|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2009)|
|Mesa / Phoenix, Arizona|
|Branding||Channel 12 (general)
12 News (newscasts)
This is Home
|Channels||Digital: 12 (VHF)
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
(Multimedia Holdings Corporation)
|First air date||April 23, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||PhoeNiX|
|Former callsigns||KTYL-TV (1953–1955)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
12 (VHF, 1953–2009)
36 (UHF, 2000–2009)
|Transmitter power||819 kW|
|Height||534 m (1,752 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
KPNX is the NBC-affiliated television station in Phoenix, Arizona. Licensed to Mesa, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 12 from a transmitter atop South Mountain on the city's south side. KNAZ-TV serves as a full-power satellite station of KPNX in Flagstaff, and KPNX's signal is further relayed through a network of 14 low-power translators across northern and central Arizona. Owned by the Gannett Company, KPNX shares offices with co-owned newspaper The Arizona Republic on Van Buren Street in downtown Phoenix.
Because of the common ownership of KPNX and The Arizona Republic (which is permitted under an FCC waiver due to media cross-ownership rules), Gannett maintains a joint news website for both properties called AZCentral.
- 1 History
- 2 Digital television
- 3 Station Identification
- 4 Newscasts and local programming
- 5 References in movies
- 6 Translators
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The station first signed on the air on April 23, 1953 as KTYL-TV, owned by the Harkins Theatre Group and was a sister station to KTYL radio (1490 AM, later on 1310 and now KIHP, and FM 104.7, now KZZP). The station's original studios were located in Mesa, the Phoenix area suburb that serves as the station's city of license. Its appearance brought a full-time NBC affiliate to the Phoenix metropolitan area; ABC and the DuMont Television Network shared time on KPHO-TV, as did NBC prior to 1953. Channel 12 carried some DuMont programming prior to that network's demise in 1956.
John J. Louis, owner of KTAR radio (AM 620 and FM 98.7, now KPKX), bought channel 12 in 1955 and changed its calls to KVAR. The station then changed callsigns again four years later to become KTAR-TV. Its operations were moved into a facility on Central Avenue in Phoenix in 1959, after the Federal Communications Commission began permitting television stations to operate their studio facilities outside of their city of license. Over the years, the Louis family bought several other broadcasting outlets, including WQXI-TV/Atlanta, Georgia and WPTA-TV/Fort Wayne, Indiana. Eventually, the Louis family's broadcasting interests became known as Pacific & Southern Broadcasting, which were headquartered in Phoenix with KTAR-AM-FM-TV as the company's flagship stations.
Advertising mogul Karl Eller bought Pacific & Southern Broadcasting in 1968 and combined it with his existing business to form Combined Communications. Eller was also one of the original founding owners of the city's first major professional sports team, the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association. Channel 12 carried Suns games for years from the team's 1968 inception until the 1980s, when the team's game telecasts moved to then-independent station KNXV-TV (channel 15).
KTAR-TV was the Phoenix pioneer of the so-called "happy talk" news format when it reformatted its newscasts under the Action News format in late 1973, with longtime anchor Ray Thompson paired alongside Bob Hughes, weatherman Dewey Hopper (lately with Air America Radio affiliate KPHX, and a long-time weather forecaster in Sacramento) and sportscaster Ted Brown.
Combined Communications merged with Gannett in 1979, in what was at that time the largest media merger in United States history. Combined's ownership of the KTAR stations had been grandfathered earlier in the decade, when the FCC forbade common ownership of television and radio stations in the same market. However with the Gannett merger, the KTAR cluster lost its grandfathered protection. Gannett opted to keep channel 12 and sell off the radio stations. KTAR-TV then changed its callsign to the present-day KPNX, since the radio side had held the call letters first.
The station had placed third in the Nielsen ratings for many years behind ABC affiliate KTVK and CBS affiliate KTSP. That soon changed in the fall of 1994, when four of the major English-language commercial stations in Phoenix all changed their network affiliations. Coupled with a resurgent NBC, KPNX surged past KTVK to the top of the ratings, where it has stayed ever since, only wavering as NBC has experienced its own network troubles since the 2004–05 television season. As it retained its NBC affiliation as KPHO, KTVK, KSAZ-TV and KNXV all swapped affiliations, KPNX is the only major English-language commercial television station in Phoenix to have never changed its primary network affiliation.
In 2000, Gannett merged with Central Newspapers, owner of The Arizona Republic. As the FCC forbids the common ownership of newspapers and television stations in the same market, Gannett would have been forced to sell off either KPNX or the Republic, however the FCC granted Gannett a "permanent" waiver to keep both media properties. In January 2011, KPNX relocated from its studio facility on Central Avenue, where the station had been broadcasting from since 1959, and consolidated its operations with co-owned newspaper The Arizona Republic at the Republic Media Building on East Van Buren Street in downtown Phoenix, with the station's local newscasts broadcasting from a streetside studio.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|12.1||16:9||1080i||KPNX-DT||Main KPNX programming / NBC|
|12.2||4:3||480i||Weather||12 News Weather Plus|
KPNX operates 12 News Weather Plus, a 24-hour local weather service, on its 12.2 digital subchannel and on local cable providers. In addition to national forecasts from AccuWeather, Weather Plus also runs local forecast inserts for the Phoenix area and northern Arizona, provided by the KPNX weather department. Regional weather conditions and forecasts displayed on an "L-bar" on the left and bottom quadrants of the screen. Originally with NBC Weather Plus from December 29, 2005 to November 1, 2008, national programming on the subchannel has been provided by The Local AccuWeather Channel since March 2009 (KNXV's former GoAZ.tv subchannel also was affiliated with the service, but that subchannel's format focused on traffic; KPNX runs most of AccuWeather's programming with the "Weather Plus" brand name).
In 1997, the Federal Communications Commission allocated UHF channel 36 as KPNX's companion digital channel, construction on the digital transmitter began the following year. KPNX signed on its digital television signal in June 2000. KPNX ceased analog broadcasts on June 12, 2009, the federally mandated date for American television stations to cease analog transmissions across the country, at 10:12 p.m. during the station's 10 p.m. newscast. After the analog switchoff, KPNX relocated its digital broadcasts from pre-transition UHF channel 36 to VHF channel 12 at 10:38 p.m.
Over the years, KPNX has used legal station identifications that did not comply with FCC regulations, which require that in the legal identification broadcast aurally or visually (a station must state its call sign, followed by its city of license). Dating back to its days as KTAR-TV, channel 12 has long identified its service area as "Phoenix/Mesa", though legally it should have been properly addressed as "Mesa/Phoenix." Beginning in 2008, KPNX began using an FCC-compliant station ID on its analog and primary digital channels.
Newscasts and local programming
KPNX in May 2007 broadcast a total of 29 hours of local newscasts each week (with 4.5 hours on weekdays and 3.5 hours on Saturdays and 3 hours on Sundays); KPNX's newscasts (branded as 12 News) are among one of the highest-rated local newscasts in Arizona during evening timeslots, with newscasts during that time period having dominated ratings for several years.
On March 1, 2009, KPNX began to share a news helicopter operated by Helicopters Inc., as part of a Local News Service agreement with KPHO-TV and KTVK; 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). In November 2009, KPNX's newscasts were beaten by KPHO in the ratings at 10 p.m., ending 50 consecutive sweeps victories in the timeslot (dating back to 1996) as the latter's ratings increased due to CBS' strong prime time lineup. KPNX, traditionally known as a very news-intensive station, went through a period of transition when nearly all of its tenured reporters left, including long-time consumer reporter Rick DeBruhl who retired in November 2009.
KPNX produces a daily local lifestyle show, with paid segments, titled Arizona Midday, hosted by Jan D'Atri and Destry Jetton, originally airing weekdays at 1 p.m, then expanded in 2013 from 60 minutes to 90 minutes, then airing at 12:30pm. A new lighter news and entertainment show, EVB Live (named after KPNX's new operations at 200 East Van Buren), debuted in August 2011; the 4 p.m. program, which initially ran 90 minutes, was shortened to one hour on April 20, 2012, with the 5 p.m. half-hour replaced by a traditional newscast. Since the program's debut, ratings for EVB Live have been substantially lower than when Ellen aired in the 4 p.m. timeslot previously. Apart from newscasts programming on KPNX includes: Live with Kelly and Michael, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Extra.
- Your Esso Reporter (1953–1956)
- News Nite (1956–1962)
- News 90/The World Today (1962–1967)
- TV-12 News (1967–1972)
- Phoenix News (1972–1973)
- Action News (1973–1986)
- Channel 12 News (1986–1990)
- 12 News (1990–present)
- "Arizona's Full Color Station" (1960s)
- "It's All Right Here" (early 1980s)
- "Hello Phoenix" / "Hello Arizona" (1980s; used during period station used Frank Gari's "Hello News")
- "We're Going Where You're Going" (mid 1980s)
- "Arizona's Most Watched Station" (1992–2004)
- "12 Stands for Local News" (2004–2008)
- "Arizona's #1 Source for Local News" (2004–2008)
- "The Leader in HD, Local Television Redefined" (2006–2012)
- "It's All on 12 News" (2008–2012)
- "Connecting Arizona" (2012–present)
- "This is Home" (2013–present; slogan shared by other Gannett stations)
- "The 1-2 (pronounced like "one to") Watch for NBC" (used in radio promos for primetime shows, used infrequently for TV promos)
Notable former on-air staff
- Pat Finn - host of Finn & Friends (1989–1990; now host of California Lottery's The Big Spin)
- Jineane Ford - anchor (1991–2007; most recently anchored Arizona Midday, still fills in as Arizona Midday anchor)
- Sean McLaughlin - chief meteorologist (1992–2004; moved at first to MSNBC/NBC Weather Plus, now primary anchor at KPHO)
- Fred Roggin - sports anchor (late 1970s; now at KNBC-TV in Los Angeles)
- Ric Romero - investigative reporter (1980s, now at KABC-TV)
- Mary Kim Titla - reporter (1993–2005; publisher of Native Youth Magazine online; unsuccessfully sought Congressional seat in 2008)
References in movies
Elizabeth Ashley portrayed fictional Channel 12 station owner Sharon Allan in the 1978 made-for-television disaster movie A Fire in the Sky (at the time of the movie's release, November 26, 1978, KPNX was still using the KTAR-TV callsign).
- 1: Not owned by KPNX. Formerly K71AB ch 71.
- 2: Mohave County-owned. K42CQ-D was once K74AN channel 74; K50CY-D was K70AC channel 70; K46GI-D has been on channel 54 (K54AN) and 7 (K07JH); and K26GF-D was K80AP channel 80 until 1989, when it became K54DD.
- 3: Formerly K70BY ch 70. Gannett-owned (through Multimedia Holdings Corporation, owners of KPNX and KUSA-TV). Construction permit for channel 48 expires October 23, 2009.
- 4: Not owned by KPNX. Formerly K72AE channel 72.
- 5: Gannett-owned through Multimedia. Took current callsign in 2012.
- 6: Gannett-owned through Multimedia.
- 7: Not owned by KPNX. Formerly channel 67/K67BR.
- Sanders, John (June 26, 2012). "Kill Newspaper-TV cross-ownership rule, Now". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved September 7, 2012.
- Local stations debut new shows; KPNX moving to downtown studio, Phoenix Business Journal, October 10, 2010.
- CDBS Print
- M. Hagerty (May 24, 2007). "News Ratings: May 2007". Radio-Info.com. Retrieved 2007-07-15.
- "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.
- KPNX open 1983
- KPNX 12 NEWS OPEN - PHOENIX, ARIZONA - 1988
- KPNX 12 News at NOON open 2009
- R. Cordova (December 28, 2006). "Signing off". Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2007-01-03.
- "Ric Romero bio". KABC-TV. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
- John Christian Hopkins (May 9, 2007). "Mary Kim Titla to run for Arizona Congress". Gallup Independent. Retrieved 2007-12-25.
- A Fire in the Sky (1978), The New York Times, Retrieved 2012-03-01.
- 12News.com - Official Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KPNX
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KPNX-TV