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KATU News (newscasts)
|Slogan||On Your Side.|
|Channels||Digital: 43 (UHF)
Virtual: 2 (PSIP)
|Owner||Sinclair Broadcast Group
(Sinclair Portland Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||March 15, 1962|
|Call letters' meaning||pronounced "K-2"|
|Sister station(s)||KUNP, KOMO-TV, KUNS-TV|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
2 (VHF, 1962–2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1962–1964)|
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KATU, virtual channel 2 (UHF digital channel 43), is an ABC-affiliated television station located in Portland, Oregon, United States. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, as part of a duopoly with Univision affiliate KUNP (channel 16). The two stations share studios and offices located on NE Sandy Boulevard in northeastern Portland, KATU's transmitter is located in the Sylvan-Highlands section of the city.
A construction permit for channel 2, Portland's last available channel allocation on the VHF band, was issued to Fisher's Blend Station, Inc., (later known as Fisher Communications) as early as[weasel words] 1958. However, KATU did not begin broadcasting until March 15, 1962, originally operating as an independent station.The station's transmitter was originally[when?] located atop Livingston Mountain, about 7 miles (11 km) NNE of Camas, Washington.
On January 19, 1964, KATU moved its transmitter site 21 miles (34 km), to Portland's West Hills to improve its signal coverage. Just over a month later, it took over the ABC affiliation in Portland away from KPTV (channel 12) on March 1, 1964. This made KATU the fourth television station in the Portland market in less than a decade to have affiliated with ABC full-time (after KLOR, KGW – channel 8, 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 Boulevard) since it went on the air, although the building had earlier been used as a laundry for many years.
In 2002, KATU-TV celebrated its 40th anniversary. To mark the occasion, it updated its on-air graphics, and introduced a new news set; the station also aired stories from past newscasts. From December 2008 to June 11, 2009, KATU (and the other Fisher-owned stations) were not carried by Dish Network due to a dispute over retransmission consent compensation.
On April 10, 2013, KATU and Fisher Communications' other holdings were acquired by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. The Federal Communications Commission granted its approval of the deal on August 7, and the sale was completed the following day.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|2.1||720p||16:9||KATU-HD||Main KATU programming / ABC|
On July 1, 2014, KATU added a third digital subchannel which carries GetTV.
On July 17, 2008 at 6:15 p.m., KATU conducted a test for viewers to determine whether their television 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.
KATU shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 2, 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 43, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 2. 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 digital television transition before the switch occurred.
KATU presently broadcasts 33½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 5½ hours on weekdays and three hours each on Saturdays and Sundays). During 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 first place (2006) Associated Press Awards in Best Writing, and Best Investigative Reporting.
On October 11, 2007, KATU became the third television station in Portland to begin broadcasting its local 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 begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition.
Notable current on-air staff
- Anna Canzano - weekend mornings (7:00-9:00 a.m.) and weekends at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also investigative reporter
- Brian Wood - weekdays at 4:00 p.m.
Notable former on-air staff
- Jack Faust - hosted the weekly public affairs show Town Hall for 13 years
- Jeff Gianola- morning anchor/meteorologist, then evening news anchor (1983-1998). Currently evening news anchor at KOIN 6.
- 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:
- 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 Broadcast Group Closes On Fisher Communications Acquisition". All Access. August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Murphy, Francis (March 17, 1962). "Behind the Mike" (regular media column). The Oregonian, Section 2, p. 3. Excerpt: "KATU went on air smoothly Thursday night as guests who had gathered in new studio sat before monitors to watch opening show."
- Mike Rogoway (2008-12-18). "DISH drops KATU from its lineup". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
- "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.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KATU
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- CDBS Print
- FAA 5010 for 21OR.
- KATU.com - Official KATU-TV Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KATU
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KATU-TV
- Resources for this airport: