KMOV Channel 4 began broadcasting in St. Louis as KWK-TV on July 8, 1954. Four years later, CBS Inc. purchased the station and changed its call letters to KMOX-TV. On May 16, 1986, Viacom International, Inc., bought KWK-TV from CBS. Because CBS retained the KMOX call letters for the AM radio station it still owned locally, a change in the Channel 4 call letters was necessary. KMOX-TV became KMOV-TV. Belo Corp. most recently acquired the station on June 1, 1997.
From the onset, Channel 4 provided a wide variety of news and public affairs programming that actively addressed the needs of its community. Programs that first aired on the station included "Good Morning, St. Louis," "Town and Country," "St. Louis Go Round" and "The St. Louis Report." Long-standing area residents may remember some of the station's early broadcasting personalities such as Max Roby, Spencer Allen, Les Carmichael and Dottye Bennett. "Eye on St. Louis," one of the station's first regular public affairs programs, still airs on KMOV 40 years after its original debut. Providing a platform for socioeconomic issues, "Eye on St. Louis" is currently hosted by News 4 St. Louis Anchor Robin Smith. Two newer programs added to the KMOV schedule include "Extra Edition," a weekly news discussion program produced in association with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch launched in February, 2002. And in 2003, KMOV added "At the Zoo" to its schedule, a weekly behind-the-scenes look at St. Louis' world-class zoo.
KMOV pioneered numerous important breakthroughs, which had significant impact at the local, national, and international level. In 1968, the station emerged as a much-needed leader in the redevelopment of the downtown area by moving from its Cole Street location to its present location in the heart of downtown St. Louis. This new location sits literally in the shadow of the Gateway Arch, which was built just two years earlier. This highly visible expression of confidence in the vitality of St. Louis prompted other prominent businesses to follow the station's lead.
The new facilities provided KMOV with the most modern broadcast technology available at the time and paved the way for even more innovation. In 1974, KMOV was the first local television station in the world to convert its news operations from film to a total Electronic News Gathering (ENG) operation. This conversion set the stage for a long series of technological revolutions that have benefited and influenced the international television industry as a whole.
In addition to providing fundamental community leadership and originating technological innovation, KMOV also revolutionized the way television stations cover news. In 1989, KMOV was the very first television station to develop and launch the "24 Hour News" concept - local news updates, on the hour, around-the-clock. This innovation truly took the industry by storm. Nearly a hundred television stations around the world have since replicated KMOV's "24 Hour News" format as a vehicle for keeping viewers instantly and continuously informed.
Since moving to St. Louis and joining KMOV-TV in 1980, President and General Manager Allan Cohen, has distinguished himself as a strong leader in the field of television broadcasting and as an extraordinary individual committed to helping the community in which he lives and works. Under his direction, KMOV has achieved a well-deserved, national reputation as one of the top-rated and most watched television stations in the country. programming. Such programs included original stage He and his staff have endeavored to and have succeeded in making KMOV an indispensable part of the St. Louis community. KMOV, under Allan’s direction, is committed to providing quality journalism and innovative local programming, as well as in engaging its on-air talent, creative and managerial people and technical resources in the important job of “giving back” to the people of the St. Louis area. His ability and success as the President and General Manager of KMOV-TV is reflected in the fact that he has held that position longer than the General Manager of any other commercial television station in the market.
During the many years that Allan has been at the helm of the television station, he has demonstrated his dedication and devotion to the causes that are important to the people of St. Louis. He has served on the Boards of numerous charitable organizations including the St. Louis Symphony, St. Louis Variety Club, Paraquad and the Junior League Advisory Board. He has chaired, hosted and served as the Master of Ceremonies at countless charitable events, including nine years as Honorary Chairman of the United Negro College Fund Annual Dinner. Allan has deployed the resources of the television station to enrich the community by featuring many charitable and not-for-profit organizations and exposing viewers to important cultural and educational programming. He and his capable staff have worked tirelessly to raise the awareness of important issues and to help many charities to raised funds to make St. Louis a better place to live.
Three special programs for the Forest Park Forever foundation, produced by KMOV, helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to ensure future generations of St. Louisans will be able to continue to enjoy our city’s most treasured park.
In 2004, KMOV created a weekly program, At the Zoo, which has given St. Louis viewers a behind the scenes look at, and a new appreciation for, our world-class zoo. A 2005 documentary, Reaching Out to Africa, produced with the St. Louis Zoo, raised the funds necessary to build a new dormitory for young girls at the Girgir School in Archer’s Post, Kenya. Allan and his capable staff work tirelessly to raise the awareness of important issues, and to help many charities to raise funds to make our world a better place to live.
Allan’s commitment to the children of St. Louis is evident in his devotion and loyalty to the Saint Louis Variety Club. He has pledged and ensured the annual airing of the Saint Louis Variety Club Telethon on KMOV, every year, since 1988. Over the years, Cohen has donated hundreds of hours of programming on KMOV to the Saint Louis Variety Club and this has enabled the Variety Club to raise more than $44 million for the special-needs children of our region. No television station in any other city in the country provides this level of service and resoluteness to Variety Club. In 1996, Cohen was the recipient of the very prestigious and much-coveted Variety Club’s International Barker Award. In 2007, KMOV received the National Association of Broadcasting Education Foundation’s (NABEF) Television Partnership Award for their continued work with Variety.
In November 2002, Cohen, along with Veteran News Anchor/Reporter, Robin Smith, were honored for their support and commitment to the Saint Louis Variety Club – Smith having served as the host of the telethon since it first aired on KMOV in 1988. In addition, Cohen has contributed his personal time to the organization. Deeply touched by the children that Variety serves, Allan has been moved to spend many hours with some of Variety Club’s children. In doing so, he has endeared himself to the kids and their families. Besides his charitable commitments, Cohen is a recognized broadcast industry leader who has been active in various professional organizations throughout his career including:
• Nine years as a member of the CBS Affiliates Advisory Board
• Former President and Vice President of the St. Louis Chapter of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS)
• Former Director of the Missouri Broadcasters Association
Allan has been honored with several Emmy’s including one for “Best Editorial” and one for Community Service for KMOV’s partnership with Variety. In 2006, he was inducted in to the NATAS Mid-America Chapter’s Silver Circle, an elite group of professionals recognized for making a significant contribution to television for the last 25 years or more. Under his leadership, Channel 4 has received numerous awards and honors for outstanding programming, excellent reporting and its commitment to community involvement, including the National Association of Broadcasting Education Foundation’s (NABEF) prestigious Service to America - Service to Children Award in 2001 and 2004, and a 2003 Gerald R. Loeb Award. In 2007, KMOV’s sixteen part series “Left Behind: The Failure of East St. Louis Schools” was awarded two extremely prestigious national awards, The Peabody and the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for broadcast journalism.
Before coming to St. Louis in 1980 as Vice President and General Manager of the then CBS owned and operated KMOX-TV (as KMOV was known then), Cohen worked in various capacities within the CBS corporate structure. He joined CBS Television Station Division in 1974 as a Financial Analyst, quickly advancing to Manager of Sales and Marketing Analysis and then Chief Financial Officer at WCBS-TV, New York. Cohen was promoted to the position of Vice President of Personnel for the entire CBS Broadcast Group, making him the youngest Vice President at CBS at that time. When he came to KMOX-TV in St. Louis, he was the youngest General Manager appointed to any CBS owned and operated television station in the country.
Prior to his career at CBS, Cohen spent four years as a civilian Electronics Engineer working on top secret projects for the U.S. Navy. He designed and maintained sophisticated state-of-the-art electronics equipment for Polaris, Poseidon and Trident Nuclear Submarines for Sperry Systems Management in New York.
KMOV-TV is part of Belo Corp., one of the nation's largest media companies with a diversified group of market-leading television, newspaper, cable and interactive media assets. A Fortune 1000 company with approximately 7,800 employees and $1.4 billion in annual revenues, Belo Corp. operates news and information franchises in some of America's most dynamic markets and regions, including Texas, the Northwest, the Southwest, Rhode Island and the Mid-Atlantic region. Belo Corp. owns 19 television stations (six in the top 15 markets) reaching 13.8 percent of U.S. television households; owns or operates 10 cable news channels; and manages one television station through a local marketing agreement. Belo Corp.'s daily newspapers include The Dallas Morning News, The Providence Journal, The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) and the Denton Record-Chronicle (Denton, TX). Belo Interactive's new media businesses include more than 30 Web sites, several interactive alliances and a broad range of Internet-based products. Additional information, including earnings releases, is available online at www.belo.com.