|Slogan||Wichita... And the World|
|Channels||Digital: 23 (UHF)|
Virtual: 5 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||.01–.10 480i 4:3|
|Affiliations||5.01 This TV/AMGTV|
5.04 Opportunity Knocks TV
5.05 Punch TV Network
5.06 Estrella TV
5.07 Vibrant TV Network
5.08 Right Now TV
5.09 The Country Network
|Owner||River City Broadcasters, Inc.|
|First air date||1996|
|Former callsigns||K55FS (1992–1996)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
55 (UHF, 1992–1996)
5 (VHF, 1996–2009)
43 (UHF, until 2018)
43 (PSIP, until 2018)
|Former affiliations||Primary: Pax TV / i / Ion (2001–2008)|
Secondary: UATV (to 5/2006)
Estrella TV (until 2019)
LD4: Estrella TV (2010)
|Transmitter power||2.7 kW|
|Height||70 m (230 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile|
KCTU-LD, virtual channel 5 (UHF digital channel 23), is a low-power television station licensed to Wichita, Kansas, United States. The station is owned by River City Broadcasters, Inc. KCTU's studios are located on Broadway Street, south of downtown. The station's transmitter is located atop 250 Douglas Place in downtown Wichita. On cable, the station is available on AT&T U-verse channel 43.
The station first signed on the air in 1992. On February 1, 1998, KCTU became the first commercial television station in the world to stream its programming online 24 hours a day to reach more viewers. In 2001, KCTU affiliated with Pax TV (now Ion Television). Because of the local programming and other network affiliations carried by the station (including a secondary affiliation with Urban America Television that lasted until that network's shutdown in May 2006), the station did not air as many infomercials as most Pax/i/Ion affiliates. The station dropped the network in 2008.
On May 10, 2007, the principal owners of KCTU through N&H Publishing Corp. announced the acquisition of the Wichita City Paper. Planned topics are similar to those featured on the local programs seen on the station including local and consumer news, religious topics and veterans' issues. The local television program guide that was formerly featured as an insert in The Prospector, also began appearing in the City Paper.
Ron and Sheryl Nutt, owners, placed the station up for sale in July 2012 with a July 22 deadline for offers.
In late July 2013, TV Scout was added as the station's fourth subchannel with some initial formatting glitches.
As it is a low-powered station, KCTU is not carried on Cox Communications as it is not obligated to carry KCTU under "must-carry" regulations as those rules do not currently apply to low-power stations. According to KCTU, the station presented the provider with a petition from 6,000 Cox subscribers and community leaders to carry the station. Cox refused to give KCTU channel space for free. According to KCTU, Cox increased their lease fee to $70,264 per month. This has led KCTU to encourage Cox subscribers to keep demanding that it carry the station, and to watch KCTU's programming over-the-air and on the internet. On June 28, 2011, AT&T U-verse began to carry KCTU on channel 43; the provider had previously carried all the Wichita–Hutchinson market's other low-power stations.
In addition to its various network programming, the station also produces some local public affairs programming, including the news and interview program Your Hour which airs weekdays at noon. A female-oriented talk show called Mouthy Broads airs Wednesdays at 6 p.m.
The station previously fielded a news department, headed for a number of years by R.J. Dickens and produced hour-long newscasts at 4 p.m. during the early 2000s. That program was reduced by a half-hour and aired at 4:30 between 2004 and 2005. The last regular news broadcast aired March 3, 2005 though news segments have appeared over the years, primarily as an insert during Your Hour. The news department also produced Spanish-language newscasts and updates for KSMI-LP during the time they were affiliated with Azteca América under River City ownership.
KCTU also had produced a program called The River City Forum with permanent hosts each weeknight and rotating fill-in hosts.
KCTU was nominated for a Heartland Emmy Award for Best Dayside Newscast in 2005, reportedly the first such nomination for an English-language low-power station in a Nielsen Top 160 market. The station received a second nomination in 2010 for news graphics.
Each holiday season, starting Thanksgiving night and running through Christmas Eve, the station airs the early 1980s-era version of Santa's Workshop—a long running Wichita TV program featuring Henry Harvey as Santa.
- Neil, Denise (June 30, 2011). "AT&T's U-verse adds local KCTU station". The Wichita Eagle. McClatchy Company. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- Wichita Business Journal, February 16, 1998.
- Rusco, Lainie (May 10, 2007). "Wichita City Paper under new ownership". Wichita Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- SIEBENMARK, JERRY (August 13, 2010). "KCTU adds EstrellaTV network". The Wichita Eagle. McClatchy Company. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- Voorhis, Dan (July 10, 2012). "Local low-power TV station for sale". The Wichita Eagle. McClatchy Company. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- Lefler, Dion (August 2, 2013). "Over-the-air TV viewers will get on-screen program guide, too". The Wichita Eagle/Kansas.com. McClatchy Company. Retrieved July 10, 2014.