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BrandingKKCO 11 News
FoundedDecember 16, 1994
First air date
July 29, 1996 (27 years ago) (1996-07-29)
Former channel number(s)
Analog: 11 (VHF, 1996–2009)
The CW (DT2, 2006−2008)
Call sign meaning
Technical information[1]
Licensing authority
Facility ID24766
ERP5.3 kW
HAAT452 m (1,483 ft)
Transmitter coordinates39°3′59.9″N 108°44′47.4″W / 39.066639°N 108.746500°W / 39.066639; -108.746500
Public license information

KKCO (channel 11) is a television station in Grand Junction, Colorado, United States, affiliated with NBC and Telemundo. It is owned by Gray Television alongside low-power dual ABC/CW+ affiliate KJCT-LP (channel 8). The two stations share studios on Blichmann Avenue in Grand Junction; KKCO's transmitter is located at the Black Ridge Electronics Site at the Colorado National Monument west of the city.

The station signed on for the first time on July 29, 1996, providing Grand Junction its first in-market NBC affiliate. Its local newscasts rose to number one in the market shortly after debuting. Originally owned by Eagle III Broadcasting, it was purchased by Gray in 2005.


In 1994, multiple groups applied for a construction permit to build channel 11 in Grand Junction. However, the process of awarding such permits through the comparative hearing process long used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had been forcibly derogated by a court ruling finding its criteria "arbitrary and capricious". In 1995, the commission opened a 90-day settlement window to encourage settlements or mergers among applicants for channels with multiple applicants. Among the settlements received was a merger of Uhlmann/Latshaw Broadcasting LLC and Grand Junction Television Partners.[2] The lead partner in the merged corporation, Bill Varecha, had previously run a radio station in Vail, where he noticed the lack of a local NBC affiliate; he had previously built and sold WCEE-TV in Mount Vernon, Illinois, in the 1980s,[3][4] as well as WAYK in Melbourne, Florida.[5]

KKCO began broadcasting on July 29, 1996; in addition to broadcasting NBC, the station also served as a secondary affiliate of UPN.[3] Its launch had the effect of removing Denver NBC affiliate KUSA from cable systems on the Western Slope.[6] This led to letters to the editor in publications including The Denver Post and Broadcasting & Cable from viewers who were upset at the removal of the Denver station's newscasts and Denver Broncos preseason games.[7][8] At the crux of the station's inability to air the Broncos was the team's unwillingness to share preseason television revenue with the National Football League, which stipulated that any sale to a station outside a 75-mile (121 km) radius from the main city was shared revenue.[9] The Grand Junction cable system was able to broadcast the Broncos preseason games beginning in 1998 by arrangement with KUSA,[10] and KKCO itself gained the rights in 2003.[11]

Though the station initially rebroadcast some of KUSA's news programs while it developed its own,[9] the station's own local newscasts soon debuted; within 18 months, KKCO had risen to number one in the market in ratings and revenue.[12]

In 2004, Gray Television bought the station and its translator in Montrose from Eagle III Broadcasting LLC for $13.5 million.[13] Gray closed on the purchase in February 2005.[14] At the time of the purchase, Varecha was working for Gray as its general manager in Charlottesville, Virginia, where it was starting up WCAV and WVAW-LP.[12]

Gray acquired the programming assets of KJCT in 2014; unable to program the full-power station due to new scrutiny of joint sales agreements, its programming moved to a low-power station. The KJCT and KKCO newsrooms were combined.

Technical information


The station's signal is multiplexed:

Subchannels of KKCO[15]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
11.1 1080i 16:9 KKCO-DT NBC
11.2 480i 4:3 MeTV MeTV
11.3 720p 16:9 TELE-HD Telemundo
11.4 480i The365 The365
11.5 ?? MeTV Toons (soon)



  1. ^ "Facility Technical Data for KKCO". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  2. ^ McConnell, Chris (January 22, 1996). "FCC moving to grant new TVs". Broadcasting & Cable. p. 14. ProQuest 1040354364.
  3. ^ a b Perry, Erin (July 6, 1996). "New NBC affiliate aims to be on air this month". The Daily Sentinel. p. 11B. Retrieved July 3, 2023 – via
  4. ^ DeWitte, Dave (October 20, 1985). "Varecha sells WCEE-TV". Southern Illinoisan. p. 12. Retrieved July 3, 2023 – via
  5. ^ Solomon, Scott (July 15, 1990). "Troubled waters: Palm Bay's WAYK Television fights for recognition". Florida Today. pp. E1, E2. Retrieved July 3, 2023 – via
  6. ^ "Effective September 3, 1996, Notice: TCI Customers in the Grand Valley". The Daily Sentinel. August 15, 1996. p. 2B. Retrieved July 3, 2023 – via
  7. ^ Linko, John J. (October 19, 1998). "Open Mike: Don't diss distant signals". Broadcasting & Cable. p. 87. ProQuest 1014768122.
  8. ^ Kastella, Kenneth G. (August 25, 1997). "Broncos shut out". The Denver Post.
  9. ^ a b Zimmer, Kurt (September 3, 1999). "Broncos fans blacked out". Montrose Daily Press.
  10. ^ "Broncos to play on TV after all". The Daily Sentinel. August 14, 1998. pp. 1A, 12A. Retrieved July 3, 2023 – via
  11. ^ Saunders, Dusty (June 23, 2003). "Sardella interview offers a revealing look at Logan". Rocky Mountain News. p. 3C.
  12. ^ a b Hite, Patrick (May 26, 2004). "Charlottesville to get yet another TV station". The Observer. pp. A-1, A-2. Retrieved July 3, 2023 – via
  13. ^ "Changing Hands". Broadcasting & Cable. November 1, 2004. p. 24. ProQuest 225293512.
  14. ^ "KKCO-TV names new manager". The Daily Sentinel. February 19, 2005. p. 9A. Retrieved July 3, 2023 – via
  15. ^ "TV Query for KKCO". RabbitEars.