KSN News (newscasts)
|Slogan||We've Got Your Back|
|Channels||Digital: 45 (UHF)
Virtual: 3 (PSIP)
|Translators||see section below|
|Owner||LIN Media, LLC
(sale to Media General pending)
(LIN License Company, LLC)
|First air date||September 1, 1955|
|Call letters' meaning||Kansas
KSNT, KTKA-TV, KTMJ-CD
|Former callsigns||KARD-TV (1955–1982)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
3 (VHF, 1955–2009)
|Transmitter power||891 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KSNW, virtual channel 3 (UHF digital channel 45), is an NBC-affiliated television station located in Wichita, Kansas, United States. The station is owned by LIN Media. KSNW maintains studio facilities located on 8th and Main Streets in northwest Wichita (near downtown), and its transmitter is located in rural northwestern Sedgwick County (east-southeast of Colwich).
KSNW serves as the flagship of the Kansas State Network (KSN), a regional network of four stations (three full-power and one low-power) relaying NBC network programming and other programs provided by KSNW across central and western Kansas, as well as bordering counties in Nebraska and Oklahoma. On cable, the station is available on Cox Communications and AT&T U-verse channel 3 in standard definition, and in high definition on Cox QAM channel 115-1 and digital channel 2003, and U-verse channel 1003.
The station first signed on the air on September 1, 1955 as KARD-TV; it was the third television station to sign on in the Wichita-Hutchinson market, after KAKE (channel 10) – which signed on in October 1954, and KTVH (channel 12, now KWCH-DT) – which signed on in July 1953. As a result, Wichita became one of the smallest U.S. cities to have three television stations that each maintain exclusive affiliations with one of the major networks. Channel 3 took the NBC affiliation from KAKE, which had only been with the network since it signed on the previous year.
In 1962, after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled that central and western Kansas was part of the Wichita market, Central Kansas Television purchased KARD merged with its three other stations, KCKT (channel 2) in Great Bend and its satellites KGLD (channel 11) in Garden City and KOMC-TV (channel 8) in Oberlin. The three stations, which were collectively branded as the "Tri-Circle Network," relayed NBC programming throughout central and western Kansas. The Tri-Circle Network changed its name to the "Kansas State Network" a few years later, with KARD serving as the flagship of the new four-station regional network. During the 1960s and 1970s, KCKT relayed its programming on K18AA (channel 18) in Salina, which eventually became a Fox affiliate. The stations eventually expanded their signals to reach 75% of Kansas as well as portions of Nebraska; KSN now claims to reach half of all households with at least one television set in the state of Kansas.
The call letters of all four stations were changed on August 16, 1982 to help viewers think of the four stations as part of one large network. KARD changed its calls to KSNW, KCKT became KSNC, KGLD became KSNG and KOMC became KSNK (the KARD-TV call letters are now used by a Fox-affiliated television station in Monroe, Louisiana). In 1988, the KSN stations were acquired by SJL Broadcast Management. The stations were then sold to Lee Enterprises in 1995. Emmis Communications bought most of Lee Enterprises' television properties in 2000. Montecito Broadcast Group, a newly formed partnership between SJL and the private equity firm Blackstone Group, acquired the KSN stations from Emmis on January 27, 2006.
On July 24, 2007, Montecito announced the sale of its five stations (KSNW, KHON-TV in Honolulu, KOIN in Portland and KSNT in Topeka, as well as satellites of KSNW and KHON) to New Vision Television; the sale was finalized on November 1, 2007. In 2008, KSNW acquired low-power station K06LZ (channel 6, the former K18AA) in Salina, to serve as its repeater in central Kansas; that station was replaced in May of that year by a digital repeater, KSNL-LD.
On May 7, 2012, the LIN TV Corporation announced that it would acquire the New Vision Television station group, including KSNW and its four satellite stations, for $330.4 million and the assumption of $12 million in debt; the sale – which was approved by the FCC on October 2 and was completed 1½ weeks later on October 12 – marked a re-entry into Kansas for LIN, which briefly owned the licenses of KAKE and its satellites in 2000, before selling them to Benedek Broadcasting shortly after the purchase was finalized. On March 21, 2014, Media General announced that it would purchase LIN Media and its stations, including KSNW, in a $1.6 billion merger – giving the station its sixth owner since 2000. Like the earlier acquisition of KSNW by LIN, this deal will mark Media General's re-entry to the market, as it previously owned KWCH from 2000 to 2006.
Kansas State Network
|First air date||Fourth letter in calls
|Former callsigns||Former channel numbers||ERP
|Facility ID||Transmitter Coordinates|
|KSNC||Great Bend/Hays/Salina||22 (UHF)||November 28, 1954||Central Kansas||KCKT (1954–1982)||2 (analog VHF, 1954–2008)||500 kW||261.1 m||72359|
|KSNG||Garden City/Dodge City||11 (VHF)||November 5, 1958||Garden City||KGLD (1958–1982)||Analog: 11 (VHF, 1958–2009) Digital: 16 (UHF, ?-2009)||7.4 kW||239 m||72361|
|KSNK||Oberlin/McCook||12 (VHF)||November 28, 1959||Nebraska & Kansas||KOMC (1959–1982)||8 (analog VHF, 1959–2008)||10.4 kW||218 m||72362|
|KSNL-LD||Salina||47 (UHF)||May 2008||Low Power Digital||K06LZ (1989–2008), K18AA (before 1989), K47KV-D (2008 CP), K74CN (1970s)||none||15 kW||285.4 m||168675|
KSNC and KSNK shut down their analog signals on VHF channels 2 and 8 on June 12, 2009, with KSNC broadcasting its digital signal on UHF channel 22 and KSNK broadcasting its digital signal on VHF channel 12, using their former respective analog channel assignments as their virtual channels using PSIP.
Both KSNT and KSNF provided limited simulcasts of KSNW's programming from 1982 until SJL Communications purchased the station from George Hatch in 1990, when it dismantled part of the microwave system that allowed KSNF and KSNT access to KSNW's programming in a cost-cutting measure. As a result, both stations are the only ones to have been part of the Kansas State Network in some capacity to maintain their own separate programming and news departments to this day.
|City of license/market||Information|
|KSNT||27 / 28||Topeka||KSNT only carried limited simulcasts of KSNW's programming from 1982 to 1990. During its first year as a KSN semi-satellite, KSNT shared a secondary ABC affiliation with CBS affiliate WIBW-TV, ending when KTKA signed on in 1983 (KSNT exclusively affiliated with NBC and WIBW exclusively affiliated with CBS at that point). Although their news departments are separate, KSNT and KSNW share news stories and produce programming content for Kansas 22; both station also carry Kansas Jayhawks basketball games from ESPN Plus. KSNT remains under common ownership with the remaining KSN stations under LIN Media.|
|KSNF||16 / 46||Joplin, Missouri/Pittsburg, Kansas||Like KSNT, KSNF only carried limited simulcasts of KSNW's programming. The station no longer shares any ties with KSNW, and is now owned separately from the KSN stations and KSNT under the Nexstar Broadcasting Group; despite this, KSNF retains the use of the "KSN" brand (as "KSN 16"), although it does not use the logo used by KSNW and its satellites.|
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|3.1||1080i||16:9||KSNW-DT||Main KSNW programming / NBC|
KSNW shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 3, 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 remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 45. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 3.
KSNW broadcasts the entire NBC schedule, with the exception of program preemptions for breaking news or severe weather coverage. However, it currently airs Today in two blocks from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (with a one-hour breakaway at 9:00 a.m. for Live! with Kelly and Michael). Other syndicated programs currently broadcast on KSNW include Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, The Doctors and Queen Latifah.
KSNW presently broadcasts 27 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with five hours on weekdays, and one hour each on Saturdays and Sundays). Despite being the first television station in the market to build a network of semi-satellites in the western and central parts of the state, KSNW's newscasts had lagged far behind rivals KWCH and KAKE for several decades. In recent years, however, KSNW has waged a spirited battle with KAKE for second place behind long-dominant KWCH, and has beaten KAKE's newscasts in certain timeslots.
Although the three KSN satellites originated their own newscasts for many years, their local operations were progressively cut back from the mid-1980s onward. By the start of the 21st century, local news programming on the other Kansas State Network stations had been reduced to inserts shown during KSNW's newscasts, and separate station identifications had largely been eliminated.
On April 26, 1991, as an F2 tornado approached their vehicle, a KSNW news crew took shelter underneath an overpass in Butler County. Video of the event that was captured by a station photographer accompanying reporters Ted Lewis and Greg Jarrett led to public misunderstanding that overpasses provided adequate shelter from tornadoes as it did not take a direct hit from the tornado, experiencing only strong outer winds; the National Weather Service now strongly advises against sheltering under overpasses due to the likelihood of fatalities caused by flying debris, dangers from wind channeling, changes in wind direction and wind speed increases above ground level as the vortex passes, and the lack of girders on most overpasses. The station received national headlines again on May 19, 2013, when chief meteorologist Dave Freeman ordered KSNW staff to take shelter as an EF2 tornado approached southern portions of Wichita, out of concern that it would hit the station's downtown studios.
On September 29, 1997, KSNW began producing a half-hour primetime newscast at 9:00 p.m. for Fox affiliate KSAS-TV (channel 24), as part of a news share agreement in which channel 3 would also produce news updates to air during KSAS's evening programs. The program was cancelled on December 31, 1998 due to low ratings. In January 2009, KSNW acquired regional cable news channel Kansas Now 22, which is carried locally on Cox Communications, from Gray Television (owners of KAKE, and WIBW-TV in Topeka) to produce its own news and weather content for the channel and provide rebroadcasts of its local newscasts.
On October 31, 2010, KSNW began broadcasting its local newscasts in widescreen standard definition; in-studio, field and other station camera feeds were upconverted to a 16:9 format in the control room. On January 30, 2011, KSNW began broadcasting the weather segments of its newscasts in high definition, with the remaining in-studio segments following suit on July 17 (when KAKE upgraded its newscasts from 4:3 standard definition to 16:9 high definition), becoming the third television station in the Wichita-Hutchinson market to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition; video from the field remained in widescreen standard definition. In June 2011, KSNW underwent major staff changes for its 10:00 p.m. newscast with the shifts of weekend anchors Brooke Martin and Jamison Coyle and meteorologist J.D. Rudd (all of whom have since left the station) to the weeknight broadcasts, citing higher ratings for with that team on weekends than on the weeknight newscasts. Upon the shakeup, longtime sports director Jim Kobbe left KSNW; while chief meteorologist Dave Freeman moved from the 10:00 p.m. newscast to the 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. broadcasts (Freeman has since added the 10:00 p.m. newscast back to his duties).
KSNW re-assumed production responsibilities for KSAS's newscast on January 2, 2012, after KWCH (which had produced the current 9:00 p.m. newscast since 2003) ended its news share agreement with channel 24 to focus on its newscasts for CW-affiliated sister station KSCW-DT (channel 33). The KSAS newscast is produced out of KSNW's main news set, which features separate duratrans for the channel 24 broadcast. On January 27, 2014, KSNW upgraded its field and other non-studio cameras to HD; with the upgrade, came the introduction of a new HD-ready news set and graphics package.
Notable former on-air staff
- Melissa Beck - anchor
- Gregg Jarrett - reporter (now with Fox News Channel)
- Andrew Kozak - meteorologist (soon to be with WMC in Memphis, Tennessee)
- Todd McDermott - anchor/reporter (now with WPBF in West Palm Beach, Florida)
- Malone, Michael (May 7, 2012). "New Vision Buys Montecito Stations
- Malone, Michael (May 7, 2012). "LIN Acquiring New Vision Stations for $330 Million". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
- Harrison, Crayton (March 21, 2014). "Media General To Buy LIN For $1.6 Billion". Hartford Courant. Bloomberg News. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
- Voorhis, Dan (March 21, 2014). "Media General buying KSNW’s parent company, LIN Media". The Wichita Eagle. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
- Roy, Bill (March 21, 2014). "Media General to buy KSNW parent company for $1.6B". Wichita Business Journal. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KSNW
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- FCC DA 10-395, March 9, 2010
- May 19 Wichita Tornado Coverage - KSN Staff Takes Shelter (Full Video), YouTube.com, May 20, 2013.
- Channel 24 to launch newscast, Wichita Business Journal, June 15, 1997.
- KSAS-TV changes name and debut date, Wichita Business Journal, September 15, 1997.
- KSAS cancels evening news show, Wichita Business Journal, December 7, 1998.
- KSAS, KWCH reach agreement, ending lawsuit, Wichita Business Journal, October 7, 2011.
- KSAS, KWCH reach agreement, ending lawsuit, Wichita Business Journal, October 7, 2011.
- KSN debuts news in high definition with a new set
- Official website
- mcsittel.com: Screengrabs from the 1983-1992 (including KSNW and KSNC), taken from Kingsport, TN
- King of the Road: A look at KARD-TV in 1964
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KSNW
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KSNW-TV