|El Centro, California-
Yuma/San Luis, Arizona
|City of license||El Centro|
|Branding||Fox 9 (general)
Fox 9 News (newscasts)
ABC 5 (on DT2)
CW 6 (on DT3)
Telemundo 3 (on DT4)
|Slogan||It's About Time
TV to Talk About
|Channels||Digital: 9 (VHF)
Virtual: 9 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||9.1 Fox (primary)
9.3 The CW
|Owner||News-Press & Gazette Company
(NPG of Yuma-El Centro, LLC)
|First air date||December 11, 1968|
|Call letters' meaning||El Centro/Yuma|
|Sister station(s)||KESE-LP, KESQ-TV|
|Former callsigns||KECC-TV (1968-1981)|
|Former channel number(s)||9 (VHF analog, 1968-2009)
48 (UHF digital)
|Former affiliations||ABC (1968-1970, 1982-1985)
CBS (1970-1982, 1985-1994)
UPN (secondary, 1995-2006)
|Transmitter power||50 kW|
KECY-TV is the primary Fox and secondary MyNetworkTV television station for El Centro, California and Yuma, Arizona. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 9 from a transmitter between the two cities in the Chocolate Mountains in Imperial County, California. The station can also be seen on Time Warner Cable channel 9. Owned by the News-Press & Gazette Company, KECY maintains studios on South 4th Avenue in Yuma and operates an advertising sales office on West Main Street in El Centro. Syndicated programming on the station includes Friends, Two and a Half Men, Ellen, Judge Judy, and Seinfeld. Programming from MyNetworkTV airs weeknights from 10 pm until midnight.
The station's digital is multiplexed:
|Channel||PSIP Short Name||Video||Aspect||Programming|
|9.1||KECY-HD||720p||16:9||Main KECY-TV programming / Fox & MyNetworkTV|
|9.2||ABC5||480i||4:3||KECY-DT2 / ABC|
|9.3||CW 6||The CW Plus|
|9.4||KESE||Digital simulcast of KESE-LP|
On April 18, 1962, the FCC signed an agreement with Mexico, effective September 4, allowing the allocation of channels 7 and 9 to El Centro and giving the Imperial Valley its first opportunity for local VHF television. Before the channels were added to the Table of Allocations, Tele-Broadcasters of California, Inc., applied to build a station on channel 7 on July 5, 1962, requesting a waiver from the FCC to do so. KXO-TV, Inc., submitted a rival channel 7 bid on September 14, 1962, meaning that the FCC would need to decide who would be awarded the construction permit. To avoid delays in build-out, Tele-Broadcasters agreed to amend its application on November 9, 1962, to specify operations on channel 9. The FCC approved both applications on April 10, 1963, with channel 7 being designated KXO-TV and channel 9 KECC-TV, and soon after, ABC announced that it would affiliate with KECC, who expected to be on the air by September 1.
The station would not be constructed on time, as the owner of KIVA, channel 11 in Yuma, filed for reconsideration of the grant of KECC's construction permit, claiming that the Yuma/El Centro market could not support multiple local television stations, and predicting economic injury to his station. KIVA's claim was denied by the FCC on July 30, 1963, but was referred to a federal appeals court, where the case was decided May 22, 1964 in favor of the El Centro stations. After the case was settled, KECC was still not ready to go to air, and the FCC had to extend its construction permit several times.
In April 1966, Tele-Broadcasters announced its sale to United Broadcasting Co., headed by Richard Eaton, in a (US) $1.9 million deal, which included the KECC construction permit and two radio stations. United Broadcasting filed the purchase application on August 29, and the FCC approved it the following April.
The station received a significant boost in February 1968, when the FCC granted it permission to move its transmitter location from downtown El Centro to Black Mountain and to increase power from 55 kW to 120 kW, allowing its signal to serve both El Centro and Yuma. KECC-TV received program operation authorization from the FCC on December 6, 1968, and on December 11, more than six years after the station moved its application to channel 9, KECC-TV took to the air as an ABC affiliate, becoming the third station in the market, and giving each of the major commercial television networks a primary affiliate. Another boost in fortunes came in January 1970, when KIVA, the market's NBC affiliate, announced that it would cease operations at the end of the month. KBLU-TV (now KSWT), the CBS affiliate at that time, announced that it would take over the NBC affiliation, and KECC moved to acquire the CBS affiliation.
It was not long before KECC-TV found itself embroiled in controversy. In March 1970, an unrelated Dayton, Ohio, television station was accused of bribing an ABC-TV employee to promote affiliation with the network for the station. Evidence from the Dayton investigation resulted in a hearing order issued in November 1971 for stations owned by Richard Eaton, including KECC, after Eaton was suspected of bribery in entering into a "consultancy agreement" with an ABC-TV employee in 1969. Faced with the prospect of an FCC hearing, and financially drained from actions against two of his other TV stations, Eaton declared his intent to sell all of his TV stations. No sale would occur for years. Eaton was cleared of the bribery charges in September 1974, but was ruled by an FCC administrative law judge to have "strayed from conduct expected of licensee". The judge recommended granting KECC-TV its license provided that Eaton sell the station within 60 days, but the FCC Broadcast Bureau appealed the ruling.
United Broadcasting reached an agreement with Acton Corp. in December 1977 to sell the station for (US) $1 million, pending resolution of the review of KECC's license request. The application for assignment of permit was filed in July 1978 under Acton Corp. subsidiary El Centro Communications, but by the start of 1981, the FCC had not yet resolved KECC's licensing issues and had not approved the sale of the station, and in January 1981, the application to sell the station to Acton was dismissed.
In March 1981, United Broadcasting requested to sell KECC-TV to Esquire, Inc. for (US) $1.025 million. The sale was approved by the FCC in September and consummated in October. The new owners, operating under the subsidiary of Pacific Media Corporation, quickly began making changes at the station. In October, Pacific Media was granted permission to increase the station's power from 120 kW to 316 kW, the maximum allowed for an upper-band VHF station, changed the station's call letters from KECC-TV to KECY-TV in December 1981, and switched affiliation from CBS back to ABC on February 1, 1982, matching the affiliation of Pacific Media's other TV station, KESQ-TV. Nearly twenty years after first applying for a construction permit, and after more than thirteen years operating under Program Test Authority, KECY-TV was granted a license on June 30, 1982.
Esquire began selling off its broadcast properties and in July 1983, announced the sale of both KESQ Palm Springs and KECY to Cimarron Broadcasting, headed by recording artist Harry Nilsson, for (US) $4.5 million. Esquire and Cimarron were not able to complete the deal, and on July 23, 1984, Esquire sold Pacific Media Corporation and KECY to its former Chairman of the Board, John Smart, for (US) $1.5 million. KECY announced in December 1984 its intention to return to being a CBS affiliate, as of March 3, 1985, ending three years as an ABC affiliate, and to broadcast on Mountain Time, instead of Pacific Time, as it had had done with ABC. Smart sought to sell the station to First National Entertainment Corp. in September 1986 for (US) $2.35 million, but the sale did not go through, and KECY was finally sold, along with Pacific Media Corporation, to Katherine R. and Robinson O. Everett, in February 1989 for (US) $1.565 million. Robinson Everett assumed principal control of the station following the death of Katherine Everett in April 1992.
Everett and CBS began to have differences of opinion on several issues, notably CBS opposition to Everett's desire to convert Palm Springs-area satellite station K40DB (now KDFX-CA), which he owned, to a full power station. In April 1994, KECY announced that it would be switching affiliation to Fox, who supported Everett's efforts to build a full power station in the Coachella Valley. Prior to KECY-TV joining Fox, El Centro, CA or Yuma, AZ viewers would have to view it on cable, via XETV-TV in San Diego on California systems, or KNXV-TV in Phoenix on Arizona systems.
Pacific Media Corporation signed a local marketing/time brokerage agreement (LMA/TBA) with Growth Cities Broadcasting, LLC, in March 1997, giving Growth Cities programming control of KECY and Palm Springs LPTV stations K40DB, K20CB and K77AV, with an option to purchase the stations. The agreement took effect May 1, 1997, and was to continue until April 30, 2008, or until Growth Cities exercised its purchase option. The following month, Growth Cities transferred the LMA/TBA to News Press & Gazette Co. (NPG) owner of KESQ Palm Springs, reuniting the two stations under common control.
In February 2002, KECY announced that after more than 30 years in El Centro, it would be moving its operations to Yuma, effective April 1. The station's general manager cited interference to its microwave signal from the studio to the broadcast tower on Black Mountain, due to sand in the air from the Glamis dunes, which lie between El Centro and Black Mountain. In September 2006, KECY added a secondary MyNetworkTV affiliation on its main channel from 9 to 11 p.m. after Fox primetime programming on weeknights (as well as from 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. on Saturdays until MyNetworkTV dropped its Saturday lineup in September 2009); in March 2012, KECY moved MyNetworkTV programming an hour later in preparation for the launch of its local newscasts.
The ABC network returned to the Yuma/El Centro market on January 1, 2007, when KECY launched a full-time affiliate on a new digital subchannel and on Time Warner Cable channel 5, replacing KNXV from Phoenix in Yuma, and San Diego's KGTV which had been seen on cable channel 10 in California. In November 2007, with time running out on the local marketing agreement, NPG moved to buy KECY and KDFX-CA (K77AV ceased operations in April 1998) for $2 million, and the FCC approved the sale in May 2008.
KECY began broadcasting in high definition in early 2009 - the first station in the market to upgrade - and broadcasts Fox prime time and Fox Sports in high definition. The CW affiliation moved from KSWT to KECY in March 2010, and KECY placed the network on channel 9.3, moving KESE-LP to 9.4. The network also began airing CW's programming in the early prime time schedule, beginning at 7 pm, like other affiliates in the Mountain Time Zone. DirecTV contributed around (US) $1 million in technology and fiber optics in early 2011 to provide KECY a direct link to DirecTV's facilities in Los Angeles, allowing KECY to send high definition content to DirecTV, and DirecTV to send KECY's signal to subscribers in the Yuma/El Centro market.
While affiliated with CBS, it operated a news department which ended sometime in the early-1990s. At the time of the shutdown of the original news operation, its newscasts were titled News 9. On November 20, 2011, News-Press & Gazette announced it would re-establish a news operation for KECY, its ABC-affiliated second digital subchannel, and Telemundo outlet KESE by March 2012.
The production officially launched on March 23, 2012, airing in full high definition, making KECY the first television outlet in the market to offer HD local news programming. The station's Fox-affiliated main channel airs a half-hour 9 p.m. newscast each weeknight; the ABC subchannel KECY-DT2 airs its own local newscasts (branded as ABC 5 News) each weeknight at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m., while KESE offers Spanish-language regional news from sister station KUNA in Palm Desert each weeknight at 5 and 10.
All local news offerings are produced live except for the 10 o'clock broadcast for KESE, which is taped earlier in the evening to allow KECY-DT2 to air a live newscast at the same time. The station's broadcasts originate from a specially-designed virtual set at its main studios, which can be tailored to the specific network channel that the local newscast is aired on. There are no weather or sports personalities based out of this station's facility and the news team currently consists of five personalities. Taped weather forecasts originating from sister station KVIA-TV in El Paso, Texas are inserted into each local broadcast.
With the launch of this news department, KECY became the first Fox affiliate in News-Press & Gazette's portfolio to have its newscasts produced in-house. CW Plus station KECY-DT3 airs the nationally syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz on weekday mornings from 6 to 8 a.m.
Current on-air staff
- Anna Chaulk - news anchor, weeknights at 9 p.m. (KECY) and 10 p.m. (on KECY-DT2); also managing editor
- Anna Hayes - news anchor; weeknights at 6 p.m. (on KECY-DT2)
- Nichole Gomez - weather anchor; based out of KVIA-TV/El Paso
- Krystal Klei - weather anchor; based out of KVIA-TV/El Paso
- Vanessa Herrera - Yuma reporter
- Patrick Hayes - El Centro reporter
- Eduardo Santiago - El Centro reporter
- "Directory of TV Stations in the U.S.", Broadcasting Yearbook, 1970: 81
- "For the Record", Broadcasting, August 6, 1962: 86
- "U.S.-Mexico agree on border drop-ins", Broadcasting, May 7, 1962: 88
- "Tele-Broadcasters asks waiver for tv filing", Broadcasting, July 16, 1962: 89
- "For the Record", Broadcasting, September 24, 1962: 139
- "El Centro to get two new vhf's", Broadcasting, April 15, 1963: 62
- "For the Record", Broadcasting, April 22, 1963: 96
- "ABC-TV adds KECC-TV", Broadcasting, May 13, 1963: 74
- "For The Record", Broadcasting, August 5, 1963: 95
- "Valley Telecasting Co., Inc., Appellant, v. Federal Communications Commission, Appellee, Tele-Broadcasters of California, Inc., Intervenor., United States Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit. - 336 F.2d 914". Justia.com US Law. May 22, 1964. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- "A bumper crop of station sales", Broadcasting, April 25, 1966: 58
- "For The Record", Broadcasting, September 5, 1966: 83
- "Station sales total $10.7 million", Broadcasting, May 1, 1967: 58
- "For The Record", Broadcasting, February 26, 1968: 69
- "For The Record", Broadcasting, December 23, 1968: 58
- "KBLU-TV Goes To NBC Feb. 1st", Yuma Daily Sun, The, January 27, 1970: 16
- "Renewals clouded by bribe charges", Broadcasting, November 8, 1971: 44
- "Eaton wants out of television", Broadcasting, December 13, 1971: 45
- "Eaton ordered to sell two V's", Broadcasting, September 16, 1974: 5
- "Eaton wants FCC to allow distress sale of four stations now in renewal limbo", Broadcasting, December 18, 1978: 53
- "Changing Hands", Broadcasting, December 12, 1977: 72
- "Public Notice Comment". FCC CDBS database. January 27, 1981. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
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- "InterMedia", Broadcasting, February 8, 1982: 104
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- "Changing Hands", Broadcasting, July 18, 1983: 46
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- "For the Record", Broadcasting, March 20, 1989: 79
- J. Flint (April 14, 1994). "CBS loses trio of affils to Fox". Variety. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- "ECFS Filing". ECFS Database. FCC. July 3, 1997. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- "ECFS Filing". ECFS Database. FCC. August 24, 1997. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- R. Yniguez (February 20, 2002). "El Centro-based Fox affiliate KECY moving operations to Yuma". Imperial Valley Press Online. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- B. Grossman (December 27, 2006). "ABC Adds KECY in Yuma and El Centro". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- "NPG Opts To Buy In Palm Springs, Yuma", TVNewsCheck, May 5, 2008, retrieved April 21, 2012
- C. McDaniel (November 20, 2011). "KECY, KESE starting Yuma news division". The Yuma Sun. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- S. Wilken (February 23, 2010). "CW changing TV affiliate". The Yuma Sun. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- C. McDaniels (April 20, 2011), "DirecTV Customers to receive local channels", The Yuma Sun, retrieved April 21, 2012
- J. Lobeck (March 10, 2012), "AEA has new logo, Chipotle update, FOX-9 newscasts and more", The Yuma Sun, retrieved April 21, 2012
- News Sales Presentation v2, KECY, March 19, 2012, retrieved April 21, 2012