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Glendive, Montana
Branding "KX5" (general)
"Montana East News" (local newscasts)
"Montana's News Station" (statewide newscasts)
Slogan "The Choice Cut of Two States"
Channel Digital: 5 (VHF)
Subchannels 5.1 CBS (through
Montana Television Network)
Translators (see article)
Owner Marks Radio Group
(Glendive Broadcasting Corporation)
First air date November 1, 1957
Callsign meaning KX GleNdive
Former channels Analog:
5 (VHF, 1957-2009)
Former affiliations NBC (secondary, to 2009)
(all as part of a mix with CBS and NBC)
The Sportsman Channel (secondary, to 2009)
Effective power 1 kW
Height 152.4 m
Facility ID 24287
Antenna coordinates 47°2′39.2″N 104°40′54.9″W / 47.044222°N 104.681917°W / 47.044222; -104.681917

KXGN-TV channel 5 is a television station in Glendive, Montana, a primarily agricultural region in eastern Montana, which is the smallest of the 210 US Nielsen-designated broadcast television market areas in the United States; the market serves a total potential home-market audience of a mere five thousand households in Dawson and Prairie counties in eastern Montana.[1] The market is also the smallest in North America.[2] KXGN celebrated its 50th year on the air in November 2007.

KXGN is affiliated with the CBS Television Network, and also airs news and other programs from the Montana Television Network, a network of CBS affiliates in Montana.

KXGN-TV is owned by Glendive Broadcasting Corporation. Glendive Broadcasting also operates two of the three Glendive radio stations. KXGN (AM) 1400 and KDZN 96.5 FM have been owned by Glendive Broadcasting since the late 1970s and 1986 respectively.


Multiple affiliations

KXGN dropped its NBC affiliation in September 2009, making the station affiliated solely with CBS. KXGN was the last "Big 3" station in the US to air more than one network's programming on a single feed.[3][4] In the past, KXGN also carried ABC and Fox programming; the station also carried UPN during the overnight hours until UPN closed on September 15, 2006 to combine with The WB to form The CW network (currently CW programming is seen on cable-only channel CW Glendive, formerly KWZB).

KXGN also offered programming from The Sportsman Channel during the late-night hours on weekends, until that channel restricted availability to cable and satellite systems.

News Programming

KXGN airs a five-minute daily evening local newscast called Montana East News at 10:35PM plus a half-hour of local news on Sunday evenings. Emilie Boyles doubles as the station's sole reporter and editor. Former longtime personality Ed Agre[5] was once profiled for his duties in this capacity.[6] "Dapper" Dan Frenzel, KXGN's weekend TV weatherman and radio DJ since April 1964, was to serve as vice president and general manager of the station from 1988 until his death (due to a heart condition) in 2003.[7]

All other "local" newscasts on KXGN are simulcasts from Billings' KTVQ (with the exception of their morning newscast), as an affiliate of the Montana Television Network. The Early Show from CBS is the only news on KXGN in the morning.


KXGN-TV's studios along South Douglas Street in Downtown Glendive, MT.

Prior to KXGN's disaffiliation with NBC, the station would air the entire CBS programming lineup from 6 pm MT to 9 pm MT. At 9 pm MT, KXGN would air NBC programming that is either airing at that time or recorded earlier that evening. NBC's other programs, especially daytime and weekend programming (including sports) would not air on KXGN, opting instead to show CBS's programming or local shows. A full-time NBC affiliate, KUMV-TV from Williston, North Dakota, was and still is available on cable, as well as via a local 2630-watt repeater in Glendive, K13PL channel 13, which made it one of very few situations where a commercial network has, in effect, two different affiliates in the same city.

As of Fall 2009, KXGN has kept the 6 pm to 9 pm CBS prime-time block intact, with the 9 pm hour replaced with the syndicated Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.


Like many other Montana stations, KXGN relies heavily on a mix of broadcast translators and cable TV systems to extend its reach to more viewers.

K13IG is the only translator owned by KXGN—all others are either owned by local governments or television associations.

Transition to ATSC digital

KXGN was allocated ATSC TV channel 10 by the FCC in September 2004[8] after receiving multiple extensions of the original May 1, 2002 deadline to go digital due to financial hardship.[9] In fall 2008, it received FCC permission to place its final post-transition digital signal on its existing channel, VHF 5, reducing the cost of its digital transition by an estimated $100,000 by not simulcasting digitally on another channel during transition.[10]

By 2007, Glendive would be the only remaining US terrestrial television market to have no digital signals at all.[11]

KXGN-TV's digital broadcast equipment was scheduled to be delivered just before the original February 17, 2009 shutdown of analogue broadcasting;[12] as of February 15, the equipment had yet to arrive. Once the national shut-off date had been extended, a clearly-unready KXGN opted to take advantage of the new transition date, June 12, 2009.[13]

Obstacles to digital transition include the limited number of households which would be able to receive the digital signal over-the-air (many depend on repeaters or cable to receive TV at all), the high costs involved and the small number of ATSC TV sets in use in the local area. Costs of installing a new hilltop digital transmitter in Makoshika plus new digital-capable microwave equipment, while undisclosed by KXGN, are estimated to be in the upper six figure range.[14]

The exemption of LPTV operations from the 2009 DTV transition requirement will leave KXGN an analogue signal for viewers of numbered repeater stations long after the main signal becomes entirely digital. Individual KXGN broadcast translator sites, however, must update their equipment in order to convert the new digital signal back to analogue for rebroadcast; the readiness of these facilities is largely unknown. While the added capacity available on a digital signal could someday allow the station to dedicate a digital subchannel to full NBC programming or even (through Miles City Community College) to obtain Montana PBS feeds, translator viewers would retain their existing analogue coverage and would not receive extra channels.

KXGN was also (albeit indirectly) listed as one of the charter affiliates of the new .2 Network, slated to begin broadcast sometime in 2010.[15]

External links


  1. ^ "Market information". Backchannelmedia. Retrieved 2007-03-25. 
  2. ^ The Glendive market has 5,000 households; Canada's smallest market, Kenora, Ontario (with CJBN-TV as its only local broadcaster), has about 5,800 households.
  3. ^ "Glendive TV station is one-man operation". Billings Gazette. 2003-10-06. Retrieved 2007-03-25. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Glendive Legion honors Agre, Inside glance, Billings Gazette, July 19, 2003
  6. ^ Glendive's KXGN featured in SI, Sports Shorts, Billings Gazette, March 27, 2001
  7. ^ 'Dapper Dan' will be missed on the Eastern Montana dials, MIKE ZIMMER, Billings Gazette, Jan 28, 2003
  8. ^ "FCC Report and Order for DTV Allotment" (PDF). 2004-09-23. Retrieved March 25, 2007. 
  9. ^ S. Talwani. "Digital Television Coming...Slowly". Montana Journalism Review. Retrieved 2007-03-25. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ TV stations pay high price for digital conversion • RICHARD ECKE • Great Falls Tribune • February 1, 2009
  14. ^ Glendive TV station prepares for transition: KXGN serves nation's smallest Nielsen-rated broadcast market, has rich history, LINDA HALSTEAD-ACHARYA, Billings Gazette, February 15, 2009
  15. ^ Harry A. Jessell (2008-04-15). "New .2 Network Lines Up First Affils". TVNEWSDAY. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 


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