|Cedar Rapids: KCRG-TV|
First air date
|May 14, 1985|
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
Call sign meaning
|The word YOU|
|HAAT||360 m (1,181 ft)|
|Translator(s)||K30MG-D 15 (30 UHF) Kirksville|
Public license information
KYOU-TV (channel 15) is a television station licensed to Ottumwa, Iowa, United States, serving the Ottumwa, Iowa–Kirksville, Missouri market as an affiliate of Fox, NBC and The CW Plus. The station is owned by Gray Television, and maintains studios on West 2nd Street in Downtown Ottumwa; its transmitter is located one mile (1.6 km) east of Richland, Iowa.
K30MG-D (virtual channel 15; RF channel 30) in Kirksville operates as a low-power translator of KYOU-TV, extending its over-the-air coverage into the Missouri side of the market. This station's transmitter is located northeast of Kirksville on Missouri Highway P.
The station first signed on the air on May 14, 1985 as KOIA-TV (for its city of license, Ottumwa, Iowa). It was the second commercial television station — after KTVO (channel 3), which signed on the air on November 21, 1955 — and the first commercial UHF outlet to sign on in the Ottumwa–Kirksville market. The station was founded and originally owned by the Haynes Communications Company (owned by television and radio station operator Carl Haynes). Logically, it should have signed on as either a CBS or NBC affiliate (those networks did not have an affiliate in the Ottumwa–Kirksville market at the time). However, channel 15 initially maintained a programming inventory typical of an independent station, consisting of first-run and off-network sitcoms and drama series, classic off-network westerns, feature films, and cartoons. Shortly before the station's sign-on, on April 18, 1985, Haynes Communications sold the station to Ottumwa Television Ltd. Partnership (a consortium of 48 limited and general partners, headed by company president and majority stockholder Richard G. Hutchenson) in an expenses-only deal.
KOIA-TV became a charter affiliate of the Fox Broadcasting Company when the network inaugurated programming on October 9, 1986. Though it was technically a network affiliate, KYOU continued to be programmed as a de facto independent station as Fox's initial programming lineup consisted solely of a late-night talk show, The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers. Even after its programming expanded with the launch of a three-hour Sunday night lineup in April 1987, Fox aired its prime time programming exclusively on weekends until September 1989, when it began a five-year expansion towards a nightly prime time schedule. Until Fox began airing prime time programs on all seven nights of the week in January 1993, KYOU continued to air a movie at 7:00 p.m. on nights when the network did not offer any programming.
On March 31, 1987, Ottumwa Television Ltd. Partnership sold KOIA to Public Interest Broadcast Group Inc. (a locally based company owned by Dean C. Engstrom and Les White) for $900. On April 30, 1992, the station's call letters were changed to KYOU-TV. In January 1999, Public Interests Broadcast Group announced it would sell KYOU to Omaha-based Waitt Broadcasting for $3 million.
On August 26, 2003, Waitt announced it would merge with Montgomery, Alabama-based Raycom Media for $25.7 million. That purchase created an ownership conflict within the market, as Raycom already owned KTVO at the time and could not legally keep both stations because the market does not have enough television stations to legally permit a duopoly. As a result, on September 6, 2003, Raycom – on behalf of Waitt Broadcasting – announced it would spin off the station to Charlotte, North Carolina-based Ottumwa Media Holdings (co-founded by Thomas B. Henson and Macon Moye) for $4 million.
Under the terms of the sale, Ottumwa Media Holdings entered into a local marketing agreement (LMA) with Raycom, under which it assumed some operational responsibilities for KYOU-TV. The agreement, which took effect on August 3, allowed KTVO to provide commercial scheduling, promotions, master control and production services (including local newscasts) for KYOU, while Ottumwa Media would retain responsibilities over channel 15's programming and advertising sales. (Raycom was also given an option to purchase the station outright, should FCC duopoly rules be relaxed to allow common ownership of two television stations in smaller media markets.)
On March 27, 2006, the company announced that it would sell twelve of its television stations (including KTVO) to Schaumburg, Illinois-based Barrington Broadcasting for $262 million, as part of a strategy to concentrate Raycom's broadcast portfolio on outlets in the Midwest and Southeastern U.S. following its $987 million acquisition of the Liberty Corporation's station group; the sale was finalized that August. Following the sale, Raycom continued to maintain the LMA with American Spirit Media (which Ottumwa Media Holdings was renamed in August 2006), creating the unusual situation of a company operating a station under an outsourcing agreement despite not already owning another station in that market.
On June 25, 2018, Atlanta-based Gray Television announced it had reached an agreement with Raycom to merge their respective broadcasting assets (consisting of Raycom's 63 existing owned-and/or-operated television stations, and Gray's 93 television stations) under the former's corporate umbrella. As part of the cash-and-stock merger transaction valued at $3.6 billion – in which Gray shareholders would acquire preferred stock currently held by Raycom – Gray would acquire KYOU outright. In advance of the merger, Raycom exercised its options to purchase KYOU and WUPV in Richmond, Virginia outright from American Spirit Media. This would make KYOU a sister station to NBC affiliate KWQC-TV in Davenport and ABC affiliate KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids. The sale to Gray was approved on December 20 and completed on January 2, 2019.
KYOU-DT2, branded on-air as KYOU NBC, is the NBC-affiliated second digital subchannel of KYOU-TV, broadcasting a 720p high definition signal (downconverted from the native 1080i resolution of the NBC network, to accommodate for all the remaining subchannels) on channel 15.2; however, a direct-to-cable full 1080i high definition feed of this subchannel is available on select cable providers.
KYOU-DT2 airs Days of Our Lives one hour earlier than its recommended time slot in the Central Time Zone (transmitting it "live" under the network's Eastern Time Zone scheduling for the soap opera). In addition to the NBC network schedule, syndicated programs broadcast on KYOU-DT2 as of January 2018[update] include The Doctors, Extra, Inside Edition and Rachael Ray.
KYOU-TV launched a digital subchannel on virtual channel 15.2 on January 1, 2015, which originally operated as an affiliate of digital multicast network Grit. On January 8, 2018, American Spirit Media announced it had reached a long-term agreement with NBC to provide the network's programming over its DT2 subchannel starting later that month, a transaction that would mark the return of an in-market NBC station in the Ottumwa–Kirksville market after KTVO discontinued a secondary affiliation with that network in 1974. New Moon Communications had planned to launch a standalone, low-power NBC station in Ottumwa–Kirksville in the fall of 2011, following its purchase of a former Trinity Broadcasting Network translator station (recalled as KUMK-LP); however, New Moon was never able to commence any of the new major network-affiliated stations they planned to launch in several markets (most of which were slated to be NBC affiliates), and the license was cancelled in March 2014.
KYOU-DT2 converted into an NBC affiliate at 5:00 a.m. on January 24, 2018; as a result, Grit programming was moved to digital subchannel 15.3, which, in turn, saw its Escape affiliation move a new fourth digital subchannel. Prior to the conversion, some portions of the Iowa side of the market (including Ottumwa) were served by K27CV (channel 27), a community-owned translator which rebroadcast WHO-DT's signal from Des Moines. Cable systems in the Kirksville and Ottumwa areas imported WHO-DT, KWWL's signal from Waterloo, KSHB-TV's signal from Kansas City, or WGEM-TV's signal from Quincy, depending on the location; the latter station's over the air signal reached portions of the southern half of the market. With the conversion into a major network affiliate, the subchannel – which became branded as "NBC 15.2" – adopted a general entertainment programming format that primarily features a mix of first-run syndicated talk shows, game shows and newsmagazines, with infomercials and other paid programming filling much of KYOU-DT2's weekend schedule outside of NBC network programs and a limited schedule of syndicated shows.
KYOU-DT4, branded on-air as Ottumwa/Kirksville CW 15.4, is the CW-affiliated fourth digital subchannel of KYOU-TV, broadcasting in 16:9 widescreen standard definition on virtual and UHF digital channel 15.4. All programming on KYOU-DT4 is received through The CW's programming feed for smaller media markets, The CW Plus, which provides a set schedule of syndicated programming acquired by The CW for broadcast during time periods outside of the network's regular programming hours; however, Gray Television handles local advertising and promotional services for the subchannel.
On September 1, 2018, KYOU-DT4 was converted into an over-the-air feed of The CW's national CW Plus service, succeeding cable-only "KWOT" as the CW Plus affiliate for the Ottumwa–Kirksville market; as a result, Escape programming on subchannel 15.4 was discontinued, effectively replaced by The CW Plus.
KYOU's main channel currently carries the entire Fox network schedule (consisting of prime time, Saturday late night, and sports programming, as well as some special reports produced by Fox News). Syndicated programs broadcast on KYOU-TV include Judge Judy, The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, The People's Court and Right This Minute.
As of July 2018[update], KYOU-TV presently broadcasts 2½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (consisting of a half-hour each weekday); the station does not presently produce newscasts on Saturdays and Sundays, opting for syndicated programming.
On November 2, 2015, KYOU-TV launched an in-house news operation, with the launch of the KYOU News Update, the first local prime time news program ever attempted in the Ottuma–Kirksville market and the first attempt at a newscast produced independently from ABC affiliate KTVO. The development of a full-scale news department also included an expansion of its West 2nd Street studios to house the operation; the station hired fifteen personnel to staff the startup operation. The initial anchor team for the 9:00 p.m. newscast – which initially aired as a 10-minute-long broadcast on Monday through Friday nights – included anchor Chase Scheuer and meteorologist Matt Holiner. Weather segments are compiled and presented by Cincinnati sister station and fellow Fox affiliate WXIX-TV by that station's evening meteorologists. On December 7, the program expanded to a half-hour (coinciding with the program's retitling to KYOU News at 9:00).
After KYOU-DT2 affiliated with NBC in January 2018, KYOU-TV did not carry any news simulcasts on or produce any unique newscasts for that channel, opting to air syndicated entertainment newsmagazines formerly unavailable in the market in most news timeslots. On July 16, 2018, the station premiered a half-hour 10:00 p.m. newscast – which also airs exclusively on weeknights – for KYOU-DT2, which places KYOU-TV's news operation in direct competition with KTVO as the program competes with that station's late newscast; Scheuer co-anchors the broadcast with newcomer Leah Kemple, who also serves as a multimedia journalist. (Scheuer continued to solo anchor the 9:00 p.m. newscast on KYOU-TV's main channel.) A 6 p.m. newscast was added on October 4, 2021.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|15.1||720p||16:9||KYOU-DT||Main KYOU-TV programming / Fox|
|15.4||CW||Ottumwa/Kirksville CW 15.4|
|15.6||T-Crime||True Crime Network|
KYOU-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 15, 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 relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 14 to channel 15.