|Branding||Denver's 7 (general)
ABC 7 (alternate)
7 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Start Here (general)
Always Investigating (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 7 (VHF)
Virtual: 7 (PSIP)
7.2 Azteca America
7.4 24/7 News
|Owner||E. W. Scripps Company
(Scripps Media, Inc.)
|First air date||November 1, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||K McGraw-Hill
|Former callsigns||KLZ-TV (1953-1972)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
7 (VHF, 1953–2009)
17 (UHF, 1995–2009)
|Former affiliations||CBS (1953–1995)|
|Transmitter power||27 kW|
KMGH-TV, channel 7, is the ABC-affiliated television station in Denver, Colorado. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 7 from a transmitter atop Lookout Mountain, near Golden. Owned by the E. W. Scripps Company, KMGH is sister to Azteca América affiliate KZCO-LP and both stations share studios on East Speer Boulevard in Denver's Speer neighborhood (to the immediate north of the studios shared by KDVR and KWGN-TV). The station can also be seen on Comcast Xfinity channel 7, with a high definition feed offered on digital channel 652.
As a CBS affiliate 
Channel 7 first went on the air on November 1, 1953 under the callsign KLZ-TV. It was originally owned by Edward K. Gaylord's Oklahoma Publishing Company, alongside KLZ radio (560 AM and 106.7 FM). KLZ-TV immediately took the CBS affiliation from KBTV), owing to KLZ radio's longtime affiliation with the CBS Radio Network. In 1954, Gaylord sold the KLZ stations to Time-Life. The station's studios were originally housed in a former auto dealership on the east side of the block at East 6th Avenue and Sherman Street, where the station's operations resided until 1969.
During the 1950s, the Channel 7 staff included newscaster (later sportscaster and Dialing for Dollars host) Starr Yelland, who came to the station from KOA-TV, and Ed Scott as Sheriff Scotty to entertain the kids. In 1956, KLZ-TV presented the first remote television broadcast from a courtroom after general manager Hugh Terry won a court battle to allow cameras into the courtroom. In 1957, the station's weekly public affairs series Panorama (written and hosted by Gene Amole), became the first locally produced program in the Denver market to earn a Peabody Award (Channel 7 has since won two more Peabody Awards for the investigative reports "Honor and Betrayal: Scandal at the Air Force Academy" in 2003, reported by John Ferrugia and produced by Kurt Silver and current news director Jeff Harris, and 2008's "Failing the Children: Deadly Mistakes", reported by Ferrugia and produced by Tom Burke and Arthur Kane).
The station was the first in Denver to operate a news bureau in Washington, D.C., as well as the first Denver station to receive reports from its own radio and TV correspondents in Europe and Asia. Channel 7 televised the first kidney transplant in the mid-1960s. Starting in 1968 and running through 1983, the most popular kids show in town was the Noell and Andy Show, which aired at 8 a.m. on Monday through Friday mornings. Her coloring contest drew hundreds of entries each week. The station moved to its present studios, an eight-sided, five-story building called "The Communications Center", on the intersection of Speer Boulevard and Lincoln Street in 1969.
Another publishing firm, McGraw-Hill bought the station in 1972, changing the calls to the present KMGH-TV. The sale to McGraw-Hill broke channel 7 away from KLZ radio, which was spun off to comply with the Federal Communications Commission's policy at the time prohibiting same-market cross-ownership of television and radio station licenses by a single company. The 1990s did not begin well for KMGH; the station saw significant overall profit losses in 1990 and 1991, as well as a decrease in viewership for its local newscasts. A new management team introduced in 1991 turned things around at KMGH; net profit soared 105.5 percent in 1992 as a result.
Switch to ABC 
Although KMGH had been one of CBS's stronger affiliates, the station would end up disaffiliating from the network due to a series of events that were set in motion as a result of CBS' partnership (and eventual merger) with the Westinghouse Electric Corporation in 1995; as part of the deal, the network had to divest its owned-and-operated station in Philadelphia, WCAU-TV (since Westinghouse already owned KYW-TV in that market). In a three-way trade, WCAU was sold to NBC, while it turned over Denver's longtime NBC station KCNC-TV in turn to a partnership of CBS and Westinghouse.
At the same time, McGraw-Hill had struck its own affiliation agreement with ABC, due in part to its stations in San Diego and Indianapolis already being aligned with the network (KERO-TV/Bakersfield, California was also involved in the deal between McGraw-Hill and ABC; however, that station had to wait for its affiliation contract with CBS to expire in March 1996, before it could finally switch its affiliation to ABC). In keeping with all of this, each of the three major broadcast networks relocated their programming on September 10, 1995 to different stations in the Denver market: ABC moved its programming to KMGH from KUSA, with KMGH's outgoing CBS affiliation going to KCNC and NBC moving from KCNC to KUSA.
In 1998, KMGH's current iteration of the "Circle 7" logo debuted (the station used several variations of the logo from 1981 to 1995), that is an original variant of the common design used by ABC stations in other markets that broadcast on channel 7; a yellow version of the ABC circle logo was added on the bottom left quadrant almost one year later (in the style of the network's yellow-and-black on-air graphics of the time period, as well as the station's blue-and-yellow graphical appearance), eventually switching to the black-and-white variant of the logo by 2006. KMGH-TV is the only Denver television station to have won two Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Awards: the first for the 2003 report, "Honor and Betrayal: Scandal at the Air Force Academy" and the second for the 2010 investigative documentary "33 Minutes to 34 Right". In 2011, KMGH was named "Station of the Year" by the Associated Press Television-Radio Association.
On June 14, 2011, The McGraw-Hill Companies announced its exit from the broadcasting industry and put its entire television station group (including KMGH-TV) up for sale; on October 3 of that year, the company announced that it had entered into an agreement to sell the eight-station broadcasting division to the E. W. Scripps Company. The FCC approved the sale on November 29, 2011, and the deal was officially completed on December 30, 2011. KMGH is not Scripps' first media property in the Denver market; the company had owned the Rocky Mountain News from 1926 until its closure in 2009.
Digital television 
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|7.1||720p||16:9||KMGH-DT||Main KMGH-TV programming / ABC|
|7.2||480i||4:3||Azteca||Main KZCO-LP programming / Azteca America|
|7.4||24/7||24/7 News Channel|
KMGH-TV operates the "24/7 News Channel" on digital subchannel 7.4 (also carried on Comcast Xfinity digital channel 247. The channel rebroadcasts KMGH's local newscasts throughout the day (with the 10 p.m. news running until the next morning), alongside weather updates and real-time weather information that is also shown on screen.
Analog-to-digital conversion 
KMGH-TV shut down its analog transmitter on April 16, 2009 (two months prior to the official date of the analog television shutdown and digital conversion in the United States). The station moved its digital signal from UHF channel 17 to VHF channel 7.
News operation 
KMGH-TV presently broadcasts a total of 33½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 5½ hours on weekdays, two hours on Saturdays and four hours on Sundays). Unlike most stations affiliated with ABC or its competitors, KMGH does not produce a local newscast in the 6 p.m. time slot on weeknights, opting to fill the hour with episodes of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune (the station's previous 6 p.m. news program was canceled after the May 26, 2006 broadcast).
While KLZ-TV always had a strong line-up of local and syndicated programs during the station's early years, it was obviously helped by CBS's longtime dominance nationally. It led the 10 p.m. news ratings from the early 1960s until 1977, when it was displaced from the #1 slot by KBTV, which benefited from ABC's primetime rating increases as well as an improved news product that took advantage of live electronic news-gathering technology. KMGH-TV was actually the first in the market to use ENG equipment in 1975, with its "Insta Cam", which was never promoted on the air. In 1970, Channel 7's newscasts had a 40% ratings share, while KOA-TV and KBTV were battling to stay out of last place, each pulling in about a 24 share for their newscasts. By the end of the decade, KBTV had a 54% ratings share at 10 p.m., more than all of the other stations combined.
Channel 7's 10 p.m. news team in the 1960s was helmed by news anchor Carl Akers, weatherman Warren Chandler and Starr Yelland with sports. All three did live commercials as part of the program. John Rayburn joined the 10 p.m. newscast in 1964, before departing for KBTV in 1967. In 1966, Akers took a short-lived retirement only to show up a year later at KBTV as anchor and news director; he was replaced at channel 7 by Bob Palmer from KOA-TV. The team of Palmer, Chandler and Yelland continued until 1975, when Terry Phillips was added as a news co-anchor; Phillips was replaced by John Lindsey in 1976. Palmer returned to KOA-TV in 1982.
From December 1994 to August 1997, the station operated a weather radar system known as "Doppler Max7", that was heavy promoted during the failed "Real Life, Real News" era. On July 15, 2002, KMGH-TV became the first major market television station in the world to broadcast fully automated newscasts. A computer system, known as ParkerVision, combines the work of several technical personnel in a program requiring just a single operator. Ten studio cameras, channels of audio, all art graphics and electronic titling along with tape operations are programmed and played back live by one person instead of seven people.
KMGH began broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition on August 18, 2008. On May 26, 2011, KMGH moved its hour-long 4 p.m. newscast 7 News Now to 3 p.m. and reduced the program to a news broadcast (The Dr. Oz Show moved into the newscast's former 4 p.m. timeslot); the program ended after the September 7, 2012 broadcast, in order to accommodate the syndicated talk show Katie.
News/Station Presentation 
Newscast Titles 
- KLZ-TV News (1953–1965)
- Channel 7 News (1965–1973)
- The News (1977–1981)
- News 7 (1981–1987)
- KMGH 7 News (1987–1991)
- Colorado's 7 News (1991–1995)
- 7 News (1995–present)
News team 
- Ana Cabrera - weekday mornings (4:30–7:00 a.m. - 2009)
- Christine Chang - weekend mornings (7:00-8:00 weekends, 8:00-9:00 Saturdays and 9:00-10:00 a.m. Sundays - 2004)
- John Ferrugia - Fridays at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m.; also investigative reporter (1992)
- Mitch Jelniker - weekday mornings (4:30–7:00) and weekdays at 11:00 a.m. (1995)
- Mike Landess - weeknights at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m. (2002)
- Bertha Lynn - weekdays at 11:00 a.m. (1984)
- Theresa Marchetta - weekends at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m.; also investigative reporter (2003)
- Anne Trujillo - weeknights at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m. (1984)
- 24/7 Weather
- Mike Nelson (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m. (2004)
- Dayle Cedars - fill-in weather/news anchor (2003)
- Lisa Hidalgo - meteorologist; weekday mornings (4:30-7:00) and weekdays at 11:00 a.m. (2007)
- Matt Makens (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; weekends at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m. (2011)
- Maureen McCann (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval; member, NWA) - meteorologist; weekend mornings (7:00-8:00 weekends, 8:00-9:00 Saturdays and 9:00-10:00 a.m. Sundays - 2011)
- Sports team
- Lionel Bienvenu - sports director; weeknights at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m. (2001)
- Phil Aldridge - sports anchor fill-in (2006-2008; 2011)
- Arran Andersen - sports anchor; weekends at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m. (2011)
- Call 7 Investigators
- John Ferrugia - investigative reporter
- Theresa Marchetta - consumer/investigative reporter
- Keli Rabon - investigative reporter (2012)
- Jaclyn Allen - general assignment reporter (2007)
- Jennie Castor - video journalist (1999)
- Don Champion - general assignment reporter; also news producer (2009)
- Russell Haythorn - general assignment reporter (2005)
- Molly Hendrickson - general assignment reporter (2011)
- Lance Hernandez - general assignment reporter (1988)
- Megan Jurgemeyer - general assignment reporter/content producer (2010)
- Amanda Kost - general assignment reporter (2010)
- Tyler Lopez - general assignment reporter (2004)
- Jayson Luber - weekday morning traffic reporter (4:30-7:00 a.m. - 2006)
- Eric Lupher - general assignment reporter/producer (2011)
- Lindsey Sablan - general assignment reporter (2012)
- Doug Schepman - video journalist (2002)
- Marc Stewart - general assignment reporter/fill-in anchor (2009)
- Marshall Zelinger - general assignment reporter/content producer (2010)
Notable former on-air staff 
- Ernie Bjorkman - anchor (1982–1984, 1988–1998; later with KWGN)
- Chris Fowler - sports intern (1986; now at ESPN; host of College GameDay)
- Tony Kovaleski - investigative reporter (2001–2011; now at KNTV in San Jose)
- Michael Marsh (now anchor at WBRZ-TV in Baton Rouge)
- Linda Moulton Howe - director of special projects (1978–1983; currently an investigative journalist and documentary producer)
- Bill O'Reilly - reporter (now host of The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel)
- Harry Smith - reporter/anchor (1982–1985, now at NBC News)
- Mark Thompson - weather anchor/environmental reporter
- Tony Zarrella - sports director (1996–1998; now sports director at WOIO in Cleveland)
See also 
- "Eight stations, 5 VHF, 3 UHF, begin commercial operation." Broadcasting - Telecasting, November 2, 1953, pg. 64. 
- "Six stations being sold for nearly $15 million." Broadcasting - Telecasting, Mar. 8, 1954, pp. 27-28.  
- The History Of Television In Denver
- "McGraw-Hill buys into TV in a big way." Broadcasting, November 2, 1970, pg. 9. 
- "It's all theirs." Broadcasting, June 5, 1972, pg. 43
- "Companies of the Year 1993." Colorado Business Magazine 20.8 (1993): 26-7.
- Hicks, L. Wayne (June 14, 2011). "Denver TV station KMGH for sale".
- "McGraw-Hill Sells TV Group To Scripps". TVNewsCheck. October 3, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- "Scripps completes McGraw-Hill Stations Buy". TVNewsCheck. December 30, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
- "News is People", Craig Allen (2001 Blackwell Publishing). "We waited and waited, but they never promoted it," then KBTV promotions director Harvey Mars told Allen.
- A History Of Television In Denver
- Dr. Oz Moves To 4PM, 7NEWS Now Moves To 3PM Today
- News Team
- "The History Of Television In Denver". Broadcast Professionals of Colorado. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- "Chris Fowler Bio". ESPN. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- "Michael Marsh Bio". WBRZ-TV. 20 October 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- "A Strange Harvest". WorldCat. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- Kitman, Marvin (2008). The Man Who Would Not Shut Up: The Rise of Bill O'Reilly. Macmillan.
- "Harry Smith Bio". NBC News. 19 October 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- TheDenverChannel.com - Official Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KMGH-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KMGH-TV