From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
KFXL-TV Fox Nebraska Logo.png
Kearney/Hastings/Grand Island, Nebraska
United States
CityKearney, Nebraska
SloganWhere Your News Comes First
ChannelsDigital: 13 (VHF)
Virtual: 13 (PSIP)
Subchannels13.1 ABC
13.2 Fox
13.3 TBD
AffiliationsABC (secondary until 1961)
OwnerSinclair Broadcast Group
(KHGI Licensee, LLC)
First air dateDecember 24, 1953 (65 years ago) (1953-12-24)
Call letters' meaningKearney
Grand Island
Sister station(s)KFXL-TV, KPTM, KXVO
Former callsignsKHOL-TV (1953–1974)
Former channel number(s)Analog:
13 (VHF, 1953–2009)
36 (UHF, until 2009)
Former affiliationsPrimary:
CBS (1953–1961)
DuMont (1953–1955/6)
NBC (1954–1955)
NTA (1956–1961)
Fox (1994–c. 1999)
Transmitter power19.8 kW
Height338 m (1,109 ft)
Facility ID21160
Transmitter coordinates40°39′27.9″N 98°52′5″W / 40.657750°N 98.86806°W / 40.657750; -98.86806
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile
(satellite of KHGI-TV)
Hayes Center, Nebraska
United States
Brandingsee KHGI-TV infobox
Slogansee KHGI-TV infobox
ChannelsDigital: 6 (VHF)
Virtual: 6 (PSIP)
Subchannels6.1 ABC
6.2 Fox
6.3 TBD
AffiliationsABC (secondary until 1961)
OwnerSinclair Broadcast Group
(KHGI Licensee, LLC)
First air dateFebruary 9, 1956 (63 years ago) (1956-02-09)
Call letters' meaningWestern NeBraska
Sister station(s)see KHGI-TV infobox
Former callsignsKHPL-TV (1956–1974)
Former channel number(s)Analog:
6 (VHF, 1956–2009)
18 (UHF, until 2009)
Former affiliationsPrimary:
CBS (1956–1961)
NTA (1956–1961)
Fox (1994–c. 1999)
Transmitter power11.9 kW
Height221 m (725 ft)
Facility ID21162
Transmitter coordinates40°37′32″N 101°1′47″W / 40.62556°N 101.02972°W / 40.62556; -101.02972 (KWNB-TV)
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license information
satellite of KHGI-TV) Profile

satellite of KHGI-TV) CDBS

KHGI-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 13, is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Kearney, Nebraska, United States, serving most of central and western Nebraska and the northern third of Kansas. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group as part of a duopoly with Lincoln-licensed Fox affiliate KFXL-TV (channel 51). The two stations share studios on Nebraska Highway 44 in Axtell, about 14 miles (23 km) south of Kearney; KHGI also operates a secondary studio at the Conestoga Mall in Grand Island. The station's transmitter is located near Lowell, Nebraska.


KHGI-TV's programming (with the exception of commercials) is repeated on KWNB-TV (virtual and VHF digital channel 6) in Hayes Center, both stations are branded as the Nebraska Television Network, or NTV for short. The station is part of the Lincoln–Hastings–Kearney market, but this market has historically had little basis television reality and is only completely realized on the local satellite feeds. The market does share three television stations, CBS affiliate KOLN (channel 10) in Lincoln (which operates a satellite in Grand Island, KGIN [channel 11]), NBC affiliate KSNB-TV (channel 4) in Superior and Fox affiliate KFXL. However, the market is split for ABC coverage; KHGI/KWNB serves as the ABC affiliate for the western half of the market, while KLKN (channel 8) serves as the network's affiliate for Lincoln and the eastern half of the market. Omaha ABC affiliate KETV also has significant viewership in the eastern part of the market, as most of the Omaha stations are available in Lincoln either over-the-air or on cable.

KHGI has gained cable coverage on the Lincoln side of the market in recent years, including carriage on channels 2 and 1202 on Charter Spectrum in Lincoln proper as of July 2017. Both KHGI and KLKN are also carried on the Lincoln DirecTV and Dish Network feeds.


KHGI signed on December 24, 1953[1] as KHOL-TV, a CBS and DuMont affiliate based in Holdrege.[2] The station was founded by the Bi-States Co., headed by Holdrege doctor F. Wayne Brewster.[3] In 1954, the station also added secondary affiliations with ABC[4] and NBC;[5] however, KHOL nearly lost CBS that same year, before protests from viewers led the network to sign a two-year renewal of the station's affiliation.[6] Channel 13 would lose NBC a year later in advance of the 1956 launch of KHAS-TV (channel 5, now KNHL). DuMont would end network operations in 1956, and KHOL-TV briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[7] That same year, on February 9, KHOL added a satellite in Hayes Center, KHPL-TV (channel 6).[1]

Bi-States expanded into radio in June 1959 with the launch of KHOL-FM (98.9 FM, now KKPR-FM);[8] in 1961, the company also purchased KRNY (1460 AM, now KXPN).[9] KRNY was sold to Radio Kearney in 1964;[10] the following year, the same company purchased KHOL-FM.[11]

NTV News in the 1980s.

On February 2, 1961, KHOL-TV and KHPL-TV dropped CBS to become full ABC affiliates,[12] a few months before KGIN-TV (channel 11) signed on from Grand Island as a satellite of Lincoln's CBS affiliate, KOLN-TV (channel 10). On December 3, 1964, Bi-States signed on another KHOL satellite, KHQL-TV (channel 8) in Albion.[13] KHTL-TV (channel 4) in Superior followed on October 1, 1965.[14] The four stations began branding as the Nebraska Television Network, or NTN for short; the brand was shortened to NTV in the early 1970s.[15]

The station featured local programming, including The Bobby Mills Show on Saturday evenings from 9:30 until 10 p.m. The Bobby Mills Orchestra was the "house band" and hosted guest artists, though the bulk of the show was dedicated to the band and its soloists, similar to The Lawrence Welk Show. Bobby's sons, Bobby Mills Jr. and Ron, were featured extensively on the program. Taping of the show was done once a month on a Friday night, after KHOL's midnight sign-off. An average of five shows were done per taping, which typically ended at 4 a.m. The show ran during the late 1960s into the early 1970s.

NTV station ID from ABC's "America's Watching" campaign in 1991.

NTV Enterprises acquired the NTV stations in 1974 for $1.9 million.[16] On June 3, the new owners changed the call letters of all the stations: KHOL became KHGI-TV, KHPL became KWNB-TV, KHQL became KCNA-TV and KHTL became KSNB-TV.[17] The new call signs were chosen to reflect the areas served by each station; for instance, KHGI stands for Kearney, Hastings, and Grand Island, while KWNB refers to that station's service to western Nebraska.[18]

Joseph Amaturo bought the NTV stations in 1979 in an $8.5 million deal funded by the sale of KQTV in St. Joseph, Missouri.[19] KCNA was split off from NTV on November 1, 1983 to become an independent station under the call letters KBGT-TV;[20] Amaturo Group sold KHGI-TV, KWNB-TV, and KSNB-TV to Gordon Broadcasting for $10 million in 1985;[21] the sale separated the NTV stations from KBGT, which was separately sold a year later to Citadel Communications and became KCAN, a satellite of Sioux City, Iowa station KCAU-TV. Citadel later moved KCAN to Lincoln as a stand-alone station, KLKN.

Gordon Broadcasting planned to sell the NTV stations to Sterling Communications for $11 million in 1989.[22] However, later that year, the stations were placed into receivership;[23] initially overseen by former owner Joseph Amaturo,[24] Joseph Girard was appointed successor receiver in 1991.[25] Under Girard, who operated NTV through Girard Communications, KHGI-TV, KWNB-TV, and KSNB-TV were sold to Fant Broadcasting, owner of WNAL-TV in Gadsden, Alabama, for $2 million in 1993.[23]

On April 1, 1994, Fant took over the operations of Hill Broadcasting Company's KTVG (channel 17), an upstart independent station in Grand Island in the process of joining Fox, under a local marketing agreement (LMA), making it a sister station to the NTV stations.[26] Concurrently with KTVG's primary Fox affiliation, KHGI-TV, KWNB-TV, and KSNB-TV took on a secondary Fox affiliation to carry the network's NFL coverage.[27][28] In July 1995, Fant announced a deal to sell KHGI, KWNB, and KSNB to Blackstar, LLC, a minority-controlled company in which nonvoting equity interests were held by Fox Television Stations and Silver King Communications, for $13 million;[29][30][31] although the deal, which would have seen the NTV stations switch to a full-time Fox affiliation,[29] was approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on December 15, 1995,[31] Fant cited delays in FCC approval in walking away from the deal in May 1996.[32]

In July 1996, Fant agreed to sell KHGI-TV, KWNB-TV, and KSNB-TV to Pappas Telecasting Companies for $12.75 million.[33] Pappas immediately assumed control of the NTV stations through a local marketing agreement that began on July 1, and that September broke KSNB off from NTV and made it a Fox affiliate as a satellite of KTVG; KHGI and KWNB remained with ABC.[26] In 1997, Pappas sold its right to acquire KSNB to Colins Broadcasting Company for $10 (with Colins paying $333,333 to Fant), as channel 4's signal overlapped with Pappas' Omaha station, KPTM; Pappas also entered into an LMA with Colins to continue operating KSNB.[34][35] The sales of KHGI and KWNB to Pappas and KSNB to Colins were approved by the FCC on February 17, 1999 and completed on May 24.[36][37] In 2009, Pappas began moving Fox programming in the market to KFXL-TV (channel 51, which signed on as a Pappas-operated WB affiliate in 2006 and later carried The CW before joining Fox) and the second digital subchannels of KHGI-TV and KWNB-TV; the company subsequently ended the LMAs with KSNB-TV (which, after going dark, was purchased by Gray Television in 2013 and is now an NBC affiliate) and KTVG-TV (which permanently ceased operations).

KHGI-TV logo used until 2013.

KHGI-CD in North Platte, Nebraska signed on in 1989 as translator station K13VO, becoming WSWS-CA on July 4, 2005 and KHGI-CA on June 12, 2009. The WSWS-CA call sign was unique, as it made it a station with a "W" call sign prefix west of the Mississippi River. This was allowed due to the fact that "WSWS" was the former callsign of current Pappas station WLGA, and the calls were grandfathered to the former K13VO. In 2010, KHGI-CA switched to digital and became KHGI-LD. KHGI-LD is not a true repeater of KHGI-TV in that its digital television broadcast is identified as "KHGI-LD Digital Television" on compatible television receivers and appears as channel 27.1 rather than 13.1. KHGI-LD also does not rebroadcast KFXL on a digital subchannel as North Platte already receives Fox on KIIT-CD. ABC programming on KHGI-LD is carried in high definition. When the analog KHGI-CA license was surrendered on September 1, 2011, KHGI-LD became KHGI-CD, inheriting the analog station's class A status.

As of February 18, 2014, KHGI was the only big three affiliated station owned by Pappas. In August 2015, the liquidating trust for Pappas announced that it was soliciting bids for a bankruptcy auction of the company's Nebraska stations, which took place October 27, 2015.[38] Of the four companies that participated in the auction, Sinclair Broadcast Group emerged as the winning bidder;[39] on November 4, 2015, the company announced that it had agreed to acquire KHGI-TV, KWNB-TV, and KFXL-TV for $31.25 million.[40] The sale was completed on May 1, 2016.[41]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[42][43]
x.1 720p 16:9 KHGI-DT
Main programming / ABC
x.2 KFXL-DT Simulcast of KFXL-TV
x.3 480i 4:3 TBD

In addition, KHGI-LD (O'Neill) only carries a standard definition subchannel and KHGI-CD (North Platte) only carries the ABC main channel:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[44]
27.1 480i 4:3 KHGI-LD Main programming / ABC
27.2 KFXL-DT Simulcast of KFXL-TV
27.3 TBD
Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[45]
27.1 720p 16:9 KHGI-CD Main KHGI-CD programming / ABC

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

Both stations shut down their analog signal 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 channel allocations post-transition are as follows:[46]

  • KHGI-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 13; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 36 to VHF channel 13.
  • KWNB-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 6; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 18 to VHF channel 6.

News operation[edit]

KHGI-TV currently broadcasts a total of 27 hours of local newscasts each week (with five hours on weekdays and one hour each on Saturdays and Sundays). In May 2006, NTV became one of the first television stations in the country to generate a community based news site. Community Correspondent allows registered users to post stories, photos, and videos to the site. Many of the postings are used on air in different stories.

In May 2013, NTV added a weekly agricultural news program, called NTV's Grow, which was the station's first regular broadcast in HD.[47] The station began broadcasting its news in HD on September 5, 2013.

Former on-air staff[edit]


KHGI/KWNB repeats its programming on three translator stations: KHGI-CD and KHGI-LD rebroadcast KHGI-TV, while KWNB-LD directly repeats KWNB. All three of these stations are owned by Sinclair.

Active translators[edit]

Station City of license Channel
Founded Former callsigns ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter coordinates Public license information Notes
KWNB-LD McCook 29 (UHF) June 22, 2004 (14 years ago) (2004-06-22) 4.7 kW 92 m (302 ft) 126405 40°12′52.0″N 100°39′51″W / 40.214444°N 100.66417°W / 40.214444; -100.66417 (KWNB-LD) Profile
KHGI-CD North Platte 27 (UHF)
27 (PSIP)
March 16, 2007 (12 years ago) (2007-03-16) K13VO (1989–2005)
WSWS-CA (2005–2009)
KHGI-CA (2009–2010)
15 kW 143 m (469 ft) 168339 41°13′22.0″N 100°41′17″W / 41.222778°N 100.68806°W / 41.222778; -100.68806 (KHGI-CD) Profile
Does not rebroadcast KFXL, due to the presence of low-power station KIIT-CD and a second subchannel of KNOP-TV
KHGI-LD O'Neill 27 (UHF) October 18, 2001 (17 years ago) (2001-10-18) K27GV (2001–2002)
KAZK-LP (2002–2009)
KHGI-LP (2009–2011)
KHGP-LP (2011–2012)
0.44 kW 102 m (335 ft) 127682 42°26′58.0″N 98°37′1.0″W / 42.449444°N 98.616944°W / 42.449444; -98.616944 (KHGI-LD) Profile
Standard-definition only

Former translators[edit]

All channels listed are analog:

Station City of license Channel
K06EY Broken Bow 6 (VHF) Was owned by the Broken Bow Jaycees
KBVZ-LP McCook 42 (UHF) Was shut down in favor of KWNB-LD on March 19, 2010.[48]
K11KW Stapleton 11 (VHF) Was owned by municipal government


  1. ^ a b Broadcasting Yearbook 1958 (PDF). 1958. p. A-158. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  2. ^ "Holdrege TV Signs With CBS, DuMont", Sunday Journal and Star, p. 85, 1953-10-25
  3. ^ 1954 Telecasting Yearbook-Marketbook (PDF), 1954, p. 190
  4. ^ "Four V's Join ABC-TV" (PDF). Broadcasting-Telecasting. August 16, 1954. p. 7. Retrieved February 21, 2015.
  5. ^ "KHOL-TV Boosts to 288 Kw" (PDF). Broadcasting-Telecasting. October 4, 1954. p. 66. Retrieved February 21, 2015.
  6. ^ "Protests Help" (PDF). Broadcasting-Telecasting. November 8, 1954. p. 7. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  7. ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films", Boxoffice: 13, November 10, 1956
  8. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1961-62 (PDF). 1961. p. B-111. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  9. ^ "For The Record" (PDF). Broadcasting. August 7, 1961. p. 99. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  10. ^ "For The Record" (PDF). Broadcasting. November 9, 1964. p. 76. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  11. ^ "For The Record" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 27, 1965. p. 82. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  12. ^ "In ABC fold" (PDF). Broadcasting. August 8, 1960. pp. 61–2. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  13. ^ "New TV station" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 14, 1964. p. 45. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  14. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1975 (PDF). 1975. p. C-83. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  15. ^ "Fates & Fortunes" (PDF). Broadcasting. November 8, 1965. p. 76. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  16. ^ "Changing hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. February 25, 1974. p. 34. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  17. ^ "For the Record" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 24, 1974. p. 70. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  18. ^ "New owners change call letters on NTV stations". The Columbus Telegram. Associated Press. June 5, 1974. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  19. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 11, 1979. p. 39. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  20. ^ "On its own" (PDF). Broadcasting. October 17, 1983. p. 76. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  21. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 16, 1985. p. 119. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  22. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. January 30, 1989. p. 68. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  23. ^ a b "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. February 8, 1993. p. 50. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  24. ^ "Application Search Details (KHGI-TV, 1)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  25. ^ "Application Search Details (KHGI-TV, 2)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  27. ^ McClellan, Steve (April 18, 1994). "Fox's latest four add up to 96%" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable. p. 16. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  28. ^ "NTV to Carry Fox Football". Omaha World-Herald. May 28, 1994. p. 57. Retrieved February 25, 2015. (preview of subscription content)
  29. ^ a b Wharton, Dennis (July 17, 1995). "Blackstar deal tests FCC". Variety. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  30. ^ "Blackstar makes first buy" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable. July 17, 1995. p. 68. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  31. ^ a b "Silver King Communications, Inc. Form 8-K". July 2, 1996. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
  32. ^ "Fant Cancels Its Proposal to Sell NTV to Blackstar". Omaha World-Herald. May 4, 1996. p. 63. Retrieved February 25, 2015. (preview of subscription content)
  33. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable. July 15, 1996. p. 31. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  34. ^ "Sale, sort of" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable. February 17, 1997. p. 16. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  35. ^ "Correction" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable. March 3, 1997. p. 14. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  36. ^ "Application Search Details (KHGI-TV, 3)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  37. ^ "Application Search Details (KSNB-TV, 1)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  38. ^ "Six Pappas Stations To Be Auctioned". TVNewsCheck. August 27, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  39. ^ Brandt, Amanda (November 5, 2015). "NTV, affiliates sold for $31.25 million". Kearney Hub. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  40. ^ "SINCLAIR REPORTS THIRD QUARTER 2015 FINANCIAL RESULTS" (PDF) (Press release). Baltimore: Sinclair Broadcast Group. November 4, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2015. In October, the Company entered into a definitive agreement to acquire KFXL (FOX) and KHGI, KHGI-LD, KWNB and KWNB-LD (ABC), in Lincoln, Nebraska for $31.25 million.
  41. ^ Consummation Notice, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  42. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KHGI
  43. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KWNB-TV
  44. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KHGI-LD
  45. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KHGI-CD
  46. ^ "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.
  47. ^
  48. ^ "Stations turn on high-definition digital signals". McCook Daily Gazette. March 5, 2010. Retrieved March 30, 2010.

External links[edit]