For the first time in 50 years CBS is returning to the birthplace of Walter Cronkite.
News-Press & Gazette Co. (NPG) announced Friday the launch of a new CBS affiliate in St. Joseph, marking the first time since 1967 that a CBS affiliate has been based in the city.
NPG, through its subsidiary News-Press TV LLC, has reached an affiliation agreement with CBS Corp. to create KBJO-TV. The new station is expected to go on the air June 1.
The broadcast station will share a newsroom with the St. Joseph News-Press and newspressnow.com, the community news and information website. The news team, already the largest and most experienced in the region, expects to benefit from the additional news resources of CBS. The combined resources of the News-Press team produces more than 30 hours of local news per week along with the daily newspaper, digital news and digital apps.
Legendary newsman Walter Cronkite, a native of St. Joseph, spent 31 years at CBS leading the nation through major events like the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and our first landing on the moon. Cronkite was often referred to as the “most trusted man in America.”
As owners of NPG, the Bradley family said they’re committed to preserving Cronkite’s legacy and honoring his St. Joseph connection. The family was instrumental in the creation of the Walter Cronkite Museum, which is housed at Missouri Western State University.
“We are very proud to have the Walter Cronkite Memorial in St. Joseph and are proud to have contributed to its creation,” said KBJO General Manager Eric Bradley. “We feel this solidifies his legacy in the region by returning CBS to local operation.”
“We are extremely proud that the birthplace of legendary CBS News journalist Walter Cronkite will be the newest home to a CBS affiliate,” said Ray Hopkins, President of Network Distribution for CBS Corp. “This is a great deal for CBS and a great deal for our partners to carry the hit programming of the No. 1 television network. Together, we look forward to serving the viewers we share for years to come.”
The museum is home to a replica of the CBS studio where Cronkite broadcast for 19 years. It also has on display several family items, including Cronkite’s studio anchor desk.
In addition to the excitement of bringing Cronkite’s affiliate back home and the opportunities that come with a new local affiliate, Bradley said this is exciting for the community too.
“The prime-time programming that they (CBS) have is the most watched in America. And the sports programming of course with the Chiefs games, with the SEC football on the weekends, it’s stuff that our community will be very excited to watch,” said Bradley.