KTVH News (newscasts)
Helena's CW 10 (on DT2)
|Slogan||News For You|
|Channels||Digital: 12 (VHF)
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
12.2 The CW
(sale to Cordillera Communications pending)
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||January 1, 1958|
|Call letters' meaning||TeleVision Helena|
|Former callsigns||KXLJ-TV (1958-1962)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
12 (VHF, 1958-2009)
Digital: 14 (UHF)
|Transmitter power||17.5 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KTVH-DT is a full-service television station serving Helena, Montana and the surrounding area as an NBC affiliate, broadcasting on digital channel 12. The station ceased its analog broadcasts on November 10, 2008. The station is owned by Gray Television. KTVH is simulcast on KBGF-LD channel 50 (Bresnan cable 6) in Great Falls.
KTVH was the first television station in Helena, Montana, signing on the air on January 1, 1958 as KXLJ-TV, a semi-satellite of KXLF-TV in Butte. It has always been an NBC affiliate. In December 1962, Bob Magnus and two partners bought the station, weaned it from KXLF, and changed the call letters to KBLL-TV.
In 1969, former Montana Governor Tim M. Babcock bought the station and changed the station's call letters to KTCM (Television for the Capitol of Montana). In 1976, KTCM built a new tower and expanded its coverage to include Missoula, Butte, and Great Falls; until 1986, it was effectively the default NBC affiliate for a large portion of Montana. Babcock sold the station to Lynn Koch in 1979, and the station changed call letters again, this time to KTVG. A few years later, Koch sold the station to Don Bradley, who again changed the call letters to KTVH (TeleVision for Helena - the calls were previously used on a Wichita, Kansas station now known as KWCH-DT), which remain to this day.
By 1988, the station was in financial trouble and Bradley sold it to John Raddeck and Big Sky Broadcasting Limited Partnership. Big Sky Broadcasting restored the station's financial health and in 1997, sold KTVH to Beartooth Communications Company, a subsidiary of Sunbelt Communications Company. On May 7, 2014, Intermountain West Communications Company (the former Sunbelt Communications) announced that it would sell KTVH-DT to Gray Television; Gray also purchased Helena CW affiliate KMTF (channel 10), which has long been operated by KTVH, through a failed station waiver. Gray took over KTVH's operations through a local marketing agreement on June 1. The sale of KTVH to Gray closed on November 3, 2014. On July 1, 2015, Gray announced that it would sell KTVH-DT to Cordillera Communications; concurrently, sister station KMTF will be donated to Montana State University and join the Montana PBS network, with its CW programming being transferred to a KTVH subchannel. Cordillera's purchase of KTVH will make it a sister station to CBS affiliate KXLH-LD (channel 9), as well as reunite the station with KXLF-TV.
An original construction permit was granted on November 16, 2004 to Charles C. Townsend, III of Aloha Partners, to build a low-power television station serving Great Falls, Montana. The station being constructed on channel 50 was given call letters K50IQ. In April 2005, Townsend sold the permit to Beartooth Communications, who immediately changed the call letters to KBGF-LP. The station was licensed on December 5, 2005 and is a translator for KTVH. KBGF had its own office in Great Falls, but it has since closed. KBGF-LP was included in the 2014 sale of KTVH-DT to Gray Television. On December 16, 2014, the station was licensed for digital operation, under the call sign KBGF-LD. KBGF-LD is included in the 2015 sale of KTVH-DT to Cordillera Communications; the deal will make it a sister station to CBS affiliate KRTV (channel 3).
On December 8, 1997, Sunbelt Communications Company obtained an original construction permit to build a full-service television station in Havre, Montana. KBBJ channel 9 became the first television station for Havre and north central Montana on December 5, 2001 when it was licensed as a satellite of KTVH. Sunbelt assigned the station's license to subsidiary Beartooth Communication Company in 2005. KBBJ went silent in 2008. On July 8, 2009, Sunbelt requested that the license for KBBJ be cancelled.
Beartooth Communications Company was granted an original construction permit on December 12, 1997 to build a full-service television station to serve Lewistown and surrounding areas in central Montana. On July 18, 2001, KBAO channel 13 was licensed as a satellite of KTVH, and as Lewistown's first television station. The station expanded its reach when the four translator television stations serving Phillips County in northern Montana became repeaters for KBAO. KBAO went silent in 2008. On July 9, 2009, Sunbelt requested that the license for KBAO be cancelled.
The following stations were rebroadcasting the signal of KBAO prior to going silent:
- K15AS-D Malta, Montana
- K20BP-D Phillips County, Montana
- K34DN-D Whitewater, Montana
- K36CW-D Dodson, Montana
KTVH-DT runs a news operation out of its studios in Helena, with newscasts on weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. Unlike most NBC affiliates, KTVH does not run morning or weekend newscasts.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|12.1||1080i||16:9||KTVH-DT||Main KTVH programming / NBC|
|12.2||480i||4:3||KMTF||Helena CW 10|
KTVH shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 12, on November 10, 2008. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 14 to VHF channel 12 for post-transition operations. KTVH is the first station in Helena to broadcast programming in high definition.
In August 2014, Gray filed an application for a digital companion channel for KBGF-LP operating on channel 19, contingent on its purchase of the station. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted special temporary authority to Intermountain West Communications on October 20 to construct this facility; this authority ensured that it could be constructed prior to winter, and allowed channel 19 to come on the air on October 26, mapping to channel 50.19 through PSIP.
- "Gray Buys Three Montana Stations". TVNewsCheck. May 7, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
- "Gray Closes on KTVH, KBGF-LP Buy". TVNewsCheck. November 3, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
- "Gray In 4 New Deals, Closes 3 Earlier Ones". TVNewsCheck. July 1, 2015. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KTVH
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "APPLICATION FOR AUTHORITY TO CONSTRUCT OR MAKE CHANGES IN A LOW POWER TV, TV TRANSLATOR OR TV BOOSTER STATION". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. August 1, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
- "Application Search Details (KBGF-LD)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
- "Engineering STA". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. October 16, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
- Ecke, Richard (October 29, 2014). "NBC channel goes digital, HD over the air in Great Falls". Great Falls Tribune. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
- Official website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KTVH
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KBGF-LD
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K15AS-D
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K20BP-D
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K34DN
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K36CW-D
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KTVH-DT