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Hastings-Kearney-Grand Island-Lincoln, Nebraska
United States
Channels Digital: 5 (VHF)
Virtual: 5 (PSIP)
Subchannels 5.1 SonLife
Affiliations SonLife (2015–present)
Owner Legacy Broadcasting
First air date January 1, 1956; 61 years ago (1956-01-01)
Call letters' meaning Nebraska
(no relation to the National Hockey League)
Former callsigns KHAS-TV (1956–2014)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
5 (VHF, 1956–2009)
21 (UHF, 2005–2008)
Former affiliations DT1:
NBC (1956–2014)
Dark (2014–2015)
NBC WX+ (2005–2008)
This TV (2010–2013)
Cozi TV (2013–2014)
Transmitter power 45 kW
Height 217 m
Facility ID 48003
Transmitter coordinates 40°39′6″N 98°23′4″W / 40.65167°N 98.38444°W / 40.65167; -98.38444
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile

KNHL channel 5 is a television station in Hastings, Nebraska affiliated with the SonLife Broadcasting Network. As KHAS-TV, it formerly served as the NBC affiliate for the western side of the Lincoln-Hastings-Kearney market. The station is owned by Legacy Broadcasting. The station was rebroadcast on translator K02HJ in Ord on channel 2 and K35AL in Lexington on channel 35. Both translators broadcast an analog signal.

In 2014, Gray Television, owners of KOLN-KGIN and KSNB-TV, acquired Hoak Media; as it already owned the three aforementioned stations in the same market, it planned to sell KHAS to the shell company Excalibur Broadcasting and operate KHAS under a shared services agreement. As a result of growing FCC scrutiny towards "virtual duopolies", Gray instead let KHAS fall silent on June 13, 2014 and its programming and news operation were re-located to KSNB-TV, pending a sale of KHAS-TV to a minority owned broadcaster.


KNHL was founded in 1956 as KHAS-TV by a group of local investors headed by Fred A. Seaton, publisher of the Hastings Tribune newspaper and Secretary of the Interior during the Eisenhower Administration.[1] It took its calls from KHAS radio, which Seaton had founded in 1940. In 1967, it was one of the first stations in the area to acquire color broadcasting equipment.

The Seaton family owned KHAS-TV until 1997, when it was sold to Dick Shively and Ulysses Carlini Sr., owners of North Platte TV stations KNOP-TV and K11TW, operating the three stations under the name Greater Nebraska Television. In 2005, Greater Nebraska Television sold the stations to Hoak Media.[2]

Former logo as KHAS-TV in 2013-2014, KSNB briefly used this logo in 2014 after KHAS-TV went silent

The station's studio was located north of Hastings on U.S. 281. The transmitter tower was located next to the studio. KHAS-TV was formerly rebroadcast on translator station K14IY in Holdrege; this translator went dark in 2009. KHAS-TV was later also carried on K35AL analog channel 35 in Lexington, Nebraska.[3] K35AL formerly carried programming from sister station KNOP-TV but Lexington is in the Lincoln/Hastings/Kearney market while North Platte is a separate market. Both local and national programming on KHAS was carried in high definition.

Starting around 2004, KHAS began branding itself as a full-market NBC station, challenging the long-standing status of Omaha's WOWT as the default NBC affiliate in the capital. It identified as "Hastings/Kearney/Grand Island/Lincoln" on-air and on its Website. It was also available on the Lincoln DirecTV and Dish Network feeds as the local NBC station, boosting its potential audience to over 700,000 people across Nebraska and Kansas.

In June 2012, KHAS and other Hoak-owned stations were pulled from Dish Network after they failed to renew a carriage agreement. The refusal to renew reportedly surrounds Dish Network's "Hopper" digital video recorder and its controversial commercial-skipping feature AutoHop—which has also led to complaints from the major U.S. television networks.[4][5]

Shutdown, sale[edit]

On November 20, 2013, Gray Television announced it would purchase Hoak Media in a $335 million deal. As Gray already owned KOLN/KGIN, KHAS was to be sold to Excalibur Broadcasting and operated by Gray under a local marketing agreement.[6] However, in the wake of heightened FCC scrutiny of local marketing agreements, on June 11, 2014, KHAS-TV announced it would leave the air at midnight on June 13 and NBC programming would be moved to KSNB-TV and the digital subcarrier of KOLN/KGIN.[7] KHAS would then be sold off to minority interests, which under this arrangement would allow the station to return to the air on the conditions that the new owner operate the station independently (under minority, female and/or non-profit ownership) and not make any partnerships or sharing arrangements with other broadcasters.[8]

On August 27, 2014, Gray announced that it would sell KHAS-TV along with KAQY, KNDX and KXND to Legacy Broadcasting, a new broadcasting company controlled by Sherry Nelson and daughter Sara Jane Ingram.[9] On December 1, 2014, the call letters became KNHL.[10] The sale was completed on December 15.[11] Legacy returned KNHL to the air June 6, 2015[12] as an affiliate of the SonLife Broadcasting Network.[13]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channel[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[14]
5.1 480i 4:3 Sonlife Sonlife

In September 2010, KHAS-TV digital subchannel 5.2 switched from a standard definition simulcast to This TV. It identified locally as "This Nebraska". On November 1, 2013, KHAS replaced This TV with Cozi TV.[15]

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KNHL (as KHAS-TV) shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 5, on December 1, 2008. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 21 to VHF channel 5.[16][17] Due to Nebraska's cold winter weather, the station elected to make the transition early rather than on the national February 17, 2009 analog shutoff date.[18] The digital signal on channel 5 is one of only 48 US full-power stations to broadcast digitally using a low-VHF/Band I channel.[19]

News operation[edit]

KHAS-TV produced 16 hours of local news per week, with 3 hours each weekday and 30 minutes on Saturday and Sunday. Newscasts aired weekday mornings at 6:00 and 11:30 a.m., weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. and a weekend newscast at 10:00 p.m.

Upon the station going dark on June 13, 2014, the entire news operation moved to KSNB-TV.


  1. ^ "KHAS-TV : A History". Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  2. ^ Fowler, Gretchen (2005-08-31). "Hoak Media reaches deal to purchase KHAS-TV". The Grand Island Independent. Retrieved 2008-02-08. [dead link]
  3. ^ "News 5 Severe Weather Safety (refer to coverage map on last page)" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-05-08. 
  4. ^ "Because of dispute, DISH customers lose Hastings' KHAS-TV". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Jeffrey, Don (June 5, 2012). "Dish's Ad-Skip Tool May Benefit From Cablevision DVR Case". Bloomberg. Retrieved June 5, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Gray Buying Hoak, Prime Stations For $342.5M". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  7. ^ "KHAS TV - KSNB TV Statement". Retrieved 12 June 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  8. ^ Press Release from Gray Television (June 13, 2014)
  9. ^ "Gray Sets Buyers For Its Six SSA Stations". TVNewsCheck. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved December 3, 2014. 
  11. ^ Consummation Notice. CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  12. ^ "Resumption of Operations". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. June 9, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2015. 
  13. ^ 2015 "A belated note that KNHL-TV/5..." Check |url= value (help). Upper Midwest Broadcasting. 11 September 2015. 
  14. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KNHL
  15. ^ "FCC 398 Children's Television Programming Report". KidVid Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. January 9, 2014. Retrieved June 12, 2014. In the 4th Qtr of 2013 we also became a COZI TV affiliate. On November 1st 2013 we switched from THIS TV to COZI TV on our 5.2 digital channel. 
  16. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. [permanent dead link]
  17. ^ KHAS Hastings Makes Digital Switch, TVNEWSDAY, Dec 11 2008
  18. ^
  19. ^

External links[edit]