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KMSP-TV
KMSP.jpg
Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
Branding Fox 9 KMSP (general)
Fox 9 News (newscasts)
Slogan Stay Connected with Fox 9 (general)
The Most Powerful Name in Local News (news)
Channels Digital: 9 (VHF)
Virtual: 9 (PSIP)
Subchannels 9.1 Fox (HD)
9.2 WFTC/MNTV (SD)
Translators (see article)
Affiliations Fox (1986-1988, 2002-present)
Owner Fox Television Stations
(Fox Television Stations, Inc.)
First air date January 9, 1955
Call letters’ meaning Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP is also the IATA code for Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, with KMSP as its ICAO code)
Sister station(s) WFTC
Former callsigns KEYD-TV (1955-1956)
KMGM-TV (1956-1958)
Former channel number(s) Analog: 9 (VHF)
(January 9, 1955 - June 12, 2009)
Digital:
26 (UHF, until June 12, 2009)
Former affiliations DuMont (1955)
independent (1955-1961)
ABC (1961-1979)
independent (1979-1986)
independent (1988-1995)
UPN (1995-2002)
Transmitter Power 30 kW
Height 435 m
Facility ID 68883
Transmitter Coordinates 45°3′29.5″N 93°7′28.2″W / 45.058194°N 93.1245°W / 45.058194; -93.1245
Website www.myfox9.com

KMSP-TV, channel 9, is the Fox-owned-and-operated television station serving the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota designated market area, owned in a duopoly with MyNetworkTV affiliate WFTC (channel 29). Its studios are located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and its transmitter is located in Shoreview, Minnesota.

KMSP is a more news-based Fox station with 41 hours a week of locally-produced newscasts, as well as first-run prime time, late night and sports programming from Fox. It also runs off-network sitcoms, talk shows, reality shows and court shows.

The KMSP-WFTC duopoly is a union shop, with all technicians and photographers being required to join the IBEW Local 292.

Contents

History

The station grew out of an AM station, KEYD 1440, with which it was co-owned until mid-1956. Leading up to the grant of the new TV station, two other Twin Cities radio stations were also interested: WLOL and WDGY, however, withdrew their applications at the last minute, assuring that the new station would go to KEYD. KEYD-TV began broadcasting on January 9, 1955[2] and was affiliated with the DuMont Television Network. Harry Reasoner was the station's first anchor and news director.[1] DuMont shut down in late 1955, leaving the station as an independent outlet. When Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer purchased a minority (25 percent) but controlling stake in the station in 1956, the news department was shut down and Reasoner was hired by CBS.[2]. Reasoner became an anchor for CBS's 60 Minutes when it debuted in 1968.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer changed the call sign to KMGM-TV in 1956. [3] National Telefilm Associates, which later purchased WNTA in New York, purchased 75 percent of the station not owned by MGM in 1957. KMSP became the new name of the station in 1958 when NTA acquired the remaining 25 percent of the station from MGM.[4]. KMSP was sold to United Television (at the time 20th Century Fox's broadcasting division) the following year.

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ABC affiliate (1961-1979)

In 1961, KMSP took over the ABC network affiliation from WTCN-TV (channel 11, now KARE), an affiliation it would keep until 1979. Throughout its years with ABC, KMSP was notorious for having a sub-standard news department with large staff turnover. Ratings were dismal with KMSP obtaining only one-third of the viewing audience of each of their two competitors, CBS affiliate WCCO-TV (channel 4) and NBC station KSTP-TV (channel 5).

Ratings improved by 1977 when ABC went from being the last-place network to being the first. To cash in, KMSP re-branded itself "ABC9" (approximately 20 years before U.S. stations began the network name in their branding en masse), and retooled their newscast. Unfortunately, KMSP's news department was still a distant third behind WCCO-TV and KSTP-TV. That same year Chris-Craft Industries purchased a minority stake in United Television's parent 20th Century Fox.

In the late 1970s ABC steadily rose to first place in the network ratings. Accordingly, the network sought to upgrade its affiliate list, which was made up of some stations that either had poor signals or poorly-performing local programming. In early 1977, ABC warned KMSP that it would yank its affiliation unless improvements were made and fast.

Independent once again

On August 29, 1978, ABC announced that KSTP-TV would be its new affiliate in the Twin Cities. The signing of channel 5 made nationwide news, as it had been an NBC affiliate for three decades. KSTP looked forward to affiliating with the top network, as third-place NBC had been in a long slump. In retaliation for losing ABC, KMSP immediately removed all ABC branding and regularly preempted network programming. KMSP then attempted to affiliate with NBC, thinking Johnny Carson would be a good lead-out from their 10:00 PM news, despite low prime time ratings. However, NBC, miffed at losing one of its strongest affiliates, and not wanting to pick up ABC's rejects, turned down KMSP's offer almost immediately and signed an affiliation agreement with independent WTCN.

As a result of being rejected by both ABC and NBC, KMSP prepared to become an independent station. It would also be freed up from investing as heavily in their meager news department. Most of the on-air and off-air staffers resigned, not wanting to work for a down-scaled independent operation, and frustrated with the station's lack of competitiveness over the years.

The affiliate switch occurred on March 5, 1979, and KMSP debuted its new independent schedule featuring cartoons, syndicated shows and even the locally-based American Wrestling Association[5], with much of it coming from WTCN-TV. It re-branded itself as "Receptive Channel 9", and became quite aggressive in programming, obtaining broadcast rights to several state high school sports championships (MSHSL), the NHL's Minnesota North Stars and the Minnesota Twins baseball team. The stripped-down evening newscast was moved to 9:30, then by 1981 to 9:00 and expanded to one hour.

As many people were predicting failure for the new channel 9, KMSP's transition into an independent station turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It was far more successful than it ever had been as an ABC affiliate. It became a regional superstation, available on nearly every cable system in Minnesota as well as large portions of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Over time, it became one of the most successful and profitable independent stations in the country.

In 1981, KMSP went through another ownership change when United Television was merged with BHC Communications as the result of Chris Craft Industries' swap of its stake (then at 20 percent) in 20th Century Fox for a 19 percent stake in United Television. Two years later, Chris-Craft Industries gained majority control of United Television.

First Fox affiliation

The station remained independent through 1986. Intrigued by the idea of being a network affiliate while not having to be tied down to a network-dominated schedule, KMSP became one of the original affiliates of the newly-launched Fox network. However, it did not remain a Fox affiliate for long. By 1988, KMSP was one of several Fox affiliates nationwide disappointed with the network's weak programming offerings, particularly on Saturday nights, which were bogging down KMSP's otherwise successful independent lineup. It started preempting and time-shifting network shows, much to Fox's irritation. After an ultimatum by the network to run the full schedule in pattern, Fox named KITN (channel 29, now WFTC) as its new Twin Cities affiliate, and KMSP returned to full independent status.

UPN affiliation

By the early 1990s, Fox exploded in popularity. It had strong shows that were starting to rival the offerings of the 'Big Three' networks, and had just picked up rights to the NFL. In response to this, KMSP's then-owner, Chris-Craft/United Television, partnered with Paramount Pictures (which soon became part of media conglomerate Viacom) to create the United Paramount Network (UPN). Channel 9 became a UPN owned and operated station on January 16, 1995, the day the network commenced operations with the two-hour pilot episode of Star Trek: Voyager.

KMSP became one of UPN's most successful affiliates. In addition, it was still enjoying success with local sports programming featuring the Minnesota Twins, as well as the MSHSL championships.

Back to Fox

KMSP remained as a UPN affiliate even after the station, along with several other stations owned by Chris-Craft, was sold to the Fox Television Stations Group in 2001 (this brought KMSP, along with the other two ex-United stations, back under common ownership with 20th Century Fox). An affiliation swap was expected after KMSP's affiliation contract with UPN ran out. Besides Fox's presumed preference to have its programming on a station it already owned, KMSP's signal was much stronger than that of WFTC. Also, WFTC didn't have a news department. The move was made easier when Fox bought WFTC from Clear Channel shortly after in July 2001 (it swapped KTVX in Salt Lake City and KMOL, now WOAI-TV in San Antonio, for WFTC).

On September 8, 2002, KMSP and WFTC swapped network affiliations. This move (accompanied by a "Make the Switch" ad campaign on both stations) made KMSP a Fox station once again. At that time, KMSP took all Fox programming, including the Fox Box (which later went back to WFTC as 4KidsTV until its December 2008 discontinuation). Notably, of all the former Chris-Craft stations Fox retained, KMSP was the only one not to retain its UPN affiliation. KMSP is one of three network-owned stations in the Twin Cities alongside sister WFTC and CBS-owned WCCO.

Fox proceeded to invest heavily in KMSP, creating the station's strongest news operation ever (it even briefly produced a newscast for sister station WFTC). In addition, Fox soon become a full-fledged competitor with NBC, ABC and CBS with a number of hit shows and an aggressive cable news operation. Ironically, the late night edition of "Fox9 News" today often draws better ratings than the newscasts on KSTP-TV, which obtained the ABC affiliation from KMSP thirty years earlier.

Video news release controversy

On June 16, 2006, KMSP played a "video news release" about convertibles produced by GM in its entirety. The narrator, Medialink publicist Andrew Schmertz, was introduced as reporter André Schmertz. KMSP did not disclose the corporate source of this segment to their viewers.[6]

Digital television

Digital channels

Channel Programming
9.1 KMSP-TV programming / Fox HD
9.2 WFTC programming / MyNetworkTV SD

KMSP-DT was originally on 26, using PSIP to display its virtual channel as 9. After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion was completed on June 12, 2009, KMSP-TV moved its digital broadcasts back to channel 9.

In November 2009 the station moved the standard definition feed of WFTC to KMSP-DT2 to allow viewers to choose which of the FTSG signals works best for their reception needs.

News operation

KMSP broadcasts a total of 41 hours of local news a week (6½ hours on weekdays, four hours on Saturdays and 4½ hours on Sundays), more than any other station in Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota; however as is standard with Fox stations that carry early evening weekend newscasts, KMSP's Saturday and Sunday 5PM newscasts are subject to preemption due to sports coverage.

The station has had a long-running 9PM newscast (now known as Fox at 9), which airs an hour before all other news broadcasts in the area. The two primary news anchors are Jeff Passolt and Robyne Robinson, who have been paired longer than any other anchor team in the Twin Cities, according to the station.

KMSP, along with KDFW in Dallas/Fort Worth, and KSAZ-TV in Phoenix are the only Fox-owned stations to have a 10PM newscast in the Central and Mountain Time Zones (of the mentioned stations, KMSP and KDFW do not run their 10PM newscast nightly and KMSP is the only one that airs their 10PM newscast on during the weekend, airing it on Sunday).

Sister stations WTVT in Tampa-St. Petersburg and WTTG in Washington, D.C. have a late newscast at the Eastern time zone equivalent of 11PM. On September 24, 2007, sister station WJBK in Detroit, Michigan became the third Fox O&O in the Eastern time zone to add an 11 pm newscast. This was when WJBK joined KMSP as being one out of several Fox O&Os to go with the FNC-look (new set, new rotating logo, etc.). Fox may have all the O&Os add an 11PM newscast should this become a success. This may mean more of the Fox O&Os in the Central and Mountain Time Zones could add a 10PM newscast as well (KTBC in Austin had a 10PM newscast for years after switching to Fox, which has since been scaled back to 9PM).

Conversely, KMSP is also one of a few Fox O&Os without a midday newscast (along with WFXT in Boston and WOFL in Orlando) and one of five Fox O&Os with a 5PM newscast, but no 6PM newscast (along with KTBC in Austin, WHBQ in Memphis, KRIV in Houston and WFXT in Boston.

On May 11, 2009, KMSP became the second station to launch local news in high definition. The first was KARE in 2006. The set and music remains the same. The only new thing are the new Fox O&O HD graphics with some minor tweaks and HD weather graphics. On September 14, 2009 KMSP expanded its morning newscast to five hours from 5-10AM (one of several Fox-owned stations to do so, following the cancellation of The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet), with the 9AM hour being called Fox 9 News: Morning Buzz.

Awards

The station is noted for having a number of Emmy-winning photojournalists and reporters. The newscasts have been nationally honored with the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast and Spot News Coverage, in addition to Investigative Reporting, and Videography.

In October, 2008, KMSP won another 17 Emmys, along with 4 Emmys for its sister station WFTC. Among this years Emmys were wins for ads for myfoxhockey.com, foxhilitestwincities.com, "Stay Connected with Fox 9", and best online marketing initiative for Family Guy Photos at the Fair. Sister station WFTC won multiple Emmys for Twins on My29 Pinball Promos, and its generic composite ads.

In October 2007, KMSP won 17 Emmys, along with one Emmy for its sister station WFTC. Among the Emmys were wins for Best Website, Several Investigative Reports, along with several Emmys for Advertisements such as the "Wake Up With Fox 9" and the "Jeff & Robyne" spots. For a complete list visit National Television Academy Upper Midwest Chapter.

News/Station presentation

Newscast titles

  • On Top Of The News (1955-1956)
  • Report to Minnesota (1956-1958)
  • Bill Ingram News (1958-1961)
  • Bob Allard News (1961-1962)
  • The Big News (1962-1964)
  • Fahan-Steer News (1964-1969)
  • Eyewitness News (1969-1973)
  • Newsnine (1973-1978)
  • Newswatch (1978-1979)
  • Prime Time News (1979-1991)
  • Minnesota 9 News/Minnesota 9 Tonight (1991-1999)
  • 9 News (1999-September 8, 2002)
  • Fox 9 News (2002-present)
  • Fox 9 Morning News (September 8, 2002-present)
  • Fox at 9 (September 8, 2002-present)
  • Fox at 10 (September 2008-present)
  • Fox at 5 (2008-present)
  • Fox at 5:30 (2008-present)
  • Fox 9 News: Morning Buzz (9AM newscast; 2009-present)

Station slogans

  • ABC Has Moved to 9! (1961)
  • Channel 9, Your Eyewitness News Headquarters (1969-1973)
  • Good Movie Time on KMSP-9 (1971-1974)
  • Your Newsnine station (1973-1978)
  • Newsnine: You Just Watch (1973-1975)
  • Join the Boyett-Bremen Fan Club (1974)
  • Newsnine: Keep on Watchin' (1975-1977)
  • Channel 9's Still the One (1977-1979; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • ABC-9 (1978)
  • We're Receptive (1979-1984)
  • The Twin Cities' #1 Prime Time News (1984-1991)
  • We've Gone Hollywood (1984)
  • The Movie Tube (1984)
  • Minnesota 9 News: First in the Twin Cities (1991-1999)
  • 9 News: It's About You (1999-September 8, 2002)
  • Make the Switch (September 8, 2002; used to promote the affiliation switch to Fox)
  • The Most Powerful Name in Local News (2002-present; used on news promos)
  • Wake Up With Fox 9 (2002-present; used on morning news promos)
  • Stay Connected with Fox 9 (2008-present; general)

Fox 9 Personalities

Current on-air talent

(as of December 10, 2009)
Current Anchors

  • Tim Blotz - Friday-Saturdays at 5 and 9, and Fridays at 10PM
  • Tom Butler - weekday mornings "Fox 9 Morning News"
  • Tom Halden - weekend mornings "Fox 9 Weekend News"
  • Marni Hughes - weeknights at 10PM (also fill-in 5 and 9PM anchor and health reporter)
  • Alix Kendall - weekday mornings "Fox 9 Morning News" and "Fox 9 Buzz"
  • Jason Matheson - weekday mornings "Fox 9 Buzz"
  • Jeff Passolt - Sunday-Thursdays at 5, 9 and 10PM
  • Robyne Robinson - weeknights at 5 and 9PM
  • Karen Scullin - weekend mornings "Fox 9 Weekend News" and Fridays at 5 and 9PM

Fox 9 Weather First

  • Ian Leonard (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; Sunday-Thursdays at 5, 9 and 10PM
  • Erik Maitland (AMS/NWA Seals of Approval) - Meteorologist; Fridays at 5, 9 and 10, weekend mornings and Saturdays at 5 and 9PM
  • Keith Marler (AMS Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekday mornings "Fox 9 Morning News" and "Fox 9 Buzz"

Sports Team

  • Jim Rich - Sports Director; Sunday-Thursdays at 5, 9 and 10PM
  • Dawn Mitchell - Sports Anchor; Fridays-Sunday at 5, 9 and 10PM (also sports reporter)

Reporters

  • Jody Ambroz - general assignment reporter
  • Jeff Baillon - investigative reporter
  • Leah Beno - general assignment reporter
  • Dave Berggren - general assignment reporter (Sky Fox9)
  • Paul Blume - general assignment reporter
  • Jeff Goldberg - general assignment reporter
  • Maury Glover - general assignment reporter
  • Juli Jay - traffic reporter
  • Bill Keller - general assignment reporter
  • Tom Lyden - investigative reporter
  • Jason Matheson - entertainment reporter
  • Rob Olson - general assignment reporter
  • M.A. Rosko - weekday morning feature reporter
  • Erik Runge - General Assignment Reporter reporter
  • Dawn Stevens - weekday morning reporter
  • Trish Van Pilsum - investigative reporter
  • Todd Walker - weekend morning feature reporter
  • Scott Wasserman - general assignment reporter

Behind the Scenes News Staff

  • Bill Dallman - News Director
  • Patrick Armijo - Executive Producer
  • Lori Fisher - Executive Producer
  • Seth Kaplan - Executive Sports Producer
  • Mike Durkin - Senior Web Producer
  • Matt Haugen - Morning News Executive Producer

Former Personalities

  • Bob Allard - anchor (1961-1964)
  • Lori Aoki - anchor (mid 1990s)
  • Ben Boyett - anchor (1973-1975)
  • Phil Bremen - anchor (1973-1975)
  • Tony Burden - 9:30 and 10PM anchor (1979-1983)
  • Pete Busch - traffic reporter (now at KARE-TV)
  • Roy Carr - staff announcer
  • Christine Clayburg - weekend meteorologist
  • Warren Dahlstrom - weather forecaster (1980-1984)
  • Joe Digiovanni - cheif meteorologist
  • Betty Douglass - host of "Romper Room"
  • Steve Doyle - anchor (1973-1979)
  • Julie Eckhert - weekend anchor/reporter (mid-1970s)
  • Bill Fahan - anchor (1964-1969)
  • Fidel "Phil" Ferro - executive producer (1988-1991; now chief meteorologist with WSVN in Miami)
  • Jim Gilleland - sports anchor
  • Rod Grams - anchor
  • Jeff Grayson - sports director (now with Fox Sports Net)
  • George Grim - anchor (1962-1964)
  • Bob Hall - weather anchor
  • Angela Hampton - 10PM anchor (now at WTVD in Raleigh, North Carolina)
  • Cicely Hand - anchor (1978-1979)
  • Heather Harden - anchor
  • Ed Harding - sports anchor
  • Don Harrison - anchor (1975-1979; later with Headline News; died 1998)
  • Jack Horner - sports anchor (1950s; died in 2005)[3]
  • Bill Ingram - anchor
  • Leslie Jones - morning reporter
  • Mike Kronforst - weather anchor (1975-1979)
  • Dave Lee - children's host, puppeteer on "Looney Tuners Club"
  • Cathie Mann - anchor (1976-1977)
  • Ernie Martz - weather anchor/staff announcer (1970s-1980s)
  • Mike Nicco - weekend meteorologist (2003-2006; now weekday morning meteorologist at KGO-TV in San Francisco)
  • Beth McDonough - reporter (fired for legal reasons)
  • George McKenzie - sports anchor (1975-1978)
  • Dave McLaughlin - weather anchor (1975-1978)
  • Jacqueline McLean - Investigative Reporter (2004-2009)
  • John McNichol - News Reporter
  • George Noory - news director (late 1970s) Now host of Coast To Coast AM [4]
  • Tony Parker - sports anchor (1955-1975)
  • Ahmad Rashad - sports anchor (1978; now host of NBA Inside Stuff on NBA TV)
  • Janie Peterson - chief meteorologist (2000-2006; now running Peteson Productions)
  • Harry Reasoner - anchor (1950s; later with CBS and ABC; died 1991)
  • Gary Rebstock - anchor
  • Carl Rochelle - anchor (1970-1973; later with CNN and NBC)
  • Beth Ruyak - anchor
  • Brandon Rux- Chief Meteorologist (in between Janie Peterson and Ian Lenard for about one month)
  • Sam Scaman - chief meteorologist
  • Dave Sheehan - Sports anchor (1978-1983)
  • Tim Sherno - morning anchor (1997-2005; now at KSTP-TV)
  • Jere Smith - weather (1959-1975)
  • Jim Steer - anchor (1964-1971)
  • Bev Stoddard - host of "Noon on Nine" (1979-1980)
  • Mary Jo Tierney - host of "The Early Show with Mary Jo"
  • Al Tighe - fill-in sports and news anchor /staff announcer (1970-1985)
  • Ron Trenda - weekend meteorologist (now at WCCO-TV)
  • Mike Tsolinas - morning weather anchor
  • Sue Turner - weekend anchor
  • Ken Wagner - children's host, puppeteer on "Cap'n Ken," "Grandpa Ken" (1960-1973)
  • Perry Williams - sports anchor
  • Robin Wolfram - morning anchor
  • Lara Yamada - weekend morning anchor (August-October 2006; now at KCPQ in Seattle)

Broadcasting facilities

The KMSP TV Tower is located in Shoreview, Minnesota. KMSP owns the tower, which stands 1466 feet (446.8 m) tall, but shares it with sister station WFTC and the Twin Cities Public Television stations, KTCA and KTCI. Several FM stations are also on the tower: KQRS-FM, KXXR ("93X"), KTCZ ("Cities 97"), KTIS-FM, KSJN, KTLK-FM, KDWB, KEEY ("K102"), WLTE, and KZJK.

KMSP has an extensive network of broadcast translators to carry its analog signal throughout much of the state.

References

Notes

External links


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