|Branding||KDLT; Dakota News Now|
Fox Sioux Falls (DT2)
|Affiliations||46.1: NBC (1960–1969, 1983–present)|
46.2: Fox (2020–present)
46.3: Antenna TV
46.4: Cozi TV
46.5: Court TV
|KSFY/KPRY, KOTA/KHSD/KSGW, KEVN-LD, KVLY-TV, KXJB-LD, KEYC-TV, KMNF-LD|
First air date
|June 12, 1960|
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
5 (VHF, 1960–1998)
46 (UHF, 1998–2009)
47 (UHF, until 2018)
ABC (1960–1983, secondary until 1969)
Antenna TV (until 2020, now on DT3)
Call sign meaning
|HAAT||608 m (1,995 ft)|
Public license information
|Affiliations||5.1: NBC (1998–present)|
5.2: Fox (2020–present)
|Founded||April 1, 1997|
First air date
|September 8, 1998|
Former channel number(s)
5 (VHF, 1998–2009)
CW+ (until 2020)
MeTV (until 2020)
Call sign meaning
|Daklotaland V (Roman numeral 5)|
|HAAT||315 m (1,033 ft)|
Public license information
KDLT-TV (channel 46) is a television station in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States, affiliated with NBC and Fox. It is owned by Gray Television alongside dual ABC/CW+ affiliate KSFY-TV (channel 13). Both stations share studios in Courthouse Square on 1st Avenue South in Sioux Falls, while KDLT-TV's transmitter is located southeast of the city near Rowena.
KDLV-TV (channel 5) in Mitchell operates as a full-time satellite of KDLT; this station's transmitter is located near Plankinton, South Dakota. KDLV covers areas of south-central and southeastern South Dakota that receive a marginal to non-existent over-the-air signal from KDLT, although there is significant overlap between the two stations' contours otherwise. KDLV is a straight simulcast of KDLT; on-air references to KDLV are limited to Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-mandated hourly station identifications during newscasts and other programming. Aside from the transmitter, KDLV does not maintain any physical presence locally in Mitchell.
Mitchell Broadcasting Association, owner of radio station KORN, applied on July 30, 1957, to build a new television station on channel 5 in Mitchell, to be located southeast of the city. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the application on November 13 of that year, but it was more than two years before the station was built and activated on June 12, 1960. It was a primary affiliate of NBC. The next month, in Sioux Falls, KSOO-TV (today's KSFY-TV) signed on; the two stations, both NBC affiliates, each served half of the market.
Coinciding with the construction of a new 1,569-foot (478 m) tower at Salem, midway between Mitchell and Sioux Falls, KORN-TV switched to ABC on May 12, 1969, giving the network its first primary affiliate in South Dakota and adding Sioux Falls to its coverage area.
Mitchell Broadcasting sold the station to Buford Television of Tyler, Texas, in 1972 for $775,000. The new owners changed the call sign the next year to KXON-TV as part of the split from the KORN radio stations. Additionally, Buford opened the station's first physical presence in Sioux Falls, a sales office downtown. Buford saw the station through a lengthy reconstruction after the Salem tower was felled in an ice storm on March 27, 1975; ice built up on the tower and, aided by gusting winds, led to its collapse. The station reverted to the tower at its Mitchell studios before a replacement facility at Salem was completed in mid-1976.
After a proposed purchase of the station by a consortium of investors known as Group Five Television was abandoned in March 1977, Buford put KXON-TV on the market because it had committed to the construction or purchase of four television stations in other parts of the United States.
In October 1977, Buford accepted an offer from George N. Gillett Jr. of Wausau, Wisconsin, to purchase KXON-TV. It was the first holding of his Gillett Broadcasting. Gillett noted that he selected KXON-TV to purchase in part because there were so few TV stations on the market; it was affiliated with ABC, then the top network; and it was a low-band VHF TV station. However, the station remained hamstrung in its ability to capture ratings, especially for local news, in Sioux Falls. Even though Gillett made improvements to the presentation of the station's two daily newscasts, then branded "Metro News", KXON-TV had the smallest coverage area in the region, having no high-power rebroadcasters like KELO-TV and KSFY; the smallest news staff in the market, with nine people; less equipment than its competitors; and the stigma of being considered a "Mitchell station".
Gillett sold KXON-TV in 1982 to Dakotaland Broadcasting, owners of KEVN and KIVV in the Rapid City market. The call letters were changed to KDLT in October 1982 to reflect the new owners and also to "project a new image". The station lost its ABC affiliation the next year after ABC approached KSFY-TV, with its larger network of repeaters and higher ratings, to become its new affiliate in eastern South Dakota. Consequently, KDLT became an NBC affiliate.
Dakotaland's owners decided to exit the business, selling their broadcast holdings to Heritage Communications in 1985. It was the first acquisition of broadcast stations by the group, which became Heritage Media in 1987 when the broadcast stations were spun out from the firm's cable TV systems. That same year, rule changes allowed KDLT to move most of its operations to a studio on South Westport Avenue in Sioux Falls; previously, the station staff was split between the two cities. With no regional transmitter coverage, the low-rated newscasts focused on local news in the Sioux Falls area.
Heritage Media sold KDLT to Red River Broadcasting, owner of KVRR in Fargo, North Dakota, in 1994. Red River embarked on a two-pronged signal upgrade campaign. In 1995, it set up translators in Aberdeen, Milbank, Pierre, South Dakota, and Watertown, communities in its market where KSFY and KELO had long broadcast but where it had no rebroadcasters. The second phase, however, was even more crucial. New FCC rules for the forthcoming introduction of digital television stipulated that a digital signal had to reach 80 percent of the station's analog footprint. It would not be possible for KDLT as constructed to provide an adequate digital signal to Sioux Falls. In 1989, KDLT had purchased a translator on channel 46 in Sioux Falls. On September 8, 1998, this was replaced with a new full-power license in Sioux Falls—which retained the KDLT call letters—broadcasting from a new tower in Rowena, where most of the other Sioux Falls stations have their towers. At the same time, the channel 5 tower was moved further away from Sioux Falls, and channel 5's call letters were changed to KDLV.[a] The changes cost $8 million.
On May 1, 2018, Gray Television announced its purchase of KDLT-TV for $32.5 million. The deal would create a duopoly with KSFY-TV. The combined operation would be based at KSFY's studios on Courthouse Square in Sioux Falls; in its announcement of the KDLT purchase, Gray noted that the KSFY studio has enough space to house a second station's news and sales department. Gray needed to obtain a waiver in order to complete the deal, since the FCC normally does not allow one entity to own two of the four highest-rated stations in a market. However, in its filing requesting such a waiver, Gray argued that KDLT would be in a stronger position to compete in the market if its resources were combined with those of KSFY. Gray contended that a KSFY/KDLT duopoly would fulfill "a dire need for an effective competitor" in the Sioux Falls market, where CBS affiliate KELO-TV has been the far-and-away leader for as long as records have been kept with a local news share of 70 percent and an advertising market share of 55 percent, and said that the market was a "unicorn". The sale was approved by the FCC on September 24, 2019, and was completed the following day. On January 13, 2020, KDLT moved its operations to KSFY's studios on Courthouse Square.
On November 2, 2020, Gray purchased the non-license assets of KTTW (channel 7) from Independent Communications, Inc.; Fox programming moved to KDLT on digital subchannel 46.2. Cozi TV, which was also carried on KTTW, moved to subchannel 46.4. This resulted in all of the network affiliations in eastern South Dakota being controlled by just two companies, Gray and KELO-TV owner Nexstar Media Group.
KDLT-TV clears the entire NBC network schedule. It airs an alternate live feed of NBC Nightly News at 6 p.m. due to the station's 5:30 p.m. newscast. Syndicated programming currently broadcast on KDLT-TV includes The Doctors, Jeopardy!, Rachael Ray, Hot Bench and Judge Judy.
KDLT presently broadcasts 19½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 3½ hours each weekday and one hour each on Saturdays and Sundays). With the purchase of this station, KDLT and KSFY merged their news operations on January 13, 2020, rebranding as Dakota News Now.
The stations' digital signals are multiplexed:
|46.1||1080i||16:9||KDLT-TV||Main KDLT-TV programming / NBC|
|5.1||720p||16:9||KDLV-TV||Main KDLV-TV programming / NBC|
|13.1||KSFY-TV||Simulcast of KSFY-TV / ABC|
Both stations shut down their analog signals respectively on February 1, 2009:
KDLV is rebroadcast on the following translator stations:
|City of license||Callsign||Channel||ERP||HAAT||Facility ID||Transmitter coordinates||Owner|
|Aberdeen||K33MI-D||33||15 kW||90 m (295 ft)||182700||Gray Television|
|Badger||K35GR-D||35||6.76 kW||110 m (361 ft)||128436||Gray Television|
|Brookings||K17NF-D||17||4.27 kW||88 m (289 ft)||68032||Gray Television|
|Jackson||K27NF-D||17||3.1 kW||90.8 m (298 ft)||21287||Federated Rural Electric Association|
|Pierre||K27HJ-D||27||11.6 kW||118 m (387 ft)||128428||Gray Television|
|Springfield||K33GX-D||33||7.014 kW||117 m (384 ft)||128440||Gray Television|
|Watertown||K28OE-D||28||4.92 kW||103 m (338 ft)||129133||Gray Television|
The station's television transmitter antenna beacon bulb replacement on the KDLT tower was featured on the National Geographic Channel television show World's Toughest Fixes.
((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)