Call Letters: KSHB-TV
City of License: Kansas City, MO
Affiliation: "41 Action News"
Owner: E.W. Scripps Co.
DT HAAT/ERP: 904ft/450kw
1970-1981 - KBMA|
Kansas City's well-known independent station, KBMA, signed on September 28, 1970. KBMA originally was only on the air a few hours a day at the start. BMA stood for the Business Men's Assurance Company. Wilson Grant owned the station, with funding from the BMA. KBMA carried Royals games early in the team's existence. KBMA carried news, sort of, by airing UPI audio over a station slide. KBMA had a cult following going with shows like "Uncle Ed," the host of a show resembling a mixture of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the Gong Show. Scripps-Howard bought the station in the late 1970s and changed the call letters in 1981 to reflect their ownership.
1981-1987 - KSHB-TV
KSHB was a continuation of KBMA, but with the initials of the owning company as the call letters. Cable systems across the Midwest carried KSHB as a "super station" of sorts, like WGN, WTBS, WWOR, etc.
1987-1994 - KSHB-TV - FOX "FOX 41"
KSHB became a FOX affiliate in 1987, though the station did not consistently identify itself as FOX 41 until the 1990s. During this tenure, KSHB started short news breaks ("41 Express"), and then a full 9:00 p.m. newscast. The newscast was hilarious, because it sometimes spoofed the competitors. The most prominent example would be the toy helicopter on a fishing line, with the anchor making the chopper noise by thumping his chest. They also ended each newscast with "see ya!"
In 1993 KSHB raised their retransmission fee for cable systems, and Sunflower Cable in Lawrence refused to pay, dropping KSHB from the line-up for many, many months, leaving cable subscribers there without a FOX station. When New World bought WDAF and took away the FOX affiliation, KSHB was left with a choice.
1994-2009 - KSHB-TV - NBC
KSHB chose to pick up the NBC affiliation when FOX left for WDAF (there had been some discussion on whether KCTV or KMBC would elect to switch affiliations to NBC first). KSHB ranked 4th in the ratings at the time, and continued to stay there despite NBC's popularity in the 1990s. KSHB added several newscasts after the affiliation switch. They have since moved up to 3rd at night. Scripps-Howard started a local management agreement with KMCI in 1996, soon buying the station fully, and moving it to KSHB's building on the Plaza in order to share resources.
In January 2003, KSHB changed their news handle to "NBC Action News," a bit of a callback to WDAF's news slogan in the 1980s, and a way to de-emphasize the analog channel number. KSHB became the second local station to broadcast news in high definition, starting the opening night of the Summer Olympics, August 8, 2008. KSHB signed off its analog signal June 12, 2009.
2003-current - KSHB-TV
KSHB-DT went on the air in 2003. It is a bit confusing because KSHB-DT is on channel 42, mapping to 41, yet their sister station is on digital channel 41, mapping to 38. KSHB aired NBC Weather Plus on a digital subchannel until the demise of the service. Then KSHB started airing their own weather loop. KSHB was scheduled to air the Live Well Network on a subchannel in 2011, but instead added it to sister station KMCI. A 4:30 p.m. newscast debuted August 29, 2011. On the night of the Super Bowl in 2012, KSHB rebranded itself as "41 Action News." In April 2013, KSHB began airing classic TV network COZI TV on 41.2. KSHB's 4:30 p.m. newscast expanded to 4:00 on April 8, 2013. In the early 2010s, KSHB has shown the most growth of the market's stations in early evening news. By 2013, KSHB started to win some 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. newscasts.