KFVS started as a tiny radio station operated out of Oscar Hirsch's mother's living room in 1924. Mr. Hirsch built it using a homemade 50-watt transmitter and a microphone donated by the Lion's Club.
The Department of Commerce secretary, Herbert Hoover, assigned the call letters to the station. The letters were randomly selected by Hoover.
In May of 1951, Hirsch filed an application to build a full power television broadcasting station in Cape Girardeau on channel 12. Two years later, a station in St. Louis also filed for channel 12. Hirsch and the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce organized a massive petition drive and gathered 40,000 signatures requesting the other station withdraw its application. It worked!
The first KFVS tower was 892 feet tall and could broadcast to one million people. KFVS-TV started broadcasting on Channel 12 on October 3, 1954. A few months after KFVS went on the air, Mr. Hirsch bought two television cameras from a station that went bankrupt in Festus.
Oscar Hirsch came up with the idea of bringing a morning program to the Heartland and Don McNeely came up with the name “The Breakfast Show.”
KFVS has always been a CBS affiliate. Because ABC and NBC were not in the market yet, KFVS actually carried some of their programs in the 1950s.
In 1957, James Arness, the star of Gunsmoke, paid a visit to KFVS.
In 1960, Oscar Hirsch chose a site 8 ½ miles from Cape Girardeau, near Egypt Mills, as the location for a new tower. The KFVS tower is 1,676 feet tall and was the world's tallest man-made structure at the time. The new tower enabled KFVS to reach over 2,700,000 people.
Crews broke ground on the KFVS building in the winter of 1966. We moved into the building in 1968.
Oscar Hirsch sold KFVS to Aflac in 1979. Raycom Media bought KFVS in 1997.