KOAT-TV, channel 7, is an ABC network affiliated television station serving Albuquerque, New Mexico. Its transmitter is located on Sandia Crest, northeast of Albuquerque, and has studios located on Carlisle Boulevard in Northeast Albuquerque.
KOAT signed on the air on September 28, 1953, less than a week before KGGM-TV (now KRQE). It was locally owned by Albert M. Cadwell & Walter Stiles. It first operated from studios located on Tulane Drive, just off Central Avenue in Southeast Albuquerque. The local owners sold the station to Alvarado Television (the owner of KVOA in Tucson, Arizona) in 1957, Alvarado sold both stations to Steinman Stations in 1962, who owned WGAL-TV in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and later acquired WTEV (now WLNE-TV) in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The station later moved its studios to a new facility located on University Boulevard in Northeast Albuquerque.
Steinman sold both KOAT and KVOA to Pulitzer, the then-owner of KSD-TV (now KSDK) in St. Louis, in 1969. This made KOAT Pulitzer's second television station acquisition outside of its home city of St. Louis; the KOAT acquisition was consummated a year after Pulitzer closed on its purchase of KVOA. A decade later, the other two Steinman stations were sold to Pulitzer as well, reuniting them with KOAT (KVOA was spun off in 1972).
In 1999, Pulitzer sold its entire broadcasting division, including KOAT and WGAL, to Hearst-Argyle. In mid-2009 the Hearst Corporation, already majority owner of what was Hearst-Argyle Television, bought out all of the then-publicly traded shares and changed the broadcasting group's name to Hearst Television.
KOAT uses a version of the Circle 7 logo used by many other ABC stations, both owned-and-operated stations and affiliates. The "Circle 7" logo has been used at KOAT since 1971 and the Action News title since 1974.
1450 kHz in Albuquerque is now KRZY.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|7.1||720p||16:9||KOAT-DT||Main KOAT-TV programming / ABC|
KOAT has carried the Spanish language TV network Estrella TV on its second digital subchannel since it launched on September 14, 2009. On July 11, 2016 KOAT added the Justice Network featuring true crime and investigation programming and also providing alerts of local criminals who are wanted by police.
KOAT-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 7, 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 21 to VHF channel 7.
KOAT-TV formerly operated three satellite stations, which rebroadcast its signal and add local content for other parts of the broadcast market:
|Station||City of license||Channels|
|First air date||Last air date||Former callsigns||ERP|
|Facility ID||Transmitter Coordinates|
|KOCT||Carlsbad||19 (UHF)||6||August 24, 1956||July 18, 2012||KAVE-TV (1956–1987)|
|15 kW||333 m||53908|
|KOFT1||Farmington||8 (VHF)||3||2002||November 2007||40 kW||165.9 m||53904|
|KOVT||Silver City||10 (VHF)||10||September 19872||July 18, 2012||KWNM-TV (1987–1992)||3.2 kW||485 m||53911|
- 1. KOFT never operated its analog signal; its digital station was operated via Special Temporary Authorization.
- 2. The Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook says KOVT signed on September 9, while the Television and Cable Factbook says it signed on September 10.
KOCT, formerly KAVE-TV and KVIO-TV, became part of the KOAT-TV operation in 1993 after previously serving as a satellite of El Paso ABC affiliate KVIA-TV. The Carlsbad station began in 1956 as KAVE-TV, a CBS/NTA Film Network affiliate with studio and transmitter facilities on Church Street in Carlsbad. In 1966, when Roswell, New Mexico station KBIM-TV became the CBS affiliate for southeastern New Mexico, KAVE became a satellite station of then-ABC affiliate KMOM-TV in Monahans, Texas (now NBC affiliate KWES-TV, Midland-Odessa, Texas) and then of KVIA-TV in El Paso in 1976.
Hearst-Argyle surrendered the license of KOFT to the FCC on November 13, 2007, though its license was not canceled until May 5, 2010. Hearst then informed the FCC on July 18, 2012 that it would discontinue the operations of KOCT and KOVT; their licenses were canceled on August 1. The move was made to eliminate the need to maintain the KOCT and KOVT public files in their respective cities due to FCC regulations which went into effect on that date; both stations were promptly replaced with KOAT translator stations on the same channels to continue providing service to both cities.
In addition, there are several low-powered repeaters that carry KOAT's programming throughout New Mexico, northeastern Arizona and southern Colorado.
Ordinarily, KOAT produces just over four hours of local news each weekday, and 4½ hours each on Saturdays and Sundays. Up until sometime in the 2000s, it produced newscasts at noon. The station's newscasts, known as Action 7 News, have led the ratings in New Mexico for over 30 years. Weather forecaster Howard Morgan worked at KOAT for 28 years before retiring in 1999.
KOAT is also one of six ABC affiliates and one of three Hearst-owned ABC stations to have an hour-long 10 p.m. newscast, along with KITV in Honolulu and WISN in Milwaukee; as well as KRGV in Weslaco, Texas, KSTP in Saint Paul, Minnesota, KIFI in Idaho Falls, Idaho and WEAR in Pensacola, Florida.
Upon its current ownership by Hearst (then Hearst-Argyle) in 1999, KOAT rolled out a new set and began using the then-current Hearst mandated graphics and "Image News" theme music package around December of that year. Then in 2004, Image News was dropped in favor of Jerome Gilmer's Hearst-Argyle TV News Music Package. Another new set was introduced in September 2008. Currently, KOAT doesn't broadcast in high definition. However on June 13, 2010, the station began airing its newscasts in 16:9 widescreen standard definition. Finally in August 2013, KOAT switched to the new Hearst TV standardized graphics along with the Strive news music package.