|Branding||KOAA 5 (general)|
KOAA News 5 (newscasts)
for others, see § Subchannels
First air date
|June 30, 1953|
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
5 (VHF, 1953–2009)
42 (UHF, until 2020)
Call sign meaning
|KOA-TV (now KCNC-TV in Denver—former sister station)|
|HAAT||677 m (2,221 ft)|
Public license information
KOAA-TV (channel 5) is a television station licensed to Pueblo, Colorado, United States, serving as the NBC affiliate for the Colorado Springs area. It is owned by E. W. Scripps Company alongside low-power Ion Mystery owned-and-operated station KZCS-LD (channel 18). KOAA-TV's main studios and business offices are located on 7th Avenue in Pueblo, with a satellite studio and news bureau in the Tech Center office complex in Colorado Springs; its transmitter is located on Cheyenne Mountain.
KOAA-TV operates a low-power digital translator, K30JM-D (channel 30) in Colorado Springs, whose transmitter is also located on Cheyenne Mountain.
The station signed on for the first time on June 30, 1953, as KCSJ-TV, owned by the Star-Chieftain Publishing Corporation, owners of Pueblo's two major newspapers, the morning Pueblo Chieftain and evening Pueblo Star-Journal, along with KCSJ radio. It is Colorado's second-oldest station outside of Denver.
During the 1950s, KCSJ-TV was one of two full-time NBC affiliates serving Southern Colorado—the other being KRDO-TV (channel 13) in Colorado Springs, about 40 miles (64 km) to the north. In 1960, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) collapsed all of southern Colorado into a single television market. At this point, KCSJ-TV became the area's sole NBC affiliate with KRDO-TV switching to ABC.
In 1961, Star-Chieftain sold KCSJ-TV to Metropolitan Broadcasting, owners of KOA-AM-FM-TV in Denver. KCSJ-TV then became KOAA-TV, but remained a free-standing station programmed separately from Denver's KOA-TV (now KCNC-TV). The two stations did, however, occasionally do cross-promotion, and both were NBC affiliates (its Denver sister station is now a CBS O&O). With much wealthier ownership, KOAA was able to add videotape in 1962. In 1967, it became the first television station in Southern Colorado to broadcast local programming in color. When sister stations KOA-TV-AM-FM were sold off to General Electric in 1968, Metropolitan sold KOAA to local owner Sangre De Cristo Broadcasting Corporation (with shares owned by William Grant, Helen T. White, and Mahlon T. White) in a separate deal.
KOAA floundered through the early and mid-1970s, largely because of reception problems in the northern part of the market. When channel 5 moved its transmitter closer to Colorado Springs after Pueblo and Colorado Springs were merged into separate markets, it had to conform its signal to protect KGWN-TV in Cheyenne, Wyoming. As a result, while most of Colorado Springs received the channel 5 signal very well, it was barely viewable in northern Colorado Springs and that city's northern suburbs because of the area's rugged terrain. Most viewers in the northern portion of the market couldn't get a clear signal from KOAA until cable arrived in the market in the 1970s. This posed a problem for KOAA, as the Colorado Springs area began an unprecedented period of growth that continues to this day while Pueblo remained relatively unchanged. It did not help matters that NBC spent most of the 1970s at the bottom of the ratings.
KOAA finally rebounded in 1977 when the Evening Post Publishing Company of Charleston, South Carolina bought the station and brought in former ABC executive John Gilbert as general manager (the licensee would be renamed Sangre De Cristo Communications Incorporated). Evening Post's broadcasting arm eventually evolved into Cordillera Communications and continued to be a subsidiary of Evening Post Publishing Company. Soon after Gilbert's arrival, KOAA opened a studio and sales office in Colorado Springs and steadily beefed up its news operation. In 1980, KOAA signed on K30AA, a 132,500-watt translator on channel 30 in Colorado Springs, bringing a clear signal to the northern part of that city for the first time ever. For the next three decades, it branded itself as "5/30" (denoting both the main and Colorado Springs translator channels). It was also during this time that KOAA adopted the Eyewitness News format that was popular with TV stations nationwide during the 1970s and 1980s. The station's resurgence came around the same time that NBC rebounded to become the highest-rated network in the country.
Cordillera announced on October 29, 2018, that it would sell most of its stations, including KOAA, to the E. W. Scripps Company. The sale was completed on May 1, 2019. For the second time in its history, channel 5 became a sister station to a Denver station, this time with KMGH-TV, and as such KOAA shares news sources and certain reporters with KMGH.
In addition to the NBC network schedule, syndicated programs currently broadcast by KOAA-TV include 25 Words or Less, The Kelly Clarkson Show, and Dr. Phil.
KOAA currently broadcasts 37 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 6 hours each weekday and 3½ hours each on Saturdays and Sundays). Among the Colorado Springs–Pueblo TV stations that signed on originally in the 1950s, KOAA was the last station to start a morning newscast, which began in January 1996 as an hour-long program leading into NBC's Today show, and nudging KRDO-TV to expand the length of its newscast to a half hour at the time (it ran for 15 minutes since its 1983 sign on) and did it one week before the debut of KOAA's morning news program. KOAA was the second TV station in the market to add morning newscasts on the weekends starting in 2010.
Starting in 2001, KOAA used the NewsFirst 5/30 name for its morning and midday newscasts but continued to use the Eyewitness News brand for all other dayparts until February 8, 2002 (the first day of the 2002 Winter Olympics). On that date, the station adopted the News First brand for all of its newscasts.
In 2009, the branding was changed to NewsFirst 5, acknowledging that with K30AA's transition to digital K30JM-D, the station could also identify as virtual channel 5 throughout the market. The name was modified slightly to News 5 in 2011. The station operates a News 5 Now channel on its second subchannel which is carried by the cable systems in both Colorado Springs and Pueblo, and includes news updates along with real-time weather forecasts and conditions. KOAA used to have newscasts at 4 and 9 p.m. on News 5 Now, but it would later cancel the 4 p.m. newscast and reduced the 9 p.m. newscast to 10 minutes. Eventually the 9 p.m. newscast was canceled altogether. In the fall of 2020, KOAA would bring back a 4 p.m. newscast but this time on the main KOAA channel and running as hour long lead in to its 5 p.m. half hour newscast, coupled with direct competition from KKTV and KRDO-TV which also run full hour long newscasts in the 4 p.m. hour. However by late December 2021, KOAA cut the 4 p.m. news hour to a half hour starting at 4:30 p.m., in order to clear a national news program called Newsfeed produced by KOAA's parent company Scripps that airs a half hour earlier. In April 2021, KOAA restored a full hour of local news at 4 p.m.
On February 18, 2010, KOAA-TV became the third station in the Colorado Springs–Pueblo market to broadcast its newscasts in true high definition and 16:9 widescreen, beginning with its midday newscast. Fox affiliate KXRM-TV (channel 21) is now the only remaining station in the market that still broadcasts its local newscasts in 16:9 widescreen standard definition, but not true HD.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|5.1||1080i||16:9||KOAA HD||Main KOAA-TV programming / NBC|
KOAA-TV activated its digital television signal on channel 42 (virtual channel 5.1) on August 1, 2006. It has the capability to broadcast in Dolby 5.1 surround sound. It began broadcasting "NewsFirst NOW" (originally named "WeatherFirst NOW" at launch in 2004) as a digital subchannel (5.2) after only having it on local cable systems earlier. On September 15, 2015, the subchannel became an affiliate of WeatherNation TV, while retaining the "News 5 NOW" name.
KOAA-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 5, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 42. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 5.
On April 15, 2010, K30AA was converted from analog to digital and continues to operate as a repeater of KOAA-TV. On June 14, K30AA changed its calls to K30JM-D.
|City of license||Callsign||Channel||ERP||HAAT||Facility ID||Transmitter coordinates||Owner|
|Cañon City||K19DY-D||19||1.38 kW||−77 m (−253 ft)||59015||E. W. Scripps Company|
|Cheyenne Wells||K34LN-D||34||0.236 kW||175 m (574 ft)||10790||Cheyenne County|
|Colorado Springs||K30JM-D||30||3 kW||637 m (2,090 ft)||59021||E. W. Scripps Company|
|Eads, etc.||K16LF-D||16||0.327 kW||124 m (407 ft)||198512||Kiowa County|
|Hoehne||K19HC-D||19||1.4 kW||80 m (262 ft)||168880||Valley Metropolitan Recreation District|
|Lamar||K33KV-D||33||0.25 kW||159 m (522 ft)||53690||Bent County|
|Las Animas||K23KN-D||23||140 m (459 ft)||4785|
|Pueblo||KOAA-TV (DRT)||16||0.45 kW||58.4 m (192 ft)||59014||E. W. Scripps Company|