August 2, 1953: Channel 13 Tacoma – KMO/KTVW/KCPQ

August 1953

KMO TV had the NBC affiliation for about 4 months, before KOMO4 went on the air and wrested it away.

July 14, 1954–

The KMO TV control room

September 29, 1954–


KTVW began broadcasting on a limited schedule, 5:30 pm to 11 pm. This was to be a pattern with the McCaw ownership of KTVW. The budget was tight, as McCaw spent money on other tv acquisitions and KYA/San Francisco & WINS/New York.


November 1954

August 1969

KTVW Sold to Donald Wolfstone – becomes the Blaidon Station – 1972

Educational KCPQ 1975

FCC rejects petition to maintain Channel 13
Victor Stredicke-December 5, 1979 – The Federal Communications Commission yesterday turned down a plea that the frequency used by KCPQ Tacoma, be designated exclusively for noncommercial, educational use.
At the same time the FCC proceeded with an application for license transfer of KCPQ, Channel 13, from the Clover Park school district to Kelly Broadcasting.
Last December, Kelly Broadcasting agreed to purchase the license for $6.25 million.
Kelly, operator of KCRA TV Sacramento, intends to develop the channel as a commercial station, presumably offering standard “independent” TV fare, such as movies and rerun series.

The Clover Park school board acquired the frequency in 1975, transferring some programming from a UHF channel, which it had been operating, to the more familiar VHF Channel 13.
After three years with an expanded broadcast schedule, the school board said it decided to sell the station because it could no longer afford to keep it on the air.
A group called Save Our Station 13 filed the petition for reserved frequency status to stop the sale. The S. O. S. Petition proposed that the special status that Channel 56 had as an educational channel should be transferred to Channel 13.
Julie Guy, who will soon be station manager when Kelly Broadcasting acquires the frequency, said the transfer process is continuing.
FCC procedure is to invite public comment for the next 30 days before deciding the issue.

“The NEW Channel 13 —
Kelly Broadcasting, owners of KCRA-TV in its home city of Sacramento, California, purchased KCPQ from the Clover Park School District for $6.25 million, outbidding a Tucson, Arizona company that had initially stepped up to buy the station. The station temporarily went silent on February 28, 1980, during the ownership change. KCPQ’s transmitter was relocated to Gold Mountain, a peak located west of Bremerton, where the station had erected a new tower to more effectively reach the Seattle market. While the move greatly increased the station’s signal footprint across western Washington, it resulted in a somewhat weaker signal in the northern and eastern portions of the market. In promotional advertisements that aired on the station during the early 1980s, popular local celebrities (such as then-Seattle Seahawks player Steve Raible) encouraged KCPQ viewers in these areas to “aim towards Bremerton” with their TV antennas in order to get the best reception from the new transmitter.

When the station relaunched on November 4, 1980, KCPQ adopted its now-familiar “Q13? branding (although for the first several months on the air, it was referred to as “The NEW 13?), as well as another slogan: “The Northwest’s Movie Channel”. (It would also be occasionally be referred to on-air as “Puget Sound Television”, with an alternate ident featuring a drawing of a boat within the green “Q” portion of the logo.) Channel 13 ran movies during the midday hours, late nights and weekends, and chose to counter-program the network shows during primetime with uncut versions of feature films. The station also ran CBS and NBC shows that KIRO-TV and KING-TV respectively preempted, including CBS Late Night and NBC’s Saturday morning cartoons. For a short time after the relaunch, the station had an afternoon children’s program, “Captain Sea-Tac”, featuring a friendly boat captain. But eventually, other than Saturdays, KCPQ did not run children’s programming during the week. The station also did not carry many off-network sitcoms, choosing instead to air first-run syndicated talk and game shows, off-network dramas, and some early morning religious programs. KCPQ also carried college sports for the majority of the 1980s and early 1990s, in particular Pacific-10 Conference football and basketball, and college football bowl games. The station held contracts with the University of Washington and Washington State University to televise football and basketball coaches shows during this period.

On September 13, 1997, KCPQ moved its studios to the new, $30 million Seattle facility, retaining only a small sales office in Tacoma.
In August 1998, Kelly announced the sale of its Sacramento television business to Hearst-Argyle Television; the next day, Kelly sold KCPQ to the Meredith Corporation, which immediately traded it to the Tribune Company in exchange for Tribune’s Atlanta station, WGNX. Following the purchase of channel 13, Tribune merged KCPQ’s operations with those of KTWB-TV (channel 22, now KZJO), which Tribune had acquired the year prior;

Tribune Media agreed to be acquired by Nexstar Media Group for $6.9 billion in cash and debt on December 3, 2018. Following the merger’s completion on September 19, 2019, Fox Television Stations purchased KCPQ and KZJO as part of a $350 million deal. The sale was completed on March 2, 2020. KCPQ dropped the Q13 moniker and rebranded to “Fox 13” on September 26, 2021.[Wikipedia]

Author: Jason Remington

Creator, Admin, & Editor of PugetSound.Media, former broadcaster at KAMT/Tacoma, KRPM FM/Tacoma, KJUN/Puyallup, KASY/Auburn, KTAC AM/Tacoma, KBRD FM/Tacoma, KMTT FM/Tacoma, and KOOL FM/Phoenix. - Jason Remington Airchecks

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