|ATSC 3.0 station|
First air date
|February 14, 1989|
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
Call sign meaning
|Formerly co-owned with the Utah Jazz|
|HAAT||1,256 m (4,121 ft)|
Public license information
KJZZ-TV (channel 14) is an independent television station in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. It is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group alongside CBS affiliate KUTV (channel 2) and MyNetworkTV affiliate KMYU (channel 12) in St. George. The stations share studios on South Main Street in downtown Salt Lake City, while KJZZ-TV's transmitter is located on Farnsworth Peak in the Oquirrh Mountains, southwest of Salt Lake City. KJZZ-TV is the ATSC 3.0 (Next Gen TV) host station for the Salt Lake City market; in turn, other stations broadcast its subchannels on its behalf.
The station went on the air as KXIV in 1989. It functioned as the second independent station for the Salt Lake City area. In 1993, Larry H. Miller, the then-owner of the Utah Jazz of the NBA, purchased the station and renamed it KJZZ-TV; it also became the new TV home of the basketball team. During Miller's ownership, the station affiliated for five years with UPN, with the station's decision not to renew leading to accusations of racism against management; in the latter years, operations and programming were outsourced in turn to two other Salt Lake stations. Sinclair purchased KJZZ-TV from the Miller family in 2016. The station airs syndicated programming and local newscasts from KUTV.
An original construction permit was granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on December 6, 1984, to American Television of Utah, Inc., a subsidiary of Salt Lake City-based American Stores Company, for a full-power television station on UHF channel 14 to serve Salt Lake City and the surrounding area. American Stores had filed for the construction permit in 1979; its original intention for the station was to broadcast subscription television programming, as it would eventually do on a microwave distribution system known as American Home Theatre. In 1981, Skaggs Telecommunications Services, a division of American Stores, had built a studio facility to house its various divisions, including the planned television station. The construction permit took the call letters KAHT.
By the time the construction permit was awarded, however, STV had fallen out of favor. Instead, in late 1986, American reached a deal with the Grant Broadcasting System, which had started new independent television stations in Chicago, Miami, and Philadelphia, to form a joint venture which would run channel 14. The construction permit took the call letters KGBS in November 1986, the same month that the general manager of the Miami station mentioned the agreement in an interview with The Miami News. Grant, however, was headed for its own problems, filing not long after for bankruptcy reorganization. The joint venture never came to fruition; channel 14 was renamed again on February 29, 1988, to KXIV (representing the Roman numeral for 14); and American Television took up the task of building the station. Transmission tests began in January 1989 from a transmitter on Little Farnsworth Peak, and KXIV began broadcasting programming on February 14 as "Real TV", broadcasting a general entertainment lineup. "Real TV" cast itself as an alternative to the programming offered by Salt Lake's existing television stations, emphasizing classic shows.
Changes elsewhere in the Salt Lake television landscape would change the future—and the name—of KXIV. KSTU, the Fox affiliate, was on its last season of a multi-year deal to broadcast 25 games of the NBA's Utah Jazz. Motivated by Fox's expanding offerings and the network's impending move to programming all seven nights of the week, KSTU had telegraphed to Jazz owner Larry H. Miller that it would not renew its deal, leaving the Jazz without a broadcast television partner for the 1993–1994 NBA season. As a result, Miller bought KXIV in a transaction totaling nearly $9 million, with $1.725 million going toward the license. With the Jazz, the Salt Lake Golden Eagles (which Miller also owned and who already had several games a year on channel 14), and syndicated coverage of the expansion Colorado Rockies, Miller set out to build a higher-profile independent station with a heavy focus on sports coverage. The call letters changed to KJZZ in June, after the radio station in Phoenix agreed and after the conclusion of the NBA playoffs; Miller also financed the construction of new translators to bring KJZZ's signal to outlying communities in Utah and eastern Nevada.
When he said ethnic, I don't think he meant ethnic Albanians.
Adam Ware, COO of UPN, on the stated reasons for KJZZ's disaffiliation from the network
In November 1993, KJZZ affiliated with the upstart United Paramount Network, which began broadcasting in January 1995. The relationship would last more than five years, but changes in UPN's programming mix sat uncomfortably with station management and generated a response that drew national attention. In October 2000, KJZZ opted out of its affiliation agreement, and the network announced it would move its programs to KAZG, then a small home shopping station based in Ogden, in January 2001. In explaining its rationale for the change, KJZZ station manager Randy Rigby noted that channel 14 was "uncomfortable with programming content and the lack of performance, financially, in this area" and called some of the network's programming "over the edge of cutting edge". However, while UPN objected to network preemptions for Jazz games and KJZZ sought continued network compensation at a time when it was being phased out, underperformance was not the only evident reason for KJZZ's desire to disaffiliate. The network's chief operations officer, Adam Ware, revealed that KJZZ had sent a letter asking for an opt-out clause "should UPN increase the urban/ethnic programming above the current two hours" per week—evidently referring to UPN's Monday night lineup of programming for a predominantly Black audience, which was underperforming on channel 14. The station already had barely promoted UPN shows and did not brand itself with the network.
In the fall of 2005, KJZZ entered into a local marketing agreement (LMA) with KUTV, then owned by CBS. As a result, second runs of shows like Dr. Phil, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! were added to the schedule, as well as newscasts from KUTV. KJZZ also affiliated with MyNetworkTV, launched by News Corporation in 2006; however, KJZZ ran the network's programming on tape delay at 11 p.m. initially (instead of the recommended 7 p.m. timeslot for the Mountain Time Zone), before later moving it to midnight.
KJZZ dropped MyNetworkTV and became an independent station again on August 18, 2008. The MyNetworkTV affiliation then moved to St. George-based KCSG, which covered the Salt Lake City area via coverage on local cable television providers.
Over the course of the late 2000s, KJZZ-TV moved all operations from the original Skaggs facility west of Salt Lake City International Airport and into the EnergySolutions Arena downtown, selling off the facility in 2010. It had also tried its hand at local programs such as The KJZZ Cafe and Home Team, but those efforts were axed in late 2008 due to poor viewership and revenues.
Larry H. Miller died on February 20, 2009; his son, Greg Miller, had taken over as CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies several months earlier. FCC records show a transfer of 48% ownership of the station to a trust to which Larry Miller's widow, Gail, was trustee, in April 2009. Thus, Gail Miller directly owned 48% of the station, with Larry Miller's sons holding the remainder. After the LMA between KJZZ and KUTV concluded in 2010, KSL-TV owner Bonneville International began managing KJZZ under a new agreement.
On April 4, 2016, Larry H. Miller Communications Corporation agreed to sell KJZZ-TV and eight translators to Sinclair Broadcast Group for $6.5 million. The sale was completed on June 17, 2016; concurrently, the station's relationship with Bonneville and KSL-TV ended, as KJZZ had become a sister station to KUTV and KMYU.
Main article: KUTV § News operation
The first local newscasts on channel 14 were produced under agreement with KSL-TV, in the form of a local 9 p.m. newscast that aired from October 21, 1991, to September 18, 1992. This was Salt Lake's first newscast in the timeslot, beating KSTU's news to air by more than two months, and the first news share of its kind in the Mountain Time Zone; it was canceled due to low ratings.
In September 2005, KUTV began producing weekday morning 9 a.m. and nightly 9 p.m. newscasts for KJZZ-TV. The newscasts were canceled after nearly five years on May 31, 2010.
On January 9, 2017, KUTV launched the 8 a.m. hour of its morning newscast for KJZZ. The latter also added a simulcast of KMYU's 7 p.m. newscast and a revival of the 9 p.m. newscast, marking the return of the partnership between KUTV and KJZZ for the first time in nearly 7 years when the LMA broke off in 2010. The 7 a.m. hour moved from KUTV to KJZZ in 2018 when a new affiliation agreement required KUTV to clear the entirety of CBS This Morning.
From 1993 to 2009, KJZZ was the over-the-air broadcaster of Utah Jazz regular season NBA games. The Utah Jazz signed a new exclusive 12-year agreement with regional sports network FSN Utah (now AT&T SportsNet Utah) on October 20, 2009, ending the team's broadcasts on KJZZ-TV and making the team's telecasts cable-exclusive.
KJZZ-TV began a partnership with the Utah Utes athletic department in 1995, broadcasting Utes men's and women's basketball games, as well as five football games a year. While the arrangement ended when the MountainWest Sports Network was formed, KJZZ had Utes football rights in the 2011 season, between the Utes leaving for the Pac-12 Conference and the 2012 establishment of the Pac-12 Network.
KJZZ-TV is Salt Lake City's ATSC 3.0 television station, launching Next Gen TV broadcasts on June 30, 2020, in association with KUTV and the Nexstar Media Group stations in the market, KTVX and KUCW; the main feeds of all four stations are carried on the ATSC 3.0 multiplex.
KJZZ-TV provides five subchannels, which are carried in ATSC 1.0 format on the multiplexes of the other stations participating in the ATSC 3.0 arrangement.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||Short name||Programming||ATSC 1.0 host|
|14.1||1080i||16:9||KJZZ||Main KJZZ-TV programming||KUCW|
|2.1||KUTV||ATSC 3.0 simulcast of KUTV / CBS|
|4.1||KTVX||ATSC 3.0 simulcast of KTVX / ABC|
|14.1||KJZZ||Main KJZZ-TV programming|
|30.1||KUCW||ATSC 3.0 simulcast of KUCW / The CW|
KJZZ-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 14, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 46,
KJZZ-TV extends its coverage throughout the entire state of Utah, plus parts of Idaho and Nevada, using an extensive network of primarily community-owned translator television stations listed below.
Note: In ATSC 1.0 format, the KJZZ subchannels are carried on translators of the three stations that host them. These translators listed KJZZ-TV or themselves as their program source as of 2022.
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