KTUU-TV is an NBC affiliated television station serving Anchorage, Alaska. The station is owned by Gray Television of Atlanta, Georgia as part of a duopoly with MyNetworkTV affiliate KYES-TV (channel 5). The station is broadcast over the air on digital channel 10; on the local cable TV system, GCI on standard cable channel 2 and high-definition cable channel 652. KTUU is also available on DIRECTV and DISH Network for the Anchorage television market. Its over-the-air transmitter is located in Knik, Alaska, while its studios are located on East 40th Avenue in Anchorage.

History

KTUU is one of Alaska's first two TV stations to sign on in the state (KTVA is the other), signing on October 16, 1953 as KFIA. It became KENI-TV in 1955, and then KTUU on June 10, 1981.

On September 19, 1966, channel 2 became the first station in Alaska to transmit in color (NTSC) when it aired the premiere episode of the ABC situation comedy That Girl (entitled "Don't Just Do Something, Stand There!"). The station had joint primary affiliation with NBC and ABC (with KTVA picking up some of the slack) until October 1, 1967 when it switched to ABC primary and NBC secondary, primarily because ABC had more programs on film. Channel 2 became a full-time ABC affiliate in 1970 when KHAR (now KYUR) took the NBC affiliation. The two stations switched networks in October 1971, at which time KHAR became KIMO. Channel 2 also carried a few PBS programs (particularly The Electric Company) until KAKM signed on in 1975. Until KTVF in Fairbanks switched networks from CBS to NBC in April 1996, KTUU was the only full-time NBC affiliate in Alaska, clearing every network program.

In August 2010, KTUU became the third Schurz-owned television station (after KWCH-DT and KSCW-DT in Wichita, Kansas and WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia) to relaunch its Web site through a new partnership with the Tribune Company's Tribune Interactive division. Previously, the Web address was operated by the local media division of World Now. The other Schurz television station Web sites, which are currently operated by Broadcast Interactive Media, will follow suit when their CMS contract with BIM runs out.

KTUU has been number one in the Anchorage, AK market for decades; its ratings for their newscasts helped make them one of the strongest NBC affiliates in the country. The Channel 2 News team routinely wins regional and national awards and in 1999, became the first television station in Alaska with their own satellite uplink truck (NewsStar 2). The National Press Photographers Association named KTUU the Small Market Television News Photography Station of the Year in 2006, 2008 and 2010.[3] In 2013, KTUU was also the first in Alaska to broadcast their news in high-definition.

On November 9, 2013, KTUU-TV was dropped by GCI in 22 rural communities, after the two sides were unable to come to a new retransmission agreement, though GCI still carries some KTUU and NBC programming in some of these areas through the Alaska Rural Communications Service. The dispute does not involve areas (including Anchorage) where GCI carries KTUU through must-carry. The move followed the sale of rival KTVA to a subsidiary of GCI a week earlier, which KTUU had opposed over concerns that this move could be made. KTUU's channel slot on most of the affected systems was filled by Starz Kids & Family. Despite this dispute, KTUU extended its newscast carriage agreement with KATH-LD in Juneau and KSCT-LP in Sitka (which were also acquired by GCI at the same time it acquired KTVA) through November 22;[4][5][6] that agreement was subsequently extended through December 6 as negotiations continued toward a long-term deal,[7] but the deal ultimately fell through, and by December 7 KATH/KSCT no longer aired KTUU programming.[8] A deal between GCI and KTUU was finally reached on February 6, 2014; this allowed the station to return to GCI's rural systems (as well as separately-owned cable systems that receive KTUU through GCI) in time for NBC's broadcast of the 2014 Winter Olympics, as well as the eventual restoration of KTUU's newscasts to KATH/KSCT.[9]

Schurz announced on September 14, 2015 that it would exit broadcasting and sell its television and radio stations, including KTUU-TV, to Gray Television for $442.5 million.[10][11] Associated with the purchase, on October 1, 2015, it was announced that Gray would buy MyNetworkTV-affiliated KYES-TV for $500.000.[12] The acquisition of KYES created the first legal duopoly on the area (KTBY and KYUR operate as a virtual duopoly). The FCC approved the Schurz sale on February 12, 2016;[13] and the sale was completed on February 16.[14] The KYES acquisition was completed on June 27, 2016;[15] it had been approved on June 17 under the condition that KYES not affiliate with a network that would make that station one of the top-four stations in the Anchorage market.[16]

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[17]
2.11080i16:9KTUU-HDMain KTUU-TV programming / NBC
2.2480i4:3Justice Network

Analog-to-digital conversion

KTUU-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 VHF channel 10.[18] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 2.

Translators

KTUU-TV extends its over-the-air coverage through a network of translator stations.

Translators of KTUU-TV
Call signCommunity of licenseAdditional Information
K04DS-DKenai River, Alaska
K08PN-DHomer, Alaska
K10NC-DKenai, Alaska
K12MM-DGirdwood Valley, Alaska
K27AI-DNinilchik, Alaska
K44LE-DKasilof, Alaska

Notable former staff

  • Sarah Palin – fill-in sports anchor; former Alaska governor and US vice presidential candidate