The History of KARE 11

9:18 AM, Mar 23, 2012   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Minnesotans first heard WTCN, which would eventually become KARE, on the dial of their AM radio. In 1925, the original call letters were WRHM-AM. Ten years later, Midcontinent Incorporated purchased WRHM. That company was owned by Northwest Publications Inc., owners of the Minneapolis Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch. 

The call letters were changed from WRHM to WTCN, which was an acronym for 'Twin Cities Newspaper.'

The owners of WTCN were granted a license to broadcast on television Channel 4, and and signed on July 1st, 1949. In September 1949, WTCN TV and WTCN AM radio moved into new studios in the Radio City Theater Building, 9th and LaSalle, in Minneapolis.

In September of 1950, WTCN-TV (at that time, an ABC affiliate) broadcast its first live network program. The first coast-to-coast television program broadcast occurred one year later, with the signing of the Japanese Peace Treaty.

In 1952, WTCN-TV was sold to the owners of WCCO Radio, and Channel 4 became WCCO TV. Following the sale in 1953, WTCN and WMIN were granted a license for a joint operation on Channel 11. The two stations shared the channel by rotating broadcast schedules. Each station broadcast 2 hours and alternated between studios through the day. WTCN-TV and WTCN Radio moved into new studios in the Calhoun Beach Hotel in Minneapolis.

In 1955, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled that joint operation was no longer permissible, so WTCN and WMIN merged when they were purchased by the H.M Bitner Group. Two years later, WTCN was purchased by Time Life Broadcasting.

Time Life Broadcasting owned WTCN-TV and WTCN-AM radio until 1964 when the television station was sold to Chris Craft Industries. The radio station was sold to another company and renamed WWTC.

WTCN-TV grew to become one of the top independent television stations in the country.  The success of Channel 11 attracted Metromedia, Inc., a diversified media company that purchased WTCN-TV in 1971. Construction soon began on new facilities in suburban Golden Valley.

In 1974, the grand opening of WTCN-TV's new "broadcast showcase" was held at the new studios in Golden Valley and was designed to include a major commercial production center.

On March 5, 1979, WTCN-TV became an affiliate of NBC's Television Network.  To celebrate its first day as a member of the NBC family, news anchors Jane Pauley and Tom Brokaw broadcast The Today Show live from the top floor of the IDS Tower in downtown Minneapolis.

And then on June 11, 1986, Channel 11 was again renamed, this time KARE Television. The designation of  W*USA was released for use by Gannett station WDVM, located in Washington, D.C.

Today, KARE 11 is a national award winning leader in local news and information that serves the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, as well as greater Minnesota on television, online and on mobile platforms. 

To date, KARE 11 has been honored 16 times with the National Edward R. Murrow award for journalism excellence from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).  

In October 2010, reporter Boyd Huppert and photojournalist Jonathan Malat won their fifth National Murrow Award for Feature Reporting thanks to a story about a dying Minnesota teen's love of Pontiac Fiero's.  The story called The Tyler Project, originally aired on KARE 11 December 8, 2009 as part of an ongoing series of stories by Huppert and Malat called Land of 10,000 Stories.

KARE 11's news team also earned a National Murrow Award in 2010 for Best Newscast in a large market for the 10 p.m. newscast, produced by Jennifer Young, covering the storm before Christmas on December 23, 2009.  It is KARE 11's first National Murrow for Best Newscast.

RELATED:  Watch "The Tyler Project"

RELATED:  Watch 10 p.m. Newscast from 12/23/09

Previous National Edward R. Murrow Award winners for KARE 11 include:

  • 2008 - Feature Reporting-"Duck in a Truck" Television Large Market
  • 2007 - Spot News Coverage-"I-35W Bridge Collapse" Television Large Market
  • 2006 - Sports Reporting-"Kid Wrestlers"/Television Large Market
  • 2006 - Writing-"Joe Fryer Compilation"/Television Large Market
  • 2005 - Writing-"Dana Thiede Compilation"/Television Large Market
  • 2004 - Overall Excellence/Television Large Market
  • 2004 - Sports Reporting-"Troy Bell"/Television Large Market
  • 2002 - Writing-Boyd Huppert Compilation/Television Large Market
  • 2001 - Overall Excellence/Television Large Market
  • 2000 - Spot News Coverage-"Grass Fire"/Television Large Market
  • 1999 - Feature Reporting-"Baby Loon"/Television Large Market
  • 1998 - Use of Video/Television Large Market
  • 1997 - Overall Excellence/Television Large Market
  • 1994 - Sports-Large Staff-"Miesville Mudhens"/Television Large Market

KARE's parent company, Gannett, is an innovative international media leader, engaging consumers wherever they are with its powerful brands and trusted content including USA Today newspaper/website, more than 80 community publishing sites and 23 television stations across the country and around the world.

In addition, Gannett's digital properties include Careerbuilder.com, the nation's top employment site which is expanding rapidly internationally and the Gannett Digital Media Network, which encompasses top brands like
USATODAY.com, HighSchoolSports.net, and action sports networks BNQT and Venture.

 

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