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St. Joseph, Missouri
United States
Branding KQ2 (general)
KQ2 News (newscasts)
Slogan That's My Station! (general)
Your Hometown News (news)
Channels Digital: 7 (VHF)
Virtual: 2 (PSIP)
Subchannels 2.1 ABC
2.2 Antenna TV
Affiliations ABC (primary since 1967; secondary 1956–1967)
Owner Heartland Media
(St. Joseph TV License Company, LLC)
First air date September 27, 1953 (64 years ago) (1953-09-27)[1]
Call letters' meaning KFEQ-TV
(reflecting former call letters)
Former callsigns KFEQ-TV (1953–1969)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
2 (VHF; 1953–2009)
53 (UHF; 2003–2009)
Former affiliations Primary:
CBS (1953–1967)
DuMont (1953–1955)
Transmitter power 40 kW
Height 179 m (587 ft)
Facility ID 20427
Transmitter coordinates 39°46′12″N 94°47′53.4″W / 39.77000°N 94.798167°W / 39.77000; -94.798167
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website www.kq2.com

KQTV, virtual channel 2 (VHF digital channel 7), is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to St. Joseph, Missouri, United States. The station is owned by Heartland Media. KQTV's studios and transmitter facilities are located on Faraon Street in eastern St. Joseph. On cable, the station is available on Suddenlink Communications channel 10.

Although KQTV serves as the primary ABC affiliate for the St. Joseph market, the network's Kansas City affiliate KMBC-TV (channel 9) is considered an alternate ABC affiliate for the area as its transmitter provides a city-grade off-air signal in St. Joseph proper, and is carried alongside KQTV on some local cable providers.


Early history[edit]

The station first signed on the air on September 27, 1953 as KFEQ-TV. It was founded by local businessman Barton Pitts, owner of local radio station KFEQ (630 AM). The station originally operated as a primary CBS affiliate, and also carried programming from the DuMont Television Network. That year, a 750-foot (229 m) tall lattice steel transmission tower was constructed to house the station's transmitter; the tower, which had become landmark in the city of St. Joseph, is often compared to the 1,042-foot (318 m) tower used by KCTV in Kansas City. The two stations, which signed on the air on the same date, built their respective towers at the same time as one another. In preparation for the digital television transition, on January 19, 2009, the KQTV tower was partially truncated in height to 587 feet (179 m).

KQTV logo, used from 2000 to 2009.

Pitts sold KFEQ-AM-TV to a group headed by Bing Crosby in 1955. Shortly after DuMont shut down in on August 6, 1956, KFEQ-TV began carrying ABC programming as a secondary affiliation. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[2] The Bradley family (owners of the St. Joseph News-Press newspaper, who ironically signed on Fox affiliate KNPN-LD (channel 26) in 2012) bought the KFEQ stations in 1957.

The stations were later sold to the Panax Corporation in 1963. One of KFEQ-TV's early personalities was Grace Crawford, who had hosted daytime talk shows during the 1960s that were aimed at a female audience, among which included Panorama. The station also broadcast live professional wrestling matches that were held in the KFEQ/KQTV studios for many years, which aired after the late newscast on Saturday nights. The program, Big 2 Wrestling, featured a recording of "The Wrestling Polka" at the start of every broadcast; local business owners would come to ringside and talk about their services between matches. Sometimes, the live commercial chats occurred between falls of matches, while losing wrestlers recovered in the background.

On June 1, 1967, KFEQ-TV became an exclusive ABC affiliate (the network's Kansas City affiliate, KCTV, known at the time as KCMO-TV, which had been affiliated with the network since September 1955, became the St. Joseph market's default CBS station as a result).

Ownership changes[edit]

The station's call letters were changed to KQTV in 1969, after the television and radio stations were sold off to separate owners with KQTV being sold for $3.1 million to Kansas City based ISC Industries. ISC Industries was a diversified company with many different holdings.[3]

In 1973, ISC sold KQTV and radio stations KGRV and KLYX for $4.6 million to Amaturo Group.[4]

In 1979, Amaturo sold KQTV to Elba Development of Rochester, New York for $9 million.[5]

In 1990, Elba sold KQTV along with WRBL in Columbus, Georgia and WTWO in Terre Haute, Indiana to TCS for $58 million[6]

Nexstar Broadcasting Group acquired the station in 1997.[7]

Sale to Heartland Media[edit]

Nexstar announced on June 13, 2016 that it would sell KQTV and four other stations to Heartland Media, through its USA Television MidAmerica Holdings joint venture with MSouth Equity Partners, for $115 million. The sale is required as part of Nexstar's planned merger with Media General to comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ownership caps.[8] The sale was completed on January 17.[9]

On March 1, 2018, subchannel 2.2 went live and began carrying Antenna TV.

Studios and tower.

Market status[edit]

St. Joseph ranks 201st out of 210 media markets designated by Nielsen Media Research; it serves several rural portions of northeastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri. However, during the analog era, KQTV provided at least grade B signal coverage to much of Kansas City and Topeka; the channel 2 signal traveled a very long distance under normal atmospheric conditions. Its digital signal still has considerable penetration in both cities despite operating on a short tower. In turn, stations from Kansas City, Topeka and Omaha are receivable over-the-air in portions of the St. Joseph market and are also available on some cable and satellite providers: Suddenlink, DirecTV and Dish Network carry Kansas City's KCTV as the area's default CBS affiliate. Kansas City's WDAF-TV (channel 4), which was displaced as the default Fox affiliate by KNPN-LD on Suddenlink and Dish Network when that station signed on, continued to be available on DirecTV until June 30, 2012, when it was replaced by KNPN. As a result of the heavy signal overlap between the Kansas City and St. Joseph area stations, St. Joseph could be considered a sub-market of the adjacent Kansas City market.

TBN owned-and-operated station KTAJ-TV (channel 16), which also serves Kansas City as well, became the second television station to sign on in St. Joseph in October 1986. However, KQTV remained the market's only local commercial station until June 2, 2012, when the News-Press & Gazette Company (owned by KQTV's one-time owners, the Bradley family) signed on KNPN-LD as the area's Fox affiliate.[10][11][12] News-Press & Gazette (which also owns local news and weather channel News-Press NOW) later signed on KBJO-LD (now KNPG-LD; channel 21) as the area's CW (now NBC) affiliate in March 2013 and KNPG-LD (now KCJO-LD; channel 30)[13] as a Telemundo (now CBS) affiliate in 2014.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channel[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[14]
2.1 16:9 720p KQTV Main KQTV programming / ABC
2.2 4:3 480p Antenna TV

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KQTV began broadcasting its digital signal at 1,000 kW on UHF channel 53 in 2003. Since that allocation was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, it seemed likely that KQTV would relocate its digital signal to VHF channel 2. However, low-band VHF signals are more prone to interference from atmospheric conditions than higher channel numbers. For these reasons when the station discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 2, on February 18, 2009, the station's digital signal moved to VHF channel 7.[15] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 2.


Syndicated programs broadcast by KQTV include Live with Kelly and Ryan, Dr. Phil, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. In addition, the station produces St. Joe Channel Showcase, a half-hour business showcase program that airs on Monday and Wednesday mornings. KQTV runs the entire ABC network schedule. Previously, the station did not carry ABC's overnight news program World News Now; this was because it was one of the few remaining American television stations that signed off during overnight hours, from 1:35 to 5:00 a.m.

News operation[edit]

KQTV presently broadcasts 16 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with three hours on weekdays, and a half-hour each on Saturdays and Sundays); unlike most ABC affiliates in the Central Time Zone, it does not carry a midday newscast or a full-length morning newscast of two to 2½ hours (running only 90 minutes) on weekdays, or an early evening newscast on weekends. The station has a high turnover rate among its on-air anchoring and reporting staff, with most eventually moving on to larger markets. Gordie Hershiser, brother of former Cy Young Award winner Orel Hershiser, once served as a sports anchor at the station, succeeding longtime sports director John Baccala.

On August 24, 2007, KQTV marked long-time meteorologist Mike Bracciano's 20th anniversary with the station. Current and former station personnel paid tribute to Bracciano during an hour-long broadcast originating from East Hills Mall. Among those appearing in person or via taped message included Baccala, and former news anchors John Bassford and Nancy Lewis (the latter who, along with Bracciano, served as the original hosts of the station's Live at Five newscast, when it premiered in the early 1990s).


External links[edit]