|Branding||Channel 12 (general)
12 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||The Leader in HD|
|Channels||Digital: 22 (UHF)|
|Owner||Gannett Company, Inc.
(Multimedia Holdings Corporation)
|First air date||May 2, 1970|
|Call letters' meaning||Northern AriZona|
|Former callsigns||KOAI-TV (1970-1981)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
2 (VHF, 1970-2009)
|Transmitter power||283 kW|
KNAZ-TV is a full-power television station serving Flagstaff, Arizona and surrounding areas. It is a satellite station of NBC affiliate KPNX in Phoenix, and is owned by Gannett. KNAZ-TV broadcasts over-the-air in digital on UHF channel 22, and is carried on the local cable TV system. It is the only full-power television station in northern Arizona that broadcasts programming from a major English-language television network, but as a full satellite station, it originates no programming.
The station was founded by Wendell Elliott, Sr. as KOAI-TV and began operations on May 2, 1970. Elliott had managed a television station in Dodge City, Kansas in the 1950s, had founded a station in Ensign, Kansas, and was a founder of the Kansas Association of Broadcasters in 1951. Elliott died in 1974, and control of the station passed to a group headed by his son, Wendell Elliott, Jr. For most of the earlier part of its history, the station was unable to afford microwave feeds for network or syndicated programming. Instead, it operated with what was called a "dirty feed," where station engineers switched to and from the signal of KTAR-TV (now KPNX) in Phoenix and had to cover up KTAR-TV's local content (including commercials and news) with its own programming. Programming included a daily live one hour program immediately following the Today show, evening "rip and read" news casts with a single talent and locked-down cameras, plus a weekly program of news from the Navajo nation, spoken in Navajo. Little more is known about the early operations of the station, but Northern Arizona University maintains an archive of KOAI-TV material from 1975 and later.
The group headed by the younger Elliott sold the station to Capitol Broadcasting Company (not related to Raleigh, North Carolina-based Capitol Broadcasting) in January 1981 and shortly afterward on March 23rd, the station adopted the call letters KNAZ-TV, which had been briefly used at what is now KAZT-TV in Prescott. Also in 1981, KNAZ maximized its signal strength to the full 100 kW allowed for a low-band VHF station.
The 1980s and 1990s saw a succession of sales and transfers of control involving KNAZ-TV. In 1984, the station was transferred from Capitol Broadcasting Company to Standard Life Insurance Company, then to Grand Canyon Television in 1988. Grand Canyon Television was placed into receivership in 1991, then transferred to W.A. Franke in 1992. Finally, in May 1997, Multimedia, Inc., a subsidiary of Gannett, acquired KNAZ-TV from Grand Canyon Television, along with KMOH-TV of Kingman. Already an NBC affiliate, KNAZ was made a partial satellite station of KPNX.
In the late 1980s, the station produced three newscasts a day at 5:00 (branded as "News at Five"), 6:00 and 10:00 (branded as "News 2 Nite"), as well as "Northland Outlook," a local community affairs talk show and "From the Bleachers," a Sunday evening sports wrap-up show featuring local high school and college sports. Shortly after the station was placed into receivership, all in-house production, except for local newscasts, was cancelled.
In December 2005, Gannett announced its intention to sell KNAZ, but as of September 2008, no suitable buyer had surfaced. KNAZ ceased production of local newscasts and became a full satellite of KPNX on August 15, 2008, citing inadequate advertising revenues and a lack of satellite carriage as factors in the decision. A Flagstaff bureau was established to cover Northern Arizona news.
News/Station presentation 
Newscast titles 
- Today in the Northland (1970–1975)
- The Northern Arizona Report (1970–1971)
- The Navajo Report (1972–1975)
- KOAI-TV News Service (1971–1975)
- NewsCenter 2 (1975–1982)
- NewsWatch 2 (1982–1986)
- News 2 (1986–1991)
- Channel 2 News (1991–1998)
- 2 News (1998-August 15, 2008)
Station slogans 
- Northern Arizona's Local News Source (1994–2001)
- Northern Arizona's Own (2001–2006)
- The Leader in HD (2008–present; slogan for KPNX)
As a satellite station, KNAZ-TV rebroadcasts all primary network programming of KPNX, but does not offer 12 News Weather Plus or any other service as a digital subchannel. Its only digital signal is a simulcast of KPNX's programming.
Before becoming a full satellite, the station had simulcast the 6:00 am, 4:30 pm, and 5:00 pm weekday news and all of the weekend news from KPNX, and broadcast the same network and syndicated programming as KPNX, but aired its own local commercials, retained a separate news staff and produced its own weekday newscasts at 6:30 am, 6:00 pm, and 10:00 pm. KNAZ had produced its own weekend news, but ended it as part of cost-cutting intended to make the station more attractive to a buyer. There was significant cooperation and sharing of news staff among KNAZ and KPNX. Often, KNAZ acted as a Northern Arizona news bureau for KPNX, as KNAZ reporters would also file reports for KPNX using its logo. Some KPNX personnel, especially those in weather and sports, also filed reports for KNAZ, and KNAZ staff often filled in for KPNX staff when they were absent.
Digital television 
In its DTV allotment plan of April 3, 1997, the FCC assigned channel 22 for KNAZ-DT, and on February 22, 2001, granted to Gannett a construction permit to build the digital facilities. KNAZ-DT went on air at reduced power after receiving a Special Temporary Authorization (STA), and after several extensions of the STA and a modification to the construction permit, applied for a license to cover its full-power DTV facilities on January 27, 2007. The station was granted a license May 22, 2007.
KNAZ had originally intended to move its digital broadcasts to VHF channel 2 on a date after the end of digital transition, using transmitter equipment currently in use by another commonly-owned station in another city. This would have made the station one of a small few to return to a low-VHF channel after digital transition.
This plan has currently been abandoned as the existing channel 2 antenna had sustained ice storm damage which had left it in a condition (according to an April 2008 inspection) in which both arcing and repeated automatic transmitter shutdown (due to signal power being reflected back into the transmitter) had left the channel 2 facility in a state where it could not operate at full power. A crack in the antenna's mast was noted; the electrical condition of the channel 2 antenna is continuing to degrade and by July 2008, the VHF 2 signal was operating at 30% of licensed power. The channel 2 antenna failed completely on April 16, 2009, forcing KNAZ's analog signal to go dark permanently.
KNAZ was therefore forced to request that the FCC allow it to remain on channel 22 as its DTV channel.
On-air staff 
Former staff 
- Roger Hauri-former sports anchor.
- Chris Cochran—former Director
- Emme Aronson -- former reporter/morning anchor and current plus-size model.
- Phil Buehler—former sports anchor. Now morning anchor at WWTV.
- Steve Bunin -- former sports director/anchor (1997–2000). Now sports anchor at ESPN.
- Heidi Goitia—former anchor.
- Dave Hecht—former morning anchor/reporter/producer.
- Nick Matesi—former news director/main anchor. Now vice president/general manager at KOLO.
- Dina Ruiz Eastwood -- former anchor/reporter and the one-time hostess of the Candid Camera TV program. Currently an anchor at KSBW, she is married to the actor/director Clint Eastwood.
- Shelly Watkins—former anchor/producer.
- John Appicello—former sports director/anchor. Now sports director at WSLS.
- Lee Born—former Chief Meteorologist, currently Chief Met/Student Adviser at NAZ Today, frequent contributor to KNAU, occasionally seen on KPNX during severe weather events in Flagstaff
- "KNAZ callsign history". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2007-03-23.
- S. Elliott and M. Beaver. "History of the Kansas Association of Broadcasters" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-03-19.
- "NAU Cline Library Manuscript Collections Inventory". Northern Arizona University. Retrieved March 19, 2007.
- "Sale to Capitol Broadcasting". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved March 23, 2007.
- "KAZT callsign history". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved March 23, 2007.
- "100 kW construction permit". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved March 23, 2007.
- "100 kW license". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved March 23, 2007.
- "Sale to Standard Life Insurance". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved March 23, 2007.
- "Sale to Grand Canyon Television". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved March 23, 2007.
- "Grand Canyon Television receivership". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved March 23, 2007.
- "Sale to Franke". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved March 23, 2007.
- "Gannett acquires Arizona stations". The Business Journal of Phoenix. 1997-05-27. Retrieved 2007-03-23.
- R. Cordova (2005-12-10). "Flagstaff station for sale". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
- "End of KNAZ newscasts announced (Flash video)". 12News website. 2008-08-06. Retrieved 2008-08-07.
- "KNAZ-TV Listings". Zap2It.com. Retrieved 2007-09-15.
- J. Ferguson (2006-09-03). "Gannett Scales Back". The Arizona Daily Sun. Retrieved 2007-03-23.
- "DTV Table of Allotments]" (PDF). FCC Sixth Report and Order, Appendix B. Federal Communications Commission. 1997-04-03. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
- "DTV construction permit". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2007-03-23.
- FCC DTV status report, July 2008
- "Petition for Rulemaking". FCC ECFS database. 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
Jan Pitre - Former weather person, anchor, producer and promotions, currently Adjunct Faculty at Northern Arizona University and co-anchor of NAZ Today
Chris Cochran - former director (1973)
- KPNX website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KNAZ
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KNAZ-TV