call_letters = WDAF-TV
station_slogan = Working For You
station_branding = Fox 4
analog = 4 (VHF)
digital = 34 (UHF)
affiliations = Fox
October 16, 1949
Kansas City, Missouri
callsign_meaning = None. It was sequentially assigned by the federal government to the AM sister station (now KCSP). [http://earlyradiohistory.us/recap.htm#four]
former_callsigns = Primary:
Local TV LLC
licensee = WDAF License, Inc.
effective_radiated_power = 100 kW (analog)
1000 kW (digital)
HAAT = 324 m (analog)
295 m (digital)
facility_id = 11291
coordinates = coord|39|4|21.2|N|94|35|46.4|W|type:landmark_scale:2000
homepage = [http://www.myfoxkc.com/myfox www.myfoxkc.com]
WDAF-TV is a FOX affiliated television station in Kansas City, MO. The station is owned by
Local TV LLC, the media arm of private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners. Its transmitter is located in Kansas City, Missouri.
It runs 49 hours a week of locally produced newscasts, as well as first-run prime time and sports programming from Fox. It also runs off-network sitcoms, talk shows, reality shows, sports and court shows.
WDAF began operation on
October 16, 1949as the second television station in Missouri and the first in Kansas City. The station was originally owned by the Kansas City Staralong with WDAF radio (610 AM, now KCSP), which began operations in 1922. It was affiliated with all four major networks of the time: NBC, CBS, ABC, and DuMont. It was a primary NBC affiliate owing to WDAF-AM's long affiliation with NBC Radio.
Randall Jessee was the station's first anchorman. Several other notables, including
Shelby Storck(WDAF-TV's first weathercaster) and future Hollywood character actor Owen Bush, did announcing for the station during the early 1950s. When KMBC-TVsigned on in 1953, CBS and Dumont programming moved there. WDAF shared ABC with KMBC until later in 1953, when KCMO-TV (now KCTV) signed on as the CBS affiliate. KMBC and WDAF then affiliated exclusively with ABC and NBC respectively. The station pre-empted moderate amounts of NBC programming, usually some daytime shows and occasionally a prime time show.
In 1953, the federal government began antitrust action against the Star over its broadcasting properties (WDAF-TV, WDAF-AM and WDAF-FM). The investigation was reportedly opened at the behest of
Harry Truman, who had a long-running feud with the Star. The court ruled against the Star in 1955. After appeals failed, it signed a consent decree in 1957 requiring it to sell its broadcasting properties.
In 1958, WDAF-AM-FM-TV was sold to Transcontinent Broadcasting. Transcontinent merged with
Taft Broadcastingon April 1, 1964. Taft was renamed Great American Broadcasting on October 12, 1987. By that year, WDAF had overtaken KMBC as the dominant station in Kansas City, as was the trend at many NBC affiliates. Great American became Citicasters in 1993.
July 13, 1984, WDAF-TV became one of the first 20 NBC stations in the country to receive network programming via satellite. In 1986 WDAF-TV also became the first TV station in Kansas City to broadcast in stereo.
As a Fox station
In the winter & spring of 1994, WDAF was sold to
New World Communications(along with Phoenix's KSAZ). Shortly after the sale was announced, New World also announced that its stations were to affiliate with the Fox network. This came after Fox picked up the contract to carry the NFC game package from CBS.
As such, WDAF became a Fox affiliate on
September 12, 1994and the NBC affiliation moved to KSHBChannel 41, the old Fox station. As a Fox affiliate, WDAF was the only New World-owned station to be a former NBC affiliate; sister stations WVTM-TVin Birmingham and KNSDin San Diego were sold to NBC Universal. In most cases, the previous affiliation of any New World owned station was mostly CBS or ABC.
After the affiliation swap, WDAF increased its local news programming from 30 hours a week to 50 hours - including expansions in morning and evening news. While it carries the entire Fox lineup, WDAF has pre-empted
Fox Kidsprogramming from the beginning, of which instead aired over the years on KSMO and later KMCI(now 4Kids TV); the pre-emption has been common among its newer Fox sister stations as well in the same timeframe since the mid-1990s. WDAF was the first station in Kansas City to use a helicopter for traffic and news reporting.
WDAF officially became a Fox
owned and operated stationin 1997, following Fox's purchase of the New World station group. WDAF was the only O&O of any major network in the Kansas City market.
The station was the over-the-air flagship station of the
Kansas City Royalsfor many years, long after many Big Three affiliates dropped regular coverage of local sports. It lost the broadcast rights for the games in 1992, marking the end of a 13-year business relationship. The station also produced and aired Kansas City Chiefspre-season games from 1997 to 1999, upgrading the local production presentation to network quality standards. The contract ran through the 1999 season. September 23, 2005, WDAF-TV began broadcasting in full power high definition, going from an HD signal rated at 1.2 Kilowatts to a signal strength of 1000 Kilowatts.
In 2006, WDAF-TV officially debuted its new website based on the MyFox platform (which has also been adopted by all the other Fox O&O's). On
October 23, 2007, starting with FOX 4 News at Noon, WDAF-TV acquired the Fox O&O graphics and music package, which was adopted by all other Fox O&O's. Minor changes were made in the studio to match the new theme. December 22, 2007, Fox entered into an agreement to sell WDAF and seven other Fox O&O stations [ [http://www.newscorp.com/news/news_360.html News Corporation ] ] to Oak Hill Capital Partners' Local TV LLC, which currently owns nine stations formerly of The New York Times Company. The sale was closed on July 14, 2008.
WDAF-TV broadcasts a total of 49 hours of local news per week (with five hours on weekdays, 4½ hours on Saturdays and three hours on Sundays), giving the station more hours of local news than any other station in Kansas City and more than any individual station in both Missouri or Kansas.
WDAF-TV uses a news helicopter, "Sky Fox" for traffic and breaking news reporting. The station also has a
Hummer"Storm Fox" equipped to track and chase storms along with Sky Fox.
Dating back to when WDAF was an NBC affiliate, the station has usually battled Hearst-owned KMBC (and at times, KCTV also) for the #1 spot in local news in Kansas City. During the late 1970s and into the 1980s, WDAF-TV was in second place behind KMBC, but the station ended the latter decade as number one station in the Kansas City market. As soon as the station switched from NBC to Fox, KMBC made a short resurgence to number one in the market. WDAF-TV has since rotated between first and second place with either KMBC or KCTV in various timeslots since the late 1990s after the network switch. WDAF-TV is just one example of a few Fox stations that have actually outcompeted NBC, ABC and CBS affiliates in local newscasts.
According to Nielsen Media Research, as of February 2008, WDAF-TV has Kansas City's #1 newscast in some timeslots, including at 9:00pm (beating competition from KCTV's 9:00 p.m. newscast on KSMO, and network programming on KMBC, KSHB and KCTV). WDAF-TV currently battles KMBC-TV for first place in morning news, and with KMBC and KCTV for either first or second in evening news. The station's 10:00 p.m. newscast placed third behind KMBC and KCTV, however.
Current On-Air Talent
*Mark Alford: 5AM-9AM anchor
*Dave Froehlich: Noon anchor/reporter
*Loren Halifax: 5AM-9AM anchor
*Paul Herdtner: weekend anchor/reporter
*Susan Hiland: 5 and 9PM anchor
*Stephanie Hockridge: Noon Anchor/reporter
*John Holt: 5 and 9PM anchor (Problem Solver)
*Shelli Lockhart: 6PM and 10PM anchor (Problem Solver)
*Phil Witt: 6PM and 10PM anchor
*Eric Burke: General Assignment Reporter
*Kim Burns: General Assignment Reporter
*Leslie Carto: General Assignment Reporter
*Heather Claybrook: General Assignment Reporter
*Megan Cloherty: General Assignment Reporter
*Carrie Coogan: "Try It Before You Buy It" Consumer Reporter
*Dave Dunn: General Assignment Reporter
*Monica Evans: General Assignment Reporter
*Linsey Grams: General Assignment Reporter
*Meredith Hoenes: General Assignment Reporter
*Sharita Hutton: General Assignment Reporter
*Rob Low: General Assignment Reporter
*Doug Luzader: Fox News Washington D.C. Correspondent
*Meryl Lin McKean: Medical Reporter
*Lori Patterson: General Assignment Reporter
*John Pepitone: General Assignment Reporter
*Kathy Quinn: General Assignment Reporter
*Bob Stepanich: General Assignment Reporter
*Nick Vasos: Traffic Reporter
*Linda Wagar: General Assignment Reporter (Problem Solver)
4WARN Weather Team
*Mike Thompson (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval): Chief Meteorologist
*Don Harman (AMS Seal of Approval): Morning Meteorologist
*Joe Lauria (AMS/NWA Seals of Approval): Weekend Meteorologist
*Karli Ritter (AMS Seal of Approval): Noon Meteorologist
*Frank Boal: Sports Director
*Jason Lamb: Weekend sports anchor
*Al Wallace: Sports anchor (also sports reporter)
Former On-Air Talent
*Sue Abrams - morning and midday anchor (1991-1994; now runs Sue Abrams Productions, LLC of Dallas, TX)
*Carmen Ainsworth - 6 and 10 PM anchor
*Toby Cook - weekday morning (7:30-9:00 AM) anchor (now with the Kansas City Royals)
*Casey Curry - noon and weekend morning meteorologist (moved to KTRK in Houston)
*Harris Faulkner - 6 and 10 PM anchor ( now with Fox News)
*Dan Henry - meteorologist (retired)
*Kevin Keitzman - sports anchor (now at WHB-AM)
*Tom Lawrence - weekend anchor (?-2007; retired)
*Nancy Lewis - general assignment reporter/"Problem Solvers" investigative reporter (?; now with the Independence, MO Schools as the communications director)
*Gary Lezak - morning meteorologist (now chief meteorologist at KSHB)
*Sue Mason - weekday morning (6-7:30 AM) anchor (now with Nebraska Furniture Mart)
*Heather McMichael - morning anchor (now works for a law firm in Kansas City)
*Monica Parise - 5 and 9 PM anchor
*Glenn Pearson - morning anchor
*Ken Price - general assignment reporter
*Johnny Rowlands - traffic reporter (now at KMBC-TV)
*Steve Shaw - reporter
*Tina Simpkin - noon and weekend morning meteorologist (went to WTHR in Indianapolis, now a stay-at-home mother)
*Shelly Slater - 6 and 10 PM weekend anchor (now at WFAA-TV in Dallas)
*Cynthia Smith - former anchor (retired)
*Stacy Smith - evening anchor (1977-1983; now anchor at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh)
*"Your Esso Reporter" (1949-1953)
*"The Pepsi-Cola Report" (1953-1961)
*"The Big News" (1961-1964)
*"The Sixth Hour Report/The Eleventh Hour Report" (1964-1974)
*"Eyewitness (4) News" (1974-1990)
*"WDAF News 4" (1990-1992)
*"NewsChannel 4" (1992-1997; WDAF-TV kept this news title after switch to Fox in 1994)
*"FOX 4 News" (1997-present)
*"Channel 4, Your Action News Station" (1974-1978)
*"First in Kansas City" (1978-Early 1980s)
*"Four Has More!" (Early-Mid 1980's)
*"Four Does More" (1987-1990's)
*"Kansas City's 24 Hour Newschannel" (1992-1999)
*"Working For You" (1999-present)
*WDAF-TV (along with a few other television and radio stations in the US) is an exception to the FCC rule that call signs must start with K west of the Mississippi River and W east of it. This is because Kansas City was east of the original K/W line.
* [http://www.myfoxkc.com/ WDAF-TV MyFoxKC homepage]
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