NBC Montana

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NBC Montana
TypeBroadcast television network
BrandingNBC Montana (branding)
MeTV Montana (DT2)
Country
AvailabilityRegional
Founded1954
HeadquartersMissoula, Montana
Broadcast area
Western Montana
OwnerSinclair Broadcast Group
Launch date
July 1, 1954 (67 years ago) (1954-07-01)
(see article)
Picture format
1080i (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
Affiliation(s)x.1: NBC (since 1957, secondary until 1965)
x.2: MeTV
x.3: Charge! (O&O)
AffiliatesSee list
Primary:
CBS (1954–1965)
Secondary:
ABC (1954–1976, 1984–1990)
DuMont (1954–1956)
CBS (1965–1966, 1976–1984)
PBS (per program, 1976–1984)
DT3:
This TV (until 2013)
Movies! (2013–20??)
Official website
www.nbcmontana.com
Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML

NBC Montana is a regional network of three television stations in western Montana, all affiliated with NBC.

The flagship station is KECI-TV in Missoula, broadcasting on virtual and VHF digital channel 13. It includes two semi-satellites: KCFW-TV (channel 9) in Kalispell and KTVM-TV (channel 6) in Butte. It also serves Bozeman via Class A translator KDBZ-CD (channel 29), which directly repeats KTVM. All stations are owned and operated by the Sinclair Broadcast Group.

The stations air the same programming most of the time, but KCFW and KTVM air their own commercials and legal identifications, as well as partially separate local newscasts.

The combined signal of the three full-power stations and numerous low-power transmitters provides at least Grade B coverage of approximately 45 percent of the state. The stations reach an estimated 200,000 households. The coverage area stretches from Salmon, Idaho, through Helena to Bozeman in the east. It also includes parts of southern Alberta, Canada near the U.S.–Canada border.

KECI's studios, which house master control and internal operations for all three stations, are located on West Main Street in downtown Missoula. KCFW is based on 1st Avenue in downtown Kalispell, while KTVM is based on Dewey Avenue in Butte.

History[edit]

KECI hit the airwaves on July 1, 1954 as KGVO-TV, owned by Montana broadcasting pioneer Arthur Mosby along with KGVO radio (1290 AM). Originally, the station was a primary CBS affiliate, owing to its radio sister's long affiliation with CBS radio, but also carried programming from ABC and DuMont;[1] it would lose DuMont when the network shut down in 1956. On December 1, 1956, the station's studios moved from its transmitter location to its radio sister's studios on West Main Street in downtown Missoula, and concurrently changed its call letters to KMSO-TV.[2] By 1957, KMSO had added a secondary affiliation with NBC.[3] Mosby sold KGVO radio to Dale Moore in 1959,[4] but held on to KMSO until 1964, when Moore bought channel 13 as well;[5] upon taking over, he changed its call letters back to KGVO-TV.

KGVO-TV switched its primary affiliation to NBC in 1965, though it still carried some CBS programming.[6] Then in March 1966, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) combined Missoula and Butte into a single television market, and KGVO became the combined market's primary NBC affiliate; the station retained a secondary ABC affiliation but ceded CBS to Butte's KXLF-TV.[7] The station would eventually share ABC programming with KPAX-TV (channel 8), which signed on in 1970 as a satellite of KXLF. Channel 13 also offered a few PBS programs, particularly Sesame Street, from 1976 until KUSM (channel 9, now part of Montana PBS) in Bozeman signed on in 1984. Also in 1976, KGVO began sharing CBS programming with KPAX when that station took on a primary ABC affiliation;[8] the change was reversed in 1984, after which the stations again split ABC programming in off-hours,[9] an arrangement that ended when KTMF (channel 23) signed on in 1990. Between 1983 and 1989, KECI aired an 11 p.m. late local newscast—highly unusual in the Mountain Time Zone—which gave it more time to air ABC programs but created further scheduling headaches and put its late news at a disadvantage.[10]

Channel 13 took its current calls in 1978,[11] after Moore's Western Broadcasting Company sold the station to Eagle Communications, a partnership of Advance Corporation (then owner of KFBB-TV in Great Falls) and Sullivan Productions, for $6.5 million.[12] Although the sale separated the station from KGVO radio, KECI-TV is still based in the West Main Street studio. Precht Communications, a sister company to Sullivan Productions, acquired full control of Eagle Communications by 1981.[13] In 1997, Precht sold the station to Lamco Communications, who in turn sold their stations to Bluestone Television in 2004.[14] Bonten Media Group acquired the BlueStone stations in 2007.[15]

KCFW signed on in 1968 as a semi-satellite of KGVO-TV. It is the only full-power station in the Flathead. KTVM was added in 1970, also as a semi-satellite of KGVO-TV. The Bozeman repeater signed on in 1990 as K42BZ. In 2014, it was upgraded to Class A status as KDBZ-CD.

On April 21, 2017, Sinclair Broadcast Group announced its intent to purchase the Bonten stations for $240 million.[16] The sale was completed September 1.[17]

Stations[edit]

Main stations[edit]

Station City of license Channels
(VC / RF)
First air date Call letters’
meaning
ERP HAAT Transmitter coordinates Facility ID Public license information
KECI-TV Missoula 13
13 (VHF)
July 1, 1954 (67 years ago) (1954-07-01) Eagle
Communications
Incorporated
41.3 kW 610 m (2,001 ft) 47°1′4″N 114°0′50″W / 47.01778°N 114.01389°W / 47.01778; -114.01389 (KECI-TV) 18084 Profile
LMS
KCFW-TV Kalispell 9
9 (VHF)
June 10, 1968 (53 years ago) (1968-06-10) Kalispell
Columbia Falls
Whitefish
(the three largest towns in its broadcast area)
2.5 kW
17 kW (CP)
850 m (2,789 ft)
67 m (220 ft) (CP)
48°0′48″N 114°21′58″W / 48.01333°N 114.36611°W / 48.01333; -114.36611 (KCFW-TV) 18079 Profile
LMS
KTVM-TV Butte 6
6 (VHF)
May 12, 1970 (51 years ago) (1970-05-12) TeleVision
Montana
19.2 kW 591.3 m (1,940 ft) 46°0′27″N 112°26′33″W / 46.00750°N 112.44250°W / 46.00750; -112.44250 (KTVM-TV) 18066 Profile
LMS
KDBZ-CD Bozeman 6
29 (UHF)
1992 (29 years ago) (1992) D BoZeman 15 kW 235 m (771 ft)
206.7 m (678 ft) (CP)
45°40′24″N 110°52′5″W / 45.67333°N 110.86806°W / 45.67333; -110.86806 (KDBZ-CD) 18083 Profile
LMS

Translators[edit]

KECI logo used until 2014; the "13" in the logo would be revived in 2020.
KCFW logo used until 2014.
KTVM logo used until 2014.
City of license Callsign Translating Channel ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter coordinates Owner
Basin K11LA-D KTVM 11 0.015 kW −316 m (−1,037 ft) 4044 46°16′31.2″N 112°16′8.9″W / 46.275333°N 112.269139°W / 46.275333; -112.269139 (K11LA-D) Basin TV Association
Boulder K13KP-D KTVM 13 0.019 kW −149 m (−489 ft) 6522 46°15′20.7″N 112°8′56″W / 46.255750°N 112.14889°W / 46.255750; -112.14889 (K13KP-D) Basin TV Association
Dillon K25OA-D KTVM 25 0.159 kW 145 m (476 ft) 18086 45°14′20.8″N 112°40′8.1″W / 45.239111°N 112.668917°W / 45.239111; -112.668917 (K25OA-D) Sinclair Broadcast Group
Drummond K26KA-D KECI 26 0.167 kW −137 m (−449 ft) 183078 46°37′2.2″N 113°10′55.5″W / 46.617278°N 113.182083°W / 46.617278; -113.182083 (K26KA-D) Granite County TV District
Eureka K02AO-D KCFW 2 0.018 kW 188 m (617 ft) 18071 48°51′52.8″N 115°7′30.6″W / 48.864667°N 115.125167°W / 48.864667; -115.125167 (K02AO-D) Sinclair Broadcast Group
Ferndale K24ID-D KCFW 24 0.108 kW 85 m (279 ft) 64282 48°4′4.3″N 114°2′19.3″W / 48.067861°N 114.038694°W / 48.067861; -114.038694 (K24ID-D) Swan Hill TV District
Frenchtown K14IU-D KECI 14 0.351 kW 461 m (1,512 ft) 18067 46°51′11.7″N 113°55′44.3″W / 46.853250°N 113.928972°W / 46.853250; -113.928972 (K14IU-D) Sinclair Broadcast Group
Hot Springs K05AH-D KECI 5 0.005 kW 9 m (30 ft) 27685 47°37′56.7″N 114°39′51″W / 47.632417°N 114.66417°W / 47.632417; -114.66417 (K05AH-D) Hot Springs TV District
Lake McDonald K05FC-D KCFW 5 0.005 kW 628 m (2,060 ft) 16754 48°25′59.1″N 113°57′58.4″W / 48.433083°N 113.966222°W / 48.433083; -113.966222 (K05FC-D) Sinclair Broadcast Group
Libby K18KD-D KCFW 18 0.431 kW 84 m (276 ft) 37220 48°26′19.8″N 115°31′40.5″W / 48.438833°N 115.527917°W / 48.438833; -115.527917 (K18KD-D) Libby Video Club, Inc.
Philipsburg K25LF-D KECI 25 0.015 kW 475 m (1,558 ft) 183064 46°15′48.8″N 113°15′2.9″W / 46.263556°N 113.250806°W / 46.263556; -113.250806 (K25LF-D) Granite County TV District
Plains
Paradise
K11JP-D KECI 11 0.042 kW 36 m (118 ft) 52778 47°31′14.7″N 114°57′31.4″W / 47.520750°N 114.958722°W / 47.520750; -114.958722 (K11JP-D) Plains-Paradise TV District
Polaris K09MY-D KTVM 9 0.026 kW −3 m (−10 ft) 24904 45°25′59.7″N 113°9′3.1″W / 45.433250°N 113.150861°W / 45.433250; -113.150861 (K09MY-D) Grasshopper TV Association
Polson K16GJ-D KECI 16 0.061 kW 11 m (36 ft) 52912 47°40′38.8″N 114°8′33.2″W / 47.677444°N 114.142556°W / 47.677444; -114.142556 (K16GJ-D) Blacktail TV Tax District
Sula K05ML-D KECI 5 0.006 kW 114 m (374 ft) 181578 45°49′17.5″N 113°59′41″W / 45.821528°N 113.99472°W / 45.821528; -113.99472 (K05ML-D) Sula TV District
Superior K03DT-D KECI 3 0.005 kW −99 m (−325 ft) 64031 47°10′30″N 114°55′3.7″W / 47.17500°N 114.917694°W / 47.17500; -114.917694 (K03DT-D) Superior TV Translator District
St. Regis K05MS KECI 5 (analog) 0.009 kW −205 m (−673 ft) 62172 47°19′7.7″N 115°7′7.5″W / 47.318806°N 115.118750°W / 47.318806; -115.118750 (K05MS) St. Regis TV Tax District
Thompson Falls K11FQ-D KECI 11 0.033 kW 309 m (1,014 ft) 66962 47°32′27″N 115°19′5″W / 47.54083°N 115.31806°W / 47.54083; -115.31806 (K11FQ-D) Thompson Falls TV District
K25OS-D KECI 25 0.053 kW −270 m (−886 ft) 181907 47°35′45″N 115°16′51″W / 47.59583°N 115.28083°W / 47.59583; -115.28083 (K25OS-D) Thompson Falls TV District
Troy K12AA-D KCFW 12 0.035 kW 553 m (1,814 ft) 68190 48°29′7″N 115°48′19.7″W / 48.48528°N 115.805472°W / 48.48528; -115.805472 (K12AA-D) Troy T.V. District
Trout Creek K12QT-D KECI 12 0.019 kW 239 m (784 ft) 181548 47°57′17.9″N 115°40′14.9″W / 47.954972°N 115.670806°W / 47.954972; -115.670806 (K12QT-D) Trout Creek-Heron-Noxon TV District
Virginia City K10HL-D KTVM 10 0.012 kW 154 m (505 ft) 18075 45°16′29.7″N 111°57′17.9″W / 45.274917°N 111.954972°W / 45.274917; -111.954972 (K10HL-D) Sinclair Broadcast Group
Weeksville K29ID-D KCFW 29 0.914 kW 884 m (2,900 ft) 52775 47°22′19.7″N 114°51′32.4″W / 47.372139°N 114.859000°W / 47.372139; -114.859000 (K29ID-D) Paradise-Plains TV District
Leadore, ID K16KO-D KECI 16 0.154 kW −245 m (−804 ft) 186646 44°40′1.7″N 113°21′3.1″W / 44.667139°N 113.350861°W / 44.667139; -113.350861 (K16KO-D) Salmon TV Translator District
Salmon, ID K11TY-D KECI 11 0.018 kW −294 m (−965 ft) 58704 45°4′4.7″N 113°52′33.2″W / 45.067972°N 113.875889°W / 45.067972; -113.875889 (K11TY-D) Salmon TV Translator District
K30PW-D KECI 30 0.11 kW 846 m (2,776 ft) 58698 45°8′44.7″N 114°0′33.2″W / 45.145750°N 114.009222°W / 45.145750; -114.009222 (K30PW-D) Salmon TV Translator District
Tendoy, ID
Leadore, ID
K27MM-D KECI 27 0.386 kW 531 m (1,742 ft) 58709 44°55′29.7″N 113°34′43.1″W / 44.924917°N 113.578639°W / 44.924917; -113.578639 (K27MM-D) Salmon TV Translator District

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The stations' digital signals are multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect KECI-DT PSIP
Short Name
KCFW-DT PSIP
Short Name
KTVM-DT PSIP
Short Name
Programming[18][19][20]
13.1 9.1 6.1 1080i 16:9 KECI-DT KCFW-DT KTVM-DT Main programming / NBC
13.2 9.2 6.2 480i 4:3 MeTV-SD MeTV
13.3 9.3 6.3 CHARGE! Charge!

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

All stations shut down their analog signals 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 channel allocations post-transition are as follows:[21][22]

  • KECI-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 13; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 40 to VHF channel 13.
  • KCFW-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 9; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 38 to VHF channel 9.
  • KTVM-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 6; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 33 to VHF channel 6.

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1955–56 Telecasting Yearbook-Marketbook (PDF). 1955. p. 170. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  2. ^ "KGVO-TV Changed to KMSO-TV; Station Moves Into New Studios" (PDF). Broadcasting-Telecasting. December 3, 1956. p. 94. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  3. ^ 1957–58 Telecasting Yearbook-Marketbook (PDF). 1957. p. 164. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  4. ^ "Changing hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 28, 1959. p. 98. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  5. ^ "Sale of KMSO-TV approved by commission" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 14, 1964. p. 10. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  6. ^ 1966 Broadcasting Yearbook (PDF). 1966. p. A-34. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  7. ^ 1967 Broadcasting Yearbook (PDF). 1967. p. A-40. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  8. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 (PDF). 1977. p. B-116. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  9. ^ Broadcasting/Cablecasting Yearbook 1985 (PDF). 1985. p. C-36. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  10. ^ McInally, Mike (August 4, 1989). "KECI plans to shuffle time for late news". The Missoulian. p. E-21. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  11. ^ "Call Letters" (PDF). Broadcasting. November 20, 1978. p. 84. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 11, 1978. p. 41. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  13. ^ Broadcasting/Cablecasting Yearbook 1982 (PDF). 1982. p. A-38. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  14. ^ Holien, Mick (January 15, 2004). "Missoula's KECI among 12 stations sold in Lamco acquisition". The Missoulian. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "Bonten Closes on $230M BlueStone Buy". TVNewsCheck. June 5, 2007. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  16. ^ "Sinclair Buying Bonten Stations For $240M". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  17. ^ Consummation Notice, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 6 September, 2017.
  18. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KECI
  19. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KCFW
  20. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KTVM
  21. ^ "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.
  22. ^ FCC-07-90A1

External links[edit]