KWGN-TV serves Denver and the Rocky Mountain region with a distinguished legacy including many landmark moments in broadcasting history.
As Denver’s first television station, Colorado’s Own Channel 2 signed on the air on July 18, 1952 with the call letters KFEL. Owned by Gene O’Fallon, Channel 2 was quickly known for local programming, but the same year as its launch, it also became affiliated with the new DuMont network. In 1956, the DuMont network folded and Channel 2 became an independent station. Among its many firsts, Channel 2 was the first station in Denver to broadcast a live newscast, the first to broadcast from a remote location, and the first to broadcast in color. It was also the first on the forefront of local programming; longtime residents will fondly remember “Blinky’s Fun Club” featuring “Blinky the Clown.”
In 1955, the station was sold to Gotham Broadcasting and the call letters were changed to KTVR. In the early 1960’s, the call letters were again changed, this time to KCTO. Tribune Broadcasting bought the station in 1966, changing the call letters one final time to the current KWGN (after its sister station, WGN in Chicago, Illinois).
In the 1970s, KWGN became a regional superstation and is available on many cable stations in the western United States including Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas. It is also available via satellite and picked up around the world, including in Jamaica, Costa Rica, and on cruise ships.
In 1993, KWGN marked another broadcasting first, as the television home of the new MLB expansion team, the Colorado Rockies.
In 1995, KWGN became an affiliate of the new WB network. In 2006, the WB merged with the competing UPN network and the current CW network was created, combining the best programming of both networks.
As the first television station Denver to broadcast local news and from both studio and live remote locations, Channel 2’s 9:00 PM newscast served the community for decades. It was later moved to 7:00 PM.
In January 2000, KWGN expanded beyond its legacy 9:00 PM newscast by launching a three-hour morning newscast, first called “WB2day” and later renamed “WB2 Morning News,” and then “News2 This Morning.” It has since been expanded by an hour, renamed “Daybreak” and now runs each weekday morning from 5:00 AM – 9:00 AM.