KTVK

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KTVK
KTVK logo 2013.png
ThisTV Phoenix.png
Phoenix, Arizona
Branding3TV (general)
3TV News (news)
SloganThe Best Gets Better (general)
News that Matters to You (news)
Everywhere, Always There (breaking news)
ChannelsDigital: 24 (UHF)
Virtual: 3 (PSIP)
SubchannelsSee below
AffiliationsIndependent
This TV (DT2)
OwnerBelo Corp.
(sale to Sander Media, LLC pending; to be operated by Gannett Company thereafter)
(KTVK, Inc.)
First air dateFebruary 28, 1955
Call letters' meaningKTVK - "Because TV will be our middle name" (quote by Ernest McFarland)
Sister station(s)KASW
Former channel number(s)Analog:
3 (VHF, 1955-2009)
Former affiliationsPrimary:
ABC (1955-1995)
The WB (January–September 1995)
Secondary:
Fox Kids (1994-1995)
Transmitter power1000 kW
Height501 m (1,644 ft)
Facility ID40993
Transmitter coordinates33°20′0.9″N 112°3′47.9″W / 33.333583°N 112.063306°W / 33.333583; -112.063306
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license information:Profile
CDBS
Websitewww.azfamily.com
 
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KTVK
KTVK logo 2013.png
ThisTV Phoenix.png
Phoenix, Arizona
Branding3TV (general)
3TV News (news)
SloganThe Best Gets Better (general)
News that Matters to You (news)
Everywhere, Always There (breaking news)
ChannelsDigital: 24 (UHF)
Virtual: 3 (PSIP)
SubchannelsSee below
AffiliationsIndependent
This TV (DT2)
OwnerBelo Corp.
(sale to Sander Media, LLC pending; to be operated by Gannett Company thereafter)
(KTVK, Inc.)
First air dateFebruary 28, 1955
Call letters' meaningKTVK - "Because TV will be our middle name" (quote by Ernest McFarland)
Sister station(s)KASW
Former channel number(s)Analog:
3 (VHF, 1955-2009)
Former affiliationsPrimary:
ABC (1955-1995)
The WB (January–September 1995)
Secondary:
Fox Kids (1994-1995)
Transmitter power1000 kW
Height501 m (1,644 ft)
Facility ID40993
Transmitter coordinates33°20′0.9″N 112°3′47.9″W / 33.333583°N 112.063306°W / 33.333583; -112.063306
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license information:Profile
CDBS
Websitewww.azfamily.com

KTVK, virtual channel 3 (UHF digital channel 24), is an independent television station located in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. The station is owned by Belo, as part of a duopoly with CW affiliate KASW (channel 61). The two stations share studios on the northwest end of the Central Avenue Corridor in Phoenix, KTVK's transmitter is located on South Mountain. Syndicated programs seen on KTVK include Inside Edition, Friends, Justice for All with Judge Cristina Pérez, America Now, How I Met Your Mother, Dr. Phil and The Dr. Oz Show.

Known on-air as "3TV", KTVK previously served as the market's original ABC affiliate from its February 28, 1955, sign-on until becoming an independent station on January 8, 1995, and was one of that network's strongest stations. Its signal is relayed across northern Arizona on a network of translator stations.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[1]
3.11080i16:9KTVK-HDMain KTVK programming
3.2480i4:3THIS-TVThis TV

On October 20, 2009, KTVK added This TV to its 3.2 digital subchannel.[2]

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KTVK shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 3, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 24.[3][4] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 3. As part of the SAFER Act,[5] KTVK kept its analog signal on the air until July 12 to inform viewers of the digital television transition through a loop of public service announcements from the National Association of Broadcasters.

KTVK's "nightlight" service, which was intended to remind TV viewers of the switch to digital, was originally to last 30 days, but was instead discontinued two weeks after the analog-to-digital transition on June 26.[6]

History[edit]

As an ABC affiliate[edit]

Former Senator Ernest McFarland, author of the GI Bill, was awed by the new medium of television. With a few friends, he formed the Arizona Television Company and applied for a television station license. On March 1, 1955 – shortly after McFarland was elected governor of Arizona – KTVK signed on as Phoenix's fourth television station, immediately becoming an ABC affiliate. McFarland chose the call letters "because TV will be our middle name."[7]

KTVK cleared most of ABC's network schedule with the exception of lower-rated daytime shows, as well as an occasional show during primetime hours. It soon built a translator network stretching across the entire state of Arizona, including Tucson. Occasionally, the station preempted ABC programming so as not to interfere with Tucson's local ABC affiliate, KGUN-TV (channel 9). Despite the preemptions, ABC was generally satisfied with KTVK, as the station was one of the network's strongest affiliates. Even so, KTVK's news department was a very distant second to longtime leader KOOL-TV (channel 10, now KSAZ-TV) for many years, even when KTAR-TV (channel 12)'s 1979 sale to the Gannett Company (and subsequent callsign change to KPNX) made KTVK the only locally-owned network affiliate in the market. When McFarland died in 1984, the station's ownership was taken over by his daughter Jewell and her husband Delbert Lewis.

KTVK logo used from 1986 to 1996; the "Circle 3" dates back to 1982 and is meant to be an offshoot of ABC's "Circle 7" logo, as the circle was used when KTVK was an ABC affiliate.

The station's fortunes began to improve significantly after several news managers from KTSP defected to KTVK in 1986. An aggressive marketing campaign, a new brand (NewsChannel 3, one of the earliest uses of the "NewsChannel" brand that became popular with television stations in the 1990s), and a popular new anchor team finally helped make KTVK a truly competitive player in local news. By the late 1980s, KTVK was the top-rated television station in Arizona. The station slowly expanded its news programming during the late 1980s and early 1990s, eventually entering into the field of weekend morning newscasts with the launch of a two-hour Saturday morning newscast from 7 to 9 a.m. in 1993. KTVK's atmosphere was somewhat different from that of typical major market Big Three-affiliated station. McFarland ran his station as a "mom and pop" business, and had an open-door policy which the Lewises continued when they took over the station. Employee turnover was very low, and hugs were very common in the newsroom. This was an outgrowth of the station's longtime slogan, "Arizona's Family".

Transition[edit]

In the spring of 1994, New World Communications announced an affiliation deal with Fox in which most of its stations would defect from their affiliations with the three major networks to become Fox affiliates. One of the stations that switched was Phoenix's longtime CBS affiliate KSAZ-TV.[8] CBS approached KTVK for an affiliation, but the Lewises turned the offer down, expecting a renewed pact with ABC. Much to the Lewises' surprise though, the E. W. Scripps Company, owner of then-Fox affiliate KNXV-TV, forced ABC to move its Phoenix area affiliation to KNXV as a condition of retaining ABC on the company's two biggest stations, WEWS in Cleveland and WXYZ-TV in Detroit. KTVK then approached CBS in an effort to secure that network affiliation, but Meredith Corporation, owner of then-independent station KPHO-TV (channel 5), convinced CBS to move its affiliation there as a condition of keeping the CBS affiliation on its Kansas City station KCTV.

The Lewises appealed to the Federal Communications Commission on grounds that Scripps had "abused its license power for anti-competitive purposes", but their appeal was denied.[8] After nearly 40 years with ABC, the Lewises decided to turn KTVK into an independent station. Channel 3 immediately began purchasing more syndicated programming, increasing local news production and gradually removed ABC network programs from its schedule.[8] In August 1994, it dropped Good Morning America and launched Good Morning Arizona in the 6-9 a.m. slot (the 6–7 a.m. slot had previously been occupied by a more traditional newscast). Since KNXV was on its way to becoming an ABC affiliate, that station began to air Good Morning America beginning that September.

On December 15, 1994, KTVK also dropped Mike and Maty (of which KTVK had aired for only 30 minutes daily), World News Now and Nightline, which were also picked up by KNXV. At that point, ABC's cartoons also moved to KNXV, with KTVK dropping its Saturday morning newscast and running Fox Kids (which had been turned down by KSAZ) instead. By then, KTVK was only airing primetime programming, sports and popular soap operas from ABC. KTVK renewed its local syndication rights to Oprah and Inside Edition, and purchased all available syndicated shows distributed by King World such as Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! (which was not renewed by KSAZ, and later moved to KNXV; both shows have since returned to KTVK), American Journal (which was not renewed by KPNX), Rolonda, Branded and The Little Rascals (the latter two both selected to air on weekends).

Switching to The WB, and then becoming an independent station[edit]

Variant of the "circle 3" logo inside a TV. The TV portion was used from 1996 to 2003.

KNXV officially became Phoenix's ABC affiliate on January 9, 1995, after which KTVK transitioned to a news-intensive schedule that retained all existing newscasts, with a half-hour tacked onto its weekday evening newscasts and the eventual addition of an hour-long primetime newscast at 9 p.m. KTVK nominally became the market's affiliate of the upstart WB Television Network when it debuted two days later, but since the network initially had only one night of programming each week, KTVK chose to tape delay the network's Wednesday primetime schedule to air on Saturday nights. The WB added a second night of programming on Sundays later that year, which KTVK aired in pattern. With The WB only occupying two nights of programming, KTVK was still essentially a de facto independent station. It also initially broadcast Fox Kids programming on weekend mornings (a similar situation occurred in Canada where longtime CTV affiliate CJON-TV in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, retained news programming from CTV and simultaneously added news and entertainment programs from the rival Global after becoming an independent in 2002). A quirk of KTVK's scheduling of the Fox Kids lineup was that the station aired Animaniacs and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers on Sunday evenings, after the 5 p.m. news and before feature films at 7 p.m.

The station aired Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, Star Trek: The Next Generation and several off-network sitcoms during primetime, and ran classic sitcoms and movies on weekends. KTVK owned a substantial programming inventory, but did not have enough room on its schedule to air it all, even after dropping ABC. As such, KTVK entered into an agreement with the Brooks family to program upstart KASW (channel 61) under a local marketing agreement, when it signed on the air on September 22, 1995, with KTVK leasing the new station's entire broadcast day. KASW picked up the WB affiliation, officially rendering channel 3 as a true independent station, followed by the move of Fox Kids programming to channel 61 soon afterwards as KTVK reinstated newscasts on Saturday mornings.

On the same day that KASW took over The WB affiliation, the Arizona Television Company officially changed its name to MAC America Communications, after its founder's nickname, "Mac." By this time, the company had grown to include two FM radio stations, a magazine and the Arizona NewsChannel, a cable news channel operated as a joint venture with Cox Communications (the major cable provider for the Phoenix market) that launched on November 4, 1996.[9] During this time KTVK ran talk shows during the late morning and afternoon hours between newscasts, and a mix of newsmagazines, game shows, sitcoms and drama series during primetime, while retaining its 10 p.m. newscast, and a mix of classic sitcoms, classic movies and talk show reruns in late night. Weekends had a lesser amount of newscasts, along with a mix of movies and classic sitcoms. Most of the older shows also ran on KASW at different times.

KTVK returned to the NewsChannel 3 branding in 2003, resulting in this variation used until 2005.

In 1998, when the team joined the Major League Baseball's National League, KTVK became the original over-the-air broadcaster of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Television rights to the team's games remained with KTVK through the end of the 2007 season, when the team opted to move all of its English-language broadcasts (not counting national telecasts) to cable on regional sports network Fox Sports Arizona.[10] In the fall of 1998, KTVK briefly aired The Howard Stern Show; both KTVK (which aired the program after its 10 p.m. news) and Lubbock, Texas Fox affiliate KJTV-TV pulled the program from their schedules after two episodes.[11]

Variation used from 2005 to 2007.

MAC America decided to sell off most of its media assets, including KTVK, in 1999, but was very selective about a buyer. It wanted to sell to a company that would continue to keep a local presence at the station (particularly important to the Lewises, as KTVK was the last locally-owned station in the market) and allow the station to continue its growth of the last decade. In the end, it sold KTVK, the LMA with KASW and its share of the Arizona NewsChannel to the Belo Corporation in 1999, ending 44 years of McFarland-Lewis ownership[12] (Belo eventually bought KASW outright in 2001). In 2000, Belo and Cox partnered to create a new Spanish-language channel, ¡Más! Arizona, that launched on October 16 of that year.[13] In recent years, KTVK has further expanded its newscasts, added more talk shows and completely moved away from older shows. KASW made similar gradual changes as well. Eventually, KTVK declined to renew its syndication rights to Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, with those shows moving to KNXV (both Jeopardy! and Wheel returned to KTVK in September 2012).

Without a network affiliation, KTVK fills primetime with syndicated talk shows and an hour-long 9 p.m. newscast (which competes with the 9 p.m. newscast on Fox-owned KSAZ). Even with the meteoric rise of KPNX after it remained with NBC as that network rocketed to the top of the ratings, KTVK remained the dominant news station in Arizona well into 2003; KTVK held the evening news crown that year and KPNX led in late news.[14] That year, KTVK's airings of Oprah were also the top syndicated program in the market.

On June 13, 2013, Belo announced that it would be acquired by the Gannett Company, the owner of KPNX and the Arizona Republic. Since this would give Gannett control of three stations in the Phoenix market, and both KPNX and KTVK have been among the four highest-rated stations in the market for several years, Gannett will spin off KTVK and KASW to Sander Media, LLC (operated by former Belo executive Jack Sander). While Gannett intends to provide services to the stations through a shared services agreement, KTVK and KASW's operations will remain largely separate from KPNX and the Republic.[15] Even so, similar ownership conflicts that exist in other markets where both Belo and Gannett own television stations and newspapers, the use of a third-party company as a licensee to buy stations to be operated by the owner of a same-market competitor and concerns about any possible future consolidation of operations of Gannett- and Belo-owned properties in markets where both own television stations or collusion involving the Gannett and Sander stations in retransmission consent negotiations has led to anti-media-consolidation groups (such as Free Press) and pay television providers to call for the FCC to block Gannett's acquisition of Belo.[16][17]

Helicopter crash[edit]

On July 27, 2007, KTVK's news helicopter "News Chopper 3" was involved in a mid-air collision when another news helicopter, belonging to KNXV-TV, struck it from behind.[18] The collision occurred above Steele Indian School Park (near Third Street and Indian School Road), while both aircraft were covering a police pursuit in downtown Phoenix.[19] All four people aboard both helicopters were killed, including KTVK pilot Scott Bowerbank and photographer Jim Cox.[20] The cause of the mid-air collision was investigated by both the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board, determining that the accident was caused by both pilots' inability to see one another and avoid a collision with the other helicopter.[18]

Local programming[edit]

Newscasts[edit]

KTVK broadcasts a total of 50½ hours of local newscasts each week (with 8½ hours on weekdays and four hours on weekends); in regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is the highest local newscast output among all broadcast television stations in the state of Arizona, surpassing area Fox affiliate KSAZ's weekly news total by 5½ hours, though the two stations produce an equal amount of local newscasts (nine hours) on weekdays. The station's sports department also produces a half-hour sports wrap-up program called the 3TV Sports Show, airing on Sunday evenings after the 9 p.m. newscast.

One of the station's flagship programs is Good Morning Arizona, one of the country's original long-form local morning newscasts. Running weekdays from 4:30 to 10 a.m., and weekends from 7 to 10 a.m., the show has long been the top-rated local morning news program in Phoenix and the highest-rated program of its kind in the United States. The program has its own budget, writers and on-air staff. Jodi Applegate was the program's original anchor from 1994 to 1996, when she became a weekend anchor for NBC's Today. The program was also simulcast on Fox-affiliated sister station KMSB in Tucson until February 2012, when CBS affiliate KOLD-TV began to produce a morning newscast for the station as part of a shared services agreement (which also involved KMSB duopoly partner KTTU) between Belo and KOLD owner Raycom Media.[21] The station is unique in that its news programming utilizes a general brand name, but individual titles are used for specific newscasts. Besides Good Morning Arizona, the station's early evening news block is currently named Good Evening Arizona, while Good Day Arizona was the name for its now-defunct 11 a.m. newscast and its 9 and 10 p.m. newscasts were once respectively called Tonight Arizona and the NewShow (pronounced as "News Show"), the latter titles were later dropped in favor of conventional titing.

On April 26, 2007, KTVK became the third television station in Arizona (following NBC affiliates KPNX in Phoenix and KVOA-TV in Tucson) to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. On March 1, 2009, KTVK began to share a news helicopter operated by Helicopters Inc., as part of a Local News Service agreement with KPHO-TV and KPNX; the helicopter is named "News Chopper 20", as a combination of the over-the-air virtual channel numbers of the three stations (3, 5 and 12).[22][23][24]

On January 25, 2010, Good Morning Arizona expanded by one hour (running from 4:30 to 10 a.m.), with the addition of an hour at 9 a.m., while the 11 a.m. newscast was discontinued.[25] On August 22, 2011, KTVK launched a weeknight 10 p.m. newscast, bringing the station's daily news output to nine hours each weekday, and also marking the return of a local newscast to that timeslot since the station's days as an ABC affiliate.[26]

Even with the station's loss of the ABC affiliation in 1995, KTVK's newscasts still receive high ratings and channel 3 overall is one of the nation's strongest and most successful independent stations. Its evening newscast, "Good Evening Arizona," regularly beats the national network newscasts on KPHO, KPNX and KNXV in the ratings. The Saturday edition of Good Morning Arizona had the highest ratings of any other newscast in Phoenix during the February 2010 ratings period. KTVK currently advertises that Good Evening Arizona places #1 in the ratings during the 4:30-6:30 p.m. time period.

News/station presentation[edit]

Newscast titles[edit]

Station slogans[edit]

  • "Arizona's First Color Television Station" (1966–1970)
  • "TV-3 News: Arizona's Most Respected Television News Organization" (1970–1974)
  • "If It's News, It's On TV-3 News" (1974–1976)
  • "Arizona's Largest Television News Team" (1976–1977)
  • "You Know You Can Count on Us" (1977–1980)
  • "Arizona's Choice for News" (1980–1983)
  • "Arizona's Very Own" (1983–1986)
  • "Arizona's News People" (1986–1993)
  • "When News Happens, You'll See it Happen on NewsChannel 3" (1993–1994)
  • "The Place With More Stuff" (1994–2003)
  • "Arizona's Family" (2003–present, used infrequently until early-2005)
  • "Everywhere, Always There" (breaking news, developing story) (2005?–present)
  • "The Place With More News" (2007–2009)
  • "The Best Gets Better" (2009–present)

Other locally-produced programs[edit]

In addition to its local newscasts, KTVK also broadcasts other locally-produced programs: Politics Unplugged, airing on Sundays after the Good Evening Arizona newscast, is a weekly public affairs program focusing on political issues on the state and national levels. AAA Highroads on Sundays at 4:30 p.m., is a half-hour travel and lifestyle show about interesting places and travel activities in Arizona and beyond, with features from the Arizona chapter of the American Automobile Association focusing on topics related to travel, automotive, insurance and driving safety. Your Life A to Z is a talk show discussing topics that interest women ranging from beauty tips to health news, airing on Monday through Saturday mornings following Good Morning Arizona.

Local program hosts[edit]

Politics Unplugged
  • Carey Pena - host
  • Dennis Welch - co-host
AAA Highroads
  • Dan Davis - host
Your Life A to Z
  • Suzanne Bissett - co-host
  • Lisa Haffner - host
  • Kyle Unfug - co-host

Rebroadcasters[edit]

KTVK is rebroadcast on the following translator stations:

KTVK is available on cable in Yuma, the Imperial Valley, California and Coachella, California Country Cable services.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KTVK
  2. ^ "Belo’s WFAA, KTVK Add This TV", Broadcasting & Cable, September 22, 2009, retrieved September 22, 2009 
  3. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  4. ^ "CDBS Print", FCC CDBS database, retrieved November 20, 2012 
  5. ^ "UPDATED List of Participants in the Analog Nightlight Program" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. June 12, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
  6. ^ Phoenix TV goes digital, can you still see our signal?, KNXV-TV, retrieved June 12, 2009 
  7. ^ NewsChannel 3 History, archived from the original on February 2, 2007, retrieved February 15, 2007 
  8. ^ a b c Meisler, Andy (August 29, 1994). "Murdoch's Raid Brings a Shuffling of TV Stations in Phoenix". New York Times. p. 2. Retrieved October 22, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Cox, KTVK team for news channel." Electronic Media 18 November 1996: 30.
  10. ^ FSN Arizona to broadcast every Diamondbacks home game, select road games in HD, Engadget, March 31, 2008.
  11. ^ Spring, Greg. "King of all media loses some subjects." Electronic Media 7 September 1998: 2-3.
  12. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; BELO TO ACQUIRE $315 MILLION IN ASSETS FROM MAC". New York Times. July 3, 1999. Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  13. ^ "Dallas, Atlanta-Based Firms to Launch Spanish-Language Cable Channel." Dallas Morning News 29 September 2010.
  14. ^ Miller, Mark K. "Tough Fight in News". Broadcasting and Cable 16 June 2003: 15.
  15. ^ Brown, Lisa (June 13, 2013). "Gannett to buy TV station owner Belo for $1.5 billion". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  16. ^ Free Press, Others Ask FCC To Deny Some Gannett/Belo Transfers, Broadcasting & Cable, July 24, 2013.
  17. ^ Public Interest Groups, Cable Companies Oppose Gannett-Belo Merger, AdWeek, July 25, 2013.
  18. ^ a b "Aircraft Accident Report Midair Collision of Electronic News Gathering Helicopters KTVK-TV, Eurocopter AS350B2, N613TV, and U.S. Helicopters, Inc., Eurocopter AS350B2, N215TV", NTSB, January 28, 2009, archived from the original on May 18, 2009, retrieved November 20, 2012 
  19. ^ "4 Dead As 2 Helicopters Tracking Police Pursuit Collide". KPHO-TV. 2007-07-27. Retrieved 2007-07-27. 
  20. ^ "Two helicopters crash while covering chase". AZFamily.com. 2007-07-27. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-07-27. 
  21. ^ Fox 11 to lay off news staff, cancel newscast in Feb., Tucson Sentinel, November 15, 2011.
  22. ^ "3 TV stations to share helicopter to cover the news". azcentral. February 24, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  23. ^ "Channels 5, 3, 12 To Share Chopper". KPHO. February 25, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  24. ^ "Phoenix TV stations to share news helicopter". KTAR. February 25, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-26. 
  25. ^ KTVK Expands Local News Coverage, TVNewsCheck, January 14, 2010.
  26. ^ KTVK Phoenix To Launch 10 P.M. News, TVNewsCheck, August 8, 2011.
  27. ^ KTVK 10pm News Open from 1992
  28. ^ KTVK 3TV 9PM NEWS OPEN

External links[edit]