ABC9 First Television Station in Sioux City, Iowa


Published 02/19 2014 11:24AM

Updated 08/31 2016 03:07PM

On March 29, 1953, KVTV Channel 9 (the forerunner of KCAU-TV) began broadcasting from an improvised studio at Seventh and Pierce Streets. It was the beginnings of the first television station in Sioux City, Iowa. Later in 1956, Channel 9 moved into a historic building at Seventh and Douglas that previously housed the old Sioux City Auditorium and the Tomba Ballroom. KVTV was then a CBS basic station, that also took delayed programs, via kinescope, from NBC, ABC and the Dumont Network. Videotape wasn't a reality until years later, so everything was live or on film. At this time, an invitation was sent to leaders of all fields throughout the country inviting them to participate in a 21st Century Guesstimate. A broad response was received from such people as: Hon. Herbert Hoover; David Sarnoff, Pres., National Broadcasting Co.; Rev. Billy Graham, Evangelist; Samuel Goldwyn, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; Ralph S. Damon, Pres., Trans World Airlines, Inc., plus many, many more. All these projections of life in the future have been received in sealed envelopes and sealed within a stainless steel time capsule. That time capsule was then opened on January 1, 2000. Over 80 people responded and gave a very unique guess at what they envisioned the future to be. All of these projections are being kept at the Sioux City Museum.

In 1965, Forward of Iowa assumed the ownership and operation of KVTV. During that time Channel 9 switched its signal to a new 2,000 foot tower northeast of Sioux City. This enabled the station to nearly double its coverage area and to serve many more Siouxlanders than it had before. Also at that time, they changed the call letters to KCAU-TV and made it the primary ABC affiliate for the Sioux City-Sioux Falls area. KCAU quickly became one of the top-ranking ABC affiliates in the country.  The letters in KCAU stood for...Kares About U. In 1988, KCAU-TV's ownership changed to Citadel Communications Company, Ltd.

In September of 2008, KCAU-TV started on the change from analog to digital. It started with adding on a digital sub-channel. Live Well Network resides on channel 9.2. Then in February of 2009, KCAU-TV dropped the analog signal and went digital. On November 23, 2010, Channel 9 KCAU-TV made the transition into high definition. At that time, KCAU-TV was the first television station in Siouxland to make the full HD switch in local news, local commercials and promotion.

KCAU-TV 9 serves more than 400,000 people in the Sioux City viewing area. Sioux City is located on the scenic banks of the Missouri River at the point where Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota meet.

KCAU-TV 9 offers a strong news presence in Siouxland. It begins with ABC9 News This Morning at 5:00am with a first look at local news and weather as you head out the door. Next is ABC's Good Morning America. Later is ABC9 News Midday at 11:30am. The afternoon continues on with ABC9 News at 5pm, followed by World News with Diane Sawyer at 5:30pm, followed by ABC9 News at 6pm giving you a complete look at Siouxland's top breaking news stories. Following ABC primetime programming in HD, Siouxlanders stay for ABC9 News at 10.

Many changes have taken place at ABC9 during these last 60+ years, but ABC9's dedication to serving the people of Siouxland has remained constant throughout.


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