Albert Lea, Minnesota-
Mason City, Iowa
|City of license||Rochester|
|Channels||Digital: 46 (UHF)
Virtual: 47 (PSIP)
(operated through SSA
by Quincy Newspapers)
(SagamoreHill of Minnesota Licenses, LLC)
|First air date||August 1987 |
|Call letters' meaning||derived from former sister station KXLI in St. Cloud|
|Former callsigns||KXLT (1987-1989)|
|Former channel number(s)||47 (UHF analog, 1987-2009)|
|Former affiliations||Independent (1982-1988)
Star Television Network (1990-1991)
Independent / HSN (1991-1997)
|Transmitter power||220 kW|
KXLT-TV is the Fox-affiliated television station for Southeastern Minnesota and Northeastern Iowa. Licensed to Rochester, Minnesota, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 46 (or virtual channel 47.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter in Grand Meadow Township, Minnesota. Owned by SagamoreHill Broadcasting, KXLT is operated through a shared services agreement (SSA) by Quincy Newspapers as a sister station to NBC affiliate KTTC, with the two outlets sharing studios in Rochester on Bandel Road Northwest along U.S. 52. KXLT also operates an advertising sales office on Lakeview Drive in Clear Lake, Iowa that also serves Mason City.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|47.1||720p||16:9||KXLT-DT||Main KXLT programming/Fox HD|
KXLT signed-on in August 1987 as a full-time satellite of St. Cloud-based Independent outlet KXLI. It was the market's first independent station, as well as the area's first new commercial station in 33 years. Its programming consisted mostly of low-budget syndicated fare and cartoons, though for a time it also aired Minnesota North Stars hockey. However, it found the going difficult, not in the least because KMSP-TV in Minneapolis was already available on cable.
KXLI / KXLT were owned by Halcomm Inc. with its majority stockholder and president Dale W. Lang, chairman of magazine publisher Lang Communications Inc. Lang attempted with partners to to create the "Minnesota Independent Network" (MIN) with 11 stations but never got past planning and initial work.
Lang also made a $9.6 million loan to Halcomm. The station closed down in December 1988 with Lang calling the loan in 1989 taking possession of the stations.
In 1989, Lang became the primary investor in a new television network, the Star Television Network, which featured 4 hours of infomercials and 8 hours of classic programming under the TV Heaven banner. KXLT returned on September 29, 1990 again simulcasting KXLI programming as an owned and operated Star station, with both stations on the air 22 hours a day.  Following the closure of Star in January 1991, KXLI / KXLT implemented a schedule of infomercials, religious programming and the Home Shopping Network.
As a KXLI satellite, KXLT operated at lower-than-licensed power due to KXLI's financial problems. KXLI and KXLT were sold to Paxson Communications in 1996 which converted both stations to an all-infomercial format under Paxson's "inTV" network. In 1997, Paxson decided to sell KXLT to raise money to launch the Pax network (today's Ion Television). Late that year, Shockley Communications purchased KXLT.
On January 19, 1998, Shockley relaunched the station as a Fox affiliate. Previously, cable systems on the Minnesota side of the market carried WFTC (and before it KMSP) from the Twin Cities while those on the Iowa side carried KDSM-TV from Des Moines. Shockley instantly invested in the station upgrading it to full power operations and moving to new studios in November of that year. On November 1, 1998 in partnership with The WB, KXLT established a cable-only affiliate of the network. Known by the faux calls "KWBR", the station was programmed by the national The WB 100+ service but local promotion and advertising sales were handled by KXLT.
In 2001, Shockley Communications was bought by Quincy Newspapers, owner of KTTC. However, Quincy could not buy KXLT due to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules governing duopolies. The FCC does not allow two of the four highest-rated stations to be owned by one company. Additionally, Rochester/Austin/Mason City has only six full-power stations, not enough to legally permit a duopoly in any case. Nevertheless, Quincy took over KXLT's operations under a shared services agreement. As part of the arrangement, Quincy provides all technical support, promotions, commercial production, and master control for KXLT. Shockley would later sell the station to current owner SagamoreHill Broadcasting in 2005.
In September 2006, The WB and UPN merged to create The CW. KTTC subsequently established a new second digital subchannel to offer The CW through The CW Plus, a similar national programming service as The WB 100+. At that point, the "KWBR" operation was shut down. KXLT ceased broadcasting regular analog programming on channel 47 at noon on February 17, 2009  with it remaining on-air for a few more days airing "nightlight" service. KXLT's digital facility on channel 46 has been fully operational since 2004.
Through a news share agreement in place since 2001, KTTC produces a half-hour prime time newscast on KXLT seen Sunday through Thursday nights. Known as Fox 47 News at Nine, the program originates from a secondary set at the Bandel Road Northwest studios. It features a unique graphics package and news music theme that is different from KTTC. KXLT uses most of the NBC outlet's on-air personnel but maintains separate news anchors who can report for KTTC.
At some point in 2009, CBS affiliate KIMT added the market's second prime time local news show at 9 to its MyNetworkTV-affiliated second digital subchannel. This newscast could be seen for thirty minutes competing with KXLT's broadcast. Eventually, the effort would be reduced to a five-minute weather cut-in featuring an updated forecast. On March 21, 2011 a day after KTTC performed an upgrade to high definition news production, KXLT completed the switch. With the change to HD came an updated set of graphics (still separate from the NBC station) that is similar to Quincy-owned Fox affiliate WSJV in South Bend, Indiana.
On July 28, 2014, KXLT debuted a weekday morning show known as Fox in the Morning (that is produced by KTTC). Airing for thirty minutes at 8 a.m., the program is formatted like a magazine with lifestyle, cooking, and style segments although there are local weather updates featured in the show. Eventually, this broadcast may be extended into the 7 o'clock hour to offer a true local alternative to the national morning programs seen on the big three affiliates. Like the evening news, the morning program on KXLT maintains separate anchors from KTTC (except for weather segments) and its own graphics scheme. KTTC is the only station in the market to operate its own Doppler weather radar and this device (also featured on KXLT) is based next to the main studios in Rochester. The NBC outlet also maintains an Austin Bureau, within the Riverland Community College campus, on 8th Avenue Northwest.
- The Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook says August 1, while the Television and Cable Factbook says August 10.
- "KXLT-TV to return to the airwaves in Rochester in Sept.". PostBulletin.com. July 28, 1990. Retrieved November 22, 2015.
Lang and some partners previously tried to put together a Minnesota Independent Network with 11 stations strung from Rochester in the southeast to Bemidji in the north. However, that network never was organized.
- Strother, Susan G. (January 17, 1991). "Tv Network Signs Off - Out Of Cash". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
- TV's digital conversion begins in Rochester, Post-Bulletin, Feb 17/2009
- MyFox47.com - Official KXLT-TV Website
- m.myfox47.com KXLT-TV mobile
- MeTVRochester.com - Official Me-TV Rochester Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KXLT-TV