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KDSM-TV: Wikis


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KDSM logo.png
Des Moines, Iowa
Branding Fox 17
Slogan You're Set on Fox 17
Channels Digital: 16 (UHF)
Affiliations Fox
Owner Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.
(KDSM Licensee, LLC)
First air date September 13, 1982
Call letters’ meaning Des Moines
Former callsigns KCBR (1982-1986)
Former channel number(s) 17 (1982-2008)
Former affiliations independent (1982-1986)
Transmitter Power 500 kW
Height 612 m
Facility ID 56527
Transmitter Coordinates 41°49′48.5″N 93°36′54.6″W / 41.830139°N 93.615167°W / 41.830139; -93.615167

KDSM-TV is a television station that broadcasts on channel 17 in Des Moines, Iowa. It is an affiliate of the Fox Broadcasting Company and serves most of central Iowa. Its transmitter is located near Alleman, Iowa.



Des Moines' first television station, KGTV, signed on channel 17 in 1953. (WOI-TV in Ames was the only television station serving central Iowa at that point, as WHO-TV and KRNT-TV, now KCCI, had yet to sign on.) Financial problems, coupled with the fact that very few television sets were able to get UHF signals at the time, forced KGTV off the air after less than a year.[1] The KGTV calls now reside on the ABC affiliate in San Diego, California, broadcasting on channel 10.

Channel 17 remained silent for nearly 30 years until September 13, 1972, when KCBR, "The Great Entertainer," signed on. It was Iowa's first independent television station, as well as the first new commercial station in central Iowa since KRNT/KCCI signed on 28 years earlier. KCBR's call letters were changed to KDSM ("DSM" is the IATA airport code for the Des Moines International Airport) on January 17, 1986[2], and later that year KDSM became one of the charter affiliates of the Fox Network.

KDSM came under the ownership of River City Broadcasting in 1991. In 1996, Sinclair acquired the station as part of its purchase of River City.

Sinclair and Fox cut a six-year affiliation contract extension for Sinclair's 19 Fox affiliates; thus, Fox will remain on KDSM at least through March 2012.


Sinclair/Mediacom retransmission disputes

At midnight on January 6, 2007, Sinclair pulled KDSM from Mediacom cable systems in central Iowa, including those in Des Moines and Ames, as part of Mediacom's ongoing retransmission dispute with Sinclair. KDSM began offering $150 rebates (payable as $10 monthly bill credits) for Mediacom subscribers to switch to DirecTV during that time period. Mediacom offered free dipole antennas to subscribers and aired programming from other cable networks in KDSM's place during the impasse.[3] The impasse, which attracted attention from lawmakers in Iowa and in Washington, D.C., ended on February 2 when Mediacom announced that it had signed a retransmission consent agreement with Sinclair. KDSM was restored to Mediacom systems shortly after the announcement.[4]

However, the dispute was renewed in late 2009, and threatened to have the station removed from Mediacom again. The deal that was reached in 2007 expired on December 31, 2009, which meant the primary cable provider in the state of Iowa could have been kept from having access to the 2010 Orange Bowl, set to air on FOX with the local favorite Iowa Hawkeyes football team playing the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.[5] On December 31, Sinclair and Mediacom agreed to an extension of the retransmission contract until January 8, 2010, thus averting a blackout of the Orange Bowl on Mediacom systems[6]; a week later, the two sides agreed to a one-year retransmission agreement.[7]


KDSM carries all Fox Network programs, including Fox's Saturday Morning Weekend Marketplace infomerical block. Syndicated programs on KDSM's current schedule include Maury, The Jerry Springer Show, and reruns of According to Jim, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, King of the Hill, My Name Is Earl, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, That 70's Show, and Two and a Half Men.


On March 4, 2001, KDSM debuted Fox 17 News at Nine. The newscast was produced by KGAN-TV in Cedar Rapids, from 2001 until September 2, 2008, when WHO-TV in Des Moines took over production. While partnered with KGAN, the newscast featured that station's anchors and reporters.

Partnered with WHO, the newscast is titled Channel 13 News at Nine on Fox 17, and now airs for an hour weeknights, and a half hour on the weekends.

Channel 13 News at Nine on Fox 17
(Weeknights 9 to 10 P.M.)

  • Anchor:
    • Lynn Melling
  • Weather:
    • Ed Wilson
  • Sports:
    • Keith Murphy

(Weekends 9 to 9:30 P.M.)

  • Anchor:
    • Dave Price
  • Weather:
    • Brett McIntyre
  • Sports:
    • Shawn Terrell

KDSM features additional news personnel from WHO-TV. See that article for a complete listing.

News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • FOX17 News at Nine (2001-2008; under the production of KGAN)
  • Channel 13 News at Nine on Fox 17 (2008-present; under the production of WHO-TV)

Station Slogans

  • You're Set on Fox 17 (2006-present)
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