KXRM-TV, virtual channel 21 (UHF digital channel 22), is a Fox-affiliated television station serving Central and Southern Colorado that is licensed to Colorado Springs. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal over an antenna located atop Cheyenne Mountain. KXRM reaches Colorado Springs on channel 21 and via Comcast Cable channel 3. The signal is also viewed on DirecTV and Dish Network on channel 21. Owned by Media General, the station is sister to CW affiliate KXTU-LD and the two share studios on Wooten Road.

History

KXRM-TV first signed on the air as an independent television station on January 22, 1985. Its call letters were chosen in part to reflect the region in which it operates; the last two letters stand for "Rocky Mountains." The station tried to sign-on Christmas Eve 1984, but technical glitches prevented that from happening. KXRM was Southern Colorado's first new independent station in 31 years. It became a charter Fox affiliate on October 6, 1986. The station was locally-owned until 2000 when it was bought by Raycom Media. After Raycom merged with The Liberty Corporation, KXRM was one of several stations that were spun off to Barrington Broadcasting.

On October 11, 2007, the station began airing programming from the Retro Television Network (RTV) on its second digital subchannel.[2] Previously, this aired The Tube (a 24-hour music channel) until the network suspended operations October 1. On September 15, 2008, KXRM replaced RTV programming on 21.2 with a simulcast of KXTU.[3] This served to increase KXTU's coverage area; KXTU did not go digital until 2010, and even in digital its coverage area is effectively limited to El Paso and Pueblo counties.

On February 28, 2013, Barrington Broadcasting announced the sale of its entire group, including KXRM-TV, to Sinclair Broadcast Group.[4] The sale was completed on November 25.[5] On August 20, 2014, Sinclair announced that it would sell KXRM-TV and KXTU-LD, along with WTTA in Tampa Bay, to Media General in a swap for WJAR in Providence, Rhode Island, WLUK-TV and WCWF in Green Bay, and WTGS in Savannah, Georgia. The swap is part of Media General's merger with LIN Media.[6][7] The sale was completed on December 19.[8] On January 27, 2016, it was announced that the Nexstar Broadcasting Group would buy Media General for $4.6 billion. KXRM will become part of "Nexstar Media Group" and would be Nexstar's second station in Colorado, joining Grand Junction's CBS affiliate KREX-TV.[9]

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[10]
21.1720p16:9KXRM-DTMain KXRM-TV programming / Fox
21.2480iCW57The CW
21.34:3IonIon Television

Analog-to-digital conversion

KXRM-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 21, 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 UHF channel 22.[2] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 21.

News operation

The station began airing a prime time newscast at 9 on March 11, 2001. KXRM established its own in-house news department in 2006 after previously having aired newscasts produced by KKTV. KXRM-TV became one of the initial group of independent television stations to agree to affiliate in 1987. The station hosts a 4-hour morning show from 5–9 that has been recognized by the Colorado Broadcasters Association as one of the best morning shows in the market. Its weeknight prime time broadcast starts at 9:00 p.m. On January 20, 2016 a 10:00 p.m newscast was added, and on the same day Alison Mastrangelo (who was a reported with KXRM since June 2014) was promoted as Sports Anchor.

In late September 2010, KXRM became the fourth station in Colorado Springs-Pueblo to start broadcasting its local newscasts in 16:9 widescreen.

In 2013, the recognized KXRM with a for Continuing Coverage of the Waldo Canyon Fire.[2]