Madison, Wisconsin
Branding WKOW 27 (general)
27 News (newscasts)
Slogan We've Got You Covered

Digital: 26 (UHF)
(PSIP virtual ch. 27)

Affiliations ABC (27.1)
RTN (27.2)
This TV (27.3)
WKOW Sports Channel (27.4)
Owner Quincy Newspapers, Inc.
Licensee WKOW Television, Inc.
First air date June 30, 1953
Call letters' meaning K(C)OW (for Wisconsin's dairy industry)
Sister stations(s) WAOW-TV - Wausau; WQOW-TV - Eau Claire; WYOW - Eagle River; WXOW-TV - La Crosse
Former channel number(s) Analog:
27 (1953-2009)
Former Affiliations CBS (6/30/1953-6/24/1956)
Transmitter Power 171 kW
Height 455 m
Facility ID 64545
Website WKOW 27's Website

WKOW-TV (DT ch. 26 or virtual ch. 27) is an ABC affiliate in Madison, Wisconsin. The station is owned by Quincy Newspapers. It's transmitter is located in Madison.

History Edit

Established on June 30, 1953; WKOW first signed on the air as the local CBS affiliate & the first TV station in Madison. Originally, the station tried to use K-O-W & cows as a way to promote the station, using a smiling bovine along with the station logo. When WISC-TV came on the air on June 24 1956, it took the CBS TV affiliate from WKOW. Then, WKOW took the ABC affiliate from WMTV & WKOW has remained with ABC ever since.

In January 1958, WKOW-TV became an affiliate of the short-lived local Badger TV Network, a 3-station TV network in Wisconsin. The other 2 stations were WISN-TV (Milwaukee ch. 12) & WFRV-TV (Green Bay ch. 5). The Badger Network was launched in January 1958 & ceased operations on August 8 of that year.

In 1974, Terry Shockley took over control of the Wisconsin TV Network, which has grown to include WAOW-TV - Wausau & WXOW-TV - La Crosse in addition to WKOW. Shockley later signed on WQOW-TV - Eau Claire as a satellite of WXOW. In 1986, Shockley sold the TV stations to Sharad Tak, whose Tak Communications would later purchase KITV in Honolulu, Hawaii & WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, New York. In the wake of the 1986 group deal, Shockley formed a new company, Shockley Communications Corporation, as a holding company for the radio stations which Shockley retained. Tak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1991 & later went into receivership. As part of Tak Communications' bankruptcy sale, Shockley repurchased the 4 Wisconsin stations in 1995. 2 years later, Shockley Communications launched WYOW - Eagle River as a satellite of WAOW. In June 2001, current owner Quincy Newspapers purchased most of the Shockley stations, including WKOW & it's Wisconsin sister stations.

When the station first started broadcasting TV in the 1950s, WKOW's sister radio station WKOW-AM 1070 was already on the air. The original studios for both TV & radio were constructed on the Tokay Boulevard site, not long after the first WKOW station was constructed. When WKOW switched it's TV affiliation to ABC during the 1950s, WKOW-AM 1070 radio kept the CBS affiliation. In the 1970s, WKOW was sold away from radio, in accordance with the FCC's "one to market" policy of that era & WKOW-AM 1070 frequency became WTSO-AM 1070 & is now affiliated with FOX Sports. WTSO remained in the Tokay Boulevard building through the 1980s, later adding an FM sister station on 104.1 (now WZEE) which had previously been a stand-alone. Now, both WTSO & WZEE are a part of Clear Channel Communications & are unrelated to WKOW-TV in any way except for WKOW-TV providing weather forecasts for Clear Channel's Madison radio operations.

On October 29 1998, WKOW became the smallest American TV station to start HD broadcasts with it's DT channel.


At 1 PM on February 17 2009, WKOW-TV discontinued analog broadcasting & moved full-time over-the-air broadcasts to it's DT channel, WKOW-DT ch. 26. Through the use of PSIP, DTV receivers continue to display WKOW-DT's virtual channels in the following manner:

Subchannel Programming
27.2 Retro Television Network (RTN)
27.3 This TV
27.4 WKOW Sports Channel (June 12, 2009 Launch)

Current On-air PersonalitiesEdit

Wake Up Wisconsin

  • Roland Beres, Anchor / Positively Wisconsin Reporter
  • Barbara Vaughan, Anchor
  • Brian Olson, Storm Track Meteorologist / AMS Seal of Approval / NWA Seal of Approval


  • Greg Jeschke, Anchor (27 News @ 5, 6, 6:30 & 10) / It's Your Money Reporter
  • Diana Henry, Anchor (27 News @ 5, 6 & 10) / Someone You Should Know Reporter
  • Bob Lindmeier, Storm Track Chief Meteorologist (27 News @ 5, 6, 6:30 & 10) / Weather Central Vice President / AMS Seal of Approval
  • Jake Zimmermann, Sports Director (27 News @ 6, 6:30 & 10)


  • Carl Agnelly, Anchor (Sat 27 News @ 6 & 10; Sun 27 News @ 5:30 & 10) / Good to be Green Reporter
  • Kelly Curran, Storm Track Meteorologist (Sat 27 News @ 6 & 10; Sun 27 News @ 5:30 & 10) / Reporter
  • Brian Custar, Sports Anchor (Sat 27 News @ 6 & 10; Sun 27 News @ 5:30 & 10) / Sports Reporter


  • Tony Galli / Investigative Reporter
  • Kim Sveum / Parenting Project Reporter
  • Dan Cassuto / Consumer Reporter
  • Brian Rodriguez
  • Jeff Angileri
  • Bill Osmulski / Rock County Reporter
  • Matt Zahn (Sports Reporter)

FOX 47 News @ 9 (airs on WMSN-TV; produced by WKOW)

  • Julie Lund, Anchor
  • Laurie Mercurio, Chief Meteorologist / AMS Seal of Approval
  • Matt Zahn, Sports Anchor
  • Jeff Angileri, Reporter

Former On-air PersonalitiesEdit

  • Jay Wilson (former Sports Director; now @ WISC-TV in Madison, WI)
  • Christa Dubill (now @ KSHB-TV in Kansas City, MO)
  • Elizabeth Hopkins (now @ WPRI-TV in Providence, RI)
  • Mitch Weber (now @ WGBA in Green Bay, WI)
  • Mari-Ela David (now @ KHNL in Honolulu, HI)
  • Dave Sniadak (former Sports Anchor; now @ SportsTime Ohio)
  • Marc Lovicott (now @ WISC-TV in Madison, WI)
  • Sarah Carlson (now @ WMTV in Madison, WI)
  • Dan Presser (former morning Anchor; now part-owner Tweedee Media Inc, Madison)
  • Tom Skilling (Meteorologist; now @ WGN-TV in Chicago, IL)
  • Jeremy Nelson (Meteorologist; now @ KSHB-TV in Kansas City, MO)
  • Mike Nelson (Meteorologist; now @ KMGH-TV in Denver, CO)
  • Jeff Gillan (now @ KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, NV)
  • Wendy Warren (former Anchor; living in Madison area)
  • Rachel Kisko (former Anchor; living in Madison area)
  • Charles Benson (now @ WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee, WI)
  • Monique Laven (now @ KIRO-TV in Seattle, WA)
  • Kai Reed (now @ WISN-TV in Milwaukee, WI)
  • Vanessa Shirley (Anchor/Reporter)
  • Amanda Wagner (Reporter)
  • Andy Dorn (Meteorologist)
  • Kit Kendeigh (Anchor)
  • Andy Kendeigh (Reporter)
  • Lauren Leamanczyk (Reporter)
  • Alan Shoemaker (Meteorologist)
  • Scott Klug (Anchor; later a US Congressman)
  • Steven Levitan (currently a TV writer/producer, known for such series as Just Shoot Me & Back to You)
  • Christine Lehman (News Reporter/Weather Forecaster)
  • Darren Lyn, News Reporter (now @ ESPN)
  • Beth Wagner (Anchor)
  • Joe Labarbera (Feature Reporter)
  • Paul Garcia (Sports Anchor/Reporter/Producer)

External linksEdit

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