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KHSL-TV CBS 12 2013 Logo.png

KHSL-DT2 CW 12.2 Chico-Redding.png

Action News Now Chico-Redding 2016.png
Chico/Redding, California
United States
City Chico
Branding CBS 12 (general)
Action News Now (newscasts)
Slogan Your Community, In-Depth
Channels Digital: 43 (UHF)
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
Subchannels 12.1 CBS
12.2 CW+
12.3 Ion Television
Translators (see below)
Affiliations CBS (Secondary through 1985)
Owner Heartland Media
(California TV License Company, LLC)
First air date August 29, 1953; 64 years ago (1953-08-29)
Call letters' meaning Harry Smithson
Sidney Lewis
(founders of KHSL-AM)
Sister station(s) KNVN
Former channel number(s) Analog:
12 (VHF, 1953–2009)
Former affiliations All secondary:
ABC (1953–1978)
NBC (1953–1956, 1978–1985)
DuMont (1953–1955)
Transmitter power 235 kW
Height 387.5 m
Facility ID 24508
Transmitter coordinates 39°57′28.3″N 121°42′54″W / 39.957861°N 121.71500°W / 39.957861; -121.71500
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile

KHSL-TV, virtual channel 12 (UHF digital channel 43) is a CBS-affiliated television station located in Chico, California, United States, that also serves Redding. The station is owned by Heartland Media as part of a duopoly with NBC affiliate KNVN (channel 24), which is owned by Maxair Media but operated by Heartland through a local marketing agreement. The two stations share studios at the corner of Eaton Road and Silverbell Road on the northwest side of Chico, while its transmitter is located along Cohasset Road in rural Butte County northwest of Paradise.


KHSL-TV signed on in 1953, owned by the McClung family's Golden Empire Broadcasting Company along with KHSL-AM 1290. The call letters are in honor of Harry Smithson and Sidney Lewis, who founded KHSL-AM in 1935 and sold it to Hugh and Ruth "Mickey" McClung a year later. Ruth "Mickey" McClung was one of the first women to own a television station.

The McClungs owned the station until October 1994, when they sold it to United Communications Corporation. On September 14, 1998, KHSL-TV was purchased by Catamount Broadcasting. A month earlier, it took over KNVN's operations. It had been the dominant station in the Northstate for almost half a century.

From its infancy, KHSL-TV was an affiliate of CBS. When KRCR-TV entered the Chico-Redding market as the NBC affiliate, the two stations occasionally cherry-picked ABC programming since no third commercial station yet existed. In 1978, KRCR-TV switched to ABC. KHSL-TV then picked up some NBC programming - notably The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. However, it was forced to switch to and from the signal of KRON-TV in San Francisco whenever NBC programming aired. This required somewhat awkward masking of KRON's IDs and commercials. Occasionally, KRON's IDs and commercials leaked through when KHSL-TV's engineers couldn't cover them up in time. Finally, when KCPM (now KNVN) launched and took the NBC affiliation, the sharing of a third network was no longer necessary in the Chico-Redding market. However, there may have been at least one attempt back in the mid-1960s to bring a third commercial station to the area that would have been an ABC affiliate, but it never materialized and even KCPM did not come without challenges and financial troubles of its own.

From 1956 to 1960, KHSL-TV aired a half-hour program on Sunday evenings called "There Is A Telling" about the folklore and history of northern California. Chico State College produced the program with the aid of students. It is perhaps best remembered for its ballad theme song performed by Tom Lee.

From 1956 to 1995, perhaps the most visible show that KHSL aired was the legendary half-hour music program, The Moriss Taylor Show, hosted by Moriss Taylor and featured several musicians such as Charlie Robinson, Yvonne Haygood, Bill Teague, Mark Alstad and Rosie Mello, just to name a few. [1] Reruns aired until 1997, two years after Catamount Broadcasting purchased KHSL-TV. The show aired on KRVU-LD on Saturday mornings beginning at 10am from 1997 until 2015 when that station cancelled the show after it was sold to Bonten Media Group, owners of chief rival KRCR-TV.

Merger with KNVN[edit]

On August 10, 1998, when KCPM changed its callsign to KNVN, Grapevine Communications sold the station because the station was extremely high in debt and overdue for bankruptcy. To avoid possibly putting KNVN off the air, the nearly bankrupt station signed a shared services agreement with KHSL, eventually leading to the creative yet controversial consolidation of the news departments. The ratings of the newscasts have always lagged far behind KHSL and KRCR, and the takeover resulted in the newscast ratings very slightly going up, while KHSL's ratings slightly declined and then the ratings of both stations plummeted once the newscasts were merged. Today's newscasts have slightly increased ratings with six newscasts per weekday and two per day on the weekends, but both KHSL and KNVN still lag behind KRCR-TV and to a lesser extent, KCVU in overall ratings, placing 4th and 3rd, respectively, since most locations in the southern portion of the viewing area can also receive many of the larger stations from Sacramento, including KCRA or KOVR, of which both are also available on Comcast Cable.

In February 2000, it merged its news department with that of KHSL because the failing new KNVN was at risk of having all of its newscasts dropped because of low viewership, but it still wanted to have some form of local news on. It didn't want to go back to using Sacramento news because it still wanted a complete form of local news, so it merged with KHSL to form Northern California News, or more commonly known as NCN in December 2001. It dropped NCN in 2005 in favor of "The (hour) News" brand. It finally came up with a more permanent name in September 2006 called "Action News". In 2013, following the station's sale to GOCOM, the title (and station's identity) became known officially as Action News Now. (see below)

Sale to GOCOM[edit]

On February 6, 2013, it was announced that KHSL would be sold to GOCOM Media, LLC. Concurrently, sister station KNVN was sold by Evans Broadcasting to K4 Media Holdings, LLC.[2][3] The FCC approved the sale on April 19, 2013;[4] it was consummated on May 6.[5] On July 14, 2015, GOCOM announced that it would sell KHSL-TV to Heartland Media (which also owns Oregon television stations KDRV in Medford and KEZI in Eugene), through its USA Television Holdings joint venture with MSouth Equity Partners, for $40 million; concurrently, K4 Media Holdings will sell KNVN to Maxair Media, with KHSL providing services to KNVN and selling up to 15 percent of channel 24's advertising time.[6] The sale was completed on December 1.[7]

60th Anniversary Special[edit]

On August 29, 2013, exactly 60 years to the day after the station hit the air, KHSL-TV presented a one-hour special program celebrating the station's 60th Anniversary on the air. Hosts Alan Marsden and Debbie Cobb, who are current lead anchors for Action News Now, took a look back at 60 years of local programming and network programming from CBS. Many former personalities made appearances in the special including Ray Narbietz, Stan Statham, Rick Rigsby, Royal Courtain, Dino Corbin, Jim Houpt, Kathy Wilson and others. They even played clips from special events and The Moriss Taylor Show. After it aired, it began airing on YouTube.[8]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels for KHSL

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[9]
12.1 1080i 16:9 KHSL-HD Main KHSL-TV programming / CBS
12.2 720p CW-10 The CW 10
12.3 480i 4:3 Ion Television

Digital channels for K42HL-D

Channel Programming
42.1 / 24.4 Telemundo
42.3 / 24.3 KNVN SD
42.4 / 12.3 KHSL SD
42.5 / 12.4 The CW 10
42.6 / 24.6 The AccuWeather Channel

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KHSL-TV became digital-only on December 22, 2008. The station shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 12, on January 1, 2009. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 43.[10] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 12.

Early switchover[edit]

KHSL replaced normal programming with digital TV information on analog channel 12, and eventually turned it off on January 1. KHSL's new 235 kW, 500-foot-tall (150 m) digital tower is up and running and has been for the past four months, but will double its power to nearly 500 kW on February 17, 2009.

Loss in OTA coverage[edit]

According to the engineering department, KHSL chose not to return to VHF Channel 12, as digital transmission has much poorer results than UHF Channels, but there was still a substantial loss in over-the-air (OTA) coverage. There has been lots of criticism because a VHF signal better covers the terrain of the rural, mountainous viewing area in communities and could have actually gained coverage if the digital transmitter used the analog tower. However, results by most stations in the U.S. show a loss of coverage with a VHF signal, but the Chico/Redding area is unique in the fact that the valley is suited better for UHF (VHF is notorious for impulse noise) while the foothills and mountains are better suited for VHF (UHF does not travel the natural curve of the Earth well), but KHSL had to take a loss of approximately 50,000 potential viewers since it cannot satisfy both types of terrain at the same time, less than it would have on VHF 12 but still much worse than the other stations in the area which saw little or no loss in coverage [1]. However, it still covers 537,000 people which is still second to KCVU, which now covers 550,000 people; and pulls ahead of KRCR, KIXE, and KNVN, which better cover the core Chico/Redding area but only cover 400,000 people each. Many rural cable systems use Dish Network to feed their systems now since they have now lost OTA coverage. Viewers in northern areas of Sacramento can now occasionally receive a clear KHSL signal, when before they could only get a snowy image at best. To make up with the reception problem in Redding, KHSL has launched a digital fill-in translator from South Fork Mountain on channel 36.

High Definition[edit]

KHSL airs all CBS-produced and most syndicated shows in HD, such as Dr. Phil, The Dr. Oz Show, Inside Edition, Extra, Criminal Minds and Cold Case.

Syndicated shows that are produced in HD which still air in SD on KHSL include Access Hollywood. Rachael Ray and Family Feud are not yet produced or distributed in high definition.

Although KNVN and KHSL began airing local commercials (including their own promos) in high definition in January 2012, no details have been released if local newscasts will be ever produced in HD.

KHSL began airing high definition local newscasts on January 7, 2014.

Chico-Redding CW[edit]

Starting in September 2006, the DT2 subcarrier added programming from The CW Television Network. This coincided with the company's acquisition of KIWB from Bluestone Television in July 2006. It has its own 10:00 newscast titled CW Action News at Ten. It broadcasts on cable channel 10 on both Comcast and Charter systems. It is also available on Dish Network channel 43 and on DirecTV channel 10. It gets most of its programming from The CW Plus, but airs Maury at noon and Dr. Phil at 1pm.

News Operation[edit]

Action News Now Chico-Redding 2016.png

One of the station's first newscasts was "Valley Headline News," which in 1959 was broadcast on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. W.E. Thomas was the news director.

From the 1970s to the late 2000s, the station produced a local public affairs program called Agenda 12 (later known as just Agenda) which featured various hosts.

During the 1990s, news anchor Bruce Lang hosted a half-hour news and information program called Sunday Evening, which is similar to CBS Sunday Morning. The program aired after the CBS Evening News Sunday and before 60 Minutes.

Your Show Live was a locally produced interview program that aired from 2002 to 2004 as a taped rebroadcast of its live program on KNVN. KHSL features half-hour-long newscasts at noon and 6:30 pm 5 days a week with 2-minute news updates at the top of the hour throughout the day; it also simulcasts its nightly 11 pm news on KNVN. It also produces an hour-long 5 pm newscast for KNVN, a half-hour 10 pm newscast for the CW 10, a morning show weekdays at 5:30 am, and a weekend newscast at 6:30 pm and 11:00 pm. In addition to the 11 pm news, the weekday morning and weeknight newscasts are simulcast on KNVN.[citation needed]

Former on-air staff[edit]


Locally produced programs[edit]

  • The Moriss Taylor Show (1956–1995; continued airing reruns until 1997, then aired on KRVU My 21 from 1997 to 2015)
  • "Sunday Evening" with Bruce Lang (1980s-1998)
  • KNVN's Your Show Live with Shaye Leeper and Dave Tappan (2002–2004)


In addition to its digital fill-in translator and its rebroadcast on K42HL-D, KHSL is repeated on five translator stations:

Station City of license Channels Founded ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter Coordinates
K35LB-D Lakeshore 35 (UHF) September 22, 2011 1.32 kW 384 m 189720 40°52′52.0″N 122°26′42.0″W / 40.881111°N 122.445000°W / 40.881111; -122.445000 (K35LB-D)
K49CT-D Paradise 49 (UHF) August 21, 1989 3.4 kW 228 m 24502 39°46′5.0″N 121°28′48.0″W / 39.768056°N 121.480000°W / 39.768056; -121.480000 (K19GA-D)
K19GA-D1 Susanville, etc. 19 (UHF) March 17, 1992 0.36 kW 695 m 27590 40°52′52.0″N 122°26′42.0″W / 40.881111°N 122.445000°W / 40.881111; -122.445000 (K19GA-D)
K04DD-D Weaverville 4 (VHF) December 15, 2004 0.015 kW 298 m 71377 40°43′11.0″N 122°58′46.0″W / 40.719722°N 122.979444°W / 40.719722; -122.979444 (K04DD-D)
K35JX-D2 Westwood 35 (UHF) January 24, 1990 1.2 kW 755 m 24501 40°14′22.0″N 121°1′54.0″W / 40.239444°N 121.031667°W / 40.239444; -121.031667 (K35JX-D)
  • 1: K19GA-D formerly operated on analog channel 59 under the callsign K59ET until 2008.
  • 2: K35JX-D formerly operated on analog channel 69 under the callsign K69EN until 1990; it then operated on analog channel 54 under the callsign K45EE until 2010, when it converted to digital as K35JX-D.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]