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My KYES 5.png
Anchorage, Alaska
United States
City of license Anchorage
Branding My KYES 5
Channels Digital: 5 (VHF)
Virtual: 5 (PSIP)
Translators K17HC Juneau
14 (UHF) Anchorage
(construction permit)

KYEX-LP 18 Anchorage
K22HN-D 22 Anchorage
K06MF 6 Kenai
K08LW-D 8 Soldotna
K09XO-D 9 Homer-Seldovia
Affiliations See below
Owner Fireweed Communications, LLC
First air date January 21, 1990
Call letters' meaning YES-TV
Former callsigns KYES (1990-2007)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
5 (VHF, 1990-2009)
Former affiliations independent (1990-1993)
PTEN (1993-1995)
UPN (1995-2006)
The WB (secondary, 1995-1998),
Wealth TV
Transmitter power 15 kW
Height 277 m
Facility ID 21488
Transmitter coordinates 61°20′8.9″N 149°30′55.9″W / 61.335806°N 149.515528°W / 61.335806; -149.515528

KYES-TV is the local MyNetworkTV affiliate in Anchorage, Alaska, broadcasting locally on channel 5, with a repeater in Anchorage on channel 18, KYEX-LP. It has translators (repeaters) in Kenai-Soldotna on channel 6, Homer-Seldovia on channel 9 (petition to change to channel 3), and can be seen via satellite on AMC 7 at 137 degrees via an authorized Wegener satellite receiver. The station is owned by Fireweed Communications, LLC. KYES is one of the few stand-alone locally-owned television stations left in the United States.


KYES signed on the air in 1990 as an independent before joining UPN in 1995. It also had a secondary affiliation with The WB until that network launched The WB 100+ Station Group in 1998 in order to shift to cable-only distribution in smaller markets. In January 2006 it was announced that the WB and UPN were to merge operations in September 2006 to form The CW. The station was expected to become a CW affiliate, but on April 24 it was announced that The CW would be carried on a digital subchannel on ABC's Anchorage affiliate KIMO. KYES instead became an affiliate of My Network TV and one of only two in Alaska (sister station K17HC 17 in Juneau is the other); KFXF, the Fox affiliate in Fairbanks, declined an offer to run it as their secondary network.

News/Station presentation[edit]

In 1990, the station broadcast news from the U.S.S.R. translated into English. It also hosted Valley News, an independent production from Wasilla, Alaska, anchored by long-time Mat-Su Valley broadcaster Fred James. It runs Democracy Now! live (which in Alaska is at 4:00 a.m.), and carries France24 on DTV 4, but does not and never has had the financial strength to launch its own news department.

Digital television[edit]

KYES's digital signal on channel 22 signed on with 20 watts of power on August 25, 2003—the first television station in the Anchorage market to have a digital signal, and the first in Alaska to offer high-definition television.

The means of getting the digital signal out, however, was extraordinary—KYES used a TTC 100-watt analog translator and a K-Tec digital exciter purchased on eBay, along with a temporary 30-foot (9.1 m) tower, originally used for an analog LPTV translator, on the roof of the hillside home of KYES's president and chief engineer manager, Jeremy Lansman. At only $5000 to construct, it was sufficient enough to transmit a viewable digital signal throughout most of Anchorage,[1] with the exception of the road to the town dump.[2] KYES's initial digital programming included high-definition programming from HDNet and Wealth TV, along with an in-house audio music channel, rebroadcasts of KUDO-AM, KEUL FM and the Republic Broadcasting Network, and a standard-definition KYES broadcast.[3]

KYES briefly included Retro Television Network in its digital lineup beginning in 2008. However, this was discontinued when the network was acquired by Luken Communications. No explanation has been given by KYES as to why the programming was discontinued. However, the reasons are likely technical. Under Equity Broadcasting, RTN was uplinked from Galaxy 18 at 123° West. When Luken acquired the network, it was moved to AMC 9 at 83° West, an orbital location that is below the horizon from Anchorage.

The channel 22 signal is now licensed as K22HN, and operates at 2.8 kW ERP. KYES is authorized by the FCC to broadcast digital signals via VHF channel 5, broadcasting up to 45 kW. Thus, it has duplicate VHF and UHF signals.

In a DTV transition status report (FCC Form 387) filed by the station on October 7, 2008, Jeremy Lansman of KYES describes the station's digital readiness:

"The form asks: 'licensee/permittee has other needs that must be addressed before it can fully construct and operate its post-transition facility. (if checked, explain.)'
1. Reliability and quality of using 1970's Harris transmitting gear is unknown.
2. No equipment is available to accurately measure DTV or ACLR power.
3. The 8VSB signal will originate at K22HN. Reliability of reception of the 8VSB signal is unknown, though it seems to work in spite of two path terrain obstacles.
4. Electricity supplies are unreliable at both sites; Hillside where K22HN will originate 8VSB signals for the region, and Eagle River where KYES-DT will translate those signals. Both sites are subject to winds in excess of 100 mph. Serial retransmission will compound the probability of off air time. The station needs back up generators, but has no money for one, no less two. Public safety will be compromised after the analog signal is switched off due to lack of back up power.
For example, power at K22HN failed last night (Oct 10, 2008) shortly after 4.30 am. It is still off as of this time, 6 pm. As a result, KYES has had no DTV signal at all for over 12 hours. This will not be a unique experience. The analog signal originates from a UPS-protected studio. the 8VSB signal is encoded at K22HN.
The FCC form asks what is needed. The answer? Funds from the spectrum auction as made possible by this conversion to DTV, said funds to be applied to equipment that may be needed, especially by stations in financial distress. Dumpster diving may result in an 8VSB signal, but the result will be less than ideal.[4]

The document then goes on to cite a local newspaper article[5] explaining that a storm and 100 mph winds had knocked out power in the area, taking K22HN dark. Effectively, KYES-DT files its FCC digital television status reports by candlelight.

Fireweed Communications LLC has now requested FCC authorisation to operate KYES-DT post transition from multiple transmitter sites. The existing UHF 22 DTV facility would continue operation and multiple transmitters would rebroadcast the signal onto the former analog channel (5) using existing KYES low-power television facilities.

While the cash-strapped station expects this will allow rapid and less costly construction and provide replication of analog service, this technically is not a request for a DTx (distributed transmission system). The transmitters may not be synchronized and therefore could interfere with each other in certain narrow geographical areas. The affected locations are all currently unpopulated.[6]

Digital subchannels[edit]

Channel Programming
5.1 MyNetwork TV
5.2 Antenna TV
5.3 This TV
5.4 France24
5.50 KEUL FM
5.51 Uncommon Music
5.52 Testing TBD

As of 13 June 2009, Digital TV is broadcast over VHF channel 5, UHF channels 22, plus a signal intended for the South Anchorage Hillside on UHF channel 14.[7] According to Mr. Lansman, none of the repeaters, nor the analog UHF, are scheduled to "switch to DTV in the immediate future."[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Broadcasting Anchorage Alaska's First DTV, Broadcast Engineering, August 23
  2. ^ KYES FAQ
  3. ^
  4. ^ KYES-DT digital transition status report (FCC form 387), October 2008
  5. ^ Thousands of storm victims still without power, Megan Holland and Craig Medred, Anchorage Daily News, October 10th, 2008
  6. ^ KYES-DT request for FCC STA for co-channel operation from multiple low-power transmitters
  7. ^ Jeremy Lansman, on-air call-in show, 12 June 2009, KYES-TV5.
  8. ^ ibid.

External links[edit]