In Iowa, United States
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On April 26, 1954, WHO-TV was authorized to telecast on Channel 13 with maximum power. Since its beginning, the station has been affiliated with the NBC network. Early viewers saw local live programming featuring many of their radio favorites. Slim Hayes, Jack Shelley, Bill Austin, the Buckaroos, and Herb Plambeck. “Romper Room” with Miss Nancy and Duane Ellett and Floppy kept the youngsters entertained. Network programming was primarily in the evening, and offered viewers such shows as “Groucho,” “Dragnet,” and the “NBC News” with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley.
As equipment became more sophisticated, the public was able to see events of national interest. WHO-TV’s first remote broadcast was on August 10th 1954, from West Branch Iowa, where former President Herbert Hoover celebrated his 80th birthday. The program was fed through WHO equipment to the NBC network.
Improving and extending the broadcast signal to a larger area then became a goal. In 1972, a new 2000 foot tower and transmitter were constructed in Alleman, Iowa. The new equipment projected WHO-TV’s coverage to a 90-mile radius of Des Moines in central Iowa.
Numerous awards have been received by the WHO-TV news teams, but perhaps the most noteworthy was the coveted George F. Peabody Award in 1976, when our photographer was able to capture the formation and patterns of two tornadoes on film, which had never been done before. More recently, the station earned Emmy awards in 2005 and 2007 for “Best Evening Newscast” and a national Edward R. Murrow award in 2007 for “Best Newscast.”
Weather in the Midwest is volatile and often life-threatening. WHO-TV was the first station in the state with live color radar in the mid-80’s. Today, the station boasts the most powerful Doppler radar in the state at one million watts and a team of four certified meteorologists.
As part of WHO-TV’s commitment to technology, the station was the first in central Iowa to use videotape for faster coverage of breaking news and the first in the state with a “Live” microwave truck. This technology enabled reporters to transmit their stories live from the scene to the studios and out to the public...a novelty then but essential today.
With an eye to the future, property at 1801 Grand was purchased and groundbreaking ceremonies held on April 10, 1981. Our beautiful three story structure, containing more than 65,000 square feet of office and studio space on 2.5 acres of land, housed WHO Broadcasting Company and the corporate offices for its parent company, Palmer Communications, Incorporated until 1996.
In 1996, The New York Times Company purchased WHO-TV 13 from Palmer Communications Inc. Radio stations WHO AM and KLYF-FM were sold to Jacor Communications in 1997which was then sold to Clear Channel Communications. In 2005, Clear Channel outgrew the space available at 1801 Grand Avenue and move to new studios just 3 blocks away at 2141 Grand Ave.
Today, WHO-TV 13 is owned by Local TV LLC, a broadcast holding company created in 2007 to acquire nine heritage television stations in eight mid¬sized markets. Local TV is owned by Oak Hill Capital Partners, management and a consortium of bankers and high yield lenders.
WHO-TV 13 takes pride in its past and is committed to providing the best broadcast service possible in years to come.
Last Updated: on 4/19/2015 6:15:58 PM Pacific Daylight Time (1:15 AM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum