KWYB is a full-service television station in Butte, Montana, broadcasting locally in digital on UHF channel 19 as an affiliate of ABC. The station's signal is rebroadcast on KWYB-LD UHF channel 28 in Bozeman. The station is owned by Cowles Company.
On January 9, 1992, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted an original construction permit to Continental Television Network (CTN) for a full-service station on channel 18 to serve Butte. The station, at first known by its application identification number, 910225KE, soon took the call letters KWYB. The station signed on September 27, 1996.
In February 2001, CTN sold KWYB, along with KWYB-LP in Bozeman, KTMF in Missoula, KTMF-LP in Kalispell and KTGF in Great Falls, to Max Media of Montana. They were the first television station acquisitions in Montana for Max Media.
On September 30, 2013, the Cowles Company acquired Max Media's Montana television station cluster (which, in addition to KWYB and KTMF, included KFBB-TV in Great Falls, KHBB-LD in Helena, and NBC affiliate KULR-TV in Billings) for $18 million. The sale was completed on November 29.
On May 30, 1996, the FCC granted an original construction permit to Louise K. Corbin for a low-power station on channel 28 to serve Bozeman. The station was given callsign K28FB and was quickly built. K28FB was licensed on January 14, 1997. In May 1997, Continental Television Network purchased the station and six months later, changed its calls to KWYB-LP.
In February 2001, CTN sold the station to Max Media of Montana as part of the same transaction as KWYB and participated in the same newscasts as KWYB. KWYB-LD was also included in Cowles' 2013 purchase of Max Media's Montana stations.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|5.1||720p||16:9||KFBB-AB||Main KFBB-TV programming / ABC|
MyNetworkTV (11:05 p.m. - 1:05 a.m. Monday - Friday)
Jewelry Television (overnights)
On June 14, 2002, the FCC granted a construction permit to build KWYB-DT on UHF channel 19. The station received Special Temporary Authority (STA) on April 22, 2003 to broadcast at reduced power. As of August 2006, the station has not completed its final digital facilities and continues to broadcast per the STA. KWYB has elected to move to channel 19 once the transition to digital television is completed.
On August 11, 2006, the FCC granted "flash-cut" authorization to KWYB-LD, and on August 11, 2009, analog station KWYB-LP shut down and digital station KWYB-LD commenced broadcasting on channel 28.
As of July 13, 2009, a KWYB subchannel is now a Fox television affiliate. Fox is broadcast on digital channel 18-2, and, like 18-1, is available in 720p high definition. Formerly, Fox was available on KBTZ analog channel 24. Max Media obtained broadcast rights when Equity Media Holdings filed for bankruptcy. Currently, programming from MyNetworkTV (the Fox sister network) is seen in a delayed manner from 11:05 until 1:05 early the next morning. There is no local branding and/or logo indicating the secondary MyNetworkTV affiliation status aside from network promotions.
Under Continental Television Network, KWYB (along with its sister stations) aired no local newscasts, but soon after Max Media acquired the stations, they began to make plans for a regional newscast for the stations, to debut in early 2002. They launched the newscast, produced by Independent News Network of Davenport, Iowa and branded Big Sky News, in October 2002, but the newscast generated controversy, in part because it tried to simultaneously serve the needs of five communities over 200 miles (320 km) apart, and in part because the newscast did not actually originate in Montana, but rather, in a city approximately 1,050 miles (1,690 km), with only one reporter actually assigned to and located in Butte.
Max Media launched another attempt at a regional newscast for KWYB and its other stations in February 2005, this time branded Montana News Network, produced in Great Falls at KFBB-TV. This newscast was subsequently discontinued, and for several years the only local newscast on the station was a ten-minute late newscast, 10@10. As of September 2015, KWYB airs a statewide morning newscast (produced in Billings by KULR-TV) and full early evening and late newscasts, as well as a primetime newscast on its Fox subchannel.