||This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2012)|
|Branding||CBS 5 (general)
CBS 5 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Only CBS 5 (general)
Telling It Like It Is (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 17 (UHF)
Virtual: 5 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||CBS (1949-1953, 1994-present)|
(KPHO Broadcasting Corporation)
|First air date||December 4, 1949|
|Call letters' meaning||PHOenix|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
5 (VHF, 1949-2009)
|Former affiliations||NBC (secondary, 1949-1953)
ABC (secondary, 1949-1955)
DuMont (secondary, 1949-1955)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Height||507 m (1,663 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
KPHO-TV, channel 5, is a CBS-affiliated television station located in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. The station is owned by the Meredith Corporation, and has its studios located on Black Canyon Highway in the Alhambra Village section of Phoenix, with its transmitter located on South Mountain in Phoenix. KPHO extends its signal throughout northern Arizona by way of more than a dozen translators.
KPHO is Arizona's oldest television station, signing on December 4, 1949. It was originally owned by a group of entrepreneurs – one of whom, John Mullins, would later launch KBTV (now KUSA-TV) in Denver. Majority interest was held by Phoenix Broadcasting, owners of KPHO radio (910 AM, now KFYI at 550 AM); the television station, originally known as KTLX, had its call letters changed to the current KPHO-TV shortly before it took to the air. It originally broadcast from studios at the Hotel Westward Ho in downtown Phoenix. The Meredith Corporation purchased the KPHO stations on June 25, 1952.
As the only television station in Phoenix during the first three-and-a-half years of operation, it carried programming from all four networks of the time: a primary CBS affiliation, and secondary affiliations with NBC, ABC and the now-defunct DuMont Television Network. NBC disappeared from KPHO-TV when KTYL-TV (channel 12, now KPNX) signed on April 1953, followed by CBS when KOOL-TV (channel 10, now KSAZ-TV) signed on in October. KPHO remained a dual ABC-DuMont affiliate (with ABC programming shared between KPHO-TV and KOOL-TV) until February 1955, when KTVK (channel 3) signed on and took the ABC affiliation full-time. Channel 5 became an independent station when DuMont ceased network operations in 1956. During the late 1950s, the station was briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network. KPHO-TV was separated from its sister station when Meredith sold KPHO radio in 1972. That same year, channel 5's operations moved to its current facility on Black Canyon Highway.
As an independent station, channel 5 programmed a schedule of movies, off-network series and a nightly newscast at 9 p.m. In April 1950, the Lew King Ranger children's show broadcast live on KPHO with a young Wayne Newton as announcer. It also produced The Wallace and Ladmo Show, a children's show which aired weekday mornings from 1954 until 1989—one of the longest-running locally-produced children's shows in television history. During the 1970s, KPHO became a regional superstation that was available on cable television in much of Arizona and New Mexico, as well as parts of California, Utah and Nevada.
KPHO-TV was the sole independent English-language television station in Phoenix until 1979, when KNXV-TV (channel 15) signed on with general entertainment during the day and subscription-based service ONTV at night (KNXV became a full-time general entertainment station by 1983). Even though channel 5 was the leading independent station in the market, the upstart Fox Broadcasting Company opted to affiliate with channel 15 in 1986 after the E. W. Scripps Company purchased the station, promising to upgrade its syndicated programming and to launch a newscast. (KPHO's other sister stations, KVVU-TV in Las Vegas and WOFL in Orlando did land Fox upon its launch, with the latter now owned by the network.) Although it never did begin a newscast as an affiliate of that network, landing the Fox affiliation made KNXV a very strong competitor against KPHO. By the late 1980s, its news operation (with newscasts under the News 5 title) comprised two newscasts: a midday newscast at 11:30 a.m. on weekdays and Arizona's first primetime newscast at 9:30 p.m. (years before KSAZ became a Fox station with a 9 p.m. newscast).
In 1994, as part of a massive wave of affiliation switches throughout the country, KSAZ announced it was dropping CBS in favor of becoming a Fox station as a result of its pending sale to New World Communications. CBS briefly wooed KTVK, whose then locally-based ownership declined the proposed affiliation in hopes of renewing its agreement with ABC. CBS then approached KPHO, since it was the only station in town not affiliated with one of the Big Three television networks that had a functioning news department. On June 30, 1994, CBS agreed to a long-term contract with Meredith Corporation, allowing KPHO-TV to rejoin the network 42 years after CBS moved to channel 10. The centerpiece of the deal was a renewal of CBS' affiliation with Meredith's Kansas City station, KCTV; it also called for another of KPHO-TV's sister stations, NBC affiliate WNEM-TV in Bay City, Michigan, to join CBS. (The ABC affiliation eventually went to KNXV when Scripps cut an affiliation deal which called for four of that company's stations to switch to ABC from other networks; KTVK eventually replaced KPHO as the market's main independent station in September 1995, after an eight-month affiliation with the WB Television Network). Phoenix was one of just four television markets where the CBS affiliation moved from one VHF station to another during the 1994 affiliation switches.
KSAZ-TV evicted CBS on September 12, 1994 upon the finalization of that station's sale to New World Communications, with CBS then moving to KPHO-TV. Initially, channel 5 continued to run a couple cartoons and a moderate amount of sitcoms during non-network hours. By January 1995, the cartoons were removed from the schedule (outside of those provided by CBS), and then the station gradually added more newscasts, talk and reality shows, with the sitcoms being phased out and moved to KTVK, KUTP (channel 45), and upstart KASW (channel 61). KPHO has generally been one of CBS's weaker affiliates since the 1994 switch, due in large part to the station's lack of a strong syndicated programming inventory, although its 10 p.m. newscast led among Phoenix's English-language stations in total households during the November 2009 sweeps period. In stark contrast, channel 10 had been one of CBS's strongest affiliates and was in strong second at the time of the switch.
Digital television 
Digital channels 
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|5.1||1080i||16:9||KPHO HD||Main KPHO-TV programming / CBS|
|5.2||480i||4:3||KPHO SD||Weather Now|
Digital subchannels 
On December 20, 2006, KPHO began broadcasting a 24-hour local weather channel called CBS 5 Weather Now on digital subchannel 5.2. CBS 5 Weather Now is located on Cox Communications digital channel 85, Qwest Choice TV channel 64 and CableOne digital channel 461. Prior to 2009, a 5.3 subchannel was added for NCAA tournament coverage, with analog channel 5 breaking from 5.1 in order to create coverage of all four games.
Analog-to-digital transition 
KPHO switched its analog broadcasts to a digital nightlight service at 11:59 p.m. on June 12, 2009, the federally-mandated date for American television stations to cease analog transmissions across the country. KPHO continued its digital broadcasts on its pre-transition UHF channel 17. However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display KPHO-TV's virtual channel as its former analog VHF channel 5. For 30 days after the switch to digital, KPHO's analog channels served as a "nightlight" station to remind TV viewers of the switch to a digital-only signal.
KPHO-TV is a typical CBS affiliate, clearing the network's entire programming schedule, however because KPHO airs an hour-long local newscast at 5 p.m., the station runs the CBS Evening News at 6 p.m. instead of the network's recommended 5:30 p.m. timeslot for the program in the Mountain Time Zone. Syndicated programming featured on the station includes The People's Court, Leverage, Cold Squad, Da Vinci's Inquest, Storm Stories and Anderson Live. Better Arizona, a national daily lifestyle program produced and syndicated by Meredith, features local inserts produced by KPHO-TV. As that program airs weekday mornings at 10 a.m., The Price Is Right airs at 9 a.m. (one hour earlier than CBS's recommended timeslot for the show).
News operation 
KPHO-TV currently broadcasts a total of 27 hours of local newscasts each week (with five hours on weekdays and one hour each on Saturdays and Sundays); unlike most CBS affiliates within the top 50 television markets, KPHO-TV does not carry local newscasts on weekend mornings.
On March 1, 2009, KPHO-TV began to share a news helicopter operated by Helicopters Inc., as part of an agreement with KTVK and KPNX; the helicopter is named "News Chopper 20", as a combination of the over-the-air virtual channel numbers of the three stations (3, 5 and 12). On March 14, 2009, KPHO became the fourth television station in Phoenix to begin broadcasting their local newscasts in high definition.
On May 8, 2009, KPHO-TV entered into a second agreement to share newsgathering resources, when it partnered with KSAZ-TV and KNXV-TV to join a Local News Service agreement that was originally formed between the two stations' respective owners Fox Television Stations and the E. W. Scripps Company on April 1, 2009 involving stations owned by those companies in Phoenix, Detroit and Tampa. The service allows the pooling of newsgathering efforts for local news events and each station provides employees to the pool service in exchange for the sharing of video.
News/station presentation 
Newscast titles 
- Today's News (1949-1952)
- News in Focus (1952-1956)
- 3-Star News Report (1956-1960)
- The Arizona News Report (1960-1962)
- The Big News on 5 (1962-1966)
- 24 Hours (1966-1969)
- Midday News/The 6 O'Clock Report (1969-1973)
- Eyewitness News (1973-1978)
- News 5 (1978-1992 and 2002–2004)
- Arizona 5 News (1992-1996)
- CBS 5 News (1996–2000 and 2004–present)
- TV-5 News (2000–July 2002)
Station slogans 
- "5'll Getcha" (1976-1979)
- "5 is the Place" (1979-1983)
- "First in Arizona" (1983-1987)
- "Local, Live, Latebreaking" (1994-1998)
- "Be in the Know with KPHO" (1998-2000)
- "Your Valley News Station" (2002–2003)
- "Live. Latebreaking. Investigative." (2004–2009)
- "Telling It Like It Is" (2009–present)
- "Holding The Powerful Accountable" (2011-present)
- "Asking The Tough Questions" (2011-present)
- "Only CBS 5" (2010–present; local version of CBS ad campaign)
On-air staff 
- Sean McLaughlin - weeknights at 5, 5:30, 6:30 and 10 p.m.
- Tammy Leitner - investigative reporter ("5 Investigates")
Notable former on-air staff 
KPHO is rebroadcast on the following translator stations:
- "TV Transfers". 1972 Broadcasting Yearbook. Retrieved 2009-01-14.
- "Early History of KPHO". KPHO-TV website. 2007-04-13. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
- "KPHO-AM-TV sale; Meredith to pay $1.5 Million." Broadcasting - Telecasting, May 5, 1952, pg. 23. 
- "KPHO-AM-TV sale approved by FCC." Broadcasting - Telecasting, June 30, 1952, pg. 84. 
- "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films". Boxoffice: 13. November 10, 1956.
- "Meredith portfolio pared by one AM." Broadcasting, August 9, 1971, pg. 20. 
- "Challenge is dropped; KPHO sale goes through." Broadcasting, September 25, 1972, pg. 32. 
- "Meredith Shifts Stations to CBS." New York Times 30 June 1994; p6
- Meisler, Andy (August 29, 1994). "Murdoch's Raid Brings a Shuffling of TV Stations in Phoenix". New York Times. p. 2. Retrieved 2009-10-22.
- "KPHO Phoenix launches 24-hour local weather channel". TVNEWSDAY. 2006-12-20. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
- "DTV Transition Status Report". FCC CDBS database. 2008-02-04. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds". FCC CDBS database. 2006-05-23. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
- "Phoenix TV goes digital, can you still see our signal?". KNXV-TV. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
- "3 TV stations to share helicopter to cover the news". azcentral. February 24, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-25.
- "Channels 5, 3, 12 To Share Chopper". KPHO. February 25, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-25.
- "Phoenix TV stations to share news helicopter". KTAR. February 25, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
- "Chicago stations join to share video crews for ENG". BroadcastEngineering. May 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
- "Fox, Scripps Create Local News Service". Broadcasting & Cable. April 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
- KPHO Noon Open 2006
- KPHO TV5 News 2001 Open
- News Team
- KPHO.com - Official Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KPHO-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KPHO-TV
- The Official Wallace and Ladmo Website (History, Photos, Desktops)