KNAZ-TV
Satellite of KPNX, Mesa/Phoenix, Arizona
The logo of parent station KPNX. At left, a sans serif 12 partially encased in an outline of the state of Arizona. At right, the NBC peacock and the letters KPNX in a sans serif.
Flagstaff, Arizona
United States
ChannelsDigital: 22 (UHF)
Virtual: 2
Branding12 News
Programming
AffiliationsNBC
Ownership
OwnerTegna Inc.
(sale to Standard General pending[1])
(Multimedia Holdings Corporation)
KPNX
History
First air date
May 2, 1970 (52 years ago) (1970-05-02)
Former call signs
KOAI (1970–1981)
Former channel number(s)
Analog: 2 (VHF, 1970–2009)
Call sign meaning
Northern Arizona
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID24749
ERP283 kW
HAAT465 m (1,526 ft)
Transmitter coordinates34°58′6″N 111°30′31″W / 34.96833°N 111.50861°W / 34.96833; -111.50861
Links
Public license information
Profile
LMS
Websitewww.12news.com

KNAZ-TV (channel 2) is a television station licensed to Flagstaff, Arizona, United States, affiliated with NBC. Owned by Tegna Inc., the station maintains a news bureau on the campus of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, and its transmitter is located southeast of the city in rural Coconino County.

KNAZ-TV operates as a full-time satellite of Phoenix-based KPNX (channel 12, licensed to Mesa), whose studios are located at the Republic Media building on Van Buren Street in downtown Phoenix. KNAZ covers areas of northern Arizona that receive a marginal to non-existent over-the-air signal from KPNX. KNAZ is a straight simulcast of KPNX; on-air references to KNAZ are limited to Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-mandated hourly station identifications during newscasts and other programming.

KNAZ is the only full-power television station in northern Arizona broadcasting one of the major English-language television networks. It was established as a full originating station in 1970 and continued to produce local newscasts until 2008. After a succession of owners, it came into common ownership with KPNX in 1997.

History

KOAI

As early as July 1967, plans were beginning to crystallize for the construction of a new television station in Flagstaff, the area's first high-power station; the area was only served by two UHF translators of KTVK and KOOL-TV from Phoenix. The primary promoter of the proposed station was Wendell Elliott, Sr., who had managed radio station KGNO in Dodge City, Kansas, and had founded associated television station KTVC in nearby Ensign in the 1950s; he also was a founder of the Kansas Association of Broadcasters in 1951.[2] Other stockholders included former Flagstaff mayor Charles L. Saunders, who owned radio station KCLS and had once sought to build a Flagstaff TV station himself, Elliott originally sought to build a 200 feet (61 m) tower atop Mount Elden and downtown studios, raising $85,000 by selling stock in the venture.[3]

Flagstaff had originally been assigned channels 9 and 13 for television use. However, when the Elliott group—incorporated in 1968 as Grand Canyon Television Company—was forced by the United States Forest Service to switch proposed transmitter sites from Mount Elden to Mormon Mountain, southeast of Flagstaff, it asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to change out channel 9 for channel 2 in order to avoid potential spacing problems to Tucson's channel 9 station, KGUN-TV.[4] From the start, Grand Canyon planned to obtain NBC affiliation for its station.[5]

Grand Canyon officially filed an application for construction permit on March 26, 1969, the FCC having approved the change to channel 2 earlier in the month,[6] and the commission granted the application on September 10.[7] With the permit approved, construction commenced nearly immediately;[8] in January 1970, power lines were buried under Mormon Mountain to provide electrical service to the summit.[9] The transmitter facility was complete by early April, when the first test patterns went out,[10] and KOAI began broadcasting on May 2, 1970.[11] It was some time before the station began producing local programming, as the studios at 528 W. Aspen were not yet completed.[12]

KOAI was among the first stations seen on much of the Navajo Nation when a tribe-owned translator was completed atop Navajo Mountain in 1973. At the time, the station produced and aired a daily Navajo-language news program hosted by Chester Yazzie; the program was aired the next day on KIVA-TV in Farmington, New Mexico,[13] and later also on KOAT-TV in Albuquerque. It was the only Navajo-language television program in the world at the time.[14]

Wendell Elliott, Sr., died in 1974 of an apparent heart attack.[15] His son, Wendell Elliott, Jr., took over the operation of the business, which was claimed to be the fourth-smallest TV station in the United States.[16]

KNAZ-TV

In 1980, the Grand Canyon Television Company approved the sale of KOAI to Capitol Broadcasting Company of Jackson, Mississippi, which owned radio and television stations in the Mississippi city and KKTV in Colorado Springs, Colorado.[17] Capitol closed on the sale in February 1981 and immediately sought to improve all aspects of the operation. On May 25, 1981,[7] the call sign was changed to KNAZ-TV to represent the station's service area.[18] (Kevin McCabe, a longtime Phoenix sports journalist who worked for channel 2 at the time, noted that people had "laughed" at KOAI for the preceding decade and that the station had set a "bad precedent".[19]) A new maximum-power transmitter at 100,000 watts was installed; the news department was expanded; and Capitol also moved the station into a new building on Vickey Street in 1982.[20][21] With the upgraded building came much-needed technical updates, notably a conversion to electronic news gathering on videotape from film.[22]

While Capitol Broadcasting, owned by the Hederman family as well as Standard Life Insurance, put all of its properties up for sale in late 1982,[23] they continued to own the station for nearly six more years. During that time, Grand Canyon Television built KMOH-TV, a satellite station of KNAZ at Kingman that began broadcasting on February 29, 1988. It was not until July of that year that KNAZ-TV found a buyer, Peter J. Klein of Indiana.[24] (Klein beat out Sunbelt Communications Company of Las Vegas as a buyer.[25]

Klein's ownership of the television station would end with his ouster in 1991 after four investors who owned 72.5 percent of the business petitioned a court to place Grand Canyon Television into receivership.[26] There had been signs of possible financial trouble earlier in the year when KNAZ-TV was listed as delinquent on its county property taxes; radio station KAFF reported the station was behind on payroll, charges that its financial manager denied.[27] The investors also claimed that Klein, an Indianapolis resident, was an absentee owner and that the firm had lost $3.8 million.[26] The stations emerged from receivership after a year, with W. A. Franke, one of the investors who filed the original motion, as the leader of the business.[28] By this time, KNAZ-TV was airing daily 5, 6, and 10 p.m. newscasts that beat the Phoenix stations within the Flagstaff area.[29]

Gannett/Tegna ownership

Final 2 News logo, used until the end of local newscasts on August 15, 2008
Final 2 News logo, used until the end of local newscasts on August 15, 2008

In January 1997, Grand Canyon announced that it had sold KNAZ-TV and KMOH, by that point disconnected from the Flagstaff station, to the Gannett Company, which owned KPNX in Phoenix.[30] The purchase, which closed in May 1997,[31] attracted attention and concern over the fate of KNAZ-TV; rumors swirled that Gannett would discontinue local newscasts for Northern Arizona and run the station as a full-time rebroadcaster of KPNX.[32] It was noted that the KPNX purchase of KNAZ-TV had taken place after the Flagstaff cable system attempted to drop KPNX from its lineup but found itself unable to do so because Gannett threatened to discontinue carriage to co-owned systems in Sedona, Kingman, Lake Havasu City, and Bullhead City.[32]

In December 2005, Gannett announced its intention to sell KNAZ-TV.[33] While Gannett waited for a buyer to surface, the station ceased producing weekend newscasts in 2006, airing newscasts from KPNX with Flagstaff-specific weather inserts.[34] KNAZ ceased production of local newscasts and became a full satellite of KPNX on August 15, 2008, citing inadequate advertising revenues and a lack of satellite carriage as factors in the decision. A Flagstaff bureau was established to cover Northern Arizona news, and some of the station's staff were kept to staff it.[35] Some of the void was filled when Northern Arizona University began producing a local newscast, NAZ Today, for cable and streaming in 2008.[36]

Notable former on-air staff

Technical information

Subchannels

Subchannels of KNAZ-TV[40]
Channel Video Aspect Short name Programming
2.1 1080i 16:9 KNAZ-HD Main KNAZ-TV programming / NBC

Channel history

In its DTV allotment plan of April 3, 1997, the FCC assigned channel 22 for KNAZ-DT, and on February 22, 2001, it granted to Gannett a construction permit to build the digital facilities.[41][42] The digital facility did not begin full-power broadcasts until January 2007.[43]

KNAZ had originally intended to move its digital broadcasts to VHF channel 2 after the digital transition. This plan was abandoned as the existing channel 2 antenna had sustained damage in three successive ice storms; an April 2008 inspection found arcing and repeated automatic shutdown due to signal power being reflected back into the transmitter that left it incapable of full-power operation, as well as a eight-inch (20 cm) crack in the antenna mast that would have required welding to repair.[44] The channel 2 antenna failed completely on April 16, 2009, forcing KNAZ's analog signal to go dark permanently.[45] KNAZ-TV was therefore forced to request that the FCC allow it to remain on channel 22 as its DTV channel, a change the FCC approved of on September 15, 2009.[46]

References

  1. ^ Miller, Mark K. (February 22, 2022). "Tegna Selling To Standard General For $5.4 Billion". TVNewsCheck. Archived from the original on February 22, 2022. Retrieved February 22, 2022.
  2. ^ S. Elliott and M. Beaver. "History of the Kansas Association of Broadcasters" (PDF). Archived from the original on March 15, 2007. Retrieved March 19, 2007.
  3. ^ "TV Promoters To Hold Meet". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. July 20, 1967. p. 2. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "Flag Station: TV Firm Protest Planned". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. September 20, 1968. p. 1. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ "TV Company Takes Steps For Permit". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. October 8, 1968. p. 2. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "FCC Reveals Substitute For Flag TV Channel 9". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. March 27, 1969. p. 1. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ a b FCC History Cards for KNAZ-TV
  8. ^ "FCC Approves Application For TV Station in Flagstaff". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. September 11, 1969. p. 6. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ "A Mountainous Task". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. January 17, 1970. p. 2. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ "New Flagstaff TV Station Emits Signal". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. April 6, 1970. p. 1. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "KOAI Granted License". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. April 23, 1971. p. 18. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "City's First Television Station Begins Broadcasts". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. May 4, 1970. p. 12. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ "Relay brings TV to Navajos". Arizona Republic. Phoenix, Arizona. September 25, 1973. p. 15. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ Wimbish, Dave (October 4, 1974). "To tell the truth: It's a drag". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. p. B2. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "Veteran Broadcast Journalist Wendell Elliott Sr. Dies at 61". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. June 21, 1974. p. 1. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ "Local video station marks eight years on the air". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. May 7, 1978. p. 33. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "KOAI Stockholders Okay Sale of Television Station". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. June 29, 1980. p. 10. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ "KOAI Completes Sale of Station". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. February 26, 1981. p. 11. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ Wilkinson, Bud (January 26, 1982). "Sports show fills gap on Flagstaff TV station". Arizona Republic. Phoenix, Arizona. p. C8. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  20. ^ Wilkinson, Bud (July 9, 1981). "New owner upgrades Flagstaff TV station". Arizona Republic. Phoenix, Arizona. p. F5. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  21. ^ "KNAZ-TV Open House Is Planned Sunday". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. August 13, 1982. p. 9. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  22. ^ Walker, Bonnie (August 9, 1981). "Local Television Station Planning To Move into New, Large Facility". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. p. 24. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  23. ^ Halkias, Maria (October 7, 1982). "Channel 12, WSLI, WXLY up for sale". Clarion-Ledger. Jackson, Mississippi. p. 1A. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  24. ^ Ryan, Steve (July 29, 1988). "Two more TV stations on the way: KNAZ-TV being sold". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. p. 1, 2. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  25. ^ "Group buys rights to new TV station". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. May 31, 1989. p. 1, 3. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  26. ^ a b Darby, Emily (June 20, 1991). "Investors seek removal of KNAZ president". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. p. 2. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  27. ^ O'Connell, Maureen (February 12, 1991). "KNAZ officials deny financial problems". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. p. 1, 14. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  28. ^ "KNAZ hires new manager: Part of parent company restructuring". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. July 3, 1992. p. 4. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  29. ^ "KNAZ ranked No. 1". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. April 23, 1995. p. 2. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  30. ^ Ramsdell, Becky (January 18, 1997). "KNAZ-TV sold to U.S. media giant". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. p. 1. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  31. ^ "Gannett acquires Arizona stations". The Business Journal of Phoenix. May 27, 1997. Archived from the original on March 19, 2005. Retrieved March 23, 2007.
  32. ^ a b Morlock, Blake (February 20, 1997). "Channel 2's future comes under scrutiny". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. p. 1, 2. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  33. ^ R. Cordova (December 10, 2005). "Flagstaff station for sale". The Arizona Republic. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved March 19, 2007.
  34. ^ Ferguson, Joe (September 3, 2006). "Innkeepers question rezoning for new hotel". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. p. D1, D3. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  35. ^ Ferguson, J. (August 8, 2008). "2 News unplugs: The local television station, KNAZ, will end live newscasts Aug. 15". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. p. A1, A7. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  36. ^ Ferguson, J. (October 10, 2008). "City mulls TV subsidy". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. p. A1, A7. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  37. ^ "Charmasson, Julian take positions at KNAZ-TV". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. April 16, 1987. p. 20. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  38. ^ Lang, Chris (December 27, 1998). "Putting locals first". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. p. 9. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  39. ^ "TV reporter moving to new job: Ruiz taking position in California market". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Arizona. November 6, 1991. p. 2. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  40. ^ "Digital TV Market Listing for KNAZ". Ericson, Trip. RabbitEars.info. Archived from the original on May 10, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  41. ^ "DTV Table of Allotments" (PDF). FCC Sixth Report and Order, Appendix B. Federal Communications Commission. April 3, 1997. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 7, 2007. Retrieved March 19, 2007.
  42. ^ "Minor Change to a Licensed Facility". Federal Communications Commission. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved March 23, 2007.
  43. ^ "Application for License to Cover". Federal Communications Commission. January 19, 2007. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  44. ^ "Request for Special Temporary Authority". Federal Communications Commission. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  45. ^ "KNAZ bows out of analog". RBR. April 18, 2009. Archived from the original on February 24, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  46. ^ "Report and Order (DA 09-2058)" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. September 15, 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 1, 2021. Retrieved June 6, 2022.