KSTP-TV, channel 5, is a television station located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA, serving as the ABC affiliate for the Twin Cities television market. KSTP-TV is the flagship television property of Saint Paul-based Hubbard Broadcasting, which has owned the station since its inception. The station's offices and studios are located on University Avenue, on the Saint Paul-Minneapolis border, and are shared with sister stations KSTP Radio (1500 AM), KSTP-FM (94.5 FM), KTMY (107.1 FM), and KSTC-TV (channel 45). KSTP-TV's transmitter is located at Telefarm Towers in Shoreview, Minnesota.
Stanley E. Hubbard, founder of KSTP radio, was one of broadcasting's foremost pioneers. In June 1939, he purchased one of the first television cameras available from RCA and began experimenting with television, but the television blackout brought on by World War II prevented any transmissions from being made. The first telecast by KSTP-TV reportedly occurred on December 7, 1947, when Jack Horner hosted a 25-minute program. On April 27, 1948, KSTP-TV signed on as the first commercial television station in Minnesota, although an experimental mechanical television station had been set up by WDGY station engineers more than a decade earlier. That station's license expired in 1938 as the Federal Communications Commission was not interested in continuing mechanical TV broadcasts.
KSTP-TV was originally an NBC affiliate, as KSTP radio had been an affiliate of the NBC Red Network since 1928. Channel 5 claims to have been the NBC television network's first affiliate located west of the Mississippi River, however this distinction is actually held by KSD-TV (now KSDK) in St. Louis, which signed on one year earlier. (Also, both the studios and the transmitter are located east of the river.) It was part of NBC's Midwest Network, a regional group of NBC affiliates that fed programming in the days before the coaxial cable link to New York City. In 1961, due to its status as an NBC affiliate, it was the first television station not owned by a network to broadcast all of its local programs in color.
In the mid-1970s, ABC – which had become the top-rated television network in the United States – began looking for stronger affiliates across the country. KMSP-TV (channel 9), the Twin Cities' ABC affiliate since 1961, had long struggled in the ratings. ABC had approached independent station WTCN-TV (channel 11, now KARE), CBS affiliate WCCO-TV (channel 4), and KSTP-TV to affiliate with the network. Channel 5 surprised the industry in August 1978 by announcing its intention to sever ties with third-place NBC after 30 years to join ABC. The affiliation switch occurred on March 5, 1979 and was ABC's biggest coup at the time. “We want to go into the 1980s in a leadership position with a network which we think has the management, team and depth to be the best. That's ABC. We're just absolutely thrilled,” said KSTP's Stanley S. Hubbard, son of station founder Stanley E. Hubbard. In 2000, Hubbard Broadcasting purchased independent station KVBM-TV (channel 45; now KSTC), creating Minnesota's first commercial television station duopoly (though there is a longstanding public television duopoly: KTCA/KTCI).
KSTP-TV has used its "groovy 5" logo or variations on it since April 1969 – it is the longest-used station logo in the Upper Midwest. By 1982, the design contained a white '5' on a red rounded edge square background. The number was italicized for a time in the mid-to-late 1980s. In the early 1990s, the logo endured a more dramatic makeover, with a gold colored '5' on a blue ABC-style disc (with either the call letters or the Eyewitness News name imprinted upon it), with the center colored in green. By the late 1990s, a brighter, classier logo – still with a gold '5' – returned to the rectangular look, adding a black ABC logo. From 2004 to late 2014, a white '5' was used on a red parallelogram, also featuring the ABC logo. In April 2008, KSTP started airing commercials commemorating the station's 60th year of broadcasting. On November 30th, 2014, the logo was redesigned, and now features the "groovy 5" logo in blue with red lines circling the left part of the logo, with the ABC logo again.
On September 11, 2014, KSTP-TV filed a complaint with the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission regarding its carriage in Canada and simultaneous substitution (simsubbing), as well as notifying the CRTC of viewer complaints of problems with closed captioning and poorly-timed simsubbing on its cable feed in Canada. In particular, KSTP is stating it is authorized for broadcast by the Federal Communications Commission, and not the CRTC, and is concerned that it may not have the appropriate broadcast rights for viewing in Canada. Hubbard Broadcasting, the owners of KSTP-TV, also argued concerns about their video feed being modified for Canadian viewers via simsubbing, removal of its closed-captioning information (a Broadcast Act violation, if proven), not having its digital subchannels carried as well, and that this might be a potential Copyright Act of Canada violation for its programming to air in Canada. Similar to , KSTP has also asked for compensation for its carriage in Canada or to have its unauthorized coverage cease, as it was never asked for permission to be relayed on cable services in Canada. The CRTC ultimately ruled against KSTP-TV on September 16, 2014 regarding their request to be removed from the CRTC's list of stations eligible for carriage in Canada, a fear that was shared by Shaw Media (owners of Shaw Direct/Shaw Cable/CANCOM) and Thunder Bay MP Bruce Hyer. A secondary concern posed by Shaw Media was that KSTP-TV would try to ask for fee-for-carriage in a cross-border retransmission consent agreement, which does not currently exist under the Copyright Act of Canada, and as the CRTC explained, is outside the scope of the Broadcast Act of 1968 or its regulatory responsibilities.
KSTP clears most network programming. From 1982 to 1994, when nationally syndicated talk shows started ruling the daytime airwaves, KSTP ran a talk program of its own called Good Company, that was hosted by married couple Sharon Anderson and Steve Edelman. Both of them had appeared briefly in the movie Fargo as TV hosts, and continue to be recognized as area celebrities from time to time. Currently, Edelman runs Edelman Productions, a company that produces series for Food Network, HGTV, History and DIY Network, with his wife Anderson hosting a few of them. Edelman Productions is headquartered in California where both Edelman and Anderson now live, but it has offices both in California and Minnesota, where they produce their shows.
In 2007, KSTP decided to bring back an hour-long afternoon talk program similar to Good Company. Twin Cities Live, described as "a show about Minnesotans created by Minnesotans", began airing on April 21, 2008 and airs weekdays at 3:00 p.m. A public casting call at the Mall of America attracted a Burnsville, Minnesota native, John Hanson, who was selected from over 500 people. A few months later, former Milwaukee news anchor Rebekah Wood was hired as his partner. Wood was replaced by Elizabeth Ries on June 15, 2009. Ries and Hanson co-hosted together for over three years until Hanson received an offer in "Kansas City, Mo., to become the program director at 610 Sports Radio" Hanson's last day on Twin Cities Live was December 21, 2012. Over the next four months numerous television personalities served as guest co-hosts on TCL until the producers could find the best fit. KSTP weekend anchor Chris Egert was chosen to be Ries' new co-host on April 29, 2013. Egert and Ries co-hosted the show for nine months until Egert was promoted to weekday morning news anchor in February 2014. The station again had to go through a process of finding the next co-host, this time taking five months. On July 21, 2014, Steve Patterson was named the new co-host of TCL. Patterson and Ries are the current hosts of Twin Cities Live.
The title Twin Cities Live was first used from 1985 to 1991 for a short-lived morning talk show that debuted at a time when KSTP was trying to reinvent its news image. The other talk shows that air on KSTP-TV are Live! with Kelly and Michael, which has aired on KSTP since the late 1980s under prior hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin, and The Meredith Vieira Show.
KSTP-TV presently broadcasts 37 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 6 hours on weekdays, and 3½ hours each on Saturdays and Sundays). Combined with sister station KSTC's 16 hours of news weekly, KSTP produces the most local news content in the market. In addition, the station produces a political discussion show called At Issue, which is hosted by Tom Hauser, with former state governor Wendell Anderson as a regular guest; and "Sports Wrap", a sports highlight program that airs on Sunday evenings at 10:45 p.m. and on special occasions, such as when KSTP airs ESPN Monday Night Football telecasts featuring the Minnesota Vikings, or the final game of the NBA Finals. The station formerly ran a Friday night edition of the program focusing on high school sports that aired from September through May. These segments were usually hosted by Rod Simons and Anne Hutchinson, but Simons was later fired by the station in 2008 and Hutchinson also was let go in December of that year. A week prior to Hutchinson's departure, "High School Sports Wrap" was canceled due to low revenues. For much of the time since the 1980s, KQRS-FM morning show host Tom Barnard has served as the station's voice-over announcer.
Early on, Channel 5 was the news ratings leader in the Twin Cities. It was also the first station in the Central Time Zone to air a 10 p.m. newscast seven days a week. It lost its first place lead in the late 1960s, when WCCO-TV created its popular The Scene Tonight. In an attempt to reclaim the ratings crown, KSTP put together the market's first co-anchor team in 1970, with longtime station anchors Bob Ryan and John MacDougall. They failed to attract more viewers and were fired from the station in 1971, although MacDougall later served as a newscaster on KSTP radio during the 1980s and early 1990s. Ted O'Brien became the news anchor, with Barry ZeVan "the weather man" and Tom Ryther on sports, headlining KSTP's new effort as The World Today.
Channel 5 started using the "Eyewitness News" format for its newscasts in 1973; KMSP-TV had used the title since 1969, but dropped it in favor of branding its newscasts as Newsnine. KSTP, still seeking ratings gold, replaced O'Brien with Ron Magers on February 11, 1974. Meteorologist Dr. Walt Lyons took over for ZeVan in 1975. These men, along with Ryther, were "recalled years later by more than one local media critic as the best Twin Cities TV news ensemble ever." By then, KSTP "could genuinely claim to be not just number one in the market but in much of the country." The news team was strengthened even further with the addition of the well-respected Cyndy Brucato in 1979. These on-air personalities led a strong ratings era, which has been unparalleled at the station.
Lyons and Ryther left the station in the late 1970s, followed by weekend weatherman Roy Finden in 1980. Dennis Feltgen and Bob Bruce took over weather and sports respectively. Both held their positions through the mid 80s.
Stan Turner and Cyndy Brucato replaced Ron Magers at 6 & 10. Until Magers left the station the 10 p.m. news only featured a solo anchorman. Dennis Bounds was soon hired away from WTCN Channel 11 to anchor the 5 p.m. news with Cyndy Brucato.
KSTP-TV once again fell from its top perch, while WCCO-TV returned to #1, but the market and the national networks were changing. Meanwhile, Gannett bought channel 11 in 1983 and revitalized the station; NBC also began a major climb in the primetime ratings, while ABC lost steam. Paul Magers brother of Ron Magers became the lead anchor along with Diana Pierce at channel 11. This combination of events, along with the "musical chairs" at channel 5's anchor desk, allowed a significant third contender into the Twin Cities news race.
Despite its extensive news background, Channel 5 dipped to third in the ratings by 1985. A year later, the station let Dennis Feltgen go. Feltgen resurfaced as a KARE weekend meteorologist. Bob Bruce would transition to become morning news anchor. Dave Dahl and Joe Schmidt took over weather and sports respectively. Today both are in the same positions.
In 1986 KSTP split up the Turner/Brucato team. Ruth Spencer was assigned to anchor at 5 and 6 p.m. with Stan Turner. Bob Vernon joined Cyndy Brucato at 10 p.m. This experiment was short lived.
Spencer replaced Brucato as anchor at 10 p.m. within months. Brucato was cut loose. After several more months Bob Vernon was released and Stan Turner replaced him at 10 p.m. Weekend anchor Angela Astore was paired with morning anchor Mark Suppelsa at 5 p.m.
Suppelsa and Astore would have an impact on the station until the mid 90s. In 1989 Randall Carlisle replaced respected veteran Stan Turner who moved to weekends. Ruth Spencer was released from the station after a dispute with the news director. Angela Astore took over for Spencer who would go on to a successful run in Detroit. The experiment with Carlisle failed by 1992. To save face Carlisle was shipped off to Dallas KXAS where he had a brief run before he returned home to Salt Lake City.
In 1992 Mark Suppelsa and Angela Astore were paired at 10 p.m. Newcomer Val Holley Dennis teamed with Suppelsa at 5 p.m. Newcomer Stan Miller joined Angela Astore at 6 p.m.
KSTP has remained near the bottom of the heap, occasionally dropping to fourth behind 9:00 p.m. newscasts on KMSP-TV until February 2008, when that station's news ratings began to decline. Even a shakeup and quirky advertisements featuring Ed Asner (emulating Lou Grant) did not help. During this time, however, channel 5 became the first station to use satellite news gathering for its newscasts. 1990 saw the launch of Hubbard's cable news venture, the All News Channel (ANC), KSTP ran an all-night news schedule during this time, alternating between half-hour blocks of ANC programming and local newscasts.
Despite all the upheaval, a few staffers have managed to stay at KSTP for several years. Stan Turner had a number of on-air and behind-the scenes duties at Channel 5 – ranging from news director to news anchor – during his tenure with the station from 1968 until the late 1980s. Starting in October 1976, reporter Jason Davis produced feature stories. From 2003 until Spring 2014, Davis was host and executive producer of a regional-interest program seen on Sunday nights called On the Road, which was originated as a segment seen on channel 5's newscasts. Meteorologist Dave Dahl was hired in 1977, began doing on-air weather reporting in 1979, and was named chief meteorologist in 1986. Dahl is skeptical about global warming and states that the earth has been stable or cooling for the last two decades.
Joe Schmit was a sports reporter and later sports director from 1985, until switching to news anchor in 2005; Schmit left the station in June 2006 to join Petters Media and Marketing Group. After the collapse of the company and the arrest and conviction of founder Tom Petters, Schmit returned to KSTP-TV on January 14, 2010. With his return to the station, the station also brought back Sunday Sports Wrap with Joe Schmit. Phil Aldridge subsequently moved to weekend sports anchor and held that position until his contract ended in June 2010, being replaced by Chris Long afterward. Cyndy Brucato made a surprise return to the KSTP-TV anchor desk in 2004 after an 18-year absence. Her comeback had been preceded by a guest appearance as a fill-in sportscaster, at Joe Schmit's request. Management then decided to rehire her as a news anchor. While Brucato's return only caused an initial bump in the ratings, her greater significance has been to add insight and depth to the news desk, which has many newer personalities in the market.
In late 2004, the station became part of the controversies surrounding missing explosives following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Anchor/reporter Dean Staley and cameraman Joe Caffrey visited the Al Qa'qaa munitions dump on April 18, 2003. By the next year, Staley had moved on to another station, but the tapes still existed and Caffrey was still at KSTP. When reports surfaced that explosive material might have been stolen from the site, the two realized that they had filmed at the facility during an important time.
On May 12, 2006, KSTP debuted a half-hour newscast at 4 p.m. On September 10, 2007, it was moved to 4:30 p.m., serving as a lead-in to the 5 p.m. newscast. For the first year, KSTP began to have news competition in that timeslot, when KARE debuted an online/television lifestyle program at 4 p.m. in May 2007. KSTP began broadcasting its newscasts in standard definition 16:9 widescreen on June 15, 2009. On August 30, 2010, KSTP expanded its weekday morning newscast a half-hour earlier, now running from 4:30 to 7 a.m. In 2011, KSTP made a move that is unusual for a station in the Central or Mountain Time Zones by debuting an 11 p.m. newscast, that was intended to compliment its 10 p.m. newscast and Nightline. On January 8, 2013, KSTP dropped the 11 p.m. news for an hour-long 10 p.m. newscast as a result of Jimmy Kimmel Live!'s move to Nightline's longtime national 10:35 p.m. timeslot.
KSTP-TV's studios and offices are located at 3415 University Avenue, precisely on the Minneapolis-St. Paul boundary. The sidewalk in the adjacent photo of the building is on the city line. The principal production facilities, including the news studio, are on the Minneapolis side of the building. However, the business and advertising offices are on the St. Paul side. The station utilizes a St. Paul mailing address (55114-2099) as a result. The large tripod transmitting tower behind the station has one leg in each city, with the third leg precisely on the city and county line. This tower is primarily used to relay the station's signal to the Telefarm paired tower setup in Shoreview (shared with KSTP-FM, WCCO-TV, KARE, and WUCW). The tower also houses the transmitter for KEC65, the NOAA Weather Radio station serving the Twin Cities area.
|Channel||Station||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|5.1||KSTP-TV||720p||16:9||KSTPDT1||Main KSTP-TV programming / ABC|
|5.2||KSTC-TV||KSTCDT1||Main KSTC-TV programming|
|5.7||KSTPDT2||Heroes & Icons|
KSTP-TV signed on its digital television signal in 1999. The station shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 5, 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 50 to channel 35. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 5. The station participated in the "Analog Nightlight" program until its analog transmitter was turned off for good on July 12, 2009.
Satellite stations and translators
KSTP-TV operates two satellite stations northwest of the Twin Cities area, and it signal is further extended by way of twelve translators in central and southern Minnesota.
|Station||City of license||Channels|
(TV / DT)
|First air date||ERP||HAAT||Transmitter Coordinates||Facility ID||Public license|
|September 15, 1987||80 kW||356 m||35584|
|KRWF||Redwood Falls||27 (UHF)|
|April 14, 1987||58 kW||151 m||35585|
KSAX' schedule was virtually identical to that of KSTP-TV, though it aired separate identifications and commercials. It also placed local inserts into KSTP's weeknight broadcasts. KRWF was a full-time repeater of KSAX. Expanding their operations in 1999, the stations hired their first meteorologist. This continued in 2004 with the launch of a half-hour high school sports highlight show. The stations have won numerous broadcast journalism awards from various broadcaster associations. On June 25, 2012, Hubbard Broadcasting shut down KSAX/KRWF's local operations, converting the two stations into full-time satellites of KSTP-TV except for commercials. The former studio for KSAX/KRWF remains open as KSTP-TV's central Minnesota news bureau and sales office.
|City of license||Callsign||Channel|
(repeater of KSAX)
(repeater of KSAX)
(repeater of KSAX)
(repeater of KSAX)
(digital repeater of KRWF)
|24 (PSIP 43.1)|
(repeater of KSAX)
(in the Mankato market)
(repeater of KSAX)
(digital repeater of KSAX)
(repeater of KSAX)