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KOMU-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 8, is a dual NBC/CW+-affiliated television station licensed to Columbia, Missouri, United States and serving the Columbia–Jefferson City television market. The station's studios and transmitter are located on US 63 southeast of downtown Columbia. Owned by the University of Missouri, KOMU-TV is one of only two commercial full-power television stations in the United States to be owned by a public university (alongside WVUA in Tuscaloosa, Alabama); the majority of television stations owned by a public university are non-profit PBS member stations.

KOMU-TV 8 logo.png
ColumbiaJefferson City, Missouri
United States
CityColumbia, Missouri
ChannelsDigital: 8 (VHF)
(to move to 27 (UHF)[1][2])
Virtual: 8
BrandingKOMU 8
Mid-Missouri CW (on DT3)
  • 8.1: NBC (since 1986; also from 1953 to 1982)
  • 8.3: CW+
OwnerUniversity of Missouri
(The Curators of the University of Missouri)
First air date
December 21, 1953 (68 years ago) (1953-12-21)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 8 (VHF, 1953–2009)
  • 7 K07SD Rolla
  • Digital:
  • 36 (UHF, 2002–2009)
ABC (1982–1985; secondary 1953–1971)
CBS (secondary, 1953–1955)
DuMont (secondary, 1953–1955)
NBC Weather Plus (2005−2008)
Universal Sports (2008−2011)
Call sign meaning
Missouri University

(nickname of owner)
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID65583
ERP13.6 kW
1,000 kW (application)[1]
HAAT242 m (794 ft)
266 m (873 ft) (application)[1]
Transmitter coordinates38°53′17″N 92°15′49″W / 38.88806°N 92.26361°W / 38.88806; -92.26361
38°53′21″N 92°15′43.2″W / 38.88917°N 92.262000°W / 38.88917; -92.262000 (application)[1]
Public license information


KOMU 8's studios, designed by Jamieson and Spearl, on US 63 south of Columbia.

KOMU-TV was the brainchild of longtime University of Missouri journalism professor Edward C. Lambert, who wanted to give journalism students a hands-on experience by working at a full-fledged commercial station. It began airing an analog signal on VHF channel 8 on December 21, 1953 and carried programming from all four major networks at the time, but was a primary NBC affiliate. It lost both DuMont and CBS in 1955 when KRCG (channel 13) began operations from nearby Jefferson City. The two then shared ABC until 1971 when KCBJ-TV (channel 17, now KMIZ) launched, leaving KOMU as a full-time NBC station. From January 22 through April 23, 1955, KOMU temporarily originated a live prime time ABC network show, Ozark Jubilee.

On August 8, 1982,[3] ABC moved its affiliation to the station, since the network was the highest-rated at the time and wanted a stronger outlet. However, KOMU would not be an ABC affiliate for very long. By 1985, KOMU was one of several ABC affiliates nationwide that were underwhelmed by the network's ratings and programming in its 3½ seasons with them. Meanwhile, NBC had regained the ratings lead. Accordingly, KOMU rejoined NBC on New Year's Day 1986 (reversing the 1982 swap with channel 17, which would become KMIZ concurrent to this).[4] In 2002, KOMU took over operation of cable-only WB affiliate "KJWB" as part of The WB 100+. KMIZ had previously operated it, but relinquished control over it to KOMU after its parent company went bankrupt. This service was known on-air as "Mid-Missouri's WB 5" after its cable channel location and, as a result, had a fictional callsign (as did most cable-only WB affiliates).

In 2002, KOMU won the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism for maintaining its longstanding policy banning political symbols on air. The station had come under considerable government and popular pressure to allow its anchors and reporters to wear American flag lapels on air in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. In December 2005, the station added NBC Weather Plus to a new second digital subchannel and live streaming video on its website. This was added to Mediacom digital systems on January 12, 2007. After the national service shut down on December 1, 2008, it was replaced with Universal Sports but was not added to other digital cable systems. In 2011, Universal Sports was dropped from subchannel 8.2.[5]

It was announced on April 12, 2006 that "KJWB" would become part of The CW and be added as a new third digital subchannel of KOMU to offer non-cable viewers access to the new network. "KJWB" joined The CW at the network's launch on September 18 and began to use the KOMU-DT3 call sign in an official manner. As a result, the station became the first and only educational institution-owned channel in the United States to affiliate with that network. Since KMIZ operated the area's cable-exclusive UPN station "KZOU", that station joined the other new network known as MyNetworkTV that was created to compete against The CW.


Syndicated programmingEdit

Syndicated programming on KOMU-TV includes Rachael Ray, Inside Edition, Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, Jeopardy!, and Wheel of Fortune.

News operationEdit

Originally, MU School of Journalism students generally served as KOMU-TV interns providing behind-the-scenes assistance with production and direction, with some on-air reporting. However, since 1970, most of the station's reporters and photographers have been undergraduate and/or graduate students, who rotate at the station on a weekly and semester basis. In addition, students serve as weekend and substitute anchors, and some of them also work as producers. However, like other commercial outlets, the station does employ paid professional staff as managers, engineers, and sales representatives. The editors and main on-air anchors, as well as most of the producers, are actually School of Journalism faculty members. Due to the large number of unpaid interns, KOMU has a significantly larger news department than is the case for a small-to-medium market station.

MU has always devoted significant resources to KOMU's news operation, resulting in a higher-quality product than conventional wisdom would suggest for what has always been a small market (it is currently the 135th market, the second-smallest Missouri-based market with three full Big Three affiliates). As a result, it has spent most of its history as the dominant station in Mid-Missouri, according to Nielsen ratings. Historically, KOMU has dominated Columbia and the northern half of the market, while KRCG leads the way in Jefferson City and the southern half. At the turn of the millennium, this pattern had progressed to the extent that the two cities were a single market in name only.[6] In the late 2006 sweeps, however, KOMU lost the lead at 10 p.m. to KRCG—the first time in memory that KOMU had lost any timeslot. However, it still remains a solid runner-up at 10, and leads all other timeslots.

Today, KOMU airs local news for five hours each weekday, 3½ hours on Saturdays and 2½ hours on Sundays; unlike most NBC affiliates, it does air an evening newscast on Sundays. Unusual for its market size, KOMU begins its weekday morning show at 4:30, reflecting a recent trend of television stations airing a pre-5 a.m. broadcast (most stations ranked #75 and above in the Nielsen rank usually air morning newscasts at 5:30 or 6 in the morning). KOMU used to be the only station in the area that begins its early-morning newscast this early, but this changed with KRCG having launched a 4:30 a.m. newscast in 2020.

On August 8, 2008, the station became first in the market to offer local newscasts in high definition making Mid-Missouri the third-smallest DMA in the country to feature local broadcasts in HD.[7][8] On April 23, 2009, KOMU debuted a new set specifically designed for high definition television. Starting July 5, 2010, the station began producing three newscasts for its CW-affiliated third digital subchannel. This includes KOMU 8 News at 9 on The CW every night for a half-hour.[9] The prime time show competes with the KMIZ-produced show on Fox affiliate KQFX-LD.

On September 12, 2011, KOMU-TV started a new weekday 4 p.m. newscast, which replaced The Oprah Winfrey Show; it featured news, events and local weather, and gave viewers a chance to share their opinions on news stories through social media outlets. The award-winning Sarah Hill anchors the hour-long newscast.[10] On January 9, 2012, U_News moved to 11 a.m. and was shortened to a half-hour.[11] On April 23, 2012, the program was reformatted as a traditional newscast and moved once again to noon (the U_News title was also dropped from the newscast); social media involvement in the newscast continued to be included, though in a downscaled form.[12][13]

Like all CW Plus stations in the Central Time Zone, KOMU-DT3 also offered the nationally syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz on weekdays from 5 to 8 a.m. until the show's sudden cancellation by its distributor in mid-April 2015. KOMU operates its own weather radar, known as "Live Doppler 8 First Alert Radar", next to its studios. KOMU's website features a live streaming video feed of all newscasts.

In addition to the counties defined in the Columbia–Jefferson City media market by Nielsen,[14] KOMU-TV includes Camden (part of the Springfield market), Gasconade (part of the St. Louis market), Macon (part of the KirksvilleOttumwa market), Monroe (part of the QuincyHannibal market), Pettis, and Saline counties (part of the Kansas City market) in its viewing area for news and weather coverage purposes.[15]

Notable former on-air staffEdit

Technical informationEdit


The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[17]
8.1 1080i 16:9 KOMU-DT Main KOMU-TV programming / NBC
8.3 720p KOMU-CW Mid Missouri's CW

Analog-to-digital conversionEdit

KOMU-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 8, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 36 to VHF channel 8 for post-transition operations.[18]

Carriage controversiesEdit

2011 Mediacom disputeEdit

On January 3, 2011, KOMU-TV was removed from the channel lineup of Mediacom, the main cable provider for most of Mid-Missouri, after talks to negotiate a new retransmission consent agreement broke down, the previous carriage agreement with Mediacom was supposed to expire two days earlier, but KOMU-TV and Mediacom agreed to extend their carriage agreement through midnight on January 3.[19] Mediacom replaced KOMU 8 and its digital subchannels with three cable channels: Turner Classic Movies replaced KOMU on channels 7 and 707; Starz Kids and Family replaced Mid-Missouri CW on channel 5; and The Hub replaced Universal Sports on channel 101.[20] On January 7, 2011, Mediacom brought KOMU and its subchannels back on their respective channel slots after the company and KOMU reached a new carriage agreement.[21]

Out-of-market coverageEdit

The station also operated a translator, K07SD in Rolla, Missouri, in the westernmost area of the St. Louis market. The translator operated on analog VHF channel 7. The license for that translator was canceled by the FCC no later than June 2010.[22]


  1. ^ a b c d "Channel Substitution/Community of License Change". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. October 27, 2020. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  2. ^ "Report & Order", Media Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, 4 March 2021, Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  3. ^ "Full Page". cdm16795.contentdm.oclc.org.
  4. ^ https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/IDX-Business/Magazines/Archive-BC-IDX/85-OCR/BC-1985-10-07-OCR-Page-0096.pdf
  5. ^ "KOMU TV Listings".
  6. ^ Fybush, Scott. The Big Travelogue, Part Eleven. November 21, 2001.
  7. ^ "KOMU-TV to go HD". NewscastStudio.
  8. ^ "KOMU-TV launches HD with revised graphics". NewscastStudio.
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ KOMU To Debut New Interactive Newscast, TVNewsCheck, May 2, 2011.
  11. ^ Missouri station moving interactive newscast, NewscastStudio, December 23, 2011.
  12. ^ KOMU Scales Back Interactivity on Google+ Newscast, TVSpy, April 11, 2012., Newscast Studio, April 11, 2012.
  13. ^ KOMU Ending Interactive Newscast, Newscast Studio, April 11, 2012.
  14. ^ "2012–2013 Large DMA Map" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 16, 2015. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  15. ^ "Watch/Warning Map".
  16. ^ "Alex Rozier". AlexReports.com. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  17. ^ "RabbitEars.Info". www.rabbitears.info.
  18. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  19. ^ Justin Willett. "KOMU, Mediacom agree to extend deadline for deal"[dead link], Columbia Daily Tribune, January 2, 2011. Retrieved February 25, 2011 from HighBeam Research.
  20. ^ "Movie channel fills KOMU's old spot"[dead link], Columbia Daily Tribune, January 6, 2011. Retrieved February 25, 2011 from HighBeam Research.
  21. ^ Andrew Denney. "KOMU returns to Mediacom lineup"[dead link], Columbia Daily Tribune, January 7, 2011. Retrieved February 25, 2011 from HighBeam Research.
  22. ^ "RabbitEars.Info". www.rabbitears.info.

External linksEdit