|Channels||Digital: 17 (UHF)|
Virtual: 20 (PSIP)
|Branding||Fox 20 (general)|
The Northstate's Ten O' Clock News (newscasts)
|Slogan||We're Here for You|
|Affiliations||20.1: Fox (1994–present)|
|Owner||Cunningham Broadcasting |
(Eureka (KBVU-TV) Licensee, Inc.)
|Operator||Sinclair Broadcast Group|
|Founded||May 14, 1986|
First air date
|November 14, 1990|
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
30 (UHF, 1990–2008)
20 (UHF, until 2020)
The WB (1995–1998)
Cozi TV (until 2018)
Call sign meaning
VU (as in "view")
Chico/Sacramento Valley UHF
possible rhyming variations of San Francisco station KTVU
|ERP||37.02 kW (STA)|
180 kW (CP)
|HAAT||372 m (1,220 ft) (STA)|
430.6 m (1,413 ft) (CP)
|Translator(s)||KRCR-DT 20.1 (7.4 VHF) Redding|
K38FQ (UHF) Anderson/Central Val
Public license information
KCVU, virtual channel 20 (UHF digital channel 17), is a Fox-affiliated television station serving Chico and Redding, California, United States that is licensed to Paradise. Owned by Cunningham Broadcasting, it is operated under a local marketing agreement (LMA) by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, making it a sister station to 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); Chico-licensed Univision affiliate KUCO-LD (channel 27); and Chico-licensed UniMás affiliate KKTF-LD (channel 30). The stations share studios on Auditorium Drive east of downtown Redding and maintain a news bureau and sales office at the former Sainte Television Group facilities on Main Street in downtown Chico (for FCC and other legal purposes, the Chico/Paradise-licensed stations still use the Chico address and Redding-licensed stations use the Redding address). KCVU's transmitter is located along Cohasset Road northeast of Chico.
KBVU (channel 28) in Eureka operates as a semi-satellite of KCVU. As such, it clears all network programming as provided through its parent station but airs a separate offering of syndicated programming; there are also separate local newscasts, commercial inserts and legal station identifications. Although KBVU maintains its own studios (shared with LMA partner KAEF-TV) on Sixth Street in downtown Eureka, master control and some internal operations are based at KCVU's facilities.
The station was founded in 1986 by Chester Smith and his company Sainte Partners II, L.P. of Modesto, California, and started broadcasting as KBCP on channel 30 in 1990. It was a home shopping channel until 1994, when KBCP obtained 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 carried both Fox and ABC programming. Additional Fox coverage was provided by KTXL and KTVU on Chico and Redding cable systems. With the new affiliation, the station changed its callsign to KCVU.
Carriage dispute with Northland Cable
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 for KMVU 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.) As a result, Northland was blocked from airing Fox network programming.
On February 8, 2008, the Siskiyou Daily News reported that the dispute was being resolved and Northland was 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 won the carriage dispute, and KCVU is no longer available on either cable system because all Fox affiliates are under syndex. KMVU and all other local stations are fed to Yreka via OTA translator. These stations all have fiber optic links to Mt. Shasta, except for KNVN, which uses a Dish Network feed.
Death of Chester Smith
The Sacramento Bee and Chico Enterprise Record reported that the founder of Sainte Partners, Chester Smith, died on August 8, 2008, at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, California, at the age of 78. He was survived by his wife and his children. Despite Smith's death, Sainte continued to own and operate KCVU and its sister stations in the Sainte family. The family continued to operate the station group despite poor financial practices.
On November 28, 2008, KBVU and KVIQ converted to digital broadcasting and were re-branded from Fox 29 and CBS 6 to Fox 28 and CBS 17, respectively.
In August 2012, it was announced that Sainte would sell KCVU and KBVU to Esteem Broadcasting of California and would fully merge its operations with ABC affiliates KRCR and KAEF.
Sale to Cunningham
On April 21, 2017, Sinclair Broadcast Group announced its intent to purchase the Bonten stations, including KRCR, for $240 million. As part of the deal, Sinclair's sidecar Cunningham Broadcasting acquired the Esteem stations, including KCVU. The sale was completed September 1, 2017.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|20.1||720p||16:9||KCVU-DT||Main KCVU programming / Fox|
On December 22, 2008, KCVU shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 30, due to lack of funding; KCVU used its existing digital facilities, as did its other debt-ridden rivals KHSL and KNVN. The virtual channel was changed from 30 to 20 and the station was re-branded as "Fox 20 Digital".
Fox programs broadcast from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. in high definition, as are sporting events 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 be changed.
Regionally distributed, locally produced programs
KCVU 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 KCVU
- 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)
- 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)
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 10 p.m. with Tracey Leong and Mark Mester as anchors.
|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|
|38 (UHF analog)1||December 22, 1997||150 kW||387 m||58611|
KCVU and all 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 call-sign K43DW and later on UHF channel 20 as K20FP between 1997 and 1999.
- Channel 17 digital TV stations in the United States
- Channel 20 virtual TV stations in the United States
- 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)
- TV station owner Chester Smith dies Archived 2012-10-20 at the Wayback Machine (Chico Enterprise Record: August 11, 2008)
- Clash of the broadcasts, Tom Gascoyne, Chico News & Review, January 3, 2013
- "Sinclair Buying Bonten Stations For $240M". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
- SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT TO PURCHASE BONTEN MEDIA GROUP TV STATIONS - Sinclair Broadcast Group
- Consummation Notice, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 6 September 2017.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KCVU
- "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.
- KCVU in the FCC's TV station database
- K38FQ in the FCC's TV station database
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KCVU-TV