KMVT is the CBS-affiliated television station for Southern Idaho's Magic Valley that is licensed to Twin Falls.[2] It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 11 from a transmitter on Flat Top Butte in unincorporated Jerome County east of Jerome and U.S. 93. The station can also be seen on Cable ONE channel 12 and in high definition on digital channel 460. Owned by Gray Television, KMVT is sister to low-powered primary Fox and secondary MyNetworkTV affiliate KSVT-LD. The two outlets share studios on Blue Lakes Boulevard North/U.S. 93 in Twin Falls. Syndicated programming on this station includes Wheel of Fortune, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dr. Phil, and Two and a Half Men among others.

History

The station went on the air on June 1, 1955 as KLIX-TV, a sister station to KLIX radio (1310 AM). It has been a CBS affiliate since sign-on; however, in its early years the station carried programs from ABC and NBC. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.

In 1957, Ogden, Utah businessman Abe Glasmann purchased the KLIX radio and TV stations and KUTV in Salt Lake City. Glasmann sold the radio station, which retained the call letters KLIX. He rechristened the TV station KMVT. "MVT" stood for "Magic Valley Television," reflecting the area's nickname of "Magic Valley."

In 1965 KMVT became the first television station in Idaho to broadcast local programs in color.

Arthur Mosby and his Western Broadcasting Company of Missoula, Montana, which operated KMSO-TV (now KECI-TV) in Missoula, acquired KMVT in 1970. In 1984, control of the station was transferred to the Chapman S. Root 1982 Living Trust. The Catamount Broadcast Group acquired the station in 1998 and sold it to the Neuhoff family in 2004.

On December 31, 1983, prior to its official premiere during Super Bowl XVIII the following month, KMVT notably aired Apple Computer's critically acclaimed Macintosh computer commercial "1984" shortly before midnight, to ensure the ad would qualify for industry awards which were only eligible for ads that aired during 1983. Tom Frank, the director-operator at the time, said that the station may had been chosen due to its remote location, and its proximity to Sun Valley, which he described as being a "part time home of many in the entertainment and advertising business".[3]

In September 2006, KMVT began carrying The CW network on its DT2 subchannel, which was also seen on KTWT-LP (channel 43); in 2012, KTWT switched to MyNetworkTV (with CW programming remaining on the KMVT subchannel), then (after converting to digital operations on channel 14) to Fox. In 2014, KTWT became KSVT-LD.

On March 12, 2015, Neuhoff Communications announced the sale of KMVT and KSVT to Gray Television for $17.5 million, pending FCC approval.[4] The sale was completed on July 1.[5]

Digital channels

ChannelVideoAspectProgramming
11.1720p16:9Main KMVT programming / CBS
11.2CW 11.2
11.3480i4:3Simulcast of KSVT-LD

On July 1, 2012, KMVT-DT2 upgraded to a high definition feed (including Cable ONE digital channel 485) and KTWT began to be simulcasted in standard definition on a new third digital subchannel of KMVT.[6]

Translators

KMVT is rebroadcast on six translators.[7][8] Neuhoff Family Limited Partnership owns and operates all translators except for K31IF-D, which is owned and operated by Hagerman Translator District.

Neuhoff Family Limited Partnership had a construction permit for a digital translator on digital channel 24 in Hagerman, Idaho. The construction permit on such a digital translator seems to be defunct.

News operation

Since KMVT is the area's only full-powered television station, it has been providing the only outlet for local news covering the Magic Valley for many years. Both of the market's low-powered ABC and NBC affiliates serve as semi-satellites of stations based in Boise (KSAW-LD relays KIVI-TV while KTFT-LD repeats KTVB); although both outlets maintain local advertising sales offices next door to each other in Twin Falls, they do not insert local news. Previous Fox affiliate KXTF formerly simulcast a weeknight prime time newscast at 9 from its sister station KFXP, which likewise focused exclusively on the Pocatello/Idaho Falls market. In April 2012, KMVT upgraded its newscast production to high definition level.

With the launch of Fox on sister station KTWT on July 1, 2012 there was a significant expansion of KMVT's news operation. More specifically, the CBS affiliate began producing a half-hour extension of Rise and Shine that is seen weekday mornings from 7 to 7:30 on the Fox station. In addition, KTWT added half-hour newscasts at 5 (airing on weeknights only) and 9 (seen every night). The Fox broadcasts have a separate news anchor on weeknights and feature more regional, national, and international news of the day as opposed to shows seen on KMVT. As with the CBS affiliate, shows seen on the Fox outlet can be seen in high definition. As of January 2013, the station has branded the two stations' news programming as one. Both are now called Idaho's First News and share the same anchors.