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KCVU FOX 20 Logo 2013.png
Paradise/Redding/Chico, California
United States
City Paradise, California
Branding Fox 20 (general)
KRCR NewsChannel 7 (newscasts)
Slogan The Northstate's Sports Leader
Channels Digital: 20 (UHF)
(to move to 17 (UHF))
Virtual: 20 (PSIP)
Subchannels 20.1 Fox
20.2 Cozi TV
Translators K38FQ (UHF analog) Anderson/Central Val
Affiliations Fox (1994–present)
Owner Cunningham Broadcasting
(Paradise (KCVU-TV) Licensee, Inc.)
Operator Sinclair Broadcast Group
Founded May 14, 1986
First air date November 14, 1990 (27 years ago) (1990-11-14)
Call letters' meaning Chico
VU (as in "view")
Chico/Sacramento Valley UHF
possible rhyming variations of San Francisco station KTVU
Sister station(s) KRCR-TV
Former callsigns KBCP (1990–1992)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
30 (UHF, 1990–2008)
Former affiliations Primary:
Independent (1990–1994)
UPN (1995–1997)
The WB (1995–1998)
Transmitter power 172 kW
180 kW (CP)
Height 449 m (1,473 ft)
430.6 m (1,413 ft) (CP)
Facility ID 58605
Transmitter coordinates 39°57′42.7″N 121°42′43.1″W / 39.961861°N 121.711972°W / 39.961861; -121.711972
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile

KCVU, virtual and UHF digital channel 20, is a Fox-affiliated television station serving Chico and Redding, California, United States that is licensed to Paradise. Owned by Cunningham Broadcasting, the station is operated by the Sinclair Broadcast Group through a local marketing agreement as part of a virtual duopoly with Sinclair-owned, Redding-licensed ABC affiliate KRCR-TV (channel 7). However, Sinclair effectively owns KCVU as the majority of Cunningham's stock is owned by the family of deceased group founder Julian Smith. It is also sister to five low-power stations owned by Sinclair: Chico-licensed Antenna TV affiliate KXVU-LP (analog channel 14); MyNetworkTV affiliates Chico-licensed KRVU-LD (channel 22) and Redding-licensed KZVU-LD (channel 21); Univision affiliate KUCO-LP (analog channel 27); and UniMás affiliate KKTF-LD (channel 30). The stations share studios located on Auditorium Drive in Redding and maintain a news bureau and sales office at the former Sainte Television Group facilities located on Main Street in downtown Chico, while KCVU's transmitter is located along Cohasset Road northeast of Chico.

KCVU also partially operates a semi-satellite, KBVU (channel 28), which is located in Eureka.


KCVU FOX 20 logo, used from 2008-2013.

Channel 20 was founded by Chester Smith and his company Sainte Partners II, L.P. of Modesto, California, in 1986 and started broadcasting as KBCP in 1990. It was a home shopping channel until 1994, when KBCP picked up a Fox affiliation. It replaced an affiliation on KRCR-TV seen on non-ABC hours since the network's inception in 1986. KRCR's other two satellites in Eureka and Fort Bragg had Fox as well as ABC. More Fox coverage was provided by KTXL and KTVU on Chico and Redding cable systems. With the new affiliation came a call sign change to the current KCVU.

Contract dispute with Northland Cable[edit]

On May 6, 2007, KCVU replaced Medford Fox affiliate KMVU on Northland Cable Television channel 13 in both Mt. Shasta and Yreka when KMVU and Northland could not come to an agreement to remain on the cable system. (Northland also carried sister station MyTV Northern California on cable channel 2, but it was replaced with KFBI-LP of Medford.) Northland had been blocked from airing Fox Network programming as a result. However, in a report from the Siskiyou Daily News on February 8, 2008, it appears that the dispute is settling down and Northland is working with KMVU and KCVU to return either channel to both cable systems. KNVN replaced KMVU on channel 13 in Mt. Shasta and channel 11 in Yreka. KHSL-TV started to air on channel 6 in Yreka and KDRV is also on channel 6 in Mt. Shasta. KMVU finally won the contract dispute and KCVU will no longer air on both cable systems because all Fox affiliates are under syndex. KMVU and all the other local stations are fed to Yreka via OTA translator and has a fiber-optic link to Mt. Shasta except for KNVN which uses a Dish Network feed.

Death of Chester Smith[edit]

The Sacramento Bee and Chico Enterprise Record reported that Chester Smith, founder of Sainte Partners, died on August 8, 2008, at Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, California at age 78. He was survived by his wife Ann and his children. Despite Smith's death, Sainte continued to own and operate KCVU and its sister stations in the Sainte family.[1][2] The family continued to operate the station group despite poor financial practices.

KBVU and KVIQ went digital on November 28, 2008, and were rebranded from Fox 29 and CBS 6 to Fox 28 and CBS 17, respectively.

In August 2012, it was announced that Sainte would sell KCVU & KBVU to Esteem Broadcasting of California, and would fully merge its operations with ABC affiliates KRCR & KAEF.[3]

Sale to Cunningham[edit]

On April 21, 2017, Sinclair Broadcast Group announced its intent to purchase the Bonten stations (including KRCR) for $240 million.[4] As part of the deal, Sinclair's sidecar Cunningham Broadcasting will acquire the Esteem stations (including KCVU).[5] The sale was completed September 1.[6]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[7][8]
20.1 720p 16:9 KCVU-DT Main programming / Fox
20.2 480i 4:3 Cozi TV Cozi TV

On August 21, 2009, KCVU and KBVU replaced the digital simulcast of MyNetworkTV with This TV on their DT2 subcarriers. This was later replaced with Cozi TV.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KCVU shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 30, on December 22, 2008, due to lack of funding and used its existing digital facilities, as did its other debt-ridden rivals KHSL and KNVN.[9] The virtual channel was changed from 30 to 20 and the station was rebranded as "Fox 20 Digital."

High definition[edit]

Fox programs broadcast from 8-10 p.m. are broadcast in high definition, as are sporting events on such as Major League Baseball, NASCAR and NFL Football. Unlike co-owned market competitors KHSL and KNVN, however, none of KCVU's syndicated programming (most of which is distributed in high definition) is broadcast in HD. It is unknown when this will change.


Regionally distributed, locally produced programs[edit]

Fox 20 provides facilities and services to tape local programs from its studios in Chico. There are currently no local programs scheduled. (Two of the station's longtime regional programs, Issues & Answers and Pray Northstate, were cancelled in 2010 by management.)

Regional Programs formerly produced by or at Fox 20[edit]

  • Spotlight - hosted by Lisa Shaw, then Katey Bailey (2002–2003)
    • Pilot was called Community Spotlight hosted by Shaw in September 2002
  • Issues & Answers - hosted by Georgie Hall, Ron Pate, Peter Hansen and Georgie Szendrey (1998-2010)
  • Pray Northstate - Hosted by Pastor Jim Wilson (2005–2010, started on KGEC-TV, forced off the air by the FCC due to a closed-captioning issue)[citation needed]
  • Randy & Monica: Almost Live! - hosted by Randy and Monica Zachary (2007–2008)
  • [Real] Music - ten episodes with musical performances by local or visiting musicians (2004–2005)

News operation[edit]

From February 2004 to June 2005, Fox 30 News at 10:00 pm was produced by KRCR-TV, utilizing that station's news department.

On April 1, 2013, KCVU relaunched its local news coverage with KRCR News Channel 7 at 10 on FOX 20, which airs weeknights at 10pm with Tracey Leong and Mark Mester as anchors.

Cable systems[edit]

Cable Provider Area 20.1(Fox) 20.2 (Cozi)
Comcast Butte & Glenn Counties 2 & 702 (HD) 198
Charter Shasta & Tehama Counties 2 & 780 (HD) 285
Suddenlink (via KBVU) Humboldt County 2 & 102 (HD) 128
New Day Broadband Palo Cedro/Weaverville 2
Windjammer (via Satellite) Burney 8


KCVU has one translator station:

Station City of license Channel Founded ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter Coordinates
K38FQ1 Anderson/Central Val
38 (UHF analog)1 December 22, 1997 150 kW 387 m 58611 40°39′16.0″N 122°31′13.0″W / 40.654444°N 122.520278°W / 40.654444; -122.520278 (K38FQ)

KCVU or any of its sister stations no longer broadcast north of Shasta County or south of Butte County.

  • 1: K38FQ was licensed on UHF analog channel 43 under the callsign K43DW and later on UHF channel 20 as K20FP between 1997 and 1999

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Obituary: Chester Smith, Modesto-area country music singer and radio broadcaster Archived 2009-03-04 at the Wayback Machine. (The Sacramento Bee: August 11, 2008)
  2. ^ TV station owner Chester Smith dies (Chico Enterprise Record: August 11, 2008)
  3. ^ Clash of the broadcasts, Tom Gascoyne, Chico News & Review, January 3, 2013
  4. ^ "Sinclair Buying Bonten Stations For $240M". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  6. ^ Consummation Notice, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  7. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KCVU
  8. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KBVU
  9. ^ "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.

External links[edit]

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX