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For the airport in Duluth, Minnesota assigned the ICAO code KDLH, see Duluth International Airport.

Kdlh dt2 2009.png
Duluth, Minnesota-Superior, Wisconsin
Branding KDLH 3 (general)
KDLH 3 News (newscasts)

Northland's CW (on DT2)
Slogan Coverage. Community. Commitment.
Channels Digital: 33 (UHF) &
KRII-DT 11.3 (VHF)
Virtual: 3 (PSIP)
Subchannels 3.1 CBS
3.2 The CW
Translators see article
Affiliations CBS (1955-present)
Owner Malara Broadcast Group
(operated through LMA by Granite Broadcasting Corporation; to be operated by Quincy Newspapers)
(Malara Broadcast Group of Duluth Licensee, LLC)
First air date March 14, 1954
Call letters' meaning DuLutH
Sister station(s) KBJR-TV
Former callsigns KDAL-TV (1954-1979)
Former channel number(s) 3 (VHF analog, 1954-2009)
Former affiliations NBC (1954-1955)
ABC (secondary, 1954-1966)
Fox (secondary, 1996-2000)
Transmitter power 381 kW
63 kW (KRII-DT3)
Height 311.9 m
200.4 m (KRII-DT3)
Facility ID 4691
82698 (KRII-DT3)
Transmitter coordinates 46°47′7.1″N 92°7′16.3″W / 46.785306°N 92.121194°W / 46.785306; -92.121194
47°51′39″N 92°56′46″W / 47.86083°N 92.94611°W / 47.86083; -92.94611 (KRII-DT3)
Website northlandsnewscenter.com

KDLH is the CBS-affiliated television station for Northeastern Minnesota and the Iron Range area, that is licensed to Duluth. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 33 from a transmitter west of downtown in Hilltop Park. KDLH and KBJR share studios on South Lake Avenue in Canal Park, downtown Duluth. Currently due to a transmitter fault that took down the station on January 12, 2014, KDLH's main CBS channel is being transmitted over-the-air via KBJR-DT3 with 480i standard definition service; service to cable and satellite subscribers remains unaffected for the most part as KDLH's signal is directly fed via fiber optics to most local pay-TV providers.

Owned by the Malara Broadcast Group, the station is operated through a local marketing agreement (LMA) by the Granite Broadcasting Corporation. This makes it sister to NBC affiliate KBJR-TV and its semi-satellite KRII. Syndicated programing on this station includes: The Doctors, Dr. Oz, Jeopardy!, and The Queen Latifah Show. KDLH can also be seen on KRII's third digital subchannel that broadcasts on VHF channel 11.3 from a transmitter in Meadow Brook.

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
3.1 1080i 16:9 KDLH3 Main KDLH programming / CBS
3.2 480i CW2 Northland CW 2

Outlying repeaters[edit]

In addition to its main signal, KDLH may be viewed through the following translators in northern Minnesota. All of the stations broadcast in digital and relay KRII.

Call sign Channel City of license Licensee Transmitter location
K18JM-D 18 Northome Koochiching County south of town
K23KZ-D 23 Bigfork EZ-TV, Inc. south of town along MN 38
K27LL-D 27 Big Falls Koochiching County center of town
K34LJ-D 34 Kabetogama Koochiching County between Koochiching County line and U.S. 53 in Saint Louis County
K38MJ-D 38 Max EZ-TV, Inc. southwest of town
K42KV-D 42 Birchdale Koochiching County southwest of Loman
K47NW-D 47 International Falls Koochiching County southeast of city


KDLH began broadcasting on March 14, 1954 with the call sign KDAL-TV and aired an analog signal on VHF channel 3. The station was affiliated with NBC and was owned by Dalton LeMasurier along with KDAL-AM 610. It switched affiliations with WDSM-TV (now KBJR) in 1955 and joined CBS. It also aired some ABC programs sharing them with WDSM until WDIO-TV signed-on in 1966. During the late-1950s, KDAL was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network. KDAL began broadcasting in color in 1965. The LeMasurier family sold KDAL-AM-TV to what eventually became Tribune Broadcasting in 1960. Tribune sold KDAL-TV to Stauffer Communications in 1979 who changed the call letters to KDLH-TV. The station dropped the -TV suffix in 1991.

Stauffer merged with Morris Communications in 1995 but Morris was not allowed to keep the former Stauffer television stations. KDLH, along with most of its sisters, were sold to Benedek Broadcasting. That company merged with Gray Television in 2001 but KDLH was not included in the merger and was sold to Chelsey Broadcasting instead. New Vision Television bought the station in 2003.

In March 2005, the Malara Broadcast Group purchased channel 3 from New Vision and outsourced most of the station's functions to longtime rival KBJR who was owned by the Granite Broadcasting Corporation. Under this agreement, KDLH laid-off most of its staff and KBJR began to handle nearly all of KDLH's operations. Filings with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) showed Malara could operate KDLH with as few as two people on the payroll.

KDLH's digital transmitter had been operating at reduced power with a substitute side-mounted antenna after a May 18, 2008 fire that severely damaged its main digital antenna. It returned to full power on UHF channel 33 by June 2009. In February 2009, Malara Broadcasting announced that KDLH would not make the switch to all digital later in the month due to the fire. With that announcement, the station was the only one in the area still broadcasting in analog after February 19 as KBJR, WDSE, WDIO, and KQDS-TV all went digital-only on that date. On June 12 at around 7 p.m., KDLH ceased normal broadcasting operations on its analog signal. At that time, the analog station began a nightlight signal consisting of a ten minute digital television informational video on a constant loop.

On June 26 two weeks after regular broadcasts were stopped, the nightlight signal was terminated with the help of Bob Peterson (a former engineer at the station who helped launch KDLH in 1954) bringing an end to all full-power analog broadcasting in the area. In November 2009, the station re-branded from "CBS 3" to "KDLH 3". This brought a new logo to the station for the first time since it merged with KBJR.

On February 11, 2014, it was announced that Quincy Newspapers would acquire KBJR-TV and KRII from Granite Broadcasting. Malara initially planned to concurrently sell KDLH to SagamoreHill Broadcasting;[1] however, that November, the deal was reworked to remove SagamoreHill from the transaction, and as a result KDLH will remain with Malara.[2] Quincy will continue to provide services to KDLH.[1][2]

News operation[edit]

While operating its own news department, KDLH was the last of the big three stations in Duluth to have a weeknight 5 o'clock broadcast. It aired Judge Judy in the time slot instead. In 2004, it debuted a 5 p.m. show that featured anchor Amy Rutledge and meteorologist Phil Johnson. This was replaced along with its 6 o'clock show with the current one at 5:30 when KDLH merged with KBJR in March 2005. Jeopardy has since reclaimed the 5 o'clock spot on channel 3 and the CBS Evening News airs at 6.

After the buyout, the station had its news department closed and merged with KBJR. To maintain a separate identity, there were some channel 6 personalities that were also seen on KDLH. However, due to KBJR's existing newscasts not all of that station's personnel were seen on channel 3.

KDLH's Northland's NewsCenter at 5:30 had been anchored by Pat Kelly who was the only channel 3 news team member remaining after the KDLH sellout. Its weeknight 10 o'clock newscast, which continues to be a separate production, was known as Northland's NewsCenter Express and consisted of a ten minute news "capsule". The other 25 minutes was a Seinfeld rerun. After thirteen months of mediocre ratings, KDLH changed the 10 o'clock show to the traditional 35 minutes and re-branded it to Northland's NewsCenter Tonight.

KDLH and KBJR began broadcasting their local newscasts in 16x9 widescreen on May 4, 2009. They were the first television stations in the market to do so. Although not true high definition, the format matches the ratio of HD televisions. As of November, this station has now began to brand its separate weeknight shows as KDLH 3 News. These broadcasts air from a secondary set. On January 11, 2010, KDLH beggan airing the area's only weeknight 6:30 o'clock newscast.

In the fall of 2014, KDLH 3 partnered with Midwest Communications' station KDAL-AM to produce a unique simulcast broadcast airing KDAL AM's "Cadigan and Kelly". KDLH 3 installed cameras and switching gear so each member of the KDAL team could be seen on air.

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Quincy Buying Stations From Granite, Malara". TVNewsCheck. February 11, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Amendment to Agreements and Description of Transaction (KBJR-TV)" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. November 24, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2014. 

External links[edit]