For more than 90 years the KFVS call letters have been part of the fabric of Southeast Missouri, Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, and Northwestern Tennessee, a region we call America’s Heartland. In 1924, one of America’s true broadcast pioneers, Mr. Oscar Hirsch, founded KFVS radio. Then on October 3rd, 1954, KFVS-TV signed on the air in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and the lifestyle of people in this viewing area would be forever changed.
In 1960, Hirsch finished construction on a brand-new transmitting tower near Egypt Mills, Missouri, 8 miles north of Cape Girardeau. At the time of completion, this “miracle of physics” was the world’s tallest man-made structure. Towering 2000 feet above average terrain, the new KFVS-TV tower pumped a high-quality signal to viewers in parts of six states. Today, the massive tower still reigns as the region’s tallest structure and remains in the top 10 tallest structures in the world.
In 1968, Hirsch moved KFVS-TV from the current KZIM Radio studio to its present location at 310 Broadway. This new state-of-the-art studio building stood 13 stories above downtown Cape Girardeau, and remains today as one of the most significant features of historic downtown Cape.
KFVS-TV was sold in 1979 to the AFLAC Broadcast Division, part of AFLAC, Inc. headquartered in Columbus, Georgia. While Mr. Hirsch laid the foundation for quality broadcasting, AFLAC was able to allocate the additional resources necessary to take KFVS-TV to its current dominant position. Under AFLAC management, the station won numerous industry awards including Emmys, Tellys, Addys, Missouri and Illinois Broadcasters’ Awards, the CBS Service to Community Award, the National Association of Broadcasters’ Service To Children Award, the Missouri State Teachers’ Association Media Award for covering education, the prestigious IRIS Award for local children’s programming, and the coveted Griffin Award for Community Service.
In 1997, AFLAC sold their broadcast group of seven stations, including KFVS-TV, to Raycom Media, Inc. headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama. Currently Raycom Media owns and operates more than 60 broadcast stations throughout the country. Being owned by a cutting-edge content delivery company means the future for KFVS looks brighter than ever.
Through the years and ownership changes, KFVS-TV has consistently stood for quality broadcasting at the local level. Most of the staff are local to the market and are integrated in their communities. The management at KFVS-TV and Raycom Media know that to be successful today means providing the best local news and weather coverage available, along with quality entertainment, 24 hours a day on-air and on digital platforms consumers use. With an intense digital focus, Raycom Media and KFVS-TV are poised to continue to dominate our local market by delivering important local information to our audience on current digital platforms and on digital space yet to come.
KFVS-TV has been part of life in the Heartland for nearly 65 years. The content delivery business is more competitive today than most broadcasters ever thought possible, but with loyal viewers and employees, we feel confident that we’ll be entertaining and informing people for many more years to come.