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(semi-satellite of KRCR-TV,
Redding/Chico, California)
KAEF Logo.png
Arcata/Eureka, California
United States
CityArcata, California
BrandingKAEF ABC 23 (general)
North Coast News (newscasts)
ChannelsDigital: 22 (UHF)
Virtual: 23 (PSIP)
TranslatorsK50MR-D (UHF) South Eureka/Loleta
Affiliations23.1: ABC (1989–present)
23.2: MeTV
23.3: Movies!
OwnerSinclair Broadcast Group
(Sinclair Media Licensee, LLC)
First air dateAugust 1, 1987 (32 years ago) (1987-08-01)
Call letters' meaningArcata
Sister station(s)KBVU, KECA-LD, KEUV-LP, KUVU-LP
Former callsignsKREQ (1987–1989)
Former channel number(s)Analog:
23 (UHF, 1987–2009)
Former affiliationsFox (1987–1994; secondary from 1989)
silent (April–October 1989)
LWN (DT3, 2011–2013)
Transmitter power45 kW
Height549.9 m
Facility ID8263
Transmitter coordinates40°43′41.9″N 123°58′21.4″W / 40.728306°N 123.972611°W / 40.728306; -123.972611 (KAEF-TV)
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license information
semi-satellite of KRCR-TV,
Redding/Chico, California)

semi-satellite of KRCR-TV,
Redding/Chico, California)

KAEF-TV, virtual channel 23 (UHF digital channel 22), is an ABC-affiliated television station serving Eureka, California, United States that is licensed to Arcata. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, it is sister to two low-power stations: dual CW/MyNetworkTV affiliate KECA-LD (channel 29), and Univision affiliate KEUV-LP (analog channel 31); Sinclair also operates Eureka-licensed Fox affiliate KBVU (channel 28) under a local marketing agreement (LMA) with owner Cunningham Broadcasting. However, Sinclair effectively owns KBVU as the majority of Cunningham's stock is owned by the family of deceased group founder Julian Smith. The four stations share studios on Sixth Street in downtown Eureka; KAEF-TV's transmitter is located along Barry Road southeast of the city.

Although identifying as a separate station in its own right, KAEF is actually considered a semi-satellite of KRCR-TV (channel 7) in Redding/Chico. As such, it clears all network programming as provided through its parent station but airs a separate offering of syndicated programming; there are also separate local newscasts, commercial inserts and legal station identifications. Master control and some internal operations are based at the shared studios of KRCR and LMA partner KCVU on Auditorium Drive in Redding.


KAEF began broadcasting August 1, 1987 as KREQ, a Fox affiliate owned by Mad River Broadcasting.[1] During this period, the station lost money on a monthly basis, in part because KREQ was, for all intents and purposes, a UHF independent station (at the time, Fox only offered a nightly late night program and weekend primetime programming, and would not air an entire week's worth of programming until 1993) in a small market dominated by two VHF network affiliates, NBC affiliate KIEM-TV (channel 6) and CBS affiliate KVIQ (channel 6).[2]

In June 1988, Mad River put KREQ up for sale; in 1989, it sold the station to California Oregon Broadcasting (COBI), owner of KRCR-TV.[2] COBI already owned two radio stations in Eureka, KFLI (790 AM, now KEJY) and KEKA-FM (101.5), which were sold off as a condition of the purchase of channel 23.[2] Mad River took KREQ off the air, citing financial problems, on April 30, 1989;[2] that October, COBI returned channel 23 to the air as KAEF (Arcata Eureka Fortuna), an ABC affiliate and semi-satellite of KRCR-TV.[3] Prior to 1989, ABC programming was limited to off-hours clearances on KIEM and KVIQ; through KRCR, KAEF still offered some Fox programming in off-hours until KBVU signed on in 1994.

California Oregon Broadcasting sold KAEF, along with KRCR-TV and its other satellite station, KFWU in Fort Bragg, to Lamco Communications for $11.925 million in 1995.[4][5] Lamco sold its stations, including KAEF and KRCR, to BlueStone Television in 2004;[6] BlueStone, in turn, was acquired by Bonten Media Group for $230 million in 2007.[7] KAEF added the "-TV" suffix to its call sign on July 1, 2009.[8]

KAEF-TV became a sister station to Fox affiliate KBVU (channel 28) in 2012, after Bonten (via KRCR-TV) took over the sales operation for KBVU in August and the entire station in December through a local marketing agreement with Esteem Broadcasting, which has functioned as a shell corporation for Bonten since 2008.

Disputes with Dish Network[edit]

Dish Network and KAEF, via KRCR, had been at odds for quite sometime regarding carriage of the station on the satellite system. KRCR was asking for reimbursement and made their feeling public. As a result, on December 8, 2013, Dish halted carrying KRCR on their system. General manager Andrew Stewart went to the internet at the station's website to share his frustrations with the viewers and called out Dish Network.[9] On January 12, 2014, DISH restored KRCR and KAEF and associated stations to its line-up. On January 17, 2017, KAEF was once again removed from Dish Network's lineup as part of a new dispute.[10] KAEF is back on Dish (return date not known.)

Sale to Sinclair[edit]

On April 21, 2017, Sinclair Broadcast Group announced its purchase of KAEF-TV as part of its $240 million acquisition of Bonten Media Group; the purchase also gave it control of KBVU, KECA-LD, and KEUV-LP.[11] The sale was completed on September 1.[12]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[13]
23.1 720p 16:9 KAEFDT Main KAEF-TV programming / ABC
23.2 480i 4:3 MeTV
23.3 Movies!

On August 23, 2011, Disney-ABC Television Group announced that KAEF would carry Live Well Network as part of an affiliation agreement with Bonten Media Group; the network was added to a new third subchannel.[14] Live Well Network was replaced by Movies! on November 18, 2013.[15]

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KAEF-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 23, 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 22.[16] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 23.


KAEF airs much of the same programming as KRCR, sometimes at different times. There are also some programs that only air on KAEF while some only air on KRCR, as the stations are in different media markets.[17][18] Such programs include The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dr. Phil, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy!.

News operation[edit]

KAEF presently broadcasts 15 hours of newscasts each week (with three hours each weekday). KAEF produces five of those hours at its Eureka studios; the morning newscast, Daybreak, is simulcast from KRCR-TV in Redding. There are currently no newscasts on the weekends. Scott Rates is the news director and evening anchor at the station. Rates has also been a reporter in San Francisco and Orlando.

KAEF discontinued its original news operation on February 6, 2001, due to low ratings;[19] ABC 23 News had generally been the third-ranked news operation in the Eureka market.[20] Following the cancellation, the only Eureka-specific news content on the station was a weather segment produced by KRCR-TV.[19] Local news returned to KAEF-TV on November 17, 2014; the news operation also produces a primetime newscast for sister station KBVU.[21]


KAEF has one translator station:

Station City of license Channel Founded ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter Coordinates
K21OO-D1 South Eureka/Loleta 21(UHF)1 October 15, 1992 0.328 kW 141 m 8272 40°43′0.0″N 124°12′13.6″W / 40.716667°N 124.203778°W / 40.716667; -124.203778 (K50MR-D)
  • 1. K50MR-D formerly operated under the callsign K51EG, operating on UHF channel 51. In July 2012, K51EG converted to digital under the callsign K51MR-D on channel 50. K51MR-D moved to RF Channel 21 K21OO-D in October 2018.


  1. ^ Television & Cable Factbook 1988 Edition (PDF). 1988. p. A-94. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "Memorandum Opinion and Order". Federal Communications Commission. August 18, 1989. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  3. ^ Television & Cable Factbook 1993 Edition (PDF). 1993. p. A-100. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  4. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). March 6, 1995. p. 56. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  5. ^ Television & Cable Factbook 2002 Edition (PDF). 2002. p. A-121. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  6. ^ Mazzullo, Lainie (January 25, 2004). "Former KWCH owner buys 12 stations, makes Wichita base". Wichita Business Journal. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  7. ^ "Bonten Closes on $230M BlueStone Buy". TV News Check. June 5, 2007. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  8. ^ "Call Sign History (KAEF-TV)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  9. ^ A letter to our viewers, from the general manager, regarding Dish, Andrew Stewart, General Manager, KRCR-TV, taken from KRCRTV.com, December 12, 2013
  10. ^ "A message to our NorthCoast DISH viewers". KRCRTV.com. January 23, 2017. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  11. ^ Houston, Will (4 April 2017). "Media giant Sinclair Broadcast Group to buy four Eureka stations". Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  12. ^ Consummation Notice, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  13. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KAEF
  14. ^ Live Well Adds 7 Affils, Tops 40% Clearance, TVNewsCheck, August 23, 2011.
  15. ^ Movies! TV Network - Where to Watch
  16. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  17. ^ http://tvschedule.zap2it.com/tvlistings/ZCSGrid.do?stnNum=10658&channel=7&aid=tvschedule
  18. ^ http://tvschedule.zap2it.com/tvlistings/ZCSGrid.do?stnNum=10315&channel=7&aid=tvschedule
  19. ^ a b "News show plug pulled". North Coast Journal. February 15, 2001. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  20. ^ Doran, Bob (June 29, 2000). "More News More Often!". North Coast Journal. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  21. ^ Scott-Goforth, Grant (November 18, 2014). "Anchors Aweigh!". North Coast Journal. Retrieved September 25, 2018.

External links[edit]