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MeTV Arizona (on DT2)
HSN 7.3 (on DT3)
|Channels||Digital: 7 (VHF)
Virtual: 7 (PSIP)
|Translators||KAZT-CD 36 Phoenix
(for others, see list in article)
|Owner||Londen Media Group
|First air date||September 5, 1982|
|Call letters' meaning||AriZona Television|
|Former callsigns||KUSK (1982–2002)|
|Former channel number(s)||
|Transmitter power||3.2 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KAZT-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 7, is an independent television station located in Prescott, Arizona, United States, and serving the Phoenix market. The station is owned by the Londen family of Phoenix, and, as such, is the only locally owned English-language television station in the Phoenix market. KAZT maintains studio facilities on Tower Road in Prescott, with a secondary studio in the Londen Center on Camelback Road in Phoenix. Its main transmitter is located atop Mingus Mountain (northeast of Prescott). Its signal is relayed through a network of seven low-power translators across central and northern Arizona, including KAZT-CD (UHF digital channel 36) in Phoenix. The station is also carried on cable providers throughout the state (except in the Tucson and Yuma markets), as well as on the Phoenix DirecTV and Dish Network local feeds.
The station was originally assigned the call letters “KNAZ” in January 1980, when the original construction permit was granted; that September, the calls were changed to “KUSK” (the KNAZ call letters ended up being assigned to the NBC-affiliated station in Flagstaff), and it was under the latter calls that the station first signed on the air on September 5, 1982. By the 1990s, channel 7 was running low-budget programming that mainly targeted northern Arizona, through its main transmitter transmitting from Mingus Mountain and a network of translators from Yuma to Payson, and from Casa Grande to Bullhead City. The station broadcast television series from the 1950s and old public domain movies (some of which were provided by America One and the American Independent Network), syndicated programs that were declined by other Phoenix stations, local talk shows, and home shopping programs from America's Store. Before the Arizona Diamondbacks began play in 1998, KUSK thrived on Major League Baseball telecasts, and aired San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants games.
On December 5, 1997, KUSK, Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, while the company reorganized. KUSK emerged from bankruptcy in May 2000. On November 30, 2001, KUSK reached an agreement to sell the station to the Londen family, who own a life insurance company and are active in local politics. The new owners officially took control of KUSK and its translator network on April 1, 2002.
The day after the Londen Group closed on its purchase, it relaunched the station with new call letters: KAZT-TV. It also adopted a new brand, “AZ-TV”, and a new slogan, "Arizona's Own." They also gave the station a significant technical facelift, including a studio in Phoenix, and purchased stronger programming. The station transformed from a low-budget operation focused on Northern Arizona into a high-quality independent station more focused on Phoenix and a serious competitor to the Valley's long-successful independent, KTVK (channel 3). To help ensure that KAZT would "do some good for Arizona", the Londen family put together an advisory board of notable Arizonans, including Governor Jane Dee Hull, U.S. Representative Bob Stump, prominent local auto dealer Lou Grubb, Jerry Colangelo of the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks, and Michael Bidwill of the Arizona Cardinals. Company patriarch Jack Londen later said that he had bought the station as a 50th anniversary gift for his wife, Dodie.
KUSK's Phoenix repeater was founded on January 22, 1985; the construction permit for the station, which was originally assigned the callsign K27AN, was granted to the Meredith Corporation, owners of KPHO-TV (channel 5). In August 1985, before the station was ever built, Meredith sold the permit to Arizona Metro Television Ltd., who constructed the station, then sold it to KUSK, Inc. in April 1986. That same month, the station signed on the air under Program Test Authority, but was not licensed until June 30, 1987. By 1993, it was an affiliate of Home Shopping Network (HSN). William H. Sauro, KUSK's president, became the licensee of the station in May 1994, and in December 1994, the station changed its callsign to KHSK-LP. Around that time, KUSK became accessible to Phoenix viewers on translator K55EH, also owned by the Prescott flagship station.
As part of KUSK's network of stations, KHSK-LP and K55EH were included in the proposed sale to Harry Pappas for his Azteca Phoenix enterprise, but they were eventually sold to the Londen Group as part of the KUSK sale after the Pappas purchase failed to materialize. KHSK-LP initially kept its HSN affiliation, but on July 5, 2002, the Londen Group changed the station's callsign to KAZT-CA and relaunched the station as a translator of KAZT-TV. K55EH eventually became defunct.
After KUTP (channel 45) signed on its digital signal on channel 26, their permanent allocation, KAZT-CA began to experience adjacent channel signal interference. The station requested Special Temporary Authority (STA) to shut off its analog signal and begin operating its digital signal on the same channel (called a "flash cut"). The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted the STA on August 16, 2007, and KAZT-CA began broadcasting in digital on January 15, 2008. On August 4, 2008, KAZT-CA applied to move its signal to channel 36, citing displacement due to continuing interference from KUTP. The FCC granted the displacement application on September 10, 2009, and on December 7, KAZT-CA ended broadcasts on channel 27, commencing operations on channel 36 five days later.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|7.1||720p||16:9||KAZT7.1||Main KAZT-TV programming|
On October 13, 2008, KAZT-DT and KAZT-CA launched a subchannel featuring programming from the Retro Television Network (RTV). On June 20, 2011, KAZT added MeTV to digital subchannel 7.3. On August 1, 2011, MeTV was moved to subchannel 7.2 with RTV moving to 7.3. MeTV also airs locally in Phoenix on Cox Communications digital channel 93. On September 17, 2012, RTV programming on 7.3 was replaced by the Home Shopping Network.
On February 22, 2001, the station was granted a construction permit to build its digital companion channel on UHF channel 25, and in October 2002, after receiving a grant of Special Temporary Authority (STA) to operate at roughly the same service level as its analog station, KAZT-DT came on the air. The station made its temporary operations permanent in August 2006, and on October 17, 2006, it was licensed. KAZT-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 7, on May 15, 2009. The station's digital signal moved from UHF channel 25 to VHF channel 7. On that date, the station surrendered the license for its channel 25 digital signal to the Federal Communications Commission.
Local and syndicated programming
On weekdays, KAZT-TV airs locally produced live talk shows, including Arizona Daily Mix, co-hosted by former KPHO-TV anchor Catherine Anaya and Danielle Williams, produced in Phoenix, and Sandy and Friends, hosted by Sandy Moss in Prescott.
Some syndicated programs featured on KAZT include Rachael Ray, Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, Family Feud, Maury, and Jerry Springer. Saturday programming features repeats of select weekday programs, as well as a current-events show hosted by KFYI radio personality Mike Broomhead. Sunday programming is devoted to locally produced shows, paid programming and religious programs including a live broadcast of the Catholic Mass from Cathedral of Saints Simon and Jude in Phoenix.
After the Londens relaunched channel 7 as KAZT-TV, the station acquired a heavy amount of sports programming. It served as the television home of Arizona State University men's and women's basketball, baseball, and softball; Phoenix Mercury WNBA basketball, and Mountain West Conference college football telecasts. In 2003 and 2004, the station also televised preseason football games from the NFL's Arizona Cardinals. From 2006 to 2008, KAZT was the broadcast television home of the National Hockey League's Phoenix Coyotes. On February 17, 2010, the station acquired the rights to broadcast eight games from the Arizona Rattlers of the revived Arena Football League. Since 2011, the station has not aired live sports programming. On January 10, 2015. AZTV entered a partnership with Cox7 Arizona to simulcast five Grand Canyon University Antelopes Basketball Games games that is produced by Cox7 Arizona.
KAZT has a network of low-power repeaters throughout Arizona, all of which are located within the Phoenix market.
K19CX in Yuma formerly served the Yuma-El Centro market, but was required to drop KAZT programming on December 4, 2006, due to syndication exclusivity issues with other stations within that market. It became a repeater of KAET (channel 8) and was sold directly to Arizona State University in 2013.
- "AZ-TV Now All-Digital Channel 7.1 in Phoenix: What You Need To Know (And Do)". AZ-TV. 2008-01-15. Retrieved 2008-01-15.
- Angela Mull (1997-12-26). "KUSK files Chapter 11 amid shareholder spat". The Business Journal of Phoenix. Retrieved 2007-09-14.
- Anne Robertson (2002-04-12). "Londens' are driving force behind KAZT". The Business Journal of Phoenix. Retrieved 2007-12-29.
- "Phoenix, Arizona (AZ) profile: population, maps, real estate, averages, homes, statistics, relocation, travel, jobs, hospitals, schools, crime, moving, houses, news, sex offenders:". City-Data.com. Onboard Informatics. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- "Station KAZT-CA — Flash Cut Application for D27 - Phoenix, Arizona". Federal Communications Commission. 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2007-12-21.
- "KAZT-CA to move to channel 36". Federal Communications Commission. 2008-08-04. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
- "AZ-TV Transmitter Upgrades". KAZT website. Retrieved 2009-12-09.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KAZT
- "Where to Watch Me-TV". Me-TV. Retrieved May 29, 2011.
- "Me-TV Comes to AZ-TV!". AZ-TV. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- "RTN to Launch in Phoenix, Bringing Total Number of Affiliates to 40". Equity Media Holdings. 2007-12-19. Retrieved 2007-12-21.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "CDBS Print". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
- "Coyotes Games to Air on AZ-TV". Phoenix Coyotes. 2006-07-13. Retrieved 2007-12-21.