Waterloo/Cedar Rapids/Dubuque/Iowa City, Iowa
United States
City Waterloo, Iowa
Branding KWWL (general)
News 7 KWWL (newscasts)
MeTV KWWL 7.3 (on DT3)
Slogan We've Got You Covered
Channels Digital: 7 (VHF)
Virtual: 7 (PSIP)
Subchannels 7.1 NBC
7.2 The CW
7.3 MeTV
Owner Quincy Media
(KWWL License, LLC)
First air date November 29, 1953 (1953-11-29)
Call letters' meaning Keep Watching WaterLoo
(common, but inaccurate belief) or
Waterloo Way Leads
Sister station(s) KWWL-DT2
Former callsigns KWWL-TV (1953–1983)
Former channel number(s) 7 (VHF analog, 1953–2009)
55 (UHF digital, 2003–2009)
Former affiliations DuMont (secondary, 1953–1956)
NTA (secondary, 1956–1961)
RTV (DT2, 2009–2011)
This TV (DT2, 2009–2016)
Transmitter power 49 kW
Height 601 m (1,972 ft)
Facility ID 593
Transmitter coordinates 42°24′2″N 91°50′37″W / 42.40056°N 91.84361°W / 42.40056; -91.84361
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile

KWWL is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Waterloo, Iowa, United States and serving the Eastern Iowa television market (Cedar Rapids–Waterloo–Iowa CityDubuque). It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on virtual and VHF channel 7 from a transmitter located north of Rowley, Iowa, a city in Buchanan County. The station can also be seen on Mediacom channel 7 and in high definition on digital channel 807. Owned by Quincy Media, KWWL maintains studios on East 5th Street in Waterloo. The station also operates newsrooms and sales offices in Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Iowa City.


When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened up bids for channel 7 in Waterloo, it was obvious that the license would either go to Sonderling Broadcasting, owner of KXEL (AM 1540), or R.J. McElroy and his Black Hawk Broadcasting Company, owner of KWWL (AM 1330, now KPTY). After a long legal battle, Black Hawk won the license, and KWWL-TV signed on for the first time on November 29, 1953—a Thanksgiving Day present to eastern Iowa.

The station was originally affiliated with NBC and the DuMont network.[1] During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[2]

In 1980, Black Hawk agreed in principle to merge with Forward Communications. However, the FCC told Black Hawk and Forward that it would have to sell either KWWL-AM-FM or channel 7. The KWWL stations had been grandfathered under a 1970s FCC rule banning common ownership of radio and television stations. When Forward decided to keep the radio stations, Black Hawk sold channel 7 to AFLAC just before the merger closed. In 1997, AFLAC sold its entire broadcasting division, including KWWL, to Raycom Media.

In 2006, Raycom sold KWWL and a handful of other stations following its purchase of The Liberty Corporation in late 2005.[3] Quincy Newspapers became owner of KWWL on July 1, 2006. The merger made QNI the owner of four of the NBC affiliates serving Iowa, along with flagship station WGEM-TV in Quincy, Illinois; KTIV in Sioux City and KTTC in Rochester, Minnesota.

KWWL has been digital-only since February 17, 2009.[4] [5] The "KWWL" callsign was legally transferred from the now-defunct analog channel 7 to the new digital channel 7, with the "KWWL-DT" callsign being permanently discontinued. However, the PSIP identifier still identifies KWWL's main channel on 7.1 as "KWWL-DT."

On November 1, 2010, the FCC granted KWWL a construction permit for a 300-watt digital fill-in translator on channel 7 (the same frequency as their main channel).[6] The translator will serve the immediate part and areas northwest of Dubuque. The permit was later cancelled on June 6, 2013. [7]


KWWL-DT2's previous logo as a This TV affiliate.

KWWL-DT2 began operations in November 2004 as an affiliate of NBC Weather Plus, airing national weather forecasts from the service as well as inserts of local weather forecasts from the KWWL weather center. However, on October 7, 2008, NBC Universal announced that they would shut down the NBC Weather Plus service by December 31, 2008, concurrently, in January 2009, that subchannel began airing RTV programming.[8][9]

In late-April 2011, KWWL-DT2 dropped RTV and became affiliated with This TV, a digital broadcast television network which places a large programming emphasis on films obtained from the MGM library and also airs classic television programming.[10]

In April 2016, KWWL announced that they would add programming from The CW on KWWL-DT2 beginning on September 12, 2016.[11][12] At the same time, KWWL-DT2 ended its five-year affiliation with This TV. This resulted in an affiliation swap between KWWL-DT2 and Iowa City based KWKB (channel 20), the Cedar Rapids market's former CW affiliate, which then became the This TV affiliate for the Cedar Rapids market.[13]

Studio renovation

In late 2014, the KWWL building underwent a major renovation project, which involved extensive interior and exterior work. The neighboring American Legion building was demolished to make way for a new parking lot. This also led to the building's "front" changing from the 4th Street side to the 5th Street side. Further exterior work restored the 4th Street side to how it appeared when the building was first constructed in the early 1900s. This included restoring original trim and detail work, as well as the large windows which surrounded half the building.

On the interior, the newsroom and studio were relocated to the newly renovated and updated second floor. The new KWWL set debuted on October 26, 2016.

A week later, demolition and remodeling of the first floor began. In July 2017, the remainder of KWWL's departments (Marketing, Sales and Administration) moved to their new location on the first floor.

The Grand Opening was held on September 20, 2017.

Digital channels

Channel Video Aspect PSIP short name Programming [14]
7.11080i16:9KWWL-DTMain KWWL programming / NBC
7.2720pKWWL-DT2 / The CW


Syndicated programs aired by KWWL include Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, Inside Edition, and Steve.

News operation

On April 11, 2010, KWWL became the first station in eastern Iowa and the first QNI station to broadcast its newscasts in high definition.[15] At this time, its updated its logo, removing the large blue circle that surrounded the 7.

Notable former on-air staff


  1. "KWWL-TV Affiliates With Dumont Network", The Oelwein Daily Register, p. 7, 1953-11-14
  2. "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films", Boxoffice: 13, November 10, 1956, archived from the original on June 14, 2009
  3. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-04-30. Retrieved 2006-03-31.
  6. Application View ... Redirecting
  8. Greppi, Michelle (2008-10-07). "NBC Shutting Down Weather Plus". TV Week. Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  9. Malone, Michael (2008-10-07). "NBC Universal Shutting Down Weather Plus". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media, LLC. Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  10. Magner, Maria (2009-01-08). "This TV new digital channel 7.2". Quincy Media. Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  11. Staff Report (12 April 2016). "CW Network Coming To KWWL; Cedar Rapids The Quincy Media NBC affiliate in Iowa is adding The CW on its ch. 7.2 beginning in September". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  12. Rosenberg, Madelyne (2016-04-26). "The CW Network comes to KWWL 7.2 this fall". Quincy Media. Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  13. Morrison, Jeff (2016-09-12). "KWKB loses CW affiliation". Iowa Highway Ends (etc.). Retrieved 2016-11-05.

1. Lipps, Rick and Weaver, Tim. KWWL Station History ( Date Accessed: July 30, 2005. Waterloo, Iowa: KWWL.

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