KJLA, virtual channel 57 (UHF digital channel 49), is an LATV owned-and-operated television station serving Los Angeles, California, United States that is licensed to Ventura. The station is owned by Costa de Oro Media, LLC, under the control of Entravision Communications' chief executive officer Walter Ulloa (whose brother, Ronald Ulloa, owns independent station KXLA (channel 44) and Orange County-based KVMD (channel 31)). KJLA maintains studio facilities located on Corinth Avenue (near Interstate 405) in West Los Angeles, and its transmitter is located atop Mount Wilson.

KJLA operates two low-power repeater stations: (channel 25) in Santa Maria and (channel 44) in San Luis Obispo (both are part of the Santa Barbara market). In addition to carrying Spanish language programming from LATV (of which it is the network's sole owned-and-operated station) on its main channel, the station also carries various networks broadcasting in Vietnamese and Mandarin on separate digital subchannels.

History

The station first signed on the air on October 1, 1990 as KSTV-TV. It was the second attempt to operate a television station in Ventura; the first, KKOG-TV (channel 16), operated from December 14, 1968 to September 13, 1969, with a schedule of entirely live, local programming. KSTV-TV was originally owned by Costa de Oro Television, Inc., and originally aired Spanish language programming as an affiliate of Galavisión. The station signed on a low-power translator in Santa Maria in 1992.

In 1994, Walter Ulloa purchased Costa de Oro Television and KSTV-TV, intending to increase its transmitting power and extend its signal to better reach to the Los Angeles area. However, although Ventura is considered part of the Los Angeles market, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules at the time placed KSTV-TV within the Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo market, similar to the situation of KADY-TV (channel 63, now KBEH-TV in Oxnard, California which became Santa Barbara's UPN affiliate when the network launched in January 1995. Unable to get cable coverage in the Los Angeles area, on November 1, 1995, KSTV switched to an English language format and became the WB affiliate for the Santa Barbara market.

However, the station continued in its attempts to enter the Los Angeles market. In July 1997, KSTV increased its effective radiated power to 5,000 kilowatts. The improved signal helped the station to obtain must-carry status on most cable providers in western Los Angeles County in February 1998. However, because Los Angeles already had a WB-affiliated station, KTLA (channel 5), KSTV-TV was forced to disaffiliate from the network. In the spring of 1998, the station relocated its studios and offices from Ventura to West Los Angeles.

The station changed its call letters to KJLA on July 20, 1998, to further reflect its intentions to serve the Los Angeles market. On that date, KJLA became an independent station and adopted a split-scheduled format. The station began carrying financial news programming under the brand Business News 57 on weekday mornings and afternoons. On evenings and weekends, KJLA ran a broad mix of Spanish language music and entertainment programming (such as Quien tiene la Razon, Cuanto Cuesta el Show, La Corte Familiar: Casos de la vida real, La Corte de Familia, La Corte del Pueblo, El Tribunal del Pueblo, La Paloma and Explosivo Musical, Cine Mexicano, Arriba al Telon, Cine a la Cama, Cineteca 57, among others); it also aired local Spanish language newscasts (branded as Noticias 57) and other local programming (such as Foro 57). KJLA also aired programming from the Shop at Home Network nightly from midnight to 6:00 a.m. In 2000, KJLA signed on translators in San Luis Obispo and Palm Springs.

The following year in 2001, the station began branding its Spanish language programming block under the name LATV. In April 2007, LATV transitioned from a programming block on KJLA into a national network; it became distributed to several television stations (mainly carried on digital subchannels and low-power stations, with the subchannels of four stations owned by Post-Newsweek Stations and those owned by Entravision Communications among the network's charter affiliates).[2][3]

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[4]
57.1720p16:9KJLA-DTMain KJLA programming / LATV / Liquidation Channel (overnights)
57.2480i4:3VFACEVietFace TV [www.vietface.net] (Vietnamese)
57.3VNA TVVNA TV (Vietnamese)
57.4SETSaigon Entertainment Television (Vietnamese)
57.5STVSaigon TV (Vietnamese)
57.6VBS-TVVietnamese Broadcasting Service (Vietnamese)
57.7LSTVLittle Saigon TV (Vietnamese)
57.8IBC-TVIBC TV (Vietnamese)
57.9ZWTVZhong Want TV (Mandarin)
57.1016:9VietPhoVietPhoTV (Vietnamese)
57.114:3VSTARVStarTV 57.11 (Vietnamese)
57.12VGMTViet Global Mall TV (Vietnamese)

Analog-to-digital conversion

KJLA had applied to convert to a digital-only signal, citing low over-the-air analog viewership rates and high operating costs to maintain the simulcast; this request was refused by the Federal Communication Commission on February 9, 2005. The higher operating costs were in part due to KJLA having two different transmitter sites. The station's channel 57 analog transmitter was located on South Mountain near Santa Paula in Ventura County; the facilities for its channel 49 digital signal are located on Mount Wilson in Los Angeles County.[5]

KJLA shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 57, on August 27, 2008.[6] The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 49, using PSIP to display KJLA's virtual channel as 57 on digital television receivers, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition. KJLA is the second television station in the Los Angeles market to discontinue its analog signal, after KVMD, which shut down its analog signal in 2003.

Channel sharing trial

In February 2014, KJLA and PBS member station KLCS (channel 58) were granted special temporary authority by the FCC to conduct trials in partnership with CTIA and the Association of Public Television Stations, in which the two stations would conduct a test of the H.264 video codec for digital television transmission, and more importantly, the ability and viability of broadcasting two sets of television services within the same 6 MHz channel band. These tests came as the FCC prepared to perform a spectrum auction in 2015 (which was delayed to sometime in 2016 that November), in which television station operators would be able to voluntarily sell their broadcast spectrum to the government, and then receive profits from its sale to wireless providers. An FCC spokesperson stated that channel sharing would allow broadcasters to "[take] advantage of the incentive auction’s once-in-a-lifetime financial opportunity", while still maintaining its ability to run over-the-air television programming.[7][8][9]