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KATU News (newscasts)
|Slogan||On Your Side.|
|Channels||Digital: 43 (UHF)
Virtual: 2 (PSIP)
(sale pending to Sinclair Broadcast Group)
(Fisher Broadcasting - Portland TV, LLC)
|First air date||March 15, 1962|
|Call letters' meaning||pronounced "K-2"|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
2 (VHF, 1962-2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1962–1964)|
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KATU, channel 2, is a television station located in Portland, Oregon, USA. KATU has been owned by Seattle-based Fisher Communications since its inception, and is an affiliate of the ABC Television Network. The station's studios and offices are shared with co-owned Univision affiliate KUNP in northeastern Portland, and KATU's transmitter is located in the Sylvan-Highlands section of the city.
KATU and Fisher Communications' other holdings have been sold to Sinclair Broadcast Group, in a transaction announced on April 10, 2013. The deal is subject to final approval by the Federal Communications Commission.
A construction permit for channel 2, Portland's last available VHF channel, was issued to Fisher's Blend Station, Inc., (now Fisher Communications) as early as 1958. KATU. However, KATU did not begin broadcasting until March 15, 1962, at first as an independent station. Its transmitter was originally located atop Livingston Mountain, about 7 miles (11 km) NNE of Camas, Washington.
On January 19, 1964, this TV station moved its transmitter site 21 miles (34 km), to Portland's West Hills to improve its broadcasting coverage. Just over a month later, it took over the American Broadcasting Company affiliation in Portland away from KPTV on March 1, 1964. This made KATU the new fourth station in the Portland market in less than a decade to have affiliated with ABC full-time (after KLOR, KGW and KPTV). It is also Portland's longest-lasting ABC affiliate to date. KATU is the only one of the first five television stations in Portland to have operated out of the same studio (at 2153 N.E. Sandy Blvd.) since it went on the air, although the building had earlier been used as a laundry for many years.
KATU is also one of the few television stations in the country (not counting owned-and-operated stations) that has had the same call letters, the same owner, and the same channel number throughout its history.
In 2002, KATU-TV celebrated its 40th anniversary. To mark the occasion, it updated its on-air graphics, and added a new news set. It also aired stories from past newscasts.
In the November 2006 and February 2007 sweeps periods, KATU finished in third place overall in the local newscast ratings, behind KGW and KPTV. In 2006, KATU won two Edward R. Murrow Awards, including an investigative piece reported by Anna Song on a newborn baby that was left severely brain damaged by OHSU hospital. Song also won dual 1st place (2006) Associated Press Awards in Best Writing, and Best Investigative Reporting.
Digital television 
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|2.1||720p||16:9||KATU-HD||Main KATU programming / ABC|
On June 25, 2012, KATU switched its second digital subchannel to Me-TV. The This TV affiliation in Portland subsequently moved to the second digital subchannel of CW affiliate KRCW-TV. Because of KPTV/KPDX's longtime carriage of Perry Mason on their daytime schedules, KATU's Me-TV subchannel instead carries Mission: Impossible at 11:30pm.
Analog-to-digital conversion 
On July 17, 2008 at 6:15 p.m., KATU conducted a test for viewers to determine whether their TV sets were ready for the digital television transition by turning off its analog signal for 10 seconds, which the station conducted other times through the spring of 2009.
On June 12, 2009, KATU permanently shut down its analog transmitter, becoming the last full-power station in the Portland market to make the transition to digital-only broadcasts. During the last segment of the station's 11 p.m. newscast, anchor Steve Dunn reported from KATU's master control facility giving last-minute information on the DTV transition. At 11:35 p.m. that evening, Dunn pushed the button that ended KATU's analog broadcasts. KATU-DT remains on its pre-transition digital channel 43, though continues to display KATU's virtual channel as its former channel 2 analog allocation, through the use of PSIP.
News operation 
On October 11, 2007, KATU became the third television station in Portland to broadcast its daily newscasts in 16:9 widescreen standard definition. In April 2008, KATU introduced a revamped set that expanded to the entire studio that was designed specifically for high definition broadcasts in 2009. Previously, the studio was divided in half, with one side the news set and the other the AM Northwest set. The new set was one of the most expensive projects in KATU history.
KATU started testing high definition newscasts on August 8, 2009. The full rollout premiered during their 4 p.m. newscast on August 17, 2009, making it the second station in the Portland market to broadcast their local newscasts in high definition.
News/station presentation 
Newscast titles 
- The Big News (1962–1967)
- Eyewitness News (1967–1973)
- NewsScene (1973–1975)
- Channel Two News (1975–1990)
- Channel 2 News (1990–1998)
- KATU 2 News (1998–present; pronounced as "K2 News")
Station slogans 
- "Eyewitness News, In Color" (1967–1970)
- "Eyewitness News: Oregon's First Television News Team" (1970–1973)
- "NewsScene: Get the Whole Story" (1973–1975)
- "Turn To The Channel Two News" (1981–1984)
- "The Spirit Of The Northwest" (1990–1996 and 2003–2007)
- "On Your Side" (2007–present)
On-air staff 
- Current anchors
- Anna Canzano - weekend mornings and evenings; also investigative reporter
- Carl Click - weekday mornings KATU News This Morning
- Steve Dunn - weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
- Debora Knapp - weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
- Natali Marmion - weekday mornings KATU News This Morning
- Angelica Thornton - weekdays at 4 p.m.
- Brian Wood - weekdays at 4 p.m.
- StormTracker 2 Weather
- Dave Salesky (AMS Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weekdays at 4 p.m., and weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
- Joe English - weather anchor; weekend evenings, also weekday reporter
- Mary Loos - meteorologist; weekend mornings
- Rhonda Shelby (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings KATU News This Morning
- Sports team
- Craig Birnbach - sports director; weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
- Nate Bynum - sports anchor; weekend evenings
- Shellie Bailey-Shah - investigative reporter
- Michael Convery - weekday morning traffic reporter
- Bob Heye - general assignment reporter
- Valerie Hurst - general assignment reporter
- Meghan Kalkstein - general assignment reporter
- Dan Tilkin - general assignment reporter
- Kerry Tomlinson - investigative reporter
- Melanie Wingo - general assignment reporter
Notable former on-air staff 
- Jack Faust - hosted the weekly public affairs show Town Hall for 13 years
- Victor Ives - host of Sinister Cinema, KATU's version of the 1970s late night film show Creature Features
- Cathy Marshall - reporter/anchor (previously worked for CNN and has worked at several other television stations, including Portland's KGW)
- Bill O'Reilly - anchor/reporter (October 15, 1984-July 19, 1985; left to join ABC News, was one of the original anchors of Inside Edition and now hosts Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor)
- Tom Rinaldi (now lead reporter for ESPN and contributor to ESPN College Football)
KATU's signal is rebroadcast on the following translator stations:
See also 
- Exploding whale - KATU's claim to fame as the station that aired footages of the Oregon Highway Division's attempt to dispose of a dead whale. Longtime KATU Anchor (and current KEX Morning Host) Paul Linnman is the face of the report.
- Bumpity - A local children program produced by KATU from 1971-1985.
- "Sinclair acquiring Fisher Communications". katu.com. April 11, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
- Colman, Price (April 10, 2013). "Sinclair poised to buy Fisher stations". TVnewscheck.com. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
- CDBS Print
- KATU People
- FAA 5010 for 21OR.
- KATU.com - Official KATU-TV Website
- KATU.ThisTV.com - Official This TV Portland Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KATU
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KATU-TV
- Resources for this airport: