|Saint Paul - Minneapolis, Minnesota
|City of license||Saint Paul, Minnesota|
|Branding||Channel 5 (general)
5 Eyewitness News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Minnesota's news leader|
|Channels||Digital: 35 (UHF)
Virtual: 5 (PSIP)
5.4 Antenna TV
5.6 This TV
5.7 Live Well Network
|Founded||May 1946 |
|First air date||April 27, 1948|
|Call letters' meaning||SainT Paul|
|Sister station(s)||KSTC-TV, KSTP, KSTP-FM, KTMY, WIXK|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
5 (VHF, 1948–2009)
50 (UHF, 1999–2009)
|Former affiliations||NBC (1948–1979)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Height||433 m (1,421 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
KSTP-TV, channel 5, is a television station located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States, serving as the ABC affiliate for the Twin Cities television market. KSTP is the flagship television property of Saint Paul-based Hubbard Broadcasting, which has owned the station since its inception. The station's studio facility, located on the boundary line between Saint Paul and Minneapolis, is shared with sister stations KSTP radio (1500 AM), KSTP-FM (94.5 MHz), KTMY (107.1 FM), and KSTC-TV (channel 45). The station's transmitter is located at Telefarm Towers in Shoreview, Minnesota.
Stanley E. Hubbard, founder of KSTP radio, was one of broadcasting's foremost pioneers. In June 1939, he purchased one of the first television cameras available from RCA and began experimenting with television, but the television blackout brought on by World War II prevented any transmissions from being made. The first telecast by KSTP-TV reportedly occurred on December 7, 1947, when Jack Horner hosted a 25-minute program. On April 27, 1948, KSTP-TV signed on as the first commercial television station in Minnesota, although an experimental mechanical television station had been set up by WDGY station engineers more than a decade earlier. That station's license expired in 1938 as the Federal Communications Commission was not interested in continuing mechanical TV broadcasts.
KSTP-TV was originally an NBC affiliate, as KSTP radio had been an affiliate of the NBC Red Network since 1928. Channel 5 claims to have been the NBC television network's first affiliate located west of the Mississippi River, however this distinction is actually held by KSD-TV (now KSDK) in St. Louis, which signed on one year earlier. (Also, both the studios and the transmitter are located east of the river.) It was part of NBC's Midwest Network, a regional group of NBC affiliates that fed programming in the days before the coaxial cable link to New York City. In 1961, due to its status as an NBC affiliate, it was the first television station not owned by a network to broadcast all of its local programs in color.
In the mid-1970s, ABC – which had become the top-rated television network in the United States – began looking for stronger affiliates across the country. KMSP-TV (channel 9), the Twin Cities' ABC affiliate since 1961, had long struggled in the ratings. ABC had approached independent station WTCN-TV (channel 11, now KARE), CBS affiliate WCCO-TV (channel 4), and KSTP-TV to affiliate with the network. Channel 5 surprised the industry in August 1978 by announcing its intention to sever ties with third-place NBC after 30 years to join ABC. The affiliation switch occurred on March 5, 1979 and was ABC's biggest coup at the time. “We want to go into the 1980s in a leadership position with a network which we think has the management, team and depth to be the best. That's ABC. We're just absolutely thrilled,” said KSTP's Stanley S. Hubbard, son of station founder Stanley E. Hubbard. In 2000, Hubbard Broadcasting purchased independent station KVBM-TV (channel 45; now KSTC), creating Minnesota's first commercial television station duopoly (though there is a longstanding public television duopoly: KTCA/KTCI).
KSTP-TV has used its "groovy 5" logo or variations on it since April 1969 – it is the longest-used station logo in the Upper Midwest. By 1982, the design contained a white '5' on a red rounded edge square background. The number was italicized for a time in the mid-to-late 1980s. In the early 1990s, Eventually, the logo endured a more dramatic makeover, with a gold colored '5' on a blue ABC-style disc (with either the call letters or the Eyewitness News name imprinted upon it), with the center colored in green. By the late 1990s, a brighter, classier logo – still with a gold '5' – returned to the rectangular look, adding a black ABC logo. Since 2004, a white '5' has been used on a red parallelogram, also featuring the ABC logo. In April 2008, KSTP started airing commercials commemorating the station's 60th year of broadcasting.
KSTP serves as the ABC station for the area, and clears network programming. From 1982 to 1994, when nationally syndicated talk shows started ruling the daytime airwaves, KSTP ran a talk program of its own called Good Company, that was hosted by married couple Sharon Anderson and Steve Edelman. Both of them had appeared briefly in the movie Fargo as TV hosts, and continue to be recognized as area celebrities from time to time. Currently, Edelman runs Edelman Productions, a company that produces series for Food Network, HGTV, History and DIY Network, with his wife Anderson hosting a few of them. Edelman Productions is headquartered in California where both Edelman and Anderson now live, but it has offices both in California and Minnesota, where they produce their shows.
In 2007, KSTP decided to bring back an hour-long afternoon talk program similar to Good Company. A public casting call at the Mall of America attracted a Burnsville, Minnesota native, John Hanson, who was selected from over 500 people. A few months later, former Milwaukee news anchor Rebekah Wood was hired as his partner. Twin Cities Live, described as "a show about Minnesotans created by Minnesotans", began airing on April 21, 2008 and airs weekdays at 3:00 p.m. The title Twin Cities Live was first used from 1985 to 1991 for a short-lived morning talk show that debuted at a time when KSTP was trying to reinvent its news image.
KSTP-TV presently broadcasts 33½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 5½ hours on weekdays, and 3½ hours each on Saturdays and Sundays). Combined with sister station KSTC's 16 hours of news weekly, KSTP produces the most local news content in the market. In addition, the station produces a political discussion show called At Issue, which is hosted by Tom Hauser, with former state governor Wendell Anderson as a regular guest; and "Sports Wrap", a sports highlight program that airs on Sunday evenings at 10:45 p.m. and on special occasions, such as when KSTP airs ESPN Monday Night Football telecasts featuring the Minnesota Vikings. The station formerly ran a Friday night edition of the program focusing on high school sports that aired from September through May. These segments were usually hosted by Rod Simons and Anne Hutchinson, but Simons was later fired by the station in 2008 and Hutchinson also was let go in December of that year. A week prior to Hutchinson's departure, "High School Sports Wrap" was canceled due to low revenues. For much of the time since the 1980s, KQRS-FM morning show host Tom Barnard has served as the station's voice-over announcer.
Early on, Channel 5 was the news ratings leader in the Twin Cities. It was also the first station in the Central Time Zone to air a 10 p.m. newscast seven days a week. It lost its first place lead in the late 1960s, when WCCO-TV created its popular The Scene Tonight. In an attempt to reclaim the ratings crown, KSTP put together the market's first co-anchor team in 1970, with longtime station anchors Bob Ryan and John MacDougall. They failed to attract more viewers and were fired from the station in 1971, although MacDougall later served as a newscaster on KSTP radio during the 1980s and early 1990s. Ted O'Brien became the news anchor, with Barry ZeVan "the weather man" and Tom Ryther on sports, headlining KSTP's new effort as The World Today.
Channel 5 started using the "Eyewitness News" format for its newscasts in 1973; KMSP-TV had used the title since 1969, but dropped it in favor of branding its newscasts as Newsnine. KSTP, still seeking ratings gold, replaced O'Brien with Ron Magers on February 11, 1974. Meteorologist Dr. Walt Lyons took over for ZeVan in 1975. These men, along with Ryther, were "recalled years later by more than one local media critic as the best Twin Cities TV news ensemble ever." By then, KSTP "could genuinely claim to be not just number one in the market but in much of the country." The news team was strengthened even further with the addition of the well-respected Cyndy Brucato in 1979. These on-air personalities led a strong ratings era, which has been unparalleled at the station.
Lyons and Ryther left the station in the late 1970s, followed by weekend weatherman Roy Finden in 1980. After a highly publicized fallout with management, Ron Magers abruptly departed KSTP in 1981 to join Chicago's WMAQ-TV. KSTP-TV once again fell from its top perch, while WCCO-TV returned to #1, but the market and the national networks were changing. Meanwhile, Gannett bought channel 11 in 1983 and revitalized the station; NBC also began a major climb in the primetime ratings, while ABC lost steam. This combination of events, along with the "musical chairs" at channel 5's anchor desk, allowed a significant third contender into the Twin Cities news race. Despite its extensive news background, Channel 5 dipped to third in the ratings by 1985. A year later, it lost Lyons' replacement, Dennis Feltgen, to KARE and replaced Cyndy Brucato as anchor. It has remained near the bottom of the heap, occasionally dropping to fourth behind 9:00 p.m. newscasts on KMSP-TV until February 2008, when that station's news ratings began to decline. Even a shakeup and quirky advertisements featuring Ed Asner (emulating Lou Grant) did not help. During this time, however, channel 5 became the first station to use satellite news gathering for its newscasts. 1990 saw the launch of Hubbard's cable news venture, the All News Channel (ANC), KSTP ran an all-night news schedule during this time, alternating between half-hour blocks of ANC programming and local newscasts.
Despite all the upheaval, a few staffers have managed to stay at KSTP for several years. Stan Turner had a number of on-air and behind-the scenes duties at Channel 5 – ranging from news director to news anchor – during his tenure with the station from 1968 until the late 1980s. Starting in October 1976, reporter Jason Davis produced feature stories. From 2003 until Spring 2014, Davis was host and executive producer of a regional-interest program seen on Sunday nights called On the Road, which was originated as a segment seen on channel 5's newscasts. Meteorologist Dave Dahl was hired in 1977, began doing on-air weather reporting in 1979, and was named chief meteorologist in 1986; Dahl dismisses the science of global warming and claims that the earth is actually cooling.
Joe Schmit was a sports reporter and later sports director from 1985, until switching to news anchor in 2005; Schmit left the station in June 2006 to join Petters Media and Marketing Group. After the collapse of the company and the arrest and conviction of founder Tom Petters, Schmit returned to KSTP-TV on January 14, 2010. With his return to the station, the station also brought back Sunday Sports Wrap with Joe Schmit. Phil Aldridge subsequently moved to weekend sports anchor and held that position until his contract ended in June 2010, being replaced by Chris Long afterward. Cyndy Brucato made a surprise return to the KSTP-TV anchor desk in 2004 after an 18-year absence. Her comeback had been preceded by a guest appearance as a fill-in sportscaster, at Joe Schmit's request. Management then decided to rehire her as a news anchor. While Brucato's return only caused an initial bump in the ratings, her greater significance has been to add insight and depth to the news desk, which has many newer personalities in the market.
In late 2004, the station became part of the controversies surrounding missing explosives following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Anchor/reporter Dean Staley and cameraman Joe Caffrey visited the Al Qa'qaa munitions dump on April 18, 2003. By the next year, Staley had moved on to another station, but the tapes still existed and Caffrey was still at KSTP. When reports surfaced that explosive material might have been stolen from the site, the two realized that they had filmed at the facility during an important time.
On May 12, 2006, KSTP debuted a half-hour newscast at 4 p.m. On September 10, 2007, it was moved to 4:30 p.m., serving as a lead-in to the 5 p.m. newscast. For the first year, KSTP began to have news competition in that timeslot, when KARE debuted an online/television lifestyle program at 4 p.m. in May 2007. KSTP began broadcasting its newscasts in standard definition 16:9 widescreen on June 15, 2009. On August 30, 2010, KSTP expanded its weekday morning newscast a half-hour earlier, now running from 4:30 to 7 a.m. In 2011, KSTP made a move that is unusual for a station in the Central or Mountain Time Zones by debuting an 11 p.m. newscast, that was intended to compliment its 10 p.m. newscast and Nightline. On January 8, 2013, KSTP dropped the 11 p.m. news for an hour-long 10 p.m. newscast as a result of Jimmy Kimmel Live!'s move to Nightline's longtime national 10:35 p.m. timeslot.
KSTP-TV's studios and offices are located at 3415 University Avenue, precisely on the Minneapolis-St. Paul boundary. The sidewalk in the adjacent photo of the building is on the city line. The principal production facilities are on the Minneapolis side of the building. Most of the station's other operations are on the St. Paul side, including the business offices – the station utilizes a St. Paul mailing address (55114-2099) as a result. The large tripod transmitting tower behind the station has one leg in each city, with the third leg precisely on the city and county line. This tower is primarily used to relay the station's signal to the Telefarm paired tower setup in Shoreview (shared with KSTP-FM, WCCO-TV, KARE, and WUCW). The tower also houses the transmitter for KEC65, the NOAA Weather Radio station serving the Twin Cities area.
|Channel||Station||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|5.1||KSTP-TV||720p||16:9||KSTPDT1||Main KSTP-TV programming / ABC|
|5.2||KSTC-TV||KSTCDT1||Main KSTC-TV programming|
|5.7||KSTPDT2||Live Well Network|
KSTP-TV signed on its digital television signal in 1999. The station shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 5, 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 50 to UHF channel 35. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 5. The station participated in the "Analog Nightlight" program until its analog transmitter was turned off for good on July 12, 2009.
Satellite stations and translators
KSTP-TV operates two satellite stations northwest of the Twin Cities area, and it signal is further extended by way of twelve translators in central and southern Minnesota.
|Station||City of license||Channels
(TV / DT)
|First air date||ERP||HAAT||Transmitter Coordinates||Facility ID||Public license
|September 15, 1987||80 kW||356 m||35584||Profile
|KRWF||Redwood Falls||27 (UHF)
|April 14, 1987||58 kW||151 m||35585||Profile
KSAX' schedule was virtually identical to that of KSTP-TV, though it aired separate identifications and commercials. It also placed local inserts into KSTP's weeknight broadcasts. KRWF was a full-time repeater of KSAX. Expanding their operations in 1999, the stations hired their first meteorologist. This continued in 2004 with the launch of a half-hour high school sports highlight show. The stations have won numerous broadcast journalism awards from various broadcaster associations. On June 25, 2012, Hubbard Broadcasting shut down KSAX/KRWF's local operations, converting the two stations into full-time satellites of KSTP-TV except for commercials. The former studio for KSAX/KRWF remains open as KSTP-TV's news bureau and sales office for the area.
|City of license||Callsign||Channel|
(repeater of KSAX)
(repeater of KSAX)
(repeater of KSAX)
(repeater of KSAX)
(digital repeater of KRWF)
|24 (PSIP 43.1)|
(repeater of KSAX)
(in the Mankato market)
(repeater of KSAX)
(digital repeater of KSAX)
(repeater of KSAX)
- "Nine television stations authorized by FCC." Broadcasting - Telecasting, May 20, 1946, pg. 94.
- "ABC-TV bags largest game yet in affiliation hunt: KSTP-TV." Broadcasting, September 4, 1978, pp. 19-20. 
- KSTP.com - Twin Cities Live launches April 21 at 3pm
- Minn Post - David Brauer - 12-05-08
- Meyer, Joel (17 October 2005). "Twin Cities Tradition: Hubbard's historic KSTP faces new challenges". BroadcastingCable.com (Reed Elsevier). Retrieved 2007-11-26.
- WCCO-TV - Emily Kaiser - 7-30-08
- Minneapolis Star Tribune - Judd Zulgad - 7-30-06
- RabbitEars TV Query for KSTP
- Where to Watch Me-TV: KSTP
- Me-TV Signs With Stations in New Markets
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to KSTP-TV.|
- KSTP.com - KSTP-TV official website
- KSTC45.com - KSTC-TV official website
- KSTP-TV in 1960
- KSTP-TV in 1962, from Broadcast News magazine.
- KSTP at Twin Cities Tv Source
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KSTP-TV
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KSTP
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KSAX
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K16BQ
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K17FE
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K18DG
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K21HX-D
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K28DD
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K30FZ
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K32FY
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KRWF
- RabbitEars.info website - KSTP
- RabbitEars.info website - KSAX
- RabbitEars.info website - KRWF