|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2009)|
|Branding||CW 6 ("6" refers to the station's channel position on Cox Communications and other local cable providers)|
|Channels||Digital: 49 (UHF)
Virtual: 61 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||61.1 The CW|
|Translators||K21EA-D Lake Havasu City
K41JE Williams/Ash Fork
|Owner||Nexstar Broadcasting Group
(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
|Founded||May 1, 1991|
|First air date||September 22, 1995|
|Call letters' meaning||Arizona SouthWest|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
61 (UHF, 1995–2009)
The WB (1995–2006)
Fox Kids (1995–2002)
4Kids TV (2005–2008)
|Transmitter power||531 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KASW, virtual channel 61 (UHF digital channel 49), is a CW-affiliated television station located in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. Owned by Nexstar Broadcasting Group, The station's studio facilities are located on North 7th Avenue in the northwestern end of Midtown Phoenix, and its transmitter is located on South Mountain on the city's south side. Its signal is relayed across northern and eastern Arizona through a small network of five translators.
KASW is branded as CW 6, in reference to its cable channel position on Phoenix area cable systems. The station is the second largest CW affiliate in terms of market size (after WLVI/Boston) that is not owned by CBS Corporation or Tribune Broadcasting, both of which contributed stations as charter affiliates of the network (previously, these stations were respectively affiliated with UPN or The WB).
Prior history of UHF channel 61 in Phoenix
Prior to KASW's sign-on, the UHF channel 61 frequency in the Phoenix market was originally occupied by low-power station K61CA; that station carried a locally programmed music video format and operated from March 1983 until December 1984.
By 1991, preparations had been made to sign on another independent station in Phoenix, under the callsign KAIK. The station's construction permit and eventual license bore these calls into 1994, until the license was purchased by the Brooks family the following year, after which the call letters were changed to KASW. The station first signed on the air on September 22, 1995; just prior to its sign-on, the Brooks entered into a local marketing agreement with MAC America Communications, then-owners of KTVK (channel 3, which was in the concluding stages of its transition from an ABC affiliate into an independent station at the time).
This LMA allowed KTVK, which had an overflowing program inventory as it acquired a heavy amount of syndicated programs and began to adopt a news-intensive format as the transition was ongoing, to move some of its programming over to KASW. The programming included cartoons (such as The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Double Dragon, Highlander: The Animated Series and Sailor Moon), classic sitcoms (such as Happy Days, The Brady Bunch, Bewitched, Gilligan's Island and All in the Family), older movies and a few recent sitcoms (such as Doogie Howser, M.D., Blossom, Family Matters, The Simpsons and Who's the Boss?). KTVK also dropped its affiliation with The WB, which also migrated to KASW, and opted to become an independent station.
Towards the end of 1995, KTVK had also moved Fox Kids (which it carried in lieu of KSAZ-TV, channel 10, which declined the block once it switched to Fox in December 1994, and once it moved to KASW had aired in addition to The WB's own children's block, Kids' WB) and other syndicated programs to KASW. These changes allowed KTVK to reinstate its Saturday morning newscasts, while KASW began airing a half-hour 9 p.m. newscast produced by KTVK, which was discontinued in 1997 (after which it moved to KTVK as a one-hour broadcast). When Belo bought most of MAC America's television properties in 1999, the local marketing agreement with KASW was included in the transaction. This move further boosted its programming quality. After the Federal Communications Commission started allowing duopolies in 2000, KASW was bought by Belo outright.
Due to changes in the industry, from about 1998 to about 2004, KASW began to gradually shift its programming away from classic sitcoms, movies and cartoons. The station began to phase in more talk shows, reality shows and court shows to its schedule. It finally dropped weekday cartoons in January 2006, when The WB discontinued the Kids' WB weekday afternoon lineup (while retaining and expanding its Saturday morning block).
From The WB to The CW
On January 24, 2006, the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner and CBS Corporation announced that the two companies would shut down The WB (which Time Warner jointly owned with Tribune Company) and UPN and combine the networks' respective programming to create a new "fifth" network called The CW, which would launch on September 18, 2006. On March 8, Belo signed an affiliation agreement with the network for KASW to become The CW's Phoenix charter affiliate; the market's UPN affiliate KUTP (channel 45) became an owned-and-operated station of MyNetworkTV thirteen days before the launch of The CW on September 5 (MyNetworkTV was created by KUTP's then-parent News Corporation after the UPN affiliates it owned through the company's Fox Television Stations unit were passed over for initial affiliations with The CW in favor of stations owned by CBS Television Stations and Tribune Broadcasting).
KASW only tweaked its branding to reflect its new network affiliation, keeping the "6" that represents its cable channel position in the area on Cox Communications (satellite providers carry KASW on channel 61). The station also aired its own CW "man-on-the-street" promos before the switch. The images and links on its website, Quick6.com, were revamped a week before the change and feature a new "Quick6" logo.
The station ran Vortexx, a successor of The CW4Kids (which in turn, was the successor of Kids' WB), later known as Toonzai on Saturday mornings. It also aired children's programming from 4Kids TV on Sunday mornings until the block was discontinued by Fox on December 27, 2008 (therefore, children's programs on KASW that aired on both Saturday and Sunday mornings were essentially programmed by one company, 4Kids Entertainment, for seven months). These properties, in one form or another, were carried on KTVK when that station was the market's original charter affiliate of The WB in 1995 and were moved to KASW in September 1995 and 1996, respectively. The same situation occurred in other markets, in which a station picked up the rights to the 4Kids lineup from an existing Fox affiliate (like KFRE-TV in Fresno, which assumed rights from KMPH-TV) or due to rejection by stations that Fox inherited from New World Communications (as was the case with KTVK, and WBNX-TV in Cleveland).
On June 13, 2013, Belo announced that KTVK and KASW would be acquired by the Gannett Company, owner of KPNX and the Arizona Republic. Since this would give Gannett control of three stations in the Phoenix market, Gannett announced that it would spin off KTVK and KASW to Sander Media, LLC (operated by former Belo executive Jack Sander). While Gannett intended to provide services to the stations through a shared services agreement, KTVK and KASW's operations would have remained largely separate from KPNX and the Republic. On December 23, 2013, shortly after the approval and completion of the Gannett/Belo deal, the Meredith Corporation announced that it would purchase KTVK and the non-license assets of KASW from Sander Media and Gannett in a $407.5 million deal. As Meredith already owns CBS affiliate KPHO-TV (channel 5), the KASW license was instead sold to SagamoreHill Broadcasting, with Meredith operating the station under a shared services agreement.
Sale To Nexstar and separation from KTVK
The FCC approved the sale of KASW and KTVK to SagamoreHill and Meredith on June 17, 2014, and the deal closed two days later. However, the two companies also agreed to "voluntarily" divest KASW to an independent buyer within 90 days of the deal's closure; on October 23, 2014, Meredith and SagamoreHill announced that it would sell KASW to the Nexstar Broadcasting Group for $68 million, giving the company its first station in the Phoenix market, It will no longer be co owned with KTVK when the sale to Nexstar closes. This will mark the end of a 15 year partnership between KTVK and KASW since KTVK launched the channel in 1995. The FCC approved the sale to Nexstar on December 19. The sale was completed on January 30, 2015.  After the sale Nexstar Broadcasting Group hired a new Vice President and General Manager for KASW. Also Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced that KASW will relocate to a New Broadcasting Facility in May 2015.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|61.1||1080i||16:9||KASW-DT||Main KASW programming / The CW|
KASW shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 61, at 4:30 a.m. 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 switchover was originally scheduled for 12:01 a.m. in order for the analog signal to be shut down at the same time as its sister station KTVK, however, it was delayed for unknown reasons). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 49. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 61, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.
Outside of the CW network schedule, Syndicated programming featured on KASW includes Hot Bench, Judge Mathis, American Dad!, The Simpsons, and South Park among others. KASW served as the former over-the-air broadcast home of the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes, showcasing the team's games from the time that the franchise moved to Phoenix in 1996 until the 2006–2007 season, when the Coyotes announced the move of their over-the-air telecasts to independent station KAZT-TV (channel 7). Though KASW aired 4Kids TV and its previous iterations until Fox discontinued their children's program blocks in December 2008, KASW declined to pick up its successor block, Weekend Marketplace, which now airs on KAZT-TV.
- Channel 6 branded TV stations in the United States
- Channel 49 digital TV stations in the United States
- Channel 61 virtual TV stations in the United States
- 1988 Television Factbook: B-58
- 'Gilmore Girls' meet 'Smackdown'; CW Network to combine WB, UPN in CBS-Warner venture beginning in September, CNNMoney.com, January 24, 2006.
- UPN and WB to Combine, Forming New TV Network, The New York Times, January 24, 2006.
- Belo Signs With CW in Phoenix, Broadcasting & Cable, March 8, 2006.
- New Nets Reeling in Affiliates, Television Week, March 20, 2006.
- Brown, Lisa (June 13, 2013). "Gannett to buy TV station owner Belo for $1.5 billion". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
- Gannett Completes Its Acquisition of Belo, TVNewsCheck, Retrieved 23 December 2013
- "Meredith Buying Three Stations From Gannett". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
- "Nexstar Buying KASW Phoenix For $68M". 23 October 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
- Consummation Notice, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 2 February, 2015.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KASW
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- Official website
- TV-61.com "dedicated to preserving the memory of, and the people behind, K61CA, Arizona's First Low Power Television Station." as mentioned in the History section above.
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KASW
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KASW-TV