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Kbmy kmcy logo.png

KBMY-DT3 & KMCY-DT3 logo
KBMY: Bismarck, North Dakota
KMCY: Minot, North Dakota
United States
Branding KBMY 17/KMCY 14 (general)
WDAY/WDAZ News (newscasts)
Slogan Your News Leader
Channels Digital:
KBMY: 17 (UHF)
KMCY: 14 (UHF)
Subchannels xx.1 ABC
xx.2 Justice Network
xx.3 MyNetworkTV (primary)[1][2]
WDAY'Z Xtra (secondary)[3]
Affiliations ABC
Owner Forum Communications
First air date KBMY: March 31, 1985 (33 years ago) (1985-03-31)
KMCY: June 1985 (33 years ago) (1985-06)[4]
Call letters' meaning

Bismarck/Mandan Y

Magic CitY
(nickname of Minot)
Sister station(s) WDAY-AM, WDAY-TV, WDAZ-TV
Former channel number(s) Analog:
17 (UHF, 1985–2009)
14 (UHF, 1985–2009)
Transmitter power KBMY: 75 kW
KMCY: 40 kW
Height KBMY: 290 m (951 ft)
KMCY: 217 m (712 ft)
Facility ID KBMY: 22121
KMCY: 22127
Transmitter coordinates KBMY:
46°35′15″N 100°48′21″W / 46.58750°N 100.80583°W / 46.58750; -100.80583 (KBMY)
48°3′11″N 101°23′7″W / 48.05306°N 101.38528°W / 48.05306; -101.38528 (KMCY)
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: / KMCY Profile

KBMY is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Bismarck, North Dakota, United States. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on virtual and UHF channel 17 from a transmitter near St. Anthony. The station can also be seen on Midcontinent Communications cable channel 8 in the Bismarck–Mandan area, Midco cable channel 17 in Dickinson, Consolidated Telcom cable channel 3 in Dickinson and varied cable channels in surrounding areas. There is a high definition feed provided on Midco digital channel 608 in Bismarck–Mandan, Midco digital channel 617 in Dickinson and Consolidated Telcom digital channel 303 in Dickinson.

KMCY in Minot, North Dakota operates as a semi-satellite of KBMY for the northern portion of the Bismarck–Minot market. This outlet broadcasts a high definition digital signal on virtual and UHF channel 14 from a transmitter southwest of Minot. The station can also be seen on Midco cable channel 9 in Minot and surrounding areas, Midco cable channel 7 in Williston, SRT cable channel 11 and varied cable channels in surrounding areas. There is a high definition feed provided on Midco digital channel 609 (607 in Williston) and SRT digital channel 511. KMCY simulcasts all network and syndicated programming from KBMY, but airs separate commercials and legal identifications.

KBMY and KMCY are owned by Forum Communications of Fargo. Master control and internal operations for the two stations are based at the facilities of fellow ABC affiliate WDAY-TV in Fargo. Forum owns all four ABC stations in North Dakota—flagship station WDAY-TV in Fargo, WDAZ-TV in Grand Forks, KBMY and KMCY.


KBMY signed on for the first time on March 31, 1985; bringing the full ABC schedule to central and western North Dakota and eastern Montana for the first time ever. Before 1985, this area had been one of the last in the United States without full network service. ABC was limited to off-hours clearances on KX Television (KXMC/KXMD/KXMB/KXMA) and Meyer Television (KFYR/KQCD/KMOT/KUMV). Some rural cable subscribers in western North Dakota received ABC programming from KULR-TV (now NBC) from Billings, KFBB-TV from Great Falls, KOTA-TV from Rapid City or KUSA in Denver. The eastern half of the market was served by WDAY-TV and its Grand Forks semi-satellite, WDAZ-TV. Cable systems in Bismarck piped in WDAY-TV, while cable systems in Minot piped in WDAZ.

On paper, western North Dakota had been large enough to support three full network affiliates since at least the late 1960s. However, this region is one of the largest geographic markets in the nation, spilling across large slices of North Dakota, Montana, and South Dakota. It is so vast that KX Television and Meyer Television both needed four full-power stations to adequately cover it. On paper, the FCC collapsed central and western North Dakota into one giant market in 1957. However, the market was not fully realized until 1980, when Meyer upgraded its low-powered translator in Dickinson to a full-powered station, prompting Dickinson's original station, KDIX-TV (now KXMA) to become a separately-owned satellite of KX Television. Additionally, the only available commercial allocations were on the UHF band; UHF stations have never covered large areas very well. By the early 1980s, cable television—a must for acceptable television in much of this vast market—had gained enough penetration for a third network affiliate to be viable.

In the early 2000s, KBMY signed on two low-powered translators to serve the smaller cities in the market, K44HR in Williston and K42FY in Dickinson. Prior to K44HR's inception, cable television subscribers in the Williston area received Denver's ABC affiliate—KUSA prior to 1995 and KMGH-TV after 1995—for ABC programming. Dickinson, located in the Mountain Time Zone, also received KMGH until K42FY signed on. The Dickinson station directly repeated KBMY, while the Williston station repeated KMCY.

Former logo as "ABC West".

From the 1990s until 2007, KBMY and KMCY were known collectively as "ABC West". That year, the stations changed their monikers in favor of the station identities for their area. From 2002 until 2008, KBMY/KMCY was operated by Prime Cities Broadcasting, owner of western North Dakota's Fox affiliate, KNDX/KXND, in a local marketing agreement. The LMA allowed KBMY/KMCY to share the facilities, staff, and some equipment of KNDX/KXND.

The LMA with KNDX/KXND ended in 2008, with Forum opting to partner with Reiten Television in KBMY/KMCY's local operations via a joint sales agreement. While some local advertising staffers were based at KXMB-TV in Bismarck and KXMC-TV in Minot, most operations have been consolidated at WDAY-TV's studios in Fargo. KBMY and KMCY's programming is transported from WDAY-TV's studios to Bismarck via leased microwave relay bandwidth furnished by Prairie Public Broadcasting's statewide digital terrestrial microwave network (the only permanent full-time video link from Fargo to Bismarck for television broadcasting). The signal is then sent to KXMB from Prairie Public via fiberoptic line, where it then is exported via a studio to transmitter link (STL) from KXMB's studios to KBMY and KMCY's transmitters.

As part of the JSA with Reiten, KBMY/KMCY were picked up on the digital subchannels of KX Television satellites KXMA-TV in Dickinson and KXMD-TV in Williston starting in May 2009. The translators serving Dickinson and Williston went off-air. The JSA was terminated following the acquisition of the KX stations by Nexstar Broadcasting Group on February 2, 2016. At the same time, the ABC subchannels of KXMA and KXMD were replaced with The CW Plus.[5][6][7]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

Both stations' digital signals are multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[8][9]
720p 16:9 KBMY-DT
Main programming / ABC
480i 4:3 JUSTICE Justice Network
16:9 XTRA MyNetworkTV (primary)¹²
WDAY'Z Xtra (Local Sports/Weather Radar) (secondary)³

WDAY'Z Xtra is a digital subchannel carried on WDAY 6.3, WDAZ 8.3, KBMY 17.3, and KMCY 14.3, airing as a secondary affiliation to MyNetworkTV on KBMY and KMCY but without interruption on WDAY-TV and WDAZ-TV.³ This subchannel airs Doppler weather radar and "Storm Tracker" weather loop with easy listening music. It also airs North Dakota and Minnesota high school sports, North Dakota high school state tournaments, Minnesota State University–Moorhead athletics, ACC football and basketball and select University of North Dakota athletic events. It is offered on Midco cable channel 596.

WDAY'Z Xtra became available in HD in 2014, and in 2016 MyNetworkTV programming began airing (in primetime), although on KBMY and KMCY only ¹²³ (in Bismarck and Minot respectively) but not on WDAY-TV in Fargo or WDAZ-TV in Devils Lake/Grand Forks[10][11] (the most likely reason being that both of those stations broadcast to a viewing area that is currently being serviced by MyNetworkTV affiliate KCPM from Grand Forks–Fargo).[12]

Starting on August 29, 2016, WDAY'Z Xtra and the Justice Network aired WDAY'Z Xtra News during weekdays at 9:00 p.m. It is offered on Midco cable channel 594. KBMY and KMCY began carrying this subchannel in 2013.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KBMY shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 17, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station "flash-cut" its digital signal into operation on UHF channel 17.[13][14]

KMCY shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 14, on February 10, 2009, and "flash-cut" its digital signal into operation on UHF channel 14.

News and programming[edit]

When KBMY/KMCY signed on in 1985, the stations originated and aired a local newscast with on-location ENG and studio news coverage for the Bismarck and Minot areas. However, despite Forum's resources and legacy in North Dakota (sister stations WDAY/WDAZ are among the strongest ABC affiliates in the nation), KBMY/KMCY made almost no headway against Meyer Television and KX Television. This first attempt at a local newscast was canceled in 1988, with the nationally syndicated USA Today: The Television Show occupying the 6:00 p.m. newscast's former timeslot in KBMY/KMCY's schedule.

For the next quarter-century, the stations were among the few Big Three affiliates in the nation with no long form newscasts. From the mid-1990s to 2014, the closest thing to a newscast on the stations was Good Morning West Dakota, a 30-minute morning show produced by Bismarck radio station KBMR. Even then, there were no local cut-ins during Good Morning America.

Starting in 2014, WDAY-TV began reorienting its newscasts to a statewide focus, and gradually began simulcasting them on KBMY/KMCY. The Sunday 5:30 p.m. (Central Time) newscast was the first rolled out to Bismarck, in February 2014.[15] First News broadcasts during weekday mornings from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. (Central Time) debuted in April 2014, and the stations began airing WDAY's 5:00 p.m. (Central Time) weekday newscast in August 2014. Local cut-ins during Good Morning America are broadcast from WDAY-TV's studios. WDAY's 6 p.m. newscast debuted on September 14, 2015 with the 10 p.m. news starting on December 5, 2016.

The stations do not produce much local content, mostly serving as "pass-throughs" for automated programming from ABC and WDAY/WDAZ.

KBMY and KMCY sign off on Sunday nights at 4:30 a.m., returning to the air just minutes later.

Syndicated programming on KBMY/KMCY includes Judge Judy among others.


External links[edit]