CitySterling, Colorado
BrandingLocal 3 Denver
First air date
December 28, 1963 (60 years ago) (1963-12-28)
Former call signs
  • KTVS (1963–2002)
  • KUPN (2002–2008)
Former channel number(s)
Analog: 3 (VHF, 1963–2009)
Call sign meaning
Technical information[2]
Licensing authority
Facility ID63158
ERP1,000 kW
HAAT402 m (1,319 ft)
Transmitter coordinates40°2′1.2″N 103°56′18.9″W / 40.033667°N 103.938583°W / 40.033667; -103.938583 (KCDO-TV)
Translator(s)see § Translators
Public license information

KCDO-TV (channel 3) is an independent television station licensed to Sterling, Colorado, United States, serving the Denver area. It is owned by the E. W. Scripps Company alongside ABC affiliate KMGH-TV (channel 7). The two stations share studios on East Speer Boulevard in Denver's Congress Park neighborhood; KCDO-TV's transmitter is located in rural southwestern Morgan County, east of Frederick.


The McCracken family, owners of CBS affiliate KFBC-TV (channel 5, now KGWN-TV) in Cheyenne, Wyoming, applied for a construction permit in February 1962 to build a television station on channel 3 in Sterling. The permit was granted a year later, and channel 3 came to air on December 28, 1963,[3] as KTVS, operating it as a satellite station of KFBC.

In September 1999, Newsweb Corporation, operating under the licensee Channel 20 TV Company (CTTC), acquired KTVS from Benedek Broadcasting, then-owners of KGWN, with the intent of making KTVS a satellite of Newsweb's Denver station KTVD (channel 20, after which the Channel 20 TV Company received its name). It became one of very few satellite stations in the United States that predated the existence of the television station that its signal relayed, as KTVD had signed on in April 1988. On January 8, 2002, Channel 20 TV Company changed the station's call letters to KUPN, to reflect the UPN affiliation held by its parent station at the time.[4] CTTC sold KTVD to the Gannett Company in June 2006, but retained ownership of KUPN, converting it into an affiliate of America One.

On July 21, 2008, Channel 20 TV Company changed the station's call letters to KCDO.[4] To increase its signal coverage to reach a wider range of viewers, the station applied to build a new transmitter facility located southwest of Fort Morgan. The new location and increased transmitter power added most of the Denver metro area as well as Fort Collins, Greeley, Longmont and Loveland to the station's service area.[5] Construction on the new tower was completed in January 2010.[6] On December 31, 2008, satellite provider Dish Network began carrying KCDO on its lineup for subscribers in the Denver market.[citation needed] DirecTV also added the channel on January 28, 2009.

KCDO affiliated with the Retro Television Network in 2009.[7] The network was previously seen in Denver on KQDK-CA, before RTV severed its ties with Equity Media Holdings. For a time, the station also simulcast KGWN-TV's newscasts for the Colorado side of the Cheyenne market (carried by that station's second digital subchannel), branded as Northern Colorado 5 News, which was co-produced by KGWN and the Independent News Network.[6]

On November 1, 2010, KCDO dropped its affiliation with the Retro Television Network, in favor of converting into an independent station with a focus on locally produced programming.[8]

Sale to Scripps

On September 22, 2020, the E. W. Scripps Company announced it was buying KCDO-TV and KSBS-CD for an undisclosed price, pending approval of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), making them sister stations to ABC affiliate KMGH-TV (channel 7).[9] The sale was completed on November 20.[10]


KCDO-TV may air ABC network programming should it be preempted by KMGH-TV for long-form breaking news or severe weather coverage or other special programming.[11] The station also acts as a full-power relay of KMGH's main channel via its dedicated subchannel, to provide fuller coverage of the station throughout northeastern Colorado and portions of western Nebraska through KCDO's translator network.

Technical information


The station's signal is multiplexed:

Subchannels of KCDO-TV[12]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
3.1 720p 16:9 Local3 Main KCDO-TV programming
3.2 480i Grit SD Grit
7.1 720p KMGH-TV ABC (KMGH-TV)
10.1 480i Bounce Bounce TV
10.2 Ion Ion Television
10.3 QVC QVC
  Simulcast of subchannels of another station


Analog-to-digital conversion

KCDO-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 3, on June 12, 2009, the official date on which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 23,[13] using virtual channel 3.


  1. ^ "KCDO Channel 3". Station Index. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  2. ^ "Facility Technical Data for KCDO-TV". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  3. ^ FCC History Cards for KCDO-TV
  4. ^ a b "Call Sign History". FCC CDBS database. Retrieved August 27, 2008.
  5. ^ "Public Interest Statement". FCC CDBS database. June 2, 2008. pp. (Attachment 1). Retrieved October 9, 2008.
  6. ^ a b La Porte, John (January 21, 2010). "TV station puts up new tower". Fort Morgan Times. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
  7. ^ "KCDO Denver Adding Retro TV Network". TVnewsday. May 7, 2009. Retrieved June 21, 2009.
  8. ^ Ostrow, Joanne (October 19, 2010). "Channel 3 expands its local lineup with "Top Teens TV"". denverpost.com.
  9. ^ "Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. September 22, 2020. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  10. ^ "Consummation Notice", CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, November 23, 2020, Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  11. ^ "How to watch the Broncos-Bills and Notre Dame-Clemson games Saturday on Denver7". TheDenverChannel.com. KMGH-TV. December 14, 2020. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  12. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KCDO
  13. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.