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.[3] The market is also the smallest in North America. 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 radio (1400 AM) and KDZN (96.5 FM) have been owned by Glendive Broadcasting since the late 1970s and 1986 respectively.

Digital television

KXGN was allocated ATSC TV channel 10 by the FCC in September 2004[4] after receiving multiple extensions of the original May 1, 2002 deadline to go digital due to financial hardship.[6] 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.[7]

By 2007, Glendive would be the only remaining US terrestrial television market to have no digital signals at all.[8]

Initial obstacles to small-market digital transition included 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, were estimated to be in the upper six figure range.[9]

KXGN-TV's digital broadcast equipment was scheduled to be delivered just before the original February 17, 2009 shutdown of analogue broadcasting;[10] 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.[11] KXGN's digital conversion was completed in June 2009 with relatively minimal disruption.

The exemption of LPTV operations from the 2009 DTV transition requirement left KXGN as an analogue signal for viewers of numbered repeater stations long after the main signal became entirely digital. Individual KXGN broadcast translator sites, however, needed to update their equipment in order to convert the new digital signal back to analogue for rebroadcast; the readiness of these facilities and the availability of the KXGN-DT 5 signal over the air at the individual repeater sites was largely unknown until the transition's completion. However, the station’s low-power translators were required to convert to digital by September 1, 2015 as part of the Digital TV transition for low-powered television stations. While the added capacity available on a digital signal allows the station to dedicate a digital subchannel to full NBC programming (as is currently the case) or even (through Miles Community College) to obtain Montana PBS feeds, translator viewers retain their existing analogue coverage and do not currently receive any extra channels.

KXGN was also (albeit indirectly) listed as one of the charter affiliates of the .2 Network, which was originally slated to have begin broadcast sometime in 2008;[13] it never signed on.

5.116:91080imain KXGN programming / CBS

Multiple affiliations

In addition to its primary programming, KXGN operates an NBC affiliate on its second digital subchannel; until September 2009, its primary feed carried NBC on a secondary basis in addition to CBS. KXGN was the last "Big 3" station in the US to air more than one network's programming on a single feed.[14][15] In the past, KXGN also carried some 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.


KXGN airs the entire CBS programming lineup from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; some other CBS programs, particularly daytime programming, are also aired one hour ahead of normal. Until September 2009, KXGN would, at 9 p.m., air NBC programming that is either airing at that time or recorded earlier that evening. While the station did also carry all of NBC's soap operas (Days of Our Lives and, until September 2007, Passions) in later years in addition to CBS's, NBC's other programs did not air on KXGN, opting instead to show CBS's programming or local shows.

Even after dropping NBC from its primary subchannel, KXGN has retained the 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. CBS prime-time block intact, opting to show syndicated programming at 9 p.m., including Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on weeknights. In contrast, KXGN-DT2 generally clears NBC programming in their normal time periods.

A full-time NBC affiliate, KUMV-TV from Williston, North Dakota, was and still is available on cable. Until 2013, KUMV operated a local 2630-watt repeater in Glendive, K13PL channel 13; due to KXGN's NBC-affiliated subchannel and its prior secondary affiliation, this was one of very few situations where a commercial network had, in effect, two different affiliates in the same city.

Syndicated programming on KXGN currently includes Judge Judy, Dr. Phil, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Rachael Ray.[16]


KXGN airs a five-minute daily evening local newscast called Montana East News at 9:55 p.m., after Who Wants to Be a Millionaire; Emilie Boyles served as the station's sole reporter and editor until leaving in April, 2015. Former longtime personality Ed Agre[17] was once profiled by Sports Illustrated for his duties in this capacity.[18] "Dapper" Dan Frenzel, KXGN's weekend TV weatherman and radio DJ since April 1964, served as vice president and general manager of the station from 1988 until his death (due to a heart condition) in 2003.[19]

All other "local" newscasts on KXGN are simulcasts from Billings' KTVQ (with the exception of its morning newscast), as an affiliate of the Montana Television Network. CBS This Morning from CBS is the only news on KXGN in the morning. Likewise, KXGN's NBC subchannel simulcasts newscasts from another Billings station, KULR-TV; unlike the main channel, this arrangement includes the second hour of KULR's morning newscast, Wake Up Montana. An early evening edition of Montana East News airs on KXGN-DT2 at 4:55 p.m., after The Dr. Oz Show. [20]


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