Kansas City, MO

Exploring some history of Kansas City's first television station - WDAF-TV

CJ Coombs

WDAF-TV (channel 4) and now referred to as FOX4 is Kansas City, Missouri's television network affiliated with the Fox network. The station is owned by Nexstar Media Group maintaining studios at 3030 Summit Street, known to Kansas Citians as Signal Hill. Visit here to view some interesting old images related to inside the station.

WDAF-TV was the first television station to broadcast in Kansas City, Missouri and has been a major part of the local media landscape ever since. It began broadcasting in 1949 and was initially owned by the Kansas City Star Co., the parent of the Kansas City Star newspaper. WDAF-TV was an NBC affiliate for years and aired a variety of programming including news, sports, movies, and children's shows.

In September 1949, WDAF ran test broadcasts for three days at the Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City, which were presented by Kansas City Star Co.'s president, Roy A. Roberts, and the general manager of WDAF-TV-AM, H. Dean Fitzer. Decades later, WDAF-TV would become one of the first NBC stations to start receiving network programs by satellite transmission.

WDAF-TV was the NBC affiliate for Kansas City for a long time, but changes during the 1990s occurred. There’s also a history string of ownership of the station. The station would later be separated from WDAF radio. WDAF is still one of the most popular television stations in Kansas City and continues to provide quality programming for viewers in the area.

The FOX4 news channel runs the Working for You slogan, and back in the day, WDAF represented the call letters for Why Dial Any Further? With the station’s affiliation with Fox, its news branding of Newschannel 4 was changed to Fox 4. While WDAF-TV, or FOX4KC, is a Fox-affiliated station in Kansas City, it’s owned by Nexstar Media Group.

Interestingly, Gayle King, who now co-hosts CBS This Morning, worked early on in her career at WDAF-TV as a weekend anchor and general-assignment reporter. Also, former Fox 4 News anchor and politician, Mark Alford, who worked at WDAF-TV from 1998 to 2021, is now a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Missouri's 4th district.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

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