KUTV, virtual channel 2 (UHF digital channel 34), is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, as part of a triopoly with independent station KJZZ-TV (channel 14) and St. George-licensed MyNetworkTV affiliate KMYU (channel 12, formerly solely a satellite station of KUTV from its 1999 sign-on to 2008). The three stations share studio facilities located on South Main Street in downtown Salt Lake City; KUTV's transmitter is located on Farnsworth Peak in the Oquirrh Mountains, southwest of Salt Lake City.
KUTV's programming is relayed on KMYU's second digital subchannel (VHF digital channel 12.2, mapped via PSIP to 2.1) in high definition to serve the southern portion of the Salt Lake City market not covered by the KUTV broadcast signal; the station also has a large that extend its over-the-air coverage throughout Utah as well as portions of Nevada and Wyoming.
The station first signed on the air on September 10, 1954, originally operating as an ABC affiliate. The original co-owners were Frank C. Carman & Associates and The Salt Lake Tribune, owned by the Kearns-Tribune Corporation. The station originally broadcast from studios located on Social Hall Avenue in downtown Salt Lake City. The deal was spearheaded by Tribune publisher John F. Fitzpatrick after his experience with two successful investments in local radio, including KSL radio (1160 AM) and KALL (910 AM, now KWDZ). In 1956, the Carman group sold its interest in the station to A.L. Glasman for the Ogden Standard-Examiner and his son-in-law and daughter, George and Gene Hatch. In the reorganization, the Kearns-Tribune Corporation retained a 35% ownership interest until 1970. In 1960, KUTV became the market's NBC affiliate, trading affiliations with KCPX-TV (channel 4, now KTVX), which joined ABC. In 1979, The station relocated its studio facilities to a new building located at 2185 South 3600 West in West Valley City.
In 1994, NBC bought majority control (88%) of KUTV from VS&A Communications Partners (by this point, the Hatch's stake had been reduced to 12%), making it the second network owned-and-operated station in Utah (Fox had earlier purchased KSTU, channel 13, in 1990, and retained ownership of that station until 2008).
Switch to CBS
On September 10, 1995, KUTV switched its affiliation to CBS as part of a complex deal resulting from Westinghouse Broadcasting (Group W)'s affiliation deal with the network. CBS traded its longtime O&O in Philadelphia, WCAU-TV, to NBC in exchange for KCNC-TV in Denver, with KUTV added to the deal as compensation. NBC-owned WTVJ and CBS-owned WCIX (which became WFOR-TV upon the swap) also traded transmitter facilities in Miami as part of the deal. CBS then sold controlling interest in KUTV to Group W. NBC initially wanted to return to KTVX, but ultimately signed with KSL-TV (channel 5). KUTV subsequently became a CBS owned-and-operated station when Group W's parent company, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, merged with CBS in late 1995. It is one of the few stations in the country to have been affiliated with all three heritage broadcast television networks, and one of a number to have been an owned-and-operated station of two different networks. At the time, KUTV retained one NBC program: Saturday Night Live, which remained in its Saturday 10:30 p.m. timeslot for five more months, before it moved to KUWB (channel 30, now KUCW).
In 2003, the station moved from its longtime studio facilities in West Valley City to a street-side studio at 299 Main Street in downtown Salt Lake's Wells Fargo Center. The move was financed in part by the Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency, in the form of $1.2 million in interest free loans. KUTV's newscasts overlook the street, and many segments take advantage of outdoor camera positions. The nearby Gallivan Center is also featured in some KUTV programs.
Under CBS ownership, KUTV was one of five CBS-O&O stations that did not follow the "CBS Mandate" (the branding practice in which its owned-and-operated stations incorporate the network name), given the fact it was branded as "2News" as opposed to "CBS2" (which was used on now former sister stations WCBS-TV in New York City, WBBM-TV in Chicago and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles). The five other stations that did not incorporate network branding during KUTV's tenure as a CBS O&O—four of which continue not to do so this day—are WCCO-TV in Minneapolis–St. Paul (branded as WCCO 4), KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh (branded as simply KDKA-TV or KDKA-TV 2, although there is an alternate but seldom used "CBS 2" logo), WJZ-TV in Baltimore (branded as WJZ 13), WBZ-TV in Boston (branded as simply WBZ) and WWJ-TV in Detroit (branded simply as WWJTV until 2012, when it rebranded as "CBS 62").
On February 7, 2007, CBS Corporation sold seven of its smaller-market O&O stations, including KUTV and KUSG (now KMYU), to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management for $185 million. Cerberus then formed a new holding company for the stations, Four Points Media Group, which took over their operations under local marketing agreements in late June 2007. The Federal Communications Commission approved the sale in mid-November 2007, and the deal was finalized on January 10, 2008.
On November 26, 2007, KUTV began hubbing master control operations for its then-sister station, CW affiliate WLWC in Providence, which was also sold as part of the Four Points deal. On February 25, 2008, KUTV added three West Palm Beach, Florida stations (WTVX, WTCN-CA and WWHB) to this operation. On March 20, 2009, Nexstar Broadcasting Group took over the management of all of the Four Points stations, including KUTV, under a three-year outsourcing agreement. On May 9, 2008 launched , a website focused on green businesses and products in Utah; the site also delivers localized environmental and political news.
On September 8, 2011, Cerberus Capital Management announced the sale of the entire Four Points station group to the Sinclair Broadcast Group for $200 million. In October, Sinclair began managing the stations, including KUTV, under local marketing agreements following antitrust approval. The deal was completed on January 1, 2012. However, the Four Points station websites remained operated by Nexstar's interactive unit until early February 2012 when they were migrated Sinclair's in-house digital interactive platform (Nexstar would subsequently purchase KTVX and KUCW from Newport Television in August 2012).
On May 8, 2017, Sinclair entered into an agreement to acquire Tribune Media—owner of Fox affiliate KSTU—for $3.9 billion, plus the assumption of $2.7 billion in debt held by Tribune, pending regulatory approval by the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. While KJZZ-TV and KMYU (despite the fact that the latter's city of license, St. George, is technically a sub-market within the statewide Salt Lake City market) are not in conflict with existing FCC in-market ownership rules and would be acquired by Sinclair in any event, the group is precluded from acquiring KSTU directly as broadcasters are not currently allowed to legally own more than two full-power television stations in a single market and both KUTV and KSTU rank among the four highest-rated stations in the Salt Lake City market in total day viewership (Sinclair CEO Christopher Ripley cited Salt Lake City as one of three markets, out of fourteen where ownership conflicts exist between the two groups, where the proposed acquisition would most likely result in divestitures). As such, the companies may be required to sell either KUTV or KSTU to another station group in order to comply with FCC ownership rules and alleviate potential antitrust issues preceding approval of the acquisition; however, a sale of either duopoly to an independent buyer is dependent on later decisions by the FCC regarding local ownership of broadcast television stations and future acts by Congress.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed. KMYU's simulcast of KUTV's schedule maps to 2:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|2.1||1080i||16:9||KUTV-DT||Main KUTV programming / CBS|
|2.2||720p||KUTV2.2||Simulcast of KMYU|
On April 6, 2009, KUTV began carrying This TV on its second digital subchannel. On September 20, 2010, both KMYU and KUTV-DT2 added programming from MyNetworkTV, which brought over-the-air programming from that service back to Salt Lake City proper for the first time since KJZZ-TV (channel 14) became an independent station in 2008 (former MyNetworkTV affiliate KCSG (channel 14)'s over-the-air signal does not reach Salt Lake City, and thus that station has been carried only on cable). On January 1, 2015, KSL-TV took over as the Salt Lake City affiliate of This TV. The recent moving of This TV over to KSL-DT3 Channel 5.3 allows for KMYU channel 12.1 and KUTV channel 2.2 to air an independent format outside of MyNetworkTV programming hours, thus allowing for a full-time MyNetworkTV affiliate in the Salt Lake City market for the first time ever.
KUTV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 2, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 34, using PSIP to display KUTV's virtual channel as 2 on digital television receivers.
Syndicated programming on KUTV includes Family Feud and Entertainment Tonight. KUTV broadcasts CBS This Morning on a one-hour delay, as the station's weekday morning newscast into the 8 a.m. hour (it is one of several remaining CBS affiliates that do not carry the program in its standard 7 a.m. timeslot); the first hour of CBS This Morning instead airs at 8 a.m., while the second hour airs on sister station KMYU at 9 a.m.
KUTV presently broadcasts 36½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 6½ hours on weekdays and two hours each on Saturdays and Sundays); in addition, KUTV produces a half-hour weeknight 7 p.m. newscast for KMYU, who also simulcasts KUTV's 10 p.m. newscast on Monday through Friday nights.
Following its sign-on, KUTV became the leading news station in Utah, in part owing to its roots with the Salt Lake Tribune. It lost the #1 position to KSL-TV in 1965 and spent most of the next 45 years as a solid, if usually distant, runner-up to channel 5. It began to decrease KSL-TV's ratings lead after CBS bought the station, culminating with its first-place finish in most timeslots during the November 2010 ratings period. For the February 2011 sweeps period, KUTV even unseated KSL-TV at 10 p.m., resulting in KUTV sweeping all of the news time periods for the first time in its history. May 2011 found KUTV dominating all newscast timeslots in total viewers. KUTV's run at the top was short-lived: In the November 2011 sweeps, KUTV slipped back to second place in most newscasts behind KSL-TV. However, for the February 2012 sweeps period, KUTV regained the lead in households in all newscast timeslots, except at 6 p.m.
From 2007 to 2009, KUTV produced a half-hour early evening newscast for sister station WTVX in West Palm Beach, Florida, titled CW West Palm News at 6:30. The program was anchored by members of KUTV's on-air staff and was broadcast from a separate studio; WTVX added material from two local reporters. On April 19, 2008, beginning with its 5:30 p.m. newscast, KUTV became the first television station in the Salt Lake City market to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. On June 7, 2009, the station abruptly canceled its weekend morning newscasts; this was followed the next day by the cancellation of the newscast that the station produced for WTVX; as with many newscast cuts at that time, it was likely due to the Great Recession, while WTVX's newscast was stunted by low ratings.
In August 2009, KUTV opted not to renew its lease for its news helicopter as a cost-saving measure, but continues to rent helicopters on an 'as needed' basis. The station also utilized "Chopper 2", a Harley-Davidson chopper motorcycle with a sidecar that is converted into a swiveling camera mount and seat for a camera operator for use in covering traffic accidents, weather reports, and parades. Weekend morning newscasts returned to the station in September 2012, while its weekday morning newscast was also expanded a half-hour early to 4:30 a.m. On September 9, 2014, KUTV moved the 4:00 p.m. newscast to 3:00 p.m., retaining the hour-long format and bringing Utah's even earlier newscast.
KUTV extends its broadcast coverage throughout the entire state of Utah, as well as parts of Arizona, Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming, using a network of more than 100 community-owned translator television stations:
Notable former on-air staff
- Kathy Brock - anchor/reporter (1984–1990, now with WLS-TV in Chicago)
- Mark Eubank - meteorologist (later with KSL-TV; now retired)
- Christianne Klein - anchor/reporter (now with KLAS-TV)
- Ric Romero - PM Magazine host (1982–1985, now at KABC-TV in Los Angeles)
- John Stehr - anchor (1982–1989; left for CNBC and CBS News; now primary anchor at WTHR in Indianapolis)
- Ruth Todd - news brief anchor/fill-in anchor/reporter (now semi-retired)