|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2009)|
|Branding||Fox 10 (general)
Fox 10 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Just you watch the best|
|Channels||Digital: 10 (VHF)
Virtual: 10 (PSIP)
|Owner||Fox Television Stations
(NW Communications of Phoenix, Inc.)
|First air date||October 24, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||Spirit of AriZona (former slogan)|
Fox Sports Arizona
|Former callsigns||KOOL-TV (1953–1982)
KOY-TV (shared operation, 1953–1954)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
10 (VHF, 1953–2009)
31 (UHF, until 2009)
|Former affiliations||CBS (1953–1994)
ABC (secondary, 1953–1955)
Independent (September–December 1994)
|Transmitter power||48 kW|
|Height||484 m (1,588 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
KSAZ-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 10, is a Fox owned-and-operated television station located in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. The station is owned by the Fox Television Stations subsidiary of 21st Century Fox, as part of a duopoly with MyNetworkTV station KUTP (channel 45). The two stations share studio facilities located on the west end of Downtown Phoenix's Copper Square district, and its transmitter is located atop South Mountain on the city's south side. Its signal is relayed across northern Arizona through a network of 20 translator stations.
As a CBS affiliate
The Federal Communications Commission awarded the license of Phoenix's third VHF commercial station to two separate owners who competed heavily for its construction permit but combined to avoid lengthy litigation. These two owners, one of whom was Gene Autry, signed on channel 10 as a shared operation on October 24, 1953. Under the arrangement, the two separate stations would each alternate airtime, but use the same channel allocation and transmitter. The combined KOY-TV and KOOL-TV operation operated as a primary CBS and secondary ABC affiliate.
In May 1954, KOOL-TV took over channel 10 full-time, paying $200,000 for KOY-TV's share of the operation; it was the first time that a post-freeze shared-time arrangement was ended. It lost the ABC affiliation when KTVK (channel 3) signed on in February 1955, leaving channel 10 as an exclusive CBS affiliate; as a result, it was now able to feature Autry's show Gene Autry's Melody Ranch on its schedule. Over the years, KOOL-TV ran nearly the entire CBS schedule, along with some first-run syndicated shows and local newscasts.
On May 28, 1982 at about 5 p.m., Joseph Billie Gwin, wanting to "prevent World War III", forced his way into the KOOL-TV studios and fired a shot from his gun. The butt of the gun struck Louis Villa in the back of the head, Gwin then held Villa in a chokehold, at gunpoint for nearly five hours. Gwin took four people hostage and demanded nationwide airtime. Two of the hostages, Jack Webb and Bob Cimino, were released three hours later. At 9:30 p.m., anchor Bill Close read a 20-minute statement as Gwin sat next to him holding a gun under the table, Close took Gwin's gun after the statement and set it on the table.
The station was sold to Gulf Broadcasting in 1982 and changed its callsign on October 4th to KTSP-TV (the KOOL call sign remained with the Phoenix FM radio station). It had been stated that the calls stood for "Tempe/Scottsdale/Phoenix", but it was a line that not even people at the station bought: according to news director Tom Dolan, "We told people for a long time that it stood for Tempe, Scottsdale, Phoenix, but I don’t know if anyone really believed it." The callsign had most likely been changed to match that of then-sister station WTSP in St. Petersburg, Florida. The logo that KTSP used at the time, which would remain in use until 1995, was similar to WTSP's "Sunset 10" logo (KTSP's logo was slightly modernized in the early 1990s, losing the linear elements at the bottom).
KTSP was sold to Taft Broadcasting in 1984, as part of a corporate deal; on October 12, 1987, Taft was restructured into Great American Broadcasting after the company went through a hostile takeover by investors. The station's operations did not change significantly under Gulf, Taft or Great American Broadcasting ownership. In 1989, KTSP newscaster Shelly Jamison left the station after appearing as both a cover model and posing nude in a Playboy pictorial. When Great American Broadcasting filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1993, the company restructured once again and became known as Citicasters late that year. The station changed its callsign to KSAZ-TV on February 12, 1994 to match its new slogan, "The Spirit of Arizona".
As a Fox station
Due to the company's bankruptcy, Citicasters put four of its stations (including KSAZ-TV) up for sale. KSAZ and Kansas City sister station WDAF-TV were sold to New World Communications on May 5, 1994 for $360 million, with the sale becoming final on September 9 of that year. New World also acquired High Point, North Carolina's WGHP and Birmingham, Alabama's WBRC (both of those stations would be placed in a blind trust, due to ownership complications, and were later sold directly to Fox). Just 18 days later, New World announced that twelve of its 15 stations (those it already owned and those it was in the process of acquiring, including the two that would later be sold to Fox) would switch their varying Big Three network affiliations (most of the New World stations, like KSAZ, were aligned with CBS) to Fox. A major catalyst for the Fox-New World deal was the network's newly signed contract with the National Football League's National Football Conference. The Arizona Cardinals franchise were part of the NFC, and thus, had their games telecast on channel 10 since 1988, when that the Cardinals relocated to Phoenix from St. Louis (at that time, NFC games were shown on CBS). Until recently, however, home game telecasts were hard to come by, as the Cardinals often failed to sell out games at Sun Devil Stadium. Since moving to University of Phoenix Stadium, there have been no in-market blackouts.
As a result of the affiliation agreement, four commercial television stations in the Phoenix market each swapped network affiliations at different times. KSAZ dropped the CBS affiliation three days after the sale to New World became final on September 12. This switch temporarily left KSAZ as an independent station as Fox's affiliation agreement with its existing affiliate KNXV-TV (channel 15) did not expire until December 14 – as such, KSAZ was the only station involved in the New World deal and Fox's other affiliation agreements with Big Three stations that were byproducts of it that did not switch to Fox directly from another network. The CBS affiliation at that time went to former independent KPHO-TV (channel 5). The ABC affiliation was to move from KTVK to KNXV on January 9, 1995 (as part of a separate multi-station affiliation deal between ABC and KNXV's owner, the E. W. Scripps Company), however KNXV began to add ABC shows in stages that August, as KTVK started to gradually excise that network's programs from its schedule (ABC's primetime and sports programs were the only network shows remaining on KTVK shortly before the affiliation formally moved to KNXV). Fox's primetime and sports programming moved to channel 10 on December 15, 1994. As with most other New World stations, KSAZ declined to run Fox Kids programming, which instead moved to KTVK and then in 1996, to KASW (channel 61).
KTVK originally chose to become a charter affiliate of The WB upon its January 11, 1995 debut, but that network's programming also went to KASW when it launched on September 22, 1995. With several top-rated syndicated shows moving to other stations in 1995, KSAZ dramatically increased the amount of local newscasts, producing about 45 hours each week. The remaining syndicated programs on the station were rather low-rated, and as a result KSAZ did not have good ratings in its early days as a Fox affiliate. Much of the audience for the station's newscasts went to KTVK, which also took on a news-intensive format after losing its ABC affiliation. In the fall of 1995, KSAZ added three hours of syndicated talk shows jointly produced by New World and Fox.
News Corporation purchased New World Communications, acquiring only its ten Fox-affiliated stations, in July 1996; the merger was finalized on January 22, 1997, making KSAZ an owned-and-operated station of Fox. This status almost became short-lived: in February 1997, Fox nearly traded KSAZ and sister station KTBC in Austin, Texas to the Belo Corporation in exchange for Seattle's KIRO-TV. That trade fell through; however, Belo would purchase KTVK (and KVUE in Austin) two years later. Fox began to upgrade the station's programming, adding some high-rated off-network sitcoms (such as M*A*S*H, Seinfeld and King of the Hill) as well as higher-rated syndicated court and reality shows.
Fox Television Stations purchased KUTP (channel 45) in 2001 as part of its acquisition of United Television (which had owned a 50% stake in UPN, until Viacom bought United's share of the network in 2000) forming the Phoenix market's second television duopoly. Although Fox owns both KSAZ and KUTP (now a MyNetworkTV station), neither aired the Saturday morning children's program block eventually known as 4Kids TV, which continued to air on KASW until Fox discontinued its programming agreement with 4Kids Entertainment and replaced the block with the Weekend Marketplace infomercial lineup in December 2008 (which ended up on KAZT-TV, channel 7). With the launch of Xploration Station which will replace Weekend Marketplace in the fall of 2014, KSAZ for the first time in its history will be clearing its network's entire schedule, although it will occasionally continue to preempt network programming for specials and breaking news coverage (which would result in the preempted programming airing on KUTP).
On July 27, 2007, as all three aircraft were covering a police pursuit in downtown Phoenix, "SkyFox10" pilot/reporter Don Hooper witnessed a mid-air collision between two news helicopters respectively belonging to KTVK and KNXV-TV over Steele Indian School Park in downtown Phoenix. In a video of the accident shot from "SkyFox" on YouTube, Hooper became very shaken and upset as he reported on the collision of the KTVK and KNXV helicopters. The video also contains audio of Hooper calling the tower at nearby Sky Harbor International Airport to report the collision on his aircraft's FAA radio. Hooper then talked on a discreet frequency to another news helicopter belonging to KPNX (channel 12) informing that he was fine, but two other helicopters had just crashed (Hooper surmised that KTVK pilot Scott Bowerbank, one of the four people – two pilots and two photographers – that were killed, was in one of the choppers).
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|10.1||720p||16:9||KSAZ DT||Main KSAZ-TV programming / Fox|
KSAZ-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 10, at 8:30 a.m. on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 31 to VHF channel 10.
On April 1, 2009, Fox Television Stations and the E. W. Scripps Company announced the formation of the Local News Service model between stations owned by the two station groups in the Phoenix, Detroit and Tampa markets. 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. Meredith Corporation-owned CBS affiliate KPHO-TV (channel 5) eventually joined the Phoenix LNS agreement shortly after the announcement.
Notable former on-air staff
- Ilona Carson - weekday morning anchor (to 2000s; now weekday anchor at KTRK-TV/Houston)
- J.D. Hayworth - evening sports anchor (to 1994; U.S. Congressman from 1994–2006; Hosted talk show on KFYI, then failed in a United States Senate bid in 2010)
- Geoff Morrell - reporter (mid-1990s; formerly White House correspondent for ABC News, now press secretary for The Pentagon)
- Anne Montgomery - sports reporter (1980s; later at ESPN, now a teacher at South Mountain High School)
- Vicky Nguyen - investigative reporter/collaborator (2004–2006; now reporter at KNTV/San Jose)
- Smith, Cecil (October 29, 1963). "KTLA Sold to Autry Group for $12 Million". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 March 2013. – via ProQuest Archiver (subscription required)
- 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.
- Broadcasting, May 10, 1954
- Broadcasting, March 22, 1954
- "Gunman releases TV-station hostages". google news (The Ledger). May 30, 1982. Retrieved 2009-10-22.[dead link]
- "Gunman forces TV anchorman to read message". google news (The Free-Lance Star). May 29, 1982. Retrieved 2009-10-22.[dead link]
- "Gunman holds two in TV studio". google news (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). May 29, 1982. Retrieved 2009-10-22.
- Bill Close Hostage Crisis on YouTube, January 30, 2013.
- Arizona Republic, February 12, 1994
- "On the Rink of A Vervous Breakdown", By Dewey Webb, Phoenix New Times, August 30, 1989. Retrieved March 9, 2007.
- "Company News; Great American Selling Four Television Stations". New York Times. May 6, 1994. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
- Carter, Bill (May 24, 1994). "FOX WILL SIGN UP 12 NEW STATIONS; TAKES 8 FROM CBS". The New York Times. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
- Lowry, Brian (July 18, 1996). "New World Vision : Murdoch's News Corp. to Buy Broadcast Group". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 22, 2012.
- Taylor, Chuck (February 4, 1997). "Reported KIRO Swap Would Mean Network Changes". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- "4 Dead As 2 Helicopters Tracking Police Pursuit Collide". KPHO-TV. 2007-07-27. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KSAZ
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "Fox, Scripps Create Local News Service". Broadcasting & Cable. April 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
- "Chicago stations join to share video crews for ENG". BroadcastEngineering. May 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
- Official website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KSAZ-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KSAZ-TV
- Video of the KOOL-TV/Bill Close hostage crisis live over-the-air statement read on YouTube