KMIR-TV is the NBC-affiliated television station for the Inland Empire's Coachella Valley. Licensed to Palm Springs, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 36 from a transmitter on Edom Hill in Cathedral City north of I-10/Redlands Freeway. The station can also be seen on Time Warner Cable channel 13 both in standard definition and in high definition. Owned by OTA Broadcasting, LLC (a company controlled by Michael Dell's MSD Capital), KMIR is sister to low-powered MyNetworkTV affiliate KPSE-LD and the two share studios on Park View Drive in Palm Desert. Syndicated programming on this station includes: The Insider, Entertainment Tonight, Two and a Half Men, Judge Judy, and The People's Court.
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|36.1||1080i||16:9||KMIR-HD||Main KMIR-TV programming / NBC|
The station was the first to broadcast in the Coachella Valley on September 15, 1968. Airing an analog signal on UHF channel 36, it has been an NBC affiliate from the start. Actor John Conte owned the station along with the El MIRador hotel in Palm Springs, from which the call letters were derived. Desert Regional Medical Center now occupies the site of the old hotel. Today, one can still see the El Mirador broadcasting tower standing in front of the hospital. This is where the station originally transmitted from. The current tower is a replica structure emulating the original, which was destroyed in a 1989 fire.
Journal Communications acquired KMIR from Conte in 1999 for 30 million dollars. In 2008, the station celebrated its 40th anniversary. In October 2013, Journal reached a deal to sell KMIR to OTA Broadcasting for 17 million. KMIR is the company's first station affiliated with one of the Big Four television networks. The sale was completed January 1, 2014.
Along with the other major Coachella Valley stations, KMIR formerly identified itself on-air using its cable designation (at that time, channel 6) rather than its over-the-air digital channel position. This unusual practice (also common in the Fort Myers/Naples, Florida market, where KMIR's former sister station WFTX-TV serves as the market's Fox affiliate) stems in part from Palm Springs's exceptionally high cable penetration rate of 80.5% which is one of the highest in the United States. As of 2014, the station now brands simply with its call letters.
2013 Time Warner Cable compensation dispute
Due to its low-power status, KPSE-LP was pulled from Time Warner Cable systems at midnight on July 11, 2013 in a retransmission consent dispute with Time Warner; KMIR continued to air on the system for thirteen days after due to rules disallowing full-power stations from being pulled during a sweeps period. KMIR, along with all Journal stations, was pulled at midnight on July 25, 2013 off Time Warner systems at the end of the sweeps period. The station's evening newscasts were simulcast by KRET-CA on Time Warner channel 14 during the dispute. On September 20, 2013, a deal was reached to return Journal's stations, including KMIR and KPSE, to Time Warner Cable; as part of the deal, KMIR's standard definition channel moved to channel 13, the former location for KPSE (which moved to channel 20). KMIR's previous position, cable channel 6, is now occupied by Game Show Network. With the station no longer carried on channel 6 on any cable or satellite systems in the Coachella Valley, the station rebranded in late 2013, dropping the '6' from its logo.
The station presently broadcasts 25.5 hours of news per week; 4.5 hours on weekdays and 1.5 hours on each weekend day.
The station's newscasts are produced in full 1080i High Definition, including all video from the field. KMIR is the only station in the market to have fully-HD news. September 2014, the station launched a new 9pm newscast on sister-station KPSE. It also produces a 10pm newscast on KPSE known as KMIR News at 10:00 on KPSE My TV. Former sister station KTNV-TV in Las Vegas provided the station's weather forecasts until the start of 2015, when the station hired former Connecticut-based meteorologist Geoff Fox, However, on August 4, 2015, KMIR announced that Ginger Jeffries (former meteorologist on KESQ) was making the switch to KMIR; replacing Geoff Fox due to his contract being "terminated". KMIR does not have a dedicated sports department, but its news department covers major sporting events and the station extensively covers high school football on Friday nights during football season.
KMIR newscasts focus heavily on the station's news brand "You Ask. We Investigate"; stories submitted by viewers. In May 2013, the station launched the franchise "The Eyesore Next Door" focusing on viewer reports of eyesore properties across the Coachella Valley.
Since 2012, the station's newscasts have seen an increase in viewership. In the May 2013 sweeps period, KMIR was top-rated at 5 & 6pm in the coveted Adults 25-54 demographic. The station's newscasts are generally 2nd place in the Nielsen ratings in the Palm Springs market in households but wins some newscast time periods in the highly prized adults 25-54 demographic.
FIRST AT 4:30
Beginning March 28, 2016, the station is launching the market's only 4:30pm newscast, appropriately named 'KMIR NEWS First at 4:30.' The newscast will be anchored by Thalia Hayden and weather with Chief Meteorologist Ginger Jeffries.