KWCH 12 was the first television station in Kansas and began broadcasting on July 1st, 1953 under the call letters KTVH Channel 12. The station was licensed to and broadcast from Hutchinson, Kansas about 45 miles northwest of Wichita. In 1956 station facilities were moved to the current location on 37th St. North in Wichita. In 1983, KTVH call letters changed to KWCH and ownership was consolidated with three other Kansas stations in the market. These satellite stations include KBSD in Dodge City, KBSH in Hays, and KBSL in Goodland.
In July of 2007, the KWCH 12 family gained one more member with the purchase of KSCW channel 33, the CW network affiliate. In February of 2016, Gray Television, Inc. purchased KWCH 12 and KSCW.
Since 1985, KWCH has held the #1 position for 6pm and 10pm News in the Wichita-Hutchinson Plus television market. KWCH has remained dominant since that time and Eyewitness News produces the #1 news at 5:00am, 6:00am, Noon, 4:00pm, 5:00pm, 6:00pm and 10:00pm.
Eyewitness News also produces newscasts on KSCW, channel 33: Monday – Friday 7:00-9:00am, Saturday & Sunday 7:00-8:00am, Monday-Friday 4:00-5:00pm, Monday – Friday 6:30-7:00pmMonday – Friday 9:00-10:00pm, and Saturday & Sunday 9:00-9:30pm.
A big part of that dominance is the news talent. Led by anchor and investigative reporter Michael Schwanke, Storm Team 12 Chief Meteorologist Ross Janssen, and morning anchors Natalie Davis, Shane Konicki, & Felicia Rolfe.
KWCH 12 and its satellites broadcast four digital signals; the primary CBS HD signal is on the corresponding dot 1 (12.1, 6.1, 7.1, 10.1), with the 24-hour local weather channel Always on Storm Team 12 on dot 2 (12.2, 6.2, 7.2, and 10.2), Heroes & Icons on dot 3 (12.3, 6.3, 7.3, and 10.3), and Circle on dot 4 (12.4, 6.4, 7.4, and 10.4).
KSCW can be picked up over the air in the Wichita area and is available on all cable and satellite operators throughout the viewing area. Like KWCH 12, KSCW has a primary and four corresponding “dots.” KSCW’s primary CW HD signal is on 33.1, with Decades on 33.2, Antenna TV on 33.3, and StartTV on 33.4.
The population of the Wichita-Hutchinson metro area is 705,587.
KWCH 12 has received numerous Kansas Association of Broadcasters awards and regional Emmys. KWCH 12 was named the Kansas Association of Broadcasters’ Station of the Year in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
KWCH 12′s news team has received four National Edward R. Murrow awards. Winning awards in 2003, 2004 2015 and 2017. The award in 2003 was for continuing coverage of the Carr brothers’ murder trial. In 2004, KWCH 12 was recognized for continuing coverage of an investigation into City of Wichita financial practices. Then in 2015 KWCH 12 was awarded a National Edward R. Murrow award for Breaking News for the coverage of the FlightSafety crash. KWCH 12 won again 2017 for an investigation of officers with disenplinery issues who leave one department and are hired by another. In addition to the national awards, KWCH 12 has also won 22 Regional Edward R. Murrow awards since 2003.
Just as KWCH 12 is the market leader in news and weather, it’s also the leader in community involvement. Locally, KWCH 12 works with Goodwill Industries, the Kansas Food Bank, the United Way, and many other non-profit agencies to assist their efforts in the community.
KWCH-DT and its satellites KBSD-DT, KBSH-DT, and KBSL-DT are CBS affiliates and serve the western two thirds of Kansas. KWCH-DT also operates a “virtual” station on Cox Cable in Salina, Kansas with the ability to locally insert news, weather and commercials. In addition to Kansas, KWCH 12 and its satellites can be seen in portions of Nebraska, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas.
Wichita is known as the Air Capital of the World because of the local aircraft industry. Planes and aircraft parts built in Wichita include Learjet, Cessna, Hawker Beechcraft and Spirit Aerosystems. Wichita is also home to Koch Industries, the largest privately held
company in the United States. In 2009, Wichita was named an All-America City for the fourth time.
David Herrmann, Vice President & General Manager; Kim Wilhelm, Director of News; Jeff McCausland, Director of Sales; Steve Reiter, Chief Engineer; Shawn Hilferty, Director of Digital Media & Operations; and Dominic Gauna, Director of Creative Services & Programming.