KASA-TV is currently the Fox network affiliate for most of New Mexico. It is licensed to the state capital, Santa Fe and broadcasts on digital channel 27 but is displayed as channel 2, its former analog channel number.
Currently it is owned by Media General and is a sister station to CBS affiliate KRQE. The two stations share a studio on Broadcast Plaza in Albuquerque. Syndicated programming on KASA includes The 700 Club, Family Feud, The People's Court, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Dish Nation. Additionally, KASA may air programming as an alternate CBS affiliate when KRQE is airing non-CBS programming. A sale to Ramar communications is pending.
In addition to the main KASA signal, there are 41 low-powered repeaters that carry its programming throughout New Mexico and parts of Colorado.
The KASA intellectual unit began as KGSW on May 8, 1981 on channel 14. It was the state's second English-language general entertainment station. The callsign was derived from the station's original owners, Galaxy Communications and Southwest Television. Initially, the station carried drama shows, movies from the 1940s through the 1970s, sitcoms, and religious shows. In the fall of 1983, KGSW added more sitcoms and began running cartoons in the 7-9 a.m. and the 3-5 p.m. weekday slots. KGSW was managed by Erik Steffens. Its first programming director was legendary network sports producer Don McGuire, a native of Albuquerque. McGuire attained rights to UNM Lobo football and hired Connie Alexander and Gary Ness as announcers. In 1984, the Providence Journal Company bought KGSW from the original owners. The station affiliated with the Fox network when the network launched on April 5, 1987. The station continued a general entertainment format with a lot of cartoons, sitcoms and movies well into the 1990s.
KASA-TVsigned on as KSAF in 1983 as a locally owned general entertainment independent station. The station initially ran old movies, westerns, drama shows, and religious programming. In the spring of 1985, channel 2 became known as KNMZ-TV and began running cartoons, old sitcoms and other shows that had previously aired on KNAT-TV (channel 23), which had recently gone dark (it returned the next year as a TBN affiliate).
KASA-TV was sold the next year to New Mexico Media Limited License Holdings, then in late 1987 to Las Vegas-based Sunbelt Communications Company. The deal closed in early 1988 and the format stayed the same, then in 1989 the station changed call letters to KKTO-TV. Shortly afterwards, the station began to suffer financial problems, and by 1991 channel 2 was running an all-barter lineup of a few classic sitcoms and first run cartoons as well as low budget movie packages.
In the fall of 1992, after being unable to turn a profit as an independent station and to focus on its profitable NBC affiliates in Nevada, Sunbelt took KKTO dark, with the station's strongest programming (including The Disney Afternoon) moving to KGSW. Later that fall, the channel 2 license was sold to the Providence Journal Company, which moved the KGSW intellectual unit to channel 2 and surrendered its old channel 14 license to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on April 5, 1993. (The channel 14 license is now occupied by KTFQ-TV, a Telefutura affiliate.) The call letters were changed to KASA-TV, based on the Spanish word casa ("home"). The move to the stronger channel 2 ushered in a new era for the station. With an over-the-air signal comparable to KOB-TV, KOAT-TV, and KRQE and Fox coming into its own as a network, KASA became more competitive in New Mexico than ever before.
The station signed on from Peralta Ridge near Jemez Springs, New Mexico, north of Albuquerque and about equidistant between it and Santa Fe. The power was 100 kilowatts and the height above average terrain was in excess of 1.900 feet (near the class maximum of 1,960'). The station signed on with a Larcan transmitter and a circularly polarized antenna, giving the station (at least theoretically) the best chance for success. In practice, however, the site was too far from viewers, too low in the sky, obstructed somewhat by terrain, and lacking in fresnel clearance. One factor in the station's later success was that the transmitter was relocated to the Sandia Crest site used by most other area stations.
KASA Fox 2 began evolving its programming. Daytime sitcoms were gradually replaced with talk and reality shows, though sitcoms still air in the evenings (many of the shows that would have been on KASA over a decade ago are now on KWBQ and KASY). A.H. Belo bought the Providence Journal Company, including KASA, in 1997. Later, in 1999, Raycom Media bought KASA, along with KHNL in Honolulu, Hawaii. The station phased out cartoons as Fox ended its weekday children's block in 2002.
After Raycom purchased The Liberty Corporation in August 2005, Raycom announced its intent to sell KASA and several other stations (most of which went to Barrington Broadcasting with one going to Quincy Newspapers). On July 27, 2006, Raycom announced that LIN TV, owner of CBS affiliate KRQE, was purchasing KASA for $55 million . LIN TV took over operation of KASA on September 15, 2006 under a local marketing agreement, and LIN TV officially completed the purchase on February 22, 2007. In most markets, a duopoly between two "Big Four" stations wouldn't have been allowed under the FCC's duopoly rules, which forbid one person from owning two of the four largest stations in a single market. However, the FCC allowed LIN TV to buy KASA since channel 2 was New Mexico's fifth-rated station at the time. To this day, KASA is the third-largest (or fourth-largest, if one includes WTTE in Columbus, Ohio, operated and effectively owned by the owner of that city's WSYX, Sinclair Broadcast Group) Fox affiliate owned in a duopoly with a "Big Three" station — and the second-largest such duopoly that is owned by LIN TV.
Even though KASA redesigned its logo shortly after LIN took over, its old WorldNow-powered website continued to use the Raycom era format until it was shut down on July 20, 2007 and replaced with a redirect to KASA's then-new website which, like the websites of the other LIN-owned Fox affiliates, used Fox Interactive's MyFox interface. However, in late 2008, the Web site address reverted to kasa.com (with myfoxnewmexico.com serving as a redirect), using a new interface jointly developed by LIN and Fox Interactive (now the EndPlay CMS platform).
On May 18, 2007, LIN TV announced that it was exploring strategic alternatives that could result in the sale of the company. On March 21, 2014, it was announced that Media General would acquire LIN. The merger was completed on December 19. Just over a year later, on January 27, 2016, it was announced that the Nexstar Broadcasting Group would buy Media General for $4.6 billion. KASA and KRQE will become part of "Nexstar Media Group." As KASA and KRQE were both ranked among the top four stations in the market during the November 2015 sweeps, Nexstar elected to divest one of the two stations to comply with the FCC duopoly rules; on June 30, 2016, it agreed to sell KASA-TV to Ramar Communications, owner of Telemundo affiliate KTEL-CD (channel 15), Movies! affiliate KUPT-LD (channel 16), and MeTV affiliate KRTN-LD (channel 33), for $2.5 million. Ramar intends to make KASA-TV a Telemundo affiliate, and operate its three existing full-power stations in the market — KRTN-TV (channel 33) in Durango, Colorado, KTEL-TV (channel 25) in Carlsbad, and KUPT (channel 29) in Hobbs — as satellites of KASA; it will not acquire KASA's Fox affiliation. KRQE will pick up the Fox network affiliation on channel 13.2.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|2.1||720p||16:9||KASA-HD||Main KASA-TV programming / Fox|
On October 27, 2010, KASA added TheCoolTV on DT2. It also carried another music video channel called The Tube from 2005 until LIN TV took over in 2007 (the network ended later that year). No programming had aired on DT2 since then. On March 1, 2013 KASA dropped TheCoolTV. KASA was once again airing only one digital stream for over two years. On June 1, 2015 KASA added Cozi TV, a digital network from NBC Universal that airs mainly reruns of classic TV series. On November 30, 2015 KASA added Ion Television as a third digital subchannel. Ion features mostly reruns of contemporary crime-drama programs as well as movies.
As part of Ramar Communications' planned acquisition of the station, it disclosed that it would carry MeTV on KASA's second digital subchannel and Heroes and Icons on the station's third subchannel.
KASA-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 2, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television 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 27. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 2.
Debuting on September 16, 2006, KASA airs a one-hour nightly newscast produced by sister station KRQE. Originally titled News 13 on Fox 2, the newscast was renamed KRQE News 13 at 9 on August 8, 2010, the same evening KRQE began broadcasting all newscasts in true high definition. During KASA newscasts, and in cases of breaking news, KASA carries Fox News coverage, as it is a Fox affiliate, rather than the CBS News coverage used by KRQE, a CBS affiliate. Prior to September 16, 2006, KOB-TV produced the newscast, titled Fox 2 News at Nine, for five years.
KASA now features a morning news program simulcast with KRQE from 4:30 to 7 AM and airs local news from 7 to 9 AM when KRQE airs "CBS This Morning".
2 KASA Style
Since late 2010, KASA has produced the local lifestyle program originally titled "New Mexico Style" hosted by Nikki Stanzione, In 2014 the show was renamed "2 KASA Style" and is now hosted by Chad Brummett and Brittany Flowers. The show which airs from 9 to 10 AM covers things such as food, fashion and local entertainment.