San Jose, California
|City of license||San Francisco, California|
|Slogan||The Face of the Bay Area|
|Channels||Digital: 27 (UHF)
Virtual: 26 (PSIP)
|Owner||Lincoln Broadcasting Company, a California LP|
|First air date||September 4, 1976|
|Call letters' meaning||Television
|Former callsigns||KTSF-TV (1976–1981)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
26 (UHF, 1976–2009)
|Transmitter power||500 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KTSF, virtual channel 26 (UHF digital channel 27), is a multicultural independent television station located in San Francisco, California, United States. The station is owned by Lincoln Broadcasting Company. KTSF maintains studio facilities located in south suburban Brisbane, and its transmitter is located atop San Bruno Mountain.
In 1965, Lillian Lincoln Howell was issued a broadcast license for a new television station in San Francisco. Her goal was to offer programming to audiences that were not targeted by the television stations already on the air at the time. Her stated mission was to "serve the underserved." It took many years to build the station, but when KTSF finally signed on the air on September 4, 1976, it began broadcasting with mainly Chinese and Japanese programming, along with some English programming (such as public-domain movies). KTSF (the "-TV" calls were dropped on December 31, 1981) became the first U.S. broadcaster to carry Asian-language programming.
During the early 1980s, KTSF carried the subscription movie service "Star TV" during the nighttime hours. Its signal would appear scrambled, with an audio message being played that described the service and provided a phone number to subscribe to Star. Descrambler boxes could be rented to view the channel.
In the 1980s, KTSF expanded its Asian content to reflect the changing demographics of the Bay Area. With increasing immigration of the Bay Area's Asian population from the Philippines and Korea, KTSF added Tagalog and Korean language program content and expanded its schedule to include programming from India and Iran.
A significant step in the station's history came in 1987 when it hired Gallup to perform the first Chinese-language consumer study ever conducted in the United States. The challenge for any commercial broadcaster is to be able to demonstrate to advertisers a profile of its viewers. The Gallup study demonstrated to mainstream U.S. companies that the Chinese-American market behaved like most other groups. For instance, the vast majority of Chinese people had bank accounts at "mainstream" financial institutions such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo, while only a small percentage had accounts at Chinese-owned banks. The major grocery store chains, with their large variety of products and convenient locations, were patronized by 75% of Chinese-Americans on a weekly basis.
With this new research, KTSF was able to attract mainstream U.S. companies to the Asian American market. On February 6, 1989, KTSF launched the first live Chinese language newscast in the United States. Throughout the 1990s, with the H1-B visas in place, it was easier for U.S. companies to attract qualified workers from other countries. The Bay Area saw a large number of workers from China, Taiwan and India move to Silicon Valley. KTSF responded by dramatically expanding its Mandarin-language and South Asian programming.
In 2005, KTSF became the first Asian broadcaster in the U.S. to subscribe to Nielsen. With the daily overnight viewing data, KTSF was able to help advertisers better target the Asian demographic. By 2010, KTSF carried programming in twelve languages including Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Hindi and Tagalog.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|26.1||480i||4:3||KTSF-D1||Main KTSF programming|
|26.5||KTSF-D5||Viet Today TV|
|26.6||KTSF-D6||Viet Shopping TV|
KTSF's digital signal launched in 2002 on UHF channel 27. KTSF shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 20, 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 27. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 26.
On February 13, 2006, KTSF began broadcasting Talk Tonight, a live Mandarin-language phone-in talk show; guests have included a variety of entertainment, political and sports figures. On August 4, 2013, the station began producing a local Mandarin-language financial program titled Talk Finance.
KTSF broadcasts Japanese programming during primetime on Saturdays and Sundays, along with a Japanese language morning news program on weekdays, titled FCI Morning Eye. Fuji TV (which also lends its branding to that night's lineup) provides the station's Saturday night programming, while Tokyo TV provides its Sunday night programming, branded as TTV. Fuji TV had been broadcasting since February 20, 1972 (predating KTSF's actual debut), while Tokyo Television programming debuted on KTSF when it launched on September 4, 1976.
CMC on KTSF
On weekday afternoons, KTSF carries programming from the California Music Channel, consisting of CMC California Music Channel and CMC Beat Lounge. The station also airs a late-night version of CMC that broadcasts on Saturday nights, known as CMC Late Night.
KTSF presently broadcasts 12 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with two hours on weekdays, and one hour each on Saturdays and Sundays). The station's newscasts are subject to delay or preemption due to special programming. It is currently the only television station in the United States broadcasting nightly, live local and international news programming in both the Cantonese and Mandarin languages. KTSF currently utilizes Traditional Chinese subtitles for both the Cantonese and Mandarin newscasts; open captions are employed, since closed captioning is only available for languages based on the Latin alphabet (e.g. English and Spanish).
The station launched its news department on February 6, 1989, with the debut of Cantonese News as the first live Chinese-language television program in the United States. The station subsequently launched Mandarin News, as well as a local Mandarin-language talk program, known presently as Talk Tonight. Mandarin News originally ran for 30 minutes before it expanded to one hour and moved to its current 10:00 p.m. timeslot, leading into Cantonese News (also now an hour-long newscast), which originally aired at 8:00 p.m. before it was moved to the program's current 7:00 p.m. slot.
The station also aired Hong Kong Weekly News from February 11, 1989 to March 18, 2006. The station began producing weekend editions of its Cantonese and Mandarin language newscasts on March 25, 2006 (the weekend edition of Cantonese News airs only on Saturdays while the weekend edition of Mandarin News airs exclusively on Sundays, both airing in the earlier 6 p.m. slot).
- Cantonese News
- Yalek Huynh - news anchor; weeknights at 7 p.m.
- Cecilia Im - news anchor; weeknights at 7 p.m.
- Kwokshu Leung - news anchor; Saturdays at 6 p.m.
- Ricky Chan - reporter
- Hellas Leung - reporter
- Angelina Wong - senior reporter; also assignment editor
- Mandarin News
- Jie Chen - anchor; weeknights at 10 p.m.
- Ling-Chia Ku - anchor; Sundays at 6 p.m., also editor and reporter
- Jessie Liang - anchor/reporter
- Jo Wan - anchor/reporter
- Sean Au - reporter
- Michelle Yue - reporter
- Local program hosts
- Chuy Gomez - host of CMC Beat Lounge and CMC Late Night
- Lipoi Niualiku - CMC host
- Sam Spear - horse racing host
- KTSF Celebrates 30 Years as the Nation's Leading Asian Broadcaster
- RabbitEars TV Query for KTSF
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KTSF-TV
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- KTSF DTV Information
- Anchors and Reporters
- KTSF Homepage: English Version
- KTSF Homepage: Chinese Version
- KTSF Facebook page
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KTSF
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KTSF-TV