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(semi-satellite of KIMA-TV, Yakima, Washington)
KEPR logo

KIMA-KEPR-DT2 Logo.png
Pasco/Richland/Kennewick, Washington
United States
Branding KEPR (general)
KEPR Action News (newscasts)
(pronounced "keeper")
CW 9 Yakima/Tri-Cities (on DT2)
Slogan Taking Action for You
Channels Digital: 18 (UHF)
Virtual: 19 (PSIP)
Subchannels (see article)
Affiliations CBS
Owner Sinclair Broadcast Group
(Sinclair Yakima Licensee, LLC)
First air date December 28, 1954; 62 years ago (1954-12-28)
Call letters' meaning KEnnewick, Pasco, Richland
Sister station(s) KIMA-TV, KLEW-TV,
Former channel number(s) 19 (UHF analog, 1954–2009)
Former affiliations NBC (1954–1965)
ABC (1954–1970)
both secondary
Transmitter power 32.43 kW
Height 355.5 m
Facility ID 56029
Transmitter coordinates 46°5′50.5″N 119°11′33.4″W / 46.097361°N 119.192611°W / 46.097361; -119.192611

KEPR-TV (pronounced "keeper"), virtual channel 19, is the CBS affiliated television station for the Tri-Cities area of Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick, Washington. It is licensed to Pasco. It is sister station to KIMA-TV in Yakima, Washington and KLEW-TV in Lewiston, Idaho. Its studios are located on West Lewis Street (U.S. 395) in Pasco, KEPR's transmitter is located on Johnson Butte near Kennewick.

Though identifying as a station in its own right, KEPR is considered a semi-satellite of KIMA. It clears all of KIMA's syndicated programming, but airs separate IDs and commercials. On satellite, both Dish Network and DirecTV carry KEPR-TV along with KIMA-TV.

All of KEPR's programming is run out of Fisher Plaza in Seattle. KEPR is also a sister station to Univision affiliates KVVK-CA and KORX-CA.

KEPR's morning and weekend newscasts are shared with KIMA-TV. Branded as "KIMA/KEPR Action News", they cover both the Columbia Basin and the Yakima Valley. KEPR continues to air its own 5, 6 & 11 p.m. newscasts.

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP short name Programming [1]
19.1 1080i 16:9 KEPR-HD Main KEPR-TV programming / CBS
19.2 720p KEPR-CW CW 9
19.3 480i 4:3 Grit TV


KEPR-TV went on the air for the first time December 28, 1954 as a satellite of KIMA-TV. It was owned by Cascade Broadcasting Company, which also owned 40 percent of KWIE (610 AM) in Kennewick. Cascade bought the remaining 60 percent of KWIE in 1956[2] and changed its call letters to KEPR, matching the television station, the following year.[3]

A few years earlier, the Federal Communications Commission collapsed all of central Washington into one giant television market. However, this market was designated a "UHF island" due to being sandwiched between Seattle to the west, Spokane to the east and Portland to the south. It soon became apparent that one full-power UHF station would not be nearly enough to adequately cover this vast and mountainous area. KEPR-TV thus signed on as the first station in the United States to be a satellite of another.

Original plans called for it to be a straight repeater of KIMA-TV, apart from station identifications. However, it soon became apparent that Tri-Cities residents wanted a more local station. Monte Strohl, who until then had been a radio salesman at KIMA, was installed as the first manager-salesman of KEPR-TV. The station also added a separate news department.

Like its parent station, KEPR-TV carried programming from all three networks, but was a primary CBS affiliate. It lost NBC in 1965 when KNDU followed the lead of parent station KNDO and became a full-time NBC affiliate, and lost ABC when KVEW signed on along with parent KAPP in 1970. During the 1970s, the two stations co-branded as "Cascade TV."

KEPR produces Community Health Journal with Jim Hall, a former anchorman for the station who is now with Kadlec Medical Center in Richland. The program has aired for 15 years, making it one of the longest-running magazine programs in the market.

Filmways agreed to purchase Cascade Broadcasting for $3 million in 1968;[4] the sale was approved the following year.[5] Cascade's previous owners retained the company's radio stations, which by this point also included KEPR-FM (105.3 FM), under the name Yakima Valley Communications; the KEPR radio stations then changed their call letters to KONA and KONA-FM.[4][5] Filmways sold KEPR-TV, KIMA-TV, and KLEW-TV to NWG Broadcasting for $1 million in 1972.[6] Retlaw Enterprises acquired the NWG stations for $17 million in 1986;[7] the stations were operated as part of the Retlaw Broadcasting division.[8] Fisher Communications purchased KEPR-TV along with the other Retlaw owned stations in 1999.[9]

KEPR logo prior to 2007

In 2000, KEPR became the first station in the Tri-Cities to broadcast a digital signal with the activation of a low-power, standard definition signal on channel 18; this was upgraded to a full-power, high definition signal in 2007. The digital signal remained on channel 18 following the end of analog broadcasting in 2009; using PSIP to display its virtual channel as 19.

On March 30, 2009, KEPR launched a digital subchannel affiliated with The CW, filling the void left by KCWK (channel 9) going dark at the end of May 2008 due to the Pappas Telecasting bankruptcy.[10] The subchannel subsequently took KCWK's former channel 9 position on local cable systems. As had been the case with KCWK, programming is primarily sourced from the network's CW Plus feed, though there is a 10 p.m. newscast on weeknights.

On April 11, 2013, Fisher announced that it would sell its properties, including KEPR-TV, to the Sinclair Broadcast Group.[11] The deal was completed on August 8, 2013.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "FCC Approves Universal's $10 Million Sale to Whitney" (PDF). Broadcasting–Telecasting. October 15, 1956. p. 84. Retrieved June 8, 2016. 
  3. ^ "For the Record" (PDF). Broadcasting–Telecasting. February 11, 1957. p. 117. Retrieved June 8, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Filmways gets Cascade TV's for $3 million" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 30, 1968. p. 57. Retrieved June 8, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Filmways spreads wings in TV" (PDF). Broadcasting. July 28, 1969. p. 32. Retrieved June 8, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. July 3, 1972. pp. 22–3. Retrieved June 8, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. October 27, 1986. p. 116. Retrieved June 8, 2016. 
  8. ^ Peltz, James F. (October 2, 1990). "The Wonderful World of Disney's Other Firm : Entertainment: Walt Disney created a separate company for his family. Retlaw Enterprises Inc. is now worth hundreds of millions.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "8-K For 7/1/99". Fisher Communications Inc. filings. Retrieved October 20, 2007. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Malone, Michael (April 11, 2013). "Sinclair to Acquire Fisher Stations for $373 Million". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Sinclair Broadcast Group Closes On Fisher Communications Acquisition". All Access. August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013. 

External links[edit]