KULR-TV

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KULR-TV / KYUS-TV
KULR8.png
KULR: Billings, Montana
KYUS: Miles City, Montana
Branding KULR 8 (general)
KULR 8 Local News (newscasts)
Slogan Expect More
Channels Digital:
KULR: 11 (VHF)
KYUS: 3 (VHF)
Virtual:
KULR: 8 (PSIP)
KYUS: 3 (PSIP)
Subchannels 8.1/3.1 NBC
8.2/3.2 AccuWeather
Translators K06FE-D 6 Miles City
Affiliations NBC
Owner KULR: Cowles Publishing Company
KYUS: Marks Radio Group
(KULR: Cowles Montana Media Company
KYUS: KYUS-TV Broadcasting Corporation)
First air date KULR: March 15, 1958
KYUS: August 29, 1969[1]
Call letters' meaning KULR: KULoR (Color) Television (calls were inaugurated with launch of color service)
KYUS: cayuse, a type of Native American pony
Former callsigns KULR:
KGHL-TV (1958-1963)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
KULR:
8 (VHF, 1958-2009)
KYUS:
3 (VHF, 1969-2009)
Former affiliations KULR:
ABC (1958-1987, secondary until 1968)
PBS (per program, 1970-1984)
Transmitter power KULR: 16 kW
KYUS: 2.9 kW
Height KULR: 191 m
KYUS: 30 m
Facility ID KULR: 35724
KYUS: 5237
Transmitter coordinates KULR:
45°45′35.5″N 108°27′17.4″W / 45.759861°N 108.454833°W / 45.759861; -108.454833
KYUS:
46°25′34.6″N 105°51′40″W / 46.426278°N 105.86111°W / 46.426278; -105.86111 (KYUS-TV)
Website www.kulr8.com

KULR-TV, virtual channel 8, is an NBC affiliate broadcasting on channel 11 in Billings, Montana. KULR is owned by Cowles Publishing Company.

KULR's programming and schedule is also seen on KYUS-TV (virtual and digital channel 3) in Miles City, Montana; that station is owned and operated by the Marks Radio Group, who also owns several radio stations in Montana, among other broadcasting properties. KULR programs and operates the station on Marks' behalf. Previously, KYUS was notorious for being the smallest network affiliate in America, which was owned from 1969 to 1984 by David Rivenes, who did the news, sports, weather and reporting himself — he was also featured in the late-1970s on NBC's Real People and in TV Guide for his career. KYUS became mainly a satellite station in the 1980s, first with KOUS (channel 4), then with KULR, after KOUS flipped to Fox as KHMT.

In Miles City, KULR can also be seen on K06FE-D channel 6; this translator is owned by Max Media, and not the Marks Radio Group. Marks Radio Group also owns KXGN-TV in Glendive, Montana, which broadcasts KULR on its digital subchannel, with some local variations.

Digital television[edit]

In February 2009, KULR, KTVQ and two other stations in the Billings market were refused Federal Communications Commission permission[2] to end analogue broadcasts and operate as digital-only effective on the originally-scheduled February 17, 2009 date.[3]

Channel Aspect Format Programming
8.1 / 3.1 16:9 1080i main KULR-TV/KYUS programming / NBC
8.2 / 3.2 4:3 480i KULR-8 WeatherNow

History[edit]

Channel 8's first broadcast was on March 15, 1958 as KGHL-TV, owned by Midland Empire Broadcasting Company along with KGHL radio (AM 790). The station was originally a NBC affiliate with a secondary ABC affiliation. The callsign was changed to KULR in 1963. The call letters were a play on the word "color" as most programs in the mid-1960s started changing from being televised in black and white to color. "Color 8" was how the TV station was promoted on-air in promos for KULR.

In 1968, the station became a primary ABC affiliate - the fourth in Montana - while relegating NBC to secondary status.[4] This was very unusual for a two-station market, especially one as small as Billings. NBC wouldn't return to Billings on a full-time basis until KOUS signed on in 1980. In spring 1981, KULR dumped the "Color 8" branding and became known as "Straight 8" and its local newscast as Straight 8 Newsservice anchored by Dave Rye, sports director Larry Gebert, and weather forecaster Kit Carson. Other on-air reporters and weekend anchors at the time included Joni Earle, Monica Gayle, Kyle Safely, and David Smock.

From 1970 until Montana PBS signed on in 1984, KULR aired some PBS programming, as Montana was one of the few states at the time that did not have a PBS member station of its own. In 1987, NBC wanted a stronger affiliate in the market, and quickly negotiated a return to KULR.

On September 30, 2013, the Cowles Publishing Company announced that it would acquire Max Media's Montana television station cluster (KULR, and ABC affiliates KWYB/Butte, KFBB-TV/Great Falls, KHBB-LD/Helena and KTMF/Missoula) for $18 million.[5][6] The sale was completed on November 29.[7]

News operation[edit]

In 2009, KULR began broadcasting its local newscasts in widescreen standard definition. KULR became the first television in Montana to switch to full HD news operation during its 5 p.m. newscast on Sunday, August 27, 2012. Studio cameras are currently still in 16:9 standard definition, however.

For a little more than a year after HD newscasts began, the station adopted the Look F presentation package, and adopted the "L.A. Groove" music package in use at WNBC, KNBC, and KNTV, along with other NBC O&O's with some modifications. Since KULR's purchase by Cowles Publishing Company, the station is using the same presentation and music package as KHQ in Spokane.

News/Station presentation[edit]

News team[8][edit]

News Director

  • Alan Wagimeister

Anchors

  • Greg LaMotte - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
  • Stella Daskalakis - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.; also reporter
  • Scott Beadle - Wake Up Montana anchor; also reporter
  • MacLeod Hageman - weekends at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m.; also reporter

Reporters

  • Felicia Frank - evening news producer
  • Emily Nantz - Executive Producer
  • Katie Chen - general assignment reporter
  • Penny Preston - general assignment reporter; Wyoming reporter
  • Cornelius Hocker - general assignment reporter
  • Dustin Askim - general assignment reporter

The Weather Authority

  • Kyle Pickens - chief meteorologist
  • Erin Clanahan - morning meteorologist
  • Sara Sanchez - weekend meteorologist; also reporter

Sports team

  • Chris Byers - sports director; weeknights at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
  • Mike Stefansson - weekend sports anchor at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m.; also weekday sports reporter

Notable on-air staff[edit]

  • Conrad Burns - farm reporter (former United States Senator from Montana)
  • Monica Gayle - weekend anchor/reporter (former CBS News correspondent; now weeknight anchor at WJBK in Detroit)
  • Lindsey Gardner - anchor/reporter; currently at Target
  • Larry Gebert - sports director (now meteorologist and computer system administrator at KTVB in Boise, ID)
  • Sarah Gravlee - first news at 5 anchor until June 2012; currently at KTMF-TV in Missoula as anchor, news director, and reporter
  • David Jensen - Weather reporter and Cameraman (late '70s); now living in Central California.
  • Gus Koernig - anchor (now lives in Phoenix, AZ)
  • Roger Lohse (1995-1996; now at WPLG-TV in Miami, FL)
  • Ed McIntosh - chief meteorologist (now morning and noon meteorologist at KTVQ)
  • Dave Rye - news director (elected Montana state senator in 1990; now a conservative radio talk show host for the Northern News Network)
  • Kyle Safely - weekend anchor/reporter (now living in Boise, ID)
  • Patty Souza (now meteorologist at KXTV in Sacramento, CA)
  • David Smock - weekend sports/weather anchor and weekday noon news producer/news reporter (now an Internet TV play-by-play sportscaster announcing NCAA Division II college games near Los Angeles.)
  • Keagan Harsha - weekend news anchor/reporter; currently main anchor at KTSM-NBC in El Paso, Texas
  • Katie Ussin - news anchor at 6 and 10 p.m.; currently an anchor at WDTN-TV
  • Kathy Weber - anchor/reporter (later worked for Senator Max Baucus)
  • Walter Kelley - chief meteorologist (now chief meteorologist at KCPQ in Seattle, WA)
  • Kenneth Wong - Nightside Reporter, now producer at KHQ-TV in Spokane, WA
  • Brad Carl - Meteorologist, now meteorologist/reporter at KHOG.

Newscast titles[edit]

  • The Montana Report (1961-1963)
  • Montana News (1963-1964)
  • Report at 4:30/Report at Ten (1964-1968)
  • Channel 8 News (1968-1972)
  • KULR 8 News Service (1972–1981)
  • Straight 8 Newservice (1981–1984)
  • News 8 (1984–1991)
  • KULR 8 News (1991–2014)[9]
  • KULR 8 Local News (2014-present)

Current Newscasts[edit]

  • Wake Up Montana weekday morning newscast - 5:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m.
  • KULR-8 Local News at 5 (5:00 p.m. newscast)
  • KULR-8 Local News at 6 (6:00 p.m. newscast)
  • KULR-8 Local News at 10 (10:00 p.m. newscast)

Former Newscasts[edit]

  • Today In Montana (weekday morning newscast, ended 2014)
  • KULR-8 News at Noon (noon newscast, ended 2014)
  • KULR-9 NEWS 9@9 (news summary on 8.2 WeatherNow, ended 2011.)

Station slogans[edit]

  • "KULR-8 in Color" (1960s)
  • "We're the Team" (1980s)
  • "Where News Comes First" (early 1990s)
  • "Coverage, Community, Commitment" (mid 1990s–1998)
  • "Working in the Spirit of Montana" (1998–2012)
  • "Covering Your World, Your Neighborhood" (2009–2012)
  • "Expect More" (2012-2014)
  • "A New Leader is Emerging" (2014-present)

References[edit]

External links[edit]