For more than 75 years, the KFVS call letters have been part of the fabric of America's Heartland. In 1924, one of America's first true broadcast pioneers, Mr. Oscar C. Hirsch, founded KFVS radio. His early broadcasts originated from a studio located in his parlor. The KFVS Radio studios had several subsequent homes, including the old Marquette Hotel on Broadway. KFVS Radio finally ended up at what is now the Mississippi River Radio studios on Broadway. Then, on October 3rd, 1954, KFVS Television signed on the air in Cape Girardeau, and the recreational and leisure habits of people in southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, and western Kentucky area would be forever changed.
In 1960, Hirsch finished construction of a brand new transmitting tower near Oriole, Missouri, eight miles north of Cape Girardeau. At the time of completion, this "miracle of physics" was the world's tallest man-made structure. Towering 2,000 feet above average terrain, the new KFVS-TV tower pumped a high-quality television signal to viewers in parts of six states. Today, the massive tower still reigns as the region's tallest structure and remains as one of the top 10 tallest man-made structures in the world.
In 1968, Hirsch moved KFVS-TV from the current KZIM Radio studio to its present location at 310 Broadway. The studio building stands 13 stories above downtown Cape Girardeau, and remains today as one of the most significant features of historic downtown Cape Girardeau.
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 Emmy's, Telly's, Addy's, 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 more than 65 broadcast stations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Raycom properties span from Honolulu to Syracuse to West Palm Beach. Being owned by a pure broadcast 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 region and are integrated with their communities. The management at KFVS-TV and Raycom Media know that to be successful in broadcasting today means providing the best local news and weather coverage available, along with quality entertainment.
KFVS-TV has been part of life in the "Heartland" for more than 50 years. The television industry 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.