KBOI-TV is the CBS-affiliated television station for Idaho's Treasure Valley licensed to Boise. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 9 (virtual channel 2.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter at the Bogus Basin ski area summit in unincorporated Boise County. The station can also be seen on Cable One channel 8 and in high definition on digital channel 460. Owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, the station is sister to low-powered CW affiliate KYUU-LD and the two share studios on North 16th Street in Western Downtown Boise. Syndicated programming on KBOI includes Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Dr. Phil and Meredith Vieira.
KBOI-TV signed on November 26, 1953 as the Treasure Valley's second television station, after NBC affiliate KIDO-TV (now KTVB). It aired an analog signal on VHF channel 2, and was owned by Boise Valley Broadcasters along with KBOI radio (670 AM and 97.9 FM, now KQFC). It has always been a primary CBS outlet, but initially shared secondary ABC and DuMont affiliations with KIDO. KBOI lost the latter network after it shut down in 1955 and ABC with the launch of Nampa's KITC (now KIVI-TV) in 1974. The following year, after KBOI radio was sold off to a separate entity, the television station changed its call letters to KBCI-TV on February 1, 1975. At that time, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations required separately-owned stations to have distinct base call signs.
Soon after the sale of the radio stations closed, Boise Valley Broadcasters decided to sell KBCI as well. A 1975 deal to sell the station to Donrey Media Group collapsed when the FCC deferred action on the deal due to regulatory issues surrounding the license renewal of Donrey's KORK-TV in Las Vegas, Nevada. Instead, Boise Valley sold it to Eugene Television, owner of KVAL-TV in Eugene, Oregon, in 1976. The company, later known as Northwest Television, was acquired by Retlaw Enterprises, the company controlled by the family of Walt Disney, in 1996; three years later, Retlaw sold its television station group to Fisher Communications. The acquisition prompted massive layoffs and staff reassignments at KBCI. In 2007, KBCI, along with other northwest Fisher stations outsourced their master control operations to Seattle's KOMO Plaza (formerly Fisher Plaza), in turn laying off nearly all of the master control operators in Boise. In July 2007, KBCI debuted state-of-the-art Ignite newscast automation, effectively reducing the number of studio crew members from 9 down to 3.
Taking advantage of both a new partnership with KBOI radio (now owned by Cumulus Media) and a 1980s change in FCC regulations that allowed separately-owned stations to share base call signs, Fisher Communications returned the station to its original call letters, KBOI-TV, on February 2, 2010. On April 11, 2013, Fisher announced that it would sell its properties, including KBOI-TV, to the Sinclair Broadcast Group. The deal was completed on August 8, 2013.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|2.1||1080i||16:9||KBOI-DT||Main KBOI-TV programming / CBS|
|2.2||480i||4:3||KYUU||Simulcast of KYUU-LD|
On September 12, 2011, KBOI picked up The CW programming on its second digital subchannel and on KYUU-LP via The CW Plus. KBOI-DT2 and KYUU continue to air local newscasts. On August 30, 2012, KBOI upgraded KYUU to high definition level. It can still be viewed in standard definition on 2.2
KBOI-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 2, 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 remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 28. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 2. On October 2, 2009, it filed a minor change application to move its digital signal to the more desirable VHF channel 9. The FCC granted a construction permit on April 16, 2010. The allotment was previously used as KNIN-TV's analog channel location. On August 30, 2012, KBOI moved its digital signal to VHF channel 9.
KBOI operates a news department with a focus on high impact community advocacy journalism. There is an investigative unit known as the "Truth Squad" normally consisting of two reporters assigned to the beat. In 2004, the station (then KBCI-TV) received the prestigious DuPont and Edward R. Murrow awards for the 2002/2003 investigation into former Boise Mayor Brent Coles. The investigation into Cole's mismanagement of public funds led to his resignation and subsequent prosecution by the Idaho Attorney General's Office. In May 2009, the Idaho Press Club recognized KBCI with awards for "Best Investigative Reporting" and "Best Light Feature". Later in the year, it won "Best Newscast" from the Idaho State Broadcaster's Association.
KBOI broadcasts a total of 22 hours of local news each week. KBOI recently added a midday newscast that airs at 11:00 a.m. KBOI 2 News, First at 4:00 is the market's first-ever newscast at 4:00 p.m. On weeknights, KBOI airs the CBS Evening News live at 5:00 p.m. and there is a 30-minute local newscast at 5:30 p.m. The station produces two 30-minute newscasts for sister station KYUU, one at 7:00 a.m. and one at 9:00 p.m. The prime time newscast airs against a broadcast airing on KNIN.