WKOW, virtual channel 27 (UHF digital channel 26), is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Madison, Wisconsin, United States. The station is owned by Quincy Media. WKOW's studios are located on Tokay Boulevard on Madison's west side, and its transmitter is located in the city's Middleton Junction section. On cable, the station is available on Charter Spectrum channel 7.

WKOW serves as the master hub for Quincy's six-station network of ABC affiliates throughout western and northern Wisconsin.

WKOW Madison WI 2016

Madison, Wisconsin

United States

Branding WKOW 27 (general)

27 News (newscasts)
MeTV 27.2 Madison (on DT2)

Slogan We've Got You Covered
Channels Digital: 26 (UHF)

Virtual: 27 (PSIP)

Affiliations 27.1: ABC (1956–present)

27.2: MeTV
27.3: Decades
27.4: Court TV
27.5: Justice Network

Owner Quincy Media

(WKOW Television, Inc.)

First air date June 30, 1953; 65 years ago
Call letters' meaning K(C)OW (for Wisconsin's dairyindustry)
Sister station(s) WXOW/WQOW


Former callsigns WKOW-TV (1953–2009)
Former channel number(s) Analog:

27 (UHF, 1953–2009)

Former affiliations Analog/DT1:

CBS (1953–1956)
RTV (2008–2011)
This TV (2009–2015)

Transmitter power 800 kW
Height 455 m (1,493 ft)
Facility ID 64545
Transmitter coordinates 43°3′21″N 89°32′6″W
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information Profile




WKOW-TV (the suffix was dropped from the call sign in 2009) was launched on June 30, 1953 as Madison's first television station. The station was originally aligned with CBS and owned by the Monona Broadcasting Company, led by a group of local area businessmen along with WKOW radio (AM 1070, now WTSO). The WKOW call sign was an acknowledgment to Wisconsin's dairy industry, and featured a smiling bovine (or cow) alongside the emphasized "K-O-W" of the call sign.

WKOW-AM-TV shared studios on Tokay Boulevard on Madison's west side beginning in 1953. WKOW-TV remained with CBS until 1956, when CBS moved to the new WISC-TV. WKOW-TV subsequently joined ABC (who had been with WMTV on a secondary basis), while WKOW radio remained with CBS Radio. From January to August 1958, WKOW was part of the short-lived, Wisconsin-oriented Badger Television Network, alongside Milwaukee's WISN-TV and Green Bay's WFRV-TV.[1] In 1960, Monona Broadcasting sold the station to Midcontinent Broadcasting. Midcontinent Broadcasting sold both WKOW and WAOW in Wausau to Horizon Communications in September 1970.

In 1974, Terry Shockley became manager of WKOW and its fellow sister stations that were part of the Wisconsin Television Network (which included WAOW in Wausau and WXOW in La Crosse). Horizon sold its stations, along with WKOW to Liberty Communications in 1978. Also during the 1970s, Horizon sold the radio stations in accordance with the FCC's "one to market" policy of that era. Despite the separate ownership, the renamed WTSO would remain at Tokay Boulevard alongside WKOW-TV through the 1980s and 1990s until becoming part of the Clear Channel Communications cluster, where it is today an all-sports station. (For a time in the 2000s, WKOW-TV supplied weather updates to the Clear Channel stations. As of October 2010, however, the station is no longer involved with WTSO or other Madison Clear Channel stations in any way.)

In January 1985, Liberty Television sold WKOW and its Wausau and La Crosse sister stations to Tak Communications, which would later purchase KITV in Honolulu, Hawaii and WGRZ in Buffalo, New York. Tak filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the latter half of 1991 and went into receivership when the company's creditors seized its assets in early 1994. As part of Tak Communications' bankruptcy sale, Shockley purchased the four Wisconsin stations in 1995 (WKOW, WAOW, WXOW, and Eau Claire's WQOW) for his newly formed company, Shockley Communications. In June 2001, WKOW and its Wisconsin sister stations were acquired by Quincy Newspapers from Shockley.

News operationEdit

WKOW debuted a news department on the first day of its broadcasting in summer 1953. Local news, weather, and sports were seen in the initial shows. From 1999 to 2011, the station produced, through a news share agreement, the market's first nightly prime time newscast on Sinclair-owned Fox affiliate WMSN-TV (Fox 47 News at 9); the newscast originated from a secondary studio at WKOW, and although it featured WKOW personnel in the broadcasts, WMSN maintained separate weeknight news and sports anchors, as well as using theme music and graphics packages that are found on other Sinclair stations and that are different from that on WKOW's newscasts. (WISC-TV subchannel TVW had aired a prime-time newscast from 2004 to 2011; a third station, WBUW, had its own 9 p.m. newscast from 2003 until 2005.) WISC-TV took over the production of the WMSN newscast at the beginning of 2012.

On October 26, 2010, WKOW became the third station in Madison to upgrade newscasts to high definition, following WISC-TV and WMTV. The WMSN broadcasts, however, were still in 4:3 standard definition, as the station didn't have the necessary equipment to air local or syndicated HD programming.

Newscast titlesEdit

  • The Early Report/Late Report
  • Standard News Roundup (1960s)
  • The Wisconsin Report
  • Source 27 News (1980s)
  • 27 Eyewitness News (1980s–1990s)
  • Channel 27 News (1990s–?)
  • 27 News (?–present)

Station slogansEdit

  • Straight to the Point (1990s–2005)
  • Making a Difference (2005–2010)
  • We've Got You Covered (2010–present)

Current on-air staffEdit


  • Jennifer Kliese - weekend evenings
  • Nick Buffo - weekday mornings "Wake Up Wisconsin" (4:30-7 a.m.)
  • Rebecca Ribley - weekday mornings "Wake Up Wisconsin" (4:30-7 a.m.)
  • George Smith - weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Amber Noggle - weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Jessica Porter - weekend mornings

27 Storm Track Weather TeamEdit

  • Bob Lindmeier - chief meteorologist;
  • John Zeigler -
  • Max Tsaparis -
  • Katherine Noël -
  • Guy Brown -

Sports teamEdit

  • Lance Veeser - sports director;
  • Alec Ausmus -
  • Karley Marotta - weekend evenings



External linksEdit

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