KVLY-TV channel 11 is the NBC and CBS affiliate for Fargo, North Dakota, serving eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. It broadcasts a high definitiondigital signal on UHF channel 44 (or virtual channel 11.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter tower near Blanchard. The station can also be seen on cable channel 11 in most areas of the market. There is a high definition signal offered on Midcontinent digital channel 611 and Cable One digital channel 1011. A CBS-affiliated "KX-4" subchannel (formerly KXJB-TV) can be seen on cable channel 4 in most areas of the market (DirecTV channel 9) and in high definition on Midcontinent digital channel 604 and Cable One digital channel 1004.

KVLY's studio facilities located on 21st Avenue South in Fargo. In addition to its main studio in Fargo, KVLY operates a news bureau and sales office in the US Bank building in downtown Grand Forks. KVLY is considered a part of the NBC North Dakotastate network of NBC affiliates, although it originates separate programming and newscasts from flagship and sister station KFYR-TV in Bismarck.

Syndicated programming on KVLY includes Dr. Phil, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Live! with Kelly and Michael, Wheel of Fortune among others. The "KX-4" subchannel carries Extra, Jeopardy!, Inside Edition, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire among others.

The station is most notable for using the third tallest above-ground structure in the world for broadcasting its signal, rising 2,063-foot (629 m) high. KVLY is owned by Gray Television. The KVLY tower was at one time the tallest structure in the world and it is currently the tallest structure in The Western Hemisphere. The KRDK-TV tower is located just 6 miles from the KVLY tower.

History

The station signed on in 1959 as KXGO-TV (for FarGO), an ABC affiliate. From 1962 to 1963 it used the call letters KEND-TV. In 1963, channel 11 moved to its current tower near Blanchard and became known as KTHI-TV (which stands for Tower-HI).

On August 22, 1983, KTHI became an NBC affiliate, swapping affiliations with longtime NBC affiliate WDAY-TV. The current call sign, adopted on May 2, 1995, represents the station's slogan, "The Valley's Choice for Local News," as it serves the communities along the Red River of the North and its tributaries.

From 1968 until the mid-1980s, channel 11 was carried by cable systems across Manitoba and northwestern Ontario, including the Winnipeg area. When KTHI switched affiliation to NBC, it was replaced by ABC affiliate WDAZ-TV in Grand Forks, until Canadian cable companies were granted permission to replace most of the North Dakota stations with network affiliates from Detroit, Michigan.

In September 2005, ten years after changing its call sign from KTHI, KVLY became the first major network affiliate in Fargo to broadcast in high-definition. In May 2006, KVLY made its logo bolder to reflect the change to HDTV. KVLY is the second most watched television station in the Red River Valley behind WDAY-TV (Fargo)/WDAZ-TV (Grand Forks), which are owned by Forum Communications Company.

Meyer Broadcasting of Bismarck, North Dakota, owner of KFYR-TV in Bismarck and its network of satellites in western North Dakota, bought the station in 1995. It sold its television stations to Sunrise Television in 1997. In 2002, Sunrise sold its North Dakota stations to the Wicks Group of New York City. Hoak Media bought all of Wicks' television stations, including KVLY, in January 2007.

In 2003, KVLY began operating CBS affiliate KXJB-TV under a local marketing agreement, and the two stations began sharing facilities. In April 2007, KVLY-TV and KXJB-TV began simulcasting weekend newscasts, and in November 2007, the stations began simulcasting news during weekdays along with rebranding as Valley News Live. KXJB uses its "4" bug, while KVLY uses the "11" bug during newscasts.

On January 2010, KVLY added classic movie network This TV to subchannel 11.2. Classic TV show network MeTV replaced This TV on channel 11.2 on January 1, 2013.

On November 20, 2013, Hoak announced the sale of most of its stations, including KVLY-TV, to Gray Television. Concurrently with the deal, sister station KXJB-TV was to be sold by Parker Broadcasting to Excalibur Broadcasting and would have continued to be operated by KVLY.[2] The sale was completed on June 13. KXJB was to be acquired by Excalibur Broadcasting, at which it would have remained under an LMA with KVLY. But upon the closing of the sale, and in the wake of the new FCC rules restricting local marketing agreements, Excalibur abandoned its plans to acquire the station.[3]

Gray would continue to provide certain services to KXJB in the interim, at which it would later move its CBS programming to a multicast subchannel of KVLY. If a buyer was not found for KXJB, the station would cease broadcasting in the interim. KXJB would then be spun off to minority interests, which under this arrangement would allow the station to continue operating on the conditions that it would continue to operate the station independently (under minority, female and/or non-profit ownership) and not make any partnerships or sharing arrangements with other broadcasters.[4]

Starting on November 12, 2014, CBS affiliate KXJB-TV's programming began being simulcast KVLY's second digital subchannel, displacing MeTV to the third subchannel, as KXJB was sold to Major Market Broadcasting.[5] KXJB signed off at midnight on December 1, 2014 as its programming moved to KVLY's subchannel.[6]

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[7]
11.11080i16:9KVLYNBCMain KVLY-TV programming / NBC
11.2720pKX4CBSCBS / "KX4"
11.3480i4:3MeTVMeTV, live events, and newscast repeats

In January 2010, KVLY-TV began broadcasting the This TV network on subchannel 11.2. On January 1, 2013, This TV programming was replaced on digital channel 11.2 with its former sister network MeTV (both networks were owned at the time by Weigel Broadcasting; This TV has since been taken over by Tribune Broadcasting).[8] In addition to the main MeTV programming, KVLY uses the subchannel for live events (including NDSU Bison basketball), and to repeat its morning newscast, The Valley Today, in the late morning. On November 12, 2014, CBS affiliate KXJB-TV's programming was moved to KVLY's second digital subchannel, displacing MeTV to the third.

Analog-to-digital conversion

KVLY-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 11, on February 16, 2009, the day prior to the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were set to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later rescheduled for June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 44.[9][10] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 11.

Valley News Live

KVLY broadcasts 17 hours of news per week, with 4 1/2 hours on weekdays and 1 1/2 on the weekends between the main NBC channel and the CBS-affiliated "KX-4" subchannel (previously KXJB-TV).

Valley News Live is the name of the news department by KVLY's NBC and CBS subchannels. It was previously a collective name for KVLY and KXJB's shared news departments.

KVLY and KXJB started simulcasting weekend news in April 2007. The same news is broadcast on both channels. The "KX-4" (CBS) subchannel (previously KXJB) uses its "4" bug, while KVLY uses the "11" bug during newscasts.

In November 2007, it was announced KVLY and KXJB would expand their simulcasting to the weekdays as well, and on November 5, 2007 that occurred. The new news branding is called "Valley News Live".

Due to many of KVLY's newscasts being simulcast on KXJB, KVLY claims to be the ratings leader in the Fargo/Grand Forks market when KVLY and KXJB's ratings are combined. However, until recently, KVLY and KXJB were not counted as one station due to different network and syndicated programming. CBS and KXJB's programming moved to KVLY's second subchannel in December 2014, therefore KVLY can now count all of its subchannels as one station for ratings purposes. WDAY and WDAZ have historically been the market's ratings leader, and continue to claim the top-rated spot when KVLY and KXJB's ratings are separated. WDAZ has traditionally dominated ratings in the Grand Forks metro area and northern portion of the market, with their competitive advantage of being the only station airing local news from Grand Forks. Despite separate Fargo and Grand Forks newscasts on WDAY and WDAZ, respectively, the stations are counted as a single unit for ratings purposes because WDAZ is classified as a semi-satellite of WDAY, and the stations air identical programming outside of local newscasts, commercials and station identifications.

Recently, KVLY has been the ratings leader for the immediate Fargo-Moorhead metro area and the southern part of the market, however WDAZ's dominance in the Grand Forks metro area and the northern part of the market make the WDAY/WDAZ combo the ratings leader for the entire Fargo/Grand Forks market as a whole.[11]

Former on-air staff

  • Dennis Bounds - formerly weeknights evening news anchor for KING 5 in Seattle. Now retired.
  • Robert Ivers – news anchor/talk show host
  • Ed Schultz – sports anchor (1982; now Fargo-based syndicated radio host)

Translators

KVLY-TV serves its large coverage area with three translators. All are owned by local municipalities.

Some of the defunct translators were actually in the western part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN broadcast television market.