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|Monterey/Salinas/Santa Cruz, California|
|Channels||Digital: 32 (UHF)|
|Branding||KION NewsChannel 5/46 (cable/virtual channel; pronounced "Ky-on")|
KION CBS (secondary)
Central Coast CW (on DT2)
Telemundo 23 (on DT3)
Noticias de la Costa Central (DT3 newscasts)
46.3: Ion Television
|Owner||News-Press & Gazette Company |
(NPG of Monterey-Salinas CA, LLC)
First air date
|January 25, 1969|
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
46 (UHF, 1969–2009)
Call sign meaning
|"Eye On" phonetically (reference to CBS Eyemark; coincidental that station now holds subchannel affiliation with Ion Television) |
|HAAT||758 m (2,487 ft)|
|Translator(s)||KMUV-LD 21 (UHF) Monterey|
Public license information
KION-TV, virtual channel 46 (UHF digital channel 32), is a CBS/CW+/Telemundo-affiliated television station licensed to Monterey, California, United States and serving the Monterey Bay area. The station is owned by the St. Joseph, Missouri-based News-Press & Gazette Company. KION-TV's studios are located on Moffett Street in Salinas immediately south of Salinas Municipal Airport, and its transmitter is located on Mount Toro, about 10 miles (16 km) south of Salinas. The station is available on channel 5 on most cable systems.
KION started out as KMST-TV (Monterey-Salinas Television) on January 25, 1969, as a CBS affiliate, taking it over from NBC affiliate KSBW (channel 8), which affiliated with CBS on a secondary basis. It is the second longest serving station to serve Monterey Bay, excluding now-former ABC affiliate KNTV, which is based in San Jose. With KMST's sign on, it took 16 years for the Monterey Bay region to have full-time affiliations from all three commercial networks, although KNTV now serves the San Francisco Bay Area exclusively as of 2002 as its NBC O&O.
KMST was available in markets that reached from the Monterey Bay area to San Jose, California. Retlaw Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Retlaw Enterprises, a company owned by relatives of Walt Disney, acquired KMST from its original local owners in 1979.
By 1993, San Jose's TCI cable opted to drop KMST. Later that year, Retlaw sold the station to a partnership between Harron Communications and Smith Broadcasting, with Smith Broadcasting having control of the joint venture). On October 4, the new owners changed Channel 46's call sign to KCCN-TV (standing for Central Coast News), calls shared with two stations in Honolulu, Hawaii, the AM KCCN, and KCCN-FM, with the latter group agreeing to it based on FCC procedures at the time, though with hesitation and concerns over confusion between the entities. The next year, Smith Broadcasting sold its share of the station to Harron, in order to purchase KSBW. At that time, KCBA (Fox 35), then owned by the Ackerley Group, signed a local marketing agreement with KCCN, with Ackerley taking over the operations of both stations. The beginning of the LMA came at a time when CBS' ratings were at one of the lowest points in the network's history, while Fox's ratings were on the rise. Although KCCN was longer-established, KCBA became the senior partner in the LMA.
On February 23, 1997, KCCN changed its call letters again, this time to KION, after the rise of the World Wide Web brought new complaints from the Honolulu radio stations, who wanted to restrict channel 46 from using their call sign on their website.
Late in 1998, Ackerley bought KION outright from Harron and sold KCBA to Seal Rock Broadcasters. It took more than a year for this transaction to receive Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval, due to the then-pending license renewals for both stations; and the deal was completed on January 12, 2000. However, Ackerley continued to operate KCBA through an LMA with its new owners, resulting in KION now becoming the senior partner in the LMA. By that time CBS' ratings had recovered to be competitive with those of ABC and NBC. Two years later, Ackerley merged with Clear Channel Communications. Clear Channel added the -TV suffix to KION's legal call sign when what was then KTXX (AM 1460, also owned by Clear Channel) took the KION call letters on August 14, 2002. From 1995 to 2003, KION and KCBA carried UPN programs such as WWF/E SmackDown! and the 2002 version of The Twilight Zone as a secondary affiliate.
On April 20, 2007, Clear Channel entered into an agreement to spin off its entire television stations group to Newport Television, a broadcasting holding company established by the private equity firm Providence Equity Partners. However, Newport Television could not keep KION or Telemundo affiliate KMUV-LP due to Providence Equity Partners' partial ownership of several media properties (specifically, several radio stations owned by Univision Radio that are located within the San Francisco–San Jose market) that serve parts of the Monterey market. KION and KMUV were sold to the Cowles Publishing Company, the owner of KHQ-TV and The KHQ Television Group in Spokane, Washington. The deal closed on May 7, 2008. On that day, Cowles Publishing took over the LMA for KCBA from Newport Television. However, for some time afterward, Newport Television's website continued to list all three stations (KION, KCBA, and KMUV) as being owned and/or operated by Newport. Subsequently, KION and the other former Clear Channel/Newport stations acquired by Cowles switched their website CMS providers from Inergize Digital to Worldnow.
On September 20, 2013, News-Press & Gazette Company (NPG) announced that it would purchase KION-TV and KMUV-LP, as well as San Luis Obispo sister station KKFX-CA. NPG would also take over some of the operations of Santa Maria sister station KCOY-TV, which Cowles initially retained but eventually sold to VistaWest Media LLC, under a shared services agreement, as NPG's holdings in the area already included KEYT-TV in Santa Barbara. The sale was completed on December 13. The existing LMA for KCBA was terminated on December 1, as that station's operations were assumed by Entravision Communications through a joint sales agreement (the license being retained by Seal Rock Broadcasters). Almost immediately after NPG closed on the purchase, Internet Broadcasting took over the operations of KION's web site, as for all other NPG station websites.
KION radio is no longer co-owned with KION-TV, as Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) continues to operate the radio station. For several years after Clear Channel sold the television station, the radio station's logo continued to echo that of KION-TV's previous logo, with a "1" and a "0" added to turn "46" into "1460".
On June 20, 2014, KION redesigned its website with a new logo consistent with the rest of the NPG stations in San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, and Santa Barbara.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
(Simulcast into 1080i full HD over KMUV-LD)
|46.1||1080i||KION-DT||Main KION-TV programming / CBS|
|46.2||480i||The CW||Central Coast CW|
(Simulcast into 720p HD over KMUV-LD2)
KION-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 46, on February 17, 2009, the original target date by which full-power television in the United States was 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 32. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 46.
KION has morning and evening newscasts seven days a week, totaling 23 hours of news per week (including a broadcast on subchannel 46.2). On weekdays, a two-hour morning news block begins at 5 a.m., followed by half-hour newscasts at 5, 6, and 11 p.m. KION also produces a half-hour 10 p.m. newscast on subchannel 46.2, seven nights a week; this newscast had aired on KCBA prior to November 30, 2013. On weekends, besides the 46.2 broadcast, KION does not have weekend morning newscasts and only has half-hour newscasts at 5 and 11 p.m. The CBS Evening News has its timeslot at 5:30 p.m. KION previously had the CBS Evening News at 6 p.m. This station has no noon newscasts, unlike most CBS affiliates.
In October 2009, KION became the first station in the Salinas–Monterey market to begin broadcasting local newscasts in 16:9 widescreen high-definition. The 10 p.m. newscast on KCBA was included in the upgrade. KION broadcasts news in high definition using HD studio cameras, HD field cameras, and a new HD control room installed in August 2009. Remote shots are still done using standard definition signals upconverted to widescreen. KCBA and KION were the only stations in the Monterey Bay, and on the Central Coast, to broadcast their news in HD until August 25, 2010, when rival KSBW started to broadcast the majority of its local news, as well as weather and sports segments, in HD. This came after KSBW had been the first to launch a widescreen newscast a few weeks before KION, though the KSBW newscasts were in merely widescreen standard definition, and no pillarboxes were inserted until late-February 2010. Sports segments originate from the KCOY studios and are currently in 16:9 widescreen. When the 10 p.m. newscast moved from KCBA to KION-DT2, that newscast reverted to standard definition as the subchannel; although transmitted in 16:9 widescreen, it is not available in HD.
As of May 2010[update], the slogan at the start of newscasts has changed from "Your Eye on the Central Coast" to "Right Now". This slogan is used on other Cowles media stations in California that are also branded as Central Coast News, including The KHQ Television Group. KION previously used the Central Coast News branding in the 1990s when it was branded as "KCCN Central Coast News".
In late 2010, KION and KCBA introduced a new slogan, "A New Leader is Emerging". The new promos include viewership, news, weather, and political coverage. In addition, weekend weather anchors also produce weather segments for sister stations KCOY and KKFX.
On January 6, 2012, sister stations KCOY and KKFX announced a round of layoffs in an effort to cut costs, including eliminating the sports department, cutting the morning show produced at the Santa Maria studios to only one hour on weekdays, and having the evening newscasts based at the KION/KCBA studios. Layoffs at KCOY/KKFX included chief meteorologist Jim Byrne and sports anchor Kevin Roose, with KCOY weeknight anchor Arturo Santiago shifting to reporting duties.
Friday Night Blitz
Friday Night Blitz is a weekly program which covers local high school football. The show is aired during the 10 p.m. newscast on KION-DT2 and the 11 p.m. newscast on KION. The show features a "Game of the Week" segment which viewers vote for each week. The game of the week is featured during evening newscasts on KION. The show includes live coverage and interviews with players and coaches.
During high school basketball season, Central Coast News features local scores and highlights from local games along with player and coach interviews, similar to Friday Night Blitz.
During Central Coast newscasts on KION, viewers can ask questions, directly via the station's website, relating to local issues presented by anchors, who respond during newscasts. Promos for KION questions are often shown during commercial breaks and station IDs.
Notable former on-air staff
- Art Bell
- Lois Hart (future first anchor for CNN, anchor for KCRA-TV in Sacramento)
- Pedram Javaheri, also known as P.J. Javaheri, weekend meteorologist; now at CNN International
- Craig Kilborn (former host of The Daily Show and ESPN's SportsCenter)
- Sharon Tay, reporter (mid-1990s); now anchor/reporter at KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV in Los Angeles
- Channel 5 branded TV stations in the United States
- Channel 32 digital TV stations in the United States
- Channel 46 virtual TV stations in the United States
- Medina, M. Cristina (February 22, 1997). "From KCCN to KION — local TV station gets a makeover". The Californian. p. 4B. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- "What happened on February 2nd". Electric Scotland. 1999. Archived from the original on May 5, 2009. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
- "Clear Channel Agrees to Sell Television Station Group to Providence Equity Partners" (Press release). Clear Channel Communications. 2007-04-20. Archived from the original on 2007-04-25. Retrieved 2007-04-20.
- Deals - 10/8/2007 - Broadcasting & Cable
- "KCOY to 'share services' with KEYT parent company under planned station purchases". Santa Maria Times. September 23, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
- NewsChannel 3 Owner Completes Purchase of Fox 11 Archived 2013-12-19 at the Wayback Machine, KEYT, 13 December 2013, Retrieved 17 December 2013.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KION
- "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.
- "Central Coast News at 10 is Moving to the CW Starting December 1". Central Coast News KION. November 5, 2013. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
- Weatherman Jim Byrne among 13 laid off at KCOY, KKFX Archived 2012-01-08 at the Wayback Machine The Tribune. Posted on January 5, 2012; updated on January 6, 2012.
- KCOY lays off 13 people Cal Coast News. Retrieved on January 6, 2012.
- KION Questions