KTVQ, virtual channel 2, is the CBS-affiliated television station in Billings, Montana, and it is owned by the Evening Post Industries; the station is part of the Montana Television Network, a statewide network of CBS-affiliated stations. It broadcasts its digital signal on VHF channel 10 (remapped to former analog channel 2); on cable, it is carried on Comcast channel 5.

Digital television

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming
2.11080i16:9KTVQ-DTMain KTVQ programming / CBS
2.2720pCW NETBillings CW

Analog-to-digital conversion

In February 2009, KULR, KTVQ and two other stations in the Billings market were refused Federal Communications Commission permission to end analogue broadcasts and operate as digital-only effective on the originally-scheduled February 17, 2009 date.[2]

History

The station began broadcasting on November 9, 1953, as KOOK-TV, Montana's second television station; Butte's KXLF-TV had begun in August. It was owned by Montana broadcasting pioneer Joe Sample and his Garryowen Corporation along with KOOK radio (AM 970, now KBUL). The station carried programming from all four major networks of the time — CBS, NBC, ABC and DuMont Television Network-- but has always been a primary CBS affiliate. It lost DuMont when that network shut down in 1956 and lost NBC when KGHL-TV (now KULR-TV) began in 1958. The station changed its callsign to KTVQ in 1973.

In 1968, channel 2 picked up a secondary affiliation with NBC after KULR opted to take a primary affiliation with ABC. This was very unusual for a two-station market, especially one as small as Billings. It shared NBC with KULR until KOUS (now KHMT) began in 1980.

In 1970, channel 2 picked up a secondary affiliation with PBS, mainly for Sesame Street. It was standard practice at the time for PBS to offer its programming to any interested commercial outlet in areas where no PBS station was available. Channel 2's secondary PBS affiliation lasted until Montana PBS finally started in 1984.

Sample owned the station until 1984, when he sold it to SJL Broadcasting. Evening Post bought it in 1994. The station remains the only Billings television station that has not changed its affiliation. In January 2010, KTVQ.com made the switch to a continuous news format.

News operation

National news comes from several sources; CBS News and AP give their nationwide and international news to the station for its local newscasts. The Northern AG Network provides farm and ranch reports during Montana This Morning and The Noon News.