KEYC-TV is the CBS-affiliated television station for Mankato, Minnesota & southwestern Minnesota. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 12 from a transmitter in Lewisville. The station can also be seen on Charter channel 10 and in high definition on digital channel 782. Owned by the United Communications Corporation, KEYC News 12 has studios on Lookout Drive in North Mankato. Syndicated programming on the station includes Wheel Of Fortune, Dr. Phil, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show among others. However, it's the commitment to local programming the station prides itself on. It produces more than 17 hours of local news per week.
The Mankato market is within reach of some television stations based in the Twin Cities. CBS owned-and-operated station WCCO-TV has an over-the-air signal that reaches just short of Mankato proper. However, the station is offered locally on Charter channel 4.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming |
|12.1||1080i||16:9||KEYC-HD||Main KEYC-TV programming / CBS|
|12.2||480i||KEYC-SD||KEYC-DT2 / Fox|
On KEYC-DT2 and Charter channel 19 is the area's FOX affiliate. It is branded as FOX 12 Mankato. Syndicated programming on this station includes The Big Bang Theory, Judge Judy, The Dr. Oz Show, and The Doctors along with others. Although Fox owned-and-operated station KMSP-TV has an over-the-air signal that does not reach Mankato proper, it is offered locally on Charter channel 9 and in high definition on digital channel 789. Due to the cable presence of KMSP, KEYC-DT2 can invoke the Federal Communications Commission's network non-duplication rule resulting in Charter blacking out programming from the former during network shows. KMSP's newscasts and some of its syndicated programs can be seen, however.
The station signed-on as KEYC on October 5, 1960 just in time to broadcast the first game of the World Series that night from NBC. It was owned by Lee Enterprises which also started nearby KGLO (now KIMT) in Mason City, Iowa. Less than a year later, KEYC switched its affiliation to CBS which has been maintained to this day. During UPN existence, the station carried some of that network's programming through a secondary arrangement. Lee Enterprises, intending to purchase KOIN in Portland, Oregon, was forced to sell KEYC to United Communications Corporation in 1977 due to ownership limits imposed by the FCC.
It would add the -TV suffix to its call sign on December 31, 1979. On July 1, 2007, the station signed-on a new second digital subchannel and brought Fox programming to the market for the first time.  KEYC's broadcasts became digital-only effective June 12, 2009.  It is the sole commercial station in the area that it serves which is ranked as the 11th smallest out of 210 in the United States. However, KEYC is not without significant competition because outlets from the Twin Cities, the 15th largest market, cover major news events in the region.
This station, though, maintains a highly local focus such as through its production of the long-running music series Bandwagon. It airs the entire CBS schedule but does not clear the CBS News program known as the CBS Overnight News. Also, KEYC did not air either of that program's predecessors; Up to the Minute from 1992 to 2015, or CBS News Nightwatch from 1982 to 1992. The station signs-off at around 1 each morning with cable viewers in Mankato and some surrounding areas receiving the CBS Overnight News from WCCO. KEYC is one of very few broadcast stations to still sign-off nightly as opposed to on weekends, once a week, or not at all (KEYC-DT2 does the same thing). Two programs that have aired almost throughout the station's history include Bandwagon and a local religious program, I Believe In Miracles, which first aired on February 19, 1961. "Miracles" aired for the last time on KEYC News 12 on February 8, 2015. Various other local programs have aired over the years as well as a variety of specials such as on holiday music or major community issues.
Unlike most CBS affiliates, the station does not air a weekday morning show. There are local weather cut-ins during CBS This Morning from 7 until 9. Also during the national broadcast at either :25 or :55 past the hour are short news cut-ins. KEYC News 12 offers local newscasts weekdays at noon for a half-hour, Monday through Friday at 5:00 PM, Monday through Saturday nights at 6, and every night at 10. With the 2007 launch of Fox on KEYC-DT2 came a new thirty-minute prime time show known as The FOX Mankato News at 9. At the time, the program featured music and graphics modified from use on FOX-owned and -operated stations and licensed to this station from News Corporation Digital Media. KEYC News 12 at 9 on FOX 12 Mankato airs seven nights a week.
The current nightly news team for KEYC News 12 consists of Dion Cheney, Stacy Steinhagen, Mark Tarello, and Claire Dau.
On August 26, 2013, KEYC began airing their newscasts in HD. The newscasts have been re-branded KEYC News 12 Midday, KEYC News 12 at 5, etc. KEYC also rebranded their FOX Newscast on 12.2 as KEYC News 12 at 9 on FOX 12 Mankato. FOX Mankato (12-2) is now branded as FOX 12 Mankato.
The broadcast signal of KEYC is extended by way of three translators in southern Minnesota.