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KCOY 12 Current Logo.png
Santa Maria / Santa Barbara /
San Luis Obispo, California
United States
City Santa Maria
Branding KCOY 12 (general)
Central Coast News (newscasts)
Fox 11 (on DT2)
Channels Digital: 19 (UHF)
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
Subchannels 12.1 CBS
12.2 Fox
Translators KSBB-CD 17 Santa Barbara
K44DN 44 Paso Robles
Affiliations CBS (secondary until 1969)
Owner VistaWest Media, LLC
(VistaWest California, LLC)
Operator News-Press & Gazette Company
First air date March 16, 1964; 53 years ago (1964-03-16)
Sister station(s) KEYT-TV, KKFX-CD
Former channel number(s) Analog:
12 (VHF, 1964–2009)
Former affiliations NBC (1964–1969)
Transmitter power 130 kW
Height 579 metres (1,900 feet)
Facility ID 63165
Transmitter coordinates 34°54′37.2″N 120°11′12.8″W / 34.910333°N 120.186889°W / 34.910333; -120.186889
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website www.kcoy.com

KCOY-TV is the CBS-affiliated television station for the Central Coast of California that is licensed to Santa Maria. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 19 from a transmitter on Tepusquet Peak in the Los Padres National Forest east of Santa Maria. Owned by VistaWest Media, KCOY is operated by News-Press & Gazette Company through a shared services agreement, making it sister stations to ABC affiliate KEYT-TV, and Class A Fox affiliate KKFX-CD. KCOY and KKFX share studios on West McCoy Lane in Santa Maria. Its signal can also be seen on repeater K44DN (on channel 44 from a transmitter northwest of Paso Robles) licensed to Paso Robles and on KSBB-CD (channel 17) in Santa Barbara.


The station went on-the-air on March 16, 1964. KCOY would not have existed if it were not for the Federal Communications Commission's decision in 1959 to move KFRE-TV (now KFSN-TV) in Fresno from channel 12 to channel 30 under pressure from politicians in the Central Coast. This allowed channel 12 to be used in Santa Maria. The station signed on as Santa Barbara County's NBC affiliate, sharing CBS with ABC affiliate KEYT.

It was owned for more than a dozen years by Central Coast Broadcasters, who acquired the station from the near bankruptcy of the original owners on August 1, 1968.[1] The consortium of local business people including Mili Acquistapace and Burns Rick, was headed by Helen Pedotti, who had previously not even owned a television set, but took personal interest in the operation of the station.[2] The station took its current affiliation with CBS in 1969 with the consolidation of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties into a single market; KSBY in San Luis Obispo became the NBC affiliate for the enlarged market. It was owned by Stauffer Communications from the early-1980s until 1995 when the company merged with Morris Communications. However, the FCC did not allow Morris to keep the former Stauffer television stations due to the agency's rules in effect at the time against newspaper / broadcast station cross-ownership which affected several of the Stauffer markets where Morris already owned newspapers. KCOY was sold along with most of its sisters to Benedek Broadcasting in 1996. Three years later, Benedek traded KCOY to the Ackerley Group for that company's KKTV in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In 2002, Ackerley was bought out by Clear Channel Communications.

On April 20, 2007, Clear Channel entered into an agreement to sell its entire television stations group to Newport Television, a broadcasting holding company controlled by the private equity firm Providence Equity Partners. The sale was finalized on March 14, 2008.[3] However, due to Providence Equity Partners' partial ownership of media properties which serve portions of the Santa Maria / San Luis Obispo market, KCOY and sister station KKFX-CA were resold to the Cowles Publishing Company with the group deal closing on May 7, 2008.[4][5]

Even after being sold, Newport Television's website still listed KCOY and KKFX as two of its owned stations for several months afterward.

The station moved their studio to the current location back in the late-1980s. The previous location was at 1503 North McClelland Street.[6] That building has now been converted into a church. KCOY was the hometown station in 2005 when it covered the trial of Michael Jackson since it was held at the Llewelyn Justice Center in Santa Maria.

For several years in the late-1970s and early-1980s, the KCOY Film Festival was a special event for most of Santa Maria media. Employees of the station would make creative videos many of them a parody of the regular broadcasts. Those videos and bloopers from that era have been saved and posted for on YouTube.[7][8][9] These slices of history featuring many of the station's personalities show how the station looked in that era.

On September 20, 2013, News-Press & Gazette Company, owner of KEYT-TV in Santa Barbara, announced that it would take over some of KCOY's operations (including its news operation) under a shared services agreement. Sister station KKFX-CA, as well as Monterey sister stations KION-TV and KMUV-LP, will be sold to NPG directly.[10] The sale was completed on December 13.[11] Almost immediately following consummation, the KCOY web site was folded into the KEYT web site. On December 26, Cowles composed a deal to sell KCOY to VistaWest Media, a company based in St. Joseph, Missouri (where NPG is also based); the station will remain operated by NPG under a shared services agreement.[12] The sale was completed on January 30, 2015.[13]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[14]
12.1 1080i 16:9 KCOY-HD Main KCOY-TV programming / CBS
12.2 480i 4:3 FOX-DT Simulcast of KKFX-CD

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KCOY-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 12, on February 17, 2009, the original target date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 19.[15] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 12.


KCOY is also the first in the Santa Maria / Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo market to broadcast a high definition signal. In addition to being offered for free over-the-air, it can be found on digital cable systems including Comcast channel 212, Cox channel 712, and Charter channel 782. In addition to over-the-air, KCOY's signal is rebroadcast on K44DN analog channel 44 in Paso Robles. KCOY is also seen on KSBB-CD Ch. 17 in Santa Barbara.


Some of KCOY's syndicated programming consists of The Doctors, Dr. Phil, Judge Judy, Family Feud, and Entertainment Tonight.

News operation[edit]

Their studios at the corner of Skyway Drive and McCoy Lane in Santa Maria.

KCOY produces its local newscasts both for the station itself and for sister station KKFX, totaling 30½ hours, with 5½ hours on weekdays and 90 minutes on weekends. On weekdays, a two-hour morning newscast is shown at 5 a.m., with an additional hour over on KKFX since CBS This Morning is carried on KCOY. Half-hour blocks are broadcast at 5, 6, and a 35-minute wrap at 11 p.m. On weekends there is a half-hour newscast at 11 p.m. Like rival KSBY, KCOY does not produce a midday newscast nor a weekend morning newscast.

Central Coast News This Morning airs weekdays from 5 to 7 a.m. on KCOY. Unlike most CBS affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone, KCOY does not air midday news during the week. In addition to the main studios, the station operates from a bureau in San Luis Obispo (on Pacific Street) and Santa Barbera (at the KEYT studios).

KCOY and KKFX broadcast their news in high definition starting in July 2011, New flatscreens were also added similar to KION and KCBA.

On January 6, 2012, the station announced that in an effort to cut costs, a round of layoffs was announced that includes the elimination of the sports department, cutting its morning show to only one hour on weekdays, and having the evening newscasts to be based at the KION/KCBA studios.[16] Layoffs include chief meteorologist Jim Byrne and sports anchor Kevin Roose, although weeknight anchor Arturo Santiago[17] and sports anchor Dave Alley[18] will shift to reporting duties. On May 5, 2014, KCOY resumed Live Newscasts, Based Out Of KEYT In Santa Barbara.

Former notable on-air staff[edit]

  • Lori Brown formerly Lori Aufdemorte (San Luis Obispo County reporter and sub anchor on KCOY CBS 12 Sunrise and Noon) now reporter at WMC 5 Memphis, TN
  • Lee Cowan Reporter for NBC News, July 2007–present
  • Roger Hernandez (Former Weekend Weather anchor and currently Head Weather anchor at KTAS 33 Telemundo in Santa Maria, CA)
  • David Kerley (11 p.m. News and 6 p.m. Sports Anchor in the 1970s, now a Correspondent for ABC News)[19]
  • David Lee (sports anchor 1990–1991)[20]
  • Lon McEachern (Sports Anchor and Reporter in the early 1980s, now Poker Analyst for ESPN's World Series of Poker)
  • Scott Reiss (Sports Anchor 1997-2000; Currently at Comcast Sports Bay Area)
  • Rick DeBruhl (Sports and News Anchor 1977-1978; Currently ESPN Motorsports Reporter)


  1. ^ http://www.davidgleason.com/Archive-BC-YB/1973/A%201973.pdf
  2. ^ http://www.independent.com/news/2010/feb/18/helen-pedotti-1916-2010/
  3. ^ "Clear Channel Agrees to Sell Television Station Group to Providence Equity Partners" (Press release). Clear Channel Communications. 2007-04-20. Retrieved 2007-04-20. 
  4. ^ Deals - 10/8/2007 - Broadcasting & Cable
  5. ^ Cowles Company expands into California
  6. ^ http://data.rtknet.org/rcris/rcris.php?reptype=f&database=rcris&detail=3&datype=T&all_handler=x&handler_id=CAD982012528
  7. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biuglhtmVVU&feature=PlayList&p=2A2743BB525405C0&index=1&playnext=2&playnext_from=PL
  8. ^ http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/just_plain_stupid/KCOY_Promo
  9. ^ http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/just_plain_stupid/Sheena_is_a_Punk_Rocker
  10. ^ "KCOY to 'share services' with KEYT parent company under planned station purchases". Santa Maria Times. September 23, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  11. ^ [1] NewsChannel 3 Owner Completes Purchase of Fox 11, KEYT, 13 December, 2013, Retrieved 17 December, 2013.
  12. ^ Application For Consent To Assignment Of Broadcast Station Construction Permit Or License, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 13 January, 2014
  13. ^ Consummation Notice, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 2 February, 2015.
  14. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KCOY
  15. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  16. ^ Weatherman Jim Byrne among 13 laid off at KCOY, KKFX The Tribune. Posted on January 5, 2012; updated on January 6, 2012.
  17. ^ KCOY lays off 13 people Cal Coast News. Retrieved on January 6, 2012.
  18. ^ KCOY, KKFX lays off employees Santa Maria Times. Retrieved on January 16, 2012.
  19. ^ "TV reporter Kerley off to ABC in D.C.". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 10 February 2004. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  20. ^ "David Lee's LinkedIn profile". Retrieved 12 March 2013. 

External links[edit]