About KMEG14 / FOX44On September 5, 1967, the station became the market's third television source. It has been associated with CBS from its inception. Prior to its establishment, the network was broadcast on KVTV (channel 9, now KCAU-TV) from 1953 to 1967. Up September 2, 1967, that station moved to ABC, leaving Siouxland without a CBS affiliate until KMEG joined on three days later. A group of local investors led by Bob and Norma Donovan founded KMEG. Its call letters were chosen in memory of their daughter Meg, who died later in life.
In 1969, the station's original ownership group sold KMEG to John Fetzer. In the mid-1980s, Fetzer sold up all of his broadcasting assets. KMEG was one of the last to be sold, to Gillett Holdings in 1985. The next year, Gillett sold the station to the Maine Radio and Television Company, which also owns WCSH-TV in Portland and WLBZ-TV in Bangor. When the Late Show with David Letterman first aired, KMEG was one of just two CBS stations that did not carry it. KXJB-TV in Fargo, North Dakota, similarly declined to change its syndicated roster to accommodate the new show. (CBS programming is currently available on KXJB-LD/KVLY-DT2 in Fargo.) As a result, Sioux City became recognized as the Late Show's initial headquarters. The show first aired on KMEG in 1994.
In 1998, Maine Radio and Television merged with Gannett. However, KMEG was not included in the transaction; it was purchased by Waitt Broadcasting later that year. The new owners considerably improved KMEG's infrastructure, including raising the broadcast tower height to 2,000 feet (610 meters) and increasing the effective radiated output to five million watts. This provided its analog broadcast on UHF channel 14 in northern Iowa, northeastern Nebraska, and southern South Dakota a signal equivalent to KCAU and KTIV (channel 4). Previously, its over-the-air coverage was practically confined to Sioux City and the surrounding metro region; the majority of the market required cable to receive a decent signal.
Waitt also purchased Fox stations WFXL in Albany, Georgia, WPGX in Panama City, Florida, WDFX-TV in Dothan, Alabama, and KYOU-TV in Ottumwa, Iowa, about the same time it purchased KMEG. Waitt Broadcasting merged with Raycom Media in 2003 (who concurrently transferred KYOU's license to a third party due to FCC duopoly regulations, as Raycom already owned Ottumwa's ABC affiliate KTVO at the time); however, KMEG was not included in the merger and was instead spun off to a new locally based owner under the Waitt Broadcasting licensee name.