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KDKA-TV is joining forces with the most trusted local CBS RADIO stations in Pittsburgh to give you the best Pittsburgh has to offer.
KDKA-TV is part of CBS Television Stations, a division of CBS Corp. and one of the largest network-owned station groups in the country.
KDKA-TV, channel 2, is a CBS owned-and-operated television station located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. The station is owned by the CBS Television Stations subsidiary of CBS Corporation, as part of a duopoly with CW station WPCW (channel 19). The two stations share studios located at the Gateway Center in downtown Pittsburgh, while KDKA-TV's transmitter is located in the Perry North neighborhood of Pittsburgh. On cable, KDKA is carried on Comcast channels 6 (channel 3 in Bethel Park and Monroeville, and channel 2 in outlying areas) (standard definition) and 802 (high definition), and Verizon FiOS channels 2 (standard definition) and 502 (high definition).
KDKA-TV is available on cable television in the Johnstown, Altoona, and Wheeling areas, as well as several other out-of-market cable systems in northwestern Pennsylvania, northwestern Maryland, northeastern Ohio, and North-Central West Virginia. The furthest south KDKA-TV is carried on cable is in Beverly, West Virginia.
In 2001, KDKA-TV began producing a 10 p.m. newscast on WNPA (now WPCW); in 2005, it added a two-hour weekday morning newscast from 7-9 a.m. on that station (which was later reduced to one hour from 7-8 a.m.).
On June 16, 2009, KDKA-TV began broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition during its noon broadcast, with the introduction of a new set and weather center. Like rival WTAE, only video from in-studio cameras is broadcast in HD while most of the content, including field reports and video footage, are in pillarboxed 4:3standard definition. On September 1, 2010, KDKA-TV debuted the standardized CBS O&O graphics and music package ("The CBS Enforcer Music Collection" by Gari Media Group).
As of May 2015, KDKA-TV is the most watched news station in the Pittsburgh area in the hours of Noon, 4, 5, 6 and 11 p.m.; the 7 a.m. newscast it produces for WPCW rated quite strongly at that time slot.
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By 1954, DuMont was in serious financial trouble. Paramount Pictures, which owned a stake in DuMont, vetoed a merger with ABC, who had merged with Paramount's former theater division United Paramount Theaters a year before. A few years earlier, the FCC had ruled that Paramount controlled DuMont and there were still lingering questions about whether UPT had actually broken off from Paramount. Paramount did not want to risk the FCC's wrath.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse Electric Corporation had been competing with local politicians to acquire the non-commercial channel 13 license from the FCC, as no other Pittsburgh-allocated VHF station would be signing on for the foreseeable future. After launching WBZ-TV in Boston in 1948 and purchasing two other television stations, Westinghouse was growing impatient with not having a station in its own home market. Before the freeze, Westinghouse was a shoo-in for the channel 6 license that would later be given to WJAC-TV in Johnstown after that station gave up the channel 13 allocation to Pittsburgh as part of the FCC's reallocation plan. Westinghouse later offered a compromise plan to the FCC, in which the Commission would grant Westinghouse the channel 13 license; Westinghouse would then "share" the facility with the educational licensee. Finding the terms unacceptable, Pittsburgh attorney Leland Hazard called Westinghouse CEO Gwilym Price to ask him if he should give up on his fight for public television. Price said that Hazard should keep fighting for it, giving Westinghouse backing for the station that would eventually become WQED.
Westinghouse then turned its attention to WDTV, offering DuMont a then-record $9.75 million for the station in late 1954. Desperate for cash, DuMont promptly accepted Westinghouse's offer. While the sale gave DuMont a short-term cash infusion, it eliminated DuMont's leverage in getting clearances in other major markets. Within two years, the DuMont network was no more. After the sale closed in January 1955, Westinghouse changed WDTV's call letters to KDKA-TV, after Westinghouse's pioneering radio station KDKA (1020 AM). As such, it became one of the few stations east of the Mississippi River with a "K" call sign. The WDTV calls now reside on a CBS affiliate located 130 miles south of Pittsburgh in Weston, West Virginia, which is unrelated to the current KDKA-TV. That station, which signed on after KDKA-TV adopted its current callsign, adopted those calls "in honor" of KDKA-TV.
As KDKA radio had long been an affiliate of the NBC Blue Network (Westinghouse was a co-founder of RCA, NBC's then-parent company), it was expected that KDKA-TV would eventually become a primary affiliate of the NBC television network. But the network was seeking to purchase Westinghouse's Philadelphia stations, KYW radio and WPTZ (now KYW-TV). When Westinghouse balked, NBC threatened to pull its programming from WPTZ and Boston's WBZ-TV unless Westinghouse agreed to trade its Philadelphia properties for NBC's radio and television properties in Cleveland. The decision would lead to an acrimonious relationship between Westinghouse and NBC in later years. Two years after the ownership change, channel 2 became a primary affiliate of the higher-rated CBS network instead.KDKA-TV retained secondary affiliations with NBC until WIIC-TV (channel 11, now WPXI) signed on in 1957, and ABC until WTAE-TV (channel 4) signed on in 1958. Despite the ending of its commercial VHF monopoly, KDKA-TV did welcome competitor WIIC-TV on the air. KDKA-TV became the flagship station of Westinghouse's broadcasting arm, Group W. During the late 1950s, KDKA-TV was briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network, sharing the affiliation with WTAE-TV, WIIC-TV, and WQED. On November 22, 1963, newscaster Bill Burns provided almost three hours of live coverage after the shooting of President John F. Kennedy.
Over the years, channel 2 pre-empted moderate amounts of CBS programming. At one point, from the early 1960s to July 1990, the station did not clear As the World Turns. At the same time, WTAJ-TV in Altoona had run the program and was viewable in the eastern part of the Pittsburgh market. Also, CBS affiliate WTRF-TV in Wheeling, West Virginia was viewable in Pittsburgh and to the west. Until 1978, the show ran on WPGH and for a few years after that, it ran on WPTT-TV (channel 22). KDKA-TV also preempted the daytime game shows and reruns from CBS at various points during the 1970s. KDKA-TV also produced plenty of local programs such as Evening Magazine, Pittsburgh Talks, and local newscasts. The station also occasionally preempted CBS primetime programs for a syndicated movie, local news special, or sports during the years the station had broadcast rights to Pittsburgh Pirates baseball and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey. Weekend pre-emptions included a small portion of Saturday and Sunday morning cartoons, and Sunday morning religious programs. In 1993, KDKA-TV stopped running CBS This Morning and instead ran Disney's syndicated cartoon block. Despite the pre-emptions, CBS was mostly satisfied with KDKA-TV as it dominated its local market ratings.
In 1994, Westinghouse was looking to make a group-wide affiliation deal for its stations as part of a larger plan to transform itself into a major media conglomerate. Westinghouse negotiated with NBC and CBS for a deal. Had Westinghouse signed with NBC, KDKA-TV would affiliate itself with NBC forty years after passing up the network, with the CBS affiliation going to WPXI, who had originally intended to affiliate itself with CBS until the NBC-Westinghouse feud started as well as channel 11's own sign-on problems in the 1950s. While NBC (the highest-rated network during much of the 1990s) offered more money, CBS was interested in the programming opportunities Westinghouse offered, due to its own stagnation in programming at the time. CBS also offered a potential merger of their respective radio networks down the road (which ultimately happened), something NBC abandoned altogether in 1987. Ultimately, Westinghouse signed a long-term deal with CBS to convert the entire five-station Group W television unit to a group-wide CBS affiliation, making the Pittsburgh market one of the few major markets not to be affected by the 1994 United States broadcast TV realignment. Part of this agreement included a deal to stop preempting any CBS shows, except for extended breaking news coverage or local news events beginning in 1995. KDKA-TV continued preempting moderate amounts of programming into 1995. In the fall of 1995, channel 2 began running the entire CBS lineup in pattern, as it, and sister station KPIX-TV in San Francisco, were already affiliated with the network.
In 1995, Westinghouse acquired CBS, making KDKA-TV a CBS owned-and-operated station, after four decades as being simply a CBS affiliate. In 1997, Westinghouse became CBS Corporation, which would then merge with Viacom (which, ironically, has been Paramount's parent since 1994) in 2000, making KDKA-TV a sister station with Pittsburgh UPN affiliate WNPA-TV (channel 19, now CW station WPCW). Five years later, Viacom became CBS Corporation and spun off a new Viacom.
In August 2007, KDKA-TV unveiled a new image campaign, entitled Your Home, with music and lyrics performed by singer-songwriter Bill Deasy. The promo features scenes of Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas, as well as three of the station's personalites. In September 2007, the station unveiled another promo featuring the Joe Grushecky song "Coming Home". Later, a third spot, "Long Way Home", was introduced, featuring the voice of Kelsey Friday.
On February 2, 2017, CBS agreed to sell CBS Radio to Entercom, currently the fourth-largest radio broadcaster in the United States; the sale will be conducted using a Reverse Morris Trust so that it will be tax-free. While CBS will still retain a 72% ownership stake in the combined company, Entercom will be the surviving entity and will separate KDKA radio (both AM 1020 and FM 93.7) from KDKA-TV.
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