KWCH was the first television station in Kansas and began broadcasting
on July 1st, 1953 under the call letters KTVH Channel 12. The station
was licensed to and broadcast from Hutchinson, Kansas about 45 miles
northwest of Wichita. In 1956 station facilities were moved to the current
location on 37th St. North in Wichita. In 1983, KTVH call letters changed to
KWCH and ownership was consolidated with three other Kansas stations in
the market. These satellite stations include KBSD in Dodge City, KBSH in
Hays, and KBSL in Goodland.
In September of 2006, Schurz Communications, Inc. purchased KWCH and
its satellite stations establishing the operation as Sunflower Broadcasting,
Inc. In July of 2007, the Sunflower Broadcasting family gained one more
member with the purchase of KSCW channel 33 the CW network affiliate.
In the fall of 2009, Sunflower Broadcasting, Inc. entered into a partnership
with Entravision Communications Corporation (NYSE: EVC), the nation's
largest Hispanic media company. Sunflower began overseeing the sales,
production and promotion of KDCU-DT 31, a Univision affiliate.
Since 1985, KWCH has held the #1 position for 6pm and 10pm News in the
Wichita-Hutchinson Plus television market. KWCH has remained dominant
since that time and Eyewitness News is the #1 news at Noon, 5pm, 6pm and
Eyewitness News also produces newscasts on KSCW-DT 33 Sunday – Friday
7:00-9:00am, Monday-Friday 4:00-4:30pm, and Monday – Sunday 9:00-
Eyewitness News produces a local Spanish language newscast Monday –
Friday at 10:00pm which airs on KDCU-DT 31.
A big part of that dominance is weather coverage. Storm Team 12 and Chief
Meteorologist Merril Teller lead the way in forecasting experience, advanced
Doppler technology and media partners that strengthen the brand. KWCH is
a partner with KFDI radio (Journal Broadcasting).
Just as KWCH is the market leader in news and weather, it's also the leader
in community involvement. Locally, KWCH works with Goodwill Industries,
the Kansas Food Bank, the United Way and many other non-profit agencies
to assist their efforts in the community.
KWCH-DT and its satellites KBSD-DT, KBSH-DT, and KBSL-DT are CBS
affiliates and serve the western two thirds of Kansas. KWCH-DT also
operates a "virtual" station on Cox Cable in Salina, Kansas with the ability
to locally insert news, weather and commercials. In addition to Kansas,
KWCH-DT and its satellites can be seen in portions of Nebraska, Colorado,
Oklahoma and Texas.
KWCH-DT and its satellites broadcast two signals in digital; the primary HD
signal is on the corresponding dot 1 (12.1, 6.1, 7.1, 10.1) and dot 2 (12.2,
6.2, 7.2, and 10.2), which is a 24-hour weather channel called "Always On
Storm Team 12."
Sunflower Broadcasting, Inc. also owns and operates digital platforms
kwch.com, catchitkansas.com, kscwtv.com, and fetchtoto.com.
The population of the Wichita-Hutchinson metro area is 699,751.
KWCH received National Edward R. Murrow awards in 2003 and 2004.
The award in 2003 was for continuing coverage of the Carr brothers'
murder trial. In 2004, KWCH was recognized for continuing coverage of an
investigation into City of Wichita financial practices. KWCH also was honored
in 2006 with two regional Murrow Awards for special coverage of the BTK
serial killer story. In 2007, KWCH received two regional Edward R. Murrow
awards, one for a news special report on repeat drunk drivers and the other
for photography on a story about demolition derby. In 2010, an investigation
into a dentist’s office earned another regional Murrow Award. The Kansas
Association of Broadcasters awarded KWCH the Large Market Station of the
Year award in 2011. KWCH 12 Eyewitness News has been awarded a 2012
regional Edward R. Murrow Award for best newscast.
Wichita is known as the Air Capital of the World because of the local aircraft
industry. Planes and aircraft parts built in Wichita include Boeing, Learjet,
Cessna, Hawker Beechcraft and Spirit Aerosystems. Wichita is also home to
Koch Industries, the largest privately held company in the United States. In
2009, Wichita was named an All-America City for the fourth time.
Joan Barrett is President and General Manager; Shawn Oswald, Director of
Sales; Laverne E. Goering, Director of Programming and Operations; Joe
Miller, Controller; Les Bach, Chief Engineer; Shawn Hilferty, Director of Digital Media; Dominic Gauna, Marketing and Production Manager; and Melissa Lock, Human Resources Manager.