|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)|
|Branding||KONG 6/16 (general)
KING 5 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||The 10 O'Clock Choice|
|Channels||Digital: 31 (UHF)
Virtual: 16 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||16.1 KONG-DT (HD)
16.2 KONG-DT (SD)
|First air date||July 8, 1997|
|Call letters' meaning||Counterpart of KING-TV, as in King Kong|
|Sister station(s)||KING-TV, Northwest Cable News|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
16 (UHF, 1997–2009)
|Transmitter power||700 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KONG, virtual channel 16 (UHF digital channel 31), is an independent television station serving Seattle, Washington, United States. Licensed to Everett, Washington, the station is owned by Gannett Company, as part of a duopoly with KING-TV. The two stations share offices and studios located in the city's Denny Regrade district (just east of Seattle Center), and KONG-TV's transmitter is located in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle.
The station is usually carried on most cable television providers in Western Washington on cable channel 6, next to KING-TV's position on channel 5. KONG's high definition feed is carried by Comcast and Wave Broadband digital on channel 106. The KONG call letters were retained as a tongue-in-cheek reference to King Kong, which made both stations easily marketable together.
The KONG-TV call sign was first granted by the Federal Communications Commission on April 6, 1984. When it was applied for, it immediately drew a legal complaint from King Broadcasting, then-owner of KING-TV, against Carl Washington's KONG TV, Inc., the first broadcaster to apply for a license for Everett's channel 16. The station had planned to go on the air on June 1 of that year, with studios in Everett and an advertising sales office in Seattle, but kept getting bogged down by years of legal challenges from residents on Cougar Mountain who objected to the Electromagnetic radiation from an additional broadcaster. After the legal challenges to the transmitter, KONG lay dormant until broadcasters came up with innovative ways to program additional stations in their area.
KONG-TV signed on the air on July 8, 1997. It was locally owned, but managed by KING-TV (which had just been acquired by Belo) through a local marketing agreement. Belo bought channel 16 outright in 2000, when the Federal Communications Commission began to permit television station duopolies. On June 13, 2013, the Gannett Company announced that it would acquire Belo. The sale was completed on December 23.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|16.1||1080i||16:9||KONG-HD||Main KONG-TV programming|
KONG shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 16, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television.The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 31, using PSIP to display KONG's virtual channel as 16 on digital television receivers.
In 2009, KONG became one of the first four television stations in the country to begin broadcasting mobile DTV signals. The OMVC chose KONG and KOMO-TV in Seattle and WPXA-TV and WATL in Atlanta as the stations to beta test the ATSC-M/H standard, which has since been officially adopted for free-to-air broadcast television with clear reception on mobile devices, overcoming many of the defects of the original ATSC standard.
Initially, the station ran a general entertainment format with classic sitcoms, westerns, old movies, cartoons, and a 10 p.m. newscast. Along with the newscast and KING's Evening Magazine, the station now airs KING-TV's syndicated shows (such as Dr. Phil) during primetime or other time slots, giving viewers a second chance to watch the shows that day. It also carries a few syndicated programs that KING-TV does not air such as Inside Edition, Extra, Access Hollywood and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. KONG also broadcasts certain NBC network programs in lieu of KING, including a repeat of Meet the Press in its traditional mid-morning time slot, as KING is one of the few West Coast NBC affiliates to carry it live from Washington, DC at 6:00 a.m. Pacific Time.
Because of its relationship with KING, KONG can air NBC programming that may get displaced by other programming such as local events or extended breaking news coverage. An example of this is when in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, KONG aired NBC's coverage of the Stanley Cup Finals for games that occurred on the East Coast, with KING airing local programming and news in its place and ceding that more viewers usually watched CBC's NHL coverage on the network's Vancouver owned-and-operated station CBUT. For the 2008 and 2012 NFL preseasons, Seattle Seahawks preseason football games that are not televised nationally aired on KONG as NBC held the rights to the Summer Olympic Games. KONG also aired Seattle Sounders FC matches, and aireds a weekly magazine program on Sunday nights during the Major League Soccer season called Sounders FC Weekly.
KING-TV produces 22 hours of news programming (with 5 hours on weekdays including an hour of rebroadcast newscast, and half an hour on weekends) for KONG. KONG broadcasts a 10 p.m. newscast which competes with an in-house hour-long newscast on Fox affiliate KCPQ; the program airs for one hour on Monday through Friday evenings and a half-hour on weekend evenings. KONG also broadcasts a two-hour extension of KING's weekday morning newscast starting at 7 a.m., which also competes with KCPQ's morning newscast. The station airs a rebroadcast of the Northwest Cable News sports highlight and discussion program Northwest Sports Tonight on Monday through Friday evenings, which ironically airs opposite KING's 11 p.m. newscast; the first segment of the program is occasionally broadcast live on KONG if a sporting event ends late. KONG also broadcasts an hour-delayed rebroadcast of KING's noon newscast at 1 p.m. weekdays. It's the only newscast shown on KONG that comes from the main sister channel, KING. On September 9, 2013, KONG added a weeknight 9 p.m. newscast from KING, becoming the second newscast to air at that timeslot in the Seattle market (after KCPQ added a weeknight 9 p.m. newscast in 2011 on KZJO while keeping the 10 p.m. newscast on KCPQ), resulting in Seattle's first two-hour continuous primetime news block.
- "Call Sign History, KONG" Federal Communications Commission
- "Distinguishing KING from KONG" Seattle Times, March 9, 1984; retrieved from The Seattle Times Historical Archives, Seattle Public Library
- "Residents Protest Another TV Transmitter" Seattle Times, June 27, 1984; retrieved from The Seattle Times Historical Archives, Seattle Public Library
- "Judge Upholds Decision to Build TV Tower" Seattle Times, July 16, 1986; retrieved from The Seattle Times Archives, Seattle Public Library
- Ortutay, Barbara; Fowler, Bree (June 13, 2013). "Gannett to buy TV station owner Belo for $1.5B". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
- Gannett Completes Its Acquisition of Belo, TVNewsCheck, Retrieved 23 December, 2013
- RabbitEars TV Query for KONG
- Congress postpones DTV transition, Seattle may not, KING/AP, February 5, 2009
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations
- KING5.com - Official KING/KONG-TV Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KONG
- Query TV Fool's coverage map for KONG
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KONG-TV