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KCCI logo.png
Des Moines, Iowa
Branding KCCI NewsChannel 8
Slogan Iowa's News Leader
Channels Digital: 8 (VHF)
Subchannels 8.1 CBS
8.2 The AccuWeather Channel
Translators K23CI Ottumwa
Affiliations CBS
The AccuWeather Channel (on subchannel 8.2)
Owner Hearst Television, Inc.
(Des Moines Hearst Television, Inc.)
First air date July 31, 1955
Call letters’ meaning Cowles
(former owners)
Former callsigns Analog:
KRNT-TV (1955–1974)
KCCI-DT (2002–2009)
Former channel number(s) Analog: 8 (1955–2009)
Digital: 31 (2002–2009)
Transmitter Power 28.3 kW
Height 597 m
Facility ID 33710
Transmitter Coordinates 41°48′35″N 93°37′16″W / 41.80972°N 93.62111°W / 41.80972; -93.62111

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.



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 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 For several years the station's website was known as, following the practice of other Hearst-Argyle stations, and people going to were redirected to In October 2005, the station switched back to the name for its web site, with serving as a redirect to the 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.

Weather beacon

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."[1]

Digital TV

KCCI's signal is multiplexed:

Digital channels

RF Channel
Video Aspect Name Programming
8.1 8.1 1080i 16:9 KCCI-DT main KCCI programming/CBS HDTV
8.2 8.2 480i 4:3 KCCI-WX KCCI WeatherNow

Analog-to-Digital conversion

After the analog television shutdown was completed on June 12, 2009 [2][3], 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.[4]


In addition to CBS network programming, KCCI airs first-run syndicated programs such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil, Live with Regis and Kelly, and Inside Edition, as well as reruns of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and the original Star Trek.

News Operation

Even though it was the last of Des Moines' Big Three affiliates to sign on, NewsChannel 8 has been the highest-rated station in Des Moines for most of its history. It has been especially dominant in news programming, which is not surprising given its newspaper roots. In the November 2009 sweeps, KCCI retained its dominant lead, with its nearest competitor, NBC affiliate WHO-TV, in a distant second. March 2009 also marked the first time that KCCI's relatively new Saturday morning newscast beat out WHO's long-standing Saturday morning newscast in the ratings. The news department receives regional and national awards of merit on a regular basis. Among the honors are a number of Edward R. Murrow awards, and the photojournalism staff was recently named "Station of the Year" (Small/medium market) by the National Press Photographers' Association.

KCCI added weekend morning newscasts on January 21, 2006. On April 20, 2009, KCCI became the first station in Des Moines to broadcast local news in 16:9 widescreen.[5]


Current On-Air Talent

Current Anchors

  • Kevin Cooney - weeknights at 6 and 10PM
  • Mollie Cooney - weekdays at noon
  • Caitlin Coyner - weekday mornings "NewsChannel 8 This Morning" (5-8AM)
  • Cynthia Fodor - weeknights at 5PM
  • Stacey Horst - weeknights at 6 and 10PM
  • Steve Karlin - weeknights at 5PM
  • Amanda Lewis - weekend mornings "NewsChannel 8 This Morning"
  • Todd Magel - Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10PM
  • Marcus McIntosh - weekday mornings "NewsChannel 8 This Morning" (5-8AM) and noon
  • Emily Price - Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10PM


  • Meredith Garman - general assignment reporter
  • Keri Gavin - general assignment reporter
  • Geoff Greenwood - general assignment reporter
  • Eric Hanson - general assignment reporter
  • Angie Hunt - Ames "Live Link" reporter
  • Molly Nelson - general assignment reporter
  • Hannah Pickett - general assignment reporter
  • Katie Ward - investigative 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
  • Laurie Kinney - Washington bureau reporter

SuperDoppler Weather Team

  • John McLaughlin (AMS/NWA Seals of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 6 and 10PM
  • Kurtis Gertz (AMS/NWA Seals of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekdays at noon and 5PM, Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10PM
  • Bryan Karrick (AMS/NWA Seals of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekday mornings "NewsChannel 8 This Morning"
  • Metinka Slater (AMS Member) - Meteorologist; weekend mornings "NewsChannel 8 This Morning"
  • Frank Scaglione (AMS/NWA Member) - Weathercaster; fill-in (also weather technology coordinator)[6][7]

Sports Team

  • Andy Garman - Sports Director; weeknights at 6 and 10PM
  • Scott Reister - Sports Anchor; Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10PM
  • Andy Ireland - sports reporter

Former On-Air Talent

Television.svg This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.

News/Station presentation

Newscast titles

  • KRNT-TV News (1955-1964)
  • The Night Report (1964-1967)
  • Eyewitness News (1967-1974)
  • TV-8 News (1974-1995)
  • NewsChannel 8 (1995-2000)
  • KCCI NewsChannel 8 (2000-present)

Station Slogans

  • 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)
Television.svg This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.


  • Stein, Jeff, Making Waves: The People and Places of Iowa Broadcasting (ISBN 0-9718323-1-5). Cedar Rapids, Iowa: WDG Communications, 2004.

External links


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