KDLT-TV
The bold black letters K D L T
The Fox network logo above the words "Sioux Falls"
Channels
Branding
  • KDLT; Dakota News Now
  • Fox Sioux Falls
Programming
Affiliations
Ownership
Owner
KSFY-TV, KPRY-TV
History
First air date
June 12, 1960 (63 years ago) (1960-06-12)[a]
Former call signs
  • KORN-TV (1960–1973)
  • KXON-TV (1973–1982)[2]
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog: 5 (VHF, 1960–1998); 46 (UHF, 1998–2009)
  • Digital: 47 (UHF, until 2018)
  • NBC (1960–1969)
  • ABC (1969–1983)
Call sign meaning
Dakotaland Television, former owners
Technical information[3]
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID55379
ERP589 kW
HAAT608 m (1,995 ft)
Transmitter coordinates43°30′18″N 96°33′23″W / 43.50500°N 96.55639°W / 43.50500; -96.55639
Links
Public license information
Websitewww.dakotanewsnow.com
Satellite station
KDLV-TV
Channels
Programming
Affiliations
  • 5.1: NBC
  • 5.2: Fox
  • 13.1: ABC
History
Former channel number(s)
Analog: 5 (VHF, 1998–2009)
  • 13.2: CW+ (until 2020)
  • 13.3: MeTV (until 2020)
Call sign meaning
Dakotaland V (Roman numeral 5)
Technical information[4]
Facility ID55375
ERP1,000 kW
HAAT315 m (1,033 ft)
Transmitter coordinates43°45′33″N 98°24′44″W / 43.75917°N 98.41222°W / 43.75917; -98.41222 (KDLV-TV)
Links
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 ABC affiliate KSFY-TV (channel 13). The two stations share studios in Courthouse Square on 1st Avenue South in Sioux Falls; KDLT-TV's transmitter is located southeast of the city near Rowena.

The station operates a full-time satellite KDLV-TV (channel 5) in Mitchell, whose tower is located in Plankinton. KDLV is a straight simulcast of KDLT; its existence is only acknowledged in station identifications. Aside from the transmitter, KDLV has no physical presence in Mitchell. Both of KDLT's subchannels also air on KPRY-TV in Pierre, a semi-satellite of sister station KSFY-TV.

KDLT-TV got its start as KORN-TV, an NBC affiliate on channel 5 in Mitchell, in 1960. It did not begin broadcasting to the Sioux Falls area until 1969, when it switched to ABC. The station changed its call letters to KXON-TV in 1973 when channel 5 was split from KORN radio. The station was sold again in 1982 to become KDLT-TV; it lost its ABC affiliation when the network opted to move to KSFY-TV the next year, picking up NBC instead. For the better part of its history, it suffered from low ratings and the perception that it was a Mitchell station rather than a Sioux Falls station. In 1987, most operations, including news production, moved to Sioux Falls. In 1998, as part of an effort to improve the station's coverage, a new transmitter on channel 46 in Sioux Falls became the main station, while channel 5 was repurposed as a full-time satellite for the market's western portion. Even after these changes, the station has spent the better part of its history as the lowest-rated Big Three station in the market.

In 2019, Gray Television, owner of KSFY, sought and was granted Federal Communications Commission approval to buy KDLT in hopes of creating a stronger challenge to long-dominant KELO-TV. This brought KDLT and KSFY under one roof, with a merged news operation known as Dakota News Now. Gray then bought the market's Fox affiliation, resulting in the migration of Fox from KTTW to a subchannel of KDLT-TV and the two stations' satellites.

History

The Mitchell years

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.[2] The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the application on November 13 of that year, but it was more than two years before KORN-TV was built and activated on June 12, 1960. It was a primary affiliate of NBC.[5] The next month, in Sioux Falls, KSOO-TV (the future KSFY-TV) signed on, also an NBC affiliate.[6]

Coinciding with the construction of a new 1,569-foot (478 m) tower in 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. The signal traveled in a 92-mile (148 km) radius from the transmitter site, providing city-grade coverage to 23 counties in eastern South Dakota and giving Sioux Falls full service from all three major networks.[7][8]

Mitchell Broadcasting sold the station to Buford Television of Tyler, Texas, in 1972 for $775,000.[9] The new owners changed the call sign the next year to KXON-TV, as Mitchell Broadcasting retained the KORN radio stations.[10] Additionally, Buford opened a sales office in downtown Sioux Falls, the station's first physical presence in the city.[11] 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.[12] The station reverted to its original tower in Mitchell before a replacement 1,563-foot (476 m) tower was activated at Salem in mid-1976.[13]

After a proposed purchase of the station by a consortium of investors known as Group Five Television was abandoned in March 1977,[14][15] 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.[16][17] 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.[18] Gillett made improvements to the presentation of the station's two daily newscasts, then branded Metro News, which had perennially been in third place in the market behind KELO-TV and KSFY. Despite this, channel 5 remained hamstrung in its ability to capture ratings, especially for local news, in Sioux Falls. While KELO-TV and KSFY both had at least three full-power transmitters, KXON only had one. Its news department was small even for a market of Sioux Falls' size at the time; it had only nine reporters, half the size of KSFY and a tenth the size of KELO-TV. It had less equipment than its competitors, and faced the stigma of being considered a "Mitchell station".[19] It did not help matters that KCAU-TV in Sioux City, Iowa, put a strong signal to much of the market; for most of the time from the late 1960s to the 1980s, it claimed Sioux Falls as part of its primary coverage area.[20][21]

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 on September 27 that year to reflect the new owners and also to "project a new image".[22] 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.[23] Consequently, KDLT took over KSFY's former NBC affiliation.[24]

Heritage and Red River ownership

Dakotaland's owners decided to exit the business, selling their broadcast holdings to Heritage Communications in 1985.[25] 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.[26] 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.[27] The new owners focused KDLT's low-rated newscasts, now called Sioux First News, on Sioux Falls events. This was out of necessity; it could not hope to adequately cover the entire 80-county market with just a single transmitter.[28]

Heritage Media sold KDLT to Red River Broadcasting, owner of KVRR in Fargo, North Dakota, in 1994.[29] Red River embarked on a two-pronged campaign to expand KDLT's coverage area. In 1995, it set up low-power translators in Aberdeen, Milbank, Pierre, and Watertown, adding over 84,000 potential viewers to its coverage area. Viewers in these areas had long been served over the air by KELO-TV and KSFY.[30]

A very tall, guyed broadcast tower in a field
The KDLT tower at Rowena was built in 1998 as part of the launch of the high-power channel 46, part of a signal expansion program undertaken by Red River.

The second phase, however, was even more crucial. FCC rules for the forthcoming introduction of digital television required a station's digital signal to cover at least 80 percent of its analog footprint. KDLT's transmitter was too far away from Sioux Falls to provide that city with an acceptable digital signal; it was located over 41 miles (66 km) from Sioux Falls. In 1989, KDLT had purchased K46CB, a low-power station in Sioux Falls, to improve its reception in the city.[31] On March 6, 1997, FCC granted Red River a construction permit to replace this translator with a new full-power station licensed to Sioux Falls on channel 46. It would operate from a tower in Rowena, from where KELO and KSFY had broadcast since the 1960s.[32][33] On September 23, 1998, Red River activated the new channel 46;[1] it took the KDLT-TV call sign. Channel 5 continued to operate on its original license and changed its call letters to KDLV-TV.[34][b] In December, KDLV-TV moved to a new tower in Plankinton, closer to Mitchell and increasing its coverage to the west. This was necessary because the FCC did not allow Red River to simply move channel 5's tower to Sioux Falls; channel 46 was the lowest UHF allocation available in Sioux Falls at the time.[36] The changes cost $8 million.[37] The launch of channel 46 coincided with the station launching its first morning newscast, Sioux Falls Today.[38]

By 2016, KDLT-TV's news ratings were still a distant third behind KSFY-TV, in turn a distant second behind KELO-TV, which outdrew both stations combined.[39]

Consolidation with KSFY-TV

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.[40] 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.[41] 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 a market where CBS affiliate KELO-TV has been the far-and-away leader for as long as records have been kept. At the time the purchase was announced, KELO-TV held a local news share of 70 percent and an advertising market share of 55 percent, leading Gray to describe Sioux Falls as a "unicorn".[42]

After one of the longest approval processes in FCC history (reportedly delayed by challenges to the new FCC rules),[43] the sale was approved by the FCC on September 24, 2019.[44] The FCC cited compelling public interest and its own authority, rather than the new rules.[43] Gray took control of KDLT the following day.[45][46]

On January 13, 2020, KDLT moved its operations to KSFY's studios on Courthouse Square. The merged news operation, Dakota News Now, launched the same day. With the exception of the two-hour morning news at 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. newscast, which both stations air to satisfy network program commitments, newscasts are scheduled on each station at complementary times, with KDLT airing news for an hour at 4 p.m. and half-hours at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Between them, the stations air three hours of news on weeknights.[47][43] Employees that were not retained by the combined newsroom were prioritized for openings elsewhere in the Gray chain.[43] Gray also filled gaps in ABC and NBC coverage by combining the transmitter networks of KDLT-TV and KSFY-TV, making both stations accessible in the same areas. Before the merger, one-third of the market needed cable or satellite to watch both stations; KELO was the only station that covered the entire market over the air.[43]

On November 2, 2020, Gray purchased the non-license assets of KTTW (channel 7) from Independent Communications, Inc.; Fox programming moved to KDLT on subchannel 46.2. Cozi TV, which was also carried on KTTW, moved to subchannel 46.4.[48][49]

Technical information

The stations' signals are multiplexed, but not with the same programming. This is because KDLV-TV carries KSFY on its third subchannel. KDLT's NBC and Fox subchannels (46.1 and 46.2) are simulcast on KPRY-TV in Pierre.[50]

KDLT-TV subchannels

Subchannels of KDLT-TV[51]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
46.1 1080i 16:9 KDLT-TV NBC
46.2 720p FOX Fox
46.3 480i The365 The365
46.4 Cozi Cozi TV
46.5 Court Court TV
46.6 IONMyst Ion Mystery

KDLV-TV subchannels

Subchannels of KDLV-TV[52]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
5.1 720p 16:9 KDLV-TV NBC
5.2 FOX Fox
13.1 KSFY-TV ABC (KSFY-TV)
  Simulcast of subchannels of another station

Analog-to-digital conversion

Both stations shut down their analog signals on February 1, 2009, during the late newscast after Super Bowl XLIII. KDLT chose that time to shut down both analog transmitters for maximum exposure.[53] The two stations continued to broadcast on their pre-transition digital channels—channel 47 for KDLT-TV and channel 26 for KDLV-TV.[54] KDLT relocated its signal from channel 47 to channel 21 on November 30, 2018, as a result of the 2016 United States wireless spectrum auction.[55]

Translators

KDLT-TV is rebroadcast on the following translator stations:[56]

Note

  1. ^ Channel 5 in Mitchell began June 12, 1960. Channel 46 in Sioux Falls began September 23, 1998.[1] It took the KDLT-TV call sign; channel 5 then became KDLV-TV and was relocated to the west to reduce signal overlap.
  2. ^ The KDLV-TV call sign had been parked on the channel 46 construction permit since April 1, 1997.[35]

References

  1. ^ a b "KDLT-TV". Television Factbook (PDF). 2001. p. A-1133. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 31, 2023. Retrieved April 3, 2023 – via World Radio History.
  2. ^ a b "FCC History Cards for KDLV-TV". Federal Communications Commission. (as KDLT in Mitchell)
  3. ^ "Facility Technical Data for KDLT-TV". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  4. ^ "Facility Technical Data for KDLV-TV". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  5. ^ "Newest Mitchell Industry Begins Operations With Telecasts Sunday Eve". The Daily Republic. Mitchell, South Dakota. June 15, 1960. p. 18. Archived from the original on May 14, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "KSOO-TV Stockholders From Both Dakotas". Argus-Leader. July 29, 1960. p. 21. Archived from the original on April 2, 2023. Retrieved March 31, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "KORN-TV To Switch To ABC". Argus Leader. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. December 5, 1968. p. 21. Archived from the original on May 14, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "KORN-TV Goes ABC Monday". The Daily Republic. Mitchell, South Dakota. May 9, 1969. p. 3. Archived from the original on May 14, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ "Texans To Pay $775,000 For KORN-TV". The Daily Republic. Mitchell, South Dakota. June 23, 1972. p. 3. Archived from the original on May 14, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ "KORN-TV To Be KXON-TV". The Daily Republic. Mitchell, South Dakota. September 8, 1973. p. 3. Archived from the original on March 30, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "Accent On Business". Argus Leader. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. July 6, 1973. p. 7. Archived from the original on May 14, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "Ice, Winds Topple 1,565-Foot KXON Tower Near Salem; Madison Tower May Collapse". Argus Leader. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Associated Press. March 28, 1975. p. 1. Archived from the original on May 14, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ "New KXON tower ready by June". The Daily Republic. Mitchell, South Dakota. April 27, 1976. p. 2. Archived from the original on May 14, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ Sleeper, Peter B. (July 23, 1976). "Area businessmen seek loan to buy TV station". The Daily Republic. Mitchell, South Dakota. p. 3. Archived from the original on May 14, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ Burke, Judy (March 4, 1977). "Plans to buy KXON-TV abandoned". The Daily Republic. Mitchell, South Dakota. p. 3. Archived from the original on May 14, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ "KXON for sale". The Daily Republic. Mitchell, South Dakota. March 17, 1977. p. 3. Archived from the original on May 14, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "Wisconsin man to buy KXON". The Daily Republic. Mitchell, South Dakota. October 24, 1977. p. 3. Archived from the original on May 14, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ "KXON's new owner says station changes coming". Argus Leader. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. March 3, 1978. p. 2C. Archived from the original on May 14, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ Fine, Marshall (February 6, 1981). "KXON: The undeterred underdog". Argus Leader. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. p. 1B, 3B. Archived from the original on March 24, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  20. ^ "KCAU-TV 9 (Formerly KVTV) Will Be ABC For Sioux City and Sioux Falls". Argus-Leader. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. July 24, 1967. p. 11. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  21. ^ "Television is in the spotlight: Turner resigns". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. September 21, 1985. p. A1, A26. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  22. ^ "KXON-TV changes call letters to KDLT". Argus Leader. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. September 29, 1982. p. 4C. Archived from the original on May 14, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  23. ^ "KDLT may affiliate with NBC after KSFY switches to ABC". Argus Leader. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. February 24, 1983. p. 1B. Archived from the original on May 14, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  24. ^ "Mitchell's KDLT switches from ABC to NBC". Argus Leader. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. August 5, 1983. p. 3C. Archived from the original on May 14, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  25. ^ Ames, J.D. (March 1, 1985). "Firm buys KEVN, other TV stations". Rapid City Journal. Rapid City, South Dakota. p. 1, 2. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  26. ^ Kasler, Dale (May 31, 1987). "Texas may land Heritage TV, radio company". The Des Moines Register. Des Moines, Iowa. p. 1F, 3F. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  27. ^ Grauvogl, Ann (August 14, 1987). "KDLT plans changes, moves to Sioux Falls". Argus Leader. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. p. 1B. Retrieved March 29, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  28. ^ Grauvogl, Ann (August 24, 1987). "New look signals KDLT-TV's move to city". Argus-Leader. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. p. 5A. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  29. ^ Wade Schmidt, Brenda (July 1, 1994). "N.D. firm to acquire KDLT-TV". Argus Leader. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. p. 1B. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  30. ^ Wade Schmidt, Brenda (July 21, 1995). "New owners to expand KDLT's reception area: Plans will bring more parity with KSFY, KELO". Argus Leader. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. p. 5D. Retrieved May 14, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  31. ^ "Newspaper Notice". Argus Leader. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. November 11, 1989. p. 5C. Archived from the original on March 30, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  32. ^ Thiele, Alica P. (December 6, 1999). "TV towers weathered storms, planes: KELO, KSFY television, 2 radio stations use tower". Argus-Leader. p. 2B. Retrieved June 28, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  33. ^ "For the Record". Broadcasting & Cable. March 24, 1997. p. 101. ProQuest 1016963420.
  34. ^ "Call Sign History for KDLV-TV". Consolidated Database System. Federal Communications Commission.
  35. ^ "Call Sign History for KDLT-TV". Consolidated Database System. Federal Communications Commission.
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  38. ^ Keyes, Bob (September 26, 1998). "Show aims for hard edge". Argus-Leader. p. 1B. Archived from the original on April 3, 2023. Retrieved April 3, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
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  40. ^ Miller, Mark K. "Gray Buying KDLT Sioux Falls For $32.5M". TVNewsCheck. Archived from the original on May 2, 2018. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  41. ^ "Gray Agrees to Acquire KDLT-TV in Sioux Falls, South Dakota" (PDF) (Press release). Gray Television. May 1, 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 17, 2018. Retrieved May 14, 2022.
  42. ^ "December 2018 Amendment to Assignment Application". Federal Communications Commission. December 2018. Retrieved May 14, 2022.
  43. ^ a b c d e Price, Hank (March 16, 2020). "KSFY-KDLT: A Model Of Top 4 Consolidation". TVNewsCheck. Archived from the original on April 3, 2023. Retrieved April 3, 2023.
  44. ^ "Memorandum Opinion and Order" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. September 24, 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 25, 2019. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  45. ^ "Gray Television completes purchase of KDLT-TV". KSFY.com. Gray Television. September 25, 2019. Archived from the original on September 25, 2019. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  46. ^ Nelson, Katie (September 25, 2019). "Owner of KSFY-TV finalizes purchase of KDLT-TV". Argus Leader. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  47. ^ Anderson, Patrick. "KSFY, KDLT to become Dakota News Now". Argus Leader. Archived from the original on January 13, 2020. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  48. ^ "Facebook". Fox 7 Sioux Falls. September 25, 2019. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  49. ^ Ellis, Jon (November 2, 2020). "FOX Changes Channels in Sioux Falls". Northpine.com. Archived from the original on November 3, 2020. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  50. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for KPRY". Archived from the original on April 3, 2023. Retrieved April 3, 2023.
  51. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for KDLT". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  52. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for KDLV". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  53. ^ Harriman, Peter (January 28, 2009). "KDLT forging ahead with digital switch". Argus-Leader. p. 4A. Archived from the original on April 3, 2023. Retrieved April 3, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  54. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. May 23, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2021.
  55. ^ "FCC TV Spectrum Phase Assignment Table" (CSV). Federal Communications Commission. April 13, 2017. Archived from the original on April 17, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  56. ^ "List of TV Translator Input Channels". Federal Communications Commission. July 23, 2021. Archived from the original on December 9, 2021. Retrieved December 17, 2021.