = Washburn Crosby COmpany
(original owner of WCCO-AM)
former_callsigns = WTCN-TV (1949–1952)
licensee = CBS Broadcasting, Inc.
KZJK, WCCO (AM), WLTE
effective_radiated_power = 100 kW (analog)
1000 kW (digital)
HAAT = 452 m (analog)
432 m (digital)
facility_id = 9629
coordinates = coord|45|3|43.9|N|93|8|22.2|W|type:landmark_scale:2000
homepage = [http://www.wcco.com/ www.wcco.com]
WCCO-TV, is the
CBSowned and operated television stationthat serves the Minneapolis-St. Paularea of Minnesota. It broadcasts on channels 4 (analog) and 32 (digital). It also operates two full-powered semi-satellites--KCCO-TV in Alexandria (7, 24 DT) and KCCW in Walker (12, 20 DT). KCCO-TV simulcasts WCCO-TV, but airs separate commercials. KCCW is a full repeater of KCCO-TV. The station's studios are in downtown Minneapolis, while its transmitter is at the Telefarm complex in Shoreview, Minnesota.
From 1947 to 1996, WCCO-TV and
WCCO-AMwon twelve George Foster Peabody Awards, more than any other Twin Cities broadcast outlet.
Unlike most other CBS owned-and-operated stations, WCCO does not follow the
CBS Mandatein its branding, using simply its call letters rather than "CBS 4".
WCCO-TV's roots actually originate with another radio station, WRHM, which took to the air in 1925. In 1934, two newspapers—the "
Minneapolis Tribune" and the "Saint Paul Pioneer Press-Dispatch"—formed a joint venture named "Twin Cities Newspapers," which purchased the radio station and changed its call letters to WTCN. WTCN-TV went on the air on July 1, 1949as Minnesota's second television station, broadcasting from the Radio City Theater in downtown Minneapolis.
When Twin Cities Newspapers sold all their radio holdings, including WTCN Radio, in 1952, it created an opportunity to purchase WCCO radio (AM 830 and FM 102.9, now
WLTE) and merge the two companies into Midwest Radio and Television, Inc. The new company changed Channel 4's call letters to match its new radio sisters.
Channel 4 has been the market's only station to never change its affiliation. Because of this stability, WCCO-TV is one of CBS' best-performing affiliates.
In 1954, a live CBS broadcast from the
Foshay Towerprovided a view of an early-morning solar eclipse, the first time such an event had been televised nationally. In 1955, a mobile unit was formed, using a van dubbed the "Blue Goose" which would be used for more than a decade.
WCCO-TV participated in the first
transatlantictelevision broadcast via the Telstar satelliteon July 23, 1962when a mobile crew provided video of Mount Rushmorein South Dakota. This video was broadcast across the three major networks of the time: ABC, CBS, and NBC.
Channel 4's studio was renovated in 1956, but as the station grew the space eventually became too small. In 1983, the station moved to a new studio on the south end of
Nicollet Mall. Channel 4 is the only area TV station broadcasting from downtown Minneapolis today.
In 1977, WCCO-TV unveiled the "Circle 4" logo. At the time of the unveiling, the "4" was colored blue and was placed inside a yellow circle. The first newscast title to use that logo was called "NewsWatch 4".
In 1987, WCCO bought KCMT, channel 7 in Alexandria and its satellite KNMT, channel 12 in Walker. KCMT had signed on in 1957 and had been the only full-power VHF station in central Minnesota. KNMT signed on in 1962 as a satellite of KCMT in northern Minnesota, serving
Bemidjiand Brainerd. They were renamed KCCO and KCCW respectively, and their local operations were progressively cut back until 2002, when local news segments on both stations were discontinued and KCCO-TV became a full repeater of WCCO-TV, except for local commercials. Since 2002, WCCO has identified itself on-air as "Minneapolis-St. Paul/Alexandria/Walker." WCCO has opened bureaus in Brainerd and St. Cloud, and stories produced in Alexandria, Brainerd and St. Cloud can be seen in the Twin Cities as well.
WCCO was purchased by CBS in 1992; it had been a minority owner of the station for many years. It does not follow the
CBS Mandate; it is branded as "WCCO 4" rather than "CBS4". Other CBS O&Os not to follow this mandate are KDKA-TVin Pittsburgh (branded by its call letters), WWJ-TVin Detroit(branded by its call letters), WJZ-TVin Baltimore(branded "WJZ 13"), and WBZ-TVin Boston(branded as simply "WBZ").
Since the May 2006 ratings period, WCCO's newscasts [http://www.startribune.com/459/story/455954.html have claimed the top spot] in total household ratings for most news programs. The exception has been the mornings, where
KAREstill leads all local competitors.
WCCO experimented with cable in the 1980s. Known initially as WCCO II or
'CCO cable, it was a way to transmit programs that wouldn't ordinarily make it onto the over-the-air frequency. During this time, WCCO II aired local forecasts when not airing sports or other programming. This later morphed into the Midwest Sports Channel (MSC), which operated for several years. Following Viacom's purchase of CBS, MSC was sold to News Corporationand became FSN North.
WCCO also operated a local weather channel on cable systems in the Twin Cities area. Unlike The Weather Channel, WCCO Weather Channel did not have any on-camera personalities and instead consisted of computer graphics with voice-over provided by WCCO-TV's meteorologists. This programming ran in a loop until updates were made available. Ads on this channel were delivered in this way as well (voice-over consisted of radio-formatted advertising). During severe weather occurrences, the channel would interrupt the recorded voice-over with live weather bulletins provided by WCCO 830 AM. Twin Cities PBS member station KTCI-TV airs weather info in a similar way but with the following differences:
* no advertising
* format is geared towards aviators
* audio is provided by the Minneapolis Air Route Control Center (NOAA Weather Radio KEC65 during severe weather)
* digital multicast on channel 17.5 (originally shared airtime with PBS during the daytime and late night hours)
A later experiment in 1995, this time in the field of evening newscasts, also proved to be interesting. WCCO partnered with KLGT (channel 23, later KMWB and now
WUCW) and fed a second news show to that station. This was known as "News of Your Choice", where the news anchors would periodically describe the upcoming items on each channel. This allowed viewers to decide which stories they wanted to see. Multiple factors contributed to the shutdown of the experiment after about one year.
June 29, 2006, WCCO introduced "The Plaza Studio", a renovation to their existing studio, on 11th St. South and Marquette Ave.
*"Closeups in the News" (1952–1964)
*"The Big News" (1964–1968)
*"The Scene at Six/The Scene Tonight" (1968–1973)
*"TV-4 News" (1973–1977)
*"NewsWatch 4/NightWatch 4" (1977–1981)
*"Channel 4 News" (1981–1994)
*"WCCO 4 News" (1994–2003)
*"WCCO News" (2003-present)
atellite Stations & Translators
WCCO-TV's transmitter is located at the Telefarm paired tower installation in Shoreview also used by
KSTP-TV, KARE and WUCW. The market's southern and western portions gets WCCO from four low-power translators, all privately owned:
WCCO also operate these satellite stations outside of the Twin Cities area.
Note: Both of these stations were affiliated with
NBC(primary) and ABC (secondary) from their sign-on dates until 1981, when they switched to CBS. [ [http://www.mcsittel.com/html/tvg-mn.htm Minnesota State Edition ] ] Both stations were acquired by WCCO in 1987.
An early local program broadcast by the station was a children's program named "
Axel and His Dog", featuring Clellan Cardas Axel. In 1954, the first local program to be broadcast in color by the station was an episode of "Axel".
Some notable personalities at the station have had long careers. Dave Moore, a Minneapolis native who had worked almost his entire career in the city, anchored the 10:00 p.m. newscast from 1957 until September 1985. He continued to anchor the 6:00 p.m. news until 1991, when he moved to a more leisurely schedule broadcasting "Moore on Sunday". In 1962 he had helped create "
The Bedtime Nooz", a satirical view of newscasts that aired on Saturday nights. Another program called " The Scene Tonight" was created in 1968. Both programs featured weather forecaster Bud Kraehlingand other members of the regular station staff. Moore died in 1998. Bill Carlsonjoined the station in 1959, working in several roles over the years including news anchor. He was with the station until he died due to complications of prostate cancer on February 29, 2008. [cite news|url=http://wcco.com/local/bill.carlson.anchor.2.666427.html|title=WCCO Anchor Bill Carlson Dies At Age 73|accessdate=2008-03-01|date=2008-02-29] Don Shelbyjoined the station as a news anchor in 1978 (at the time WCCO's newscasts were branded as "NewsWatch 4") and also has done investigative reporting, although he ended that area of his career when one of his reports was heavily criticized. [cite web
url = http://backissues.cjrarchives.org/year/97/2/minneapolis.asp
title = Ruling a Prizewinner Unfair
accessdate = 2007-12-11
year = 1997
last = Oslund
first = John J.] Shelby suffered a mild stroke in early 2004, and returned to anchor duties by the end of that year. As of 2005, Shelby continued the unique dual responsibility of hosting an afternoon radio show which ended at 5:00; for a while, immediately after the show, he anchored the 5 pm TV newscast. As of 2006, the radio show goes an extra hour, and the 5 pm news has been moved to 6 pm, still simulcast on radio but now minus Shelby. Today, Shelby only does the 10:00 news on television.
Mike Max, talk show host Dark Star(real name George Chapple) and other personalities also cross over between TV and radio.
Silvia Gambardella was a consumer affairs reporter, but later removed from this role after filing reports that were critical of the practices of local car dealers, inspiring the dealers to cancel their advertising contracts with the station.
In April 2008, WCCO, affected by the cutbacks at CBS News announced the layoffs of a list of employees, most notably, weekend anchor John Reger, and chief Meteorologist Paul Douglas.
On July 15, 2008, WCCO announced that Chris Shaffer will become the Chief Meteorologist and anchor the weather reports at 5pm, 6pm, and 10pm Monday through Friday. WCCO made the announcement on their website.
Mike Augustyniak is now the morning and noon weather anchor for WCCO 4 News as of Sep 22nd 2008. Mike Fairbourne has moved back to weekends.
* [http://wcco.com/bios/Dennis.Douda.anchor.9.340686.html Dennis Douda] (Weekend Evenings)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/amelia.santaniello.anchor.9.340673.html Amelia Santaniello] (6&10PM)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/don.shelby.anchor.9.313263.html Don Shelby] (10PM)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/jeanette.trompeter.anchor.9.313396 Jeanette Trompeter] (5:00pm)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/frank.vascellaro.anchor.9.340675.html Frank Vascellaro] (5&6 PM)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/terri.gruca.anchor.9.340697.html Terri Gruca] (Weekend Evenings/Consumer Reporter)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/bill.hudson.anchor.9.313475.html Bill Hudson] (Mornings)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/esme.murphy.anchor.9.313462.html Esme Murphy] (Weekend Mornings)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/angela.davis.wcco.9.313727.html Angela Davis] (mornings)
WCCO Weather Team
* [http://wcco.com/bios/local_bio_295152336.html Chris Shaffer] ( Evening news 5pm,6pm,10pm ( As of July 15th)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/local_bio_160133913.html Mike Fairbourne] (Weekends)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/ron.trenda.meteorologist.9.340713.html Ron Trenda] (Weekend Mornings)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/mike.augustyniak.weather.9.799142.html Mike Augustyniak] (Morning and Noon news)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/local_bio_160105653.html Mark Rosen] (Sports Director/Weeknights)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/local_bio_161104007.html Mike Max]
* [http://wcco.com/bios/local_bio_139125017.html Heather Brown] (Reporter)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/local_bio_321131610.html Angela Davis] (Weekday Morning Reporter)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/local_bio_161103707.html Jason DeRusha] (Reporter)(Good Question)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/local_bio_160135913.html Pat Kessler] (Political Reporter)(Reality Check)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/local_bio_160134905.html Lisa Kiava] (Reporter)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/local_bio_161105501.html Caroline Lowe] (Crime Reporter)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/local_bio_161103129.html Maya Nishikawa] (Weekend Reporter)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/local_bio_160170809.html Darcy Pohland] (5 & 6 p.m. Weekday Reporter)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/local_bio_103124421.html James Schugel] (5 & 6 p.m. Weekday Reporter)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/local_bio_285143427.html Sue Turner] (Reporter)
Former WCCO anchors and personalities
* [http://wcco.com/bios/local_bio_160185951.html Ben Tracy] (Reporter- Good Question)now with
* [http://wcco.com/bios/bill.carlson.anchor.9.340689.html Bill Carlson] (Noon/Entertainment Reporter) (Died on February 29, 2008)
* Matt Baylow (Weekend Meteorologist 1989–1998, now at
KFMB-TVin San Diego)
* Tony Berlin (Reporter, now Producer at
WCBS-TVin New York)
* Bridgette Bornstien- Reporter
Clellan Card(Children's television personality "Axel" 1954-1966)
Christine Clayburg(Morning Weather, now at KMSP-TV)
* Alan Cox- Reporter
* Mary Davies (Children's television personality "Carmen the Nurse" 1954-1977)
* Paul Douglas (Chief Meteorologist/Weeknights)
* Jonathan Elias (5pm Anchor / Reporter 1993–1998, slated to join
* Ralph Jon "R.J." Fritz Weekend Sports (now hosts "Out n' About", a travel show on WCCO)
*Rick Fuentes- Reporter
* John Gallos (Children's television personality "Clancy" 1959-1977)
* [http://www.9news.com/company/bios/garcia.aspx Nelson Garcia] - reporter (Now at
* [http://www.todaystmj4.com/about/people/weather/5085581.html Brian Gotter] - Weekday Morning Meteorologist: 2002-2006 (Now at
* Chris Grote (Morning Weather)
* Ed Heil- Sports Reporter
* Cindy Hillger- Morning Anchor: 1998-2002
* [http://www.myfoxphilly.com/myfox/pages/InsideFox/Detail?contentId=419021&version=8&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=5.3.1 Dave Huddleson] - Morning Anchor- 1999-2002 (Now at
*Anne Hutchinson- Sports (Now at
* Paul Huttner- Weekend Mornings (Now at MPR)
* Mel Jass (On-air personality, c. 1950-1957)
* [http://edition.cnn.com/CNN/anchors_reporters/kaye.randi.html Randi Kaye] (Evenings, now at
* Jim King
* Terri Knight- Traffic (Now at WCCO's sister station
* [http://www.rebeccakolls.com/about.htm Rebecca Kolls] (Rooftop Gardener & Chief Meteorologist, Infomercial Host for knives)
* Bud Kraehling (weather forecaster)
* Karen Leigh- Morning Anchor; 2004-2008(now at
* Allan Lotsberg (Children's television personality "Willie Ketchem?" 1963-1977)
* Pat Miles (anchor, 1978-1988)
* Dave Moore (Weeknight Anchor: 1957-1991; Host of "Moore on Sunday" until 1996)
* [http://wcco.com/bios/local_bio_160172718.html Bob Rainey] (Reporter/Weekend Anchor) (Died July 26, 2008)
* John Reger (Weekend Anchor)
* Mary Tan- Reporter
* Aloha Taylor (Weekend Meteorologist: 2005-2006)
* [http://www.weather.com/aboutus/television/ocms/tesch.html Heather Tesch] (Meteorologist, now with The Weather Channel since 1999)
* Trish Van Pilsum- Investigative Reporter (Now at
* Mike Walcher- Anchorman (1978–1998), now weekend anchor at
WINK-TVin Ft. Myers, FL
* [http://www.nbc11.com/meetthenewsteam/4498942/detail.html Noelle Walker] (Mornings)
*Cathy Wurzer- Reporter
"On Air @ The Fair"
Every year, at the
Minnesota State Fair, WCCO takes most of its set and moves from their Nicollet Mall Studio to their Minnesota State Fair Newsroom/"Studio" and broadcasts its noon, 5, 6 and 10PM newscasts at the WCCO studio in Carousel Park, at the Fairgrounds. The Anchors do the news, weather and sports at the grounds, a reporter broadcasts any breaking news at the studio. WCCO is also known for feeding its "studio" audience with state fair food. When they are not on the air, the anchors and reporters sign autographs and chat with fans. The 2007 fair brought changes to the 10:00 show with Don & Amelia doing the news form the main studio and the weather/sports anchors along with one of the other news anchors at the fairgrounds.
In 2003, WCCO installed a dunk tank at the fairgrounds. They dubbed this "Dunk Don" (named after lead anchor,
Don Shelbywho was the only anchor dunked the first year.) Then from 2004–2006, wcco.com visitors voted for who they wanted to be dunked. At 10 PM, a reporter or anchor went into the tank and 3 "lucky" viewers (or local celebrity) were chosen to have a chance to dunk the anchor. If all 3 people missed, one of the other anchors had a chance to hit the target. Dunk Don was replaced in 2007 in favor of the "Go Green" News campaign that sees how much human energy it would take to power each live newscast.
Dunk Don 2004 "Dunkees"
*Aug. 26- Randi Kaye
*Aug. 27- Paul Douglas
*Aug. 30- Amelia Santanello
*Aug. 31- Mark Rosen
*Sept. 2- Dennis Douda
Don ShelbyDunk Don 2005 "Dunkees"
*Aug. 25- Jeanette Trompeter
*Aug. 26- Karen Leigh
*Aug. 29- Terri Gruca
*Aug. 30- Don Shelby
*Aug. 31- Paul Douglas
*Sept. 1- Amelia Santaniello
*Sept. 2- Amelia SantanielloDunk Don 2006 "Dunkees"
*Aug. 24- Frank Vascellaro
*Aug. 25- Amelia Santaniello
*Aug. 28- Jeanette Trompeter
*Aug. 30- Paul Douglas
*Aug. 31- Don Shelby
*Sept. 1- Heather Brown
On August 24, 2007, WCCO completed the first ever human powered newscast.
*In the movie
Wrongfully Accused, a WCCO Channel 4 News Van is used as a get-away car by the freedom fighters after a botched attempt to assassinate Sir Robert McKintyre. Also, a brief newscast was shown during the movie using the WCCO logo.
The Late Show with David Lettermandid a Minneapolis-themed show on May 9th, 1997. On the telecast, anchors Don Shelby and Amelia Santaniello performed a scripted "breaking news" bit, in which Shelby memorably declared that he had a gopher in his pants named Carlos. Kirby Puckett also guest starred.
*Channel 4 was one of the few stations to broadcast "
Jeopardy!" in the morning (it aired at 9:30 AM, leading into The Price is Right), but the show now airs at 4:30 PM on Channel 11 (though "Wheel of Fortune" can still be seen at 6:30 PM on Channel 4).
*WCCO-TV, (along with
KARE) 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.
* [http://www.wcco.com/ WCCO-TV Website]
* [http://mnanchors.blogspot.com WCCO-TV Historical Videos]
url = http://www.mplib.org/history/nm2.asp
title = A History of Minneapolis: Radio and Television
year = 2001
accessdate = 2004-09-25
publisher = Minneapolis Public Library
url = http://wcco.com/content/local_story_197124358.html
title = History of WCCO-TV
publisher = WCCO
date = 2003-07-16
accessdate = 2004-09-26
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