KSTC-TV is an independent television station for the Twin Cities that is licensed to Minneapolis. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 45 (virtual channel 5.2) from a transmitter at the Telefarm installation in Shoreview. Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting, the station is sister to ABC affiliate KSTP-TV and several radio stations. All share studios on University Avenue on the Minneapolis and St. Paul city line. Syndicated programming on KSTC includes The Middle, Seinfeld, Friends, How I Met Your Mother, and The King of Queens. It is the only television station in the area with its own mascot, the "45 Guy", who is often seen at community events.
The station began operations under the KVBM call letters. Although FCC records indicate that a license for this station was granted in 1987, it did not take to the airwaves until June 1994. The station aired Minnesota Department of Transportation traffic information as well as the Home Shopping Network until it was purchased by Hubbard Broadcasting on April 24, 2000. Hubbard relaunched the station as KSTC on September 11. In order to get attention for the switch from KVBM to KSTC, the station ran an advertising campaign that confused many people in the area; posters and broadcast ads featuring people of all ages used the phrase "I'm 45", but initially made no mention of the newly created station.
In 2003, KSTC began broadcasting its digital signal. KSTC-DT, on ATSC channel 45.1 in standard definition, simulcasted the station's regular content. On 45.2 was HDnet in high definition. After its contract with the network ended, channel 45.2 was taken off-the-air. It signed-on again December 1, 2006 as a high definition sports channel airing select Minnesota Wild games. On or around June 30, 2010, KSTC began carrying This TV, a channel owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Weigel Broadcasting, carrying movies with some series and children's programming, on digital channel 45.2.
Until late 2008, KSTC heavily promoted its ties to KSTP-TV. It branded itself as "FORTY5," and used a logo in which the Y in "FORTY" was converted into a digital 4 superimposed on channel 5's longtime "groovy 5" logo.
|Channel||Station||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|5.1||KSTP-TV||720p||16:9||KSTPDT1||Main KSTP-TV programming / ABC|
|5.7||480i||KSTPDT2||Heroes & Icons|
|5.2||KSTC-TV||720p||KSTCDT1||Main KSTC-TV programming|
KSTC-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 45, 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 relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 44 to channel 45. In October 2011, KSTP and KSTC unified all of their over-the-air channels as virtual subchannels of KSTP. As a result, the PSIPs of KSTC changed. The main KSTC channel is now on 5.2, with This TV now being tuned to 5.4.
As an independent station, the station runs a variety of syndicated programming mostly consisting of off-network shows. Indeed, Hubbard signed on KSTC primarily as a home for a large inventory of syndicated programming that KSTP-TV no longer had time to air. Movies considered one and two-star are aired frequently while some locally produced material is aired each week. In the few years it has been operating under the KSTC call letters, several other low-budget programs made specifically for this station have come and gone. These included a weekly horror movie broadcast under the name Horror Incorporated (hosted by Count Dracula played by Jake Esau, the actual owner of the countdracula.com domain name). The last incarnation of Horror Incorporated was hosted by Uncle Ghoulie (Thom Lange), Carbuncle (Tim McCall), 13 (Sasha Yvonne Walloch), Gordon the Gorilla, and Wolfie. As of 2004, at least one KSTC-specific program was still airing: Nate on Drums, a comedy and variety show hosted by Nate Perbix, is reportedly aired to a network of stations across Minnesota.
Today, most local programs come from KSTP including On the Road with longtime KSTP reporter Jason Davis and Sports Wrap. In 2004, KSTC announced a six-year over-the-air partnership with the Minnesota Timberwolves allowing the station to broadcast a number of the team's regular-season and postseason basketball games. Also that year, the station entered into an eleven-year partnership with the Minnesota State High School League to broadcast state athletic tournaments as well as educational and student programs. KSTC will pay the league $9.7 million in rights fees and provide an additional $10.6 million worth of promotion for those tournaments and other League programs. KSTC-TV Also televised Minnesota Golden Gophers men's basketball games from 2006 to 2007.
In 2009, KSTC and the MSHSL extended their broadcast partnership until 2021. Starting in 2010, some tournaments will be broadcast online. Additionally in December 2004, they established a multi-year partnership to air Minnesota Wild hockey games. Other sports have also aired on the station in the past including Minnesota Twins and Saint Paul Saints baseball, boxing, and even Robot Wars-style combat between mechanical competitors. As of Summer 2006, KSTC has been including actual viewers in their programming promotions. Most include a viewer describing their favorite scene or character from one of the shows on the station. The station may also take on the responsibility of airing shows from ABC whenever KSTP cannot do so as a result of extended breaking news or severe weather coverage, or special programming.
In the early 2000s, KSTC experimented with carrying a two-hour extension of KSTP's weekday morning newscast from 7-9 a.m. On July 19, 2009, KSTP began to produce daily newscasts for KSTC full-time, this originally included weekend shows but these were dropped. The newscasts run for two hours starting at 7 a.m. and for a half-hour at 9 p.m., which respectively compete with Fox owned-and-operated station KMSP-TV's in-house morning newscast and the first half-hour of KMSP's primetime newscast at 9 p.m. The KSTC newscasts are broadcast in high definition.
The broadcast signal of KSTC is extended by way of six translators in central and southern Minnesota. All broadcast in digital.
|Call letters||Channel||City of license||Transmitter location||Note|
|K16CO-D||16||Alexandria||east of Garfield along MN 22|
|K19IH-D||19||Willmar||north of town on First Street North|
|K25II-D||25||Redwood Falls||east of Morton near MN 19|
|K44AD-D||44||St. James||along MN 6 at the Watonwan and Brown County line|
|K45EH-D||45||Jackson||south of town along U.S. 71|
|K51KB-D||51||Frost||along MN 254|