KATH-LD, is a low-power NBC affiliate serving Juneau, Alaska. The station is broadcast over the air in high definition on digital channel 5.1 (UHF frequency 35). It is owned by Denali Media Holdings, a subsidiary of Alaska's telecommunications company, GCI.[2] KSCT-LP is a low-power translator of KATH in Sitka, broadcasting over-the-air and on cable in Sitka on channel 5. KSCT does not broadcast digital over-the-air TV signals at this time.

KATH is carried on GCI cable in Juneau on channel 15, on Dish Network throughout Southeast Alaska on channel 5/9380, and on DirecTV throughout Southeast Alaska on channel 5. KATH's high definition feed is also available on GCI's "Basic Cable" service on channel 652 in Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Petersburg and Wrangell. KATH's standard definition signal is also on GCI cable in Petersburg, Wrangell and Angoon. Daily Alaska news is provided through a partnership with Anchorage's NBC affiliate KTUU-TV.

History

KSCT-LP was the first of the two stations to go on the air, signing on May 1, 1995 as a Fox affiliate owned by Dan Etulain, who previously owned KTNL (channel 13) from 1983 to 1992.[3] KSCT had operated as a cable-only station since December 9, 1994;[4] during that period, Fox's primetime programming was seen in the afternoon, though it was moved into primetime concurrently with channel 5's sign on.[3] KSCT affiliated with Fox because, at the time, it was the only one of the Big Four television networks that was willing to affiliate with low-power television stations.[3] Initially, most of KSCT's non-Fox programming was supplied by National Empowerment Television, though it also broadcast some local programming;[3][4] after NET moved to a satellite that the station could not receive, its programming was replaced with Channel America, Outdoor Channel, and American Independent Network on December 1, 1995.[5] By this time, KSCT had added a secondary affiliation with The WB.[5] The station was originally assigned the call letters K05KH; it officially became KSCT-LP on November 20, 1995,[6] though it had promoted itself as "KSCT" since its launch.[3]

In June 1998, Etulain announced that he would launch KATH as Juneau's NBC affiliate that July; KSCT-LP had switched to NBC by this time as well.[7] Delays in receiving equipment required to place the station on GCI's lineup postponed the launch of the station to August 17, 1998.[8] NBC programming was previously only available in Juneau via cable carriage of Seattle's KING-TV; however, KING was not carried on the basic cable tier, unlike KATH.[7] KATH supplemented NBC programming with blocks of local programming, which generally consisted of pre-recorded coverage of community events and high school sports; at its launch, the station did not air any local newscasts.[7][8] Juneau's existing stations, ABC affiliate KJUD (channel 8) and PBS station KTOO-TV (channel 3), were at the time part of the statewide Alaska's SuperStation and AlaskaOne networks respectively, with limited local programming.[7] Shortly after KATH's launch, Etulain purchased[9] K05JR,[10] which had been licensed in 1994;[11] the sale was completed on May 26, 1999.[9] K05JR and KSCT-LP continued their secondary WB affiliations until early 1999; at that time, K05JR added a secondary UPN affiliation.[12] K05JR's call sign was changed to KATH-LP on November 15, 2001;[10] it had been calling itself "KATH" on the air since its sale to Etulain. By early 2003, KATH was simulcasting local newscasts from KTUU-TV in Anchorage.[13] KATH ended analog over-the-air broadcasts in November 2011.

On November 9, 2012, GCI, through subsidiary Denali Media Holdings, announced plans to purchase KATH and KSCT from Dan Etulain's North Star Television Network, along with KTVA in Anchorage from MediaNews Group.[2] The Federal Communications Commission approved the deal on October 29, 2013.[14] KATH's news partnership with KTUU-TV was suspended on December 7, 2013 as a result of a larger dispute between GCI and KTUU,[15] but a deal to resume it was reached on February 6, 2014.[16]