|Branding||KOLO 8 (general)|
KOLO 8 News Now (newscasts)
|Slogan||Covering the News That Matters to You|
|Channels||Digital: 8 (VHF)|
Virtual: 8 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||8.1: ABC (secondary 1953–1967; primary 1972–present)|
8.3: The CW
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||September 23, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||from former sister station KOLO (AM)|
|Former callsigns||KZTV (1953–1956)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
8 (VHF, 1953–2009)
9 (VHF, until 2009)
PBS (per-program; 1970–1983)
|Transmitter power||15.6 kW|
|Height||893 m (2,930 ft)|
|Public license information||Profile|
KOLO-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 8, is a dual ABC/CW+-affiliated television station licensed to Reno, Nevada, United States. The station is owned by Gray Television. KOLO-TV's studios are located on Ampere Drive in Reno, and its transmitter is located on Slide Mountain between SR 431 and I-580/US 395/US 395 ALT in unincorporated Washoe County (on a tower shared with CBS affiliate KTVN, channel 2, and NBC affiliate KRNV-DT, channel 4). On cable, KOLO is available on Charter Spectrum channel 8 and in high definition on digital channel 788.
KOLO hit the airwaves September 23, 1953 as KZTV. It was the second station in Nevada, following KLAS-TV in Las Vegas (which went on air two months earlier) and the first in northern Nevada. It had hoped to be the first in Nevada, but a carpenters' strike delayed sign-on. It carried programming from all four networks, but was a primary CBS affiliate; despite this, none of the soap operas it cleared during the 1950s came from CBS.
Its founding owner, Donald W. Reynolds of the Donrey Media Group (now Stephens Media LLC) originally tapped it to be an affiliate of NBC. However, NBC balked; noting the fact that Reno had only 97 television sets at the time, network officials asked, "Who would be stupid enough to put a television station in Reno, Nevada?" CBS was far more responsive to Reynolds' offer. At the time channel 8 signed on, Reno was the smallest city in the country with a television station.
The station also carried programs from the short-lived Paramount Television Network; KZTV was one of that network's strongest affiliates, airing Paramount programs such as Time for Beany, Bandstand Revue, and Hollywood Wrestling. It also aired a large amount of local programming, much of it live. Its freewheeling production style earned it the nickname "Crazy TV."
In 1956, Reynolds bought KOLO radio (AM 920, now KIHM) and changed channel 8's call letters to the present KOLO-TV. The KZTV call letters now reside on the CBS affiliate in Corpus Christi, Texas. Four years later, KOLO-AM-TV got sister stations in Las Vegas when it bought KORK-AM-FM-TV as part of Donrey's purchase of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The station originally broadcast from a short tower at its studios on Fifth Street. However, its signal was marginal at best even in areas close to Reno; Reynolds couldn't get a picture at his home on Lake Tahoe. As a solution, channel 8 built its current tower atop Slide Mountain. It was initially thought to be difficult to maintain, given the heavy snow and high winds that are common on the mountain during the winter. To that end, one of the engineers asked his father, who worked for U. S. Steel, to build a transmitter building designed like storage tanks for oil companies. It had a cupola on top for the microwave, and had interior walls and flooring to accommodate living quarters for the engineers; at the time the FCC required engineers to be at the transmitter site at all times. The transmitter building remains in use today. Also around this time, the station began building translator after translator across its vast coverage area, which now stretched across a large swath of northern Nevada and northeastern California.
The Fifth Street studio burned down during a fire in a closet. The station was off the air until it moved to a new temporary studio on Vassar Street and Terminal Way. The current facility on Ampere Drive came online in 1979.
It lost DuMont when the network ceased operations in 1955. It also lost NBC to KCRL-TV (now KRNV-DT) when it started in 1962, and ABC to KTVN when that station started operations in 1967. KOLO and KTVN swapped affiliations in 1972. KOLO also carried Sesame Street for several years, until September 29, 1983, when Reno got a PBS station of its own (KNPB).
The analog signal of KOLO-TV went off the air at 12:30 p.m. on January 12, 2009, so that the station could complete work on the transmitter on Slide Mountain in order to move the digital signal back to Channel 8.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|8.1||720p||16:9||KOLO-TV||Main KOLO-TV programming / ABC|
KOLO-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 8, 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's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition VHF channel 9 to channel 8.
KOLO-TV produces the only midday newscast that runs from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. while also airing ABC World News Tonight at 6:00 p.m., instead at 5:30 or 6:30 p.m. KTVN also airs their network newscast at 6:00 p.m. while KRNV-DT is the only station to air its network newscast at 5:30 p.m. Other newscasts include a 2½-hour long Good Morning Reno that runs from 4:30-7:00 a.m. and KOLO 8 News NOW at 4:30, 5:00, 5:30, 6:30 and 11:00 p.m. The 4:30 a.m. newscast debuted on October 13, 2014 to compete with KTVN and as of 2018, KRNV is the only station to not have a 4:30 a.m. newscast. On April 20, 2015, KOLO-TV became the first station to offer a 4:30 p.m. newscast in the market after Dr. Oz was moved to an hour-long 2:00 p.m. time slot after The Queen Latifah Show was canceled and Jeopardy! was added as a rerun for the 4:00 p.m. time slot. KTVN has since added local news at 4:00 and 4:30 p.m., the latter of which competes against KOLO-TV.
Notable former on-air staff
- Marc Brown – Former anchor
- Jean Casarez – Former weekend anchor
- Sean Cronin – Former chief meteorologist
- Pete Giddings – Former chief meteorologist
- Peter Laufer – Former reporter
- Vicky Nguyen – Former investigative reporter
- Brian Sussman – Former meteorologist
- Rene Syler – Former weekend anchor
- Henry Wofford – Former weekend sports anchor
- On Air: 60 Years of KOLO 8 (Television Production). United States: KOLO-TV. 2013.
- "KZTV Programs". Reno Evening Gazette. Reno, NV. 1953-10-10. p. 10.
- "KZTV Channel 8". Nevada State Journal. Reno, NV. 1954-03-24. p. 17.
- "KZTV Log". Reno Evening Gazette. Reno, NV. 1955-03-26. p. 11.
- "RabbitEars TV Query for KOLO". Rabbitears.info. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
- "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.
- "KOLO is ready for some more "News NOW" at 4:30 p.m." The Changing Newscasts Blog. Roly Ortega. Retrieved 2 July 2015.