|Branding||KKCO 11; KKCO 11 News|
First air date
Former channel number(s)
|Analog: 11 (VHF, 1996–2009)|
|DT2: The CW (2006−2008)|
Call sign meaning
|HAAT||452 m (1,483 ft)|
|Translator(s)||9 (VHF) Paonia|
(for others, see below)
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). Both stations share studios on Blichmann Avenue in Grand Junction, while KKCO's transmitter is located at the Black Ridge Electronics Site at the Colorado National Monument west of the city.
The station signed on in July 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. 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, as well as WAYK in Melbourne, Florida.
KKCO began broadcasting in July 1996; in addition to broadcasting NBC, the station also served as a secondary affiliate of UPN. Its launch had the effect of removing Denver NBC affiliate KUSA from cable systems on the Western Slope. 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. 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. The Grand Junction cable system was able to broadcast the Broncos preseason games beginning in 1998 by arrangement with KUSA, and KKCO itself gained the rights in 2003.
Though the station initially rebroadcast some of KUSA's news programs while it developed its own, the station's own local newscasts soon debuted; within 18 months, KKCO had risen to number one in the market in ratings and revenue.
In 2004, Gray Television bought the station and its translator in Montrose from Eagle III Broadcasting LLC for $13.5 million. Gray closed on the purchase in February 2005. 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.
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.
The station's signal is multiplexed:
|11.1||1080i||16:9||KKCO-DT||Main KKCO programming / NBC|
|City of license||Call sign||Channel||ERP||HAAT||Facility ID||Transmitter coordinates||Owner|
|Aspen||K08HN-D||8||0.006 kW||4 m (13 ft)||56696||Pitkin County Translator Department|
|Basalt||K17JA-D||17||0.075 kW||155 m (509 ft)||168534|
|Collbran||K13RD-D||13||0.005 kW||−346 m (−1,135 ft)||41292||Mesa County|
|Gateway||K16MR-D||16||0.1 kW||570 m (1,870 ft)||41288|
|Grand Junction||K25FZ-D||25||15 kW||417 m (1,368 ft)||70103||Gray Television|
|Mesa||K09ZS-D||9||0.02 kW||570 m (1,870 ft)||198102||Mesa County|
|K36NQ-D||36||0.75 kW||933 m (3,061 ft)||41282|
|Montrose||K23NW-D||23||11.7 kW||561 m (1,841 ft)||167155||Gray Television|
|Paonia||KKCO (DRT)||9||0.007 kW||−44.5 m (−146 ft)||24766|
|Redstone, etc.||K26IT-D||26||0.02 kW||−147 m (−482 ft)||168527||Pitkin County Translator Department|
|Snowmass Village||K36LV-D||36||0.045 kW||−155 m (−509 ft)||188103|
|Thomasville||K11LM-D||11||0.016 kW||−393 m (−1,289 ft)||56703|