Montana Television Network
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MTN was founded by Montana broadcasting pioneer Joseph S. "Joe" Sample, who signed on KOOK-TV (now KTVQ) in Billings in 1953. He bought KXLF-TV in Butte in 1955 (KXLF had signed on three months before KOOK in 1953). KFBB-TV in Great Falls and KMSO-TV in Missoula (now KECI-TV) began sharing programs with KOOK and KXLF in 1958; the four stations formed the Skyline Network.
KMSO-TV left the network in 1964, and the network was without a Missoula outlet until Sample opened KPAX-TV as a semi-satellite of KXLF in 1970. In 1966, KFBB left the network, and Sample bought Great Falls' other station, KRTV. The network became known as the Montana Television Network in the early 1970s.
Sample owned the stations as part of his Garryowen Corporation until he sold them to SJL Broadcasting in 1984, who in turn sold them to Evening Post in 1994. Evening Post runs the stations as part of its Cordillera Communications subsidiary. Combined, the stations and their numerous translators reach 89% of Montana, as well as portions of Wyoming.
On October 30, 2015, Cordillera (under its KRTV Communications LLC subsidiary) officially purchased KTVH-DT from Gray Television. KTVH is the NBC affiliate in Helena, Montana, simulcasted to Great Falls, Montana on KBGF. The deal reunites KTVH with KXLF, and makes KTVH NBC a sister station to KXLH-LD, Helena's satellite CBS affiliate from KRTV
Five of the full-powered MTN stations, KTVQ, KXLF, KRTV, KPAX, and KTVH also carry programming from The CW on their digital subchannels.
The MTN CBS stations identify as separate stations in their own right, but use a two-way microwave system to share news stories. They also brand as "Montana's News Station." All of the CBS stations (excluding KXGN) air Jeopardy! at 6 & Wheel of Fortune at 6:30.
(Owned by the Evening Post Industries)
- KTVQ (CBS) - Billings, Montana
- KRTV (CBS) - Great Falls, Montana
- KXLF - Butte, Montana
- KPAX - Missoula, Montana