|Branding||My TV Wichita|
|Channels||Digital: 35 (UHF)
Virtual: 36 (PSIP)
36.2 The Country Network
|Owner||Mercury Broadcasting Company, Inc.
(operated through an LMA
by Sinclair Broadcast Group)
|First air date||January 6, 2001|
|Call letters' meaning||Kansas
|Former callsigns||KSCC (2001-2006)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
36 (UHF, 2001-2009)
|Former affiliations||UPN (2001-2006)|
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
KMTW is the MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station for Wichita, Kansas licensed to Hutchinson. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 35 (or virtual channel 36.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter in Sedgwick. The station can also be seen on Cox channel 6 and in high definition on digital channel 2006.
Owned by the Mercury Broadcasting Company, the station is operated through a local marketing agreement (LMA) by Sinclair Broadcast Group. This makes it sister to Fox affiliate KSAS-TV and the two outlets share studios on North West Street in Northwestern Wichita. Syndicated programming on KMTW includes That '70s Show, The Real Housewives of Orange County, The People's Court, and Judge Karen's Court among others, but all syndicated shows on KMTW are standard definition.
The station signed-on January 6, 2001 as KSCC and aired an analog signal on UHF channel 36. In a rarity for a market of Wichita's size, it was actually a UPN owned-and-operated station through Viacom's subsidiary Paramount Stations Group. However, that company only held control of KSCC's license during its first five months on-the-air having financed its launch and overseen construction.
Just prior to the station's sign-on, its broadcasting license was sold to Mercury Broadcasting who immediately entered into a LMA with Clear Channel Communications (owner of KSAS at the time and controller of several radio stations once under Viacom ownership). As a result, Clear Channel officially operated the station from the very beginning. In June 2001, Mercury Broadcasting would take over ownership of KSCC. Before its launch, the area did not have a UPN affiliate of its own.
In 2003, Clear Channel attempted to buy the station outright but was denied a "failing station" waiver by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This special approval for the sale was necessary because the Wichita DMA has only seven "unique" full-power television stations. All full-power outlets outside the immediate metro area are all satellites of Wichita-based parent stations and the FCC considers the parent and all of its satellites together as one unit. That number of unique full-power stations is normally not enough to legally support a duopoly and Clear Channel did not attempt to find a buyer for KSCC who did not need a "failing station" waiver. On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN networks announced the two would shut down and merge. The newly combined service would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initial of corporate parents CBS (the parent company of UPN) and the "W"arner Bros. unit of Time Warner.
On February 22, News Corporation announced it would start up another new network called MyNetworkTV. This new service, which would be a sister network to Fox, would be operated by Fox Television Stations and its syndication division Twentieth Television. MyNetworkTV was created in order to give UPN and WB stations, not mentioned as becoming CW affiliates, another option besides becoming Independent and also compete against The CW. KSCC was announced on June 15 as joining the News Corporation-owned network and subsequently changed its call sign to the current KMTW on August 1. The station began carrying MyNetworkTV at its launch on September 5 while the area's WB affiliate KWCV (now KSCW-DT) added The CW on September 18. On April 20, 2007, Clear Channel entered into an agreement to sell its entire television stations group (including KSAS and its LMA with KMTW) to Newport Television, a holding company controlled by Providence Equity Partners. The sale was finalized on March 14, 2008.
On July 19, 2012, Newport Television announced the sale of KSAS-TV, along with the acquisition of the station's local marketing agreement with KMTW, to Sinclair Broadcast Group as part of a group deal worth and estimated total of $1 billion involving the sale of 22 stations to Sinclair, Nexstar Broadcasting Group and Cox Media Group. Included in the acquisition of the LMA was an option for Sinclair to acquire KMTW outright from Mercury Broadcasting should the FCC relax its duopoly rules to allow a duopoly between a Big Four affiliate and a minor network affiliate in markets with fewer than nine full-power commercial stations with or without a waiver. The transaction of the LMA was completed on December 3.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|36.1||720p||16:9||KMTW-DT||Main KMTW programming / MyNetworkTV|
KMTW shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 36, on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 35. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 36.
Every night at midnight until January 31, 2011, KMTW repeated the primetime 9 p.m. newscast as seen on KSAS earlier in the evening. This thirty-minute broadcast was produced in high definition by CBS affiliate KWCH-DT (owned by Schurz Communications) through a news share agreement. The outsourcing arrangement expired at the end of 2011, and NBC affiliate KSNW (which is currently the only station in the Wichita/Hutchinson area that still airs its newscasts in enhanced definition widescreen rather than true high definition) took over the production of the KSAS newscasts at that time. From 1997 until 1999, the latter station actually produced the first nightly 9 p.m. newscast on KSAS, but the effort was cancelled due to poor ratings performance.
- "Clear Channel Agrees to Sell Television Station Group to Providence Equity Partners" (Press release). Clear Channel Communications. 2007-04-20. Retrieved 2007-04-20.
- Newport Sells 22 Stations For $1 Billion, TVNewsCheck, July 19, 2012.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KMTW
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- KMTW "My TV Wichita"
- KSAS-TV "Fox Kansas"
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KMTW
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KMTW-TV