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Missoula, Montana
United States
Branding ABC Montana (general)
ABC Montana Local News (newscasts)
Fox Montana (DT2)
Slogan Your Local News Leader
Channels Digital: 23 (UHF)
Virtual: 23 (PSIP)
Subchannels 23.1 ABC
23.2 Fox/MyNetworkTV[1]
Translators KTMF-LD 42 Kalispell
K19GD-D Kalispell
K14LT-D Polson
K11KE Woods Bay
Affiliations ABC
Owner Cowles Company
(Cowles Montana Media Company)
First air date November 16, 1991; 25 years ago (1991-11-16)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
23 (UHF, 1991–2009)
36 (UHF, until 2009)
Transmitter power 92.6 kW
Height 642 m
Facility ID 14675
Transmitter coordinates 47°1′10″N 114°0′46″W / 47.01944°N 114.01278°W / 47.01944; -114.01278
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website www.abcmontana.com

KTMF is a full-service television station in Missoula, Montana, broadcasting locally in digital on UHF channel 23 as an affiliate of ABC. Founded April 12, 1989, the station is owned by Cowles Publishing Company. The station's signal is rebroadcast on station KTMF-LD channel 42 in Kalispell and on three 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, at first known by its application identification number, 881130 kg, soon took the call letters KLFV, but before the station went on air, had changed calls again, this time to KTMF. The station was issued a license on February 28, 1991 and signed on later that year. 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 and KPAX-TV, or via cable from KXLY-TV in Spokane.

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 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.[2][3] The sale was completed on November 29.[4]

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 callsign K59EQ and after an expired construction permit and a couple of extensions of the new permit, K59EQ was licesnsed on July 11, 1995. The station changed its calls 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.[5] KTMF-LD was included in Cowles' 2013 purchase of Max Media's Montana stations.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels for KTMF-TV[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[6]
23.1 720p 16:9 KTMF-AB Main KTMF programming / ABC
23.2 KTMF-FO KTMF-DT2 / Fox
MyNetworkTV (11:05 p.m. - 1:05 a.m. Monday - Friday)
Jewelry Television (overnights)

Digital channels for KTMF-LD[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[7]
42.1 720p 16:9 KTMF-AB Main KTMF-LD programming / ABC
42.2 KTMF-FO KTMF-LD2 / Fox
MyNetworkTV (11:05 p.m. - 1:05 a.m. Monday - Friday)
Jewelry Television (overnights)

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 remain on channel 23 following the completion of the digital television transition.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KTMF shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 23, on February 17, 2009, the original target date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 36 to channel 23 for post-transition operations.[8]

KTMF airs Fox programming on a subchannel.[9] Currently, programming from MyNetworkTV (the Fox sister network) is seen in a delayed manner from 11:05 until 1:05 early the next morning.1 There is no local branding and/or logo indicating the secondary MyNetworkTV affiliation status aside from network promotions.

News operation[edit]

Under Continental Television Network, KTMF (along with its sister stations) did not air local newscasts, but soon after Max Media acquired the stations, they began to make plans for a regional newscast for the stations, to debut in early 2002.[10] They launched the newscast, produced by Independent News Network of Davenport, Iowa and branded Big Sky News, in October 2002,[11] but the newscast generated controversy, in part because it tried to simultaneously serve the needs of five communities over 200 miles (320 km) apart, and in part because the newscast did not actually originate in Montana, but rather, in a city approximately 1,175 miles (1,891 km) away, with only one reporter actually assigned to and located in Missoula. Max Media launched another attempt at a regional newscast for KTMF and its other stations in February 2005, this time branded Montana News Network but this time it was produced out of KFBB-TV in Great Falls (which the company had acquired in 2004).

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.[12]


KTMF can be seen in other parts of western Montana on the following translator stations:


  1. ^ http://titantvguide.titantv.com/apg/ttv.aspx?siteid=53664
  2. ^ Application For Consent To Assignment Of Broadcast Station Construction Permit Or License "Federal Communications Commission", 1 October 2013
  3. ^ Application For Consent To Assignment Of Broadcast Station Construction Permit Or License "Federal Communications Commission", 1 October 2013
  4. ^ "CDBS Print". Licensing.fcc.gov. 2013-11-29. Retrieved 2015-07-27. 
  5. ^ FCC Internet Services Staff. "Application View ... Redirecting". Licensing.fcc.gov. Retrieved 2015-07-27. 
  6. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KTMF
  7. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KTMF-LD
  8. ^ "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. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ [1] Archived November 7, 2004, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ "www.maxmontana.com". www.maxmontana.com. Retrieved 2015-07-27. 
  12. ^ Cederburg, Jenna (August 15, 2012). "Fox affiliate to begin half-hour news broadcast in Missoula". The Missoulian. Retrieved August 15, 2012. 

External links[edit]