KCCI is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Des Moines, Iowa, United States. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on virtual and VHF channel 8 from a transmitter located in Alleman, Iowa. Owned by the Hearst Television subsidiary of Hearst Communications, KCCI maintains studio facilities on Ninth Street in downtown Des Moines. On cable, the station is available on Mediacom channel 8 in standard definition and on digital channel 808 in high definition.
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 radio (now KXNO, also owned by the Cowles interests until 1942) both applied for the channel 8 construction permit. 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 Federal Communications Commission (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 television network through its entire history, owing to KRNT radio's long affiliation with the CBS Radio Network.
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 radio and KRNQ-FM (originally the second KRNT-FM, now KSTZ) to Stauffer Communications in 1974 and retain both newspapers and KRNT-TV, which became KCCI-TV; the new calls standing for owner Cowles Communications, Inc. (FCC rules at the time had a restriction on call letters being used by TV and radio stations in the same market, but with different ownership, which led to the TV station changing its callsign.)
Over the years, Cowles Communications bought several other media outlets, including KTVH (now KWCH-TV) in Hutchinson, Kansas (and its satellites in the western part of Kansas), WESH-TV in Daytona Beach, Florida and WQAD-TV in the Quad Cities area.
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 the Gannett Company and the Register and Tribune Syndicate (best known as syndicators of The Family Circus) went to the Hearst Corporation's King Features Syndicate division, KCCI and WESH went to H&C Communications. The two stations were sold again in 1993, this time to Pulitzer. 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 appeared on digital subchannel 8.2 as well as local Mediacom digital cable channel 247, and the station's website until June 30, 2011. On July 1, 2011, KCCI replaced the weather channel with MeTV on subchannel 8.2.
The station operates a website at www.kcci.com. For several years the station's website was known as www.theiowachannel.com, following the practice of other Hearst-Argyle stations, and people going to kcci.com were redirected to theiowachannel.com. In October 2005, the station switched back to the kcci.com name for its web site, with theiowachannel.com serving as a redirect to kcci.com.
On December 10, 2008, current KCCI President and General Manager Paul Fredericksen announced a staffing reorganization which eliminated six positions, including on-air talent.
|TV stations in Iowa|
| KCCI, Des Moines|
|TV stations in Iowa|
| KCCI-DT3, Des Moines|
|TV stations in central Iowa (including Des Moines and Ames)|
| WOI 5 (ABC) |
KCCI 8 (CBS)
KDIN 11 (PBS)
WHO 13 (NBC)
KDSM 17 (Fox)
KDMI 19 (TCT)
KTIN 21 (PBS)
KCWI 23 (CW)
KAJR-LD 36 (Info)
KFPX 39 (Ion)
K41DD-D 41 (HSN)
KCYM-LD 45 (NEWSMAX)
KDAO-CD 45 (RTV)