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BrandingNonStop Local Missoula (KTMF)
NonStop Local Kalispell (KTMF-LD)
Subchannels23.1: ABC
23.2: Fox/MyNetworkTV/Jewelry Television[1]
23.3: SWX Right Now[2]
FoundedApril 12, 1989
First air date
November 16, 1990 (32 years ago) (1990-11-16)[3]
Former channel number(s)
23 (UHF, 1990–2009)
36 (UHF, until 2009)
Call sign meaning
"Television Missoula Flathead"[3]
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID14675
ERP92.6 kW
HAAT642 m (2,106 ft)
Transmitter coordinates47°1′10″N 114°0′49″W / 47.01944°N 114.01361°W / 47.01944; -114.01361
Translator(s)KTMF-LD 36 Kalispell
(for others, see below
Public license information

KTMF (channel 23) is a television station in Missoula, Montana, United States, affiliated with ABC and Fox. Owned by the Cowles Company, the station has studios on Stephens Avenue in Missoula, and its transmitter is located on TV Mountain north of the city.

KTMF-LD (channel 42) in Kalispell, Montana operates as a semi-satellite of KTMF. As such, it simulcasts all network and syndicated programming as provided through KTMF, but airs separate commercial inserts and legal identifications. KTMF-LD's transmitter is located on Kookoosint Trail in Lone Pine State Park southwest of Kalispell.

KTMF's signal is rebroadcast on several other low-power translator stations in the Flathead Lake area of northwestern Montana.


KTMF's "ABC 23" and "ABC 42" logos, used during the mid-2000s

On April 12, 1989, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted an original construction permit to Continental Television Network (CTN) for a full-service station on channel 23 to serve Missoula. The station soon took the call letters KLFV,[4] but before the station went on air, had changed call signs again, this time to KTMF. The station went on the air on November 16, 1990.[3] This made Missoula one of the last cities in the nation to get full service from all three major networks. Previously, ABC had been relegated to limited clearances on KECI-TV (channel 13) and KPAX-TV (channel 8), or via cable from KXLY-TV in Spokane. KECI had dropped ABC programming in 1989 to become a full-time NBC affiliate.[5] The studios on Stephens Avenue once housed Carousel, a former bar.[5] Fox programming was added to KTMF's lineup in 1994.[6]

In February 2001, CTN sold KTMF, along with the then-KTMF-LP in Kalispell, KWYB in Butte, KWYB-LP in Bozeman and KTGF in Great Falls, to Max Media of Montana. They were the first television station acquisitions in Montana for Max Media.

On July 13, 2009, KTMF's second subchannel was launched to carry Fox, after Equity's KMMF (channel 17) and Kalispell repeater KMMF-LP (channel 34) were taken silent on the June 12, 2009, digital switchover date due to Equity's bankruptcy and KMMF having no digital facilities to transition to.[7] Fox's secondary network MyNetworkTV is seen in a delayed manner on the subchannel from 10:05 p.m. to 12:05 a.m., and is carried unpromoted in any way outside of network promotions.

On September 30, 2013, the Cowles Company acquired Max Media's Montana television station cluster (which, in addition to KTMF and KWYB, also included KFBB-TV in Great Falls, KHBB-LD in Helena, and NBC affiliate KULR-TV in Billings) for $18 million.[8][9] The sale was completed on November 29.[10]

KTMF-LD history[edit]

On January 6, 1992, the FCC granted an original construction permit to CTN for a low-power station on channel 59 to serve Kalispell. The station was given call sign K59EQ, and after an expired construction permit and a couple of extensions of the new permit, K59EQ was licensed on July 11, 1995. The station changed its call sign to KTMF-LP later in the same year.

In February 2001, CTN sold the station to Max Media of Montana as part of the same transaction as KTMF. KTMF-LP was granted a permit to move to channel 42 in October 2003 and as of August 2006, the station had completed the move, but had not applied for a license to operate on the new channel.

On May 27, 2010, KTMF-LP was granted a construction permit to flash-cut from analog to digital on channel 42. On January 4, 2013, the station changed its call sign to KTMF-LD.[11] KTMF-LD was included in Cowles' 2013 purchase of Max Media's Montana stations. The station was licensed to move its digital broadcast to channel 36 effective December 26, 2018.

News operation[edit]

KTMF's first local news service came under Max Media ownership in September 2002, when Max contracted Independent News Network of Davenport, Iowa, to produce a regional newscast for KWYB, KTMF, and KTGF, all third-to-air stations in their markets with no local news at the time. Six reporters, one each in the five areas serviced by the Max Montana stations and another in Helena, contributed reports to Big Sky News at 5 and 10 p.m., which was presented from Iowa.[12][13] The early newscast was dropped at the start of 2004.[14]

In 2005, Max Media acquired KFBB-TV in Great Falls, selling KTGF. Unlike KTGF, KFBB-TV produced its own local news. At that time, Big Sky News was replaced with a 10 p.m. newscast branded Montana News Network, produced from Great Falls and servicing all of the company's Montana stations except KULR-TV in Billings.[15] This newscast was subsequently discontinued, and for several years the only local newscast on the station was a ten-minute late newscast, 10@10.

KTMF started its own news operation in August 2012 in preparation for the launch of a 9 p.m. newscast on its Fox subchannel a month later.[16]

Technical information[edit]


The stations' digital signals are multiplexed:

Subchannels of KTMF (23)[17] and KTMF-LD (42)[18]
Channel Video Short name Programming
23.1 / 42.1 720p KTMFABC ABC
23.2 / 42.2 KTMFFOX Fox
MyNetworkTV (10:05 p.m. - 12:05 a.m. Monday - Friday)
Jewelry Television (overnights)
23.3 / 42.3 KTMFSWX SWX Right Now[2]

On September 26, 2001, the FCC granted a construction permit to build KTMF-DT on UHF channel 36. The station received Special Temporary Authority (STA) on April 22, 2001 to broadcast at reduced power. KTMF elected to move its digital signal to channel 23 following the completion of the digital television transition, switching over on the original target date of February 17, 2009.[19]


City of license Callsign Channel ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter coordinates Owner
Drummond K35JT-D 35 0.167 kW −137 m (−449 ft) 183076 46°37′2.2″N 113°10′55.5″W / 46.617278°N 113.182083°W / 46.617278; -113.182083 (K35JT-D) Granite County TV District
Elmo, Big Arm K36KR-D 36 0.135 kW −127 m (−417 ft) 181252 47°48′59.7″N 114°18′53.4″W / 47.816583°N 114.314833°W / 47.816583; -114.314833 (K36KR-D) Blacktail TV Tax District
Ferndale K14NI-D 14 0.111 kW 71 m (233 ft) 182550 48°4′4.3″N 114°2′19.3″W / 48.067861°N 114.038694°W / 48.067861; -114.038694 (K14NI-D) Swan Hill TV District
Heron K15IY-D 15 0.125 kW 240 m (787 ft) 187606 47°57′17.6″N 115°40′14.9″W / 47.954889°N 115.670806°W / 47.954889; -115.670806 (K15IY-D) Trout Creek-Heron-Noxon TV District
Hot Springs K16NF-D 16 0.003 kW 10 m (33 ft) 27680 47°37′56.7″N 114°39′51″W / 47.632417°N 114.66417°W / 47.632417; -114.66417 (K16NF-D) Hot Springs TV District
K19GD-D 19 0.69 kW 794 m (2,605 ft) 5820 48°0′39.8″N 114°21′51.4″W / 48.011056°N 114.364278°W / 48.011056; -114.364278 (K19GD-D) Blacktail TV Tax District
Kalispell KTMF-LD 36 2.48 kW 110 m (361 ft) 14676 48°10′33.9″N 114°21′0.2″W / 48.176083°N 114.350056°W / 48.176083; -114.350056 (KTMF-LD) Cowles Company
Philipsburg K30KY-D 30 0.015 kW 475 m (1,558 ft) 183065 46°15′48.8″N 113°15′2.9″W / 46.263556°N 113.250806°W / 46.263556; -113.250806 (K30KY-D) Granite County TV District
Polson K14LT-D 14 0.061 kW −19 m (−62 ft) 5813 47°40′38.8″N 114°8′33.2″W / 47.677444°N 114.142556°W / 47.677444; -114.142556 (K14LT-D) Blacktail TV Tax District
Quartz Creek K16KZ-D 16 0.431 kW 84 m (276 ft) 190057 48°26′19.8″N 115°31′40.5″W / 48.438833°N 115.527917°W / 48.438833; -115.527917 (K16KZ-D) Libby Video Club, Inc.
Sula K09YT-D 9 0.011 kW 112 m (367 ft) 183070 45°49′17.5″N 113°59′41″W / 45.821528°N 113.99472°W / 45.821528; -113.99472 (K09YT-D) Sula TV District
Thompson Falls K21MW-D 21 0.053 kW −270 m (−886 ft) 181904 47°35′45″N 115°16′51″W / 47.59583°N 115.28083°W / 47.59583; -115.28083 (K21MW-D) Thompson Falls TV District
West Glacier K07IT-D 7 0.019 kW 628 m (2,060 ft) 16756 48°25′58.8″N 113°57′58.4″W / 48.433000°N 113.966222°W / 48.433000; -113.966222 (K07IT-D) Cowles Company
Whitefish K31PD-D 31 12 kW 770 m (2,526 ft) 187420 48°0′48.16″N 114°21′59.9″W / 48.0133778°N 114.366639°W / 48.0133778; -114.366639 (K31PD-D)
K07EN-D 7 0.1 kW −45 m (−148 ft) 5811 48°1′14.8″N 114°3′33.4″W / 48.020778°N 114.059278°W / 48.020778; -114.059278 (K07EN-D) Blacktail TV Tax District
Salmon, ID K36PM-D 36 0.11 kW 846 m (2,776 ft) 58706 45°8′44.7″N 114°0′33.2″W / 45.145750°N 114.009222°W / 45.145750; -114.009222 (K36PM-D) Salmon TV Translator District


  1. ^ TitanTV Query for KFBB-DT/KHBB-LD, KTMF-DT/LD, & KWYB-DT/LD
  2. ^ a b Lutz, Andrea (December 7, 2016). "Where to watch: SWX 24hr 'Sports and Weather'". ABCFOXMontana.com. Cowles Company. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Stergionis, Marc (December 23, 1990). "KTGF's sister station goes on air in Missoula". Great Falls Tribune. p. 2B. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  4. ^ King, Jr., Neil (January 24, 1990). "KTGF delays decision on Missoula station". Great Falls Tribune. Medill News Service. p. 9A. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Sullivan, Patricia (September 13, 1990). "New TV station: KTMF comes to town". The Missoulian. Missoula, Montana. p. A-1, A-10. Retrieved April 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "Missoula's ABC station adds top Fox shows". The Missoulian. Missoula, Montana. July 17, 1994. p. 16. Retrieved April 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ Malone, Michael (21 July 2009). "Fox on Montana Stations' Digi-Channels". Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on 2012-09-28. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  8. ^ "Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. 1 October 2013.
  9. ^ "Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. 1 October 2013.
  10. ^ "CDBS Print". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. 2013-11-29. Retrieved 2015-07-27.
  11. ^ FCC Internet Services Staff. "Application View ... Redirecting". Licensing.fcc.gov. Retrieved 2015-07-27.
  12. ^ Struckman, Todd (October 10, 2002). "First from afar: Live from Iowa, it's Big Sky News". Missoula Independent. Missoula, Montana. p. 9. Archived from the original on April 26, 2022. Retrieved April 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ Britton, Beth (September 24, 2002). "KTGF launches newscast". Great Falls Tribune. Great Falls, Montana. p. 6S. Archived from the original on April 26, 2022. Retrieved April 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ McCartney, Leslie (January 11, 2004). "KXLF-TV not leaving". The Montana Standard. Butte, Montana. p. C5. Archived from the original on April 26, 2022. Retrieved April 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ Larcombe, James E. (February 27, 2005). "Max Media launches new TV station". Great Falls Tribune. Great Falls, Montana. p. 1B, 2B. Archived from the original on April 26, 2022. Retrieved April 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ Cederburg, Jenna (August 15, 2012). "Fox affiliate to begin half-hour news broadcast in Missoula". The Missoulian. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
  17. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for KTMF". rabbitears.info. Retrieved April 26, 2022.
  18. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for KTMF". rabbitears.info. Retrieved April 26, 2022.
  19. ^ Ratledge, Mark (February 22, 2009). "Checking progress of digital transition". The Missoulian. Missoula, Montana. p. D1, D6. Retrieved April 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.

External links[edit]