Minnesotans first heard WTCN, which would eventually become KARE, on the dial of their AM radio. In 1925, the original call letters were WRHM-AM. Ten years later, Midcontinent Incorporated purchased WRHM. That company was owned by Northwest Publications Inc., owners of the Minneapolis Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch.The call letters were changed from WRHM to WTCN, which was an acronym for ‘Twin Cities Newspaper.’
The owners of WTCN were granted a license to broadcast on television Channel 4, and signed on July 1st, 1949. In September 1949, WTCN TV and WTCN AM radio moved into new studios in the Radio City Theater Building, 9th and LaSalle, in Minneapolis.In September of 1950, WTCN-TV (at that time, an ABC affiliate) broadcast its first live network program. The first coast-to-coast television program broadcast occurred one year later, with the signing of the Japanese Peace Treaty.
In 1952, WTCN-TV was sold to the owners of WCCO Radio, and Channel 4 became WCCO TV. Following the sale in 1953, WTCN and WMIN were granted a license for a joint operation on Channel 11. The two stations shared the channel by rotating broadcast schedules. Each station broadcast 2 hours and alternated between studios through the day. WTCN-TV and WTCN Radio moved into new studios in the Calhoun Beach Hotel in Minneapolis.WTCN-TV grew to become one of the top independent television stations in the country. The success of Channel 11 attracted Metromedia, Inc., a diversified media company that purchased WTCN-TV in 1971. Construction soon began on new facilities in suburban Golden Valley.In 1974, the grand opening of WTCN-TV's new 'broadcast showcase' was held at the new studios in Golden Valley and was designed to include a major commercial production center.
On March 5, 1979, WTCN-TV became an affiliate of NBC's Television Network. To celebrate its first day as a member of the NBC family, news anchors Jane Pauley and Tom Brokaw broadcast The Today Show live from the top floor of the IDS Tower in downtown Minneapolis.And then on June 11, 1986, Channel 11 was again renamed, this time KARE Television. The designation of W*USA was released for use by Gannett station WDVM, located in Washington, D.C.Today, KARE 11 is a national award winning leader in local news and information that serves the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, as well as greater Minnesota on television, online and on mobile platforms.To date, KARE 11 has been honored 16 times with the National Edward R. Murrow award for journalism excellence from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).In October 2010, reporter Boyd Huppert and photojournalist Jonathan Malat won their fifth National Murrow Award for Feature Reporting thanks to a story about a dying Minnesota teen's love of Pontiac Fiero's. The story called The Tyler Project, originally aired on KARE 11 December 8, 2009 as part of an ongoing series of stories by Huppert and Malat called Land of 10,000 Stories.
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