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KEYT 2013 Logo.png
Santa Barbara/Santa Maria/
San Luis Obispo, California
United States
CitySanta Barbara, California
Brandinggeneral: Channel 3
newscasts: News Channel 3
DT2: News Now
Where the News Comes First (primary)
Your News, Your Team (secondary)
ChannelsDigital: 27 (UHF)
Virtual: 3 (PSIP)
TranslatorsK31KE-D San Luis Obispo
Affiliations3.1: ABC (secondary until 1964)
3.2: Local news & events/MyNetworkTV
3.3: Bounce TV
OwnerNews-Press & Gazette Company
(NPG of California, LLC)
First air dateJuly 24, 1953 (66 years ago) (1953-07-24)
Call letters' meaningKEY Television
KEY Channel Three
Sister station(s)KCOY-TV, KKFX-CD,
Former callsignsKEYT (1953–1987)
Former channel number(s)Analog:
3 (VHF, 1953–2009)
Former affiliationsPrimary:
NBC (1953–1964)
Retro TV (2007–2017 (on DT2))
DuMont (1953–1954)
CBS (1953–1969)
Transmitter power250 kW
Height918 m (3,012 ft)
Facility ID60637
Transmitter coordinates34°31′32″N 119°57′32″W / 34.52556°N 119.95889°W / 34.52556; -119.95889
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile

KEYT-TV, virtual channel 3 (UHF digital channel 27), is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Santa Barbara, California, United States and serving the Central Coast of California. Owned by the News-Press & Gazette Company (NPG), it is a sister station to San Luis Obispo-licensed low-powered, Class A Fox affiliate KKFX-CD (channel 24); NPG also operates Santa Maria-licensed CBS affiliate KCOY-TV (channel 12) through a shared services agreement (SSA) with owner VistaWest Media, LLC. KEYT's studios are located at 730 Miramonte Drive on TV Hill, overlooking downtown Santa Barbara; KCOY and KKFX share separate facilities on West McCoy Lane in Santa Maria. KEYT's transmitter is located atop Broadcast Peak, between Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez in the Santa Ynez Mountains.


KEYT-TV first signed on the air on July 24, 1953. During the 1950s, the station ran programming from all four TV networks: ABC, CBS, DuMont, and NBC.[1] It lost NBC in 1964 when KCOY in adjacent Santa Maria signed on. It then shared CBS with KCOY until 1969, when the inclusion of San Luis Obispo County into the Santa Barbara–Santa Maria market resulted in KEYT becoming exclusively affiliated with ABC. KCOY became the CBS affiliate, and KSBY in San Luis Obispo became Santa Barbara's NBC affiliate. KEYT channel 3 has identified its local newscasts as KEY News since the 1980s.

Between KEYT's launch of its HDTV signal on March 2007 and September 2007, KEYT-HD was initially unavailable to cable subscribers in the Central Coast due to a contract dispute with the local cable companies. KEYT has since reached an agreement with Cox Communications in Santa Barbara, Comcast in Santa Maria, and as of late October 2007, with Charter Cable in San Luis Obispo to carry its HDTV signal. In 2012 Time Warner Cable in Ventura County carried its HDTV signal.

On September 7, 2012, News-Press & Gazette Company announced that it had entered into an agreement to purchase KEYT from Smith Media for $14.3 million.[2] The transaction, which was approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on November 6,[3] was completed on November 19, 2012.[4][5] Smith Media owned KEYT since 1987.

On January 28, 2013, KEYT retired the longtime KEY News branding and with the new owner's purchase rebranded themselves as NewsChannel 3. The branding is similar to now Palm Springs sister station, KESQ-TV. Its newscasts and site now include a new graphics package that is similar to all NPG stations and is operated by Internet Broadcasting.

On April 1, 2013, KEYT began broadcasting news in High Definition.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[6]
3.1 720p 16:9 KEYT-HD Main KEYT-TV programming / ABC
3.2 1080i Now Local news & events / MyNetworkTV
3.3 480i Bounce Bounce TV

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KEYT-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 3, 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 27.[7] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 3.


Syndicated programming featured on KEYT includes Live with Kelly and Ryan, The Dr. Oz Show, Extra, TMZ and Access.

News Now[edit]

"My RTV" logo, used from 2009 to 2017

When KEYT acquired the MyNetworkTV affiliation in June 2006, it initially showed only MyNetworkTV programming, with a test pattern running outside of network programming hours.[8] By the fall of 2007, the station had managed to obtain syndication broadcast rights to Family Guy and South Park, and officially launched its second digital subchannel under the branding "MyNetworkTV Central Coast" in October 2007, replacing Los Angeles-based MyNetworkTV affiliate KCOP on all cable systems in the Central Coast region.

The subchannel initially ran a standard-definition simulcast of KEYT's primary channel outside of MyNetworkTV programming. On October 30, 2007, KEYT-DT2 added a secondary affiliation with the Luken Communications-owned Retro Television Network to RTV programming outside of MyNetworkTV prime time program slots.[9] The subchannel subsequently changed its branding to "My RTN" to coincide with the new affiliation, later changing to "My RTV" after the network modified its on-air acronym to "RTV", then finally "My Retro TV".

On April 18, 2017, the 3.2 subchannel dropped Retro TV because station management was unsure of it continuing as a going concern with a declining affiliate base, along with contractual restrictions on using it as an overflow channel for breaking news. (Before that date, it was the only "Big Three" network affiliate nationwide left still carrying the network as a subchannel). In the interim, the station relaunched KEYT-DT2 as News Now, airing simulcasts and rebroadcasts of newscasts from KEYT-TV and KKFX-CD, along with live rolling coverage of local political events, news coverage and other public affairs and local interest programming; the subchannel continues to carry MyNetworkTV programming in primetime.[10][11][12]

The News-Press & Gazette Company announced on October 10, 2018 that it would be converting KSBB-CD to ATSC 3.0 operations, airing News Now in that format, with its own ATSC 1.0 signal and programming being moved to a subchannel of KEYT-TV.[13]

Notable former on-air staff[edit]


KEYT also operates a translator to extend its coverage area into San Luis Obispo County. It operates a repeater station in San Luis Obispo, California, K31KE-D, on channel 31.


  1. ^ Ellwanger, Jim. "TV Guide: Los Angeles Metropolitan Edition".
  2. ^ "NPG Paying $14.3M For KEYT Santa Barbara". Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Staff, FCC Internet Services. "Application Search Details".
  5. ^ Noozhawk. "New Owners Complete Acquisition of KEYT Television".
  6. ^ "RabbitEars.Info".
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ "MyNetworkTV Adds 10 Affils - Business solutions from".
  9. ^ "RTN To Launch This Week in Santa Barbara".
  10. ^ Martin, Jeff (April 7, 2017). "KEYT, Fox 11 Launching News Now Channel". Noozhawk. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
  11. ^ "Station response to viewer feedback regarding KEYT-DT2; "There were a number of issues that led us to launch our News Now channel. One was the future of retro television itself was uncertain, we didn't want to be left in the lurch with no programming to offer if they suddenly went off the air. Second, we wanted to be able provide a home for community events that normally wouldn't be broadcast on the KEYT primary channel. Our affiliation agreement with retro prevented us from using our secondary channel to bring community events such as State of the City addresses or live coverage of press conferences of news events around town."". Facebook, via KEYT Facebook page. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  13. ^ "News-Press Gazette Readies 3.0 Launch in Santa Barbara".

External links[edit]