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. acquired the station on June 1, 1997. KMOV is now owned by the Meredith Corporation.
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", "The St. Louis Report", and “Eye on St Louis.” 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
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.
KMOV has shown leadership in the digital world as well with several on-line products. KMOV.com was launched in 1999, and the mobile version was launched in 2010. In Addition KMOV has developed several mobile applications or apps including BaseballStL, St. Louis Weather Radar and the KMOV iPad app.
KMOV 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 prestigious national awards, The Peabody and the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for broadcast journalism. In 2013 KMOV’s documentary “War Zone” won a Silver Medal from the New York Film Festival and a national Edward R. Murrow award, one of two investigative pieces from KMOV to win a national Murrow in ’13.
The station and community benefitted from the leadership of President and General Manager Allan Cohen for 32 years. Cohen was dedicated to many community projects and non-profits including but not limited to the St. Louis Symphony, Paraquad, St. Louis Variety Club, The Junior League, and the United Negro College Fund. Cohen who for many years produced editorials for the station 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. Allan retired from the station in May of 2012.
Current President and General Manager Mark Pimentel replaced Cohen and has led TV stations for the past 18 years, and before that worked in news for additional 18 years. Pimentel’s earlier career took him from cities like Baltimore and Boston to Atlanta and Louisville among others. Among Pimentel’s honors are twelve Emmys and national awards including Two Columbia DuPont awards and Silver Medal from the New York Film Festival. Pimentel remains committed to making sure KMOV remains a strong community partner.