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|Channels||Digital: 7 (VHF)|
MeTV Arizona (on DT2)
HSN 7.3 (on DT3)
Arizona Daily Mix (newscast)
|Slogan||The New! Channel 7|
|Owner||Londen Media Group |
First air date
|September 5, 1982|
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
Call sign meaning
|HAAT||792 m (2,598 ft)|
|Translator(s)||KAZT-CD 36 (UHF) Phoenix|
(for others, see list in article)
Public license information
KAZT-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 7, is an independent television station licensed to Prescott, Arizona, United States and serving the Phoenix television market. The station is owned by the Londen family of Phoenix, and as such, is the only locally owned commercial English-language television station in the Phoenix market. KAZT's studios are located on Tower Road in Prescott, with a secondary studio and sales office 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 five low-power translators across central and northern Arizona, including Class A station KAZT-CD (UHF digital channel 36, also remapped to virtual channel 7 via PSIP) in Phoenix. The station is also carried on cable providers throughout the Phoenix market, as well as on the Phoenix DirecTV and Dish Network local feeds.
William H. Sauro obtained a construction permit on January 7, 1980, for a new channel 7 TV station to serve Prescott. The permit briefly carried the KNAZ call letters; during this time, Sauro sought a network affiliation for the new outlet and was ultimately denied by ABC. On September 29, 1980, the call letters were changed to KUSK. Ground was broken on the station's Prescott studios in November 1981, by which time Sauro's plans had dramatically changed, proposing the "Neighborhood Television" network of more than 140 low-power translators in major markets across the country to air KUSK's programming.
KUSK first signed on the air on September 5, 1982. It initially produced local news and sports programming for northern Arizona, but those programs were cut back in a 1985 wave of layoffs. 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.
It took years for KUSK to gain market-wide cable coverage. In 1993, it finally succeeded in reaching a deal with Dimension Cable (now Cox Communications), the largest cable provider in the market; however, it was only added to rebuilt areas of the cable system, which was not complete until 1996.
On December 5, 1997, KUSK, Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, while the company reorganized. KUSK emerged from bankruptcy in May 2000 and reached a $6.8 million deal later that year to sell the station to Harry Pappas, who would have relaunched KUSK as an Azteca América affiliate. Money problems, however, forced delays in the launch and scuttled most of the network's planned purchases and affiliate switches.
On November 30, 2001, KUSK reached an agreement to sell the station to the Londen family, who own Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company. 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 targeting all of the Phoenix market. It aimed to be 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 received a construction permit on January 22, 1985. Originally assigned the call sign K27AN, it 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. On the 22nd of the month, the station signed on the air under Program Test Authority, but was not licensed until June 30, 1987. In 1992, channel 27 was switched to air the Home Shopping Network (HSN); KUSK programming moved to the channel 17 and 55 translators.
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, its 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 signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|7.1||720p||16:9||KAZT||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 August 17, 2017, a fourth subchannel was added featuring programming from Charge!
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.
Syndicated programs currently on KAZT (as of November 2020) include The Doctors, Rachael Ray, Access Hollywood (and its live counterpart), Family Feud, Personal Injury Court, Justice for All with Judge Cristina Perez, Judge Jerry, The Steve Wilkos Show, Maury and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Saturday programming features repeats of select weekday programs, as well as a current-events show hosted by KFYI radio personality Mike Broomhead. Sundays are devoted to locally produced shows (including an early morning replay of Broomhead's show after an airing of the syndicated Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson), infomercials 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 NHL'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. On January 10, 2015, AZ-TV entered into a partnership with Cox Communications to simulcast five Grand Canyon University Antelopes basketball games that are produced by Cox7 Arizona.
Low-power translators have had a key role in KAZT's history, particularly its ability to reach viewers in Phoenix.
K27AN (today KAZT-CD) in Phoenix signed on April 22, 1986. Sauro obtained two further translators, K55EH from Shaw Butte and K17BU on Usery Mountain, and signed them on, creating a "synthetic full-power station" with the ability to target advertising to smaller sections of the Phoenix metropolitan area.
KAZT also held construction permits for another two translators, channel 43 in Casa Grande and channel 19 in Yuma. The Yuma translator was the last to come on air, beginning broadcasts in 1995; within a year, Yuma viewers accounted for 10 percent of KUSK's audience. At its height, KAZT was seen on eight translators: two in the Phoenix metro; the three in Casa Grande, Flagstaff and Yuma; and three translators in Mohave County.
The channel 17 translator moved to channel 57 when KPHO-TV's digital signal was assigned to that channel. Channels 55 and 57 were then replaced by channel 27 in 2002, shortly after Londen took over.
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 and the increasing prevalence of syndicated fare on KAZT's schedule. It became a repeater of KAET (channel 8) and was sold directly to Arizona State University in 2013.
- Bullhead City: K24DK-D
- Flagstaff: K30DT
- Kingman: K20ID-D
- Lake Havasu City: K17DA-D
- Phoenix: KAZT-CD 36
- "AZ-TV Now All-Digital Channel 7.1 in Phoenix: What You Need To Know (And Do)". Londen Media Group. 2008-01-15. Archived from the original on 2013-01-17. Retrieved 2008-01-15.
- Velotta, Rick (May 18, 1980). "Private Interests Draw Criticism from TV Group". Arizona Daily Sun. p. 8. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
- FCC History Cards for KAZT-TV
- Wilkinson, Bud (November 6, 1981). "Prescott channel aims to go national". Arizona Republic. p. E12. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
- Rabe, Don (March 24, 1985). "Extra Point". Arizona Daily Sun. p. 15. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
- Cohn, Bob (June 10, 1993). "KUSK to cable". The Arizona Republic. p. F2. Retrieved April 13, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Cohn, Bob (March 2, 1995). "KUSK-TV's growth a boon for sports fans". The Arizona Republic. p. D2. Retrieved April 13, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Angela Mull (1997-12-26). "KUSK files Chapter 11 amid shareholder spat". The Business Journal of Phoenix. Retrieved 2007-09-14.
- Rathbun, Elizabeth (October 2, 2000). "New Hispanic net goes on buying binge" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable. p. 15. Retrieved April 13, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Trigoboff, Dan (July 2, 2001). "Not so fast, Pappas" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable. p. 10. Retrieved April 13, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Anne Robertson (2002-04-12). "Londens' are driving force behind KAZT". The Business Journal of Phoenix. Retrieved 2007-12-29.
- Wilkinson, Bud (April 22, 1986). "KTSP-TV general manager accepts Taft executive position". Arizona Republic. p. C9. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
- "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. Archived from the original on 2010-01-08. 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. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- "RTN to Launch in Phoenix, Bringing Total Number of Affiliates to 40". Equity Media Holdings. 2007-12-19. Archived from the original on 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2007-12-21.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "CDBS Print". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
- Walker, Dave (July 4, 1999). "Steiger: The last angry oracle of Old Arizona". pp. E1, E9, E10. Retrieved April 13, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Coyotes Games to Air on AZ-TV". Phoenix Coyotes. 2006-07-13. Archived from the original on 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2007-12-21.
- Wilkinson, Bud (January 6, 1988). "Sports-rich Channel 27 runs option into 'big-time'". The Arizona Republic. p. C6. Retrieved April 13, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Cohn, Bob (April 9, 1992). "Clearing the air?". The Arizona Republic. p. D2. Retrieved April 13, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "On the air". Arizona Daily Sun. October 10, 1992. p. 1. Retrieved April 13, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Wilkinson, Bud (March 13, 1989). "KUSK-TV suitor claims operation needs bailout". The Arizona Republic. p. D11. Retrieved April 13, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Walker, Dave (April 12, 1996). "KUSK (Channel 7, 55, 6, 20, 9, 17, 13) reaches a million from Prescott". Retrieved April 13, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Gintonio, Jim (April 30, 2002). "Prescott station calls on Allen". The Arizona Republic. p. C2. Retrieved April 13, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Gautreaux, Jeffrey (November 13, 2006). "KAZT-TV to sign off in Yuma". Yuma Sun. p. 1. Retrieved April 13, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Station Trading Roundup: 5 Deals, $28.8M". TVNewsCheck. July 23, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Official website
- KAZT-TV in the FCC's TV station database
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KAZT-TV