Rich Tradition of service
KTIV continues a rich tradition of media service to Siouxland, dating back to the 19th century.
George D. Perkins came to Sioux City in the spring of 1869. The Civil War was over, and Sioux City and the nation were in the process of rebuilding and expanding. Confident of the future of Sioux City and our nation, Perkins purchased The Sioux City Journal, then a weekly newspaper. In 1870, George and his brother, Henry, turned The Journal into a thriving daily newspaper.
George Perkins died in 1914, leaving the prosperous Sioux City Journal to his son-in-law, William H. Sammons, who published the paper with George Perkins’ son, William R. (Will) Perkins until Sammons’ death in 1944. Before Sammons died, however, he merged the two papers in Sioux City, The Journal and The Tribune, and published both of them. William R. Perkins published The Journal from 1944 to 1962; before his death, he appointed Elizabeth Sammons, daughter of Clara Perkins Sammons, as publisher of The Journal.
Expanding into Electronic Media
The Sioux City Journal expanded its interest to the newly created electronic medium, radio, by founding station KSCJ in 1927. The Dirks family, meanwhile, was becoming involved with mass communications: Dietrich Dirks, former manager of KFAB Radio (at the time in Lincoln, Nebraska), combined interests with the Kelly family, who ran The Sioux City Tribune. The Kellys and Dirks applied for radio station KTRI in the late 30’s. After World War II, they entered into a buy-sell agreement: Kelly bought Dirks’ 50% share of radio station KTRI, and Dirks applied for another radio station, KCOM.
…and finally into Television!
In 1953, W.R. Perkins, president of Perkins Brothers Co. and publisher of The Journal, and Dietrich Dirks, president of KCOM Broadcasting Company, jointly applied for the license of television station Channel 4 in Sioux City. The application was accepted in 1954 when the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, DC, granted the assignment of television channel 4 in Sioux City in January 1954. KTIV made plans to be on the air by August 15, 1954.
After overcoming some construction obstacles, including having to raise the microwave tower height twice to avoid interference with a tree which blocked the microwave signal, KTIV made its broadcasting debut on Sunday, October 10, 1954. That first broadcast evening included four NBC shows: “People are Funny” at PM; “The Liebman Spectacular” from 6:30-PM; “The Television Playhouse” from 8-PM; and “The Loretta Young Show” from 9-9:PM.