|Branding||Fox 13 (general)|
Fox 13 News (newscasts)
First air date
|October 24, 1978|
November 9, 1987
Former channel number(s)
Call sign meaning
|Springfield Television of Utah|
|HAAT||1,210 m (3,970 ft)|
Public license information
KSTU (channel 13) is a television station in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, affiliated with the Fox network. It is owned by the E. W. Scripps Company alongside Provo-licensed Ion Television owned-and-operated station KUPX-TV (channel 16). KSTU's studios are located on West Amelia Earhart Drive in the northwestern section of Salt Lake City, and its transmitter is located on Farnsworth Peak in the Oquirrh Mountains, southwest of Salt Lake City. The station has a large network of broadcast translators that extend its over-the-air coverage throughout Utah, as well as portions of Nevada.
The station first signed on the air on October 24, 1978 under the ownership of Massachusetts-based Springfield Television, which also owned NBC affiliate WWLP in Springfield, Massachusetts, and ABC affiliate WKEF in Dayton, Ohio. It was the first independent station in Utah, as well as the first new commercial station to sign on in Salt Lake City since KUTV (channel 2) hit the airwaves 24 years earlier.
Salt Lake City had a fairly long wait for an independent station compared to other cities of its size. It had enough of a population base to support one since the early 1960s. However, the Salt Lake City market is one of the largest in a geographic area and most mountainous markets in the country, covering all of Utah and large slices of Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming. The market's three commercial stations, as well as PBS members KUED and KBYU-TV, all needed massive networks of low-power translators to cover it.
Additionally, at the time the only available allocations were on the UHF band, and UHF stations did not cover mountainous territory very well. The expense associated with building a translator network, combined with the limitations of UHF, scared off most prospective investors. By the mid-1970s, however, cable television, a must for acceptable television in much of Utah, even in today's digital era, had gotten enough penetration in the market to lessen the need for translators and make an independent station viable.
The station originally broadcast on UHF channel 20 on a transmitter originally used for WWLP's partial satellite, WRLP-TV in Greenfield, Massachusetts, which closed down and was subsequently disassembled and relocated shortly before KSTU's sign-on. KSTU's programming at the time was typical for an independent station: cartoons, off-network sitcoms, classic movies, and drama series. Springfield Television merged with Adams Communications in 1984. On October 9, 1986, the station became a charter affiliate of the new Fox network. However, like most Fox affiliates early in the network's history, it was still essentially programmed as an independent. Fox initially ran only late-night programming at its launch and when it added primetime programming in April 1987, it only aired such programs on Saturdays and Sundays. It would not air a full week's worth of programming until 1993.
In 1980, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) added a new VHF allocation on channel 13 to the Salt Lake City market. Five groups submitted applications for a permit to build a television station on that allocation in May 1981. In 1984, the FCC held hearings with the competing applicants. And in 1985, it announced the winning applicant. The second-place applicant, locally owned Mountain West Television Company, or MWT Company, appealed the FCC decision but lost the appeal. When that failed, MWT Company proposed a buyout of the other four competing interests, including the winning applicants. The strategy succeeded and was carried out in November 1986. At the same time, Mountain West entered into a limited partnership agreement with Northstar Communications, which was partly owned by Allstate Insurance, and a new company, called MWT, Ltd., was formed. On January 20, 1987, the FCC awarded the original construction permit for a new station on channel 13 to MWT, Ltd., under the call sign KTMW. However, buying equipment for the new station proved difficult.
Meanwhile, Adams Communications was undergoing serious financial difficulties and decided to sell off its stations. There were few takers for channel 20, however. Under the circumstances, it was very receptive to an offer from MWT to buy KSTU's assets for $30 million. Adams was able to make a considerable profit on the deal, while MWT was able to get the equipment it needed at a substantial discount. The two parties reached a sales agreement in July. The sale was approved by the FCC in September and the transaction was finalized on October 23, 1987.
On November 9, 1987, MWT moved the channel 20 intellectual unit (call letters, staff, programming and Fox affiliation) to channel 13. It also returned the channel 20 license to the FCC on the same day. As a result, the FCC reckons the current KSTU as a separate station from the old channel 20. MWT went on the air with the new KSTU on channel 13 under Program Test Authority. It requested a license to cover the CP on November 16, which was duly granted on March 7, 1988.
The purchase of KSTU, however, put a financial strain on MWT, namely on the old Mountain West partners. In May 1988, Mountain West sold its interest in KSTU to Northstar. The station rebranded as Fox 13 by 1989.
Northstar sold KSTU to Fox Television Stations the next year, making it a Fox owned-and-operated station, and the first network-owned station in Utah. Unlike its rival stations, which have changed networks over the years, KSTU was the only VHF commercial station in Salt Lake City that has remained affiliated with the same network since that network's inception. Only KTVX (channel 4), originally an NBC affiliate, has been affiliated with ABC longer than KSTU has been a Fox affiliate.
Incidentally, when Fox Television Stations acquired the television station group owned by KTVX's then-parent Chris-Craft Industries on August 12, 2000 KTVX was one of two stations that the company traded to Clear Channel Communications (as part of a swap with WFTC in Minneapolis–Saint Paul). It was forced to sell KTVX due to FCC regulations prohibiting one company from owning two of the four highest-rated stations in a single market, as well as the fact that the station was in the middle of a long-term affiliation contract with ABC.
The station replaced most of the classic sitcoms on its weekday lineup with talk shows in the mid-1990s. The station added additional syndicated programming in 2002, once Fox dropped the Fox Kids weekday children's block nationally. In 2006, KSTU migrated its website to Fox Interactive Media's MyFox web platform. It also introduced a new logo, in a style in line with the other Fox O&O stations. However, the Times New Roman "13," which the station has used since 1997, was retained (unlike WHBQ-TV in Memphis, which switched to a "13" resembling that used by its Tampa sister station WTVT). KSTU was one of two network-owned stations in the Salt Lake City market from 1995 to 2007, when CBS sold KUTV to Four Points Media Group, a subsidiary of the private-equity group Cerberus Capital Management.
On June 13, 2007, Fox sold KSTU and seven other owned-and-operated stations to Local TV (a subsidiary of another private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners), which had acquired the former broadcasting division of The New York Times Company the previous year. The sale was finalized on July 14, 2008. On July 1, 2013, the Tribune Company acquired Local TV for $2.75 billion; the sale was completed on December 27.
Further information: Attempted acquisition of Tribune Media by Sinclair Broadcast Group
Sinclair Broadcast Group entered into an agreement to acquire Tribune Media on May 8, 2017 for $3.9 billion, plus the assumption of $2.7 billion in Tribune-held debt. As Sinclair already owned KUTV, KJZZ-TV and KMYU in the market, the company offered to sell KSTU back to Fox Television Stations as part of a $910 million deal; Howard Stirk Holdings concurrently agreed to purchase KMYU. The merger was terminated on August 9, 2018 by Tribune Media, nullifying both transactions; this followed a public rejection of the deal by FCC chairman Ajit Pai and vote by the commission to place the deal in review.
Following the collapse of the Sinclair merger, Nexstar Media Group announced their intentions to purchase Tribune Media on December 3, 2018 for $6.4 billion in cash and debt. Due to Nexstar owning KTVX and KUCW, the E. W. Scripps Company agreed to purchase KSTU as part $1.32 billion in overall divestments by Nexstar in order to meet regulatory approval. The sale was completed on September 19, 2019.
KSTU presently broadcasts 61½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 10½ hours each weekday and 4½ hours each on Saturdays and Sundays); in regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is the highest local newscast output among Utah's television stations. KSTU's Saturday and Sunday 5 p.m. newscasts are subject to preemption due to network sports coverage, as is standard with Fox stations that carry early evening weekend newscasts.
The station launched its news department on December 31, 1991, with the debut of a half-hour 9 p.m. newscast; KSTU added a three-hour weekday morning newscast, titled Good Day Utah, in 1996, replacing morning cartoons. In 2005, the station launched a midday newscast at 11 a.m. In August 2008, KSTU entered into a strategic alliance with news/talk radio station KNRS-FM (105.7 FM), in which KSTU meteorologists provide weather reports to KNRS, while KSTU reporters are often heard during KNRS newscasts and talk shows. In September 2008, KSTU debuted an hour-long early evening newscast at 5:00 p.m.
On August 17, 2009, the station expanded its midday newscast to 90 minutes by adding a half-hour newscast at noon, following its existing hour-long 11:00 a.m. newscast. On January 23, 2010, KSTU debuted a 90-minute weekend morning newscast from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. In January 2013, KSTU expanded its weekend morning newscast by one hour to 6:30 a.m. On April 23, 2012, KSTU became the fourth (and last) major network station in Utah to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. In September 2013, KSTU debuted an hour-long 4 p.m. newscast, which competes with hour-long newscasts on KUTV and KTVX.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|13.1||720p||16:9||KSTU-HD||Main KSTU programming / Fox|
KSTU became a charter affiliate of Tribune Broadcasting's Antenna TV upon its launch on January 1, 2011, it is carried on digital subchannel 13.2.
On December 29, 2017, KSTU added Charge! on digital subchannel 13.4.
On January 12, 2018, KSTU replaced Justice Network with Stadium on digital subchannel 13.3.
On February 1, 2021, KSTU replaced Stadium with Court TV on digital subchannel 13.3 and replaced Charge! with Ion Mystery on digital subchannel 13.4.
On March 1, 2021, KSTU added a simulcast of KUPX 16.5 / QVC on digital subchannel 13.5.
KSTU shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 13, 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 28, using PSIP to display KSTU's virtual channel as 13 on digital television receivers.
|City of license||Callsign||Channel||ERP||HAAT||Facility ID||Transmitter coordinates||Owner|
|Antimony||K30OS-D||30||0.033 kW||−6 m (−20 ft)||167866||Piute County|
|K25GY-D||25||0.1 kW||154 m (505 ft)||29150||Iron County|
|K36AK-D||36||0.105 kW||1,073 m (3,520 ft)||58870||San Juan County|
|Bicknell, etc.||K20MO-D||20||0.072 kW||125 m (410 ft)||167065||Wayne County|
|Bluff & Area||K15HN-D||15||0.0025 kW||16 m (52 ft)||167963||San Juan County|
|Boulder||K30OV-D||30||0.01 kW||−15 m (−49 ft)||182244||Garfield County|
|Caineville||K31KN-D||31||0.05 kW||−30 m (−98 ft)||182476||Wayne County|
|Circleville, etc.||K18MI-D||18||0.045 kW||−237 m (−778 ft)||167872||Piute County|
|Clear Creek||K28KP-D||28||0.006 kW||309 m (1,014 ft)||182407||Carbon County|
|Coalville, etc.||K30KG-D||30||0.008 kW||−215 m (−705 ft)||167176||Summit County|
|K30PG-D||0.15 kW||−9 m (−30 ft)||167917||Millard County|
|Duchesne, etc.||K36IM-D||36||0.012 kW||−42 m (−138 ft)||167402||Duchesne County|
|East Carbon County||K18MY-D||18||0.34 kW||612 m (2,008 ft)||182313||Carbon County|
|East Price||K13AAP-D||13||0.07 kW||−84 m (−276 ft)||182189|
|Emery||K28PI-D||28||0.012 kW||97 m (318 ft)||167219||Emery County|
|Escalante||K29HN-D||29||0.09 kW||−149 m (−489 ft)||167817||Garfield County|
|Ferron||K30PP-D||30||0.02 kW||−231 m (−758 ft)||182410||Emery County|
|Fillmore, etc.||K29MN-D||29||0.15 kW||115 m (377 ft)||167910||Millard County|
|Fishlake Resort||K29JQ-D||0.01 kW||149 m (489 ft)||182357||Sevier County|
|Fountain Green||K29LZ-D||0.05 kW||−163 m (−535 ft)||182205||Sanpete County|
|Fremont||K35NE-D||35||0.031 kW||−277 m (−909 ft)||167069||Wayne County|
|Fruitland||K19MH-D||19||0.11 kW||−55 m (−180 ft)||190022||Duchesne County|
|Garfield, etc.||K21MX-D||21||0.155 kW||751 m (2,464 ft)||36346||Garfield County|
|Garrison, etc.||K34PA-D||34||0.06 kW||−61 m (−200 ft)||167944||Millard County|
|Green River||K21JV-D||21||0.02 kW||−18 m (−59 ft)||182160||Emery County|
|K30PN-D||30||484 m (1,588 ft)||167580||Green River City Television|
|Hanksville||K34NT-D||34||0.01 kW||−48 m (−157 ft)||14191||Wayne County|
|Hatch||K14QX-D||14||0.09 kW||−123 m (−404 ft)||26402||Garfield County|
|Heber City||K29MC-D||29||0.17 kW||392 m (1,286 ft)||22212||E. W. Scripps Company|
|Helper||K12XI-D||12||0.07 kW||−165 m (−541 ft)||167781||Carbon County|
|Henefer, etc.||K33LV-D||33||0.121 kW||−97 m (−318 ft)||189299||Summit County|
|Henriville||K20MY-D||20||0.01 kW||−138 m (−453 ft)||168163||Garfield County|
|Huntington||K30PS-D||30||0.02 kW||−135 m (−443 ft)||182482||Emery County|
|K28JK-D||28||0.012 kW||−100 m (−328 ft)||167803||Ogden Valley TV|
|Kanab||K28OS-D||2.82 kW||524 m (1,719 ft)||8136||Cache County|
|Koosharem||K20MV-D||20||0.055 kW||179 m (587 ft)||167345||Sevier County|
|Laketown, etc.||K48GV-D||48||0.286 kW||341 m (1,119 ft)||56115||Rich County|
|Leamington||K15LL-D||15||0.95 kW||−90 m (−295 ft)||167936||Millard County|
|Logan||K28OS-D||28||2.82 kW||524 m (1,719 ft)||8136||Cache County|
|Manila, etc.||K33PQ-D||33||0.089 kW||108 m (354 ft)||184137||Daggett County|
|K29EM-D||29||0.14 kW||652 m (2,139 ft)||59038||Sanpete County|
|Marysvale||K13AAI-D||13||0.118 kW||187 m (614 ft)||167869||Piute County|
|Mayfield||K15CD-D||15||0.01 kW||−46 m (−151 ft)||40786||Sanpete County|
|Mexican Hat||K18IB-D||18||0.0056 kW||−154 m (−505 ft)||167975||San Juan County|
|Milford, etc.||K15FQ-D||15||0.25 kW||1,032 m (3,386 ft)||22214||E. W. Scripps Company|
|K23JC-D||23||0.011 kW||−16 m (−52 ft)||167970||San Juan County|
|Morgan, etc.||K28JL-D||28||332 m (1,089 ft)||168693||Morgan County|
|Mount Pleasant||K23NR-D||23||0.055 kW||−109 m (−358 ft)||125454||Sanpete County|
|Myton||K22NE-D||22||0.49 kW||692 m (2,270 ft)||17641||Duchesne County|
|Navajo Mountain||K18HZ-D||18||0.0056 kW||104 m (341 ft)||167983||San Juan County|
|Nephi||K22OO-D||22||0.05 kW||585 m (1,919 ft)||182154||Juab County|
|Oljeto||K18IA-D||18||0.011 kW||29 m (95 ft)||167976||San Juan County|
|Orangeville||K21NP-D||21||0.34 kW||507 m (1,663 ft)||167216||Emery County|
|Orderville||K16BT-D||16||0.03 kW||−44 m (−144 ft)||50536||Western Kane County Special Service District #1|
|K27KH-D||27||0.038 kW||235 m (771 ft)||50537|
|Panguitch, etc.||K20MX-D||20||0.035 kW||−134 m (−440 ft)||1671499||Garfield County|
|Park City||K35OP-D||35||0.08 kW||21 m (69 ft)||22213||E. W. Scripps Company|
|Peoa, etc.||K36PK-D||36||0.105 kW||93 m (305 ft)||167164||Summit County|
|K30JG-D||30||0.011 kW||360 m (1,181 ft)||168856||Rich County|
|Richfield, etc.||K20MS-D||20||0.165 kW||470 m (1,542 ft)||59792||Sevier County|
|Roosevelt||K13AAN-D||13||0.047 kW||150 m (492 ft)||167387||Duchesne County|
|Rural Garfield County||K28GM-D||28||0.105 kW||1,000 m (3,281 ft)||23225||Garfield County|
|Rural Juab,etc.||K13OG-D||13||0.1 kW||583 m (1,913 ft)||188799|
|Rural Juab County||K14PA-D||14||0.25 kW||588 m (1,929 ft)||22202||E. W. Scripps Company|
|Rural Sevier County||K20MW-D||20||0.01 kW||207 m (679 ft)||167351||Sevier County|
|K13AAH-D||13||0.115 kW||227 m (745 ft)||59771|
|Samak||K28JS-D||28||0.0028 kW||−27 m (−89 ft)||167194||Summit County|
|Santa Clara, etc.||KVBT-LD||26||0.3 kW||1,086 m (3,563 ft)||70969||E. W. Scripps Company|
|Scofield||K29MT-D||29||0.072 kW||−126 m (−413 ft)||182157||Carbon County|
|Scipio||K15LK-D||15||0.05 kW||171 m (561 ft)||125970||Millard County|
|St. George||KKRP-LD||21||0.3 kW||62 m (203 ft)||70979||E. W. Scripps Company|
|Summit County||K25OY-D||25||0.309 kW||830 m (2,723 ft)||63750||Summit County|
|K29GJ-D||29||0.095 kW||236 m (774 ft)||125494||Garfield County|
|Vernal, etc.||K35IQ-D||35||0.17 kW||639 m (2,096 ft)||167884||Uintah County|
|Wanship||K29HX-D||29||0.005 kW||−267 m (−876 ft)||167183||Summit County|
|Wendover||K16MN-D||16||0.133 kW||13 m (43 ft)||22217||E. W. Scripps Company|
|K13AAJ-D||13||0.041 kW||36 m (118 ft)||131187||Summit County|
|Cortez, CO||K23LH-D||23||0.1 kW||481 m (1,578 ft)||185798||Southwest Colorado Translator Association|
|Holbrook, ID||K33QF-D||33||0.4 kW||−130 m (−427 ft)||191360||Oneida County Translator District|
|Malad City, ID||K16MW-D||16||1 kW||−78 m (−256 ft)||50367|
|Mink Creek, ID||K07XM-D||7||0.1 kW||−22 m (−72 ft)||131443||Franklin County Translator District|
|Montpelier, ID||K34OH-D||34||0.09 kW||157 m (515 ft)||4404||Bear Lake County T.V. District|
|Preston, ID||K46HW-D||3||0.01 kW||280 m (919 ft)||125013||Franklin County TV District #1|
|K19EW-D||19||1 kW||230 m (755 ft)||22354|
|Soda Springs, ID||K25OI-D||25||355 m (1,165 ft)||8806||Caribou County TV Association|
|Big Piney, etc., WY||K24DA-D||24||0.067 kW||165 m (541 ft)||63588||Sublette County|
((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)