KEPR-TV

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KEPR-TV
(semi-satellite of KIMA-TV, Yakima, Washington)
KEPR logo

KIMA-KEPR-DT2 Logo.png
Pasco/Richland/Kennewick, Washington
Branding KEPR (general)
KEPR Action News (newscasts)
(pronounced "keeper")
CW 9 Yakima/Tri-Cities (on DT2)
Slogan Taking Action for You
Channels Digital: 18 (UHF)
Virtual: 19 (PSIP)
Subchannels 29.1 CBS
29.2 The CW
Affiliations CBS
The CW (on DT2)
Owner Sinclair Broadcast Group
(Sinclair Yakima Licensee, LLC)
First air date December 28, 1954 (1954-12-28)
Call letters' meaning KEnnewick, Pasco, Richland
Sister station(s) KIMA-TV, KLEW-TV,
KVVK-CA/KORX-CA
Former channel number(s) Analog:
19 (UHF, 1954-2009)
Former affiliations NBC (secondary, 1954-1965)
ABC (1954-1970)
Transmitter power 32.43 kW
Height 355.5 m
Facility ID 56029
Transmitter coordinates 46°5′50.5″N 119°11′33.4″W / 46.097361°N 119.192611°W / 46.097361; -119.192611
Website www.keprtv.com

KEPR-TV (pronounced "keeper"), virtual channel 19, is the CBS affiliated television station for the Tri-Cities area of Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick, Washington. It is licensed to Pasco. It is sister station to KIMA-TV in Yakima, Washington and KLEW-TV in Lewiston, Idaho. KEPR's transmitter is located on Johnson Butte near Kennewick.

Though identifying as a station in its own right, KEPR is considered a semi-satellite of KIMA. It clears all of KIMA's syndicated programming, but airs separate IDs and commercials. On satellite, both Dish Network and DirecTV carry KEPR-TV along with KIMA-TV.

All of KEPR's programming is run out of Fisher Plaza in Seattle. KEPR is also a sister station to Univision affiliates KVVK-CA and KORX-CA.

KEPR's morning and weekend newscasts are shared with KIMA-TV. Branded as "KIMA/KEPR Action News", they cover both the Columbia Basin and the Yakima Valley. KEPR continues to air its own 5, 6 & 11 p.m. newscasts.

History[edit]

KEPR-TV went on the air for the first time December 28, 1954 as a satellite of KIMA-TV. It was owned by Cascade Broadcasting Company along with KEPR radio (AM 610, now KONA).

A few years earlier, the Federal Communications Commission collapsed all of central Washington into one giant television market. However, this market was designated a "UHF island" due to being sandwiched between Seattle to the west, Spokane to the east and Portland to the south. It soon became apparent that one full-power UHF station would not be nearly enough to adequately cover this vast and mountainous area. KEPR-TV thus signed on as the first station in the United States to be a satellite of another.

Original plans called for it to be a straight repeater of KIMA-TV, apart from station identifications. However, it soon became apparent that Tri-Cities residents wanted a more local station. Monte Strohl, who until then had been a radio salesman at KIMA, was installed as the first manager-salesman of KEPR-TV. The station also added a separate news department.

Like its parent station, KEPR-TV carried programming from all three networks, but was a primary CBS affiliate. It lost NBC in 1965 when KNDU followed the lead of parent station KNDO and became a full-time NBC affiliate, and lost ABC when KVEW signed on along with parent KAPP in 1970. During the 1970s, the two stations co-branded as "Cascade TV."

KEPR produces Community Health Journal with Jim Hall, a former anchorman for the station who is now with Kadlec Medical Center in Richland. The program has aired for 15 years, making it one of the longest-running magazine programs in the market.

By 1988, the station was purchased by Retlaw Broadcasting.[1] Fisher Communications purchased KLEW-TV along with the other Retlaw owned stations in 1999.[2]

KEPR logo prior to 2007

In 2000, KEPR became the first station in the Tri-Cities to broadcast a digital signal with the activation of a low-power, standard definition signal on channel 18; this was upgraded to a full-power, high definition signal in 2007. The digital signal remained on channel 18 following the end of analog broadcasting in 2009; using PSIP to display its virtual channel as 19.

On March 30, 2009, KEPR launched a digital subchannel affiliated with The CW, filling the void left by KCWK (channel 9) going dark at the end of May 2008 due to the Pappas Telecasting bankruptcy.[3] The subchannel subsequently took KCWK's former channel 9 position on local cable systems. As had been the case with KCWK, programming is primarily sourced from the network's CW Plus feed, though there is a 10 p.m. newscast on weeknights.

On April 11, 2013, Fisher announced that it would sell its properties, including KEPR-TV, to the Sinclair Broadcast Group.[4] The deal was completed on August 8, 2013.[5]

References[edit]

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