|Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Minnesota|
|City of license||Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|Branding||KARE 11 (general)
KARE 11 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Share in It All|
|Channels||Digital: 11 (VHF)
Virtual: 11 (PSIP)
(Multimedia Holdings Corporation)
|First air date||September 1, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||Sounds like the word "care".|
|Former callsigns||WTCN-TV (1953–1985)
WMIN-TV (shared operation, 1953–1955)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
11 (VHF, 1953–2009)
35 (UHF, until 2009)
|Former affiliations||DuMont (secondary, 1953–1956)
|Transmitter power||27.1 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KARE, digital channel 11, is the NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Minneapolis, Minnesota that serves the Minneapolis-St. Paul television market. The station is owned by the Gannett Company. KARE's studios are located on Olson Memorial Hwy. in Golden Valley, and its transmitter is located in Shoreview, Minnesota.
- 1 History
- 2 Programming
- 3 News operation
- 4 KARE-TV broadcasting facilities
- 5 Digital television
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Channel 11 signed on the air as WTCN-TV ("Twin Cities Newspapers"); the callsign was originally used by the Minneapolis-licensed channel 4 from that station's sign-on in 1949 until 1952; it was changed to WCCO-TV when, in August 1952, Twin Cities Newspapers (a partnership between the Minneapolis Tribune and the Saint Paul Pioneer Press-Dispatch) divested its broadcast properties. The television station was sold to a new company, Midwest Radio and Television, which was created for the purchase, with CBS as a minority partner. CBS owned WCCO radio and channel 4's calls were changed to match the radio station. Meanwhile, the radio properties, WTCN-AM (1280) and WTCN-FM (97.1), were sold to the Minnesota Television Service Corporation headed by Saint Paul businessman Robert Butler, a former ambassador to Cuba and Australia. Soon afterward, Butler's group and the owners of WMIN (1400 AM, now KMNV) both applied for the channel 11 license. Because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had a backlog of contested licenses, the two stations worked out an agreement for a joint application.
The FCC approved this deal, and WTCN-TV/WMIN-TV went on the air on September 1, 1953 as an ABC affiliate. The station also carried a secondary affiliation with DuMont. During the late 1950s, the station also was briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network. Under the agreement, the stations shared a transmitter mounted atop the Foshay Tower in downtown Minneapolis, alternating use every two hours. WTCN's studios were in the Calhoun Beach Hotel in Minneapolis near Lake Calhoun, while WMIN-TV was based in the Hamm Building in downtown Saint Paul. On April 3, 1955, with FCC approval, WMIN sold its share of Channel 11, and WTCN-TV took over the frequency full-time. On the same day, the WTCN stations were sold to the Bitner Group. Two years later, the Bitner group merged with Time-Life.
The early draw of WTCN-TV was its children's programs that featured characters like Sergeant Scotty, Wrangler Steve (Steve Cannon, who would later become one of WCCO radio's biggest draws), and the most popular of all, Casey Jones, played by Roger Awsumb and accompanied by his sidekick, Roundhouse Rodney (Lynn Dwyer). The "Lunchtime With Casey" show was on the station's schedule from 1954 until 1972.
In April 1961, KMSP-TV took the ABC affiliation and WTCN-TV became an independent station. As a traditional general entertainment station, channel 11 offered cartoons, sitcoms, old movies, Minnesota Twins baseball, locally produced shows, news, and drama series. It was also home to the Twin Cities' first prime-time newscast, with its 10 p.m. newscast moving to 9 p.m. Chris-Craft Industries bought WTCN-TV in 1964; WTCN radio was sold later that year by Time-Life to Buckley Broadcasting and became WWTC. Under Chris-Craft, channel 11 modernized its newscasts; up to that time, they were still shot on film.
Transitioning into the present
Metromedia purchased WTCN-TV in 1971 and made the station its fourth independent outlet, falling in line with the company's stations in New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.. After officially taking over the station in 1972, channel 11 began using a new tower at the Telefarm site in Shoreview, Minnesota. The new transmitter increased the station's broadcasting range significantly, boosting its secondary coverage to 72 miles. In 1973, after 20 years at the Calhoun Beach Hotel, WTCN-TV moved to its current studio in Golden Valley. The address of the building was originally 441 Boone Avenue North, but is now known as 8811 Highway 55 (55427-4762) – the 11 corresponding to the station's channel position.
In the mid-1970s, ABC – then enjoying its first run as America's top-rated television network – began looking for stronger affiliates across the country, and largely did so at the expense of third-place NBC. ABC surprised the industry in August 1978 by announcing it had signed an affiliation deal with KSTP-TV, ending that station's 30-year relationship with NBC; NBC then chose to affiliate with WTCN-TV, after rejecting former ABC affiliate KMSP-TV's offer to become its affiliate. The three-way switch occurred on March 5, 1979. Metromedia sold about half of its cartoons and syndicated programming inventory to KMSP-TV, which replaced WTCN-TV as the Twin Cities' largest independent station and one of the most prominent in the upper Midwest.
In 1983, Metromedia sold channel 11 to its present owner, the Gannett Company. Gannett made a significant investment into the station's news department. The anchor team of Paul Magers and Diana Pierce was hired that September and led the station's 10:00 p.m. newscasts for 20 years, which is a record among Twin Cities news anchors. The station's "Backyard" weather studio was also launched in 1983, coinciding with the arrival of meteorologist Paul Douglas in May.
In 1985, Gannett rechristened Channel 11 as WUSA, but after the company purchased WDVM-TV in Washington, D.C. in 1986, it transferred the call letters to that station and changed channel 11's call sign to the current KARE.
On April 27, 2006, KARE became the first station in the Twin Cities to broadcast its local newscasts in high definition. As part of this transition, the station completely replaced its news set, originally built in 1986 and updated in the 1990s, with a new state-of-the-art backdrop. The station was still broadcasting in analog (with the news shot in a way that is still usable on the smaller 4:3 format of analog sets) until the federally mandated digital transition on June 12, 2009.
As the NBC affiliate for the Minneapolis-St. Paul market, KARE 11 clears NBC programming on 11.1. A locally-produced children's program, Lunchtime with Casey, is remembered as being one of the unique contributions of the station. The show, featuring Roger Awsumb as Casey Jones, ran from 1954 until the end of 1972, with a brief reappearance in 1974. Sidekicks on the show included Joe the Cook, played by Chris Wedes, and Roundhouse Rodney, played by Lynn Dwyer. Wedes went on to play the clown J.P. Patches in Seattle, Washington, credited as partial inspiration (along with Portland, Oregon's Rusty Nails) for Krusty the Clown on The Simpsons.
The short-lived game show Let's Bowl (filmed in the Twin Cities) had some episodes air on the station in the late '90s before it was remade for Comedy Central. In January 2005, a local public access cable television program debuted called The Show to Be Named Later..., it is described as "The first (and only) sports talk, comedy, and variety show", somewhat of a cross between Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Fox Sports Net's The Best Damn Sports Show Period. A weekly show for teenagers called The Whatever Show (or simply Whatever) and an outdoors program known as Minnesota Bound have both aired on the station for about a decade. Former Minnesota Twin Kent Hrbek also has hosted his own outdoors show Kent Hrbek Outdoors on the station since 2004. But in the fall of 2008, Kent Hrbek Outdoors was moved over to rival Fox affiliate KMSP.
For decades, both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune aired on rival station WCCO-TV. But, in 1999, Jeopardy! moved to KARE after WCCO aired the game show at 1:37 am. (originally 9:30 a.m.) for several years. However, Wheel still airs on WCCO, making the Twin Cities one of the few markets where Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune don't air on the same station.
KARE presently broadcasts more than 30 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 5 hours each weekday, 4 hours Saturdays and an hour on Sundays). The 10:00 p.m. newscast features a "KARE 11 News Extra", an extended in-depth news story, and the station produces special sports shows on a periodic basis. The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) has awarded KARE its "Station of the Year" honor (for large market stations) in 1985, 1995, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010.
In the 1980s, the station experimented with a 40-minute newscast at 10 p.m., before 35-minute nightly newscasts – now the standard – became common (being in the Central Time Zone, Minnesota stations generally broadcast news at 5, 6, and 10 p.m.). The station made weather history on July 18, 1986 when helicopter pilot Max Messmer was flying out to cover a news story and noticed a funnel cloud forming over the Springbrook Nature Center in Fridley. Photojournalist Tom Empey was on board the chopper and shot amazing and unprecedented video of the twister.[according to whom?] The images were broadcast live on that day's 5 p.m. newscast. The funnel soon formed into a full-fledged tornado as it touched the ground, and KARE broadcast images of the funnel for 30 minutes. In the years to come, this first aerial video of a tornado was heavily studied by meteorologists, and contributed significantly to what is known about tornado formation. It was moderate in intensity, with winds of 113–157 mph (an F2 on the original Fujita Scale), and caused $650,000 damage.
The KARE-11 News Package (created by Third Street Music) was commissioned in 1996. Since 2008, the rest of the station group (including KUSA, who dropped their custom news theme, also composed by Third Street Music, in 2009) used a new news theme called The Gannett News Music Package by Rampage Music New York. Until January 25, 2013, KARE was the only Gannett station that didn't use the theme. On the same day, the station dropped the KARE 11 News Package after almost 17 years for a brand-new news music package for all Gannett stations called This is Home by Gari Media Group and debuted a brand-new graphics package on the 11 a.m. newscast, replacing the former graphics package in use since 2008. Both former and current graphics packages are created by the Gannett Graphics Group (termed G3 and based at KUSA), with color-coding of stories based on that of another Gannett property, USA Today.
In June 2009, the KARE weather team and former meteorologist Paul Douglas formed a unique partnership to create KARE's new local weather channel, KARE Wx NOW. Douglas worked for KARE for more than a decade starting in the early 1980s, becoming a homecoming of sorts for him and his new company, WeatherNation. This service is available 24 hours a day on KARE digital subchannel 11.2, local cable providers within the Minneapolis-St. Paul television market and is streamed online. The service is an affiliate of WeatherNation TV, and most of the network's staff rotates shifts; Paul Douglas appears mostly on weekday afternoons, the rest of staff rotates between various dayparts Monday through Fridays and on weekends.
KARE has won the coveted demographic of viewers 25 to 54 years-old in almost every Nielsen Ratings sweeps period since the late 1980s. The station has been able to build on NBC's primetime lead-ins, which are the lowest in the market. However, KARE has placed second overall in households at 5, 6, and 10 p.m since May 2006, trailing rival CBS affiliate WCCO. The station slipped from its top spot among women in 2007 for the first time in two decades, and factoring in KMSP-TV's 9 p.m. newscast, KARE tumbled to third place overall in February 2008.
In November 2010, KARE suffered its first loss in the target 25-54 demographic during its 10 p.m. newscast since 1986, with longtime runner-up WCCO-TV gaining the upper hand. However, WCCO likely benefited from a series of heavily-promoted newscasts to mark the retirement of the station's longtime evening anchor involving the return of former on-air personalities during the sweeps period, leading at least one media critic to question the durability of WCCO's edge. The November 2010 numbers also showed KARE had regained second place in overall viewership. In the May 2012 ratings KARE 11 was the most watched news station in the key demographic of Adults 25-54 throughout the day, finishing #1 at 10 p.m., 6 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Notable current on-air staff
- Julie Nelson (weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.)
Notable former staff
- Roger Awsumb – as Casey Jones, host of "Lunch With Casey" children's show (1954–1972)
- Ken Barlow – meteorologist (now at KSTP-TV/KSTC-TV)
- Asha Blake – news reporter/news anchor (now with America Now)
- Frank Buetel – sportscaster (Twins/North Stars/Gophers/state tournament play-by-play) 1953–72 (deceased)
- Steve Cannon – children's show host "Wrangler Steve" (1950s) (deceased)
- Paul Douglas – meteorologist (1983–1994)
- Lynn Dwyer – as Roundhouse Rodney, sidekick on "Lunch With Casey" children's show (1960s–1972) (deceased)
- Bernie Grace – crime news reporter (1979–2006)
- Jack Horner – sportscaster (1960s)
- Mel Jass – program host (1960s–70s) (deceased)
- Dave Lee – puppeteer/host of Popeye 'n' Pete/Beetle 'n' Pete/Dave Lee and Pete/The Dave Lee Show (1962–1969)
- Paul Magers – news anchor (1983–2003; now news anchor at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles)
- Mike Pomeranz – news anchor (now host for San Diego Padres shows on Fox Sports San Diego)
- Joan Steffend – weekend news anchor (1983–1998) (former HGTV host)
KARE-TV broadcasting facilities
In addition to the main transmitter in Shoreview, KARE's signal is relayed to outlying parts of central and southern Minnesota through a network of translators; all but one broadcasts in digital:
|City of license||Callsign||Channel|
|Redwood Falls||K36KW||36 (analog)|
KARE formerly had a translator serving Breezy Point and Brainerd, KLKS-LP (channel 14). The repeater signed on in 1995 and operated until July 16, 2011, when its use as a repeater of KARE was discontinued due to a corporate decision made by Gannett management. The repeater was owned locally by the Lakes Broadcasting Group, owner of KLKS radio.
KARE, along with WCCO-TV, is also carried in Canada on most cable systems in Manitoba and northwestern Ontario. The stations do not make any attempt to cater to this audience, other than their inclusion on regional weather maps.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|11.1||1080i||16:9||KARE-HD||Main KARE programming / NBC|
KARE's 11.2 digital subchannel (branded as KARE WX NOW), originally ran programming from NBC Weather Plus from 2005 until the network shut down in November 2008, and then ran an automated version of the network called NBC Plus until it became an affiliate of WeatherNation TV in 2011.
KARE shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 11, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 35 to VHF channel 11 for post-transition operations. KARE increased its transmitter power from 27.1 kW to 45.3 kW on May 11, 2010. The station stated that the upgrade should be particularly noticeable to people who live more than 50 miles from its Shoreview transmitter. In the analog era, KARE and most other high-band VHF stations (channels 7-13) broadcast at the then-allowed maximum effective radiated power of 316 kW. However, the power levels of high-band VHF frequencies in the Upper Midwest now vary widely from about 10 kW to 75 kW.
- TV Guide: Northwest Edition
- Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films, Boxoffice, November 10, 1956: 13[dead link]
- "Time Inc. gets Bitner properties, pays $15,750,000 for 3 TVs, 3 AMs" (PDF). Broadcasting - Telecasting. December 24, 1956. p. 7.
- "Time Inc. buy gets green light" (PDF). Broadcasting - Telecasting. February 2014. p. 56. Archived from the original on February 5, 2014.
- "KMSP-TV Twin Cities joins ABC-TV, replaces WTCN." Broadcasting, January 30, 1961, pg. 9. [dead link]
- "WTCN-TV sold for $4 million" (PDF). Broadcasting. May 11, 1964. p. 84. Archived from the original on February 5, 2014.
- "Metromedia acquires Minneapolis TV" (PDF). Broadcasting. August 2, 1971. p. 25.
- "Metromedia gets its fifth VHF" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 26, 1972. pp. 38–39. Archived from the original on February 5, 2014.
- "Studio Z•7 Publishing". Studioz7.com. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- "ABC-TV bags largest game yet in affiliation hunt: KSTP-TV" 95 (10). Broadcasting. September 4, 1978. pp. 19–20. Archived from the original on February 5, 2014.
- "In Brief." Broadcasting, October 2, 1978, pg. 30
- "Through the roof with Metromedia." Broadcasting, Aug. 30, 1982, pp. 25–26.  
- "Changing Hands." Broadcasting, March 7, 1983, pg. 113
- "Changing Hands." Broadcasting, May 13, 1985, pg. 110. (call letter change from WTCN-TV to WUSA) [dead link]
- "In brief" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 9, 1986. p. 161. Archived from the original on February 5, 2014.
- "NPPA: Best of Photojournalism 2010 Video News Photography Winners". Bop.nppa.org. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- "Braublog: ShelbyFest propels WCCO to first 10 p.m. demo win in 24 years". MinnPost. November 29, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- Garrison, Nicole (March 30, 2003). "KARE 11 continues to lead local news in Nielsen ratings".
- "New Measurement, Same Results: KARE 11 Is Still Top Local News Station". Marketwire.com. November 27, 2008. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- Minneapolis Star Tribune (MN) Deborah Caulfield Rybak, "WCCO Ousts KARE in TV News Rating" - May 26, 2006
- St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN)LOCAL TV - December 22, 2007 - A9 Main
- KMSP celebrates its highest rating
- "KARE 11 #1 in All Key Newscasts". Marketwired. May 24, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
- KLKS: "Channel 14 to Lose KARE 11", July 16, 2011.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KARE
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- kare11.com: History of KARE-11
- Northpine.com: Minnesota TV Translators and Satellite Stations
- WWTC, formerly WTCN-AM
- KARE11.com - Official website
- Lunch with Casey Jones
- Minnesota Bound
- The Show to Be Named Later...
- Station of the Year
- TC Media Now - historical footage and documents from WTCN/WUSA/KARE
- KARE 1986 Tornado coverage
- Historical photos of WTCN-TV and WTCN-AM from the Minnesota Historical Society
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KARE
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K14LZ-D
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K18IR-D
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K21DG-D
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K21HX-D
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K31EF-D
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K36KW
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K39FE-D
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KARE-TV
- RabbitEars.info website - KARE